Aloha Su Ba,
I am glad to hear that you are enjoying a good life in Hawaii. I agree that the idea of sharing a bounty still exists, in some aspects of Hawaiian culture - but this same idea/mechanism exists in nearly all tropical cultures. In warm climates, amassing a store of capital is pointless - the capital is food, and it will rot. There is always food around ready to harvest in warm climates, and so no need to store it anyway. This is arguably the reason why Europeans were so successful at colonizing the rest of the world - the ability to preserve, store, and protect food/fuel for future use was a prerequisite for survival - without these skills it would have been impossible to make it through the harsh Winters. The storage of excess (along with war and appropriation of resources)led to the ability to finance the expeditions that eventually colonized most of the world - and the switch from the barter economy to the gold/silver economy (coupled with the influx of billions of dollars of slave-mined precious metals from South America) led to the development of capitallism.
Similar things were going on in (some) warmer regions of the world - as population density created more pressure and impact on the land and society, Polynesians desperately took to the voyaging canoes and spread out across the Pacific Islands. (The 'menehune' arrived in Hawaii approx. 600-700 AD, and the Tahitians 400 years later). But the islands are small in size/number and too far from anything else to be connected by trade routes - so the development of a capital-based economy stopped there. Sure, people shared within their circles - but were still taxed by the Ali'i for anything that would store well (Dog teeth,fine lauhala, red feathers, kahelelanai shells, etc.), in exchange for protection from the various chiefs who continuously battled for control of the resources. The idea of the Hawaiians living in a paradaisical society of abundance and sharing is largely a myth - a romanticism of how things 'used to be' before the arrival of Cook and the rest of the haoles. In reality, the Hawaiians were never truly united. Murder and cannibalism was widespread. (Hawaiian history conveniently forgets that when Kamehameha 'united' the islands, he was backed by US marines with an agenda of their own - divide and conquer). As the marine warships waited in Kahului harbor, Kamehameha (Hawaii) and his warriors backed Kalanikapule (Maui) and his army into I'ao valley and slaughtered every last one of them. The river ran red with blood for three days, supposedly. And so the islands were 'united' lol...
I have shared in the akule harvest, when they move into the shallows to spawn and the elders of the community can see/sense them beneath the water - amazing indeed from an East Coast rat race perspective. I have hunted feral pigs and shared in the ensuing feast. I have been welcomed in by many kama'aina, and shown the true nature of aloha. At the same time, i've been assaulted for being haole, run off the road on my bicycle countless times (for the same reason), been robbed/burgled several times. But life in Hawaii is essentially a soft existence - although most of Hawaiian culture has been lost through systematic oppression (first by the Ali'i and the sandalwood trade, later by the haoles) - since statehood life has been relatively easy. If there are no fish to catch, there's always the EBT card lol...
It's funny how you say you escaped - escapism being such a huge part of the American mentality. The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. Go West, young man...Love it or leave it. But escapism has led to the self-destruction of the US, and puts even more pressure importance on the rat race. (You worked like a rat to earn money, to get out of the rat race.... go figure) To escape is a sign of success in the US, where in many places (Hawaii being an exception), the thought of 'anywhere is better than here' is commonplace. To retire early, move to a 'better place', preferably without having had to do any hard work, that's the new American dream. There is little sense of identity, little sense of community. Sure, some hippies / permaculturalists do all they can to foster a sense of community and place - but they have to escape from the mainstream just to maintain sanity and dignity. It's a reactionary measure. Escapism almost defines us as Americans, from the Pilgrims to modern times.
Of course, I'm guilty of it as well. (although i moved to hawaii with only an airline ticket and $400 - there's no need to buy into the rat race in order to escape from it)
After 8 years there, never leaving the islands, I decided to go travelling for a while. And now i've escaped from the US entirely, and being away from there for so long really lets one put it all in perspective.
Anyway, rant over. Just my 2 puka shells.
Aloha nui loa,