The Story of Civilization: Moral Elements – Marriage

“Marriage was a profitable partnership, not a private debauch; it was a way whereby a man and a woman, working together, might be more prosperous than if each worked alone. Wherever, in the history of civilization, woman has ceased to be an economic asset in marriage, marriage has decayed; and sometimes civilization has decayed with it.”
Will Durant, “Our Oriental Heritage”, page 44.
(A family composed of the father, the mother, and their children: a rare institution today.)

SUMMARY: Civilization needs morals as well as marriage, an institution that went a long way from the nationalization of women and the prevailing property-motivated polygamy, up to our current fashion of romantic monogamy.

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The Story of Civilization: Political Elements – The Family

“Marriage began as a form of the law of property, as a part of the institution of slavery.”
Will Durant, “Our Oriental Heritage”, page 26.
(Chinese woman exposing her “lotus feet”, a common practice of binding — and deforming — women’s feet during imperial China, from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. Legend has it that the goal was to increase the status and beauty of women.)

SUMMARY: Even after the advent of the state, the family continues to be the basic political unit of society, but the woman, whose position was central to the family, becomes increasingly subordinate to man as agriculture and property develop.

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The Antithesis of Combat: “It’s Mine”

“It’s mine.”
(by elijah)

The “children” on the other side of the valley would have been very surprised, but welcoming. Decades would have passed without anyone to observe, talk or play. They would be happy to give chocolate to the prairie children and let them play with their toys. They would also have heard about the different types of toys the children from below would have, and would be more than happy to taste the meat they would have brought. Their valley would be too narrow to allow cattle to be raised, and all they would have would be goats and poultry. Only then would they realize how fed up they were with goat meat. They would propose to provide more chocolate if the prairie kids brought them more meat, and an agreement would be made cheerfully. But something strange would happen when the prairie kids asked for toys in exchange for even more meat. The kids on the mountain would not agree to trade their toys.

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The Story of Civilization: Economic Elements – Economic Organization

“It was a great moral improvement when men ceased to kill or eat their fellowmen, and merely made them slaves.”
Will Durant, “Our Oriental Heritage”, page 20.
(A slave in Louisiana or Mississipi, 1863: in spite of slavery in Brasil “being over” for longer than in the USA, I can’t find any Public Domain images. I wonder why…)

SUMMARY: Agriculture has led to property, to inequality, to slavery, to industry, to class struggle, to the State; that is, to “civilization.”

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