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Foundations in the pre-modern world - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# To Integrate or Not to Integrate: A Question of Whether or not the Hunter Gatherer Would be Better off with or without Civilization Whereas we generally like to assume that civilization is a good thing, the fact of the matter is that civilization ultimately portends a number of positive and negative aspects…
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Foundations in the pre-modern world
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Download file to see previous pages It is the hope of this author that such an explanation will engage the reader with a more appropriate understanding of this key issue and help to define the way in which civilization ultimately came to fruition as a result of the positive aspects of civilization outweighing the negative ones. Firstly, with regards to the positive aspects that civilization could potentially offer a hunter gatherer around the year 3000 BC, one must realize that civilization was able to offer a degree of synergy. Comparative to the hunter and gatherer groups and tribes of this era, civilization was able to draw upon enough human resources within a given region to seek to specialize individuals with regards to their specific strengths within the economy. In such a way, rather than merely having the entire society devoted towards subsistence, as was oftentimes exhibited within the hunter gatherer cultures, individuals within a civilized society were able to focus upon such diverse techniques and cons such as tanning, wheel making, dating of bread, and a litany of other specialized talents and work skills. An additional benefit that society could offer is with regards to the diversity of trade and goods that could be exhibited. Whereas a small group of hunter gatherers it have very little impact on regional and international trade, a civilized society integrate with its neighbors and leverage a degree of trade activities that the smaller entity would be completely incapable of. Lastly, it must be understood this synergy and diversification that have been discussed allows for growth and development of art, music and literature to a degree that would’ve been impossible within a hunter and gatherer culture. Whereas hunter gatherers were incessantly preoccupied with issues concerning sustainment and meeting daily caloric needs, the civilized society was able to devote unnecessary labor towards developing the arts. Similarly, it must be understood that the decision to integrate with civilization on the part of the hunter gatherer was also one that was mixed with many negative aspects. The first and perhaps most important of these is with regards to the loss of culture and/or identity that the hunter gatherer would necessarily feel once integrated into a larger collective that was hardly reflective of their past life and interpretations of religion, societal norms, and a host of other factors. This of course ties directly into the loss of religious interpretation that an individual from a hunter gatherer society would necessarily space when choosing to integrate with civilization. From a political standpoint, the individual hunter gatherer would also feel a great loss of freedom as their personal behavior became constricted and beholden not to a warrior, shaman, or chief, but to a complex network of bureaucratic entities. Similarly, also from the local perspective, it must be understood that civilization represented a decreased level to which the individual can impact upon the direction and decisions that the group will take. Whereas within the hunter gathering unit the individual hunter/warrior was able to have a voice and provide at least some level of direction to the group, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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