Historians & Humanity

According to Harari, the state and the market became the central aspects of culture after the Industrial Revolution. Harari states that the market was given immense new powers from the Industrial Revolution and as those powers grew, states and markets weakened the traditional bonds of family and community. He states that, “The state and the market approached people with an offer that could not be refused…You are no longer dependent on your family or your community. We, the state and the market, will take care of you instead. We will provide food, shelter, education, health, welfare and employment. We will provide pensions, insurance and protection” (Harari, 358-359). Harari also discusses “imagined communities” which are “communities of people who don’t really know each other, but imagine they do” (Harari 362). He provides two examples in the nation and consumer tribe. Then Harari goes on to describe different countries with consumerism such as countries in the Middle East like Syria, Iraq, etc.

As we consider the future or end of homo sapiens, historians should continue to study the actions of humans and the patterns of our culture through the different revolutions (Cognitive, Agricultural, Industrial). We should also consider how our culture will continue to change as we move towards the future. With biological and technological advances such as genetic engineering that cause the term human to be called into question we have to ask what we want to become in the future. Historians will have to play the role in asking how exactly we want to use these new technologies and what will become if we do employ them.

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