Barefoot Sociology: Wildness as the Foundation of Civilization

Here I present today’s nuance of dreamy Utopian rainbow… barefoot, lean, minimalist… random-hit-and-miss as the palette of any given day… Don’t expect a definition of wildness, civilization, or anything and certainly not a clear vision. Expect ideas and perspective of rarity with a kiss, hug, a whoop, and a wink.

Don’t expect civilization or the common good as a deliverable of any conventional government. Civilization is created locally if at all and it is a rarity and mirage of less than half truth in our day. A dreamy wildness variant of civilization, tribe, and community begins when we let nature do what nature does best, our neighbor do what our neighbor does best, and when we do what we do with our heart and effort in conscientiousness. The natural and organic propensity to excel and do well in relevant tasks and community breeds conscientious care and the spiced pizzazz of soulful effort. Wildness yields soul in the way we live while soul and caring are critical elements in the equation of civilization.

Wildness is the connection that enables the solid dosing of life, serenity, faith, and synchronicity among the people, life, and geology of an ecosystem. Localized grassroots governance, common sense rationale, rooted conscience, and robust innovative capacity enable the rest. Realistically, there will probably always be a conventional governance overlay. Any system is bearable as long as it is not unnecessarily control hyped or attached to a hungry parasite at the other end.

People are particularly nuanced. However, there are some basics common to all and important to civilization: personal hygiene and care, settling a manuring system appropriate and beneficial to the local ecology and clean water, promoting and collecting at least a good portion of your food, Craftiness, stewardship, and artistry, communing with others of commonality, and reproducing and nurturing children. Culture and ‘barefoot’ variants of religion evolve to sort of coordinate and congeal the detail that best matches environment and the people involved in a way that is, ideally, ongoing-evolution-enabled, but that curates and embodies discoveries, savvy, and success gathered along the way. ‘Barefoot’ in this sense eludes to simple, minimalist, and lean social systems that allow natural flow and feedback loops.

Ecologically and sociologically speaking successful procreation and upbringing is integral and relevant

In the best case scenario the people most successful at finding a balance and a place in their environment and contributing to the strength and cohesion of their tribe would be the ones bringing up a majority of the children. Selfish, jealous, addicted, thieving, dishonest, those with health problems, and bullies and self promoting fighters would have at least a slight but important statistical disadvantage in ‘civilized’ society. A positive culture and society would latently but not excessively promote the effect, while a perverted or malformed society would override or even reverse this effect. Human systems that are disconnected from wildness and local and ecological realities tend to be the culprits in overriding more organic feedback loops necessary to prefer what is best for the long-term good.


Those who do their best of what they do well of things that need doing, act with bravery and integrity, and happily let others do likewise with cooperation instead of jealousy, will likewise, as a statistical group, tend to raise and influence more offspring. A positive culture and society will latently but not excessively promote this effect, and a perverted or malformed one, the contrary.

Where children are born into selfish, dis-respectable, dishonest, jealousy-prone, overly controlling, or non-regionally-symbiotic families, they will tend to leave early and learn from better and more respectable people in their path or through the adventure of discovery. The wisdom gained by what adversity drives is critical to inoculate fresh perspectives, wisdom, and leadership into a struggling society. When societal problems are great the young people will rightly and naturally rebel against the elements keeping a messed up system from self-healing, and they will more likely follow and become rebels and leaders. A positive culture and society would enable this effect and a perverse one, the contrary. Again synthetic human systems of disconnection and delimitation screw it up when they are involved… *-isms typically.


We are talking about the statistical normal not the outliers. Outliers are the folk that buck the trends and take a more unique path. Of course the theory cannot exactly match the reality. In failing society, outliers are the ones who exert the most influence not the average. Whereas in better and happier societies the weight and bulk of average folk do. In manipulated or hijacked forms of society as we are most familiar with, the elite and powerful control through a racket of privilege that is legislated to legitimacy and imposed through deception.

My experience is varied, having lived in a number of cultures throughout the world from transitory to semi-indigenous to Western-modern. I have not seen a society that enjoyed a positive and actively evolving equilibrium. What if we did? What if we were to find or create an actively evolving society that was in equilibrium with our environment and ‘barefoot’ in the sense that people generally settled and did their work and life with pride and conviction and had direct connections to the feedback loops of their own reality? The easier analysis would generally be true as in the first half of this tale I have told, until or unless influential outliers were able to throw off the balance by drawing a sufficient following in another direction. Oh the hazards of Utopia!


