Friday, May 14, 2010

Can someone compare and contrast civilization vs. hunting and gathering?

thank youCan someone compare and contrast civilization vs. hunting and gathering?
increasingly complex division of labor + increasingly coercive extraction of surplus production = 'development of civilization'


little division of labor + no surplus to extract = 'traditional society'

(thing is, coercion delivers the goods)Can someone compare and contrast civilization vs. hunting and gathering?
Civilization=Cities=Buildings=Farming=Sa鈥?%26amp; Food Storage...

Hunter/Gatherers=Nomadic=Temporary Shelters=Non-Farming/Non-Bread eaters=Followers of Wild Game!
';Hunters and gatherers'; didn't have the intelligence to know that they could survive without killing and eating animals like we do in ';modern civilization';
I already passed my anthropology classes - do your own homework.
Hunting and gathering:

Those societies are egalitarian, the people don麓t have to work a lot to gather a living, don麓t develop complex division of labour and needs, and have a lot of free time (Marshall Sahlins: The Original Affluent Society,鈥?/a> ). Some of them have chieftains, but not a priestly class.

The mode of distribution is kinship based reciprocity, i.e. you have to give to relatives, and they have to give back - and you have to support them and vice versa.

1st Stage of Civilization: Priest Kingship or Redistributive Feudalism

Usually city settlements centered around some kind of temple. Has a ruling class of priests who conduct religious rituals, agriculture with surplus production which is used to feed the ';unproductive'; priestly class who is concerned with astronomy and conducting rituals, a centralized bureaucracy using coercion, and the beginnings of writing.

Mode of distribution is central collection and redistribution (much like today麓s tax system which originated here). Based on religion.

2nd. Stage of Civilization (Greek Polis)

Has all of the above, but also freemen holding private property in land, enforceable sales and loan contracts with interest charged, coined money, slaves, possibility of bankrupcy an losing private property in when unable to repay debt contracts, resulting in debt bondage (which was abolished by Solon in ancient Greece), markets, democratic government (only freemen = holders of property in land could participate, not slaves, women and kids).

Based on contract law, develops criticism of gods and philosophy as a new mode of thinking (Pre-Socratics, Aristotle).

Mode of distribution is free market - freedom of contract, enforceable sales and loan contracts.

Ends with decline of Roman Empire, medieval society is feudal again.

3rd Stage of Civilization (Modern Society):

Distinguishing characteristic is free wage labour (ie people who did not hold any property were still free and could not become property of someone else like ancient slaves could). Starts autocratic, later becomes more democratic - labour parties being the distinguishing characteristic.

Has private property, freedom of contract and enforceable contract law, interest, money, competitive markets, industrialization and permament innovation, public education system (to educate ';labour supply'; - worker麓s kids, but workers breed less and less kids as contraception becomes available, leading to sub replacement fertilty in the long run just like in ancient rome - today麓s Europe).

Mode of distribution is a combination of free market (';freedom'; - there is a pressure to make money and to develop a competitive edge though, as you can probably tell) and redistribution (tax system/coercion), different combinations being possible.

Second form of modern civilization is socialism - redistribution based upon and organized coercively by a ruling ';worker麓s party';. Doesnt have free markets but centralized planning and redistribution (';command economy';), and does not produce constant innovation (rather, imports it). Has higher degree of coercion than free market system, but also higher degree of social security.

In other words, what hunters and gatherers do NOT have is:

- State and government

- freedom (of contract)

- enforceable contracts (they just exchange stuff based on reciprocity)

- interest and money

- competitive markets

- the possibility to lose your property in land (land was held collectively)

- production of surplus goods

- pressure to work more and more effectively (is created by credit system in civilization)

- ';dynamic economic development'; (permanently increasing division of labour)

- economic crises (such as credit crunch crises)

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