The Upper Paleolithic Revolution was the first step towards UTOPIA.
It was the shift in thinking that every individual lived and died
alone, or in small groups. The Upper Paleolithic Revolution changed
all this; it brought us a social structure that accompanies us to
this day. It gave us the social structure that made mankind alone
thrive over every other creature in existence. It gave us society,
and laws to ensure our safety, and government to ensure that everyone
worked for the greater good and obeyed the laws. It gave us large
societies, and with the large society came the benefits that we now
take for granted, benefits such as Laws for the good of the people,
and Culture for passing down of knowledge between generations.
Of course, the large society needed to be fed, and while the
pre-Upper Paleolithic revolution hominids could easily get by as
hunter/gatherers, the explosion in population that was the result of
living in the relative safety that a large society brought was not
sustainable by simply hunting or gathering. It forced us to invent
agriculture and with it, the agricultural revolution. It is not
inconceivable that many of those first proto-humans around at the
invention of the farm proclaimed that no man, woman or child would
ever starve again, as it took the efforts of a handful of the
population to feed everyone. One step closer to UTOPIA, but not there
The development of animal husbandry no doubt brought renewed hope
that the goal of UTOPIA was almost attained. Why hunt and risk losing
valuable members of society when you can simply grow poultry and
mammals in the same way you grew grain? Thus, even more people were
freed up from working all the time to feed themselves. Society could
simply expend a few people to spend all their time growing meat and
poultry, and the rest of society need not hunt. Even more people with
free time. Another step closer to UTOPIA, but not close enough. Not
Commerce and bartering, and the resulting development of money and
currency allowed people to specialise. Now a man need not learn how
to shoe a horse, as well as build a wall that won’t fall down in
the rain. He could spend all his time perfecting a single activity.
If he needed any other activities performed, he would simply pay
someone to perform it for him, and he in turn would get paid by
others to perform his specialised activity. This lead to a rapid
advancement in technology, because the activities were all performed
by experts who could practice getting remarkably good and quick at
what they do, and thus saved even more time for the average person.
Commerce brought the world yet another step closer to UTOPIA. A step
closer, but still light-years away.