Manuel de landa a thousand years of nonlinear history (ebook)

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  • 1. W h e n atoms a re trave l l i n g stra ight d o w n t h ro u gh empty q u i te i n d ete r m i n ate times and p l aces, t h ey swe r ve ever so litt l e fro m t h e i r co u rse , j ust so m u c h t h at yo u would call it a c h a n g� o f direct i o n . I f it w e re n ot fo r t h is swe rve, e v e ryt h i n g wo u l d fall d o w n ­ w a rd s t h r o u g h t h e a byss of space . No co l l i si o n wo u l d ta ke pl ace and n o i m p a ct o f ato m o n ato m wo u l d be c r e ated. T h u s n atu re wo u l d never have created a nyt h i ng. - Lucret i u sSwerve Editions Edited by Jonathan Crary, Sanford Kwinter, and Bruce Mau
  • 2. Contents 11 Introduction I : LAVAS AND MAGMAS 25 Geological History: 1000-1700 A.D. 57 Sandstone and Granite 71 Geological History: 1700-2000 A.D. II: FLESH AND GENES103 Biological History: 1000-1700 A.D.135 Species and Ecosystems149 Biological History: 1700-2000 A.D. III: MEMES AND NORMS183 Linguistic History: 1000-1700 A.D.215 Argu ments and Operators227 Linguistic History: 1700-2000 A.D.257 Conclusion and Speculations275 Notes
  • 3. Introd uctionDespite its title, this is nota book of history but a bookof philosophy. It is, however,a deeply historical philoso­phy, which holds as its cen­tral thesis that all structuresthat surround us and formour reality (mountains, ani­mals and plants, human lan­guages, social institutions)are the products of specifichistorical processes. To be11
  • 4. A THOUSAND YEARS OF NONL INEA R HISTORYco n s i st e n t , t h i s ty p e of phi l os o phy m u st ofn eces s i ty ta ke rea l history a s i ts sta rt i n gp o i n t . The p ro b l e m i s , of cou rs e , tha t thosewho w r i te history, how eve r scho l a r ly, do sofrom a g i ve n ph i l os o p h i ca l p o i n t of v i ew,a n d t h i s wou l d s e e m to t ra p u s i n a v i c i o u sc i rc l e . B u t ju st a s history a n d phi l os o phym ay i n te ra ct i n s u ch a way a s to m a ke a no bje ct i ve a s s e s s m e n t o f rea l i ty i m poss i b l e­whe n e n t re n che d worl d v i ews a n d ro u t i n e "-p ro ce d u res fo r gathe r i n g h i sto r i ca l ev i d e n ceco n stra i n e a ch othe r n egat i ve l y - they ca na l s o i n t e ra ct p o s i t i ve l y a n d t u r n th i s m u t u a ld e p e n d e n ce i n to a v i rt u o u s c i rc l e . M o re ove r,it m ay b e a rg u e d that t h i s p o s i t i ve i n te ra c ­t i o n ha s a l re a d y begu n . M a ny histori a n sha ve a b a n d o n e d the i r Eu roce n t r i s m a n dn ow q u est i o n the ve ry r i s e o f the We st (Whyn ot C h i n a o r I s l a nl? is n ow a com nl o n q u es­t i o n ) , a n d s o m e ha ve eve n l eft be h i n d the i ra n th ro p oce n t r i s m a n d i n c l u d e a host ofn o n hu m a n h i st o r i e s i n the i r a cco u nts . A n u m ­b e r of phi l os o phe rs , for the i r pa r t , ha ve be n e­f i ted f ro m the n ew histo r i ca l ev i d e n c e tha tscho l a rs s u ch a s Fe r n a n d B ra u d e l a n d W i l l i a mM c N e i l l ha ve u n ea rthe d , a n d ha ve u s e d i t a sa po i n t o f d e pa rt u re f o r a n ew, rev i ve d fo rm12
  • 5. INTRODUCTIONof m a t e r i a l i s m , l i b e rated f ro m the d ogm a s ofthe pa st. Phil o s o phy is n ot , howeve r, the o n ly d i s c i ­p l i n e that ha s be e n i n f l u e n ce d by a n ewawa re n ess of the ro l e of h i stor i ca l p rocesses .S c i enc e , too , ha s a cq u i re d a h i sto r i ca l co n ­s c i o u s n ess . I t i s n ot a n exa ggerat i o n to saytha t in the l a st tw o o r th re e d e ca d e s h i sto ryha s i n f i l t rated phys i cs , che m i stry, a n d b i o l ­ogy. I t i s t r u e that n i n ete e n th- ce n t u ry the r m o­d yn a m i cs ha d a l re a d y i n t ro d u ce d t i m esa r row i n to phys i cs , a n d he n ce the i d e a ofi r reve rs i b l e h i sto r i ca l p roces s e s . A n d thethe o ry of evol u t i o n ha d a l rea d y shown thata n i m a l s a n d p l a n ts we re n ot e m bod i m e n tsof ete r n a l es s e n ces but p i e ce m ea l histori ca lco n st r u ct i o n s , s l ow a cc u m u l at i o n s of a d a p ­t i ve t ra i t s ce m e n t e d togethe r v i a re p rod u c ­t i ve i s o l a t i o n . H oweve r, the c l a ss i ca l ve rs i o n so f thes e two the o r i es i n co r p o rated a rathe rwea k n ot i o n of h i story i n to the i r co n ce pt u a lm a chi n e ry: both c l a s s i ca l the r m o d y n a m i csa n d Da rwi n i s m a d m i tte d o n l y o n e poss i b l eh i st o r i ca l o u tco m e , the reachi n g of the r m a leq u i l i b r i u m o r o f the f i ttest d es i g n . I n bothcases , o n c e thi s p o i n t wa s re a che d , h i st o r i ca lp rocesses cea s e d t o cou n t . I n a s e n s e , o pt i-13
  • 6. A THOUSAND YEARS OF NONLINEAR HISTORYm a l design o r o pti m a l d i stribution of e n e rgy rep re s e n ted an e n d of h is­tory for t h es e t h eo ries. It s ho u l d com e a s n o s u r prise, then, t h at the cu rrent pen etrati o n ofscie nce by h i sto rical con ce r ns has been t h e res u l t of advan ces i n th esetwo d is ci p l i n es . l Iya P r igogi ne revol u t i o n ized the r m odyn a m ics in t h e1960s b y s howi ng t h at t h e c l assical resu lts were v a l i d o n ly fo r closed sys­tems, wh e re t h e overa l l q u a nti ties of e n e rgy a re a lways conserve d . I f o n ea l l ows a n i nt e n s e f l ow of e n e rgy in a n d o u t of a system (that is, if o n ep u s hes it fa r from equilibrium), the n u m be r a n d typ e of poss i b l e h isto ri calo utcomes greatly i ncreases. I n stead of a u n iq u e a n d s i m p l e fo rm o fsta bi l ity, we n o w h ave m u lti p l e coexisting forms of v a ry i n g co m plexity(static, periodic, a n d c h aotic attractors). M oreove r, w h e n a syste m switch e sf r o m o n e sta ble state t o a nother (at a critical point called a bifurcation),m i n o r fl u ct u a t i o n s m ay p l ay a crucial rol e i n deci d i ng the o u tco m e . T h u s ,w h e n we st u dy a give n p hysical system , w e n eed to k n o w t h e s pecificn at u re of t h e fl u ct u ati o n s t h at have been p re s e n t a t e a c h of its bifu rca­tio ns; in o th e r words, we n ee d to know its h isto ry to u n d e rstan d itsc u rrent dyn a m ical state.l A n d w h at i s t r u e of p hysical systems is all t h e m o re t r u e of bio l ogicalo nes. Attract ors and bifu rcatio n s a re feat u res o f any system in w h i c h t h edyn a m ics a re n ot o n ly far from eq u i l i b ri u m b u t a l so n o n linear, t h at i s , i nw h i c h t h e re a re stron g m ut u a l i nteracti o n s (o r feed back) betwee n co m po­n e nts. W h e t h e r the syste m in q u esti o n is com posed of m o l ec u l es or ofl iv i ng creat u res, it wi l l e x h i bit e n doge n o u sly gen erated sta b l e states, aswel l as s h a rp t r a n s iti o n s betwe e n state s, a s l o n g as t h e re is feed back a n da n i nte n se flow o f e n e rgy cou rs i ng t h ro u g h t h e system . As biol ogy begi nsto i n cl u de t h ese n o n l i ne a r dyn a m i ca l p h e n o m e n a i n its models - fo re xa m p le , t h e m ut u a l sti m u l ation i n vo lved i n t h e c a s e of evol u t i o na ry " a rmsraces" betwe e n p redato rs and p rey - t h e noti o n of a "fittest d esign" willlose its m e a n i ng . I n an a rm s r ace t h e re is no o pti m a l sol u t i o n fi xed o ncea n d fo r a l l , s i nce t h e criteri o n of "fitness" itself c ha nges with t h e dyna m ­ics.2 As t h e b e l i ef i n a fixed crite rion of opti m a l ity d is a p pears from b iol­ogy, rea l h i sto rical p rocesses com e to reassert t h e m se lves o nce m o re . T h u s , t h e move away f ro m e ne rgetic eq u i libri u m a n d l i n e a r ca u sa l ityh a s rei njected t h e n atu ra l s ci e n ces with h isto rica l co n ce rn s . T h i s book i sa n e x p l o ratio n of t h e possi b i lities that m i g h t be o p e n e d to p h i loso p h icalreflect i o n by a s i milar m ove i n t h e social scie nces i n gen eral a n d h istoryin p a rt ic u l a r. T hese pages exp l o re t h e poss i b i l ities of a n o n l i ne a r a n d n o n­e q u i l i b ri u m h isto ry by t raci ng t h e d evelopment of t h e West i n t h ree h is­torica l n arratives, each starti n g roughly i n the yea r 1000 and c u l m i n ati n gi n o u r own tim e , a t h o u s a n d yea rs l ate r. B u t doesn t t h i s a p p roach contra-14
  • 7. INTRODUCTIONd i ct my stated goa l ? I s n t the very idea of fol l ow i n g a line of development,centu ry by centu ry, i n h e re ntly l i n ea r? My a nswe r is t h at a n o n l i ne a r con­cept i o n of h i sto ry h a s a bsol u te l y n ot h i ng to do with a style of p rese nta­tion , as i f o n e cou l d t r u ly ca ptu re t h e n o neq u i l i b ri u m d y n a m ics of h u ma nh i sto rica l p rocesses by ju m p i ng back a n d fo rth a m o n g t h e centu ri e s . Ont h e co n t ra ry, w h at i s needed h e re is n ot a text u a l but a p hysical o p e ra­t i o n : m u ch as h isto ry has i n fi lt rated p hysics, we m u st n ow al low p hysicsto i nf i l trate h u m a n h i sto ry. E a r l i e r atte m pts i n t h is d i recti o n , most n ota bly in t h e p i o n ee ri ng wo rk oft h e p hysi ci st A rt h u r I bera l l , offer a u sefu l i l l u stratio n of t h e co n ce ptu a ls h i fts t h at t h i s i n fi l t rati o n wo u ld i nvolve. I be ral l was p e r h a p s t h e fi rst t ovisu a l ize t h e majo r t r a n s i ti o n s i n earl y h u m a n h isto ry (t h e transitio ns fromh u nter-gat h e r e r to agricu l t u r a l ist, a n d fro m agric u ltu ra l ist to city d we l l e r)n ot as a l i n e a r advance u p t h e l a d d e r of progress b u t a s t h e cross i ng ofn o n l i n ear critical t h re s h o l d s (bifu rcatio n s). M o re specifica l ly, m u c h as agiven c h e m ical co m po u nd (wate r, fo r exa m p l e) m ay exist i n seve ral d is­ti nct states (so l i d , l i q u id , o r gas) and may switch from sta ble state tosta b l e state a t critical poi nts i n the i n te n sity o f tem p e ratu re (ca l led phasetransitions), so a h u m a n soci ety m ay be seen as a " m ate r i a l " c a p a b l e ofu n d e rgoi ng t h ese c h a nges of state as it rea c h es critica l mass in te rmsof d e n s ity of sett l e m e nt, a mo u nt of e n e rgy co n s u m e d , o r even i nten sityof i nteracti o n . I be ra l l i n vites u s t o view e a rl y h u nte r-gat h ere r b a n d s a s gas particl es, i nt h e s e n se t h at t h ey l ived a p a rt fro m e a c h oth e r a n d t h e refo re i ntera ctedrarely and u n syste matical ly. ( Based on the et h n ogra p h i c evi d e n ce t h atb a n d s typi cal ly l i ved a bo u t s eve nty m i les a p a rt a n d assu m i n g t h at h u m a n scan w a l k a b o u t twen ty-five m i les a d ay, h e c a lc u l ates t h at any two b a n d swe re sepa rated b y m o re t h a n a days d i sta nce fro m o n e a noth e r.3) W h e nh u m a n s fi rst bega n t o cu ltivate ce re a l s a n d t h e i nte ract io n b etwe e nh u m a n bei ngs a n d p l a nts created sed e n tary com m u n ities, h u m a n ity l iq u e­fied o r c o n d e n se d i nto gro u p s w hose i n te racti o n s we re n ow m o re f re q u e nta l t h o u g h sti l l l oosely regu lated. F i n a l ly, w h e n a few of t hese com m u nitiesi nten sified agricu ltu ra l p rod u cti o n to t h e point w h e re s u rpl u ses cou ld beharvested , sto re d , and red i stri b u ted (fo r t h e fi rst t i m e a l l ow i n g a d iv i s i o no f l a bo r b etwe e n p rod u ce rs a n d co n s u m e rs of foo d ) , h u m a n ity a cq u i reda crysta l state , in t h e s e n se t h a t central gover n ments now i m posed a sym­metrical grid of l aws a n d regu latio n s on t h e u rban pop u latio n s . 4 H owever oversim p l i fied t h i s p ictu re m ay be, i t co n ta i n s a s i gn ificant cl u eas to t h e n at u re of n o n l i n ear h i story: i f t h e d i ffe rent "stages" of h u m a nh isto ry w e r e i nd eed b r o u g h t a bo u t b y p h ase tran s i t i o n s , t h e n t h ey a r enot " stages" at a l l - that i s , p rogressive developme ntal ste ps , e a c h b ette r15
  • 8. A THOUSAND YEARS OF NONLINEAR HISTORYt h a n the p revio u s o n e , a n d i ndeed leaving the p revious o n e be h i n d . O nt h e co ntrary, m u c h as wate rs s o lid , l i qu id , a n d gas p h ases m ay coexist,so eac h new h u m a n p hase s i m ply added itse lf to the ot h e r o nes, coexist­i n g a n d i nteract i ng w i t h t h e m with o u t l eavi ng t h e m in the past. M o re­ove r, m u c h a s a given material may s o l id ify i n alte rn ative ways (as ice o rs n owfl ake , a s crysta l o r g lass), s o h u ma n ity l i q u efied a n d l ater s o l i d ifiedin d iffe rent f o r m s. The n o m a d s of the Steppes ( H u ns, M o ngo ls), fo rexa m p l e , d o m esticated a n i m a ls not p l a nts, a n d t h e c o n se q u e nt pastorall i festyl e i m posed on them t h e n eed to move wit h t h e i r f locks, al most as i ft h ey had con d ensed n ot i nto a p o o l of l iq u id b u t i nto a m ovi ng, a t t i m est u r b u l ent, f l u id. W h e n t hese n o m a d s d i d acqu i re a s o l i d state (d u r i ng t h er e i g n o f Ge n g h i s Kh a n , for i n sta nce), t h e resu lt i n g struct u re w a s m o re l ikeglass than crysta l , m o re a m o rp h o u s and l ess ce ntral ized. I n oth e r word s ,h u m a n h i story d id n ot fol low a straight l i ne , a s if everyt h i ng poi ntedtowa rd c i v i l ized societies a s h u m a n itys u ltimate goa l . On the contra ry, ateach bifu rcatio n alte r n ative sta ble states were p o ss i b l e, a n d o nce act u a l ­ized , t h ey coexisted a n d i nteracted w i t h o n e a not h e r. I a m awa re t h at a l l we have h e re a re s u ggestive meta p h o rs. I t i s t h etask o f t h e variou s c h a pters o f t h i s book t o attem pt t o re m ove t h at meta­p ho rica l co nte nt. M o reover, eve n a s m eta p hors, I be ra l l s i m ages s u ffe rfrom a n oth e r d rawback: i no rga n ic m atter-e n e rgy h a s a wi d e r ra nge ofa ltern atives fo r t h e ge n e r atio n of struct u re t h a n j u st t h ese s i m p l e p haset r a n s itio n s , and w h at is true fo r s i m p l e "stu ff" m u st be all the m o reso for t h e c o m p l ex m ate r i a ls t h at for m h u m a n c u l t u res. I n ot h e r word s,eve n t h e h u m b l e st forms of m atter and e n e rgy h ave t he pote nti a l forself-orga nization beyon d t h e rel atively s i m p l e type i n vo lved i n t h e cre­ati o n of crystal s. T h e re a re , fo r i nsta nce, those co h e rent waves cal ledsolitons, wh ich fo rm i n m a ny d iffe re nt types of m aterials, rangi ng fromoce a n wat e rs (w h e re t h ey a re ca l led t s u n a m is) to lasers. T h e n t h e re a ret h e a fo re m e ntio n ed sta b l e states (or att racto rs), w h ich can s u stai n co­h e rent cycl i c act i vity of d i fferent types (peri od i c o r c h a otic).5 Fi n a l ly, a n du n l ike t h e p revio u s exa m p le s o f n o n l i n e a r self-orga n izat i o n w he re tru ei n novatio n ca n n ot occu r, t he re is w h at we may ca l l " n o n l i ne a r combi n a­torics , " w h i c h explo res t h e d iffe rent com b i n at i on s i nto w h i c h e ntitiesd e rived from the p revio u s p rocesses (crysta l s , co h ere n t p u l ses, cyclicpatte rns) m ay e nter. I t is from t h ese u nl i m ited com b i n at i o n s t h at tru l yn ovel struct u res a re ge n e rated.6 W h e n p u t togeth e r, a l l t hese fo r m s o fspo ntan e o u s struct u ra l ge n e ratio n suggest t h at i n o rga n ic matte r i s m uc hm o re v a r i a b l e a n d c reative t h a n w e ever i m agi ned . A n d t h i s i nsight i ntom atters i n h erent creativity n ee d s to be fu l ly i ncorpo rated i nto o u r newm at e ri a l ist p h i losop h ie s .16
