Nation states tend not to develop egalitarian societies. The closest in the modern situation is probably Sweden, but I may be wrong. Perhaps Bhutan is a better example? The cultures (which I hesitate to call primitive) that I am referring to are in the jungles of Amazonia, or South East Asia. There are some in the area known as Oceana in the South Pacific, and others in the Indian Ocean, and still others in remote and especially northern areas of what is known as Russia or Siberia. If you go to your library and ask your librarian to direct you to the cultural anthropology section you will find some of what you need there or the librarian will be able to help you through inter library loan.
You're right, I have no grasp of "existing egalitarian cultures". Which countries are currently practicing this form of government? if not countries which societies?
I'm not being facetious here. I seriously want to learn.
The older views of how we all lived have been eclipsed by later findings and interpretations, from what I understood in my Anthropology classes, and later studies. There is no evidence that these cave paintings existed in a male dominated society. None. Considering the near absence of weapons and hunters amongst literally thousands of animals would lead me (and all more recent interpretations) to believe that these were not hunting images. We may have broke away from the rest of the primates through male dominance but, again, there is not much proof of that, except that we butchered, cooked, and ate other primates, and all that happened several hundred thousand to a million (or a whole lot more) years before these paintings were made, which is actually pretty recent in human history.
I'd always understood that the common belief was that prehistoric man probably practiced a Dominance Hierarchy, where the alpha male knew that everyone else was inferior to him, and that everyone else knew that there were those that we superior to them and those that were inferior, but non were exactly "equal" them.
Whether you would be willing to bet something does not make your assumption a fact either. Considering that you don't seem to have a grasp of existing egalitarian cultures, I'd be willing to bet strongly against any assumptions/presumptions that you are making about the culture of these artists. By studying the art, all experts have come to the understanding that these ancient peoples created extremely complex works, that were planned out, and took many days, up on scaffolding to fabricate. To do this with no aspirations, as you have decided they must have, is completely ridiculous, in my opinion.
As for the Lascaux Cave Paintings we nothing nothing about the society that created them, assuming it was Egalitarian seems a bit presumptuous, in fact I'd be willing to bet that the person or people that created those paintings had no such claims/aspirations about their society.
I don't know the specifics of the particular societies of long ago that created them, but the stone age work that is displayed in the caves of South West Europe, and those in Australia would both, in my mind, and the mind of many in the art world, be great works of art. So much so, that in my cultural homeland, they have created a Unesco world heritage site at Lascaux, in France. By studying the artwork one can find that they were using many advanced techniques, including (but not limited to) combining minerals and oils to make long lasting pigments, utilizing shading and the shape of the stone walls to create depth and perspective, having animals arise out of cracks in the wall, planning to have the art span around the full curve of a ceiling, overlaying creatures over top of one another, repeating a series of geometric symbols found over thousands of Km and spanning thousands of years, et cetera. By animal oil and wick lamp light, these realistic images of animals come even more to life, and the symbols show abstract thought patterns displayed over time and space that show the potential to be the precursors to written language which did not develop for thousands of years afterwards. Also, most, if not all, of these paintings and etchings predate large scale agriculture and urban societies by thousands of years (some caves are over 40,000 years old). In Australia some of the paintings are as old, and we have the great benefit of an existing cultural heritage that still understands the images.
Can you point to a single example of a great work of art, or culture, that came from a society that did NOT have both wealthy and poor people? A society where everyone has equal wealth and everything was provided for the individual?
I disagree. We, in our culture, do not value things the same way that they do, so we only give value to work that earns money. This is one of the reasons that cleaning the toilet and scrubbing the floors, done by unpaid housewives for the most part, is often not considered work, but it certainly is. We, in our culture, also do not place high value on listening, or on building relationships, or on caring for our population in a deep, personal, and meaningful way. We would rather pay professionals to do the latter, and our relational situations are more often than not wrought with dysfunction. These people put effort as a matter of cultural norm, not trying to toil at it to get it done, and as such are reward through their efforts with a culture of moral and ethical integrity. If you visit with such tribal people you would see that their social bonds are much stronger than ours, that they care deeply about one another in ways that our society of fragmented nuclear families and isolated individuals doesn't even dream to aspire to.
Look at tribes that live in the rainforests, where they don't need any heat, were food is abundant and grows all around them. Do they build brick and mortar houses? No, they build huts with the minimum amount of effort necessary to keep the rain off them. They don't organize themselves to build farms (they don't need to), they don't build roads, they don't build almost anything.
They don't do anything other than the minimum amount of work needed for day to day life.
Because they place value in it. No matter if they are working on something that you might consider a job, or they are putting effort into something that you don't feel is work, they are engaging in things that they put value in. What is money, if not something that we have created to symbolize and exchange for things we value? (or in our case, it is often what we think we value because we bought the advertisers spiel.) You would also see upon visiting such cultures that they use tools daily, and these tools are works of art, not because they wasted a bunch of time being lazy,, sitting around carving patterns and figures into their tools! Not at all. Because they value their few possessions and take pride in quality of workmanship for efficiency of use, and also place a high value on making things beautiful. That's why. All of these things take time and energy and effort... Work, in other words, but they do not have jobs like you or I do, so it is useless, or impossible to compare our lifestyles to theirs. We have to understand what is valuable to them, and what is valuable to us, and then make comparisons. Otherwise these cultures do not and in fact can not equate; not at all. The live in a totally different paradigm.
Why would they work if they didn't have to? Why do you believe that humans 'want' to work if they don't have to?
If a society values play more than work, and it can get away with doing so while still having it's needs met fully, then all the power to them. I'm not sure what the contention is that you have with such a life, Peter?
without training and encouragement, without NEED, most humans will choose to play rather than work.
Considering that I had none of those things in my cabin where I lived like a king, I think you will do great. Hardly roughing it. Sounds' like smoothing it! Great to get your own space sorted out nice and comfy.
I built this cabin from logs and am installing all the luxuries from my old camper.... ... shower ,stove ,toilet ,hot water ,and fridge, and furnace too .