Has refrigeration caused the death of community?

It’s a silly analogy, I know, but bear with me just a moment, please. Imagine what life was like in our “Cave dwelling” days, before refrigeration, before electricity, before Facebook. Humans lived in loosely related groups of up to a hundred or so. Some of these groups had individual yurts, wikiups, or tipis for immediate families, but many of them lived in community-sized long houses, or in caves with the whole village living together as one unit.
Imagine this: a small group of hunters go out looking for food. They get lucky and kill a wooly mammoth. That’s great!
How do you eat a wooly mammoth? Our modern answer is: one bite at a time.
But there is a problem with that. Not having refrigeration or freezer, that mammoth is going to rot long before your family can eat it all, one bite at a time.
The pre-refrigeration answer to how do you eat a wooly mammoth is: the whole community feasts. It’s possible that the hunters who brought down this big wooly beast were all one nuclear family, but they will share the feast with the entire village. The selfish reason is that their family, no matter how many kids they might have, won’t be able to eat the whole thing before it goes bad. The more important answer is that this gesture makes the entire community stronger, strengthens the friendship and cooperation bonds, makes the whole community healthier. They had learned that communities do best when everyone works together for the benefit of the whole; far better than “every man for himself and devil take the hindmost.”
There are a few communities like that still existing in the world. They share everything with each other, and look at the idea of “every man for himself…” as utter madness. Because they recognize that such selfish actions not only weaken the individual, but also threaten the entire community.
Psychologists like Abraham Maslow imagined that the highest achievement of humans is the self-reliant, autonomous individual who needs no one else. That is a foolish, dangerous illusion.
We are community animals who work best when we cooperate as an entire group; we thrive by working together. We make best use of resources when we make a community-wide feast of that wooly mammoth.

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