How the system devouring Earth roots in empire
A Volcano's Testament: Civilization and the Origin of Sin. I wouldn't be surprised if all of Mesopotamia was cleared, but metallurgy began and flourished in the mountains of the North. That's why it is more likely that the trees there would have been mowed down, and less likely elsewhere. I know the Roman Empire was the big one, as empires go, but their behavior mirrored all of the dinky predecessors before it, which is why I don't like skipping the period between Sargon of Akkad and the Rubicon. But cheers, mate, this article was amazing. Our arrogant behavior now has its roots somewhere, and you've done a good thing pointing your readers in the right direction.
Wonderful article-sorry I got around to looking at it only now. The book sounds amazing! It sounds like it discusses similar themes to what my co-author and I do in our book, which addresses the forgotten roots of Mesopotamian civilization. Interesting to note – eastern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia in general were once covered in dense, lush forests. Our advancements in metallurgy wiped them all out.
Have you read The Dawn of Everything by Graeber & Wengrow? I think you would like it. The first three of these four tyrannies align really well with the three fundamental forms of domination they describe as being necessary (in some combination, not all at once) for what we would call a state: sovereignty, administration, and political contests, or large-scale versions of violence, knowledge, and charisma. The book itself, by showing pretty definitively how a progression toward a rigid global social hierarchy is less "inevitable" than most historians and archaeologists think, seems to be trying to combat the fourth more directly.
Wonderfully said Patrick. The one does not happen without the other. Among other things, one of the things we talk about in the book is that these early peoples turned their backs on each other, on their previous gods (thunder gods one and all), on themselves, on their nomadic neighbors – antecedents of the Hebrews – and, most of all, on Nature. No other creatures hoard like civilized persons. no other creatures do not fit like civilized persons. In the book we show why – hint: it's not good...
Thanks Patrick, from your postings it seems you follow in a similar mindset to me in understanding how unfathomably totalitarian the current condition on planet Earth really is. An incredibly caring, loving, compassionate, free species in humanity has been enslaved for centuries into a more and more machine like existence and attendant behavior. If you have not read Caliban and the Witch by Sylvia Federici I cannot recommend it highly enough, as it provides an in depth and exhaustively sourced look at the themes you have discussed, including the use of a massive campaign of state-sponsored terrorism in the 'witch hunts' to brutally hammer the institution of capitalism into medieval Europe, to then use said population to spread the system around the rest of the world. It is not oft acknowledged how different the world would have looked even five to six hundred years ago, as the true histories and free peoples of this planet have been destroyed and/or assimilated into the global capitalist empire.
It is necessary to say that there is nothing new here, neither in the essay or book. Indeed it has already been more eloquently and prohetically elaborated in the past century by Lewis Mumford in several worls including, among other titles: Technics and CivilIzation (published 1934); The City In History (pubished 1960); and his magnum opus The Myth of the Machine (1966 and 1967) its 2 volumes intended to complete the themes first interwoven together in the aforementioned Technics and Civilization. His critique of what has come to be the extant plan by today's techno-oligarchs to download their consciousness into an eternally living being, residing in hololgraphic metaverse, was predicted in 1960. It is so chillingly prescient that you might think it was written only a few months or years ago, but astoundingly, Mumford articulated his analysis 62 years ago. I would strongly recommend Technics and Civilization and The Myth of the Machine's two volumes to fully comprehend the ramifications of what we are witnessing today. They will certainly be depressing, but if the dim prospects of the planet's survival of a post-human epoch is of concern to the awakened among you, they perhaps may be a tonic to realistic pacificist action.