Modes of production

When Marx spoke of historical materialism it was not only of the micro history of kingdoms on well populated geographies.  I take him to have meant the macro history of epochs and ages.  From memory, I say 50,000 years of hunter gatherer past, 10,000 years of neolitihic agriculture, 500 years of feudalism, 300 years of capitalism.  Man has been on this planet in his present form for the last 2,000,000 years.  (I’ll have to check these facts and compile a chronology.)

Urbanization has a separate and parallel history.  The aggregate of humans you take for a unit of social mass.  (Because it is always social.  You were begat from father and mother so a minimum of three people is always assumed.)

So, up until 1600 (I take the formation of the East India Company to signify the beginning of modern capitalism), man had lived pretty close to nature, where by nature we mean the trees, the sky, the water, the beach, the ploughed field, the forest, and so on.)  Snakes were worshipped as gods.  The Devi came riding on the back of a tiger.

But modern city man has entirely lost the connection to nature (in its narrow sense).  His seasonality is different. And perhaps his mode of production is not viable in the long run.


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