the future of our past

The greatest event or period that lead to our reliance on the state and market was the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the Industrial Revolutions, society for the most part was organized into small communities of several tight nit families. Every action of an individual was seen as an extension of the community not reflective of the individual. This community based system remained intact since the time of the Cognitive Revolution, however following the roughly two hundred years of the Industrial revolution, these fundamental aspects of society were completely overturned to the concentration on the market and state. As Harari states, “ The state and market approached people with an offer that could not be refused.” (Harari, p. 359) The state and market began telling people that the individual was important and diminished the importance of the family and community. People were told, marry whoever you like, take whatever job you desire, like whatever interests you, and don’t remain reliant on your family. “The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can only survive thanks to them.” (Harari, p. 359) This is the presiding motto that subconsciously carried us into the modern age and makes us who we are as a society today.


We have spoken at length about the need for historians in many areas of study and I would agree that historians are in fact quite necessary to predicting where we will go as a human race. The past often reveals far too much about our present situation or our future and historians are the ones to reveal these past secrets and apply them to the present. Humans are more likely than we would like to think, to repeat the problems of the past. I know this is quite cliché to state but it is very true. We can look to our past to see where we will go as well as provide perspective or context to the directions we are heading.

1 thought on “the future of our past”

  1. Very nice post! I think that you do have a good point when you say history repeats itself. You did a good job of explaining Harari’s argument. Do you think pulling away from families in this sense is history repeating itself in some way? Do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing? I think today families are far less likely to force children to work in or continue family businesses. It seems that family businesses, for the most part, have been replaced with larger corporations. I would agree with Harari in his explanation of this being caused by the industrial revolution.

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