Saturday, July 27, 2013

Part II. F. The Psychohistorical-Dialectical Equation of Human Social Formation, through Epoch t = 5. Ancient Empires.

Full Title:

The Psychohistorical-Dialectical Equation of Human-Social Formations Meta-Evolution’.

Part II. F.  Epoch t = 5:   AncientEmpires” ‘Socio-OntologyEmergent.

In his book Non-Zero:  The Logic of Human Destiny, Robert Wright describes the generic ‘multi-city-state’ “empires” stage of human-social formation, as follows --

. . .Still, even after granting these early and occasionally momentous contacts, we are left with three large realms of ancient civilization, quite removed from each other:  China, the Near East, and the New World.” 
“The scholarly consensus is that each developed its energy and information technologies -- farming and writing -- indigenously.” 
“And each underwent its early civilizational history in essential isolation from the others.”

Yet, in all three cases, the same thing happened.

“In all three regions, loosely defined city-states -- urban cores surrounded by farmlands and villages and towns -- seem to have evolved ... .”

“And these city-states merged, forming multicity states, and these multicity states grew into empires.”

“The first large multicity state in Mesopotamia was the Akkadian empire, formed around 2350 B.C.[E. -- M.D.], when Sargon of Akkade conquered Sumerian cities in southern Mesopotamia.” 

“Sargon’s conquests came with a divine seal of approval; having toppled a city, he asked the local priests to declare his victory the will of the Mesopotamian god Enlil.”

“Perhaps to facilitate clear thinking on their part, he exhibited the vanquished local king in neck-stock.”

As a further aid to theological interpretation, Sargon installed his daughter as high priestess of the goddess Nanna at Ur, the religious capital of southern Mesopotamia.”

“In east Asia, farming seems to have evolved a millennium or so later than in the Middle East, but its consequences followed just as surely:  bigger villages, more artifacts, more trade, vaster conflict, bigger buildings, bigger realms of political control, starker status hierarchies ... .”

“An age of chiefdoms seems to have been reached by the late fourth millennium B.C.[E. -- M.D.], and in the second millennium B.C.[E. -- M.D.] came testaments to state-level organization:  writing, cities, a king who could lead 13,000 men into battle and oversee epic engineering.”

“All of this belongs to what is known as “the Shang civilization,” but the suggestion of homogeneity may be misleading.”

“Some scholars now dissent from the long-accepted Chinese view of a unified national past, and envision the Shang as much like early Mesopotamia:  individual, perhaps amorphous, city-states that trade and battle, ally and fall out. ... .”

The main point is that the story in China moves in the same direction as the stories elsewhere.”

“The Shang’s successor -- the Chou, who dominated the first millennium B.C.[E. -- M.D.] -- forged a vast state with many cities.” 

“But control was diffuse, and Chou principalities -- Ch’i, Ch’in, Chin, Ch’u, and others -- finally fell into open warfare.” 

The Ch’in eventually prevailed, carrying Asian political unity to unprecedented scope.  Hence the name China. ...

“...Meanwhile, back in the Near East, more names had come and gone, and the regions they represented had continued to get bigger, if fitfully:  the Assyrian empire dwarfed the Akkadian ... and was in turn dwarfed by the Persian Empire..., which was then overcome by Alexander the Great (the “son of God” and “general governor and reconciler of the world”), whose Macedonian empire would soon be overshadowed by the Roman Empire (its emperor being “the savior of all mankind”).”

“If in 200 B.C.[E. -- M.D.] the Han, or the Romans, had magically gotten a peek at life in the ... new World, they would have been unimpressed.  A casual glance across the Americas would have suggested a hemisphere full of savages and barbarians; almost everywhere, social structure fell somewhere on the spectrum from simple band to chiefdom.  But here and there, visible on close inspection, were cradles of civilization, small pockets where culture was crossing the hazy line between chiefdom and state.”

“...Monte Alban (in southernmost Mexico, near Guatemala), is reminiscent of the first big city in Mesopotamia, Uruk.  In both cases, the city-to-be was at first a mere town, outshining its neighbors in size and architecture, and dominating them politically, in the classic fashion of a chiefdom’s hub.  In both cases war and trade helped drive complexity upward, and in both cases information technology and urbanization proceeded hand-in-hand.  In Monte Alban by 300 B.C.[E. -- M.D.] there were calendrical notations, and glyphs used to label sculptures of dead enemies.  By 200 B.C.[E. -- M.D.] the population had grown to 5,000, and it would surpass 30,000.

