Evolution of the state

Mary Ann Dimand amaebi at iwon.com
Tue Jun 20 22:22:33 EDT 2000


Ven wrote:

> just to summarise some of my ideas I think you can make a
> useful model of social development from Hunter Gatherer bands
> to Tribes (usually simple agriculturalists) through more
> complex Tribes to Early States.

Sounds like Marvin Harris's Cannibals and Kings, which I enjoy greatly.

> Technological and economic changes provide the impetus.

Ah, now Harris motivates technological change as a reaction to a resource
pinch (economics). I find it very convincing-- but then, I'm an economist.
:)

> One of my hobbyhorses is the idea that this evolution is still
> ongoing....

I had the vewy stwange experience of having biology majors in a class I
guest-tortured in assert that human beings were no longer evolving. I still
wonder where on earth they picked that certainty up. (I presume that they
did not reject evolution outright, as they didn't say so and were bio
majors.) Certainly not from their instructor, who appeared equally
taken-aback.

> the state is not the end of the process....

Of course, there are an enormous number of varieties of state. I'm not sure
what you mean.

I liked your account of "box". :)

Mary Ann

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