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  • #16
    The problems in Mexico stem first from Spanish culture that dominated the country for centuries. Pre-revolution Mexico was run on the Hacienda system which was for all intents a variant of the medieval system of nobility. Particular families with influence or status were granted vast tracts of land by the King of Spain to run as they saw fit provided the King got his cut. The whole idea of freemen being farmers and the like was nonexistent.

    Peasants and the indigenous population were virtual slaves to their Hacienda and its owners. Most of the wealth produced was shipped back to Spain ensuring limited economic growth in Spanish colonies. The central government ruled the country often with an iron fist backed by the Hacienda owners.

    The Mexican revolution simply changed the titles on the doors of the powerful for all intents. The Hacienda system was officially abolished but the powerful families still ruled because they had wealth and power. The government adopted Socialism to quell the mass of poor and give the illusion of equally.

    The whole time, the system was thoroughly corrupt top to bottom. It was institutionalized.

    You can't fix a problem that has been building for centuries in a matter of a few years. It doesn't happen unless some outside influence comes along and crushes the current system completely and forces on the country a completely new paradigm over several decades. This worked in Japan and Germany post WW 2.

    To do that with current Western social mores probably isn't possible today. But, it is possible if you assume the military is to be fairly ruthless and willing to take some casualties to do it.

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    • #17
      As for going to Mexico... Forget that. It isn't like it was even 20 years ago. Back then you could cross the border either direction with a minimal amount of ID. 40 years ago you didn't need ID at all. The border towns had their share of petty crime but that just meant you needed to watch yourself as you did whatever on the Mexico side of the border.

      Today, you need a passport or special ID to get back in the US. The border towns are all dangerous. Even the tourist sites are questionable in terms of safety. It's all just gotten dangerous and stupid.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        The problems in Mexico stem first from Spanish culture that dominated the country for centuries. Pre-revolution Mexico was run on the Hacienda system which was for all intents a variant of the medieval system of nobility. Particular families with influence or status were granted vast tracts of land by the King of Spain to run as they saw fit provided the King got his cut. The whole idea of freemen being farmers and the like was nonexistent.

        Peasants and the indigenous population were virtual slaves to their Hacienda and its owners. Most of the wealth produced was shipped back to Spain ensuring limited economic growth in Spanish colonies. The central government ruled the country often with an iron fist backed by the Hacienda owners.

        The Mexican revolution simply changed the titles on the doors of the powerful for all intents. The Hacienda system was officially abolished but the powerful families still ruled because they had wealth and power. The government adopted Socialism to quell the mass of poor and give the illusion of equally.

        The whole time, the system was thoroughly corrupt top to bottom. It was institutionalized.

        You can't fix a problem that has been building for centuries in a matter of a few years. It doesn't happen unless some outside influence comes along and crushes the current system completely and forces on the country a completely new paradigm over several decades. This worked in Japan and Germany post WW 2.

        To do that with current Western social mores probably isn't possible today. But, it is possible if you assume the military is to be fairly ruthless and willing to take some casualties to do it.
        How on earth would a military invasion solve anything? Do you think Mexico today is anything like Germany and Japan were in WW2 era? How has this policy worked in Afghanistan and Iraq? Did Germany and Japan struggle with any of the same problems that Mexico is facing today?

        The main problem is that you can either work for 4 dollars a day or make an entire years pay by driving a car across the border. The 4 dollars a day isn't solved by anything else than economic growth and education. Once people can earn a comfortable living legally they will not generally resort to corruption and crime. Or rather, not the same kind of corruption.

        When thinking about military interventions to solve issues you have to remember that a lot of these issues stem from a century of meddling in foreign affairs. For much of this history USA has actively supported the systematic corruption in order to "stem the communist tide". It's quite hard to dismantle the haciendas when any attempt at doing so is stopped by the superpower that is USA. This is of course not to say that the situation in these countries is the sole fault of USA, simply that you haven't exactly helped improve it with your actions.

