Certificate of Debt From 4,000 Years Ago

Certificate of Debt From 4,000 Years Ago

Still not convinced that there is something wrong with civilization? The word civilization, used in the English language only since the mid-18th century, is defined as "an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached". This elitist and imperialist word continues to define and shape our assumptions about culture and society. But is civilization really a good thing? What is the true criteria for an "advanced state of human society"? And, what is the actual meaning of "high level of culture, science, industry, and government"?

A quick look at history reveals that almost all wars, genocides and atrocities were committed by "the civilized" against those who were somehow regarded as "less civilized". The history of the Cradle of Civilization has been a story of damnation repeated over and over. The oldest story ever recorded is evidence of what "civilization" does to the land, to the environment, to animals and to humans. Only 5,000 odd years ago, at the beginning of written history, Mesopotamia was a fertile land where the first "civilized" cities were established. Once they denuded the land-base around their cities, the "civilized" conquered and enslaved the "uncivilized" repeatedly until the whole geography turned to desert. 5,000 years later, we've run out of places to conquer and are rapidly running out of natural resources, and destroying our environment and climate. Just in the last 40 years, we, the civilized, are responsible for the loss of half of world's wildlife. Civilization is an "endless war" against the "uncivilized". And this insanity of endless war just goes on and on. That is, until the imminent collapse of industrial civilization. One would think that, no sane and "advanced" society with a "high level" of culture, science, industry and government would commit omnicide.

One of the many indicators of "advanced civilization" is the practice of abstract financial concepts. The Assyrian cuneiform tablet you see is approximately 4,000 years old. Discovered in Kultepe and on exhibit in Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, the tablet is a "Certificate of Debt" from the time of a merchant colony established by Assyrians. Debt slavery is not a new concept invented by capitalists. It's been around since the beginning of civilization and continues to wreak havoc.

Certificate of Debt Detail
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