  • 9. INTRODUCTION W h i le t h e co nce pt of s e l f-o rga n izati o n , as a p p lied to p u rely m ate r i a la n d e n e rgetic syste m s , h as bee n s ha rp e n e d co nsiderably o v e r t h e l astt h ree decades, it sti l l n e e d s to be refi ned before we can a p p ly it to thecase of h u m a n societies. Specifica l ly, we need to tak e i nto acco u n t t h ata ny expl a n at i o n of h u m a n be h av i o r m u st i n volve �:efe rence to i rred u ci b l ei ntention a l e ntities s u c h a s " be l i efs" a n d " d e s i re s , " s i nce expectatio n sa n d p refe re nces a re w h at g u i d e h u ma n d e c i s i o n m a k i n g i n a w i d e rangeof soc i a l activities , s u c h as pol itics a n d e co n omics. I n som e cases t h ed ecisio n s m a d e b y i nd ivid u a l h u m a n be i ngs a re h i g h ly con stra i ned b yt h e i r position a nd ro l e i n a h i era rc h ic a l o rgan izatio n a n d a re , t o t h a t e x­tent, gea red towa rd m e eti n g t h e goa l s of t h at o rgan izatio n . I n oth e r cases,h oweve r, w h at matters i s n ot the pl a n ned resu lts of decisi o n m a k ing,b u t t h e unintended collective consequences of h u m a n d ec i s i on s. T h e besti l l u stratio n of a soc i a l i n stitu t i o n t h at e m e rges sponta ne o us l y fro m t h ei nteract i o n o f m a ny h u ma n d e c i s i o n m a kers is t h at of a p re-ca pita l istm arket, a col lective e n tity a ri s i ng from the d ecentral ized i nte ractio n ofm any b uye rs and s e l l e rs , with n o central " d e c i d e r" coord i n ati n g t h ew h o l e proce ss. I n s o m e m o d e l s , t h e dyna m ics o f markets a r e gover n e db y period ic attracto rs, w h i ch fo rce m a r kets t o u nd e rgo boom-a n d -b u stcycles of varying d u rati o n , from t h ree-ye a r b u s i n ess cycles to fifty-yea r­l o ng waves . W h et h e r a p p lied to se lf-o rgan ized forms o f m atte r-energy o r to t h e u n­p l a n ned res u lt s of h u m a n age ncy, t hese new co n cepts d e m a nd a n ewm ethodo logy, a n d it is t h is meth odologica l c h a nge t h at m ay p rove to be ofp h i loso p h i c a l s i g n ifican ce . Part of w h at t h i s c h a nge i nvolves is fai rly o bvi­ous: the eq u at i o n s scie ntists u s e to model n o n l i n e a r proce sses c a n not besolved by h a n d , but d e m a n d the use of com p ute rs . M o re tec h n ical ly, u n­l i ke l i n e a r e q u at i o n s (th e type m ost p reval e n t i n scie nce), n o n l i n ear o n esa re very d iffic u l t to sol ve analytically, and d e m a n d the u se of d et a i ledn u m erical s i m u l at i o n s carried o u t with the h el p of d igital m a c h i n es. T h isl i m itat i o n of a n a lytical tool s for t h e stu d y of no nli n e a r d y n a m i cs beco m eseven m o re co n stra i n i ng i n t h e case of no n l i ne a r co m bi natorics. I n t hiscase, ce rta i n com b i n at i o n s w i l l d i s pl ay emergent properties, t h at is, prop­e rties of the co m b i n a t i o n as a w h o l e w h i c h a re m o re t h a n t h e s u m ofits i n d ivi d u a l p arts. T h ese e m e rge n t (or " synergi stic" ) properties belo ngto the interactions between parts, so it fo l l ows t h at a top-down a n a lyticala p p roac h that begi n s with the w h o l e a nd d is sects it i nto its co n stitu e ntp a rts (a n ecosystem i nto s pecies, a society i nto i n stitutio n s), i s bou nd tom iss p recisely those p rope rti es. I n ot h e r wo rd s , a n a lyzi ng a w h o l e i ntopa rts a n d t h e n attem pt i ng to m o d e l it by adding up t h e com p o n e nts w i l lfa i l t o capt u re a n y p roperty t hat e m e rged from co m p l ex inte raction s ,17
  • 10. A THOUSAND YEARS OF NONLINEAR HISTORYsince the effect of the latter may be multiplicative (e.g., mutual enhance­ment) and not just additive. Of course, analytical tools cannot simply be dismissed due to thisinherent limitation. Rather a top-down approach to the study of complex ,entities needs to be complemented with a bottom-up approach: analysisneeds to go hand in hand with synthesis. And here, just as in the case ofnonlinear dynamics, computers offer an indispensable aid. For example,instead of studying a rain forest top down, starting from the forest as awhole and dividing it into species, we unleash within the computer a pop­ulation of interacting virtual "animals" and "plants" and attempt to gen­erate from their interactions whatever systematic properties we ascribe tothe ecosystem as a whole. Only if the resilience, stability, and other prop­erties of the whole (such as the formation of complex food webs) emergespontaneously in the course of the simulation can we assert that we havecaptured the nonlinear dynamics and combinatorics of rain forest forma­tion. (This is, basically, the approach taken by the new discipline of Artifi­cial LifeJ) I n this book, I attempt a philosophical approach to history which is asbottom-up as possible. This does not mean, of course, that every one ofmy statements has emerged after careful synthetic simulations of socialreality. I do take into account the results of many bottom-up simulations(in urban and economic dynamics), but research in this direction isstill in its infancy. My account is bottom-up in that I make an effort notto postulate systematicity when I cannot show that a particular system­generating process has actually occurred. (I n particular, I refrain fromspeaking of society as a whole forming a system and focus instead on sub­sets of society.) Also, I approach entities at any given level (the level ofnation-states, cities, institutions, or individual decision makers) in termsof populations of entities at the level immediately below. Methodologically, this implies a rejection of the philosophical founda­tions of orthodox economics as well as orthodox sociology. Although theformer (neoclassical microeconomics) begins its analysis at the bottomof society, at the level of the individual decision maker, it does so in away that atomizes these components, each one of which is modeled asmaximizing his or her individual satisfaction ("marginal utility") in isola­tion from the others. Each decision maker is further atomized by theassumption that the decisions in question are made on a case-by-casebasis, constrained only by budgetary limitations, ignoring social normsand values that constrain individual action in a variety of ways. Orthodoxsociology (whether functionalist or Marxist-structuralist), on the otherhand, takes society as a whole as its point of departure and only rarely18
  • 11. INTRODUCTIONattempts to explain in detail the exact historical processes through whichcollective social institutions have emerged out of the interactions amongindividuals. Fortunately, the last few decades have witnessed the birth and growthof a synthesis of economic and sociological ideas (under the banner of"neoinstitutional economics"), as exemplified by the work of such authorsas Douglas North, Viktor Vanberg, and Oliver Williamson. This new school(or set of schools) rejects the atomism of neoclassical economists as wellas the holism of structuralist-functionalist sociologists. I t preserves "meth­odological individualism" (appropriate to any bottom-up perspective) butrejects the idea that individuals make decisions solely according to self­interested (maximizing) calculations, and instead models individuals asrule followers subjected to different types of normative and institutionalconstraints that apply collectively. Neoinstitutionalism rejects the "metho­dological holism" of sociology but preserves what we may call its "onto­logical holism," that is, the idea that even though collective institutionsemerge out of the interactions among individuals, once they have formedthey take on "a life of their own" (i.e., they are not just reified entities)and affect individual action in many different ways.8 Neoinstitutionalist economists have also introduced sociological con­cepts into economics by replacing the notion of "exchange of goods" withthe more complex one of "transaction," which brings into play differentkinds of collective entities, such as institutional norms, contracts, andenforcement procedures. I ndeed, the notion of "transaction" may be saidto add to linear economics some of the "friction" that its traditional mod­els usually leave out: imperfections in markets due to limited rationality,imperfect information, delays and bottlenecks, opportunism, high-costenforceability of contracts, and so on. Adding "transaction costs" to theclassical model is a way of acknowledging the continuous presence of non­linearities in the operation of real markets. One of the aims of the presentbook is to attempt a synthesis between these new ideas and methodolo­gies in economics and the corresponding concepts in the sciences of self­organization.9 I n Chapter One I approach this synthesis through an exploration ofthe history of urban economics since the Middle Ages. I take as my pointof departure a view shared by several materialist historians (principallyBraudel and McNeill): the specific dynamics of European towns were oneimportant reason why China and I slam, despite their early economic andtechnological lead, were eventually subjected to Western domination.Given that an important aim of this book is to approach history in a non­teleological way, the eventual conquest of the millennium by the West19
  • 12. A THOUSAND YCARS OF NONLINCAR HISTORYwill not be viewed as the result of "progress" occurring there while failingto take place outside of Europe, but as the result of certain dynamics(such as the mutually stimulating dynamics involved in arms races) thatintensify the accumulation of knowledge and technologies, and of certaininstitutional norms and organizations. Several different forms of mutualstimUlation (or of "positive feedback," to use the technical term) will beanalyzed, each involving a different set of individuals and institutions andevolving in a different area of the European urban landscape. Furthermore,it will be argued that the I ndustrial Revolution can be viewed in terms ofreciprocal stimulation between technologies and institutions, wherebythe elements involved managed to form a closed loop, so that the entireassemblage became self-sustaining. I refer to this historical narrativeas "geological" because it concerns itself exclusively with dynamical ele­ments (energy flow, nonlinear causality) that we have in common withrocks and mountains and other nonliving historical structures. Chapter Two addresses another sphere of reality, the world of germs,plants, and animals and hence views cities as ecosystems, albeitextremely simplified ones. This chapter goes beyond questions of inani­mate energy flow, to consider the flows of organic materials that haveinformed urban life since the Middle In particular, it considers theflow of food, which keeps cities alive and in most cases comes fromoutside the town itself. Cities appear as parasitic entities, deriving theirsustenance from nearby rural regions or, via colonialism and conquest,from other lands. This chapter also considers the flow of genetiC materi­als through generations- not so much the flow of human genes asthose belonging to the animal and plant species that we have managedto domesticate, as well as those that have constantly eluded our control,such as weeds and microorganisms. Colonial enterprises appear in thischapter not only as a means to redirect food toward the motherland,but also as the means by which the genes of many nonhuman specieshave invaded and conquered alien ecosystems. Finally, Chapter Three deals with the other type of "materials" thatenter into the human mixture: linguistic materials. Like minerals,inanimate energy, food, and genes, the sounds, words, and syntacticalconstructions that make up language accumulated within the walls ofmedieval (and modern) towns and were transformed by urban dynamics.Some of these linguistic materials (learned, written Latin, for example)were so rigid and unchanging that they simply accumulated as a deadstructure. But other forms of language (vulgar, spoken Latin) were dy­namic entities capable of giving birth to new structures, such as French,Spanish, I talian, and Portuguese. This chapter traces the history of20
  • 13. INTRODUCTIONthese emergences, most of them in urban environments, as well as of theeventual rigidification (through standardization) of the dialects belongingto regional and national capitals, and of the effects that several genera­tions of media (the printing press, mass media, computer networks) havehad on their evolution. Each chapter begins its narrative in the year 1000 A.D. and continues(more or less linearly) to the year 2000. Yet, as I said above, despite theirstyle of presentation, these three narratives do not constitute a "real"history of their subjects but rather a sustained philosophical meditationon some of the historical processes that have affected these three typesof "materials" (energetic, genetic, and linguistic). The very fact that eachchapter concentrates on a single "material" (viewing 11uman history, asit were, from the point of view of that particular material) will make thesenarratives hardly recognizable as historical accounts. Yet, most of thegeneralizations to be found here have been made by historians and arenot the product of pure philosophical speculation. In the nonlinear spirit of this book, these three worlds (geological, bio­logical, and linguistic) will not be viewed as the progressively more sophis­ticated of an evolution that culminates in humanity as its crowningachievement. It is true that a small subset of geological materials (car­bon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nine other elements) formed the substratumneeded for l iving creatures to emerge and that a small subset of organicmaterials (certain neurons in the brain) provided the SUbstratum for lan­guage. But far from advancing in stages of increased perfection, thesesuccessive emergences were-and will be treated here as-mere accumu­lations of different types of materials, accumulations in which each suc­cessive layer does not form a new world closed in on itself but, on thecontrary, results in coexistences and interactions of different kinds. Be­sides, each accumulated layer is animated from within by self-organizingprocesses, and the forces and constraints behind this spontaneousgeneration of order are common to all three. In a very real sense, reality is a single matter-energy undergoing phasetransitions of various kinds, with each new layer of accumulated "stuff"simply enriching the reservoir of nonlinear dynamics and nonlinear com­binatorics available for the generation of novel structures and processes.Rocks and winds, germs and words, are all different manifestations ofthis dynamic material reality, or, in other words, they all represent the dif­ferent ways in which this single matter-energy expresses itself. Thus, whatfollows will not be a chronicle of "man" and "his" historical achievements,but a philosophical meditation on the history of matter-energy in its dif­ferent forms and of the multiple coexistences and interactions of these21
  • 14. A THOUSAND YEA RS OF NONLINEAR HISTORYforms. Geological, organic, and linguistic materials will all be allowed to"have their say" in the form that this book takes, and the resulting cho­rus of material voices will, I hope, give us a fresh perspective on theevents and processes that have shaped the history of this millennium.
