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Marijuana (Essay Sample)

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Legalization of marijuana in the United States

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Introduction
Affluence is interpreted to mean having an abundance of wealth or a measure of prosperity. To this extent an affluent society can be understood to be, one that is a class above the rest. Prosperity of society can be measured by examining how the community excelled and on the amount of wealth they had accumulated while doing their respective economic activities.
The Palaeolithic era began more than 2 million years ago. The population then were nomads .This means that they moved from place to place, hunting and gathering. To this extent the population was small.
The Neolithic period began in 8000bc. This marked the end of the Palaeolithic times. People began to settle down and engaged in agriculture. They grew wheat, rice and barley. This changed way of life is thought to have made life easier, since there was more food for the people by growing different types of food in a piece of land. This led to the establishment of settlements, building of cities , increase in population and a reliable food supply.
However, is the success or impact of agriculture full proof evidence that the Neolithic society was the most affluent society? In answering this question very many factors come into play, mere settlement and food security does not prove affluence.
In judging the affluence of a nation, one should consider the elements of wants and needs. People have normally have different needs in and society. Satisfaction of this need s is dependent on whether the economy at that particular time allows the people to enjoy the needs they consider to be vital and even luxuries.
In a n affluent society, the people should enjoy everything that life has to offer. Fulfilling the needs of any particular individual should be an easy affair. Luxuries should be available to all people in that society and the element of foregoing a luxury to fulfil a need should be unheard of.
‘There are two possible courses to affluence. Wants may be "easily satisfied" either by producing much or desiring little. The familiar conception, the Galbraithean way- based on the concept of market economies- states that man's wants are great, not to say infinite, whereas his means are limited, although they can be improved. Thus, the gap between means and ends can be narrowed by industrial productivity, at least to the point that "urgent goods" become plentiful. But there is also a Zen road to affluence, which states that human material wants are finite and few, and technical means unchanging but on the whole adequate. Adopting the Zen strategy, a people can enjoy an unparalleled material plenty - with a low standard of living. That, I think, describes the hunters. And it helps explain some of their more curious economic behaviour: their "prodigality" for example- the inclination to consume at once all stocks on hand, as if they had it made. Free from market obsessions of scarcity, hunters' economic propensities may be more consistently predicated on abundance than our own.’[The Original Affluent Society, Marshall Sahlins]
The Zen approach clearly depicts the activities of the hunters. The needs of any hunter are very finite. Their primary goal in life is to survive. The principle of the means justifies the end, is a clear depiction of the lives led by the hunters and gatherers. To this extent the fact that the technical means are unchanging but on the whole adequate is sufficient proof that the hunters and gatherers led a more fulfilling life as compared to that of the farmers of the early civilization.
Hunters and gatherers generally enjoy a very varied diet. They consume what is available to them and are not worried about crop failure or diseases that may attack the plantation, as opposed to the farmers of early civilization who solely depended on agriculture or their livelihood. The only available food was that which they had planted. Agriculture was not a safer bet as compared to hunting and gathering this is because farmers faced risks from very many different quotas. It is notable to observe that the Farmers depended on rain and favourable conditions to reap a fortune from their farms. This harvest was also prone to rotting if not stored appropriately and was also limited to the storage time. In an instance where there was drought or the rains were not enough or were too much the farmer faced the risk of reaping little food. This would in turn change his livelihood. The lives of the hunters and gatherers faced lesser risks, intact a hunter bore no risk whatsoever since all the materials he needed to survive were readily available to him.
Hunters and gatherers depend on natural resources to survive. These resources are free and cannot be claimed by any individual, thus in the natural habitat of the hunters and gatherers the custom of sharing is a natural act to them. Farmers on the other hand, are more independent limited to their piece of land and the grain that they have. They survive on what they own and can not lay claim to anything growing in the next plot. This in turn limits their means of livelihood. Based on the fact that farmers are limited to stay at their farming area they cannot enjoy everything that nature has to offer. This limitation of the food they can consume does not amount to supremacy over the hunters and gatherers, indeed it is inferiority.
The division of labour in a hunters and gatherers society is based on sex that is male and female. Men are normally tasked with hunting while women are involved in gathering. It is important to note that these activities are not labour intensive. This is to say that once a hunter has acquired something to eat; they will only go out to hunt again once the food is finished. Farmers on the other hand live a very troubled life. This is because they are not in control of so many factors that come into play with regards to the food they have harvested or are due to harvest or even to plant. This makes the life of hunters and gatherers more fulfilling.
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