        Right now Mexico is going forwards, but the change will take a generation or two. Just like it would take anywhere.
        Last edited by Karri; 02 Dec 19, 21:51.
        Wisdom is personal

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Phaing View Post
          It seems that everyone is doing their best to forget the three mothers and their six children who were butchered in Mexico a few weeks ago.
          Shame.

          I have not, and I dug this up.




          it is from eight years ago, and it probably would not have been made if not for the 2012 elections, but it is amazing how it shows what has been going on down there.
          It is only getting worse.
          I know the trend is getting out of international responsibilities but.... isn't this a little too close to home?
          Isn't it time to DO something about this?

          Mexico has an army, and so do we. Aren't we allies?
          No. Practically, we are nothing of the sort. We cannot be "allies" with any nation ruled by drug cartels and their gangs.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Karri View Post

            How on earth would a military invasion solve anything? Do you think Mexico today is anything like Germany and Japan were in WW2 era? How has this policy worked in Afghanistan and Iraq? Did Germany and Japan struggle with any of the same problems that Mexico is facing today?

            The main problem is that you can either work for 4 dollars a day or make an entire years pay by driving a car across the border. The 4 dollars a day isn't solved by anything else than economic growth and education. Once people can earn a comfortable living legally they will not generally resort to corruption and crime. Or rather, not the same kind of corruption.

            When thinking about military interventions to solve issues you have to remember that a lot of these issues stem from a century of meddling in foreign affairs. For much of this history USA has actively supported the systematic corruption in order to "stem the communist tide". It's quite hard to dismantle the haciendas when any attempt at doing so is stopped by the superpower that is USA.
            Because the last two military invasions of Mexico by the US solved a lot of issues. The Mexican-American war of 1845 solved most of the border disputes and low grade fighting that was occurring along the disputed portion of the US-Mexico border in Texas. It also ended issues about who owned what's now most of the Western US.

            The Pershing expedition put an end to most of the border clashes between the US and Mexico during the Mexican revolution. So, even if it was unsuccessful in its mission to capture Pancho Villa it did accomplish much.

            The problem in Mexico is a combination of institutionalized corruption the "Mordita" being a good example.

            http://mexicomatters.net/retirementm...dainmexico.php

            Yea, I know how that game plays. A quick $20 to a customs official makes every routine issue go away. The problem isn't the low wages most Mexicans make. It's the people running the system that are.
            The Hacienda system may officially be gone, but it still exists and those with the money, name, and influence hold real power locally. The Zapanista Revolutionary Army in Chiapas state and adjoining areas of Mexico did away with it in large part by simply shooting or running out all the families that had power.
            The US wouldn't have to go that far, simply confiscating their wealth and placing US control on the government would suffice over time just as it did in Germany and Japan post WW 2.

            The problem with your saying raising wages would fix the problem is it wouldn't. The "fixers" ( I don't recall the Mexican term for them) who determine who gets hired at jobs like the maquiladora plants. Mexicans have to go through them paying a percentage of their wage to get hired. The fixers have an in with the government so they aren't going anywhere. Raise wages, raise the fees charged to get hired.
            If it isn't the fixers (think of them as hiring agents), the unions will do the same thing.

            Corruption is endemic in Mexico. It's a way of life there. Short of a couple of decades of closely supervised control of the government at all levels the problem isn't going away anytime ever.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

              Because the last two military invasions of Mexico by the US solved a lot of issues. The Mexican-American war of 1845 solved most of the border disputes and low grade fighting that was occurring along the disputed portion of the US-Mexico border in Texas. It also ended issues about who owned what's now most of the Western US.

              The Pershing expedition put an end to most of the border clashes between the US and Mexico during the Mexican revolution. So, even if it was unsuccessful in its mission to capture Pancho Villa it did accomplish much.
              Those seem like entirely different issues.