  • 15. Geological History1000-1700 A.D.We live in a world populatedby structures-a complexmixture of geological, biologi­cal, social, and linguistic con­structions that are nothing butaccumulations of materialsshaped and hardened by his­tory. I mmersed as we are inthis mixture, we cannot helpbut interact in a variety ofways with the other historicalconstructions that surround25
  • 16. I: LAV S AND MAGMAS Au s , a n d i n thes e i n te ra ct i o n s w e ge n e raten ove l c o m b i n a t i o n s , some of wh i ch possesse m e rge n t p ro p e rt i es . I n t u r n , these sy n e r ­g i st i c com b i n a t i o n s , whethe r of hu m a n o r i g i no r n ot , b e co m e the raw m ate r i a l fo r f u rthe rm i x t u res . Th i s i s how the po p u l a t i o n of st r u c ­t u res i n ha b i t i n g o u r p l a n et ha s a cq u i re d i tsr i ch va r i ety, a s the e n t ry of n o ve l m a t e r i a l si nto the m i x t r i gge rs w i l d p ro l i fe rat i o n s of n ewform s . I n the o rga n i c wo r l d , for i n sta n c e , soft t i s ­s u e (ge l s a n d a e ro s o l s , m u s c l e a n d n e rve)re i g n ed s u p re nl e u n t i l 500 m i l l i o n ye a rs a go .At that p o i n t , s o m e of the co n g l o nl e rat i o n s off l eshy m atte r - e n e rgy that nl a d e u p l i fe u n d e r­we nt a s u d d e n mineralization, a n d a n e w nl a t e ­ri a l for co n st r u ct i n g l i v i n g c reat u res e m e rge d :bo n e . I t i s a l m o st a s i f the m i n e ra l wo r l d thatha d s e rve d as a s u b strat u m for the e m e rge n ceof b i o l o g i ca l c re a t u res was rea s s e rt i n g its e l f,co n f i r m i n g that ge o l ogy, fa r f ro m ha v i n g b e e nl eft b ehi n d a s a p r i m i t i ve sta ge of the ea rthsevo l ut i o n , fu l ly coex i ste d with the s oft, ge l a t i­n o u s n ewco m e rs . Pr i m i t i ve bo n e , a st i ff, ca l ­c i f i e d c e n t ra l rod that wo u l d l a t e r b e co m e theve rte b ra l co l u m n , nl a d e new fo r m s of nl ove ­m e n t co n t ro l po s s i b l e anl 0 n g a n i m a l s , free i n g26
  • 17. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . Dthe m from m a n y co n st ra i n ts a n d l i t e ra l l y s et­t i n g the m i n to m ot i o n to co n q u e r eve ry a va i l ­a b l e n i che i n the a i r, i n wat e r, a n d o n l a n d .A n d yet , whi l e bo n e a l l ow e d the co m p l ex i f i ­cat i o n of the a n i m a l phy l u m to wh i ch w e , a sve rte b rates , b e l o n g , i t n eve r fo rgot its m i n e ra lo r i g i n s: i t i s the l i v i n g m ate r i a l that nl ost e a s ­i l y p et r i f i es , tha t m o st re a d i ly crosses thethresho l d b a c k i n to the wo r l d of ro c ks . Fo rthat rea so n , m u ch of the geo l o g i ca l re co rd i sw r i tte n w i th foss i l b o n e . The hu m a n e n d o s ke l eto n was o n e of them a n y p ro d u cts of that a n c i e n t m i n e ra l iza t i o n .Yet that i s n ot the o n ly ge o l o g i ca l i n f i lt rat i o nthat the hu m a n s p e c i es ha s u n d e rgo n e .A bo u t e i ght tho u s a n d yea rs a go , hu m a n p o p ­u l at i o n s bega n m i n e ra l iz i n g a ga i n whe n theyd eve l o p e d a n u r b a n exoskeleton: b r i c ks ofs u n - d r i e d c l ay beca m e the b u i l d i n g nl ate ri a l sfo r the i r ho m e s , wh i ch i n t u r n s u r rou n d e da n d w e re s u r r o u n d e d b y sto n e m o n u nl e n tsa n d d efe n s i ve wa l l s . Thi s exos ke l eto n s e rve da p u r p o s e s i m i l a r to its i n te r n a l cou n te r pa rt:to co n t ro l the m o ve m e n t of hu m a n f l esh i na n d o u t of a tow n s wa l l s . The u r b a n exos ke l e­to n a l so re gu l at e d the m ot i o n of m a n y othe rthi n gs : l u x u ry o bj e cts , news , a n d foo d , fo r27
  • 18. I: L A VAS AND MAGMASexa m p l e . I n partic u l a r, t h e wee kly m a rkets t h at have always e xisted att h e h e a rt of most cities a n d towns con stituted verita b l e motors, pe ri­odica l ly co nce ntrati n g people a nd goods fro m near a n d fa raway regi o n sa n d t h e n sett i n g t h e m i nto motio n aga i n , a l o n g a v a ri ety of tradecirc u its.1 T h u s , t h e u rban i n frastruct u re m ay be said to p e rfo r m , fo r tightlypacked p o p u l at i o n s of h u m a n s, the same fu nct i o n of m otio n co ntro lt h at o u r b o n es do i n re l atio n to o u r f l e s h y p a rts. A n d , i n bot h cases,a d d i ng m i n e ra l s to t h e mix resulted i n a fa ntastic co m b i n atorial explo­s i o n , greatly i n c re a s i n g the variety of a n i mal a n d c u lt u ra l designs. Wem u st be ca refu l w h e n d raw i ng t h ese a n a logies, however. I n p a rticu l a r, wem u st avo id t h e e rro r of co m pa ring cities to o rga n i s m s , e speci a l ly w h e nt h e meta p h o r i s m e a n t t o i m ply (as it has i n the past) t h at bot h exist i na state of i nt e r n a l eq u i l i bri u m , o r h o m eostasis. R a t h e r, u rba n cente rsa n d l iv i n g creat u res m u st be seen as differen t dyn a m ical systems ope rat­i ng fa r fro m eq u i l i b ri u m , t h at is, t raversed by m o re or l e ss i nte nse flowsof m atte r-e n e rgy t h at provoke th e i r u n i q u e meta m o r p h oses.2 I nd eed , u rba n m o r p h oge nesis has d e p e n d e d , from its a ncient begi n­nings in the Fe rti l e C rescent, on i nten sification of the co n s u m ption ofno n h u m a n e n e rgy. T h e a nt h ropologist R ic h a rd N ewbold A d a m s , whosees soc i a l evo l u t i o n as just a not h e r form t h at t h e self-o rga n izat i o n ofe n e rgy m ay ta ke, h as poi nted out t h at t h e fi rst s u c h i nte n s i ficatio n wasthe cu ltivat i o n of cerea l s . 3 Si nce p l a nts, via p h otosynthesis, s i m ply co n ­v e rt so l a r e n e rgy i nto suga rs, cu ltivation i n creased t h e a m o u nt of so l a re n e rgy t h at traversed h u m a n societies. W h e n food prod uct i o n wasfu rt h e r i nt e n s i fi e d , h u m a n ity crossed the bifu rcat i o n t h at gave rise tou rb a n struct u res. The e l ites t h at r u l ed t h ose e a rly citi es i n tu r n m a d eot h e r i ntens ificat i o n s possi b l e - by devel opi ng l a rge i rrigation syste ms,fo r exam p le - a n d u rban cente rs m utated i nto t h e i r i m pe r i a l fo r m . Iti s i m portant to e m p h asi ze, howev e r, t h at cerea l cu ltivat i o n was o n ly o n eof several pos s i b l e ways o f i ntenSifyi ng energy fl ow. A s several a n t h ro­p o l ogists h ave poi nted out, t h e e m e rgence of cities m ay have fol l owedalternative ro utes to in tensification, a s w h e n the e m e rge nce of u rb a n l ifei n Peru fed off a reservoi r of fish.4 W h at matters is n ot agri c u ltu re p e rs e , b u t t h e great i n crease i n t h e flow of m atter-e n e rgy t h ro u g h society,as we l l as t h e t ra n sfo rm atio n s i n u rb a n fo rm t h at t h i s i ntense flowm a k es possi b l e . F ro m t h is po i nt o f v iew c i t i e s a rise f r o m t h e flow o f m atter-e ne rgy, b u to n ce a town s m i n e ra l i n frastructu re h as e m erged, i t reacts t o t hoseflows, creati ng a n ew set o f constraints t h at eit h e r i nten sifies or i n h i bitst hem. N eed l ess to say, the wal ls, m o n u mental b u i l d i ngs, streets, a n d28
  • 19. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A.Dh o uses of a town wo u l d m a k e a rat her weak s et of c o n strai nts if t heyope rated on t h eir own . Of co u rse, t h ey do not. O u r histo rical exp l o rati o nof u rba n dyna mics m u st t h e re fo re incl u d e a n a n alysis o f t h e institutionst h at i n h a bit cities, w h et h e r the b u re a u c racies t h at run t h e m o r the m a r­kets t h at a nimate t h e m . Although th ese in stit u tio n s a re t h e p rod u ct ofcol l ective h u ma n decisio n m a k i ng, o n ce in pl ace t h ey also react back o nt h eir h u m a n co m po n e nts t o limit t h e m a n d control t h e m , or, o n t h e co n ­tra ry, to s et t h e m in moti o n or acce l erate t heir m ut atio n. ( H e n ce institu­tio n s co n stitute a set of e m e rge nt positive a n d n egative co n stra i nts, buto n a smaller sca l e . ) T he birt h of E u rope , a ro u n d t h e e l ev e n t h centu ry of o u r e r a , w a s m a d epossible by a great agricu ltu ra l inten sificatio n . A s Lyn n W hite, Jr. , a h i sto­ria n of me dieval tec h n ology, has s h ow n , in the cent u ries p receding t h eseco n d mil l e n ni u m , " a s e ries of i n n ovatio n s occu rred which consolid ate dto fo rm a rem a rk a b ly effici e nt new way of exploiting t h e soil."5 T h esein n ovati o n s (t h e hea vy p l ow, n ew ways of ha rnessing the horses m u scu­lar e n e rgy, t h e open-fie l d syste m , a n d t ri e n nia l fiel d rotatio n ) we re m ut u ­a l ly e n h a n cing a s we l l as interd e p e n d e nt, so t h at o n ly w h e n t h ey fu l lym e s h e d we re t h eir inte n sifying effects felt. T h e l a rge i ncrease in t h e fl owof ene rgy created by t his web of tech nologies a l l owed fo r t h e reco nstitu ­tion o f t h e E u ro pe a n exos keleto n , t h e u rban fra mewo rk t h at h a d fo r t h em ost part col l a psed wit h t h e R o m a n Em pire . Begin ning a ro u n d 1000 A.D.,l a rge popu latio n s of wal l e d tow ns a n d fo rtified castles a p p e a red in twogreat zo nes: in t h e sout h , a l o n g t h e Medite r ra n e a n coast, a n d in t h en o rt h , a l o ng t h e coa stl a n d s lying betwee n t h e t rade wate rs of t h e N o rt hS e a a n d t h e Baltic. As city histo ria n s often point out, u rb a nizatio n h a s a lways been a dis­co ntin u o u s p h e n o m e n o n . B u rsts of rapid growt h are fo llowed by l o n g pe ri­ods of stagn atio n . 6 T h e wave of accel e rated city b u i lding t h at occu r redin E u rope between t h e e l eventh a n d t hi rte e n t h cent u ries is no exceptio n .M a ny of t h e great tow n s i n t h e n o rt h , s u c h a s B r u s s e l s a n d A ntwe rp,were born in this p e riod , and the fa r older cities of I t a ly and the R hi n e­l a n d experienced e n o r m o u s growt h . Th is acce le ratio n in u rban d evel op­m e nt, howeve r, wo u ld not b e m atched fo r a n ot h e r five h u n d red years,when a new intensificatio n in the flow of e n ergy - t his t i m e a rising fro mt h e exp l oitation of fossi l f u e l s - p ropel l ed a n ot h e r great spu rt of cityb i rth a n d growt h in t h e 1800s. I n te restingly, m o re t h a n t h e prolife ratio nof facto ry tow n s m a d e possible by co a l , t h e "tid a l wave of mediev a l u rba n­izatio n"7 l aid out the most e n d u ring featu res of the E u ropea n u rbanstruct u re, featu res t h at wo u l d contin u e to i n fl u e nce t h e cou rse of histo rywel l into the twe n tieth centu ry.29
  • 20. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAS There are two basic processes by which cities can emerge and grow.A town may develop spontaneously, acquiring its irregular shape by fol­lowing the topographical features of the landscape, or it may inheritits shape from the distribution of villages that have amalgamated to formit. Such was the case of medieval Venice, which accounts for its labyrin­thine streets. On the other hand, a city may be the result of consciousplanning; a regular, symmetrical form may be imposed on its develop­ment, to facilitate orderly settlement. During the deceleration that fol­lowed the year 1300, the relatively few new c ities that were born were ofthe latter type, perhaps reflecting the increasing political centralizationof the time. Versailles, with its grid of broad avenues converging at thecenter of power, is a perfect illustration. However, the difference betweenself-organized and planned cities is not primarily one of form, but of thedecision�making processes behind the. genesis and subsequent develop­ment of that form. That is, the crucial distinction is between centralizedand decentralized decision making in urban development. There aretowns that have been purposefully designed to mimic the "organic" formof curvilinear streets, and there are towns whose grid-patterned streetsevolved spontaneously, due to some peculiarity of the environment.Furthermore, most cities are mixtures of the two processes: If we were to scan several hundred city plans at random across the range of history, we would discover a more fundamental reason to question the usefulness of urban dichotomies based on geometry. We would find that the two primary versions of urban arrangement, the planned and the "organic", often exist side by side.. .. In Europe, new additions to the dense medieval cores of historic towns were always regular... , Most his­ toric towns, and virtually all those of metropolitan size, are puzzles of premeditated and spontaneous segments, variously interlocked or juxta­ posed .... We can go beyond. The two kinds of urban form do not always stand in contiguous relationship. They metamorphose. The reworking of prior geometries over time leaves urban palimpsests where a once regular grid plan is feebly ensconced within a maze of cul-de-sacs and narrow winding streets.B The mineralization of humanity took forms that were the combinedresult of conscious manipulation of urban space by some central agencyand of the activities of many individuals, without any central "decider."And yet, the two processes, and the forms they typically give rise to,remain distinct despite their coexistence and mutual transformations.On the one hand, the grid is "the best and quickest way to organize a30
  • 21. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . Dhomogeneous population with a single social purpose."9 On the otherhand, whenever a heterogeneo us group of people comes together spon­taneously, they tend to organize themselves in an interlocking urbanpattern that interconnects them without homogenizing them. Even though from a strictly physical viewpoint accelerations in citybuilding are the result of intensifications in the flow of energy, the actualform that a given town takes is determined by human decision making.A similar distinction between centralized and decentralized decision mak­ing must be made with respect to the social institutions that determinehow energy flows through a city-that is, with respect to the citys "distri­bution systems."l0 On the one hand, there are bureaucracies, hierarchi­cal structures with conscious goals and overt control mechanisms. Onthe other, there are peasant and small-town markets, self-organizedstructures that arise spontaneously out of the activities of many individu­als, whose interests only partially overlap. (I have in rnind here a placein a town where people gather ev�ry week, as opposed to markets inthe modern sense: dispersed collections of consumers served by manymiddlemen.)ll Bureaucracies have always arisen to effect a planned extraction ofenergy surpluses (taxes, tribute, rents, forced labor), and they expandin proportion to their ability to control and process those energy flows.Markets, in contrast, are born wherever a regular assembly of indepen­dent decision makers gathers, whether at church or at the border betweentwo regions, presenting individuals with an opportunity to buy, sell, andbarter. The distinction between these two types of energy distributionsystems exactly parallels the one above, only on a smaller scale. One sys­tem sorts out human beings into the internally homogeneous ranks of abureaucracy. The other brings a heterogeneous collection of humanstogether in a market, where their complementary economic needs enmesh. Markets and bureaucracies are, however, more than just collectivemechanisms for the allocation of material and energetic resources. Whenpeople exchanged goods in a medieval market, not only resourceschanged hands but also rights o f o wn ership, that is, the rights to use agiven resource and to enjoy the benefits that may be derived from it.l2Hence, market transactions involved the presence of collective institu­tional norms (such as codes of conduct and enforceable contracts). Simi­larly, medieval bureaucracies were not only organizations that controlledand redistributed resources via centralized commands, they themselveswere sets of mutually stabilizing institutional norms, a nexus of contractsand routines constituting an apparatus for collective action. The rulesbehind bureaucracies tended to be more formalized than the informal31
