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The real roots of early city states
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SolomonW
2017-10-10 09:54:52 UTC
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It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.


https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/


What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.

"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
jerry kraus
2017-10-10 13:13:05 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
Solomon, everyone in power wants to idealize their power, and justify it, any way that they can. Hence, we have the European kingdoms of the Renaissance and Enlightenment idealizing their predecessors in Classical Greece and and Rome, although it is quite clear that virtually everyone in Classical Greece and Rome was much worse off than they had been thousands of years before, prior to the advent of "civilization". And we have these later States trying to represent the development of the State as representing a uniform advance for everyone in terms of their quality of life, although, in general, quite the reverse is usually the case.

Similarly, professional academics idealize their "achievements" through the intensely politicized Nobel Prizes in which Sweden and Norway attempt to increase their political influence on the world by telling us what constitutes important advances for society as a whole. Of course, the vast majority of academics, including Nobel Prize winners, do quite literally nothing other than rationalize their own extremely insignificant activities. And, they spend a great deal of time doing this, indeed!

Similarly, we have the Oscars and Emmy awards in the American entertainment industry to try to convince us that American movies and television are quite a bit better and more socially significant than they actually are.

Similarly we have a legal system in all nations that attempt to rationalize and formalize the power of those currently at the top of the system. And, laws change accordingly whenever the balance of power shifts, for any reason whatsoever.
SolomonW
2017-10-10 23:03:29 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
Solomon, everyone in power wants to idealize their power, and justify it, any way that they can. Hence, we have the European kingdoms of the Renaissance and Enlightenment idealizing their predecessors in Classical Greece and and Rome, although it is quite clear that virtually everyone in Classical Greece and Rome was much worse off than they had been thousands of years before, prior to the advent of "civilization". And we have these later States trying to represent the development of the State as representing a uniform advance for everyone in terms of their quality of life, although, in general, quite the reverse is usually the case.
Similarly, professional academics idealize their "achievements" through the intensely politicized Nobel Prizes in which Sweden and Norway attempt to increase their political influence on the world by telling us what constitutes important advances for society as a whole. Of course, the vast majority of academics, including Nobel Prize winners, do quite literally nothing other than rationalize their own extremely insignificant activities. And, they spend a great deal of time doing this, indeed!
Similarly, we have the Oscars and Emmy awards in the American entertainment industry to try to convince us that American movies and television are quite a bit better and more socially significant than they actually are.
Similarly we have a legal system in all nations that attempt to rationalize and formalize the power of those currently at the top of the system. And, laws change accordingly whenever the balance of power shifts, for any reason whatsoever.
Not exactly sure the relevance of your comment to mine but the example of
the Oscars and Emmy awards shows that the state authority is often
voluntary.
jerry kraus
2017-10-11 13:09:21 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
Solomon, everyone in power wants to idealize their power, and justify it, any way that they can. Hence, we have the European kingdoms of the Renaissance and Enlightenment idealizing their predecessors in Classical Greece and and Rome, although it is quite clear that virtually everyone in Classical Greece and Rome was much worse off than they had been thousands of years before, prior to the advent of "civilization". And we have these later States trying to represent the development of the State as representing a uniform advance for everyone in terms of their quality of life, although, in general, quite the reverse is usually the case.
Similarly, professional academics idealize their "achievements" through the intensely politicized Nobel Prizes in which Sweden and Norway attempt to increase their political influence on the world by telling us what constitutes important advances for society as a whole. Of course, the vast majority of academics, including Nobel Prize winners, do quite literally nothing other than rationalize their own extremely insignificant activities. And, they spend a great deal of time doing this, indeed!
Similarly, we have the Oscars and Emmy awards in the American entertainment industry to try to convince us that American movies and television are quite a bit better and more socially significant than they actually are.
Similarly we have a legal system in all nations that attempt to rationalize and formalize the power of those currently at the top of the system. And, laws change accordingly whenever the balance of power shifts, for any reason whatsoever.
Not exactly sure the relevance of your comment to mine but the example of
the Oscars and Emmy awards shows that the state authority is often
voluntary.
The New Scientist article doesn't just indicate that State Authority was very limited and localized until 1500 A.D., Solomon. It also indicates that it was often far from entirely positive or constructive in its influences and effects!

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/

"Scott describes the creation, from around 4000 BC, of what he calls “late-Neolithic multispecies resettlement camps”. Faced with a shortage of wild resources, these made use of domesticated animals and plants. Life in these settlements was much tougher than foraging, and the daily drudgery, chronic illness and epidemics brought on by increased reliance on domesticated species are apparent in skeletal remains and sudden collapses in population.

