LA obviously didn’t just rise out the ground as the big megalithic city it is today. Equipped with the food, music, and culture that currently inhabits it. It obviously arose over the course of the last hundred years on the backs of the American industrial revolution. I don’t know if anyone anticipated the exponential growth that was going to take place here in LA, and all the negative consequences that were going to come with it. As we idealize LA, and envision the potential of this great city, and even the potential for the whole world, we must first acknowledge where we came from, and what got us here in the first place. To discover what set us upon this trajectory in the first place.
A good place to start is probably in the biological old regime…a time before electricity, locomotives, and modern politics.
The biological old regime was an interesting time in history for many reasons. Cities began to form, communication started to expand, and new technologies were constantly being discovered. It was a dangerous time, but an exciting time nonetheless. Society was in the midst of constant attack by both intruders and viruses alike. Death was not an uncommon thing at these times, for instance most babies never even see the age of fifteen because of infection and disease. But for those who did make it past fifteen a whole new plethora of threats existed on the horizon.
The Biological Old Regime literally sounded like a jungle. If you did not have the safeguard of a city as a peasant the chance of survival was very slim. Seeing as numerous nomads scavenged the countryside looking for food and wealth. For this reason many peasants farmed the countryside’s and paid taxes to a nearby city for protection. Though the cities were more like slave drivers to the peasants, trying to squeeze as much as they could out of all of them. Oh, and I forgot to mention the literal jungle these people lived in. While you and I go see wildlife at a local zoo, these people had the zoo in their backyards. And while agriculture grew and farmers destroyed existing habitats, the animals came out and played. It was recorded that in China over the course of a single day 60 tigers had been caught and killed.
Other characteristics of the Old Regime include weather, climate change, and the affects they have on agriculture. Since agriculture was what everyone relied so heavily on at those times, it was crucial the circumstances were perfect. Changes in weather could mean no surplus of food to sell, not enough food to pay taxes, or even not enough too eat. This became the case in many situations and weather was the cause of many famines in the biological old regime. And when people were unable to feed themselves they relied on alternative methods of survival, whether they stole from others, sought out different food sources, our asked for aid from cities. The days of the old regime were not days I would have like to be a part of, but they are interesting nonetheless.
Based on the necessity of the castle walls for protection, you can see where ruling powers at that time got their authority. By offering protection they justified huge taxes and other stipulations. Similarly in our modern times the protection of our government warrants unprecedented amounts of surveillance, taxes, and more. The authority that subsequently fell on money gave those with a surplus authority over others. As seen currently this emphasis and power that money has been given has allowed money to make a lot of the decisions in our modern world regarding safety, the environment, politics and more.
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