  • 22. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASconventions and codes of conduct behind markets, and more impor­tantly, they tended to become a "constitution," that is, a set of contractsdefining a homogeneous, common enterprise not easily disaggregatedinto a set of heterogeneous bilateral contracts like those involved in mar­ket transactions.13 Markets and bureaucracies, as well as unplanned and planned cities,are concrete instances of a more general distinction: self-organized mesh­works of diverse elements, versus hierarchies of uniform elements. Butagain, meshworks and hierarchies not only coexist and intermingle, theyconstantly give rise to one another. For instance, as markets grow in sizethey tend to form commercial hierarchies. In medieval times this wastrue of the great fairs, such as the Champagne fairs of the thirteenth cen­tury, which came to have as many participants as most towns had inhabi­tants: "If a fair is envisaged as a pyramid, the base consists of the manyminor transactions in local goods, usually perishable and cheap, thenone moves up to the luxury goods, exp�nsive and transported from faraway. At the very top of the pyramid came the active money market �ith­out which business could not be done at all- or at any rate not at thesame pace."14 Thus, once markets grew past the size of local, weekly gatherings, theywere ranked and organized from the top, giving rise to a hybrid form:a hierarchy of meshworks. The opposite hybrid, a meshwork of hierar­chies, may be illustrated by the system of power in the Middle Ages. Urbanbureaucracies were but one of a number of centralized institutions thatcoexisted in the Middle Ages. Royal courts, landed aristocracies, andecclesiastical hierarchies all entered into complex, uneasy mixtures. Therewas never a "super-elite" capable of globally regulating the mix, so localconstraints (shifting alliances, truces, legal debates) worked alongsideformal procedures in generating stability. If we add to this the fact thatthe state and the church in the West arose from heterogeneous origins(unlike China or Islam where all these hierarchical structures had emergedwithin a homogeneous cultural tradition), the system of power in the earlypart of this millennium was a true mesh of hierarchical organizations.15 Meshworks and hierarchies need to be viewed not only as capable ofgiving rise to these complex hybrids but also as in constant interaction withone another. Primitive bureaucracies had evolved in the Middle Ages toregulate certain aspects of market life (for instance, to arbitrate disputesbetween markets when their catchment areas overlapped), or to providesecurity for the big fairs. However, we must not imagine that the mereexistence of a command hierarchy meant that the global rules of abureaucracy could in practice be enforced. In medieval times, the norms32
  • 23. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A.Dthat governed economic life-the norms that guaranteed that contractswould be honored or that measures, weights, and currencies wouldremain stable -were for the most part not global, but based on self­defense, retaliation, and other local controls. As one historian has put it,the enforcement of economic norms in the Middle Ages was a combina­tion of centralized decision making and a "self-regulating mechanismcompounded by a balance of terror and a lively sense of mutual advan­tage felt by all members of the international community."16 The large populations of towns and cities that emerged in Europe afterthe year 1000 may be classified by their relative proportions of meshworkand hierarchical components. By far the majority of settlements weresmall towns, with more market than command ingredients in their mix.Over half of all European urban dwellers lived in those local market centers,even though each town had fewer than two thousand residents. Thencame intermediate-sized towns (fewer than ten thousand inhabitants),which began adding local and regional administrative functions and, hence,a higher proportion of command components. Control of roads and super­vision of travelers, two centralized functions absent from small towns,were already practiced here. A wider variety of institutional forms inhab­ited those larger settlements: courts, jails, hospitals, religious founda­tions. But as complexity increased, so did rarity: while there were about3,000 small towns in northern Europe, there were only 220 of intermediatesizeY Denser urban concentrations were even rarer, but for the samereason sustained a wider range of functions: Cities with more than 10,000 residents stood out in Medieval Europe, except in northern Italy and Flanders where the spread of cloth production and the increase in trade permitted relatively intense urbanization. Else­ where, large sii was correlated with complex administrative, religious, e educational, and economic functions. Many of the big towns-for example, Barcelona, Cologne or Prague-supported universities as well as a wide variety of religious institutions. Their economies were diversified and included a wide range of artisans and service workers .... The large cities of 1330 owed their size to the multiplicity of their functions.... The same point can be made about the few urban giants of the Middle Ages. Paris, Milan, Venice, and Florence were commercial and manufacturing cities, and also political capitals.18 This multiplicity of urban centers, internally differentiated by size andcomplexity, can be compared to other populations of towns that emergedelsewhere. Urbanization explosions had occurred in Islam and China at33
  • 24. I: LAVAS A ND MAGMASleast two centuries before those in Europe. But in those two regions, citiesand towns had to compete with a larger sociopolitical entity that emergedonly later in the West: the central state. While I slam in the early part ofthe millennium had some towns (C6rdova, Ceuta) similar to those in theWest, huge towns, such as Baghdad or Cairo, that housed royal hierarchieswere the rule there.19 China, too, showed a greater percentage of townssubjected to a central authority than autonomous towns defined by themovement of people and goods through their walls. William I VlclJeili is oneof several historians who think that one of the reasons for the Westseventual domination of the millennium lies in the different mixtures ofcentralized and decentralized decision making in its towns: The fact that China remained united politically from Sung to modern times .. . is evidence of the increased power government personnel wielded. Dis­ crepancies between the ideas of the marketplace and those of government were real enough; but as long as officials could bring overriding police power whenever they were locally or privately defied, the command element in the mix remained securely dominant. ... For this reason the autocatalytic char­ acter that European commercial and industrial expansion exhibited between the eleventh and the nineteenth century never got started in China.2o In short, McNeills hypothesis is that explosive, self-stimulating ("auto­catalytic") urban dynamics cannot emerge when hierarchical componentsoverwhelm meshwork components. Fernand Braudel seems to agree withthis hypothesis when he asserts the existence of a "dynamic pattern ofturbulent urban evolution in the West, while the pattern of life in cities inthe rest of the world runs in a long, straight and unbroken line acrosstime." 21 One example of the nonlinear, runaway nature of autocatalyticdynamics in many medieval Western towns is the sequence of intensifica­tions of energy flow that propelled urban growth. First came an agricul­tural intensification causing massive increases in population andtherefore giving birth to many cities. Then, as in ancient times, the inter­action of these urban centers further intensified energy consumption.One of these intensifications was achieved by harnessing the energy ofrunning water to power grain mills and trip-hammers in forges and tofacilitate the fulling of cloth. This was, without exaggeration, an eleventh­century industrial revolution, fueled by solar (agricultural) and gravita­tional (water) energy.22 I n addition to raw energy, the turbulent dynamics to which both McNeilland Braudel refer were associated with the intensification of another flow:the flow of money. Howard Odum, a systems ecologist, has developed a34
  • 25. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . Dtheory of money that, though perhaps too simple, offers a useful imagehere. Mo ney, Odum says, is like e n ergy, o n ly it ru n s in the opposite direc­tion: e n ergy flows from agricultural villages to the tow n s they feed, whilemoney flows from town to countryside, to pay for the food. "The flow ofenergy makes possible the circulation of mo ney [in cludi ng the e n ergy spe n to n paperwork, banking, closing deals] and the ma nipulation o f mo neycan co n trol the flow of e nergy."23 To apply Odums schema to medievallife we need to bri ng our mixtures of market and comma nd i n gredientsto bear. Co ntrary to what may be supposed, mo n etary systems are ofnot commercial but political origin. Specifically, they were developed bycentral hierarchies to facilitate the extraction of agricultural surpluse�and the raisi ng of taxes.24 I n the early part of the mille n nium, feudal Fa n d­lords extracted this excess e n ergy, a n d in ma ny cases peasa nts wouldcome to a market town to sell their goods, not to buy other goods, b u t toget cash to pay their ren t to the owners of their la n d.2 5 With that qualifica­tion, Odums idea is useful: mon etary flows regulate (in hibit or intensify)e n ergy flows, particularly when the flow of money escapes total co n trol bythe state. Mo n ey is best defi n ed as a catalyst or stimula n t of trade (a n d itsabse nce, an inhibitor). Barter, the excha nge of goods for goods, is rela­tively in efficien t i n that people must wait for their compleme ntary needsto meet. The occasio n s when one person has exactly the good that theother needs, and vice versa, are ,exceedi ngly rare. But any good that ishighly desirable and can easily be put back i n to circulatio n ca n play therole of money: blocks of salt, cowry shells, coral, ivory - eve n cigarettesin modern prisons.26 A n y o n e of a number of widely desired goods ca nspontan eously become mo n ey simply by being able to flow faster andmore easily. A n d o n ce such self-orga nized mo n ey comes in to existe n ce ,complementary demands ca n b e meshed together a t a dista n ce, greatlyi n creasi ng the i n te n sity of market exchanges. Frequently coexisti ng withthis sponta n eous mo n ey are mon etary systems, with their hierarchy ofhomogeneous metal coi n s of differen t denominations, a system that isn ot self-orga nized but pla n n ed a n d impleme nted by an elite. Pla n n edmoney, sin ce its i n ception in a n cien t Egypt, has used metals as its physi­cal vehicle because they ca n be weighed and measured, uniformly cut,and stan dardized.27 When ever these two types of money - the plan n ed a n d the spo ntan eous- came into co n tact, stan dardized money would i n evitably wi n , causi ngdevaluation of the other, i ncreases in its reserves, and catastrophic i n fla­tio n. This situation would arise time and again over the ce n turies, particu­larly when Europe began colo n izi ng the world. However, in the first few35
  • 26. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAScenturies of the millennium the situation was reversed: early Europewas, in a manner of speaking, a colony of Islam, an empire that not onlyhad a more advanced monetary system, but also had invented manyof the instruments of c redit (from bills of exchange to promissory notesand checks). As Braudel says, " If Europe finally perfected its money, itwas because it had to overthrow the domination of the Muslim world. " 28Venice, Florence, Genoa, and other large medieval cities started coiningtheir own copper, silver, and gold money, and the volume of Europeantrade began to rise. F rom then on, this new flow, catalyzing and control­ling the flow of ene rgy, never ceased accelerating the pace of Europeanhistory. The flow of money could itself be intensified, either by increas­ing the exploitation of mines, and hence the reservoir of metal, or byspeeding up its circulation. These two intensifications, of the volume andvelocity of money, affected each othe r, since "as p recious metals becamemore plentiful coins passed more quickly from hand to hand." 29 These intense flows of energy and monetary catalysts fueled the greaturban acceleration in medieval Europe and kept the towns that made upEuropes great exoskeleton in a turbulent dynamical state. Although largeaccumulations of money created new commercial hierarchies, the netresult was a decrease in the power of central states and a concomitantincrease in the autonomy of cities. The intensity of the flows themselves,and not any special feature of the " European psyche" (calculating ratio­nality, say, or a spirit of thrift), is what kept the mixture of market andcommand components in the right proportions to foster autocatalyticdynamics.30 One more element must be added to this explanation, how­ever, but this will involve going beyond a conception of markets (andbureaucracies) as allocation mechanisms for scarce resources. This point might be clarified by applying certain ideas recently devel­oped by the neoinstitutionalist economist Douglas North. As we notedabove, not only resources change hands in the marketplace but alsoproperty rights; hence the market facilitates simple exchanges as well aspotentially complex t ransactions. The latter involves a host of "hidden"costs ranging from the energy and skill needed to ascertain the qualityof a product, to the drawing of sales and employment contracts, to theenforcement of those contracts. In small medieval markets these "trans­action costs" were minimal, and so were their enforcement mechanisms:threats of mutual retaliation, ostracism, codes of conduct, and otherinformal constraints sufficed to allow for the more or less smooth func­tioning of a market. But as the volume and scale of trade intensified (oras its character changed, as in the case of foreign, long-distance trade),new institutional norms and organizations were needed to regulate the36
  • 27. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A.Oflow of resources, ranging from standardized weights and measuresto the use of notarial records as evidence in merchant law courts or statecourts. Norths main point is that, as medieval markets grew and com­plexified, their transaction costs increased ac;cordingly; without a set ofinstitutional norms and organizations to keep those costs down, theturbulent intensification of trade in the West would have come to a halt.Economies of scale in trade and low-cost enforceability of contractswere, according to North, mutually stimulating.31 Many institutional norms emerged in an unplanned way-those relatedto common law or to informal codes of conduct, for example- and slowly"sedimented" within towns in the Middle Ages. Others, such as printedlists of p rices or maritime insurance schemes, were deliberately intro­duced to reduce transaction costs by improving the flow of market infor­mation or by spreading the ris k s of large investments. Those citiesengaging in types of trade with particularly high transaction costs, suchas long-distance t rade, seem to have been the incubators of many institu­tional innovations . As these "cultural materials" (informal constraints,formal rules, enfo rcement p rocedures) acting as trade catalysts accumu­lated, they began to diffuse through the urban environment. As Northobserves, " M erchants carried with them in long-distance trade codes ofconduct, so that Pisan laws passed into the sea codes of Marseilles. Oleronand Lubeck gave laws to the north of Europe, Barcelona to the south ofEurope, and from Italy came the legal principle of insurance and bills ofexchange."32 One difference between the neoinstitutionalist approach and the oneI am trying to sketch here is this: beyond the level of the individual orga­nization, the neoinstitutionalist does not seem to envision yet anotheremergent larger-scale entity but simply refers to "society" or "the polity"as a whole. This, however, runs the risk of introducing too much homo­geneity into our models and of suggesting that human societies form a"totality," that is, an entity on a higher ontological plane than individualinstitutions and individual human beings. By contrast, speaking of con­crete cities (instead of "society" in the abstract) enables us to include in gour m0 els historically emergent wholes that do not form totalities butsimply larger-scale individual entities. It also reduces the danger of takingtoo much social uniformity for granted. I ndividual cities (and nationstates) are easier to visualize as encompassing a variety of communitieswithin their borders, and if, as a matter of empirical fact, a given city (ornation-state) displays a high degree of cultural homogeneity, this itselfbecomes something to be modeled as the result of concrete histo ricalprocesses. We have already seen that, depending on the mixture of cen-37
