In for a heartbreak

Speaking of Temporary Autonomous Zones…

The Times reported that 80 members of a primitive Amazonian tribe named Nukak-Makú left their ancestral way of life to join the modern world.

No, they did not leave a jungle.
They just entered one.

“Welcome to the jungle!
It gets worse here everyday
Ya learn to live like an animal
In the jungle where we play
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your shu n,n,n,n,n,n knees, knees
It’s gonna bring you down!
Ha! “
-Guns n’ Roses, Welcome to the Jungle

The Nakuk-Makú are reportedly unfamiliar with the concepts of money, property, government, and the future. One thinks that they should have weighed the decision to join civilization more critically. Maybe they sould have consulted with a more insightful diagnostician of our modern maladies, S. Freud and his Civilization and its Discontents. Or with Hakim Bey and his Temporary Autonomous Zone, just to get a sense of why there are ample and good reasons to be doing precisely the opposite. As a doctor who has been working with them put it, “The Nukak don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into.”

An editorial in today’s Times said:
“The Nukak have every right to make this decision for themselves. But it’s hard to escape the feeling that their self-sustaining existence — which went almost entirely unnoticed by the rest of the world — was holding something open for us, something that has now been lost.”

What a heartbreak.

2 Responses to In for a heartbreak

  1. homeinkabul says:

    I do agree that it is sad. As an amature historian, we are losing an important resource.

    But we, on the outside, are we sad because are wanting them to remain exotic/different/ ‘the other’?

    Granted, the indigenous peoples who recently moved into the ‘modern’ world are suffering from a host of ills that they definitely did not expect (prostitution, child abuse, alcoholism & etc)…but is that why WE are worried for them?

    btw, I know nothing of Hakim Bey, he’s now on my reading list…

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