As the Danish agricultural economist Ester Boserup and some anthropologists have noted, there is little reason to imagine foragers would have adopted this way of life unless they were hungry, afraid or coerced."

This is, of course, perfectly consistent with the fact that average life expectancy was actually much lower in Classical Greece and Rome, than it had been in paleolithic societies -- possibly 30% or more lower.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy

Basically, my point is that the idealization of the "State" historically, more or less coincides with its increasing power in Europe, anyway -- so, with the powerful nation states of Europe developing by 1500, we see the notion of the "State" as having been the all powerful force for good throughout human history. The New Scientist article confirms that this was far from the case. Again, an illustration of rationalization of their power, by those in power.
Alex Milman
2017-10-10 13:29:28 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
Statement is, indeed, too sweeping to be of any serious usage, not to mention that author is seemingly jumping from 4000 BC to the Middle Ages without bothering too much with differentiating between various areas or defining what he considers to be a "state".

Of course, most of Africa (territory wise) was more or less "tribal" even by the time of colonial conquests but how its population compares to those of China and India where "states" did exist well before 15th century. Then, what amounts to a "contact" and how paying tribute contradicts to the survival on "a mix of agriculture and foraging"? Why the "state" is necessary a "city state"?

Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues, even now the Bushmen have much to teach us about a social order that, in many ways, offered a freer, fairer existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology." IIRC, the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa with their "ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel. Well, Suzman always can move to live with the Bushmen thus benefiting ecology in more than one way including saving the natural resources by NOT printing his articles. :-)
SolomonW
2017-10-10 22:58:47 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
Statement is, indeed, too sweeping to be of any serious usage, not to mention that author is seemingly jumping from 4000 BC to the Middle Ages without bothering too much with differentiating between various areas or defining what he considers to be a "state".
Not only that but I think its false by the end of the 15th century, few
people would be outside a state. There would also be tax collectors and
religion often enforced.
Post by Alex Milman
Of course, most of Africa (territory wise) was more or less "tribal" even by the time of colonial conquests but how its population compares to those of China and India where "states" did exist well before 15th century. Then, what amounts to a "contact" and how paying tribute contradicts to the survival on "a mix of agriculture and foraging"? Why the "state" is necessary a "city state"?
I think that tribal is in this context a state.
Post by Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues, even now the Bushmen have much to teach us about a social order that, in many ways, offered a freer, fairer existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology." IIRC, the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa with their "ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel. Well, Suzman always can move to live with the Bushmen thus benefiting ecology in more than one way including saving the natural resources by NOT printing his articles. :-)
Alex Milman
2017-10-11 20:35:10 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
Statement is, indeed, too sweeping to be of any serious usage, not to mention that author is seemingly jumping from 4000 BC to the Middle Ages without bothering too much with differentiating between various areas or defining what he considers to be a "state".
Not only that but I think its false by the end of the 15th century, few
people would be outside a state. There would also be tax collectors and
religion often enforced.
It happened well before XV century.
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
Of course, most of Africa (territory wise) was more or less "tribal" even by the time of colonial conquests but how its population compares to those of China and India where "states" did exist well before 15th century. Then, what amounts to a "contact" and how paying tribute contradicts to the survival on "a mix of agriculture and foraging"? Why the "state" is necessary a "city state"?
I think that tribal is in this context a state.
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if tribe is big enough.

