The Gods Must Be Crazy depicts two distinctive contrasting approaches to man in nature, between the Bushmen and the Westerners, one that is devoid of modern day society; the result is physical freedom and no restraints on behavior. The other a full participant in civil society, civil freedom and community living. Both have a common denominator, which is a harmonious existence between the individual and society. According to Jean Jacques Rousseau “Man is born free” (Somerville & Santoni, 1963, p. 05), and so, it seems the case for the Bushmen who are living in the Kalahari Dessert, in Africa. Which is reminiscent of a prehistoric time when people had no government, law, or private property, having not entered into a social contract among civilized men. We are able to see how the Bushmen live in a natural state, pre-societal with in the 20th century where no political institutions are in existence. In this natural state there is no fighting over property or any government to enforce inequality among men.
There is simply compassion among all, free of strife. Which suggests that we are better off in the state of nature, as noble savages, a contradicting what Thomas Hobbes asserts, that human life without political institutions is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Summerville & Santoni, 1963, p. 142). The Bushmen live by a natural law and a divine law which commands every man to do unto others what he would have done unto himself” (Sigmund, 1971, p. 48).
An environment where God or Gods plays an important role. In addition, the Bushmen are happy non-violent people who, have no need for material possessions, nor consumed with greed. For example, Bushmen only hunt for food they can eat immediately and for survival purposes. In contrast, Western society is dominated by wealth and the acquirement of material possessions. The Westerners live in a unnatural state, the result of human society as they have consented to being governed by an overriding authority a Leviathan.
Constructed through a social contract, in exchange for protection and elevation from the state of nature that this affords them. The sovereign is in charge of protecting the citizens from rouge guerillas intent on causing mayhem, providing educational and employment opportunities to its people, and bestowing general good faith among all. For without this overriding governing body, with in the city the natural condition of society would be “violent and awash of fear” (Somerville & Santoni, 1963, p. 44). In conclusion, The Gods Must Be Crazy provides a an entertaining view of the life of the Bushmen in Africa a complete contrast to the Western civilized world of those living some few miles away. It makes one wonder about their ability to survive in a world devoid of attachments and the absences of a Leviathan. Can a Westerner return to simpler times prior to the social contract one has entered in? Moreover, according to Rousseau, it is impossible to return to a natural state.