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Opinion Column by Menckens Ghost
The USA and Russia: A New Guinea State of Mind
April 12, 2018
By Mencken's Ghost
The dangerous macho posturing between the USA and Russia brings New Guinea to mind.
Until the middle of the 20th century, remote tribes in the jungles of New Guinea were still largely untouched by civilization and living as they always had. That is, they were engaging in tribal warfare, stealing each other's womenfolk, and having each other for dinner—not having each other over for dinner, but having each other as the main course.
Anthropologists couldn't understand the enmity between the tribes, since they didn't need to attack each other to obtain enough food, shelter, or other resources.
When the scientists asked the tribes why they hated each other, each side recounted some recent act of aggression by the other side or some incident passed down through folklore. But to the neutral, objective anthropologists, there was no overarching re
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