Download A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to by Neil Faulkner PDF

By Neil Faulkner

This magisterial research of human background - from "Lucy," the 1st hominid, to the nice Recession of 2008 - combines the insights of prior generations of Marxist historians with radical new rules concerning the ancient process.

Reading heritage opposed to the grain, Neil Faulkner finds that what occurred some time past was once now not predetermined. offerings have been common and various. diversified results - liberation or barbarism - have been usually attainable. Rejecting the top-down method of traditional background, Faulkner contends that it's the mass motion of standard people who drives nice events.At the start of the twenty first century - with fiscal catastrophe, battle, weather disaster and deep category divisions - people face probably the best situation within the lengthy historical past of our species.

The lesson of A Marxist heritage of the World is that, considering that we created our prior, we will additionally create a greater destiny.

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But a majority of the latter were working people, and the power they wielded was very real. The ten leading city officials (strategoi) stood for election every year. The Council of Four Hundred (boule), the main deliberative body, was selected by lot. The Popular Assembly (ekklesia), a mass, open-air meeting of all citizens, was the sovereign decision-making body of the state. Justice was administered by jury courts of up to 2,500 ordinary citizens. Ostracism was an election in reverse: anyone who secured 6,000 negative votes was expelled from the city for ten years.

They purport to describe events in the twelfth century bc, but, as they were orally transmitted, they achieved their final form only in the eighth. Sometimes Homer describes the Late Bronze Age, sometimes his own Archaic Age. When he says that ‘a soothsayer, a doctor, a singer, and a craftsman are sure of a welcome everywhere’, he tells us how things were in a post-imperial age, in the ‘Dark Age’ of the eighth century bc, in a world of petty chieftains and itinerant ironsmiths. The new class of free artisans that first emerged in the barbarian north had, by Homer’s time, been long established in the eastern Mediterranean.

They were the royal tombs of god-kings who were expected to live for eternity: monuments to a false ideology by which the ruler was elevated into a figure of awesome and intimidating power. The pyramids were designed to teach people their place. They were ideological weapons in a class war. So the Bronze Age elites did not invest the surplus they controlled in improved technique and higher productivity. Instead they squandered resources on military competition, prestige monuments, and, of course, luxury lifestyles.

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