By the late XII most of the ethnic entities of the Great Steppe were more or less "tribal" but these tribes had been modified into the states with a surprising ease and avoiding "contact" with these states was pretty much impossible (or fatal for a nomad who decided that the Yasa of Genghis does not apply to him).
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues, even now the Bushmen have much to teach us about a social order that, in many ways, offered a freer, fairer existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology." IIRC, the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa with their "ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel. Well, Suzman always can move to live with the Bushmen thus benefiting ecology in more than one way including saving the natural resources by NOT printing his articles. :-)
SolomonW
2017-10-12 11:47:21 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
Robert Woodward
2017-10-12 17:00:08 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely
primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if
tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
But were they Neolithic? The descriptions of the assegai that I found
claim that it had an iron tip. OTOH, the Central American states (the
Mayans plus the Aztecs and their predecessors) were Neolithic with
fairly large populations.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
-------------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Alex Milman
2017-10-12 17:42:41 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely
primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if
tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
But were they Neolithic? The descriptions of the assegai that I found
claim that it had an iron tip.
It most definitely had as quite a few Brits had a chance to find out. :-)
Post by Robert Woodward
OTOH, the Central American states (the
Mayans plus the Aztecs and their predecessors) were Neolithic with
fairly large populations.
Ditto for the Incas so you have South America as well.
Robert Woodward
2017-10-13 17:33:50 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely
primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if
tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
But were they Neolithic? The descriptions of the assegai that I found
claim that it had an iron tip.
It most definitely had as quite a few Brits had a chance to find out. :-)
Post by Robert Woodward
OTOH, the Central American states (the
Mayans plus the Aztecs and their predecessors) were Neolithic with
fairly large populations.
Ditto for the Incas so you have South America as well.
I believe that the Incas were Bronze Age, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgy_in_pre-Columbian_America#South_
America> (for that matter, that article suggests that the some Central
American city states were in the Copper Age and on the verge of being in
the Bronze Age).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Alex Milman
2017-10-13 18:51:35 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely
primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if
tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
But were they Neolithic? The descriptions of the assegai that I found
claim that it had an iron tip.
It most definitely had as quite a few Brits had a chance to find out. :-)
Post by Robert Woodward
OTOH, the Central American states (the
Mayans plus the Aztecs and their predecessors) were Neolithic with
fairly large populations.
Ditto for the Incas so you have South America as well.
I believe that the Incas were Bronze Age, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgy_in_pre-Columbian_America#South_
America> (for that matter, that article suggests that the some Central
American city states were in the Copper Age and on the verge of being in
the Bronze Age).
Yes, it seems that Incas did not have copper or bronze maces. However, the fact that they had been using the wooden swords hints to certain problems with their metallurgy. It is quite clear that they did work with gold and silver and I like your idea about the Copper Age (which should be added to the "standard" classification). :-)
jerry kraus
2017-10-13 19:07:53 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely
primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?)
and if
tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
But were they Neolithic? The descriptions of the assegai that I found
claim that it had an iron tip.
It most definitely had as quite a few Brits had a chance to find out. :-)
Post by Robert Woodward
OTOH, the Central American states (the
Mayans plus the Aztecs and their predecessors) were Neolithic with
fairly large populations.
Ditto for the Incas so you have South America as well.
I believe that the Incas were Bronze Age, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgy_in_pre-Columbian_America#South_
America> (for that matter, that article suggests that the some Central
American city states were in the Copper Age and on the verge of being in
the Bronze Age).
Yes, it seems that Incas did not have copper or bronze maces. However, the fact that they had been using the wooden swords hints to certain problems with their metallurgy. It is quite clear that they did work with gold and silver and I like your idea about the Copper Age (which should be added to the "standard" classification). :-)
What's really interesting is that from the neolithic on, until the late middle ages, people were living much shorter lives than they had in the paleolithic. This is progress??
Ned Latham
2017-10-13 19:23:53 UTC
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jerry kraus wrote:

----sni8p----
Post by jerry kraus
What's really interesting is that from the neolithic on,
until the late middle ages, people were living much shorter
lives than they had in the paleolithic.
False.
Post by jerry kraus
This is progress??
Why do dimwits imagine that the passage of time must necessarily
involve social progress?
Chrysi Cat
2017-10-14 13:09:53 UTC
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Post by Ned Latham
----sni8p----
Post by jerry kraus
What's really interesting is that from the neolithic on,
until the late middle ages, people were living much shorter
lives than they had in the paleolithic.
False.
Post by jerry kraus
This is progress??
Why do dimwits imagine that the passage of time must necessarily
involve social progress?
Not sure, but Jerry's certainly the worst you'll see about it. Because
he won't be able to celebrate his 250th birthday, while the average
Victorian-who-had-a-life-expectancy-at-birth-of-42-years lived to 73, he
feels that there's been no progress in any scientific discipline since
WWII.

