It is, of course, understandable that people are squeamish about acknowledging the violence of pre-state societies. For centuries the stereotype of the savage savage was used as a pretext to wipe out indigenous peoples and steal their lands. But surely it is unnecessary to paint a false picture of people as peaceable and ecologically conscientious in order to condemn the great crimes against them, as if genocide were wrong only when the victims are nice guys.
Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works, New York, 2002, pp. 57-58