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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

devoted the most eager study to the facts of primitive society and the origin of civilization.

If, now, we use the information which we possess about the savage man to test the notion that he possessed natural liberty, we find that he was and is anything but free in the sense of being unrestrained. It might do for Rousseau to take the American Indian as a type of the primitive, or "original," or "natural" man, but we could not accept him as such. The Indian is far back in civilization when he is regarded from the stand-point of the civilized man; but if he is regarded with reference to the real and ultimate origin of society, he is very far on up the scale.

If, then, we take the notion of the Indian, or any man of lower civilization, as wandering freely and spending his time in blissful idleness, correct information shows that there are no facts to support it. A wandering savage wanders to get his living, and as a rule he finds it more than he can do; the exigencies of subsistence hold him as tightly as they hold a factory hand, and his success is far more uncertain. If he unites with others like himself in order, by organization, to increase his power, then he must submit to discipline of the most severe kind, enforced by penalties of the highest severity. Instead of being lawless he is under traditions and customs which admit of no relaxation whatever; he who tries to revolt against the tradition is thrust out into banishment or put to death. There is no such thing conceivable as private judgment or dissent. He who breaks a custom is an outlaw.

The noble savage may also wander out-of-doors, it is true, and within a certain range, within which he and his ancestors have bought, with their sufferings and blood, a knowledge of nature; but though he understands the