The Ascent Of Not Getting It

I’m reading The Ascent Of Money by Niall Ferguson. A few pages in he makes the mistake of referring to what we live in as, ahem, civilisation. Has he not read Roman historian Tacitus; “In their ignorance they call this civilisation, when in reality it’s but part of their servitude”? Ferguson refers to the Medicis (bankers, if you didn’t know) and their part in the Renaissance. That wasn’t civilisation, that was a prison culture. The Romans spread it all over Europe and encouraged the population to consider it civilisation so they’d be less trouble to handle. Who suceeded in subjugating the Britons where others failed? Agricola, because whereas his predecessors tried to enforce behaviour, creating resentment, he instead suggested modes of behaviour, encouraging it by competition. which took the place of compulsion. It fell apart when the Romans let it all slide in the early 5th century. When the Medicis helped bring about the Renaissance, it signalled a return of the same societal model, one where a ruling elite (formerly Romans, now bankers) ruled by virtue of effective monopoly of the money supply in a culture money-dependent. What happened in between, misnomered The Dark Ages, was probably in reality the Age of Light for Europe, we’re just schooled not to think of it that way because it suits the banks to have us consider our lives of indebted servitude to be the only civilised way of life.
I suspect I will find much in this book to dismay me…


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