A new history of the world
Whenever I open a book, particularly one with a grand title promising to offer a new history of the world, my immediate reaction is to ask: what is the line? What is the angle? I know at once that the author will have an angle, a bias, and I want to know what that bias is. So let me confess at once, and answer my own question. What is my line? Well, let me give an easy, and possibly misleading answer: this is a “right-wing” history of the world.
I focus on the Greeks and Romans, for they introduce an entirely new form of society, one based around the market place – the agora or forum. It is a very different society to the societies that came before, centred around the palace. There are new ideas such as freedom and democracy, with new concepts of writing history objectively, rather than as a glorification of the ruler.
My enquiry therefore begins by looking at some of the palace-based societies of the past, Egypt and the Minoans and also the fascinating Chinese empire.
I then go on to look at Greece and the invention of money and democracy, and particularly at Sparta, the state that rejected money and democracy, and developed into a militaristic war-machine. And then I look at Rome and see how it became such a successful – and attractive – civilisation, and how it brought the whole of the Mediterranean and Western Europe under its spell. And then I look at the Decline and Fall – a lesson here for our own market economy.
All history is written from a particular point: but here is a new and, I hope, persuasive view of history. If you are curious, and wish to learn more about my own particular philosophy, click here for my ‘Confessions’. Otherwise plunge into the introduction with a quick visit to the Trobriand islands in the South Pacific, to learn how the economy works – without money.
Either:On to the Trobriand Islands
19th May 2015 revised 13th February 2016