  • 28. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAStra l ized a n d decentral ized decision m a ki n g be h i n d a citys b i rth a n dgrowt h , we ca n expect d i fferent d egrees o f u n ifo rm ity a n d d iversity i n itsi n frast r u ct u ra l l ayout. To t h i s it m u st be added t h at, d e pe n d i ng on t h ero l e t h at a city p l ays i n t h e l a rger u rba n co ntext i n w h i c h it fu n ctio n s,t h e "cu ltu ra l mate rials" t h at accu m u l ate wit h i n it w i l l e x h i bit d i ffere n td egrees of h o m oge n e ity a n d h eteroge n eity. Specifical ly, a city m ay p l ayt h e role of pol itical capital fo r a give n regi o n a n d e ncou rage a certa i ndegree o f u n i fo rm ity i n its own cu ltu re a n d i n t h at o f t h e sma l l e r townsu nd e r its com m a n d . O n t h e contra ry, a city m ay a ct as a gateway to for­eign cultures, pro moti ng t h e e nt ry a n d d iffu s i o n of h ete roge n eous materi­als t h at i n crease its d iv e rsity a nd that of the cities in c l ose co ntact wit hit. I n e it h e r case, v i e w i ng cities as i n d ivid u a l s a l l ows us to study t h e i nte r­actio n s between t h e m a nd t h e e m e rgent wholes t hat m ay res u l t fromthose i nteractio n s . T h at grou ps of cities m ay fo rm h i e ra rc h i ca l stru ctu res is a w e l l - k n ow nfact at l east si n ce t h e 1930s, w h e n t h e te rm "Ce ntra l P l ace" systemwas i n trod u ced to refer to pyra m i ds of u rba n ce nters. M o re recently,u rba n h i sto r i a n s P a u l H o h e n be rg a n d Lyn n H o l l e n Lees h ave suggestedt h at in add itio n to h i e rarchical str u ct u res, citi es in E u rope a l so fo rmeda mes hwo rk-l i k e assem b l age, w h i c h t hey refer to as the " N etwo rk Sys­t e m . " Lets exa m i n e some of t h e defi n i ng traits of t hese two types of cityasse m b l ages, begi n n i ng with t h e Ce ntra l P lace syst e m , exe m pl i fied i nt h e M id d le Ages by t h e h i e ra rc h i es o f town s t h at formed u n d e r stro ngregi o n a l ca p ita ls such as Paris, P ragu e , a nd M i l a n . As we saw before, thepopu l atio n of tow n s in m ed ieval E u ro pe was d iv i d ed by the size a n d co m­plexity of its i n d ivid u a l u n its. T h is d i stribution of sizes was n ot acci d e ntalbut d i rectly related to the l i n ks and co n n e ct i o n s between settl e m e nts.M u c h as s m a l l town s offered the s u rrou n d i ng cou ntrys i d e a va r i ety ofco m m e rci a l , ad m i n istrative, and re l igious se rvices, the tow n s t h e m se lveslooked to t h e m o re d iversified l a rger cities for s e rv i ce s t h at were u n avai l ­a b l e l oca l ly. T h i s created pyra m ids of towns o rga n ized a ro u n d h i era rc h i ca ll e v e l s of co m pl exity. T h e d istri bution i n s pace of t h ese h i e ra rc h ical sys­tems was d i rectly tied to geogra p h ical d i sta nce, s i nce t h e resi d e nts of atown wo u l d o n ly travel so far i n searc h of a desi red service. A n u m be r ofs u c h pyra m i d a l str u ctu res a rose i n t h e M i d d l e Ages, each o rga n izi ng ab road , m o re o r l ess c l e a rly d e fi ne d regi o n . G e n e ral ly, t h e flows of trad edgoods t h at c i rcu lated up a n d d own t h ese h i e ra rc h i e s co n s i sted of basicn ecess ities, s u c h as food and m a n u factu red p rod u cts . In co ntra d i sti n cti o n , t h e ci rc u l at i o n of luxury items o rigi n ated some­where else . Lo n g-d i sta n ce t ra d e , w h i c h has s i n ce A ntiq u ity d e a lt with p res­tige goods, i s t h e p rovi nce of cities outside the Ce ntral P l ace syst e m ,38
  • 29. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . Dcities that act as gateways to faraway trading circuits, as well as nodesin a network not directly constrained by distance. For example, manyEuropean gateway cities were maritime ports, connected (more than sep­arated) by the Mediterranean and the Baltic and North Seas.33 Theseurban centers formed, according to Hohenberg and Lees, a Networksystem: T he Network System, with quite different properties, complements the Cen­ tral Place System . Instead of a hierarchical nesting of sim ilar centers, dis­ tinguished mainly by the number and rarity of services offered, it presents an ordering of functionally complementary cities and urban settlements. The key systemic property of a city is nodality rather than centrality. . . . Since network cities easily exercise control at a distance, the influence of a town has little to do with propinquity and even less with formal com mand over territory. The spatial features of the Network System are largely invisi­ ble on a conventional map: trade routes, junctions, gateways, outpostS.34 Instead of a hierarchy of towns, long-distance trading centers formed ameshwork, an interlocking system of complementary economic functions.This is not to imply, however, that all the nodes in the meshwork were ofequal importance. Certain economic functions (especially those givingrise to innovations) formed a privileged core within a given network, whileothers (e.g., routine production tasks) characterized its peripheral zones.Yet, the core of the Network system differed from the acme of the CentralPlace pyramid. I n particular, the influence of a networks main city wasmore precarious than that of the Central Place, whose dominance tendedto be stable. Core cities tended to replace one another in this role, as theintensity of exchange in a given trade route varied over time, or as erst­while luxury goods (pepper, sugar) became everyday necessities: "Since[these] cities are links in a network, often neither the source nor the ulti­mate destination of goods, they are in some measure interchangeable asare the routes themselves."35 Roughly, the sequence of cores was (fromthe fourteenth to the twentieth centuries) Venice, Antwerp, Genoa, Ams­terdam, London, !Jew York.36 The two systems coexisted, with CentralPlace towns usually belonging to the middle zone (or semiperiphery) ofthe Network system.37 One very important feature of Central Place and Network systems isthe type of cultural structures they give rise to. As with many other struc­tures, the raw materials (in this case, cultural habits and norms) need toaccumulate slowly and then consolidate, as more or less permanent linksare established among them. Hierarchical constructions tend to undergo39
  • 30. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASa h o m oge nizat i o n before t h e i r mate ria ls ha rde n i nto a pyra m i d , w h i l emes hwo rks arti c u l ate h ete roge neous e l e m e nts , inte rloc king t h e m withoutim pos i n g u n ifo rmity: On one level, the Central Place System serves a ho mogeneous people well settled in its historical lands. The natio nal capital d isti lls and fo rmal izes the co mmon fol k c u lture and re injects the civil ized prod u ct back i nto local l i fe . . . . [T his co ntrasts] with the rootless cosmopolitan i sm of the Netwo rk System , with its sharp cultu ral d isconti nu ities between city and cou ntry and between core and peri phery. . . . Co re val ues and tec h n iq ues are su perim­ posed on a trad itional peri p hery with no atte m pt at i ntegration or gradu a l synthesis. 38 Eve n before t h e advent of natio n a l capitals, t h e d o m i n a nt cities of Cen­tra l Pl ace h i erarc h ies perfo rmed t h e i r h o m oge n izati o n s at the regi o n a lleve l , tra n sfo rming l o c a l cu ltu res i n to "great tra d i tio n s , " as t h ey e ngagedin book p r i n ting a n d p u bl i s hing as we l l as schooling. Gateway cities, onthe ot h e r h a n d , h e l ped d iffuse hete roge n eo u s e l e m e nts from alie n c u l ­tu res, as w h e n medieval Ve n i ce i ntroduced i nto E u rope prod u cts, tech n ol­ogy, and a rc h itect u re from t h e East. Later on, t h e cities of the N etwor ksyste m wou ld p ro pagate the i d eas of h u ma n i s m , e n l ighte n me nt, a n d rad i ­cal t h o u g ht, while givi ng refuge to pe rsecuted t h i n ke rs a n d pu b l i s h i ngfo rbid d e n b oo ks . 39 T h e ci rcu l atio n a nd p rocessing of "cultu ral m ate r i a l s"t h ro u g h these two d i ffe rent syste m s of citie s are as i m porta nt in t h e l o n gr u n as t h e m i n d-sets o f t h e i n h abita nts of t h e tow n s t h e m selves. T h e l at­ter a re, of cou rse , an active e l e m e n t i n t h e mix , to t h e exte nt t h at psyc ho­logica l structu res, o n ce t h ey have com e into being, affect the dyn a m icsof decis i o n m a k i ng and h e n ce the flows of e n e rgy a n d m o n ey, k n owledgea n d i d e a s . B u t w h at is crucial to e m p h asize here i s that the e ntire p rocessdoes not e m a n ate fro m some esse nce h o u sed wit h i n peop l e s heads,pa rtic u l a rly not a ny reified essence s u c h as " ra ti o n a l ity." I n t h e o rigi n a l version of Central Place theo ry, c reated by Wa lte rC h rista l l e r i n t h e early 1930s, the h u m a n ca pacity fo r m a ki ng maxi ma l lyefficient d ec i s i o n s (w hat is now ca l l ed " o ptim izi ng rat i o n a l ity") was ta ke nfor gra nted. T h e model of C h rista l l e r a l so ass u m e d a frictio n less world,w h e re geogra p hy lacked i rregu la ritie s, wealt h and powe r we re distri butedeve n l y, and the levels of d e m a n d fo r city services, as we l l a s the d i sta ncespeople wo u l d be wil ling to travel to get them, re m a i ned fixe d . In this l i n e a rwo rl d , pa rti c u l a r s pati a l d i stri buti o n s of citie s o f d i ffe rent ra n k res u lte d ,as t h e d i fferent ce nters a rranged t h e mselves t o m i n i mize travel tim e fora give n service, t h u s opti m i zi ng t h e i r col l ective b e n efit, or util ity.40 I n n o n -40
  • 31. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A.Dl i near dynamical mod e l s of city development, s u c h as th ose c reated byPeter A l l e n a nd Dimitrios D e n d r i n os , u rba n patte rns d o not res u l t fromsome global optimizer ( s u c h as s u pe rrati o n a l h u ma n decision ma k e rsmi nimizing tra n s p o rtation costs) b u t from a dynamics of coop e ra ti o n a nd co nflict amo ng cities, i n volving growth a n d d ecay of centers. I n t h esemod e l s , u rb a n settleme nts grow by attracting p o p u lation from s u rro u n d­i ng r u ral a reas, with job ava i l a b i l ity and i n come acting as i n ce ntives toimmigrat i o n w h i l e co ngesti o n a n d pol l ut i o n act as d is i ncentives. Althoughin pri n c i p l e seve ral citie s co u l d s h a re t h e se h u ma n reso u rces more o rless eve n ly, the mod els s h ow a stro ng te n d e ncy fo r some u rban ce n te rsto grow at t h e expe n se of others a n d for l a rge cente rs to i n h i b it t h egrowt h o f simi l a rly sca l e d towns i n t h e i r vicin ity. M o reover, the eme rge n ceof sta ble patte r n s of coexi sti n g cente rs seems rel ated to a decrease i nt h e stre ngth a n d n u mber o f d i rect i n te ractio n s amon g towns: too m u c hco n ne ctiv ity ( a s when e v e r y city i n t h e mod e l i n te racts wit h eve ry ot h e rone) l e a d s to u n sta b l e patter n s , w h i l e decrease d co n n ectivity wit h i n ah i e rarchy of towns (that is, fewe r i nteract i o n s betwee n ra n ks t h a n wit h i na given ra n k) l e a d s t o sta b i l ity.41 Co n tempo ra ry stu d i e s i n n o n l i ne a r u rba n dyn amics teach u s t h at, i nmany cases, friction (delays, bottlenecks, co nfl ict, u n eve n d istri bution ofresou rces) p l ays a crucial rol e in ge n e rati ng self-orga n izati o n . He nce,e l imi n ating it from our mod e l s (by postu lating an o ptimi z i n g rat i o n a l ity,fo r i nsta n ce) a u tomatica l ly e l imi nates the poss i b i l ity of captu r i n g any realdy namica l effect. T h i s i n sight is even mo re impo rta nt when we co n s i d e rthe dynamics of the i n stitutio ns t h a t c h a n n e l the flow o f e n e rgy t h ro u ghcities: ma rkets a n d b u rea u c racies. The classica l p i ctu re of the ma r ket,Adam Smit h s " i n v i s i b l e h a n d " mod e l , is j u st l i ke C h rista l l e rs mod e l ofu rba n patte r n s . It operates in a wor l d compl etely devoid of frict i o n , w h e remo nopolies do n ot exist a n d age nts a re e n d owed with pe rfect fo resighta n d h ave access to cost less a n d u n l imited i n fo rmatio n . Smiths mod e l (ormo re exactly, its impl eme ntati on i n ne ocl assical eco n o rn ics) a l so ge n e r­ates patte r n s t h at maximize the ben efits to society as a w ho l e , t h at is,patte r n s i n which s u p ply a n d dema nd i nte ra ct so a s to reach o ptima le q u il i b ri um, p recl u d i n g wastefu l excesses or d eficits. T h i s type of ma r ketdynamics is, of cou rse, a ficti o n . And yet t h i s p ictu re of a " ration a l " free­ma rket dynamics ema nating from the i nteraction of selfi s h age nts reach­i ng optimal co n c l u si o n s a bout alternative u ses of sca rce resou rces i s sti l la t t h e co re o f mod e r n l i n e a r econ omics. N o n l i n e a r a p p roaches to market dynamics, in co ntrast, emp ha size t h er o l e o f u n ce rta i nty i n d ec i s i o n ma k i ng a n d t h e i n h e re nt costs of i n fo rma­tion gat h e ri ng. I mpe rfect k n owl edge , i n compl ete assessme nt of feed-41
  • 32. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASbac k , l imited memo ry a nd reca l l , as we l l as poo r p r o b l em-so l v i n g s k i l lsres u lt i n a form of rati o n a l ity t h at atta i n s not optima l decisions but mo reo r less satisfacto ry com promises betwee n co nfl icti ng co nst ra i nts.42 T h i s"satisfi ci ng" o r " bou n de d " rat i o n a l i ty, proceeds i n ma ny cases b y r u l esof t h u mb a n d oth e r ad a pt i ve b e h av i o ra l patte r n s . T h i s doe s not p recl u d esome co h e re n ce amo n g a n agents expectat i o n s , n ee d s , a n d act i o n s , b u tit does ca l l fo r a dynamic e x p l a nation of t h e fo rmat ion o f adeq uate be l iefs ,as o p posed to simply assuming static forms of ratio n a l ity. M o reover, itemp hasizes that t h e respo n se s of eco nomic age nts i n t h e ma rket p l acea re not u n ifo rm, t hat some age nts wi l l act mo re co h e re ntly t h a n ot h e rs ,a n d that t h e adeq u acy of t h e i r decisions wi l l va ry from t ime to time.43 A n o n l i n e a r mod e l of ma rket dyn amics d iffe rs greatly from AdamSmiths. I n pa rtic u l a r, in stead of a s i ngle, static eq u i l i b r i u m towa rd w h i c hma rkets are su pp osed to gravitate, t h e non l i n e a r mod e l al l ows fo r mu lti­ple dynamical fo rms of sta b i lity. For example, ma rkets may get caught incyc l i c a l eq uil i b r i ums that fo rce them to u n d e rgo successive period s ofgrowt h and decay. H e nce ma r kets may be both self-regu lat i ng and n o n ­optimal .44 Thes e i s s u e s are a l l t h e mo re impo rta nt w h e n co n s i d e ri ngme d ieva l ma rkets, w h i c h had to cope not o n ly wit h t h e effects of impe r­fect fo resight, but wit h a multipl icity of ot her no n l i nea rities: agra r i a n h ier­a rc h ies exact i n g a p o rt i o n of p rod uct i o n , ta k i ng it o ut of ci rc u l atio n ;c raftsme n s e l l i ng t h e i r p rod ucts specu l ative ly; mo ney su pp ly affect i ngprices; a n d so o n . No netheless, by t h e twe lft h ce ntu ry, p rices t h ro u ghoutEu rope fl uct u ated in u n i s o n , a n d this is w h at a bove all c h a racterizes aself-regu l ati ng ma rket eco n omy.45 T h i s co l l ective osci l latio n , t h i s massiver hyt hmica l b reath i ng across the cities that mad e up the Central Placea n d N etwo r k systems, can now be ca ptu red t h rough the use of n o n l i nearmod e l s , w h ere t h e impedime nts created by bou n d e d rati o n a l ity p l ay aco n structive ro l e .46 O n e may th i n k t hat t h e s u boptima l comp romise s to w h i c h medievalma rkets we re co n d e mned d e rived from the d ec e ntra l ized natu re of t h e i rdeci sio n-ma king p rocesses . B u t a simi l a r co ncl u s i o n may be reac hed vis­a-vis central ized b u rea u cracies, eve n t h o u g h t h e i r fo rma l ized p l a n s a n dwe l l -defi n e d go als wo u l d seem to b e prod ucts of a n o ptimiz i n g rat i o n a l ity.B ut h e re, too, decis i o n ma k i ng ta kes p lace i n a world fu l l of u n ce rt a i nties.Any act u a l system of i n fo rmation p rocessi ng, p l a n n i ng, and contro l wi l lnever b e o ptimal b u t merely p ractic a l , a pp lyi n g rote res po nses t o rec u r­rent probl ems a n d emp l oy i ng a vari ety of co nti nge n cy tactics to d e a l withu nforese e n events. Some of t h e flows of matte r a n d e n e rgy in a n d o u t ofcities - flows t h at med i eval h i e ra rchies we re su pposed to regu late ­rece ived more atte ntion while ot hers we re ove rl ooked a n d misma n aged .42