              Yea, I know how that game plays. A quick $20 to a customs official makes every routine issue go away. The problem isn't the low wages most Mexicans make. It's the people running the system that are.
              The Hacienda system may officially be gone, but it still exists and those with the money, name, and influence hold real power locally. The Zapanista Revolutionary Army in Chiapas state and adjoining areas of Mexico did away with it in large part by simply shooting or running out all the families that had power.
              It hasn't been done away in these areas. The corruption and drug trade here are not such a problem because the areas are not bordering USA. Yucatan gets its money from tourism, and some areas here are safer than most US cities.

              The US wouldn't have to go that far, simply confiscating their wealth and placing US control on the government would suffice over time just as it did in Germany and Japan post WW 2.
              That's not what happened in Germany or Japan though. Not to mention the Marshall plan. Germany and Japan at the time were highly industrialised countries.

              The problem with your saying raising wages would fix the problem is it wouldn't. The "fixers" ( I don't recall the Mexican term for them) who determine who gets hired at jobs like the maquiladora plants. Mexicans have to go through them paying a percentage of their wage to get hired. The fixers have an in with the government so they aren't going anywhere. Raise wages, raise the fees charged to get hired.
              If it isn't the fixers (think of them as hiring agents), the unions will do the same thing.
              That seems like quite a specific and limited example, and I don't know anything about it, except that no one I know here paid anyone anything to get hired. I do know that in industrialised cities, like Monterrey, you can earn a comfortable living as part of the educated middle-class. Mexicans in general seem to embody the same spirit of trying as do Americans, even if that is just having your own taco stand.

              Corruption is endemic in Mexico. It's a way of life there. Short of a couple of decades of closely supervised control of the government at all levels the problem isn't going away anytime ever.
              It's a way of life because it's the easiest way to earn a comfortable living. That said, I haven't paid a cent in bribes during my two years here.

              I'm interested though, how exactly would the US military solve this issue? Having a commissar-like officer attached to each and every government worker, supervising them at all times?

              At the end of the day it's far easier to bribe someone who makes 350 USD a month and faces the threat of being killed if they refused, than it is someone who gets paid ten times that and faces no such threats. It is that which makes corruption endemic.
              Last edited by Karri; 02 Dec 19, 22:42.
              Wisdom is personal

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Karri View Post

                How on earth would a military invasion solve anything? Do you think Mexico today is anything like Germany and Japan were in WW2 era? How has this policy worked in Afghanistan and Iraq? Did Germany and Japan struggle with any of the same problems that Mexico is facing today?

                The main problem is that you can either work for 4 dollars a day or make an entire years pay by driving a car across the border. The 4 dollars a day isn't solved by anything else than economic growth and education. Once people can earn a comfortable living legally they will not generally resort to corruption and crime. Or rather, not the same kind of corruption.

                When thinking about military interventions to solve issues you have to remember that a lot of these issues stem from a century of meddling in foreign affairs. For much of this history USA has actively supported the systematic corruption in order to "stem the communist tide". It's quite hard to dismantle the haciendas when any attempt at doing so is stopped by the superpower that is USA. This is of course not to say that the situation in these countries is the sole fault of USA, simply that you haven't exactly helped improve it with your actions.

                Right now Mexico is going forwards, but the change will take a generation or two. Just like it would take anywhere.
                Really? Mexico is an older country than the U.S. with vast natural resources. Blaming the U.S. for Mexico's problems is the bigotry of low expectations.

                The exploitation runs both ways the U.S. exploits the poverty of Mexico and Mexico exploits the wealth of the U.S. They send the U.S. cheap labor and drugs and we send them easy money. This is one of those areas where christian ideology may explain the equity, diversity and inclusion delusion. The poor are not blessed, they just don't have the opportunities for sin the rich do.

                It isn't as if Mexico was a great place before the Spanish arrived. Warfare was a sport and human sacrifice was on a scale almost unimaginable. The idea that everywhere outside of Europe, the Middle East and Far East were populated by "noble savages" before evil colonialists arrived is racist. People everywhere are equally capable of being "evil".

                Guns, germs and steel may explain some of the differences between cultural success but it didn't take Japan two centuries to adopt Western ideas and turn them into a war machine that could defeat the Russian Navy. Japan has retained it's unique culture while becoming a completely modern and wealthy nation.

