The first city-states were organisations of exploitation and oppression, and a breeding ground for professional armies. They emerged independently in only a few regions around the world, but thanks to the new rule based on law and literacy, they were able to subdue foreign territories, nations and countries relatively permanently. Although empires rose and fell, the state structure spread almost all over the world during recorded history.
The state societies also launched an unprecedented development of science, technology and culture. It was fuelled by the struggle between opposing tendencies, which took place not only between different classes and layers of society but also within them.
Important milestones in this include:
The birth of philosophy
in ancient Athens. Philosophy – or the search for truth as an end in itself – was a significant turning point in the self-knowledge of humanity. It laid the foundation for a later scientific revolution. The debate over righteousness in ancient Athens is still one of the essential building blocks of a scientific view of human nature today.
The birth of the modern world.
During the Middle Ages, Western Europe lagged far behind, e.g. from China’s high culture. However, the lack of a strong central authority allowed the development of independent local communities. Since the 12th century, especially in the Italian city-states, a democratic and imperialistic market economy (so-called capitalism) was born. It launched an unprecedented, but at the same time a very contradictory, development.
Production for the market required democracy and the rule of law within the ruling class. That is what separated the modern world from earlier class societies. The expansion of trade also led to the creation of international law based on the sovereignty of states.
Industrial revolutions initially led to working days of up to 16 hours on hunger wages, child labour, etc. The imperialist states carried out ruthless oppression in their colonies, sparking rebellions and movements for independence.
Under the conditions of the modern world, most of the population has increasingly had the opportunity to fight for democratic rights and equality before the law against economic exploitation and politically ideological oppression.
The past era.
The rise and fall of the global socialist system and the communist world movement was the most significant event of the era. When evaluating it, one must consider what it was created against, i.e. the development stages of the so-called capitalism from colonialism to neo-colonialism and world wars.
The democratic market economy and the rule of law have proven to be the only sustainable foundation on which to build. On the other hand, without summarising the experiences of the past era and without a preserving negation (in a Hegelian sense) of Marxism, it is not possible to create a new historical-philosophical view of the path and the future of humanity.
Turn of the era.
Speculative financial capital has become a global power. It includes forces that threaten the democratic structures of states. On the other hand, the information technological revolution offers completely new opportunities for every member of the human species to participate in the decision-making of their own lives and of humanity as a whole.