  • 33. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . DFor i n stan ce, by the t h i rteenth ce ntu ry Lo n d o n had al ready ge ne rated aspec ial ized b u re a u cracy for h a n d l i ng t h e flow of wate r i nto t h e city ; b u tm a n age m e nt o f the flow o f waste o u t o f t h e city d i d n o t co m e a bo u t u nt i lt h e n i n etee nth centu ry, even t h o u gh t h e Engl i s h cap ita l h a d h a d recu r­rent sewage crises si nce t h e 1370s. It was not u nt i l t h e rive r T h a m e s scapacity to tra n s po rt waste re ached its l i m its, ca u s i n g an odor t hat m a d ep a r l i a m enta ry sess i o n s i m p ossi b l e t o co nd uct , t h at t h e p r o b l e m w a s co n ­fro nte d . B efo re t hat, t h e a p p roach to sewage m a n age m e nt h a d b e e nreactive, u np l a n ned , a n d piecemea l - h a rd ly opt i m a l . 47 T h u s , to u n d e rsta n d t h e role of decision m a ki ng i n t h e creati on of soc i a lo rd e r, w e n e e d to co nce n trate not s o m u c h o n the m o re o r l ess rat i o n a lc h a racte r of individual decisio n s, but o n t h e dy nam ics (ce ntra l i zed o rd ece ntra l i zed) a m o n g many i nteract i n g d e c i s i o n m a ke rs. T h e h i e ra rc h i e sa n d m e s hworks t h a t deve l o p from t h ese i nte ractio n s ( p a rticu la r b u re a u ­c racies, i n d iv i d u a l m a r kets) i n t u r n beco m e e l e m e nts o f ot her ho m oge­n e o u s a n d hete roge n e o u s str u ct u res (ca pita l s or gateways), w h i c h in t u r ng o o n to fo rm Central P lace a n d N etwo r k syst e m s . At e a c h l eve l , d i ffe re ntn o n l i n e a r dyn am ics ta ke pl ace, wit h t h e i r own m u ltiple eq u i l i b ri u m s a n db i fu rcations between altern ative sta b l e states. H e nce, i nd i v i d u a l d e c i s i o nm a k i ng, w h i l e i m po rta nt, is s i m p ly one e l e m e n t i n t h e m ix , i nt e ract i nga n d in fl u e n ci ng dyn a m ics o n o n ly o n e of c:l n u m be r of sca l es .48 But eve n at t h e i n d i vid u a l leve l , what � atte rs is not a ny pa rticu l a r psy­chol ogi ca l struct u re ( rat i o n a l ity) so m u c h as p roble m-sol v i n g s k i l l s , r u l e sof t h u m b, a n d rou t i n e proced u res, t h at is, "cultu ra l m ate r i a l s" that canaccum u late o ver time wit h i n a towns wa l l s . I ndeed , m a ny pre i n d ustrialcities m ay be see n as la rge rese rvoirs of s k i l l s a n d ro u t i n e s . T h ose citiesrecru ited from the co u ntrys i d e arti sans posse ssi ng the m ost varied a b i l i­ties a n d trad es, a n d they were co nsta ntly strugg l i n g to ste al t h i s v a l u ab l e" h u m a n capital" away from e a c h ot h e r. To m a i ntai n a n d i n crease t h e i rres e rvo i rs , town s attracted a flow o f crafts m e n , as we l l as a vari ety of p ro­fe ssio n a l s , who b ro ught wit h t h e m s k i l l s a n d p roce d u res t h at co u l d n owbe ta ught to ot h e rs or im itated , a n d h e n ce added to t h e existing stoc k . Asthese c u lt u ra l m ateria l s acc u m u l ated , they m ixed in va rio u s ways, fo rm­i ng nov e l m e s hworks and h i erarc h i es. On o n e hand, the ru l i n g e l ites of m a ny towns cre ate d , betwe e n thetwe lft h and the fifteenth centu ries, t h e gu i l d syste m , t h ro u g h which t heyo rga n ized all craft activity wit h i n the city. Each gu i l d brought toget h e r t h es k i l l s t h at fo r m e d a give n t r a d e , a n d h o moge n ized the mea n s of t he i rtra n s m i ss i o n by regu l at i ng t ra i n i n g m et hods a n d ce rti ficat i o n p roce d u res.As skills accu m u l ated and began i nteract i n g wit h o n e a not h e r, tradesbega n to d ive rsify and m u lti ply: " I n N u re m be rg . . . the metal wo r k i n g43
  • 34. I: L A VAS A ND MAGMASgu i l d s . . . h a d d i v i d e d , as e a rly as t h e t h i rte e n t h c e n t u ry, i nto sev era ldoze n i nd e pe nd e n t p rofes s i o n s a nd t ra d e s . The sa m e p rocess occu rredin G h e n t, Stra s b o u rg, F ra n kfu rt a n d F l o re n ce, w h e re t h e woo l e n i n d u stry,as e l s ew h e re , b e c am e a co l lectio n of t ra d e s . I n fact it wo u l d be t r u e tos ay t h at t h e b o o m of t h e t h i rt e e n t h ce n t u ry a ro s e o u t of t h i s n ewly c re­ated d i v i s i o n of l a b o r as i t p ro l i fe rate d . " 49 On the ot h e r h a n d , a s s pe c i a l ­t i e s m u lti p l i e d s o d i d t h e i nteractio n s betwe e n i n d i vi d u al tra d e s , a n dt h i s gave rise t o m e s h wo r k s o f s m a l l p ro d u ce r s , " sy m b i otic c o l l e cti o n s ofl i tt l e e n te r p r i s e s , " a s the u rb a n i st J a n e Jacobs has c a l l ed t h e m . 50 W h i l e t h e b i g gateway c i t i e s at t h e core of t h e Netwo rk system , as wel la s t h ose a t t h e top o f C e n t ra l Pl a c e pyra m i d s , gave r i s e t o e l a b o rate h i er­a rc h i e s of gu i l d s a n d ever m o re rigid reg u l at i o n s , tow n s i n h ab i t i n g t h em i d d l e zo n e ( t h a t i s , n ot t o o s m a l l to be co n d e m n e d to re m a i n a s u p plyregio n fo r t h e co re), e n gaged in what J a co bs calls " i m po rt-s u bstitut i o nd y n a m i cs . " I n st e a d of s i m ply exc h a n gi n g r a w m ate ri a l s f o r m a n ufactu redgo o d s f ro m the b i g citi e s , the a rt i s a n s of t h e s e tow n s d e v e l o pe d t h es k i l l s n ece s s a ry t o s l owly r e p l ace t h ose i m po rts with local p rod u ctio n .T h e s e n ew, l e s s r eg u l ated s k i l l s , i n t u r n , bega n f o rm i ng m es hwo r k s , ast h ey i nt e r l o c k e d w i t h o n e a n ot h e r in fu n ct i o n a l c o m p l e m e n t arity.51 The m a rket d y n a mi c s of th e s e m i d d l e-zo n e tow n s were s e l f-sti m u l ati n gbeca u se t h e m o n ey s a ve d b y r ep l a c i n g s o m e i m po rts co u l d be s p e n t o nn ew i m po rts, w h i c h i n t u r n g e n e rated a n ew ro u n d of s u bstitu t i o n s . A sJ aco bs p u ts it, t h e s e s m a l l m e d i ev a l tow n s , a n d t h e i r s m a l l p ro d u c e rs ," w e r e fo re v e r p ro d u c i n g n ew expo rts fo r o n e a n oth e r - b e l l s , dyes , bu ck­les, p a rc h m e n t , lace, n e e d l e s , p a i nted c a b i n et wo r k , c e ra m i cs , b r u s h e s ,cutl e ry, p a p e r, s i e v e s a n d n ee d l e s , sweetmeats, e l ix i rs , fi l e s , pitc hfo rks,s exta nts - re pl a c i n g them w i t h local p rod u cti o n , beco m i ng c u sto m e rs fo rsti l l m o re i n n ovati ? n s . "5 2 J a cobs d e s c r i bes t h e a utocata lytic dyn a m i cst h at p ro d u ce d t h e s e h u m b l e good s as evol vi n g t h ro u g h b i f u rcati o n s , as acritical m a ss of pote nti a l ly r e p l a ce a b l e i m po rts accu m u l ated wit h i n atow n , givi n g r i s e to a n ew e x p l os i ve e p i sode of i m po rt re p l a ce m e nt . T h ei n n ovati o n s t h at c a m e o u t of t h i s p rocess d i d n ot h ave to b e g l am o ro u so r h ig h ly v i s i b l e ; w h a t matte red w a s t h e ge n e rati o n of n ew s ki l l s a n d t h eco n s eq u e n t c o m p l ex i ficati o n of t h e m es hwo rk . C o m pute r s i m u l ati o n s o f eco n o m i c mes hwo rk d y n a mi cs have s h ow nt h at, a t a c e rta i n c r i t i c a l l e v e l of co m p l exity, a k i n d of " i nd u st r i a l ta k eoff"occ u rs in t h e i n te r l o c k e d syste m of fu n ctio n s co n st i t u t i n g the m e s h ­wo r k . 53 J acobs h a s gat h e re d evi d e n ce i nd i cati n g t h at t h i s i s i n d ee d t h ew a y i n w h i c h t h e e c o n o m y of E u ro p e too k o f f at t h e t u rn of t h e fi rstm i l l e n n i u m . At t h e t i m e , C o n stant i n o pl e was at the to p of the u rb a n h i e r­a rc h y, a n d Ve n i ce ( w h ic h by t h e fo u rt e e n t h ce n t u r y was t h e m etro p o l i s at44
  • 35. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . Dthe co re of the Netwo rk syste m ) wa s o n e of its h u m bl e s u p p ly zo n es . T h eVe n eti a n s s o l d t i m b e r a n d s a l t t o t h e ca p i ta l , i n exc h a n ge fo r m a n u fa c­t u red p ro d u cts. I n t h e e le v e n t h c e n t u ry, h oweve r, t h e eco n o my of Ve n i cebegan to grow e x p l o s i ve ly, as a m es hwo rk of s m a l l p ro d u ce rs bega n s u b­st ituti n g l o ca l ly m a n u fa ct u red good s for t h os e previou s l y i m po rted fromC o n sta n t i n o p l e . S i n ce t h e l oca l good s were n eces s a r i ly rough a n d p r i m itiveby t h e sta n d a rd s of t h e ca p it al , Ve n ice co u l d o n ly t r a d e i ts n ew s u rp l u spro d u cts with ot h e r bac kward c i t i e s . (T h u s, t h i s type o f a u tocata lys i si n vo l ves n ot s i n g l e c i t i e s b u t t e a m s o f c i t i e s . ) I n th i s way, t h e eco n o m y o fVe n i ce took off a n d p ro p e l l e d t h e city t o a positio n a s d o m i n a n t c e n t e r.Beca u s e t h e s m a l l e r tow n s t h at n ow i m po rted Ve n et i a n p rod u cts werea l so rese rvoi rs of flexi b l e s k i l l s , t h ey eve n t u a l ly created t h e i r own i m p o rt­s u b stitu t i o n m e s hwo r k s . S u c h was the case of A n twerp, w h i c h bega n a sa Ve n eti a n s u p pl y regi o n fo r woo l ; b y t h e fiftee n t h c e n t u ry i t t o o h a dbeco m e a co re of t h e N etwor k . Lo n d o n h a d to w a i t u nt i l t h e n i n etee n t hce ntu ry befo re beco m i ng t h e N etwor k co r e , b u t si n ce t h e M i d d le Ages i th a d b e e n su b sti t u t i n g i m p o rt e d l eat h e r good s f r o m C6rd ova , to s e l l toot h e r backw a rd cit i e s . 54 T h i s k i n d of vo l at i l e t ra d e a m o n g s m a l l tow n s s h o u l d be a d d e d to o u rl i st o f a utocatalyt i c p rocesses a n i m at i n g m ed i e v a l E u ro p e . La rge tow n s ,o n t h e ot h e r h a n d , g a v e r i s e t o a d i ffe r e n t typ e of t u rb u l e n t d y n a m i c s ,b a s ed o n l u x u ry goo d s ( i n stead o f eve ryd ay ite m s) i n vo l v i ng b i g f i r m s( i n st e a d of s m a l l p ro d u c e rs ) , a n d o n strateg i e s t h at d i d n ot re ly o n t h eexiste n c e of h eteroge n eo u s s k i l ls. As B ra u d e l s ays , t h e p ro l i fe rati o n o fnew t r a d e s , a n d t h e re s u lt a n t m i cros pec i a l izat i o n s , a lways c h a racte rizedthe bottom l ayers o f the trade h i e ra rc h y. B i g b u si n e s s in t h e M id d l e Age s ,a n d fo r c e n t u r i e s a fte rwa rd , h a d i t s o w n dy n a m i cs, w h i c h ra n i n t h eex a ct o p posite d i re ct i o n : H Eve n a s h o p ke e p e r w h o m a d e h i s fo rt u n e , a n db e ca m e a m e rch a n t , i m m e d i at e ly m o v e d out o f s p e c i a l i z at i o n i nto n o n­s peci a l izati o n . . . o beyi n g t h e ru l e s of t r a d e at its u p pe r l e ve l s . To beco m ea n d a bove a l l t o r em a i n a w h o l e s a l e r m e a n t h a v i ng n ot o n ly t h e right butt h e d uty to h a n d l e , i f n ot e v e ryt h i ng, a t a ny rate a s much as possi b le . " 5 5 T h e a d va n tage t h at n o n s p e c i a l i z at i o n gave to t h ese ea rly ca pita l i stsw a s freedom o f motio n , w h i c h a l l owed t h e m to h a n d l e a ny flow of goo d st h at beca m e h i g h l y p rofita b l e , a n d to m ove i n a n d out of f l ows a s t h e i rp rofita b i l ity c h a n ged . T h i s f re e d o m of c h oi ce h a s c h a ra ct e ri z e d c a p it a l i s mt h ro u g h o u t t h e m i l l e n n i u m . T h e m e r c h a nts a n d fi n a n c i e rs ( a n d l ate ri n d u stri a l i sts) who i n h a b i ted t h e u p p e r l e v e l s of t h e t r a d e h i e ra rc h y n everi n vad e d l ow-profit zo n es. With the excl u s i o n of cas h crops f o r the l u x u rym a rket, food p rod u cti o n a n d proce s s i n g we re l eft u nt o u c h ed u nt i l t h eseve ntee n t h c e n t u ry. T h e s a m e i s tru e of tran s po rtati o n , u nt i l t h e ra i l -45
  • 36. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASroads, a n d of the co n structi o n i n d u stry, u nt i l o u r ce ntu ry ( i f we exc l udefacto ri es a n d p u b l i c b u i l d i n gs). If we add to this t h e reta i l i ng of goo d s, wemay co n c l u d e t h at n o n e of t h e fl ows of e n e rgy a n d matter t h at a re i n d i s­pe n sa bl e fo r a n u rb a n c e n te r we re p e n et rated by l a rge co m m e rc i a l h i e r­a rc h i e s ( a n d t h e i r ce ntral ized deci s i o n m a k i n g) u nt i l re l atively rece ntly. Even i n t h i s age of h u ge m u lti n at i o n a l corpo rati o n s, t h e com m a n de l em e n t i n t h e co m me rc i a l m ixtu re i s f a r f r o m 100 p e rce nt. T h e eco n o­m ist jo h n Ke n n et h G a l b rait h , w h o s h a rp ly d iffe re n ti ates betwee n s po nta­n e o u s eco n o m i c activity ( m a r kets) and p l a n n e d e co n o m ic p rocesses(big b u s i n ess), c a l c u l ates t h at tod ay ro u g h ly h a l f of the Wester n eco n omyhas be e n t a k e n ove r by ca p i ta list h i e ra rc h ies. T h e ot h e r h a l f co m p ri sesthe l ow-profit regio n s , w h i c h t h ese h ierarc h ies wi l l i ngly aba n d o n to thema rket. A cco rd i ng to G a l b ra i t h , w h at gives capita l ism this freedom ofmoti o n is e co n o my of sca l e , w h i c h is why s i nce the M id d l e Ages com m e r­c i a l c a p ita l i sm h a s bee n a ssociated with wholesa le a nd n ot reta i l . A l a rgefi rm i s bette r a b l e to a bsorb s hocks a nd fl u ctuati o n s a n d c reate t h e p l a n sand c t ... ",t"" CTIt>C that may wi n it a d egree of i nd e pe n d e n ce fro m m a rketfo rces, i ndeed t h e a b i l ity to control and manipulate t hose forces to a ce r­ta i n S u c h co n s i d e ratio n s led B ra ud e l t o t h e sta rt l i n g c o n c l u s i o n that "wes h o u ld n ot b e too q u ic k to a ss u m e t h at capita li s m e m braces the w h o l eof west e r n society, that it accou nts fo r eve ry stitc h i n t h e soci a l fa b ri c . . .t h at o u r societies a re o rgan ized from top to bottom i n a ca p ita l ist sys­tem . On t h e co ntra ry . . . t h e re is a d ialectic sti l l ve ry m u c h a l ive betweenca p i ta l i sm on one h a n d , and its a ntithesis, the n o n -ca pita l i s m of t h el owe r level o n t h e ot h e r. " 5 6 A n d h e a d d s t h at, i nd eed , capita l ism w a s car­ried u pwa rd a n d o nward o n t h e s h o u l d e rs of s m a l l s hops a n d "t h e e n o r­m o u s c reative powers of t h e market, of t h e l ower story of exc h a n ge . . . .[Th i s] l owest l e v e l , not b e i ng p a ra lysed by t h e s i ze of its p l a n t o r o rga n i­zatio n , i s t h e o n e rea d iest to a d a pt; it i s t h e seedbed of i ns p i rati o n ,i m provisat i o n a n d eve n i n n ovat io n , a l t h ough its most b r i l l i a n t d iscove riessoo n e r or l ater fa l l i nto t h e h a nds of t h e h o l d e rs of ca p ita l . I t was n ot t h ecapita l i sts w h o b rought a bo u t t h e fi rst cotto n revo l u t i o n ; a l l t h e n ew i d e a scam e fro m e nter p r i s i n g s m a l l busi n esses. "57 T h ere i s a m isco n ce ptio n , widely s h a red by eco n o m i sts and p h i l oso­p h ers on e i t h e r s i d e of the pol itical s pectru m , that c a p ita l ism devel o pe di n seve ral stages, be i ng at fi rst co m petitive a n d s u bservient t o m arketfo rces a n d o n ly l ate r, i n t h e twentieth centu ry, beco m i ng m o no po l i stic.H owever, sta rti n g in t h e t h i rtee n t h centu ry, cap i ta l i sts e n gaged in variousn o nc o m petitive p ractices, in o rd e r to c re ate the l a rge a cc u m u l at i o n s ofm o n ey t h a t have a lways c h a racte r i ze d t h e u p pe r levels of the trade46