                My journey is not into the soul of darkness as suggested above but simply the truth. You cannot explore the truth without uncovering many unpleasant realities. One of those unpleasant realities is that you cannot have open borders between a poor lawless country and a rich welfare state. The temptations to exploit each other are just to great. U.S. money needs to stay in the U.S. and Mexico's drugs and people need to stay in Mexico. It isn't a question of one being better than the other it is just the way it is.

                Mexico scores fairly high on the world happiness index proving that poverty is not the problem. As the song says money can't buy you love and it doesn't seem to buy happiness. The situation is very much like the relationship between income inequality and crime. Poverty doesn't cause higher crime rates inequality does. It doesn't matter if the inequality is fair as in a result of merit or abuse the same pattern holds. Mexicans it seem would be happier if the U.S. didn't exist. The U.S. is like one big candy store of temptation to break the law.
                We hunt the hunters

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post

                  Really? Mexico is an older country than the U.S. with vast natural resources. Blaming the U.S. for Mexico's problems is the bigotry of low expectations.
                  I think I mentioned quite explicitly that I didn't blame the US.

                  The exploitation runs both ways the U.S. exploits the poverty of Mexico and Mexico exploits the wealth of the U.S. They send the U.S. cheap labor and drugs and we send them easy money. This is one of those areas where christian ideology may explain the equity, diversity and inclusion delusion. The poor are not blessed, they just don't have the opportunities for sin the rich do.
                  I'm a bit perplexed at who you think is doing all the sending...? Your last line pretty much sums up the situation.

                  It isn't as if Mexico was a great place before the Spanish arrived. Warfare was a sport and human sacrifice was on a scale almost unimaginable. The idea that everywhere outside of Europe, the Middle East and Far East were populated by "noble savages" before evil colonialists arrived is racist. People everywhere are equally capable of being "evil".
                  And likewise with corruption. It is not some racial or cultural phenomenon, rather a situation that will naturally rise when situations allows.

                  Guns, germs and steel may explain some of the differences between cultural success but it didn't take Japan two centuries to adopt Western ideas and turn them into a war machine that could defeat the Russian Navy. Japan has retained it's unique culture while becoming a completely modern and wealthy nation.
                  It didn't take the Japanese two centuries, it took three.

                  My journey is not into the soul of darkness as suggested above but simply the truth. You cannot explore the truth without uncovering many unpleasant realities. One of those unpleasant realities is that you cannot have open borders between a poor lawless country and a rich welfare state. The temptations to exploit each other are just to great. U.S. money needs to stay in the U.S. and Mexico's drugs and people need to stay in Mexico. It isn't a question of one being better than the other it is just the way it is.
                  Sorry, but that just isn't reality. It is simply human nature to seek advantage and improve your life, placing obstacles simply creates room for corruption and lawfulness. And what, you think the the drug trade is legal? People are able to escape even North Korea, and that kind of forced isolation probably wont be good for your own well-being either.

                  Mexico scores fairly high on the world happiness index proving that poverty is not the problem. As the song says money can't buy you love and it doesn't seem to buy happiness. The situation is very much like the relationship between income inequality and crime. Poverty doesn't cause higher crime rates inequality does. It doesn't matter if the inequality is fair as in a result of merit or abuse the same pattern holds. Mexicans it seem would be happier if the U.S. didn't exist. The U.S. is like one big candy store of temptation to break the law.
                  Like said, if you can make a years pay by crossing the border...most people in Western World live like the king, or at least nobility of old, yet I doubt we are as happy. Though generally speaking, in this forum the consensus is that if you have rice to eat every day then no such thing as poverty exists, and relative poverty is only liberal humbug.
                  Wisdom is personal

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Karri View Post

                    I think I mentioned quite explicitly that I didn't blame the US.



                    I'm a bit perplexed at who you think is doing all the sending...? Your last line pretty much sums up the situation.



                    And likewise with corruption. It is not some racial or cultural phenomenon, rather a situation that will naturally rise when situations allows.



