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

By Neil Faulkner

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

Reading historical past 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. assorted results - liberation or barbarism - have been frequently 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 financial catastrophe, warfare, weather disaster and deep classification divisions - people face maybe the best problem within the lengthy heritage of our species.

The lesson of A Marxist historical past of the World is that, for the reason that we created our earlier, we will additionally create a greater destiny.

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

Sample text

But with only wooden and stone tools, surpluses were small. And with an infrastructure of walled cities and regional armies to support, the proportion creamed off by the Zhou elite was high. A peasant folk-song from Ancient China records the endless toil and political alienation of civilisation’s human ‘beasts of burden’: Work, work from the rising sun, till sunset comes and the day is done. I plough the sod, and harrow the clod, and meat and drink both come to me, so what care I for the powers that be?

The landed aristocracy was defeated by revolution from below, a radical experiment in participatory democracy was launched, and the conditions were created for one of the greatest explosions of cultural achievement in human history. The epicentre of the democratic revolution was the Greek city-state of Athens. Between 510 and 506 bc, revolutionary class struggles inside the city brought about a transition from dictatorship to democracy. The movement passed through three distinct stages. First, a 30-year-old dictatorship was overthrown and replaced by an interim aristocratic government.

Military effectiveness was the sole priority. Tradition and conservatism could not be allowed to stand in the way. The Qin were innovators by necessity. Local lordship was weak in the far north-west. Taxes, labour services, and military conscription were imposed directly on independent peasant-farmers. The tribute-levying parasitism of the walled cities was much less burdensome than elsewhere. So it was in wild Qin, on the outermost fringe of Zhou China, that the Iron Age revolution in agriculture and war achieved critical mass.

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