Workin 9 to 5

According to Harari, the state and market became central aspects of human culture as a consequence of the industrial revolution. Harari makes a good case for this too, saying “factories imposed their time frames on human behaviour, schools too adopted precise timetables, followed by hospitals, government officials and grocery stores” (Harari, Pg. 353). The framework of our modern society is based in production. This obviously impacts our educations- formal and informal- but it also has a hand in our gender roles and life-ways. Who is generally considered the breadwinner? Do we go to college because we want to or because we have been told it is a necessary part of making our ways in the world? The evolution of the family is certainly Harari’s most profound discussion of this reading. Harari is more closely analyzing the development of families in western cultures, not collective ones where the family and community remain strong. However, these community-oriented societies are not as economically developed as western societies, proving Harari’s diagram on page 361. Industry also determines our relationship with nature and how we collect and maintain our resources. Harari mentions this earlier in this section saying “as humans use their power to counter the forces of nature and subjugate the ecosystem to their needs and whims, they might cause more and more unanticipated and dangerous side effects” (Harari, Pg. 351).


As for the fate of humanity, historians serve a unique and important function of advising current situations based on the outcomes of past events. At least, in theory they could. The old saying that history repeats itself rings true, and if we want to prepare ourselves for a successful future, we must first learn from our past.

1 thought on “Workin 9 to 5”

  1. Very good blog post this week! The nationalization of time was an important step toward the prominence of state and market in daily lives. The counter-example you brought up does diminish some of his arguments, that we rely less on family. I would say that they are still controlled, in a loose sense, still by the market and state through widespread colonialism. They still maintain strong familial bonds because of deep rooted tradition that is connected to faith. The cliche that you brought up in response to the role historians have in the future is quite often overused but pretty relevant still. Though, we are entering waters that we have never been in before, we can still use past historical situations that don’t entirely match up with each other entirely, as a framework for the future events.

Comments are closed.