Well, not in the West, anyway. And he's convinced that Stalin had all
the answers that anyone should ever need.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
Ned Latham
2017-10-14 22:06:48 UTC
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Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by Ned Latham
----sni8p----
Post by jerry kraus
What's really interesting is that from the neolithic on,
until the late middle ages, people were living much shorter
lives than they had in the paleolithic.
False.
Post by jerry kraus
This is progress??
Why do dimwits imagine that the passage of time must necessarily
involve social progress?
Not sure, but Jerry's certainly the worst you'll see about it. Because
he won't be able to celebrate his 250th birthday, while the average
Victorian-who-had-a-life-expectancy-at-birth-of-42-years lived to 73, he
feels that there's been no progress in any scientific discipline since
WWII.
Well, not in the West, anyway. And he's convinced that Stalin had all
the answers that anyone should ever need.
Eat bullets instead of bread? Some solution.
The Horny Goat
2017-10-15 02:31:02 UTC
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On Sat, 14 Oct 2017 17:06:48 -0500, Ned Latham
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Chrysi Cat
Not sure, but Jerry's certainly the worst you'll see about it. Because
he won't be able to celebrate his 250th birthday, while the average
Victorian-who-had-a-life-expectancy-at-birth-of-42-years lived to 73, he
feels that there's been no progress in any scientific discipline since
WWII.
Well, not in the West, anyway. And he's convinced that Stalin had all
the answers that anyone should ever need.
Eat bullets instead of bread? Some solution.
Nine grams worth no doubt...
jerry kraus
2017-10-16 13:18:45 UTC
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On Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 4:06:54 PM UTC-6, Ned Latham wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by Ned Latham
----sni8p----
Post by jerry kraus
What's really interesting is that from the neolithic on,
until the late middle ages, people were living much shorter
lives than they had in the paleolithic.
False.
Post by jerry kraus
This is progress??
Why do dimwits imagine that the passage of time must necessarily
involve social progress?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Chrysi Cat
Not sure, but Jerry's certainly the worst you'll see about it. Because
he won't be able to celebrate his 250th birthday, while the average
Victorian-who-had-a-life-expectancy-at-birth-of-42-years lived to 73, he
feels that there's been no progress in any scientific discipline since
WWII.
Well, not in the West, anyway. And he's convinced that Stalin had all
the answers that anyone should ever need.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Ned Latham
Eat bullets instead of bread? Some solution.
Ned, are you quite certain you want to use a transsexual as your role model for historical truth? Or, in other respects, perhaps? All transsexuals like Chris are disinformation specialists, that's why they become transsexuals.

Communism kills by intention, Capitalism kills by neglect. And, both are a pretty good argument against "civilization", in general.
Ned Latham
2017-10-16 23:12:08 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by Ned Latham
----sni8p----
Post by jerry kraus
What's really interesting is that from the neolithic on,
until the late middle ages, people were living much shorter
lives than they had in the paleolithic.
False.
Post by jerry kraus
This is progress??
Why do dimwits imagine that the passage of time must necessarily
involve social progress?
Not sure, but Jerry's certainly the worst you'll see about it. Because
he won't be able to celebrate his 250th birthday, while the average
Victorian-who-had-a-life-expectancy-at-birth-of-42-years lived to 73, he
feels that there's been no progress in any scientific discipline since
WWII.
Well, not in the West, anyway. And he's convinced that Stalin had all
the answers that anyone should ever need.
Eat bullets instead of bread? Some solution.
Ned, are you quite certain you want to use a transsexual as your role
model for historical truth?
"Role model? What are you drinking?
Post by jerry kraus
Or, in other respects, perhaps?
All transsexuals like Chris
Do they, now? And you know that, exactly... how?
SolomonW
2017-10-14 10:50:37 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely
primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?)
and if
tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
But were they Neolithic? The descriptions of the assegai that I found
claim that it had an iron tip.
It most definitely had as quite a few Brits had a chance to find out. :-)
Post by Robert Woodward
OTOH, the Central American states (the
Mayans plus the Aztecs and their predecessors) were Neolithic with
fairly large populations.
Ditto for the Incas so you have South America as well.
I believe that the Incas were Bronze Age, see
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgy_in_pre-Columbian_America#South_
America> (for that matter, that article suggests that the some Central
American city states were in the Copper Age and on the verge of being in
the Bronze Age).
Yes, it seems that Incas did not have copper or bronze maces. However, the fact that they had been using the wooden swords hints to certain problems with their metallurgy. It is quite clear that they did work with gold and silver and I like your idea about the Copper Age (which should be added to the "standard" classification). :-)
What's really interesting is that from the neolithic on, until the late middle ages, people were living much shorter lives than they had in the paleolithic. This is progress??
One big variable here is infant mortality rate and this is a very difficult
figure to determine by ages.
Ed Stasiak
2017-10-16 17:39:33 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
Robert Woodward
I believe that the Incas were Bronze Age, see
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgy_in_pre-Columbian_America#South_America
(for that matter, that article suggests that the some Central American city states were
in the Copper Age and on the verge of being in the Bronze Age).
The North American tribes around the Great Lakes had a substantial head-start
on them (as far back as 8000 B.C.) and could have conceivably advanced further,
had whatever happened to them which caused them to abandon the tech, not
happened.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Copper_Complex
Alex Milman
2017-10-12 17:40:43 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
Zulu had been in the iron age well before the time Shaka created his empire: assegai had an iron blade.
SolomonW
2017-10-14 10:40:06 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by Alex Milman
With some limitations it should, unless we are talking about extremely primitive people like the Bushmen (are they already in a Stone Age?) and if tribe is big enough.
Yes even some stone-age tribes were large, for example, the Zulu Empire
probably numbered over a quarter of a million.
Zulu had been in the iron age well before the time Shaka created his empire: assegai had an iron blade.
Well, your example of South American Indians will suffice.
Ed Stasiak
2017-10-13 22:24:18 UTC
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Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues, even now the Bushmen
have much to teach us about a social order that, in many ways, offered a freer,
fairer existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology." IIRC, the tribes of
sub-Saharan Africa with their "ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
You can’t pin this on bushmen and other primitives who are nomadic and few
in number, this is the fault of herders and farmers.
Alex Milman
2017-10-14 14:41:33 UTC
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Post by Ed Stasiak
Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues, even now the Bushmen
have much to teach us about a social order that, in many ways, offered a freer,
fairer existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology." IIRC, the tribes of
sub-Saharan Africa with their "ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
You can’t pin this on bushmen and other primitives who are nomadic and few
in number, this is the fault of herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Ned Latham
2017-10-14 22:14:06 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues, even now the Bushmen
have much to teach us about a social order that, in many ways, offered a freer,
fairer existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology." IIRC, the tribes of
sub-Saharan Africa with their "ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who are nomadic
and few in number, this is the fault of herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Nowadays. any society with no vision for the future.

