Most people are aware of the basics of the guild system: In addition, members pooled their resources and took care of members who were unable to work, or the widows and orphans of members who had died. These were the Craft Guilds. Merchant guilds policed themselves and highly regulated business and trade in the Middle Ages.
The most common of these forms was the tribe, which was based around imagined descent from a common ancestor. Prior to contracts, economic production in advanced societies was organized mainly on a household basis, with markets being secondary appendages, and tightly regulated by governing authorities.
Early tribal elites presided over the redistribution of surpluses redistributive chiefs ; eventually being supplanted in this role by just issuing coins and demanding taxes back in return, which allowed decentralized exchange to take place.
They then skimmed off the surplus of the resulting commercial expansion. Most day-to-day economic production was undertaken within the extended householdoften by slaves in the Classical world.
Markets were confined to goods that had a high bulk-to-value ratio e. It allowed for the daily functioning and cooperation in the absence of the large-scale organizational structures political and economic provided by the modern industrial nation-state.
The emergence of the nation-state out of this fractal organization was taken to the furthest extent in Western Europe, especially in England, which had a fairly centralized bureaucracy as far back as the Norman conquest. It appears that the need to fund war and maintain standing armies played a crucial role in the establishment of the nation-state.
These paragraphs from the first chapter of the book give a good account of his major thesis. See the link for the original: If I were attempting…to express…the characteristics of the situation in which mankind [find] themselves at the dawn of … history, I should …quote a few verses from the Odyssey of Homer: However that may be, the verses [demonstrate] the hints which are given us by legal antiquities.
Men are first seen distributed in perfectly insulated groups, held together by obedience to the parent. The next question is, what is the nature of this union and the degree of intimacy which it involves?
It is just here that archaic law renders us one of the greatest of its services and fills up a gap which otherwise could only have been bridged by conjecture. It is…of the clearest indications that society in primitive times was not what it is assumed to be at present, a collection of individuals.
In fact, and in the view of the men who composed it, it was an aggregation of families. The contrast may be most forcibly expressed by saying that the unit of an ancient society was the Family, of a modern society the Individual. We must be prepared to find in ancient law all the consequences of this difference.
It is so framed as to be adjusted to a system of small independent corporations. It …therefore…takes a view of life wholly unlike any which appears in developed jurisprudence.
Corporations never die, and accordingly primitive law considers the entities with which it deals, i. This view is closely allied to the peculiar aspect under which, in very ancient times, moral attributes present themselves.
The moral elevation and moral debasement of the individual appear to be confounded with, or postponed to, the merits and offences of the group to which the individual belongs. If the community sins, its guilt is much more than the sum of the offences committed by its members; the crime is a corporate act, and extends in its consequences to many more persons than have shared in its actual perpetration.
If, on the other hand, the individual is conspicuously guilty, it is his children, his kinsfolk, his tribesmen, or his fellow-citizens, who suffer with him, and sometimes for him. It thus happens that the ideas of moral responsibility and retribution often seem to be more clearly realised at very ancient than at more advanced periods, for, as the family group is immortal, and its liability to punishment indefinite, the primitive mind is not perplexed by the questions which become troublesome as soon as the individual is conceived as altogether separate from the group.
So, too, is the idea that we are culpable for actions undertaken by family members or relatives. When people read about this in ancient societies, they are often shocked. Thus, the punishment and sanction was applied to the entire group, and group members bore responsibility for all of their members.
This probably led to the ranked lineage structure, where some families held more or less prestige than others, a critical first step along the line to hereditary inequality and social rank. According to some sourcesthese payments, and the scheduled equivalencies they were assessed according to, were the origin of money and prices.
On the other, whale teeth or brass rods are in no sense, and can never be, compensation for the loss of a murdered relative. So here again, money is first and foremost an acknowledgment that one owes something much more valuable than money…Debt: The First 5, Years; pp.
Homer, Tragedy, and Philosophy by Richard Seaford, a book we looked at when we discussed the origins of money and coinage in the ancient Greek world: Themistes are a sign of civilization.
We do not know where they stand on the spectrum between at one extreme laws subject inevitably to personal interpretation, but orally transmitted in roughly the same form and at the other extreme mere norms or customs only vaguely, variously, or briefly formulated, and so dependent on personal reformulation for their judicial application.
And yet they are certainly impersonal in two respects, firstly in that they are publicly applied not by a single person but by a group, and secondly in that being imagined as traditional they thereby stand in this sense at least above judges and the parties to the dispute.
Indeed the distance between the archaic lawgiver and the laws is expressed in the lawgiver being frequently a political outsider or even a foreigner, as well as in stories about the lawgivers being subjected to their own laws… pp.While it may seem as though communal or collective ownership of the means of production is the ideal scenario, it appears that it only works under a certain set of conditions and circumstances.
Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs.. For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get .
Morality Concepts And Theories - Obtaining the ability to discuss morality with little thought and few words seems impossible. Morality remains a subject too complex to simply just toss around the table. Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs..
For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get back words like "gazellephant" and "gorilldebeest". is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.
[AAA] Atlas of Ancient Archaeology, Jacquetta Hawkes (ed), Barnes and Nobles: [AAF] Answering a Fundamentalist, Albert J. Nevins, M.M., Our Sunday Visitor.