Human Culture and the Future

According to Harari, the state and market became the central aspects of human culture by giving people an offer they couldn’t refuse: individuality. The state and market allow people to live wherever they want, do whatever they want, and it provided care for those daring enough to take them up on that offer. The state and market do not work against the individual, instead they work with the individual. The market provides the individual with work, insurance, and pensions and if we want to study to do something else, the state provides us with education and the funds to get that education. The state provides the individual with funds to open new businesses, funds to buy or build a home or other building, and provides us with police that protect the individual when violence breaks out. By offering individualism to people, the state and market became the central aspects of our culture because individualism is something that we, as people, will not, or maybe cannot, deny for ourselves.

The roles historians will play when it comes to considering the future, or possibly the end, of homo sapiens is the perspective of what the things we’ve done in the past have provided us, or alternatively how they’ve almost destroyed us. I think that historians need to be there to balance out the ideas from both sides of an argument and provide insight as to how things similar have played out in the past. In providing that insight, we might be able to change the way things turn out because we may be more receptive to learning how the things we do affect us now, and maybe more importantly, later. The goal is probably not to destroy ourselves, but to find ways to help us to thrive and grow as a species and I think that insight from the past could help us achieve that goal, and possibly even make a better future for our children.

1 thought on “Human Culture and the Future”

  1. Nicole – I totally agree with your points about historians’ importance when considering the future. While they can’t predict what will happen, there’s certainly a lot that can be learned and improved upon based on what has been observed in the past, and having someone who is proficient at studying the past is very useful for not ending up in the same bad scenarios as before. I also thought Harari’s points about individuality were interesting, insofar as he seemed to infer that individuality was somehow worse off for the world or less efficient than the traditional community based systems. Additionally, as you make mention to the police provided by the state, I thought it was interesting that he made it sound like it was almost better to have blood feuds instead of institutional crime management systems as they were handled by the victims or their families. Anyways, I really liked your blog and thought the information you presented was very good!

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