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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#38: Ethnogenesis pt. 4: Becoming a People in Terra Incognita

(12/20/2021) In this episode, we conclude our broad sweep of human history, venturing fearlessly into the truly tangled wilderness of variables mediating the relationship between technology and hierarchy. We critique Graeber and Wengrow's The Dawn of Everything as a frame for our journey, examining the relationship between civilization, domestication, and human evolution; the cross-species relationship between social form and costly infrastructure; the trend toward technological mass society in early human evolution; the post-materialist shift in the upper Paleolithic; and the conditions necessary for escape cultures. We search for inferences about contemporary revolutionary efforts, examining how strategies of evasion involve social disaggregation and strategies of confrontation involve social cohesion, and emerge from the complexity with an overarching thesis: the strategic advantage of egalitarianism is in its greater capacity for social comprehension.

Bibliography for episode 38:

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Graeber, D. and Wengrow, D. (2021) The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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