Your New Family the State and Market

The state and market became the central aspect of human culture “by the most momentous social revolution that ever befell humankind: the collapse of the family and the local community” (Harari, p.355). Family and community used to provide all the social services that our government provides people today. Once the industrial revolution took hold, governments had new powers that involved new means of communication and transportation over vast distances. Imagined communities evolved into Nations and that opened the door for consumerism. Instead of looking to your local community or family for goods and services, now they could all be found in the market, or being provided by the state. Now we have been in this “state and market” culture for quite some time I think it would be difficult to ever transition back to a family and community-based culture.


Historians play an important role in reminding us of everything we’ve done great and everything that we’ve done wrong in the past. Historians are the record holders for homo sapiens past and we rely on them for information to help make informed decisions about our future. I think historians should be involved in every field of science. There is always a history to a study subject and knowing the history of the subject you’re studying can only provide you will more information to help make educated decisions.  We are on the brink of changing the evolution of humankind, we need to involve all fields of study in the conversation. Hopefully historians will be able to write about this time period as a new revolution that changed the path homo sapiens are travelling on.

2 thoughts on “Your New Family the State and Market”

  1. Nice post David! I think you showed your understanding of the revolution of humans that resulted in the shift from family/community based societies to state and market based societies. After thinking about imagined nations and imagined communities, it is interesting to contemplate the future of society. If the state/market revolution continues, will we one day have an imagined community that encompasses everybody in the world? I also agree with your points about historians’ relevancy in current science. There are many fields that we have been studying for years, and we have plenty of historical context around these fields. Do you think there is anything historians could do to create usable, accurate records of the new sciences we are developing today?

  2. Hi David!
    This is a very smart post. I like your straightforward explanation of how the state and the market replaced family and community. I had never before realized that this had actually happened until I read the end of this book. Now suddenly it makes a ton of sense and I realized I’ve known about it but have never really put all that much though into what had actually occurred. I suppose that quite often I think about how society ought to be more family-based but did not realize that it actually was not. At any rate, I agree with you that we are probably much too deeply rooted in our “new family” the state and market to reverse it now. Maybe this has been good for us as a society because it has allowed us to advance and has kept those who are struggling afloat. However, there are certainly unfortunate downsides, as with most concepts we have discussed in this class. Nice paragraph about the role of historians, I’m glad you mentioned that we can learn from everything we have done well as well as what we’ve screwed up. I feel that usually people only see history as learning from our mistakes, but the successes are certainly just as if not more important. I agree that history should be involved in all fields of science, I think many people fail to recognize how important it is. Great post overall, I enjoyed reading it!

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