Civilization is defined as an organization of Humans in complex social structures. That usually includes Agriculture, Urban Development, Language, Writing, and, Technological Development. The development of civilization is usually credited for the explosion of human populations and the rise of humanity is Earth’s dominant species. Under which human life expectancy has nearly doubled from a paleolithic figure of 33 to a modern figure of 70. That’s not even mentioning how our understanding of the universe has rapidly expanded allowing us to see the wonders of the universe at our doorstep but is this necessarily good. It back to the interesting is when you look over the data from Encyclopedia Britannica live in the Paleolithic and Neolithic human life expectancy tops off at around 33, but when the Bronze and Iron Age life expectancy drop to 26. It does not get higher than Neolithic era until the Islamic Golden Age. So the question is did ancient humans before its civilization has it better than we do. That is the question that the New Yorker article “A Case Against Civilization” written by John Lancaster.
Now one of the main sources John Landchester uses within this paper is a man named James C. Scott. The comparative scholar in agrarian societies and anarchism. History of early societies puts him at a certain level of expertise that allows him to discuss this issue in great detail. And he brings up something that really makes me question his position. That writing is a tool of control. “War, slavery, rule by élites—all were made easier by another new technology of control: writing. “It is virtually impossible to conceive of even the earliest states without a systematic technology of numerical record keeping,” Scott maintains.” He claims this because it is an effective way of keeping track of people, keeping taxes, managing economies, and, slaving people. and he claims that this is one of the most effective tools of control. What makes writing more effective than just the application of physical force on people. What does writing fundamentally let you control people were more than before it. Beforehand you couldn’t keep track of slaves but now you can which makes it somehow worse?
“It was the ability to tax and to extract a surplus from the produce of agriculture that, in Scott’s account, led to the birth of the state, and also to the creation of complex societies with hierarchies, division of labor, specialist jobs (soldier, priest, servant, administrator), and an élite presiding over them.”