The earliest stirrings of modern industrial society may be traced back approximately 6,000 years ago, to emergence of the first cities, implementation of plow agriculture, and storage of food surpluses in the ancient Near East. Specialization and domestication were symptomatic of, and consequential to, these new socio-economic changes. Somewhat later in this nascent history, analytic and linguistic keys to the forward march of civilization found critical refinement in Aristotle’s syllogistic and the rudimentary founding of the sciences. The current trajectory of the West achieved full self-consciousness during the period of European Enlightenment, with the birth of rationalism and elaboration of the modern scientific method, eventually leading to industrialization, hyper-specialization, technological innovation, and increasing commodification.
* A truncated version of this article will appear in an upcoming edition of the newspaperBusiness Biysk, in Altai Krai, Russia.