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  1. Nov 2021
    1. began to go wrong precisely when people started losing that freedom to imagine and enact other forms of social existence.”

      Crucial point.

    2. how things could have been different and, perhaps, still might be.

      Counter-factual history

    3. to enlarge our political imagination by revitalizing the possibilities of the distant past.

      good point for any historical analysis.


    4. Societies were categorized by evolutionary stage on the basis of their mode of food production and economic organization, with full-fledged states taken to be the pinnacle of progress.

      it is marxist evolutionary history from primitive societies via slavery and feudalism and capitalism to communism (via socialism).

    5. Writing, which first emerged in the service of accounting, abetted the sort of control and surveillance upon which primitive racketeers came to depend. Where hunter-gatherers had hunted and gathered only enough to meet the demands of the day, agricultural communities created history’s first surpluses, and the extraction of tributes propped up rent-seeking élites and the managerial pyramids—not to mention standing armies—necessary to maintain their privilege. The rise of the arts, technology, and monumental architecture was the upside of the creation and immiseration of a peasant class.

      This sounds like wording from any books of marxist history. It is interesting to see how 'liberal history' is recycling marxist historical analysis.

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