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

By Neil Faulkner

This magisterial research of human historical past - from "Lucy," the 1st hominid, to the nice Recession of 2008 - combines the insights of previous generations of Marxist historians with radical new rules in regards to the ancient process.

Reading background opposed to the grain, Neil Faulkner unearths that what occurred some time past used to be now not predetermined. offerings have been widespread and various. diversified results - liberation or barbarism - have been usually attainable. Rejecting the top-down technique of traditional heritage, Faulkner contends that it's the mass motion of normal people who drives nice events.At the start of the twenty first century - with fiscal catastrophe, conflict, weather disaster and deep category divisions - people face possibly the best challenge within the lengthy historical past of our species.

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

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Extra info for A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals

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Power, propaganda, and privilege – not productivity – consumed the surpluses created by the labour of Bronze Age peasants. Innovation, indeed, was more likely to be perceived as a threat than an opportunity. The ruling class itself did not get its hands dirty; productive labour was performed by the common people. For this reason, new inventions, in so far as they appeared at all, were likely to come from below, empowering Faulkner T02521 01 text 22 06/03/2013 09:48 T h e F i r st C l a ss S o c i e t i e s 2 3 ordinary people, disrupting established economic arrangements, and perhaps destabilising the social order.

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. Power, propaganda, and privilege – not productivity – consumed the surpluses created by the labour of Bronze Age peasants. Innovation, indeed, was more likely to be perceived as a threat than an opportunity.

The Royal Road, for example, ran from the provincial capital at Sardis in western Turkey to the imperial administrative capital at Susa in western Iran. Satraps controlled large armies and fleets. But in the event of a major rebellion or foreign expedition, a grand army would be formed under the leadership of the Great King. Its composition would reflect the polyglot character of the empire: each separate ethnic component would fight in its own manner. The wealth of the Great King is evident from the size of the royal palaces at Persepolis, Susa, Hamadan, Pasargadae, and Babylon.

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