So... hunter-gatherers, slash-and-burners, religionists, capitalists.
Alex Milman
2017-10-15 18:29:37 UTC
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Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues, even now the Bushmen
have much to teach us about a social order that, in many ways, offered a freer,
fairer existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology." IIRC, the tribes of
sub-Saharan Africa with their "ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who are nomadic
and few in number, this is the fault of herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Nowadays. any society with no vision for the future.
Interesting view but irrelevant to the subject.
Post by Ned Latham
So... hunter-gatherers, slash-and-burners, religionists, capitalists.
Did you hear about BoP?
Ned Latham
2017-10-15 20:12:15 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues,
even now the Bushmen have much to teach us about a social
order that, in many ways, offered a freer, fairer
existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology."
IIRC, the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa with their
"ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
OTHER than the Bushmen, yes.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who
are nomadic and few in number, this is the fault of
herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Nowadays, any society with no vision for the future.
Interesting view but irrelevant to the subject.
It fits all of Africa (except Apartheid South Africa), including
the Bushmen.
Post by Alex Milman
So... hunter-gatherers, slash-and-burners, religionists,
capitalists.
Did you hear about BoP?
Sorry, no. I don't speal abbrevialish. (I do understand a little
of it, but BoP escapes me.)
Alex Milman
2017-10-15 20:33:21 UTC
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Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues,
even now the Bushmen have much to teach us about a social
order that, in many ways, offered a freer, fairer
existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology."
IIRC, the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa with their
"ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
OTHER than the Bushmen, yes.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who
are nomadic and few in number, this is the fault of
herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Nowadays, any society with no vision for the future.
Interesting view but irrelevant to the subject.
It fits all of Africa (except Apartheid South Africa),
I'm not quite sure if all Africa contributes to deforestation of sub-Sahara area (which was the subject). :-)

