Full Version: A history of true civilisation is not one of monuments
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Wengrow is back at it. This time he's upset that civilisation gets a needlessly bad rep. I concede I didn't really understand where this article is supposed to be going, and whenever I see these sort of "idea pieces" by Wengrow (or Græber), it just reads like reverse science fiction to me.

That said, I would like to read some papers on these supposed egalitarian early cities they keep referring to. Namely, papers that explain what that is supposed to mean. I have no doubt that there existed mutual aid in early cities -- there's mutual aid everywhere
today still, I engage in it daily. But what's the scope of these claims? What's the evidence? I mean this to be taken as genuine curiosity, not "digs" at Wengrow (or Græber).
I really couldn't make heads or tails of it either. It just sounds like Wengrow is redefining civilization to mean everything and anything humans do.

This pretty much sums up his definition:
"Mutual aid, social cooperation, civic activism, hospitality or simply caring for others: these are the kind of things that actually go to make civilisations."

Historically, given what we know of civilization, this is actually the opposite of what civilization is. This actually is more closely associated with egalitarian hunter gatherer life, not civilization.
He is definitely being a PR for civilization itself.