According to Diamond, the New Guinean people are “among the most culturally diverse and adaptable people in the world.” Given this notion, why do you think the New Guinean society is poorer than modern America?
What role does geography play in the development of society?
Does an individual’s geographical location contribute to their ability to obtain “cargo” or acquire modern day technologies and resources?
How has living in the United States contributed to your personal ability to obtain “cargo” or material goods?

I will give an answer to both questions. I want to emphasize, before I express my thought, that you would have received a more better answer by consulting an anthropologist ...

I like the multidisciplinary approach of Diamond in the study of the evolution of human species. In his scientific studies, he combines anthropology, linguistics, genetics and history. As a Diamond, I do not agree with the arguments that justify any social vantages or wealth of certain human populations based on alleged intellectual or behavioral  differences. The concept of progress (or evolution) of a people is very complex. Who lives better? A people still in contact with nature, untainted by pollution, or a people living in advanced industrial contexts, where the problem of environmental pollution and social hardships are constantly present? However, I also believe that man is by nature open to new experiences, to make new discoveries and to acquire new scientific and technical knowledge, to help him in the path of emancipation from primordial nature very hard against him. So, I’m not opposed to progress, provided, however, that it is built by humans for their well-being and not to take them to suicide. Economic, social, technological progress and respect for nature, love and care for our very beautiful planet are not of necessity in opposition. It depends on humanity to create the right synergies. Honestly, I do not carry forward the cause of the "happy degrowth" but that of "happy growth", ie where people will continue their plan of emancipation in total respect of the natural system of which they are an integral part. Certainly the geographical conditions are of great help in this process of emancipation. People of the desert do not have the same opportunities as people who live in lush green forests.
In summary: I am not among those people who dream of a world that brings us back nostalgically in the "happy ages." My grandmother had worked for many years the land (She vas a mondina, worker in the paddy fields)....One day I told her, "In your times people lived better". She replied: "Well, get up at four in the morning, grab a hoe, go to work the earth, and returns in the evening with a broken back!”. Then we'll talk again.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


dr. Cristina Carpinelli


Cristina Carpinelli is a sociologist/politologist. She deals with research works, from economic and social point of view, concerning Central-Est Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland), South-Est Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, balkan Countries), Russia and all Former Soviet Union Countries. She has also become an expert on social welfare and gender and family politics in Countries mentioned above. She can't answer the questions relative to other geo-economic and political areas or about other questions outside her competence/knowledge. She lives and works in Milan (Italy).


Cristina Carpinelli wrote many articles and essays on the Ussr and on the transition of the Fsu from a planned economic system to a free market one. She wrote some books published by Nuovi Autori, Franco Angeli, Achab, Sedizioni, Zambon, Mimesis, Amazon.

She is a Scientific Committee Member of CeSPI (International Problems Study Center of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan ) as an expert on CEE (Central-Eastern Europe) and South-Eastern Europe (including Russia), and a monthly contributor to “noidonne” Magazine for gender and family politics in CEE (including Russia). She is part of the team experts of the U.S. Site “AllExperts” for the categories: “Sociology” and “Russia (News & Politics)”. She was part of the teaching staff for the training module “Objective Russia” (professional diploma for economic operators - ISPI school; module suspended from 2015) and now She is part of the teaching staff for the training module “European Union and ethnic and national minorities” (diploma in “European Affairs” - ISPI school). She is a member of the Italian Association for History Studies on Central and Eastern Europe (AISSECO - Since May 2015) and a member of the editorial staff of Mitteleuropean Social Watch (OSME - since January 2016).

La società sovietica negli anni della perestroika (Nuovi Autori, 1991); Donne e famiglia nella Russia sovietica (F. Angeli, 1998); Donne e povertà nella Russia di El’cin: l'era della transizione liberale (Franco Angeli, 2004); “Identities in Transition: Fsu Countries after the Collapse of Real Socialism” (CeSPI, 2004); La Russia a pezzi (Achab, 2008); “L’allargamento dell’Europa ai paesi dell’Est” (CeSPI, 2008), paper presented at the Conference “Quo vadis, Europe?”, organized by Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan, November 18, 2011; “Paesi Baltici tra integrazione europea e ‘apartheid’” in: Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta, Mimesis, 2014 (Conference proceedings “Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta”. Conference was organized by CeSPI and Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan; November 30, 2013); “Ucraina: un paese spaccato in due” (CeSPI, 2014), paper prepared for the Conference “Crisi Ucraina: quali possibili chiavi di lettura?” (May 16, 2014) organized by the Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni (Milan) and by CeSPI; “Nato, Ucraina, Russia” (CeSPI, 2014); L’Unione Europea e le minoranze etniche: Case Studies: Ungheria, Romania e Paesi Baltici, co-author Massimo Congiu (CreateSpace - an Company, May 18, 2016). Coming soon: Russia as told through the history of its mass media.

Cristina Carpinelli graduated during the academic year 1983/84 with the thesis "Alcuni aspetti del processo di invecchiamento della popolazione in Unione Sovietica: demografia, previdenza sociale, occupazione e salute" (Some aspects of the ageing process of the population in the Soviet Union: demography, social security, jobs and health) - State University of Milan, Faculty of Political Sciences (Statistics Department). The thesis of degree was elaborated in the Ussr, at the State University Lomonosov of Moscow.

©2016 All rights reserved.