the production of agricultural surplus gave birth to the following marvels that changed humanity forever: writing, debt, money, states, bureaucracy, armies, clergy, technology and even the first form of biochemical war..t
we know from archaeologists that the first forms of writing emerge in mesopotamia (where iraq and syria are now).. but what did they record? the quantity of grain each farmer had deposited in a shared granary.. such a system required some sort of receipt.. so that each individual could prove what quantity they had stored
ever since econ was invented, following the agri revolution 12 000 years ago, and the creation of the firstsurplus.. it was about credit.. virtual payments..
debt, money, faith, and state all go hand in hand. w/o debt there is no easy way to *manage agri surplus.. as debt appeared, money flourished. but for money to have value, an institution, the state, had to make it **trustworthy. when we talk about the economy, this is what we are talking about: the complex relations that emerge in a society w a ***surplus..t
so.. no *manage ness.. no debt..?
so.. no ***surplus.. no energy loss..?
as we examine these relations, what also becomes clear is that a state could never have been born w/o surplus, since a state requires bureaucrats to manage public affairs, police to safeguard property rights, and rulers who.. for better or for worse.. demand a high standard fo living.. none of the above would be conceivable w/o a hefty surplus to sustain all these people w/o them having to work in the fields…. t..
nor could an organized army exist w/o a surplus.. and w/o an organized army the power of the ruler, and by extension the state, could not be imposed, and the society’s surplus would be more vulnerable to external threats..
bureaucracies and armies were made possible by agri surpluses..t.. which in turn created the need for bureaucracies and armies.. the same was true of the clergy…. surplus begat org’d religions…
there was tech before agri (fire, et al).. but agri surplus gave tech a gigantic boost by giving rise to new tech needs.. and by concentrating resources in hands of powerful few.. t
surplus also creates deadly bacteria/viruses (ie: tons of wheat piled in granaries surrounded by people and animals.. waste)… bodies had not evolved to cope with resulting diseases.. at first many died.. slowly.. people managed to adjust..became more resistant.. but not tribes/communities not yet develop agri.. so.. handshake was enough to wipe most of the tribespeople out.. .. in both australia nd america many more of the native populations dies from contact w bacteria/viruses carried by invading europeans than from cannonballs, bullets, and knives.. .. i some cases european raiders even engaged knowingly in biochem war.. ie: giving blankets knowingly seeded w smallpox virus..
the story of southern africa’s bushmen encapsulates the history of modern homo sapiens from our species’ first emergence in sub saharan africa thru to the agricultural revolution and beyond. it is and incomplete story, one pieced together from fragments of archaeology, anthropology, and most recently genomics. taken together, these fragments offer a sense of how hunter gatherers came to exemplify elements of keynes’s utopia and how,
since the invention of agriculture,our destiny has been shaped by our preoccupation with solving the ‘economic problem’..t
the glue that holds these fragments together.. the ju/’hoansi of namibia.. meaning.. real people.. between 8 and 10 thousand alive today.. i focus mostly on them in the book.. best documented of all bushman peoples.. and of all 20th cent foraging peoples..
by becoming farmers, our ancestors changed from foragers to producers and from hunters to makers, a process that ultimately paved the way for our transition from being the cleverest mammal to the most dominant species of any kind at any point in our planet’s history..t
agri was much more productive than h & g and enable populations to grow rapidly.. also created surpluses..
and w surpluses came hierarchies and systems of tribute and hierarchies and tributes, in turn, nurtured an urge to gather more resources, to expand and conquer..t
they complained in particular how the bushmen’s tendency ‘to live in the moment’ was ill-suited to wage labor and farming in particular.. t
because almost every job on the farm was future-oriented and the rewards for labor were only ever harvested long after the hard work was done
surpluses were transformed into debt, wealth, and money, and, for those who controlled their distribution and circulation, power.
unlike in the resettlement camps, there is a sense of disquiet among ju/’hoansi in kanaan. for although kanaan may be marginal, it is not remote, and no one here ever falls prey to the illusion tha their hunger has anthying to do with a scarcity of food.
w/in walking distance.. nearly half a dozen shops w shelving that groans under the weight of food. et al..
this small-town environment is much more abundance than the bush ever was, but if you don’t have money, it is far from provident.
and the ju/’hoansi here wonder why it is that they must continue to live on the edge of starvation when there is so much food nearby..t
for the first time since the neolithic revolution we live in an era where more than enough food is produced for everyone on the planet to eat well.. so much that around 440 pounds of food per person currently alive ends up in landfills every year.. enough again to adequately nourish another 5 bn or so of us for a a year..
keynes viewed capitalism as an ugly means to an ultimately beneficial end.. he believe that w/o it *the ‘econ problem’ could never be solved..
to vinay – hoping to clean up capitalism.. if anyone can it would be him.. but *the problem we need to solve is not the econ problem.. we have to go deeper.. get to the energy of people that we’re missing..
Skoll Foundation (@SkollFoundation) tweeted at 6:15 AM – 27 Jun 2018 :
Seventy percent of Africans make their living from agriculture, but most smallholders still don’t have adequate food through the year. @myAgroFarms helps smallholders end the cycle of poverty. https://t.co/JpMr6a9q1c https://t.co/Wl3wv3Tv00 (http://twitter.com/SkollFoundation/status/1011946056995823617?s=17)
Joey Ayoub جووي أيوب (@joeyayoub) tweeted at 4:55 AM – 28 Jun 2018 :
“The world lost tree cover the size of Italy in 2017 as forests were cleared using fire to make way for farms from the Amazon to the Congo Basin, an independent forest monitoring network said on Wednesday.”
Joey Ayoub جووي أيوب (@joeyayoub) tweeted at 5:04 AM – 28 Jun 2018 :
“Vast areas continue to be cleared for soy*, beef, palm oil and other globally traded commodities. Much of this clearing is illegal”.
* Most of the world’s soy crop is used to feed animals raised for slaughter, especially cattle. https://t.co/n23yHe5luC (http://twitter.com/joeyayoub/status/1012290611565776897?s=17)
Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) tweeted at 6:06 AM – 2 Jul 2018 :
One key way industrial agriculture hides its own barbarism & savagery is by deceitfully self-branding as (what people perceive to be) the bucolic beauty of the family farm. But now they’re killing off family farms, leaving morally reprehensible factory farms as the only reality: https://t.co/ICbg6GNyAs(http://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1013755866733056001?s=17)
did agri start ineq
How the Agricultural Revolution made us inequal