You Ought to be Ashamed!
Note that during that very long period of time, things were pretty "equal" for everybody, gender-specific specialities notwithstanding.
That is to say, everyone was equally poor, although no one knew it, because it turns out that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was characterized by a surplus of slack, working "short hours" and exploiting "abundant food resources" (Tucker). You might be astoneaged to learn that early humans lived "relatively relaxed lives" and that it was possible to get by "on two to four hours of subsistence effort per day."
One more way that I am a dyed-in-the-wool caveman.
I wonder if this is the blessedly enslackened situation Genesis describes, prior to the Temptation and Fall? That is, it seems there is plenty of low-hanging food of which we may "freely eat"; a girl for every boy; and the nuclear family ("a man shall leave his father and mother...") It's all good. Like the 1950s, but without the beatniks.
But then something unexpected happens. The text is frustratingly vague as to exactly what it is, but it is possible that it is conflating or reversing cause and effect.
That is, it may simply be describing an effect -- our all too obvious exile from paradise or the 1950s -- and then reading a cause back into time. Since what happened is "bad," then perhaps we must have done something bad to deserve it.
I've always been partial to Joyce's approach (in Finnegans Wake), which acknowledges the Fall -- the effect -- without trying to be too precise about what we did to cause it.
Look at it this way: we all have guilt and we all have shame -- Harry Reid being the exception that proves the rule -- but why?
Interestingly, the Bible acknowledges the existence of shame even in our prelapsarian state -- in fact, it is the Last Word ("ashamed") prior to Genesis 3, The Temptation and Fall of Man.
It also seems to implicitly acknowledge a capacity for guilt, in that there is an injunction -- don't eat of that tree -- and a potential punishment -- you shall die. There would be no point in communicating such a cause-and-effect formula to a creature incapable of freedom and responsibility, and therefore, guilt.
As we've discussed in the past, shame and guilt are quite distinct, the former having to do with ontology, the latter with existence. That is, shame has to do with being, whereas guilt has more to do with actions.
Shame also has to do with the other, with being seen (or busted). Thus, a truly shameless person -- Miley Cyrus, say, or Bill Clinton -- is so deeply disordered that it goes well beyond what any psychologist can deal with.
To put it inversely, to not feel shame is to not be human, and only humans can benefit from psychotherapy.
Sociopaths do not feel shame, nor do they feel guilt. In both cases, they are detached from the human family, in that they cannot empathize with the other, or see the other's point of view. Therefore, they can treat human beings as objects without being persecuted by a guilty conscience.
How would you feel if you had not only destroyed a young woman's life, but pretended she was the guilty party? A normal person would be deeply troubled for the rest of his life, but a normal person would also try to make amends (so long as the crime didn't involve murder, in which case no earthly reconciliation is possible).
So man, if he is man, must have a capacity for guilt and for shame. Modern man doesn't like this idea, so what does he do about it? Note that one cannot actually rid oneself of these (and remain human), any more than one can eliminate other quintessentially human characteristics.
Yes, but there is still a way: all one has to do is make the wrong right and the right wrong, and voila! The restoration of wholly unholy innocence! To be in-nocent means to be free of knowledge, and people who don't know any better -- children and animals -- are indeed innocent.
Furthermore, any person who would hold innocent children and animals to a higher standard would be an assoul. Therefore, you are an assoul for expecting humane, decent, and virtuous behavior of liberals!
There is another ontological perversion that infiltrates the liberal mind, and it is the equation of resentment and victimhood, accompanied by the equation of victimhood and innocence.
Therefore, instead of feeling shame about, say, being so envious and resentful, one not only feels innocent, but is proud about it (pride being another occasion for a normal person to feel humbled if not a little guilty).
I can summarize the lesson of this post in two words: Gay. Pride.
Which is a good thing, because I don't have time for one more word.