One of the most controversial and cited in the new anthropology, this ground-breaking article was one of the first to argue that there are ways that civilization has made people's lives harder, arguing that pre-civ folks worked fewer hours than their modern counterparts.
Sahlins was influenced heavily by Levi-Strauss, and by his visit to Paris in 1968.
Hunter-gatherers consume less energy per capita per year than any other group of human beings. Yet when you come to examine it the original affluent society was none other than the hunter's - in which all the people's material wants were easily satisfied. To accept that hunters are affluent is therefore to recognise that the present human condition of man slaving to bridge the gap between his unlimited wants and his insufficient means is a tragedy of modern times. (from the first page)