While reading “The world until yesterday,” Jared Diamond, in which he talks about differences in state and tribal societies, I hit the following paragraph and just thought “Yes, exactly!”

… we should not naively idealize small-scale societies, view them as uniformly admirable, overstate their advantages, and castigate state government as at best a necessary evil. On the other hand, many small-scale societies do possess some features that we could profitably incorporate into our state societies.

I don’t have the power of words that he does, but that captures my sentiment exactly whenever I hear someone say they’re a “reconstructionist” of any sort. Call it irreverent, but I think my views align much more with what Terry Pratchett is reported to have said about folklore. Speaking to a group of folklorists, he said something along the lines of “I view folklore the way a carpenter views the forest,” meaning (I think) that there’s a lot of value to be extracted and made into something new.

There. I’ve quoted both Jared Diamond and Terry Pratchett in one post. I believe my work here is finished.


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