What you said about vision of the future may be true (not sure that this amounts to being "primitive") but surely at least some of them have SOME vision of the future. What kind of a future is a different story.
Post by Ned Latham
including
the Bushmen.
Most probably.
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
So... hunter-gatherers, slash-and-burners, religionists,
capitalists.
Did you hear about BoP?
Sorry, no. I don't speal abbrevialish. (I do understand a little
of it, but BoP escapes me.)
Ban on Politics. It supposed to be good manners to avoid expressing political views (and offending people who hold these views).
Ned Latham
2017-10-15 21:25:50 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues,
even now the Bushmen have much to teach us about a social
order that, in many ways, offered a freer, fairer
existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology."
IIRC, the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa with their
"ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
OTHER than the Bushmen, yes.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who
are nomadic and few in number, this is the fault of
herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Nowadays, any society with no vision for the future.
Interesting view but irrelevant to the subject.
It fits all of Africa (except Apartheid South Africa),
I'm not quite sure if all Africa contributes to deforestation
of sub-Sahara area (which was the subject). :-)
Hmm. So Morocco's an exception?
Post by Alex Milman
What you said about vision of the future may be true
(not sure that this amounts to being "primitive")
It's a (very tiny) bit of a stretch. Ancient man didn't think
in terms of progress towards high states of science, technology
and social cohesion and harmony; therefore suck a lack is
"primitive".
Post by Alex Milman
but surely at least some of them have SOME vision of the future.
Mmm. As midwinter approaches they start to get nervous about the
impending death of the sun?
Post by Alex Milman
What kind of a future is a different story.
Post by Ned Latham
including the Bushmen.
Most probably.
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
So... hunter-gatherers, slash-and-burners, religionists,
capitalists.
Did you hear about BoP?
Sorry, no. I don't speal abbrevialish. (I do understand a little
of it, but BoP escapes me.)
Ban on Politics.
Ah. I'd never have guessed that; in fact, I was thinking it would
turn out to be sometrhing political. Which I suppose in a way it
is, just not according to expectation.
Post by Alex Milman
It supposed to be good manners to avoid expressing political
< views (and offending people who hold these views).

But sometimes they're essential ti a point.
Alex Milman
2017-10-15 21:55:55 UTC
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Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Alex Milman
Ah, yes, here is the explanation: "Yet, Suzman argues,
even now the Bushmen have much to teach us about a social
order that, in many ways, offered a freer, fairer
existence and a non-invasive adaptation to ecology."
IIRC, the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa with their
"ecological" ways are noticeably contributing to
expansion of the desert by cutting trees and bushes for fuel.
OTHER than the Bushmen, yes.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who
are nomadic and few in number, this is the fault of
herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Nowadays, any society with no vision for the future.
Interesting view but irrelevant to the subject.
It fits all of Africa (except Apartheid South Africa),
I'm not quite sure if all Africa contributes to deforestation
of sub-Sahara area (which was the subject). :-)
Hmm. So Morocco's an exception?
I'm sure that there are quite a few countries in Africa that had little to do with the issue even if because they are not close to Sahara. :-)
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
What you said about vision of the future may be true
(not sure that this amounts to being "primitive")
It's a (very tiny) bit of a stretch. Ancient man didn't think
in terms of progress towards high states of science, technology
and social cohesion and harmony;
It is quite possible that most of Earth's population don't think in these specific terms even now. The people may be more concerned with the primitive issues like personal well-being (or even a primitive survival in quite a few places) than with a social cohesion or further development of science.
Post by Ned Latham
therefore suck a lack is
"primitive".
IMO, this is rather too drastic because the next step along that line of a reasoning is to claim that everyone with the views different from yours is "primitive" (your list is hints to such a possibility).
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
but surely at least some of them have SOME vision of the future.
Mmm. As midwinter approaches they start to get nervous about the
impending death of the sun?
Or they may envision themselves living in Europe or the US....
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
What kind of a future is a different story.
Post by Ned Latham
including the Bushmen.
Most probably.
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
So... hunter-gatherers, slash-and-burners, religionists, capitalists.
Did you hear about BoP?
Sorry, no. I don't speal abbrevialish. (I do understand a little
of it, but BoP escapes me.)
Ban on Politics.
Ah. I'd never have guessed that; in fact, I was thinking it would
turn out to be sometrhing political. Which I suppose in a way it
is, just not according to expectation.
Life is full of surprises. :-)
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
It supposed to be good manners to avoid expressing political
< views (and offending people who hold these views).
But sometimes they're essential ti a point.
Sometimes. Not sure how describing the religious people as "primitive" is essential to the issue of Sahara deforestation.
Ned Latham
2017-10-16 03:55:12 UTC
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----snip----
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who
are nomadic and few in number, this is the fault of
herders and farmers.
----snip----
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
What you said about vision of the future may be true
(not sure that this amounts to being "primitive")
It's a (very tiny) bit of a stretch. Ancient man didn't think
in terms of progress towards high states of science, technology
and social cohesion and harmony;
It is quite possible that most of Earth's population don't think
in these specific terms even now. The people may be more concerned
with the primitive issues like personal well-being (or even
a primitive survival in quite a few places) than with a social
cohesion or further development of science.
Yair. Selfish and stupid. I've long held the view that the
Etruscans (among many others) were very inconsiderate to
concentrate on primitive matters like survival instead of
furnishing texts and other historical artefacts for our
enlightenment and enjoyment.