“But Monte Alban was destined to be outclassed by Teotihuacán, a trading partner to the north that by A.D. [C.E. -- M.D.] 550, with 125,000 residents, would be one of the six largest cities in the world... .”

“Teotihuacán is not to be confused with the nearby city of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital that, when seen by Cortez in 1519, housed around 200,000 people (more than any European city [at that time -- M.D.]) and anchored a state twice the size of Portugal.”

 “Cortez called Tenochtitlán “the most beautiful city in the world,” and compared it to Venice.” 

“Built on islands in a saltwater lake, it was laced with canals and bridges and adorned with floating gardens, a zoo, and an aviary.”

“The city’s waterborne commerce involved tens of thousands of canoes, and its central marketplace, according to Cortez, could accommodate 60,000 buyers and sellers.

[ Robert Wright, Non-Zero:  The Logic of Human Destiny, Pantheon Books [NY:  2000], p. 108-114, emphases added by M.D.; see also ].

In terms of historical ‘‘‘Real time’’’, the Whole-Number model-epoch from t = 5 to t = 6, during which the highest forms of human social formation all extant together are believed to have been the ancient ~ single-family bands, ‘multi-bandcamps, ‘multi-campvillages, ‘multi-villagechiefdoms, ‘multi-chiefdomcity-states, and ‘multi-city-stateempires, which lasted from circa 2334 B.C.E., to the emergence of the first national-statekingdoms, or ‘“modern monarchies”’, [e.g., Han dynasty China], circa 202 B.C.E. -- a duration of ~ 2,132 years, and was also associated with a ~ 1,000-year-duration Dark Age in Europe, from the fall of the Western Roman empire, [e.g., as of the 2nd sack of Rome] circa 455 C.E., to the emergence of the European Renaissance, circa 1469 C.E. [the date of the first appearance, in Europe, of the Latin term «media tempestas», or middle times”, seeding what we mean today by the term The Middle Ages], and after which also modern nation-state kingdoms emerged in Europe.

Suppose, as the next, consecutive emergence of new ‘socio-ontology’, in this Qualo-Peanic self-«aufheben»’ succession / consecuum-cumulum of human-social emergences, that the ‘‘‘population’’’ of the “city-states” «arithmos» — the ‘‘‘population’’’ of which each individual city-state is a «monad» / unit — reproduces itself with expansion, grows in certain localities of the planetary biosphere / emergent noosphere”.

Then, as the monadic population’ of the city-states-as-«monads» ‘densifies’ itself in those localities, a condition of ‘‘‘critically’’’ high city-state density may arise, which we term the self-surroundment, or the self-envelopment, of the core city-states «monads», that is, the self-environment of the city-states, or their surroundment- / envelopment- / environment-by-likes, created, for the city-states, by the city-statesthemselves.

This condition would arise, first and especially, within the ‘centerward’, or the ‘coreward’, already-densest sub-population of city-states «monads» of each of the key / core such localities, or meristemal / ‘‘‘vanguard’’’ social-relations-innovation ‘‘‘nucleation zones’’’. 

This means that there has arisen a condition of city-states surrounded -- relatively densely -- by [other] city-states at the heart of each such locality, a condition expressed, in the F.E.D. “First Psychohistorical Algebra”, via a multiplication analogy -- 

city-states2     =       city-states  x  city-states

This condition would have thereby supplanted, in intensity / ‘intensivity’, within these key / core loci, the ‘precedingly-dominant’ condition of the surroundment of the city-states «monads» by their immediate-predecessor ‘self-hybrid’, ‘inverse-consecutive’ «monads», namely, by the «monads» of the «arithmos» of “chiefdoms”.

A new, unprecedented innovation in the taxonomy of human-social settlement / governance patterns ‘socio-ontology’, of human ‘socio-systematics’ / ‘socio-taxonomics’, is thereby seeded.