  • 37. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . Dpyra m i d . As we d i sc u ss e d , the e a r ly med ieva l fa i rs , the m eeti n g poi ntsof ric h m e rc h a nts fro m all ove r E u ro p e , w e re ve rita b l e h i e ra rc h i e s ofmes hwo rks, in w h i c h the l uxu ry and m o n ey m a r kets d o m i n ated t heu p p e r e c h e l o n s. N e i t h e r i n t h e l o ng-d i sta n ce t ra d e of p restige goo d s n o ri n t h e wor l d s of precious meta l s a n d c re d it d i d s u p p ly a nd d e m a nd reigns u p re m e . O n t h e co n t ra ry, m ost fo rt u n e s in t hese a reas we re m a d e byt h e m a n i pu l a t i o n of t h ese m a rket forces t h ro ug h a vari ety of n o n co m­petitive p ractices. T h e re was, of cou rse, i nt e n se com petitio n a m o n g r i c hm e rc h a nts a nd fa m i l ie s , m u c h as today l a rge co rpo rati o n s com pete w i t ho ne a noth e r, b u t t h ese riva l ri es a m o ng o l igo p o l i e s a re f u n d a m e n ta l lyd iffe r e n t from t h e k i n d of " a n o nym o u s co m petit i o n " i n w h i c h s m a l l pro­d u ce rs and tra d e rs e ngage . 58 From t h e M idd l e Ages to t h e n i netee nth c e n tu ry, n ot o n ly d i d i n d ivid­ual b u s i n esses e n gage in m o n o po l i stic practices, e n t i re cities d id too,even gro u ps of cities. By means of n o n co m petitive p ractices , a towncou l d greatly aid its m e rc h a nts a n d fi n a n ci e rs, p rotect i n g t h e m fro m for­e ign rivals, a n d sti m u l ati n g t h e accu m u l atio n of m o n ey w it h i n its wa l l s.T h e med ieval cities t h at co n t ro l le d t h e M ed ite rra n e a n a n d t h e Ba ltic a ndN o rt h Seas f i n anced m uc h of t h e i r growt h from m a n i p u l at i o n of m a rketsa nd by a cq u i ri n g exc l usive co n t ro l of certa i n f l ows, s u c h as s p i ce s a n ds i l ks from t h e Lev a nt i n t h e case of Ve n ice, o r salt i n t h e case of L u be c k .With a m o no poly o n l ux u ry goods, wo n a n d m a i n ta i n e d b y m i l ita ry fo rce,fou rtee n th-cen t u ry Ve n i ce d o m i n ated the cities a ro u n d it, n ot o n ly t h esma l l tow n s co n stituti n g i t s s u p ply regi o n s b u t oth e r gia n t towns, s u c h a sF lo re nce a n d M i l a n . I n t h e n o rt h , betwe e n t h e t h i rtee n t h a nd fiftee n t hcentu ries, cities l i ke L u beck a n d B ruges fo rmed a mes hwo rk of cities k n ow na s t h e H a n seatic League, w h i c h was cap a b l e o f co l l e ctive acti o n wit h o ut acentral ized o rga n izati o n b e h i nd it. T h e leagu e also e ngaged i n m o n o p o l is­tic p ractices to trap t h e town s wit h i n its zo n e of eco n o m i c i n fl u e nce in aweb of s u pervisi o n a n d d e p e n d e nce . 59 We w i l l ret u r n s ho rtly to othe r forms of m a rket m a n i p u lati o n w h i c h ,acco rd i n g t o B ra u d e l , h a v e a lways c h aracterized ce rta i n com m e rc i a l i n sti­tuti o n s si n c e the M id d l e Ages . This w i l l m a k e c l e a r h ow wro n g it i s toass u m e (as m a ny econ o m i sts to t h e right a nd center of t h e pol itical s pec­trum te nd to d o) t h at m a rket powe r is somet h i ng t h at m ay be d is m issedo r t h at n eeds to be stu d i e d o n ly in relatio n to some a be rrant i n stituti o n a lforms s u c h a s overt m o n o po l i es. B u t ce rtai n co n ce pti o n s from t h e left(parti c u l a rly the M a rxist l eft) a l so need to be corrected , in p arti c u l a r, ateleo l ogical co nception of eco n o m i c h i sto ry i n terms of a linear progressionof modes of prod u ctio n . I n t h i s B ra u d e l expl icitly agree s with G i l l esD e l euze a nd F e l i x G u attar i : capita l is m co u ld h a ve a ri s e n a nyw h e re a n d47
  • 38. I: LAV S AND MAGMAS Al o n g befo re it d i d i n E u ro p e .6o Its e m e rge n ce m u st be pict u red as a bi­fu rcat i o n , a p h ase t r a n s i t i o n t h at m ight h ave ta ke n p l ace somewh e reelse had t h e co n d it i o n s bee n right (for i n sta nce, i n t h e h u ge camel ca ra­v a n s a l o ng t h e S i l k Road i n t h e t h i rtee n t h centu ry) . 61 M o reov e r, t h e i n sti­tuti o n s t h at e m e rged afte r t h i s bifu rcatio n m u st be v i ewed n ot asre p l a c i n g p revious i n stitutio n s ( i . e . , m a rkets) but as fu l ly coexist i ng withthem wit hout fo rm i ng a soci etywide "system . " It i s true t h at p rices acrossE u rope we re p u l sati ng to the same rhyt h m from m e d i eval times and t h i sgave t h e e nt i re co nti n e nt a ce rta i n eco n o m i c co h e re nce (som eti mesrefe rred to as a "wo rld-eco n o my"), but it wou ld be a m i sta ke to c o n fuseworld-eco n o m ies with the "capital ist system," si n ce I nd i a , C h i n a , a n dI s l a m a l so fo rmed c o h e re nt e c o n o m i c a reas (as p owe rfu l as those o f Eu­rope) wit h out givi ng rise to capita l i s m . 62 The co n c e pt u a l co n fu s i o n e nge n d e red by a l l t h e d i ffere n t u ses of t h ew o r d "capitalism" ( a s " free e nte rprise" o r a s " i n d u st ri a l mode of p ro d u c­t i o n " o r, m o re rece ntly, as "wo rl d-eco n o my") is so e ntrenched t h at itm a kes a n o bj ective a n a lysis of eco n o m i c powe r a l m ost i m poss i b l e . O n ecou l d , of co u rse, s i m p ly red e fi n e t h e t e r m "ca p ital ism" to i n c l u d e " powe rto m a n i p u l ate m a r kets" as a co nstitutive part of its m e a n i ng a n d to rid itof so m e of its te l e o l ogica l co n notatio n s . But as p h i l os o p h e rs of sci e n cek n ow we l l , w h e n a t h e o ry begi n s redefi n i ng its te rms i n a n ad hoc way tofit the l atest rou n d of n egative evi d e n ce , it s h ows by t h i s v e ry act t h at ithas re ached t h e l i m its of its u sefu l n ess. I n view of t h is, it wou ld seemthat the o n ly s o l u t i o n is to re p l ace t h is tired wo rd wit h a n e o l ogism , pe r­h a p s t h e o n e B ra u d e l sugge ste d , " a n t i m arkets , " a n d to use it exc l u s ivelyto refe r to a ce rta i n segm e n t of the p o p u l at i o n of co m m e rc i a l a n d i n d u s­trial i n stitutio n s . 63 I n a d d iti o n to m o n o po l i es , t h e most obvious form of m a n i p u l atio n ofs u p ply and d e m a n d , p re i n d u strial a ntima rkets used seve ra l ot h e r m e c h a­n i s m s to fu rt h e r t h e i r acc u m u lati o n s a nd i n crease t h e i r d o m i n ati o n . F o rexam p l e , good s bought d i rectly fro m a p rod u c e r at a l ow p ri ce were ofte nsto red i n l a rge wa re h o u ses u nt i l t h e ma rket price rose to a d esired level.M a rket prices someti mes i n cre ased of their own acco rd , as h a p pe n edd u ri n g w a rs , b u t w h e n eve r t hey did n ot t h e m e rc h a nts w h o owned t h eseh u ge rese rvoi rs c o u l d a rtifi ci a l ly i n flate p ri ces, pe r h a ps by buyi ng certa i na m o u nts o f a give n p rod u ct a t a high p rice ( o r, vice v e rsa, d efl ate pricesby d u m p i ng l ower- p riced goods). 64 Lo ng-d ista n ce trad e was a n ot h e rm e a n s t o free o n es e l f of t h e l aws a nd l i m itatio n s of t h e l oca l m a r k et. I nterms of vol u me , lo ng-dista n ce l u xu ry t ra d e was m i n u scu l e i n co m pa risonto t h e flows of h u m b l e goods t h at c i rcu lated i n the med ieval m a rkets. Butw h at it lacked in one fo rm of i nten sity it m a d e up in a n ot h e r:48
  • 39. G�OLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . D Lo ng-d ista nce trade certa i n ly made super-profits: it was after all based on the price d iffe re n ces between two markets very fa r apart, with su pply and demand in co mplete ignorance of each other and b rought i nto co ntact o n ly by the activities of the m i d d l e m a n . There co u l d o n ly have been a co m petitive ma rket if there had been ple nty of sepa rate and i n d e pe ndent m i d d l em e n . I f, in the fu l l ness of time co m petitio n d i d appear, if su per­ profits va n ished from one l i n e , it was always possi ble to fi n d them aga i n o n anot h er route with d ifferent co mmod ities. I f peppe r became com m o n ­ place and decl i ned i n va l u e , tea , coffee, or ca l icoes were wa iti ng i n t h e wi ngs t o ta ke t h e pl ace o f the fo rmer p r i m a d o n na. 6 5 S u c h was t h e fre e d o m of m ov em e n t t h at c h a racte rized a n ti m a rkets, afreed o m m ad e poss i b l e by exte n sive credit. M u c h as p r i m itive o r m eta l l icm o n ey was a cata lyst fo r s m a l l-sca l e co m m e r c i a l e xc h a n ge , credit was t h egreat acce l e rato r fo r a n t i m a rket tra nsactio n s , both whol esale a n d l o n g­d ista nce t ra d e . Credit re p rese nted o n e m o re fo r m of t h e a u tocatalytic o rt u rb u l e nt dyn a m i cs t h at p ro p el led prei n d u st r i a l E u ro p e a n cities a h eadof t h e i r Easte r n rivals, eve n t u a l ly e n a bl i ng E u rope to d o m i n ate the restof the wo rld . C redit (o r, m o re exactly, co m po u n d i nte rest) is a n exa m p l eof explosive, self-sti m u l ati n g growt h : m o n ey begett i n g m o n ey, a d ia bo l icali m age t h at m ad e m a ny civil izatio n s fo rbid u su ry. E u ropea n m e rc h a n tsgot a ro u n d t h i s p ro h i biti o n t h rough t h e u se of t h e " b i l l of exc h a n ge , "o rigi n a l ly a m e a n s of l o n g-d i sta n ce paym e n t ( i n he rited fro m I s l a m) ; as itci rcu l ated from fa i r to fa i r its rate of ret u r n accrued u s u ri o u sly. (T h i s d i s­gu ised fo rm of u s u ry was tole rate d by c h u rc h h i e ra rc h ies d u e to t h e m a nyrisks t h e c i rc u l ati o n of b i l l s of exc h a nge i n vo lved . ) T h e flow of cred it -a n d t h e i n stituti o n s t h at grew a ro u n d th i s fl ow, s u c h as b a n ks a n d stockexc h a n ges - was cru c i a l fo r s e l f-su sta i n ed e co n o m i c growt h at the to p ,a n d it was o n e m o re flow a nt i m a rk et i n stituti o n s m o n opol ized ea rly o n .66 To retu r n to E u ro p e a n u rb a n h i sto ry, t h e dece l e rati o n of u rb a n ex p a n ­sion that fol l owed t h e ye a r 1 300 h a d a va riety of e ffects . T h e b i rt h rateof n ew town s decreased sig n ifica n tly, as d i d conti n u o u s growt h acrossthe fu l l spect r u m of city sizes. I n the s u bseq u e n t fo u r c e n t u ries m a nys m a l l town s d is a p p e a re d , a n d o n ly t h e l a rge r tow n s conti n u ed to grow.I n a s e n se , t h e l o n g d e p re s s i o n acted as a s e l ect i o n p ressu re, favo ri n gt h e l a rge a n d h e n ce i n c reas i n g t h e p roportio n of co m ma n d e l e m e n tsi n t h e m ix . Si m u lt a n e o u sly, t h e fi rst n at i o n -states bega n to co n so l i d at e ,i n regi o n s p reviou sly o rga n ized b y C e ntral P l ac e h ie ra rc h i es, a s t h ed o m i n a n t c i t i e s , so m e of w h i c h beca m e national capitals, bega n to swa l low up a n d d isci p l i n e t h e tow n s in t h e i r orbit . The gateway cities t h at m a d eu p t h e N etwo rk syste m l ost s o m e of t h e i r a u to n o my yet co nti n u ed t o49
  • 40. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASgrow, beco m i ng maritime metropolises. H e nce, w h i l e relatively few townswe re born i n t h i s period, t h e existing popu l atio n of cities c h a nged sign ifi­can tly. The capital and the m etro p o l i s, and the h uge co nce ntrations ofpeo p l e t h ey h o used , became i n creasi ngly vis i b l e featu res of t h e E u ro p e a nu rban struct u re . A n n e Q u e rrien h as d e scri bed t h e c h a racteristics typical o f these twotypes of l a rge tow n s , w h i l e warn i n g us that i n rea l ity a p u re capital o rm et ro po l i s i s rare, t h at m o re ofte n t h a n n ot w e a re d e a l i ng with m ixtu res.A m etrop o l i s , she says, i s l i ke " a m e m b ra n e which a l l ows co m m u n i catio nbetwee n two o r m o re m i l ie u s , w h i le t h e capita l se rves as a n u cl e u s a ro u n dw h i c h t he s e m i l ie u s a r e r igo rou sly o rga n ized ."67 Metro po l ita n ce nte rsexe rcise t h e i r i n fl u e nce across i nte rnatio n a l bo u n d a ries, w h i l e capita l s a ret h e gu a rd i a n s a nd p rotectors of t hese fro ntie rs a n d t h e territo ri es t h eye n co m pass. H e nce, w h i l e t h e fo r m e r a rise by t h e sea, t h e l atte r a re oftenl a n d locked, bo u nd to t h e i r h i nterl a n d . Capita l s te n d to p lace restrictio n so n t h e flows of trade a n d use taxes, tol l s , a n d ta riffs t o extract e n e rgyfro m t h ese c i rcu its ; co nve rse ly, metro p o l itan cities te nd to free t hese fl uxesof a l l o bstacles, s e e ki ng to e x p loit t h e i r d ista nt peri p h e ries m o re t h o rough­ly. (We h ave h e re two d iffe re n t fo rms of powe r, x e n o p h o b i c n atio n a l i smve rsu s sa l t-wate r i m pe ri a l i s m . )68 I n the period of n at i o n -state fo rmati o n ,Pa ris, Mad rid, Baghdad, a n d Pe king we re pe rfect exa m p les of nati o n a lcapita ls, w h i l e Ve n ice, G e n oa , C6rdova, a n d C a n t o n typ ified t h e m a ri t i m emetropol is. C i t i e s s u c h as Lo n d o n w e re m ixtu res of bot h types. The e m e rge n ce of powerfu l n atio n-states, and the co n co m ita nt d ecreasein a u to n o my of the cities t hey a bso rbed (and eve n of the city-states t h atrem a i ned i n d e p e n d e nt), cou l d have b ro ught t h e d i ffe rent fo r m s of se l f­sti m u l ati n g dyn a m i cs we h ave d escri bed to a h a lt. That t h i s did n ot h a p­p e n was d u e to yet o n e m o re fo rm of a u tocata lys is u n i q u e to t h e West:co nti n u ed a rms races . T h e h i sto ria n Pa u l K e n n edy has a rgued t h at t h i styp e of s e l f-st i m u lation d e p e nded i n t u r n o n t h e fact t h at t h e n atio n s ofE u ro p e , u n l i ke C h i n a or I sl am , were never a bl e to fo rm a s i ngl e , h o m oge­n e o u s e m p i re , a n d h ave re m a i ned u nt i l tod ay a mes hwo rk of h i e rarchies.I t was wit h i n t h i s m e s hwo rk t h at advances i n offe n sive wea p o n ry sti m u­l ated i n novations i n d efe nse tec h n o l ogy, lead i ng to an ever-growi ng a rm a­m e n t s p i ra l : While this a rmament spira l co u ld al ready be seen i n the ma n u fact u re of crossbows and a rmor plate i n the ea rly fiftee nth centu ry, the p ri nciple spread to experimentation with gu n powd er weapons i n the fol lowing fifty yea rs. I t is important to reca l l here that whe n ca n n o n were fi rst e m ploye d , there w a s l ittle d i ffe rence between t h e West a n d Asia i n their d esign a n d50
  • 41. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A.D effectiven ess . . . . Yet, it seems to have bee n o n ly in E u rope that the i m pe­ tus existed fo r consta nt i m p rovement: in the gu n powder grai ns, in casti ng much smaller (yet eq u a l ly powerfu l) ca n n o n fro m bronze and tin a l l oys, in the shape and textu re of the ba rrel and the missi le, in the gu n mou nti ngs and carriages. 69 These a rms races had a variety of co n se q u e n ces. They a ffected t h em i n e ra l izati o n of Eu ro p e , as the new mobi l e siege a rti l l e ry m a d e t h e s i m­ple h igh wa l l s that s u rro u n d ed most town s obso l ete . F o rtifi catio n c h a ngedrad ical ly, as town wa l l s we re bu i lt lower w h i l e beco m i n g m o re e l a bo rate,now i n co rporated i nto co m p l ex asse m blages of d itc hes, ra m pa rts, pa ra­pets, a n d cove red passageways. T h i s h ad i m po rtant co n se q u e n ces fo rthe cities e n closed with i n t h ese fo rtified wa l l s . B e fo re 1 5 20, w h e n a townoutgrew its m i n e ra l m e m br a n e , t h e wa l l co u l d be easily d isass e m b led a n dreco n structed fa rt h e r away. B u t n ow, t h e n e w sta r-s ha ped syste m s o fdefe nse that h a d re p l aced it we re p ro h i bitively ex p e n s i ve t o m ove , s o t h att h e town s so fo rti fied we re the reafter co n d e m n ed to grow v e rtica l lyJo O nthe other h a n d , t h e n ew fo rtress designs, as w e l l as t h e a rti l l e ry t h at h a dcata lyzed t h e m i n to existe n ce , bega n t o co n s u m e a rap i d ly i n creasi ngs h a re of a town s wea lt h . T h is favo red n at i o n s ove r city-states, si n c e o n lyt h e fo r m e r co u l d s u sta i n t h e i nte n si ficati o n of reso u rce exploitati o n t h att h e n e w tech n o l ogies d e m a n d e d . Ke n nedy has a d d ed h i s vo i ce t o t h e c h o r u s of h i sto ria n s w ho , h avi ngrej e cted E u roce n t ri s m , came to real ize that even as l ate as 1 5 00 C h i n a o rI sl a m was m u c h b ette r positi o ned t o d o m i n ate t h e m i l l e n n i u m t h a n Eu­rope. ( H e n c e , t h e fact t h at E u rope m a n aged to do t h i s aga i n st the oddswa rra nts exp l a n ati o n . ) M a ny of t h e i nventi o n s t h at E u ro p e a n s used to col­o n ize t h e world (t he com pass, gu n pOWd e r, paper m o n ey, the p r i nti ngp ress) w e re of C h i n ese o rigi n , w h i l e E u ropes acco u nti n g tec h n i q ues a n di nstru m e n ts of c re d it (wh ic h a r e ofte n cited a s exa m pl es of h e r u n iq u e" rati o n a l ity" ) cam e from I sl a m . T h u s , n oth i ng i ntri n s i c to E u rope dete r­m i n ed the o u tco m e , but rat h e r a dyn a m ics beari n g no i n h e re n t rel atio n­s h i p to a ny o n e c u ltu re . I n t h is, K e n n edy agrees with B ra u d e l a n dM c N e i l l : a n excess of ce ntral ized d ecisi o n m a k i n g i n t h e East kept tu rbu­l e nt dyn a m ics u n d e r co ntro l , w h i l e t hey raged u no bstructed in t h e West.To be su re , at several poi nts i n h e r h i sto ry Eu ro pe co u ld h ave become au n i fied h i e ra rchy, a n d t h i s wo u l d have grou n d t h ese dyn a m i cs to a h a lt.This h a p p e n ed in the sixte e n t h centu ry with the H a psb u rg E m p i re , a n dl ate r o n w i t h the r i s e of N a poleo n a n d H it l e r. Yet a l l t h e se e ffo rts p rovedabo rtive, and E u ro pe a n n atio n s rem a i n ed a m es h wo rk. Per h a p s t h e m ost d a m aging effect of ce ntral izati o n was t h at it made51