                    It didn't take the Japanese two centuries, it took three.



                    Sorry, but that just isn't reality. It is simply human nature to seek advantage and improve your life, placing obstacles simply creates room for corruption and lawfulness. And what, you think the the drug trade is legal? People are able to escape even North Korea, and that kind of forced isolation probably wont be good for your own well-being either.



                    Like said, if you can make a years pay by crossing the border...most people in Western World live like the king, or at least nobility of old, yet I doubt we are as happy. Though generally speaking, in this forum the consensus is that if you have rice to eat every day then no such thing as poverty exists, and relative poverty is only liberal humbug.
                    My point was that relative poverty is the problem. It is likely that Mexico will never catch up without some social engineering that restricts U.S. economic growth.

                    Mexico is not Japan where a sense of cultural superiority drove them to out preform their Western counterparts. Although it is an unpopular idea today in the West nationalism and a competitive spirit is at the heart of economic success. Take a look at how nationalism has driven the Chinese to become a world power. That may not be what the Mexican people want judging from the happiness index.

                    Studies have shown two rather opposing social phenomenons. First that once basic necessities are meet additional wealth does not correlate with happiness and that economic inequality not poverty drives crime. It is the apparent case that you may have to give up some ambition for economic growth to maintain happiness at least in relative terms. Unhappy people become drug warlords.

                    The U.S. is a moral hazard for places like Mexico. Just as you are required by law to fence off attractive nuances the U.S. has a moral obligation to Mexico to fence off the border. Sending us their discontented weakens their culture. They are the people that would otherwise fight corruption or are the people already corrupted that can finance corruption by returning money to Mexico.

                    That is the part Trump gets wrong. They are sending us their best people. Not from our perspective but in terms of who is best for their prospects for reform.
                    We hunt the hunters

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                      My point was that relative poverty is the problem. It is likely that Mexico will never catch up without some social engineering that restricts U.S. economic growth.
                      Or some form of "Anschluss" like the Germans did with East Germany.

                      More likely is that "Mexico" will spread "North" though across the border.

                      Honestly what's the fundamental difference between Mexico and "New Mexico" for example, or Texas, California, etc...
                      Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Game.

                      Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post

                        Or some form of "Anschluss" like the Germans did with East Germany.

                        More likely is that "Mexico" will spread "North" though across the border.

                        Honestly what's the fundamental difference between Mexico and "New Mexico" for example, or Texas, California, etc...
                        One of the points I was trying to make is kind of counter intuitive. I used Japan and China as examples of how adopting Western style nationalism has propelled their economic growth. Prior to adopting Western style nationalism both were plagued by "warlords" just as Europe was in the Middle Ages and Mexico is now.

                        The idea of the nation state is actually fairly new. It transcends regional ethnic differences. Where ethnicity derives it meaning from custom or loyalty to clans, warlords and kings. As we know it doesn't solve the problem of group conflict but it forces a higher level of organization on people who would otherwise be segregated and uncooperative.

                        I think we should be careful to not confuse higher levels of organization with cultural sophistication. Centralization requires greater abstraction promoting sophistication but above a certain level it can be crippling without an equivalent level of meritocracy. Mexico has a fairly high level of ethnic sophistication but lacks the equivalent meritocracy following a pattern we see in socialist nations. It is almost as if Mexico is stuck in the pre nationalist pattern of Spanish nepotism.

                        The other thing we should be leary of is assuming that people are happier in a more open society. The low level of organization we are evolved for is largely incompatible with meritocracy. The paradox is it is also incompatible with socialistic equality. We are evolved for lose hierarchies of fairness and inclusion not equality or merit. Qualities that run contrary to rapid economic development.

                        The fundamental difference between Mexico and the U.S. is Mexico evolved a culture of individual selection while the U.S. like Europe evolved a culture of group selection. Cultures of individual selection are characterized by an easy environment that is unstable. Cultures of group selection are characterized by an environment that is harsh but stable. By harsh I mean the rule of law. By unstable I mean the despotism inherent in nepotism. By easy I mean survival is possible with out long range planning. By harsh I mean survival is dependent on long range plans such as limiting gratification and empathy.