The former condition was dominated by, and characterized by, ‘merely-hybridizing’ reactions /- ‘allo-actions’, by ‘ontological conversion hetero- / inter-actions’, of city-state «monads» with their immediate predecessor «monads», and with [any] still-persisting earlier-predecessor «monads» — predecessor «monads» as yet unassimilated to any higher ‘‘‘degree’’’ of ontic self-involution / self-internalization / ‘‘‘self-interiorization’’’ — i.e., by interactions with chiefdom ‘self-hybrid’ «monads», village ‘self-hybrid’ «monads», camp ‘self-hybrid’ «monads», band ‘self-hybrid’ «monads», and with the [hetero-]hybrids of all of these.

The new condition — in the ‘‘‘socio-ontological innovation nucleation zones’’’ — is dominated by, and characterized by, ‘auto-hybridizing’ interactions, ‘self-interactions’, or ‘intra-actions’, of city-state «monads», with [other] city-state «monads», which become more and more frequent / increasingly ‘self-frequentized’, as the ‘‘‘population density’’’ of city-state «monads» grows therein.

The formerly-dominant modes of monadic interaction — of ‘ontological other-conversion’, ‘ontological allo-conversion’, or ontological ‘hetero-conversion’ — had partially converted, or subordinated, still-extant “chiefdoms” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’ [in]to “city-states” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’; still-extant “villages” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’ [in]to “city-states” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’; [any] still-extant “camps” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’ [in]to “city-states” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’, and [any] still-extant “bands” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’ [in]to “city-states” ‘socio-ontology’ / ‘socio-mass’.

This process of ‘ontological hetero-conversion’ of [part of] the remaining «monads» of the ‘precedingly’-self-manifested «arithmoi» — of the “chiefdoms” «arithmos», of the “villages” «arithmos», of the “camps” «arithmos», of the “bands” «arithmos», and of the [hetero-]hybrids of all of these — is ‘auto-catalyzed’ by, and ‘[ac]celerates’ itself, in proportion to the presence of, and to the density of / to the ‘physical-spatial concentration’ of, the therefore-must-have-been ‘‘‘[self-] expanding’’’ “city-states” «arithmos».

However, as the — therefore, thereby growing — ‘physical-spatial concentration’ of the «monads» of the “city-states” «arithmos», in the key / core ‘‘‘nucleation zones’’’, crosses its “critical mass” / ‘‘‘critical density’’’ threshold, the process of ‘ontological hetero-conversion’, of past monadic sub-populations into the growing “city-statesmonadic population, shifts.

It shifts into a previously unprecedented process, of the nascent ‘ontological self-conversion’ of [part of] the burgeoning “city-states” «arithmos» ‘socio-ontology’, by parts of that burgeoning “city-states” «arithmos» ‘socio-ontology’ itself, into the content of a new ‘socio-ontological’ category:  its ‘self-conversion’ into the ‘socio-mass’ / ‘socio-ontology’ of a ‘self-involutively higher’, previously unexampled ‘‘‘onto-[logical] type’’’, a new increment of ‘socio-ontological’ innovation in the history of human-social formation(s).

That is, the ‘self-frequentization’ of this new mode of action — of ‘‘‘self-inter-action’’’, or ‘‘‘intra-action’’’ — of “city-states” with “city-states”, then precipitates, as it exceeds its critical frequency / density threshold, the irruption of yet a new, previously non-extant, previously non-existent ‘qualo-fractal’ scale / level / layer of human settlement / governance patterns and practices, namely, that of the multi-city-state empires human-social formation(s), e.g., the Incan, Mayan, Aztec, Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Athenian, Carthaginian, Macedonian, and Roman empires.

Note:  The word empire is used, herein, only in its earlier meaning, to describe a pre-nation-states, multi-city-state governance / settlement formation, primarily of the ancient-historical world.  This social formation involved city-state-colonization, and tributary, etc., conquest, [partial-]enslavement, and/or other subjugation of, especially, other / rival city-states, by a dominant / ‘‘‘central’’’ city-state, as seen, for example, in those empires that emerged, in the Mediterranean planetary ‘sub-hemisphere’ of planet Terra, during the period of ‘‘‘classical antiquity’’’, such as the rapacious / parasitical empires centered upon the successively, transiently dominant / ‘‘‘central’’’ city-states of Akkad, Persepolis, Athens, Carthage, Macedon, Alexandria, and Rome.

The word empire is not used herein to describe that qualitatively, ontologically, behaviorally, and ‘‘‘categorially’’’ different — systematically / taxonomically different — and higher in ‘qualo-fractal’ scale / level / layer of the later-to-emerge imperialist formations of the nation-state epoch. 

