The centralized states that emerged in the Near East and Asia were not as invasive of community life at the base of society as is the modern State, with its mass media, highly sophisticated surveillance systems, and its authority to supervise almost every aspect of personal life. The State, in the authentically finished, historically complete form we find today, could have emerged only after traditional societies, customs, and sensibilities were so thoroughly reworked to accord with domination that humanity lost all sense of contact with the organic society from which it originated. Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic.
Only then can the ruled be brought into full complicity with their oppression and exploitation, forging within themselves the State that commands more by the power of the “inner voice” of repentance than the power of mobilized physical violence. A nature tamed by man, notably the orderly fields of the agriculturalist and the sacred groves of the deities, was a pleasing desideratum. What the Greeks thoroughly feared and resisted was wild, untamed nature (as Havelock Ellis was to emphasize) — a barbarian nature, as it were. Neither reason nor necessity could find a home in the tangle of the unbridled forest and its perils. The Greek notion of man’s domination of nature — a notion that was no less real than the modern — could not find fixity and meaningfulness there. In the Greek mind, the polis, which included its well-tilled environs, waged a constant battle against the encroachment of the unruly natural world and its barbarian denizens.
Geologic Time Scale
The dissociation of working from works — of the abstract process of laboring from the concrete use-values work produces — is savagely dystopian. The lingering concrete use-values of things in a world that has largely reduced them to exchange-values is the hidden romance buried within the warped life of the commodity. To deny them is to deny humanity’s claim to the satisfactions and pleasures they are meant to bestow.
Some non-Western countries have an even higher percentage of them than Western countries, in fact. Some countries have as many as 30% of all relationships involving significant differences in age. But do differences in age truly have any effect on relationships and their longevity?
Its criterion for citizenship was not whether a man had been baptized, but whether he heard the fraternal spirit in himself. Taken by themselves, these heady words match the most stinging attacks that were to be leveled against political authority by the revolutionary chiliastic leaders of the Reformation period. The decisive idea in Augustine’s work, observes Ernst Bloch, is that for the first time a political utopia appears in history. In fact, it produces history; history comes to be as saving history in the direction of the kingdom, as a single unbroken process extending from Adam to Jesus on the basis of the Stoic unity of mankind and the Christian salvation it is destined for.
The direct involvement of humanity with nature is thus not an abstraction, and Dorothy Lee’s account of the Hopi ceremonials is not a description of “primitive man’s science,” as Victorian anthropologists believed. From the very outset of human consciousness, it enters directly into consociation with humanity — not merely harmonization or even balance. Ecological ceremonials validate the “citizenship” nature acquires as part of the human environment. The answers we provide to these questions have a direct bearing on whether humanity can survive on the planet.
The cooperative spirit that formed a basis for the survival of the organic community was an integral part of the outlook of preliterate people toward nature and the interplay between the natural world and the social. But this formal similarity is not at issue in discussing the preliterate outlook toward society. What is significant about the differences in outlook between ourselves and preliterate peoples is that while the latter think like us in a structural sense, their thinking occurs in a cultural context that is fundamentally different from ours. Although their logical operations may be identical to ours formally, their values differ from ours qualitatively. The conception of individual autonomy had not yet acquired the fictive “sovereignty” it has achieved today. The world was perceived as a composite of many different parts, each indispensable to its unity and harmony.
Although both relative and absolute dating methods are used to estimate the age of historical remains, the results produced by both these techniques for the same sample may be ambiguous. The next step in radiometric dating involves converting the number of half-lives that have passed into an absolute (i.e., actual) age. This is done by multiplying the number of half-lives that have passed by the half-life decay constant of the parent atom (again, this value is determined in a laboratory). The rate of decay for many radioactive isotopes has been measured and does not change over time. Thus, each radioactive isotope has been decaying at the same rate since it was formed, ticking along regularly like a clock. For example, when potassium is incorporated into a mineral that forms when lava cools, there is no argon from previous decay (argon, a gas, escapes into the atmosphere while the lava is still molten).
If paleolithic bone implements are etched with cult-like drawings of animals, we have adequate reason to believe that the community had an animistic outlook toward the natural world. If the size of prehistoric house foundations is noteworthy for the absence of large individual dwellings and the adornments in burial sites exhibit no conspicuous wealth, we can believe that social equality existed in the community and that it had an egalitarian outlook toward its own members. Each trait, found singly, may not be convincing support for such general conclusions.
As it turns out, there is compelling evidence that the half-lives of certain slow-decaying radioactive elements were much smaller in the past. This may be the main reason why radiometric dating often gives vastly inflated hellohotties.com age estimates. Not every rock can be dated this way, but volcanic ash deposits are among those that can be dated. The position of the fossils above or below a dated ash layer allows us to work out their ages.
This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time order. Nor is there so great a lack of data, by comparison with the conventional attributes of “matter,” as to render the new properties implausible. At the very least, science must be what nature really is; and in nature, life is (to use Bergsonian terminology) a counteracting force to the second law of thermodynamics-or an “entropy-reduction” factor. The self-organization of substance into ever-more complex forms-indeed, the importance of form itself as a correlate of function and of function as a correlate of self-organization-implies the unceasing activity to achieve stability.