• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Sapiens 9 Imperial Visions

Page history last edited by Ian Kimber 5 years, 10 months ago


Lecture 9 Imperial Visions


8 segment 1 Empires Defined     10 - 1 - Lesson #9 - Imperial Visions - Segment 1 [26_06].mp4


Now we look at “empires”.  An empire consists of a group of individual countries or states each with different local habits and customs.  Empires can grow by acquisition without changing their basic identity.  An empire is not defined by its form of government. Empires do not need to be large, ancient Greece was an empire of city states.  Modern Greece is not.  In our time empires have a bad publicity. Imperialism is bad and empires do not work and are evil.  Independent states are the most important.  This is not true.  Empires, can be shown to work better and they are more stable than individual states.  The failure of empires is usually due to invasion or by conflict in the central organisation.  The destruction of one empire often results in the creation of another.  This is true of the Middle Eastern states.  They were passed from one empire to another all the way through to the collapse of the British Empire.  Empires do not have to be formed by aggression and even if they are, there end results are often more positive involving the support of science and culture they also create imperial languages which enable large scale intercommunication.


8 segment 2 How empires developed and how they grew.   10 - 2 - Lesson #9 - Imperial Visions - Segment 2 [34_51].mp4


The first known was the Acadian empire under Sargon the great in Mesopotamia. This only lasted during his lifetime but created the model.  One thousand years passed before the next, under Chiros the great of Persia.

He wished to rule all mankind for its own good.   The driver is humans is “we” and “they” concept.  We are real people the others “they” are barbarians and not as real people. An important innovation was that he recognised as all people as being the same and have mutual responsibilities towards each other  This concept was adopted by many empires that followed, all the way up to today. The other side of this vision is that anyone who resists is bad and worthy of conquest.  This justifies imperial growth.  Initially this was mostly by warfare.  The largest (the British Empire) was spread under the banner of liberalism and free trade.  After a long time in an empire people become fully assimilated,  Rome ruled for centuries and after a long time the conquered spoke latin and were considered as Roman citizens.  After the Roman Empire collapsed people continued to follow a Roman imperial culture and language.  Similarly with the Arab empires and the Chinese.  In China this has gone so far that almost all of China is now a single country. Empires have been proved as a great driver of human cultural values even though they did have very negative aspects while they did it.


8 segment 3 Clarifying the positive importance of Empires    10 - 3 - Lesson #9 - Imperial Visions - Segment 3 [20_08].mp4


It is tempting to think of things in terms of good guys and bad guys but this is not true.  Modern virtues of self-determination and socialism are the product of empires.  Consider modern independent India this contains a lot of western democratic ideals and unified a great many warring tribes and states and created English as a common language (also Tea and Cricket!)  Getting rid of this would just expose the cultural heritage of other empires in layers.  There is no such thing as a truly authentic original culture anywhere.  Nationalism suggests that the individual states are the real source of political authority and control.  We live in an age of global problems and need a global empire to solve them.  Nations are loosing there independence whether they like it or not!  Global standards are being created and adopted.  This is not dominated by a particular state, but by a multi-ethnic elite that follows a common culture.  They do not owe their most allegiance to their particular nationality.


Return to  1 Index page Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.