The nation-state epoch of ‘‘‘[national] empires’’’, the nation-state epoch / scale / level /-  layer of many-nation-state, nation-al / colonial imperialisms, is higher in ‘ontic dimensionality’ — but nonetheless ‘qualo-fractally analogous to’ — those earlier-to-emerge formations of the multi-city-state empires epoch.

The former, national, ‘‘‘empires’’’, are typically centered in a single, dominant transitional / mercantile-capitalist, or industrial-capitalist, nation-state, such as the rapacious / parasitical inter-[proto-]national imperialisms centered upon the transiently-dominant ‘‘‘central’’’ [proto-] nation-states of medieval Portugal, medieval Spain, and the Dutch United Provinces, or, later, those of modern France, England, Russia, Germany, Italy, Japan, of the so-called “Soviet” Union, of the so-called “Peoples’ ” so-called “Republic” of China, and — last, but far from least, in rapacity — of the North American “United States”.

An empire, grasped as a human-social unit / «monad», is a ‘meta1monad»’, ‘meta1-unit, or ‘super1-unit relative to a city-state, grasped also as such a human-social unit / «monad»; is a ‘meta2monad»’ relative to a chiefdom, grasped also as such a human-social unit; is a ‘meta3monad»’ relative to a village, grasped also as such a human-social unit; is a ‘meta4monad»’ relative to a camp, grasped also as such a human-social unit, and is a ‘meta5-«monad»’ relative to a band, grasped also as such a human-social unit: 

empires  = 

meta5-bands  = 

meta1-meta1-meta1-meta1-meta1-bands  = 

meta1-meta1-meta1-meta1-camps  = 

meta1-meta1-meta1-villages  = 

meta1-meta1-chiefdoms  =  


Each typical empire is a meta-city-state — often founded via the military and commercial conquest, by a single, ‘‘‘central’’’, dominant city-state, such as ancient Macedon, or ancient Rome, of a multitude of other city-states — a meta-city-state”’, made up out of a [local-] [sub-]«arithmos» of city-state«monads», i.e., made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of city-state «monads», by means of a self-«aufheben» self-internalization of that local, predecessor «arithmos» of “city-states” as predecessor «monads».

This self-«aufheben» self-operation — of an «arithmos» of city-state«monads», as collective human-social ‘‘‘subject’’’ / agent of [self-]action, acting upon  / operating upon / operating within itself, via its city-state«monads» operating among themselves — gives rise to an ontologically, qualitatively, behaviorally new and different, previously unprecedented «arithmos», one that has empires as its «monads»:  the «arithmos» of multi-city-state”’empires”.

The subject / verb / object identical expressed as “city-statessquared,

or “city-statesxcity-states”, or ‘city-states< city-states >’ [ “city-statesofcity-states” ] --

the self-reflexive functioning of “city-states” acting upon “city-states” -- still possibly reproduces the “city-states” «arithmos»-of-city-state-«monads», but also possibly produces something new and unprecedented:  empires”; the “empires” «arithmos»-of-empire-«monads».

Formulaic Summary for EmpiresEmergent.  ‘Ideographized’ / ‘ideogramized’, “shorthand” summary of the narrative above [in the following formula, e denotes the ontological category of the “empires” «arithmos»]:

Epoch t = 5:  m>-|-<5       =    < b >25    =     < b >32     =  

< b + c  + qcb + v + qvb + qvc + qvcb + f + qfb + qfc + qfcb + qfv + qfvb + qfvc + qfvcb + s >2

-- so, as t = 4    t = 5 --  

< b + c  + qcb + v + qvb + qvc + qvcb + f + qfb + qfc + qfcb + qfv + qfvb + qfvc + qfvcb + s > 

< b + c  + qcb + v + qvb + qvc + qvcb + f + qfb + qfc + qfcb + qfv + qfvb + qfvc + qfvcb + s >2  


< b + c  + qcb + v + qvb + qvc + qvcb + f + qfb + qfc + qfcb + qfv + qfvb + qfvc + qfvcb + s +  qsb + qsc + qscb + qsv + qsvb + qsvc + qsvcb + qsf + qsfb + qsfc + qsfcb + qsfv + qsfvb + qsfvc + qsfvcb + e >.

Overall Models Specification --

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