Shame on them!
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
therefore suck a lack is "primitive".
IMO, this is rather too drastic because the next step along that
line of a reasoning is to claim that everyone with the views
different from yours is "primitive" (your list is hints to such
a possibility).
Not because of any difference than mine; because of no vision for
the future.

----snip----
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
It supposed to be good manners to avoid expressing political
< views (and offending people who hold these views).
But sometimes they're essential ti a point.
Sometimes. Not sure how describing the religious people as
"primitive" is essential to the issue of Sahara deforestation.
It was Ed Stasiak who brought "primitive" into the topic.
And he specifically disavowed "primitive" contribution to
deforestation. And all I did is define the word.
Alex Milman
2017-10-16 15:12:29 UTC
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Post by Ned Latham
----snip----
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
You can't pin this on bushmen and other primitives who
are nomadic and few in number, this is the fault of
herders and farmers.
----snip----
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
What you said about vision of the future may be true
(not sure that this amounts to being "primitive")
It's a (very tiny) bit of a stretch. Ancient man didn't think
in terms of progress towards high states of science, technology
and social cohesion and harmony;
It is quite possible that most of Earth's population don't think
in these specific terms even now. The people may be more concerned
with the primitive issues like personal well-being (or even
a primitive survival in quite a few places) than with a social
cohesion or further development of science.
Yair. Selfish and stupid. I've long held the view that the
Etruscans (among many others) were very inconsiderate to
concentrate on primitive matters like survival instead of
furnishing texts and other historical artefacts for our
enlightenment and enjoyment.
Shame on them!
Well, it is your opinion and nobody is under any obligation to share it.
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-16 17:01:13 UTC
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Post by Ned Latham
Post by Alex Milman
Did you hear about BoP?
Sorry, no. I don't speal abbrevialish. (I do
understand a little of it, but BoP escapes me.)
Ban
on
Politics

A general agreement by contributors to refrain
from bringing up political events of the past
25 years as PoDs. This is because such attempts
usually devolve into bad-tempered arguments
about said events or the actors in them, with
little or no AH entertainment value.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2017-10-16 23:36:42 UTC
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On Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:01:13 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Ned Latham
Sorry, no. I don't speal abbrevialish. (I do
understand a little of it, but BoP escapes me.)
Ban
on
Politics
A general agreement by contributors to refrain
from bringing up political events of the past
25 years as PoDs. This is because such attempts
usually devolve into bad-tempered arguments
about said events or the actors in them, with
little or no AH entertainment value.
Hmmm. First I've heard of 25 years in the BoP. Does that mean we can
talk about Ms. Lewinsky's stained pretty blue dress? (Which an
interviewer recently asked about and which she said she still has but
hasn't looked at it in years) Or does that impact too much on Mrs.
Clinton?

I'd be interested in exploring if Jesse Jackson could have gone
further had he been more like Barack Obama and less involved in
hyperbole.

