High technology, superior art, great temples, great achievements and even great empires. It's all a result of civilization, and casting aside civilization would be a waste of potential. Right?
To answer that, the first question we need to ask is: where and why did civilization appear?
Where did they first appear? The oldest civilizations were located in the Middle East and North Africa, in the Fertile Crescent, the meeting point between Africa, Europe and Asia.
Why did they appear? When the humans of Africa, Europe and Asia met they also mixed. The peoples perfectly adapted for life in Africa mixed with the peoples perfectly adapted for life in Europe and Asia, and the result was a hybridized man not perfectly adapted for life anywhere. They had no natural habitat, because they were a cross between peoples from vastly different places.
They were hardly complete failures, surely they too could hunt and survive, but not as well as those perfectly adapted to their environment. So instead more and more of them resorted to agriculture. I may add that Europeans too resorted to agriculture some times, in the Stone Age, when they had no other choice, so this was not a new idea. This was how they had done it in the past, when things went wrong. However, they always cast aside agriculture again when they could, because they understood and felt that living as hunter-gatherers was better. The hybrids in the Middle East though kept it, and with time agriculture almost close to completely replaced hunting and gathering.
This however didn't repair their problem with not having any environment perfectly adapted for themselves. On the contrary, agriculture made it even worse. Their farmer diet made their jaws shrink (which is why people today no longer have room for their "wisdom teeth"), their skeletons became weaker, their brains shrunk and they even became more "slave-minded".
Let me elaborate on that a bit, before we continue: with agriculture came malnutrition (because their diet became less varied), slavery (because some people took control of the land and needed workers), war (because when famine struck one place, they tended to just go to another place and take their food instead, by force) and tyranny (because one guy always took control of it all). So in order to survive in these farmer areas of the Middle East/North Africa, most people had to be obedient, even submissive. You also didn't need very much intelligence: your local tyrant gave you what you needed to survive, in return for your slave-service in the fields.
Yes, this is how social classes appeared. They had no such division as hunter-gatherers, it was not needed at all, and would have been just a destructive nuisance. Free peoples don't have social classes. But in the farmer areas some people ruled, others slaved and some got their food by enforcing slavery.
I can add that the English term "Lord" actually means "Warden of the Bread", from Old English hleward ("bread-warden"). He was that tyrant who kept and distributed the bread to his warriors and slaves. The Lord. You don't do as he wishes? No bread for you
These increasingly inadequate human beings built larger and larger communities, because although inferior to the hunter-gatherer diet, the farmer diet allowed them to feed many more. And voila! Civilization appeared, as a result of agriculture! They built entire towns to house the tyrant and his administration, surrounded by the farms of his slaves/workers. The hybrids constructed an artificial environment for themselves, because they didn't fit in perfectly in any natural environment.
You are right though: no hunter-gather ever invented combustion engines, satellite navigation systems, advanced computers or anything like that. You can argue that they didn't because they were "primitive" and because we are so much smarter than them, but you would be wrong to think so. Our hunter-gatherer forebears were not only stronger than us and had more powerful bones, but they also had bigger brains and were smarter than we are today.
Let me explain...
All this advanced technology that we surround ourselves with today, not only is it unsustainable, considering the amount of resources often finite resources we need to spend to make them, but it is basically like a wheelchair. Not just a simple wheelchair that needs to be pushed by someone. No! A high tech, fancy wheelchair with suspension, electric engines and inflatable tyres, sure.
Driving around in a modern wheelchair like that is probably fun, but you don't invent such a thing unless you need one. Yeah. If you can walk, you wont build yourself any type of walking aids to begin with. And this is the core of the problem: our forebears could walk, but because we become increasingly unable to walk on our own two feet, we keep inventing all these different types of walking aids. Not because we are smarter than them, but because we become more and more dependent on such aids.
The wheelchair is just an example, of course: this applies to everything we invent or invented, to help us survive. Even a script was such a "wheelchair". When asked by the Romans why the Gauls didn't have a script of their own, letters to write down things with, the Gauls replied that they didn't want to reduce their ability to remember. They argued that if you got used to writing down things, then you would no longer need to remember it, and therefore you would become more and more incapable of remembering in the end anything. You would become more stupid.
Would you even want a book to write things down in, if you knew you could remember everything you wanted? What a waste! History, mythology, heraldic, herb lore, geography, etc. etc. etc. all remembered by heart and taught to others orally. Yeah, they Gauls could "walk". They didn't need this "wheelchair". Not because they were inferior to the Romans, but actually because they were superior to the (more civilized...) Romans.
And yes, they were inferior to the Gauls because they were more civilized.
But in reality the inferior often beats the superior, as history has shown us over and over again, because quality is no match for treachery, lies, deceit and often also quantity. Alas! Civilization is a horrible and destructive force, but it spreads like fire in dry grass.
When we then enter the topic of "wasted potential" it starts to become more interesting, I think. Because what defines a "great achievement"? Walking on the Moon? Modern computers? Atomic bombs? Combustion engines? Sky scrapers? What?
