The second thesis is a cracker-barrel theory about the things that supposedly lead to invention and innovation. Hence Europe triumphed.
Diamond finds barriers to north-south diffusion that just did not exist.
Finally, the Brenner-Wood thesis has an explicit political purpose which Wood describes most eloquently: The purpose of this exercise is both scholarly and political. It was also the landmass with the two centers where food production began the earliest: the Fertile Crescent and China.
The "ultimate" factors are environmental.
Eight eurocentric historians pdf
Thus, it is common to see particular combinations of the above arguments in one theory. Diffusion is also supposed by Diamond to have played a large role in the triumph of Europe over China. Diamond concedes that very old dates have been obtained for agricultural origins in China and tropical New Guinea: respectively and BC, as against BC for the Fertile Crescent. Roberts, eds. Of course, parts of Australia are moist enough to support farming. The question of the origin of capitalism may seem arcane, but it goes to the heart of the assumptions deeply rooted in our culture, widespread and dangerous illusions about the so-called free market and its benefit to humanity. Guns, Germs, and Steel is influential in part because its Eurocentric arguments seem, to the general reader, to be so compellingly "scientific. Evidently he views the matter as settled. It is a major contribution to the debate now coming to the fore in the field. The decision to retain a pastoral way of life was an ecologically and culturally sound decision. Diamond finds barriers to north-south diffusion that just did not exist. Like the second of the Three Bears, Europe had just the right balance between too little differentiation and too much, and this, mysteriously, led to more intense diffusion of innovations in Europe than in China. Further: what Diamond calls Europe's "competing" states often were warring states; probably China was more peaceful during most centuries than Europe was, and an environment of peace surely is more conducive to development than one of war. Here is his summary of the argument about technological evolution after the Neolithic: [Three] factors -- time of onset of food production, barriers to diffusion, and human population size -- led straightforwardly to the observed intercontinental differences in the development of technology. Apparently because the Chinese center does not enjoy a Mediterranean climate, and the New Guinea center is tropical, neither he argues would be as old as the Fertile Crescent.
Diamond's error here is to treat natural determinants of plant ecology as somehow determinants of human ecology. And finally, Diamond's view of Chinese society is based on outdated European beliefs.
The essence of domestication is the changing of crops, by selection and other means, to make them more suitable for the human inhabitants of a region. Diamond notes, correctly, that there are thought to have been several more or less independent centers of origin, and only two lie in the temperate belt of Eurasia: China and the Near East his "Fertile Crescent".
Why is eurocentrism a problem
Population Growth and the Deterioration of Health I dispute Diamond's argument not because he tries to use scientific data and scientific reasoning to solve the problems of human history. Rather, the market in capitalist society is highly coercive: Most members of capitalist society must sell not only their labor power to their employers but also purchase or rent their means of reproduction or subsistence. Why did the Khoi not adopt agriculture themselves? Of course, none of the theories of the origins of capitalism named in the above dyads excludes elements found in the other theories; it is simply that one argument ranks above the others. An expanded version is forthcoming from Verso. In my opinion, the Brenner-Wood thesis does not lend itself to such an inclusive vision of the future. He depicts Eurocentric diffusionism as a pernicious ideology justifying European and United States colonial and neocolonial domination of the rest of the world. The most important of these "ultimate" factors are the natural conditions that led to the rise of food production.
Its east-west major axis permitted many inventions adopted in one part of Eurasia to spread relatively rapidly to societies at similar latitudes and climates elsewhere in Eurasia He uses an old and discredited theory to claim that root crops and the like yams, taro, etc.
The Living Fields.
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