Ed Stasiak
2017-10-15 00:34:52 UTC
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Alex Milman
Ed Stasiak
You can’t pin this on bushmen and other primitives who are nomadic
and few in number, this is the fault of herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Bushmen don’t have chainsaws and felling axes, they just gather up
fallen sticks for their fires and don’t chop down trees, nor do they have
cattle and goats that eat everything in sight and most importantly, they
don’t have a dozen children.
Alex Milman
2017-10-15 18:36:02 UTC
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Post by Ed Stasiak
Alex Milman
Ed Stasiak
You can’t pin this on bushmen and other primitives who are nomadic
and few in number, this is the fault of herders and farmers.
Well, it all depends on whom you are considering "primitives".
Bushmen don’t have chainsaws and felling axes,
Here you go again. I wrote quite clearly "the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa" not the "Bushmen". The Bushmen, IIRC live in the region of Kalahari desert, not Sahara.
Ed Stasiak
2017-10-16 17:28:30 UTC
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Alex Milman
Ed Stasiak
Bushmen don’t have chainsaws and felling axes,
Here you go again. I wrote quite clearly "the tribes of sub-Saharan Africa"
not the "Bushmen”.
You quoted an author about the Bushmen’s “non-invasive adaptation to ecology”
and the primitive pygmies in the Congo aren’t the problem either, it’s the civilized
African farmers, herders and urban dwellers who are trashing the environment.
The Bushmen, IIRC live in the region of Kalahari desert, not Sahara.
Which is sub-Saharan Africa.
Robert Woodward
2017-10-10 17:17:45 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-ci
ty-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century ¡V Europe¡Šs middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
I suspect that the majority of the human population in 1500CE lived in
densely populated agriculture regions (including the cities within) and
taxes (or rents) of some sort were being collected from every acre of
that land. Some of the collectors might not have a higher authority
above them. All others were parts of states of some sort (whether royal
or imperial bureaucracy, feudal, etc.), note that some regions had been
controlled by states for 4 millennia.
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
?-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
SolomonW
2017-10-10 23:01:32 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
Post by SolomonW
It is quite possible that state authority came much later then we thought.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-ci
ty-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century ¡V Europe¡¦s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
I suspect that the majority of the human population in 1500CE lived in
densely populated agriculture regions (including the cities within) and
taxes (or rents) of some sort were being collected from every acre of
that land. Some of the collectors might not have a higher authority
above them. All others were parts of states of some sort (whether royal
or imperial bureaucracy, feudal, etc.), note that some regions had been
controlled by states for 4 millennia.
I am sure you are right not only in Europe but in general world wide.
Don Phillipson
2017-10-11 13:22:47 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century ¡V Europe¡Šs middle ages. These people survived on
a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
This is a book review. The reviewer seems to ignore the distinction between
personal authority (as of a tribal chief, a pharoah or a count in mediaeval
Europe) and the non-personal authority of an institution (like a church) or
a
secular state (solemnized by the Treaties of Westphalia, 1648.)

In European history, "feudal" is the usual word for the structures of
authority
between the Merovingian kings and 1648. Feudalism expresses the duty
and discipline of the person (or family), superseded only later by that of
the
state (or church or party or race.)

The word is not mentioned in the book review. Instead the authors emphasize
their surprise at archaecaeological discoveries of building and agricultural
sophistication in 9000 BC.¡@
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Alex Milman
2017-10-11 21:05:20 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
Post by SolomonW
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23631462-700-the-real-roots-of-early-city-states-may-rip-up-the-textbooks/
What are your thoughts on this quote from the article, it does not sound
right to me.
"But the vast majority of people had no contact with states as late as the
end of the 15th century – Europe’s middle ages. These people survived on a
mix of agriculture and foraging, much like the inhabitants of those early
settlements on the plains of Mesopotamia before 4000 BC"
This is a book review. The reviewer seems to ignore the distinction between
personal authority (as of a tribal chief, a pharoah or a count in mediaeval
Europe) and the non-personal authority of an institution (like a church) or
a
secular state (solemnized by the Treaties of Westphalia, 1648.)
AFAIK, an average pharaoh was not running all over Egypt exercising his "personal authority": there was a sophisticated bureaucratic apparatus making pharaoh's power quite "institutional" and not dependable upon personality.

Count in medieval Europe also was (at least initially) an "institutional" figure: a part of the administrative hierarchy of a feudal kingdom. Of course, later this title evolved into a (semi-)independent ruler but, again, it was hardly a personal thing.
Post by Don Phillipson
In European history, "feudal" is the usual word
It is not quite usual and it is hardly truly "historical":

"There is no commonly accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least among scholars. The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, and the noun feudalism, often used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century...". It seems that the 1st attempt of a "scientific" definition was made only in 1939.
Post by Don Phillipson
for the structures of
authority
between the Merovingian kings and 1648.
If "feudalism" is definition of a social structure then all positions within its framework are hardly "personal": they have only as much power as delegated by a higher level of a hierarchy.
Post by Don Phillipson
Feudalism expresses the duty
and discipline of the person (or family), superseded only later by that of
the
state (or church or party or race.)
"In a classic definition by François-Louis Ganshof (1944),[3] feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs,[3] though Ganshof himself noted that his treatment related only to the "narrow, technical, legal sense of the word".

A broader definition, as described in Marc Bloch's Feudal Society (1939),[10] includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, and those living by their labour, most directly the peasantry bound by manorialism; this order is often referred to as "feudal society", echoing Bloch's usage.

Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" (1974)[5] and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals (1994),[6] there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudalism
Post by Don Phillipson
The word is not mentioned in the book review.
It seems that the modern historians tend not to use it.
Post by Don Phillipson
Instead the authors emphasize
their surprise at archaecaeological discoveries of building and agricultural
sophistication in 9000 BC. 
And express admiration with the ecologically-friendly Bushmen.
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