Money, Empires, and Religion

There are several imagined orders over the course of revolutions that lead to larger-scale cooperation among humans. The creation of large empires was the first display of cooperation of large groups of people. Empires unified people under one culture and identity. “Ideas, people, goods, and technology spread more easily within the borders of an empire than in a politically fragmented region” (197). When politics align, it is much easier to advance society. Money brought an economy to society that emphasized the need for production and trade. This led to people becoming specialists, creation of “wealth”, and ultimately a medium of exchange. Money had established a trust among members of society that bonded them together.  Religion especially brought people together because it gave them a common thing to believe in, “God is one”. Religion also answered people’s questions about life and the universe, and in doing so gave them a community to worship with. Religion strengthened culture and society as it spread across the globe. It gave birth to ideas and morals that one needed to follow to be a model citizen, and ultimately unifying groups of people. 

I think when Harari says “We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine,”  he means a couple of things. The study of history is not necessarily essential, but important and useful to understand the past, present, and future. History gives us a perspective of events that other disciplines do not. There is value in studying the history of science because it explains how the nature of things came to be, the “why” of where we are now as a society. One can study World War II in-depth, but to understand the science and reasoning behind why it happened is an even greater skill to have. One can trace the history of humans all the way back to the creation of the universe when studying the history of science and technology, and I personally think that is incredibly useful to the understanding of the world’s issues. 

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