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Thread: trade

  1. #1 trade 
    Forum Ph.D.
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    is trade the key to civilization?


    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Trade is the key for specialization, without trade everyone has to produce everything he/she needs. Specialization is a key component of civilization. For example a modern city is impossible without a high degree of specialization, for starters because city dwellers depend on someone else for their food, and have to offer something in return for it.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Imo Agriculture was a revolution that had a great role in the rise of civilizations of the past. Nomadic tribes could barter and trade in some fashion, could have tribal specialization to some degree (hunter, family caretaker, etc) but agriculture made it possible for people to grow sufficent food to do more stuff themselves or support many many more people doing other activities than was possible without agriculture in most cases.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    True. In a way agriculture and trade reinforced eachother.

    Trade without agriculture means there's not much to trade anyway: without agriculture there are very few people specialized in anything other than searching for food, so there are few tradeable goods available.

    Agriculture without trade means the potential of agriculture can't be unlocked: you need to get the surplus food production to those who don't produce food, and you need to transport tradeable goods back to the farmers to make it worthwhile for them to create a surplus in the first place. If you're not hungry you need another incentive to keep producing more food. Luxury goods and tools that are made available through trade are such an incentive.
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  6. #5  
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    Adam Smith the 18th century (back in the days when something useful cold be found in Scotland!) philosopher thought that competition and self-interest were the key variables in well-being and prosperity - and is (I think) regarded as the father of economics. I'd say that (aside from Mother Nature!) it is economics that is the primary force behind the changes to human civilization - imho it is economics that drives national interest and political will....
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  7. #6  
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    sounds like some Daniel Quinn fans are in here! nice.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    sounds like some Daniel Quinn fans are in here! nice.
    Who's that? :P
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