                        I'm trying to purposely simply not because I feel that the reader is incapable of complexity but because this is not a good environment for long winded arguments.

                        I'm not a strict determinist so I'm not promoting environmental, biological or cultural determinism. I believe in freewill but freewill limited by all of the above. Along with the "manana" attitude in Mexico comes a certain level of nihilism, the kind of denial of freewill that is currently destroying the West.

                        We hunt the hunters

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                        • #27
                          I can see what the objections will be so I will offer clarification.

                          Consider this concept of harsh vs easy environments.

                          Civilization first arises in Mesopotamia not because people there were clever. People who migrated there may very well have been pushed there by more clever hunter gathers.

                          There is probably no more harsh but stable environment than a desert with a river system where agriculture can thrive.

                          To exploit that environment you need long term planning and social organization. Social organization that leads eventually to the most unnatural of institutions such as kings, institutional slavery and highly organized religion. Over time people will be naturally selected for this artificial environment. Abstract reasoning will become more advantaged than "natural" intelligence. Free "thinkers" will find themselves executed. Eliminating free thinkers eventually leads to cultural decline. Nature is not balanced it just has short periods of equilibrium.

                          I'm purposely avoiding the issue of accumulated mutations in populations removed from natural selection because it adds an element of unnecessary complexity.
                          We hunt the hunters

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                            I can see what the objections will be so I will offer clarification.

                            Consider this concept of harsh vs easy environments.

                            Civilization first arises in Mesopotamia not because people there were clever. People who migrated there may very well have been pushed there by more clever hunter gathers.

                            There is probably no more harsh but stable environment than a desert with a river system where agriculture can thrive.

                            To exploit that environment you need long term planning and social organization. Social organization that leads eventually to the most unnatural of institutions such as kings, institutional slavery and highly organized religion. Over time people will be naturally selected for this artificial environment. Abstract reasoning will become more advantaged than "natural" intelligence. Free "thinkers" will find themselves executed. Eliminating free thinkers eventually leads to cultural decline. Nature is not balanced it just has short periods of equilibrium.

                            I'm purposely avoiding the issue of accumulated mutations in populations removed from natural selection because it adds an element of unnecessary complexity.
                            Mankind arose from animalistic beginnings, and the "pack" mentality always has an alpha, the leader. Many experiments have demonstrated over many decades that any group of people will always choose an alpha if they haven't already got one; therefore, the idea of kings and absolute rulers is neither new nor a sign of higher development - merely a continuation of millennia of evolution.
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                            • #29
                              I'll add that VICE is quite good at presenting a subject like this one that gives the situation a whole different, and more personal, spin than what we get from the MSM.

                              My take from the MSM alone was this was something new and unusual for the drug cartels, when it was an ongoing problem with people that have a far greater vested interest in their community in Mexico and have had a long running battle with the cartels. It doesn't help that the Mexican government is both obtuse about dealing with it as much as they are ineffective both through incompetence and corruption.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                                Mankind arose from animalistic beginnings, and the "pack" mentality always has an alpha, the leader. Many experiments have demonstrated over many decades that any group of people will always choose an alpha if they haven't already got one; therefore, the idea of kings and absolute rulers is neither new nor a sign of higher development - merely a continuation of millennia of evolution.
                                By time you have kings you have already gone through a phase of development in which abstract reasoning tools are developed.

                                It's these abstractions that allow social organization above the pack level to develop.

                                Kings do of course have similarities with pack leaders that is why the "good" ones are empathetic. There is a lot of "politics" required to be an effective leader.

                                The point however was that kings are just one step on an increasingly abstract process of social organization. The further you get away from the pack leader you get the more abstract the course of cultural evolution. At our current stage you could argue that culture is so "unnatural" it leads to mental instability but certainly to a feeling of dissociation. Which leads to the point that happiness is only indirectly tied to economic well being.
                                We hunt the hunters

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