You can justly argue that all such things are great achievements, but have you calculated in the costs of these achievements? Is it worth to degrade our species to such a degree as we have done by now, with civilization, to achieve that? Is it worth to risk our own destruction through a slow suicide by degeneration and eventually starvation due to a devastated environment on Earth (caused by our civilization itself!) for such things?
As part of this civilization we have something called auto-domestication, where we basically domesticate ourselves more and more, as time goes by. Yes, this is what cause the weakening of our skeleton and the reduction in brain size. We have seen it happen in all the animals we domesticated, and we see it happen in ourselves too. Compare one of those little rat-like dogs women carry around in their purses today or a bulldog or something like that to a wolf, and you get an idea of how we have become compared to our forebears. Because of auto-domestication.
Had we instead created and kept a system where we would have seen a gradual improvement of our species over the ages... that would have been a great achievement. Sounds like an Utopian idea, right?
Except it isn't. That's what we had, when we were hunter-gatherers... we cultivated courage, kindness, honesty, intelligence, loyalty, strength, speed, skill and beauty/health.
Despair not! Many of us still do, but they fight an uphill struggle, because they still auto-domesticate themselves, by living in an agricultural civilization. Let me give you an example: we still have hunters who opt to use bow and arrow instead of a modern rifle. Why? Solely because it's more challenging. They pick the hard route to their goal. They elect to do it the hard way. This is still, thankfully, in our Native European spirit: to walk uphill even when we don't have to, simply because we want to challenge ourselves and improve. We are broken by civilization, but not that broken, and not completely broken. Yet.
So you might say that throwing away Moon journeys and fancy fast cars with air condition, and all else that technocrats love to think might come in the future, is a wasted potential, but look instead at yourself, and understand that you have potential too, as an individual and we as a species. Is it not a wasted potential to throw away your ability to walk only because high tech wheelchairs exist, and you really want to keep the one you have? Is it not a wasted potential to throw away your ability to remember the exact position of all the stars on the night sky, only because you can download some software telling you the same?
But now you must listen carefully to what I say: Is it not a wasted potential to throw away your ability to not be greedy, envious, petty, hateful, dishonest and coward?
The greatness of man does not lie in his ability to make fancy high tech wheelchairs, but in his ability to walk!
We can still walk. Yes, we have driven wheelchairs for thousands of years now, metaphorically speaking, but we have not yet lost our ability to walk. At least not all of us. This civilization was imposed on us, we didn't create it. We never needed it. Others did, yes, but we Native Europeans did not and we still don't. Nor do the Native Africans or the Native Americans need it. Probably not the Native Asians either, although I am not sure if any of them are left, as such. They are all very mixed by now.
Only hybrids need civilization to survive, because they are not adapted to survival in any natural habitat. Civilization is their (artificial) habitat. Without it, they wont survive in the long run.
Civilization isn't going away though, anytime soon, and more and more people become hybridized. This is an inevitable consequence of having an artificial habitat where everyone can survive. In the end, everyone in this civilization will be hybrids. Everyone will depend on its survival. Everyone will need civilization in order to survive...
Yes, either civilization goes away, or we go away. That's your options, "Men of the West".
This brings us to the topic of survival. Because the only way mankind, as a species, can survive civilization is by letting civilization destroy itself and everyone in it. Only those who elect to not participate, only those who elect to live not as a part of civilization, can stand any hope of survival and they must survive not only the intrusions of civilization, but also its probably dramatic fall.
And a dramatic fall will come, in one way or the other. When many live cramped together, like humans do in cities, viruses will mutate a lot, and it is only a matter of time before one so deadly it will kill everyone will come from this bred by our civilization itself. Like a self-destruct mechanism for a cancer on planet Earth. If that doesn't happen soon enough, civilization will collapse under the weight of all the problems it creates: idiocracy, desertification, crime and not least a lack of resources especially finite resources. A massive solar storm would also send it into absolute chaos, or a nuclear war. Or something (by most people) unexpected, like a new Ice Age. Only death awaits for the civilized man and his cancerous civilization. Degeneration, decay, destruction and ultimately death.
What hope does mankind have then? We have hope in those who might survive the coming fall. Before the collapse they balance on a thin edge, over a vast sea of disaster, because they must not be noticed by the civilized man, lest the masses will drag them down; throw them in prison for "thought crimes", take their children from them, steal their food or even kill them. They must learn to endure hardship before hardship has come. They must become able to survive without civilization, whilst they at the same time LARP as NPCs, so that nobody notices what they are doing. They must become autonomous without anyone knowing they are. They must fake misery, when everyone else are suffering as it all comes crashing down on top of us all. Most importantly, they must stay unmixed, when everyone else mixes, or else they will not even be able to survive in the natural habitat that will replace the artificial habitat of civilization.
Yes, we have little hope, but a little is better than no hope, and Óðinn is to fight and never give up!
The gods help those who help themselves! So let us. Heill Óðinn!