The Peace of God

In the late 10th century, a series of meetings took place across Burgundy and Aquitaine at which Bishops attempted to use the powers of their office – namely excommunication and penance – to bring the warring Counts of the Franks to heel. The ‘Peace of God’ that these councils brought into being eventually spread northwards … Continue reading The Peace of God

A review of James Suzman’s Work: A History of How We Spend Our Time

To call James Suzman’s Work “sweeping” doesn’t really do it justice. Covering around 20,000 years of human history and reaching back further through evolution, its timescale dwarfs even David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years. Blending anthropology, archaeology, the natural sciences and history to build a sort of grand unified theory of work across human … Continue reading A review of James Suzman’s Work: A History of How We Spend Our Time

Social and Cultural History – and why the difference matters

Last post I tried to explain how our present assumptions can colour interpretations of the past, how bias is inescapable, and how that’s OK. My feeling as a historian is that one ought to be as upfront about these assumptions as possible; one ought to own one’s bias. This, incidentally, is why theory is useful … Continue reading Social and Cultural History – and why the difference matters

Foucault, Arendt, Human Capital, and Consumption.

I want to pick up where last week’s post left off, because there were a few more titbits from Birth of Biopolitics that will have bearing on what I’m trying to do. After he makes the claim that Marx’s theory of labour power rendered the worker inert, Foucault moves on to talk about the idea … Continue reading Foucault, Arendt, Human Capital, and Consumption.