I. Mentalities, world views, thoughts and feelings about the wide world [more below]
II. Institutions, empowered, authoritative, governmental, administrative, and managerial =
A. Churches, censors, law courts, schools, the media [institutions [EG] responsible for "I." above]
B. The state institutions [rulers or governors, executive and/or legislative, wielding central, sovereign [ID] authority]
C. Economic institutions [more below]
III. Social structure; classes [CF=Categories], large, replicated, often hierarchical formations [more]
IV. Economy, production & distribution of valued things & services [CF=II.C above, more]
topography, landscape, ecosystem, climate, flora & fauna [more just below]
THE HISTORICAL TAXONOMY JUST ABOVE IS PURELY HEURISTIC
IT CAN BE THOUGHT OF AS A SCHEMATIC FOR THE REVIVAL OF INTEREST IN "POLITICAL ECONOMY" [LOOP]
The whole TAXONOMY, points "I" through "V", could be called "the economy" if we seek to understand economy
We might need to return to the original written effort to explain "economy", Hesiod's Works and Days [ID], in order to restore a fuller sense of the term
Considered together, the full inventory of human historical experience was the subject
matter in that grand 18th- and 19th-century tradition called "political-economy" which
sought to understand how civilizations function, in the largest possible frame of critical
or analytical understanding, in the most generous and all-embracing human situ
[SAC LOOP on "Political-economy"]
HISTORICAL TAXONOMY IS A MOBILE -- EVEN KALEIDOSCOPIC -- BEAST
This suggestive organizational TAXONOMY is dynamic with respect to the interior relationships up and down the deceptively stiff-looking outline. The taxonomic categories are themselves fluid and intertwined with one another. Remember these cautionary and suggestive words about "taxonomies".
For example, sometimes it appears that everyday life decides the way people think, while at others it appears that the way people think determines their daily life. Arguments about crime and poverty, for example, often hang on this point. Criminality and poverty are thought by some to be created by circumstances of everyday life. Others think criminality and poverty are created by character traits of the criminals and the poor themselves, and therefore everyday life circumstances of criminals or dangerous classes of people follow from the way they think or are the result of character traits.
Historians might often consider each possibility, and they also like to ask if these situations are the same for all people, up and down the social hierarchy, or in many different places over the globe, or in all periods of historical time.
Not only is this suggestive organizational TAXONOMY dynamic in its up and down or vertical axis but there is also dynamism over historical time. Chronology works as if our dynamic but seemingly fixed TAXONOMY rolled constantly to the right. Nothing is fixed, up and down the four sections or from geographic place to place, and now we are reminded of the horizontal movement of the whole loose structure over time.
Furthermore, we notice in the record of historical experience that various sections and subsections of the taxonomy above seem to roll forward in time at widely different and irregular speeds. Some aspects of human experience seem to change quickly, then not at all, then very slowly, while others seem never to change. We sometimes detect "retrograde motion". Clothing styles, technology, etc., seem very fluid, while certain basic values seem stable. There is a fabulous history of technological change, but is there really a significant history of "murder", or of the emotions "love" and "grief"? [Consider this 2017se18:The Guardian article about how death has changed over the past 100 years in Britain [ E-TXT]
The changing and the apparently changeless dimensions of historical experience are all intertwined. And the whole package is unquestionably rolling forward in time. Such is the four dimensional kaleidoscope of history.
But what sets this squirming kaleidoscope in
motion? LOOP back to webpage "Interests"
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