The state and the market are not mutually exclusive aspects of human culture and seem to be equally as important in why they matter so much to the human psyche. The state became a central aspect to human culture because, in the simplest of terms, humans are pack animals. In essence, the formation of state allowed for the peaceful cohabitation and agreement of huge amounts of human beings and allowed for us to bring our energy to a collective which in turn helped us rise up the food chain and emerge the dominant species. The market allowed for the humans to be able to, once again, group together and better our species as a whole by sharing food and other such valuables. This was important because most other species do nothing similar. Overall, the state and the market became the central aspects of human culture to bring humans up the evolutionary chain into the current times and towards the future.
As we go into the future, historians need to consider all aspects of history. We need to remember to not only bring forward the good but also the bad. Remember, history may be written by the winners but it really shouldn’t be. Historians should play the role of record keepers and though we may take a side in the long run, we should always tell both sides of the story. No matter whether homo sapiens will or do continue to prosper, there still needs to be a record because no matter the end result, we need to record it.
1 thought on “The Market, the State, and the Future”
I don’t believe it’s true that “most other species do nothing similar.” As far as I am aware, many species share valuable resources within packs or family units, and the mere fact you described humans as “pack animals” kinda proves my point. Plus, at least according to Harari, it wasn’t the market that which got us to a point of superiority above other species so much as the ability to imagine (i.e. the revolution of consciousness).
You also mentioned what historians should be doing, but as far as I can tell you didn’t say why it’s important for the future. History being written by the winners doesn’t seem particularly relevant when discussing future problems we are facing. Rather, it seems more likely that historians job as we head into the future is to provide perspective and a lot of it.
Also, authors, artists, journalist, and all other sorts are more likely to be the record keepers. As far as I can tell, historians don’t really record history so much as decode it.
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