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Author Topic: Us humans & freedom  (Read 996 times)

Offline Valjean

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Us humans & freedom
« on: March 21, 2013, 10:23:45 PM »
Apparently modern man (from a biological standpoint) crapped himself into existence about 200,000 years ago.  But historians seem to think that it was 50,000 years ago that man began behaving modernly (had developed culture, writing, etc).  Then some 8,000 years ago we learned how to plant crops which started us down the road to becoming lazy bastards.  Now a bunch of us could live in a relatively small space instead of having to tribe it up all over creation.

I find all this interesting because its only in the last couple hundred years... an eyedrop in the toilet bowl of time when you think about 50,000 years... that people actually became free... most people... the average man.  Sure the few rulers of their societies have always been pretty much free to do what they wanted whether they were the government rulers or the clergy.  But the average person never was until just recently.

Offline Tyler

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 10:42:36 PM »
More like everyone was free in their own sense before the agricultural revolution. Things were more localized and humanity moved slower as a progressing species but each person was able to make their own choice in what they did, and likely live it out without too much worry (you know, aside from the general ailments of the time like wild animals, opposing tribes, disease and all that).

Freedom is such a paradoxical term nowadays. We're freer in the sense that we can see how much we could do in life thanks to everyone around us. We're freer in the sense that we have more technology to use and guide us along. But to think we're free in a sense that we can just do any of it, especially when societal norms like debt, values, social systems, law & justice and the like come in to play, is just crass. Hell, trying to compare the eras is nearly impossible, but ask yourself who has more freedom: a caveman in an unknown location with no ties to family, friends, any sort of committed world around him or the guy who has been beaten into submission from childhood, figuratively and literally, thanks to a crumbling social system, educational reforms that threaten to take money away from his teachers, who's never been more than five miles out of his city, and who, thanks to culture, is often ignored in the news in favor of the high-minded folks who got more opportunities for learning and making connections.


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Offline Valjean

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 10:58:29 PM »
Amen to that.  I was thinking of Rosseau: "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."  SO I was going to mess with making a table and low & behold!  There are fucking websites out there that will do it automatically for ya!  This internet now-a-days...

Here's how I see man going from squatting in the dirt getting hit over the head with a club if he didn't listen to modern day freedom for the masses

GovernmentRulePowerEconomyCurrency
ChiefdomObedienceStrongmanCommunalism or subsistenceNone
DespotismTribalJuntaSlavery or BarterMetals
MonarchyVassalageSoverigntyMercantalismCoin
TheocracyMagistratesDivine Right
Feudal SocietyMartial LawSoverigntyManoralism, GuildsCoin
ConfederacyCity StatesOligarchyMercantile or GuildsBank Note
TotalitarianismMartial LawSingle PartyPlanned EconomyPaper Money or Bank Notes
RepublicFederalSeparation of PowersFree MarketGold Standard or Credit

Offline booshthelurker

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 01:42:48 AM »
Here's a wiki link (I know... I know...)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_of_Hammurabi
I stumbled across this a long time ago and thought it was interesting. Kinda relates in a way since mores, norms, rules, and more formally laws become present in any group. Freedom is an interesting concept considering that it's attainability to us as a social and group oriented species is always a compromise in some way. As Tyler said it's paradoxical.
I like this sorta conversation Val. It takes us broader in both region and time. I like looking at the history of anatomically modern humans and comparing and contrasting what we know of them then and us now. I always liked those anthropology classes...

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Offline floofgoofer

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 04:56:56 AM »
Might makes right as always, from the basest communities to the most advanced.   Only difference is what makes one mighty.  A gun?  A million (billion) dollars, intellectual prowess, physical gifts, birth circumstance.  One of these (brief list) can easily determine your overall quality of life in a certain time frame.  And that, given our gigantic homo sapien brains, is what we are here for: quality of life

Freedom may have at one time meant something as a word.  But now it is simply a buzzword designed to get target individuals rising to the (pre0determined) occasion.  Don't believe me, that's ok, we are in the most prosperous and peaceful time in the history of mankind (as noted by OP) butpeople of manyfold delusions would believe we are falling apart.

That is the problem with chemical based processors (the human brain) as prone as they are to minor or major processing malfunctions.  We will be controlled by computers soon enough, and probably be the happier for it.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 05:09:19 AM by floofgoofer »

Offline convex airplane

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 07:13:00 AM »
Humans are overrated... Pssssshhhh

Offline Valjean

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 11:16:33 AM »
mores

Mores!  Yes always my favorite little nugget that stuck with me from cultural anthropology... now walk on the right side of the sidewalk people.



we are in the most prosperous and peaceful time in the history of mankind (as noted by OP) butpeople of manyfold delusions would believe we are falling apart.

I agree.  I thought about the same thing when I wrote the OP that only in the last couple hundred years out of 50,000 some years that the common man became free.  Before that the few in power dictated to everyone else what would happen, now (at least in free societies) the common man chooses who's at the top & votes on laws, etc.  All of mankind until recently it was the other way around.

Offline travilanche

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 03:35:14 AM »
We at least have the illusion that we can vote on the laws at least.  A thousand years ago a leader would have just said "this is the way it is and you have no say!" 

I still can't smoke weed in my apartment on my free time though.   >:(  A thousand years ago anyone could have done that without legal consequence. 
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Offline Valjean

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 04:00:30 PM »
We at least have the illusion that we can vote on the laws at least.

Yeah, you're right.  Of course we don't vote on laws at the national level, I was thinking at the local level when I wrote that: bond referrendums, etc.

Offline Valjean

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Re: Us humans & freedom
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 04:10:56 PM »
Ok so here's the next part of my take on humanity and how it became free.  So when I said Confederacy in the chart above I was thinking of things like the Hannseatic League.  I did leave off the early Greek democracies from the list because I'm not super familiar with how their societies were laid out.

So its just in the last 200 or so years that mankind has by & large become free.  I think this is only due to the development of free market economies.  I think it turned out this way because in capitalism the common man buys or doesn't buy, and by that decision he determines what should be made and how much of it and to what level of quality. 

It used to always be the ruling class of society that decided everything.  Now look at Tiffanies or Porsche or other shops that cater only to the rich.  They have a tiny role in the economy & society.  They never become big businesses.  Big businesses are always the ones that serve the masses (like Wal-Mart or Ford).  Now wealth can only be acquired by serving the needs of the common man.  Gone is the common man as a serf, kept in submission by squires of the noble class that come to the village to collect tribute.  Now the common man... as a consumer... decides who should own & run stores and manufacturing plants, etc. 

I think the rise of this power to the people in one area of life is what spilled into the political system.