Download e-book for iPad: A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to by Neil Faulkner

By Neil Faulkner

ISBN-10: 0745332145

ISBN-13: 9780745332147

This magisterial research of human heritage - from "Lucy," the 1st hominid, to the nice Recession of 2008 - combines the insights of prior generations of Marxist historians with radical new principles in regards to the old process.

Reading background opposed to the grain, Neil Faulkner finds that what occurred long ago used to be no longer predetermined. offerings have been common and diverse. assorted results - liberation or barbarism - have been frequently attainable. Rejecting the top-down procedure 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, conflict, weather disaster and deep category divisions - people face might be the best trouble 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 be able to additionally create a greater destiny.

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

Example text

Ironworking launched a chain of economic, social, and political changes. Bronze was expensive and relatively soft, which is why most Bronze Age farmers continued to work with tools of wood and stone. Iron is abundant, cheap, and hard, but the barrier to its use until then had been its high melting point. Smelting required specialised bloomeries – furnaces in which bellows were used to force air through iron ore and charcoal to achieve very high temperatures. Once the technique had been invented, ordinary farmers could build their own bloomeries and equip themselves with metal tools.

But there were two limits to this process. First, the peasantry and the economic system had to be able to reproduce themselves: over-taxation would − and sometimes did − destroy the material foundations of the social order. The second was the peasants’ resistance to exploitation. We know very little about the class struggle in the Bronze Age. One exception is provided by documents of the second millennium bc from Thebes (modern Luxor) in Egypt. They concern a community of skilled quarrymen, stonemasons, and carpenters who made the temples and tombs of the elite.

And after the final victory, 120,000 of the ‘rich and powerful’ were deported. The King of Qin now adopted the title Shi Huangdi – ‘Divine Emperor’. The victory created a centralised empire controlled by a military-bureaucratic elite. That it was five times larger than its Shang predecessor was due to the enlarged surpluses made possible by China’s new iron-based farming technology. The road system was longer than that of the Roman Empire. The canal system was unparalleled. Weights and measures, road and wagon gauges, even the forms of agricultural tools were standardised.

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

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