Liberty is also about exploring our planet, meeting people from other cultures and experiencing all there is to offer. How can you truly have the wisdom required to understand human relationships if you haven’t experienced other societal arrangements? Bruce Parry is an explorer. Here he visits the Babongo forest people of western Africa. The Babongo are a simple, almost pre-agricultural, society. They live in Gabon’s enormous forests. Scratch that. Thanks to logging approved by the Gabonian state, whose president has been in office for 33 years, the Babongo now live on the side of logging roads.
The forest is their home. That is where they are at home . That is where they are safe from other tribes. They hunt there. Can they be at liberty if the reigning gang in Gabon sells off large swathes of their home to unaccountable corporations?
How would libertarians establish and protect the forest home of people like these? One way might be to discover all portions of the forest they use. These they have homesteaded. This land is theirs and anyone who infringes on their claim can be brought to arbitration. Violators would be subject to ostracism and other voluntary forms of behavior modification. Could they still be subject to fraud and invasion? Absolutely. But without state-coddled corporations the power disparities are radically reduced. Without the state ban on hemp, the demand for wood is less. In the end, conflicts reduce to physical power. Removing the state from the equation substantially decreases the power of nefarious corporations.
“The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.” – Mohandas Gandhi
The Babongo, being hunter-gatherers, spend three to four hours per day working. Compare that with your work schedule. They spend the rest of their time with each other. The video shows dads attending to their kids in the middle of the day. Can you do that? Is this evidence that people have more liberty in more egalitarian, primitive and sustainable societies such as that of the Babongo? You tell me.
Bruce Parry, the presenter in this video, continually talks about all the love he feels from the Babongo who participate in his initiation process. This is another example of why I am certain that our human nature is inherently good. This is a primitive society, only recently touched by industrialization and hierarchy. Could this be a window into who we humans really are?