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aries1988 : whatif   6

Why did we start farming?
What if the origin of farming wasn’t a moment of liberation but of entrapment? Scott offers an alternative to the conventional narrative that is altogether more fascinating, not least in the way it omits any self-congratulation about human achievement.

The perfectly formed city-state is the ideal, deeply ingrained in the Western psyche, on which our notion of the nation-state is founded, ultimately inspiring Donald Trump’s notion of a ‘city’ wall to keep out the barbarian Mexican horde, and Brexiters’ desire to ‘take back control’ from insurgent European bureaucrats.
CPR 都市帝国 宫崎市定

His account of the deep past doesn’t purport to be definitive, but it is surely more accurate than the one we’re used to, and it implicitly exposes the flaws in contemporary political ideas that ultimately rest on a narrative of human progress and on the ideal of the city/nation-state.

domesticated goats had begun to eat up the local vegetation – the first step to today’s barren landscape.

although farming would have significantly increased mortality rates in both infants and adults, sedentism would have increased fertility. Mobile hunter-gatherers were effectively limited by the demands of travel to having one child every four years. An increase in fertility that just about outpaced the increase in mortality would account for the slow, steady increase in population in the villages.

Collapse could mean nothing more than the abandonment of the centre and the redistribution of the population into independent settlements, to be followed by the next cycle of annexation.

According to Scott, the period of early states was the Golden Age for the barbarians.
book  agriculture  human  debate  evolution  question  civ  idea  invention  destiny  whatif  history  origin  state  read  instapaper_favs 
february 2018 by aries1988
维舟 : 假如中国打赢了甲午战争 _ 腾讯 · 大家
多年后,翰林院编修恽毓鼎一语道破:甲午之丧师,戊戌之变政,己亥之建储,庚子之义和团,名虽四事,实一贯相生,必知此而后可论十年之朝局。甲午战败,成了新变革强大的原动力。

最关键的是:战争中暴露出的问题,反映了当时的中国仍非一个现代国家,人们并无整体的国家观念,基本是各行其是的实体。当时的西方观察家曾一阵见血地指出:这是李鸿章一人与日本之间的战争。战争结束后,《泰晤士报》评论:中国仅为各省之堆积,全然没有可称为统一国家等之价值。

中国现代民族国家的形成,实际上是在抵抗侵略的国难与危机中形成的——实际上,最初体现在康有为公车上书之中的现代民族国家观念,是经由日本明治宪法而介绍到中国来的。而按孔飞力的观点,这种看法的出现,只有在国家面临着外来征服以及——用1890年代这一帝国主义时代所流行的社会达尔文主义的语言来说——亡国灭种的危难时刻,才是可能想象的。
whatif  war  china  japan 
july 2014 by aries1988

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