This potential for change is the case with a society in a state of excessive control as it is similarly in a society in a state of organic equilibrium, and it is here where the quality of culture holds the power to bolsters or undermine the propensity for revolution, the propensity for conservation balanced to consistently relevant change and evolution, or the propensity to stagnate in the muck and mire of past poor judgments, perverted values, and mistakes. The last is the worst, the middle the best, and the first a ‘crap shoot’ ranging from poor to worse. It has been said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” Peter Drucker ~ Austrian-born American management consultant, educator. Culture, social cohesion, community or tribe are the resin in the resilience of a society.


Societies always have problems and there is a decision to be made not by elders, but by young people as they grow up naturally assessing their surroundings. You could say the assessments of the 15 to 25 year old folk are the litmus tests of a society. Once they are pinned, broken, and domesticated they will accept and even defend a screwed up society, but they typically cannot be ‘broken’ much before 25 and in wildness not at all. A society that masters the breaking of young souls will not self-heal. Again, wildness for a better shot at civilization. It is better that children need to grow into organic understandings of their connection to nature and the whole, reason, cause and effect, and critical thinking. The best societies will respect and hear what the lesser folk tell us about ourselves. Skills in complex math, memorization of human derived ways to understand the things we don’t actually know, and any other excessive detail are distractions unless the kids take an interest themselves. What is important is that young folk be equipped and enabled to play their part, to question and critique our system and our society so they can declare the foul, champion the right, and follow those who lead-out likewise. A good number of kids always find their bearings no matter how they are raised, whether early or late.


It is a tough time ‘in the now.’ Distractions can be powerful in our modern times and information can be made to stir more confusion than a hurricane. We are in trying times and we need our children and young adults more than ever. In them we can get our bearings and without watching them and grasping a continual reading of nature, we will only drift.

Politically, there is some complexity to simplify. In the nexus of local grassroots governance and the imposition of top down oversight by a more typical outside interest serving governance, is a case that must be made for success by success. Essentially, there will need to be a continual fight to purge, stiff-arm, and hold off parasitism and an equally strong effort to create local prosperity and continuity. The bravery and heart for this is in all of us when we strip off the clutter. Success in the latter (bio-regional prosperity) enables the solid case for the whole (curbing the outflow parasitism), and success of the whole is critical to any degree of long term sustainable civilization. No community that allows excessive ‘leaching’ will survive and thrive sustainably; and no community that cannot organize, administer, and look-out for needs internally will be able to dis-enable the leaching parasitism that saps ecosystems and overturns the benefits of industrious effort, innovative action, and robust community life. One without the other is only temporary. So, curbing and controlling the tide of outflows for local benefit while prospering as a community makes the case for continuance.

In all is a place of wisdom that sits at the crux. Diplomacy is better than a fight and a fight is a last resort. All interests are valid… to someone. Diplomacy is the acknowledgment of this in our actions and negotiations. Diplomacy is not the dishonest politics of our day, but a virtue tied into wisdom, empathy, and skilled negotiation to be rediscovered and reinoculated locally. In wildness and in nature we will find and discover grassroots diplomacy, a form of which is to be re-initiated into the tribal reality. Wiki definition…”the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way.”

Conclusions of a ramble ~ Everything with the sprinkling of wildness

We need to push our cultural norms and local-tribal realities to subtly prefer the better with more connection to organic feedback loops. We all need to enable and embrace the assessments and activism of the young adults that drives the evolution of society. The lesser the indoctrination and the more the empowerment the better the future. We need to do what we do best and let nature, our neighbor, and our brothers and sisters do what they prefer and do best. We need to truly live so we can do what we do exceptionally well with soulful effort and pizzazz. We need avenues and encouragement to exploration, adventure, and global wanderings in their time. We need to live in our liberty, locally, in community, and symbiotic to our environment and our future and that of coming generations. We need to craft and prefer diplomacy over a cock-fight. There-in is a scattered selection, a near recipe for civilization today, and for a better shot at deep long standing prosperity. Success makes the case for the greater success, and grassroots diplomacy presents the case to the overlords. Success for success… to be continued.


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