I am reading Sapiens : a brief history of humankind (a fascinating book about the history of our species) and there is a quote I like:
The heated debates about Homo sapiens’ `natural way of life’ miss the main point. Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, there hasn’t been a singe natural way of life for Sapiens. There are only cultural choices, from among a bewildering palette of possibilities.
So just as there is no one “natural” (or “proper”) way to be an individual, there is no “natural” (or “proper”) way for a society to be. Some ways are of course better suited to some environments and both individuals and societies that don’t adapt to changing environments don’t survive.
For another great book with a similar theme, check out Our kind : who we are, where we came from, where we are going.