By Rewriting our Past, We can Rewrite our Future
The Practical Utopian
Guy Dauncey, July 2018
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Once upon a time, there was a revolution. I have never read about it in any history book, yet it was the ancestor of all revolutions, from the earliest slave revolts to the French and Russian revolutions, the gay rights movement and the #Metoo movement.
By not knowing about it, and not understanding its consequences, our interpretation of history is missing a critical dimension as we struggle to free ourselves from the tentacles of neoliberalism and build a new economy that is friendly to humans and nature, not just to bankers and greed. In the light of this revolution, our understanding of thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Owen, Kropotkin, Nietzsche, Polanyi, Keynes, Hayek, Rand and Ostrom is changed.
We may never know when it happened, but a quarter million years ago is a good possibility. To understand its origins, however, we have to go back six million years, to when we shared a common ancestor with the chimpanzees and bonobos. Even today, we share 99% of our genes, and the same impulses to mother, to play, to help each other, to use social skills, to hunt together, to form tribes, to fight, to bully and to dominate.