  • 42. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASEaste r n n at i o n s too d e pe n d e nt on t h e i n d ivid u a l s k i l ls of t h e i r e l ites.Someti mes these s ki l ls were in s h o rt s u p p ly, as in the Otto m a n E m p i reafte r 1566, w h e n it was r u l e d by th i rtee n i n co m pete n t s u lta n s i n s ucces­sio n . Beca use of t h e excess of com m a n d e l e m e nt i n t h e m ix, as K e n n edysays, " a n i d iot s u lta n co u ld p a ra lyze the Otto m a n E m p i re in a way thata pope o r H o ly Roman e m peror cou ld never d o fo r all of E u rope. "71 I n as i m i l a r way, C h i n a s outlook was t u r n e d i nward by its e l ite at a crucialpoi n t in h isto ry, when t h e secret to world d o m i n at i o n l ay i n t h e co n q u estof t he oce a n s , both fo r t h e p rofits of l o ng-d i sta n ce trade a n d for t h e flowsof e n e rgy a nd m ate rials that col o n izatio n made p oss i b l e . C h i n a h a d a n e a r ly l e ad i n t h e n a v a l race, h a v i n g s u ccessfu l ly pio­n e e red exped itions to the I n d i a n Oce a n as ea rly as 1405, in w h i c h h e r" l a rgest vessel s probably d is pl aced a b o u t 1, 500 to n s co m pared to t h e300 to n s of Vasco da Ga m a s flags h i p . . . at t h e e n d of t h e s a m e ce ntu ry.Everyt h i ng a bout t h ese expeditions e c l i psed t h e sca l e of l ater Portu­guese e nd e avors. M o re s h i ps , m o re gu ns, m o re m a n powe r, m o re ca rgoca pacity. . . . "7 2 H owever, C h i n a s rigi d e l ite t u r n ed back its o utwa rd-look­i ng pol icies a nd tu r n ed t h e cou ntry i nwa rd . H ad C h i n a s exped iti o n sco n ti n ued , " C h i n ese n avigato rs m i g h t we l l h ave ro u n ded Africa a nd d is­cove red E u rope befo re P r i nce H e n ry t h e N avigato r d ied . "73 And E u ro­p e a n cities m ight have fo u n d t h emselves col o n ies a nd s u p ply regi o n s ofa fa raway e m p i re . T hose were t h e d a ngers a nd m issed opportu n ities t h at too m u c h cen­tra l izati o n b rought a bout. Seve ra l regi o n s of E u rope (Spai n , Austria,F ra n ce ) m oved i n t h at d i re cti o n , as their capital cities grew out of all p ro­p o rti o n , beco m i n g l a rge, u n p rod u ctive centers of co n s u m pt i o n a n di n h i biting t h e growt h of t h e i r pote ntial u rb a n riva l s . T h ose n at i o n s w h i c hu n ited i n t h e i r central city t h e d u a l fu n ct i o n of n ati o n a l capita l a n d m a r­itime gateway we re bett e r a b l e to mai n ta i n t h e i r a u tocata lytic dyn a m i cs.Such wa s the case, i n t h e sixtee nt h to e ightee n t h c e n tu ries, of B ri ta i na n d t h e U n ited P rov i n ce s . L i ke o l d e r co res o f t h e N etwo rk (Ve n ice,G e n o a , A n twerp) Lo n d o n and Amsterdam were m a ri t i m e cities, and co n ­sta n t co n ta ct with t h e sea ( m o re t h a n a ny specifica l ly Engl i s h o r D u t c hc u l t u ra l tra it) i n sp i red a n d s u st a i n e d t h e i r e l ites o utward o ri e ntatio n .A s i m i l a r effect m ight h ave been achi eved i n S pa i n a n d eve n i n C h i n a : When i n 1421 the M i ng r u l ers of C h i na cha nged their cap ital city, leavi ng N a n ki ng, and movi ng to Peki ng . . . the massive wo rld-eco nomy of C h i n a swu ng rou n d fo r good, tu rn i ng its back o n a form of eco nomic activity based on easy access to sea-borne trade. A new land l ocked metropolis was now esta bl ished deep in the i nte rior and bega n to d raw everything towards it. . . .52
  • 43. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A.D P h i l i p I I made an eq ually momentous decisio n i n 1 582. At the height of S pa i n s pol itical domi nati o n of E u rope, P h i l i p I I co n q u e red Portugal and el ected residence, with his govern ment, in Lisbon fo r a period of almost three years . . . . Looking over the ocean this was an ideal place from where to rule the wo rld . . . . So to leave Lisbon i n 1 582 meant leaving a positio n fro m which the empires enti re eco nomy cou ld be co ntrol led, and i m priso n i ng the m ight of Spain in lVIadrid, the landlocked heart of Casti l le - a fatefu l mistake! The I nvi ncible Armada, after years of preparatio n , sa i l ed to its dis­ aster in 1 588. 74Although most E u ropea n a nd n o n- E u ropean e l ites we re very aware of t h ei m po rt a n ce of s e a powe r a nd of t h e p rofits of lo ng-d ista n ce trad e , o n lyco n stant co nta ct with t h e sea seems to h ave co n v i n ced t h e m to p a rtakeof t h e colossal b e ne fits i n h e re n t i n t h e e n e rgy tra pped in w i n d s a ndcu rrents. T h e ocea n s a nd t h e atm o s p h ere fo rm a n o n l i n e a r dyn a m icalsystem t h at co nta i n s t e n t i m e s m o re solar e n e rgy than p l a nts ca ptu ret h rough p h otosynthesis, a nd o n ly a ti ny fract i o n of t h e pote ntial e n ergyof p l a n t l i fe powe red m ost of civil izatio n s past i n te n si ficati o n s . T h e e n o r­mous reservo i r of ocea n i c a n d atmosp h e ri c e n e rgy fuels a great vari etyof se lf-o rga n ized struct u res: to rnadoes, cycl o nes , press u re b l ocks, a nd ,more i m po rta n tly fo r h u m a n h isto ry, w i n d c i rc u its. Some of t h ese c i rc u its, l i ke the m o nsoon wi n d , w h i c h has powered a l ls a i l s h i ps i n Asian waters fo r ce ntu ries, gave societ i es a clock, a periodi­cal rhyt h m . T h e m o n so o n b l ows westwa rd h a l f t h e yea r a n d eastwardthe ot h e r h a l f, creati ng a "seaso n a l weat h e r system t h at co u l d be com­p re h e n d ed from l a n d , " 75 a nd co u ld thus e nte r as a facto r in the decis i o n ­m a k i n g p rocesses of t h e seafa r i ng tow n s i n Asi a . I n t h o s e u rba n ce ntersi n co n tact with t h e m o nsoo n , k nowledge of its dyn a m ical be h a v i o r acc u­m u lated a nd skills i n t h e a rt of ta p p i n g its e n ergy with s a i l s developed.Sim i l a r k nowledge a nd skills evolved in t h e po rts a n d m etro pol ita n cen­ters o n t h e Med iterra n ea n . H oweve r, t h ese ski l l s we re i n adeq u ate tomaster the c i rc u it t hat wo u ld c h a nge the co u rse of the m i l l e n n i u m : t h egiga ntic " d o u b l e co n veyo r bel t" fo rmed b y t h e trade wi n d s a nd t h e west­e rl ies, t h e wi n d c i rc u it t h at brought E u ro pea n s to t h e N ew Wo rld a ndback aga i n . H a r ness i ng t h e e ne rgy of t h is co n veyo r be lt, w h i c h a l lowedthe co nvers i o n of an e nt i re co nti n e nt i nto a rich s u p ply zo n e to f u e lt h e growt h of E u ro pea n c i t i e s , req u i red s pecia l s k i l ls, a nd t h ese had accu­m u l ated by the fifte e n t h c e nt u ry in E u ro pe a n c ities faci n g t h e Atlantic,particu l a rly in Lisbo n . I n t h e expa n se o f water betwee n t h e I be ri a n p e n i n s u la a nd t h e C a n a ryI sl a n d s , a smal l-sca l e re p l i ca of t h i s d o u bl e co nveyo r belt existed . T h e53
  • 44. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASt r i p fro m E u rope to t h e i s l a n d s was straightfo rward , b u t t h e ret u r n wasd i fficu lt s i n ce it was aga i n st the wi n d . The sol utio n was to n avigate awayfro m t hat wi n d - so met h i ng t h at sa i l o rs from M e d ite rra n e a n or I nd ia nOcea n po rts wo u ld never try - a n d look fo r a n ot h e r o n e w h i c h blew i n t h eo pposite d i recti o n . T h i s strategy of u s i n g t w o d i ffe rent c i rc u its, o n e to goa n d o n e to co me back , was d eveloped by the sai l o rs of Lisbo n , a n d cal l edvolta do mar. It was l ater a d a pted by a n ative of Ge noa i n h i s effo rt to d i s­cove r a west e r n ro ute to t h e Orient: The a lternating u se of the trade wi n d s o n the outward l eg, t he n the volta (the cra bwise slide off to the no rthwest) to the zo n e of the westerlies, a n d t h e n t o swoop h o m e w i t h t h e weste rlies as the fol lowi ng w i n d s . . . made the ga m b les of Col u m bu s , d a Gama a n d Mage l l a n acts of adve ntu re not acts of probable s u icide. I h e sa i lo rs k n ew they cou ld sa i l out o n the trades and back on the westerl ies . . . . It is d o u btfu l if the sailors of the age of explo rati o n thought of the volta i n a ny sort of fo rmal way. It is i m p robable that they lear ned the tec h n i q u e as a p ri n ci p l e ; they were, afte r a l l , gro p i ng out to the sea fo r a favora b l e wind n ot searc h i n g fo r laws of natu re. But preva i l i ng patter n s of thought grew up to m atch t h e patte rns of p reva i l i ng w i n d s , a n d I beria n sai lors used the volta as a tem p late with wh ich to p lot their cou rses to Asia, to the A m e ricas a nd a ro u n d the wo rld . 76D ay-to-day co n tact with t h e s m a l l -sca l e versio n of t h e d o u ble co n veyo rbelt ge n e rated t h e ski l l s t h at - i n com b i n at i o n wit h t h e growi ng reservoi rsof h u m a n c a p ita l in t h ese gateway cities - a l l owed t h e mastery of t h eAtl a ntic sea ro utes. A s t h is k n owledge s p read to ot h e r metropolises, t h en atio n s t h at wou l d eventu a l ly e m e rge a nd d o m i n ate t h e next f i v e h u n­d red yea rs wou ld be t h e o n es t h at i n co r po rated these o u twa rd-o rie ntedcities a n d used t h e m a s i nte r n a l moto rs. Those n a ti o n s w hose capitalswere l a n d locked became vict i ms of t h e ext reme v i scosity of land tra n s­p o rt a n d of t h e tyra n ny of d ista n ce a n d its co n seq u en t h ie r a rc h ical u rba np atte rns. T h e sto ry was t h e exact opposite fo r gateway cities: Although the co n q u erors, trad ers, and settlers pla nted the flag of t h e i r sov­ e reign, a l i m ited n u m ber of ports act u a l ly d i rected the expa n s i o n . [Gate­ way] cities d eveloped ties to overseas settleme nts a nd to o n e a noth e r that were stro nger t h a n t h e i r l i n ks with the territo ry at t h e i r back. As a gro u p , they co nstituted the c o r e of a powerful tra d i ng networ k w hose o utposts s pa n ned the world and through which, via overseas gateways, were f u n ­ n e l ed the p l u n d e r a n d p rod uce of vast regi o n s .7754
  • 45. - GEOL OGICAL HISTORY 1000-1700 A . D Des pite the fact t hat the a n a lys is of u rb a n dyn a m ics w h i c h I have atte m pted h e re is me rely a s ketc h , i g n o r i n g so m a ny ot h e r i m po rtant h is­ torical facto rs affect i n g c ities, it n eve rt h e l ess provides ce rta i n i n s ights i nto t h e ro l e n o n l i n e a r sci e n ce m ight p l ay i n t h e study of h u m a n h isto ry. Fi rst a n d fo rem ost, no n l i n e a r mode l s s how t h at wit h o u t a n e n e rgy flow of a certa i n i nte nsity, no syst e m , w h et h e r n atu ral or c u ltu r a l , can ga i n access t o t h e s e l f-o rga n izat i o n resou rces co nstituted by e n d oge n o us ly ge n e rated sta b l e states (attracto rs) a n d tra n siti o n s betwe e n t h ose states (bifu rcat i o n s). Seco n d , n o n l i n e a r models i l l u st rate h ow t h e str u ct u res ge n e rated by matte r-e n e rgy fl ows, o n ce i n p l ace, react back o n t h ose fl ows e it h e r to i n h i bit t h e m or f u rt h e r i nt e n s i fy t h e m . We h ave seen t h at m a ny d iffe rent types of st r u ct u res ca n p l ay t h i s catalytic rol e : t h e m i n e r­ a l ized i n frastr u ct u re of c ities t h e mselves; t h e o rga n izat i o n s (ce ntra l ize d o r decentral ized) t h at l ive wit h i n t h e m i n e ra l wa l ls ; a n d v a ri o u s ot h e r cu ltu ral mate ri a l s t h at move i n a n d o ut of cities o r acc u m u l ate i n t h e m : s k i l l s a n d k n owledge, m o n ey a n d cred it, i n fo r m a l ru les a n d i nstituti o n a l n o rms. F u rt h e r m o re , wars a n d anti m a rket riva l ries betwe e n cities (a n d , l ater o n , n atio n-states) a lso h a d cata lytic effects o n a l l t hese fl ows . 78 I t was precisely t h ese cata lysts act i n g o n e a c h ot h e r ( i n a utocatalyt i c o r c ross-catalytic re l at i o n s), i n t h e co ntext o f a n i nt e n s ified e n e rgy fl ow, t h at prope l l ed E u rope a h ead of its pote nti a l rivals fo r wo rld d o m i n atio n . To t h e extent t h at t h ese basic i n sights a re co rrect, h u m a n c u lt u re a n d soci ety (co n s i d e red a s dyn a m ical systems) a re n o d iffe rent from t h e self­ o rga n ized processes t h at i n h a bit t h e atmos p h e re a n d hyd ros p h e re (wi n d ci rcu its, h u rrica n es), o r, fo r t h at m atte r, n o d i ffe rent fro m l avas a nd m ag­ m as, w h i c h as self-asse m b l ed co n veyo r be lts d rive pl ate tecto n ics a n d ove r m i l le n n i a h ave created a l l t h e geo logical feat u res t h at h ave i n f l u e n ced h u m a n h i sto ry. From t h e p o i n t of v i ew of e n e rgetic a n d cata lytic flows, h u m a n societies are v e ry m u c h l i ke l ava flows; and h u m a n - m a d e str u c­ t u res ( m i n e ra l ized cities a n d i n stitutio n s) a re ve ry m u c h l i ke m o u n ta i n s a n d rocks: accu m u l at i o n s of mate ri a l s h a rd e n e d a n d s h a ped b y h isto rical p rocesses. (Th e re a re , of co u rse, several ways i n which we are not l i ke l ava a n d m agm a , a nd t h ese d i ffere n ces wi l l be d iscu ssed i n t h e fol l owi ng c h a pters.) Mea nwh i le , this "ge ol ogical" a p p roach to h u m a n h isto ry sti l l h as some s u rp ri ses in sto re fo r u s as we expl o re the l a st t h re e h u n d red yea rs of t h e m i l l e n n i u m . D u ri ng t h ose ce ntu ries, t h e popu l ati o n of towns w h i c h h a d p ro pe l l ed E u rope i nto h e r position of worldwide s u p re macy witn essed d ramat i c c h a nges. J u st as powe rfu l i nte n s i ficati o n s of the fl ows of e n e rgy h ad t rigge red t h e great acce l e ratio n of city b u i l d i ng betwee n t h e yea rs 1000 a n d 1300, fossil f u e l s wo u l d m a ke a new ro u nd of i nte nsified e n e rgy 55
  • 46. I: LAVAS AND MAGMA Sflow poss i b l e five centu ries l ater a n d wo u l d d ra m atica l ly alter t h e co m po­sition of t h is po p u l atio n , acce l e rati ng city births o n ce m o re and givi n gr i s e t o n ove l fo rms, s u c h as t h e facto ry town co m plete ly co ntro l led b y itsi n d u strial h ierarc h ies: a tru ly m i n era l i zed a nt i m a rket.56
  • 47. Sa n dston e a n d Gra niteTh e co nce pts of " m es hwo r k "a n d " h i e ra rc hy" h a ve f ig u redso p rom i n e n tly i n o u r d iscu s ­s i o n u p t o t h i s po i nt t h at i t i sn e cessa ry t o pa u se fo r am om e n t a n d ref l ect o n som eof t h e p h i l osop h i ca l q u est i o n st h ey ra ise . S pec i f i ca l ly, I h a vea pp l i ed t h ese te rm s i n s u c ha wi d e va ri ety of co ntexts t h atwe m ay ve ry we l l a s k o u r­se l ves w h et h e r som e (o r m ost)57
  • 48. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASof t h e s e a p p l i ca t i o n s h a ve bee n p u re lym et a p h o r i ca l . T h e re is, n o d o u bt, som ee l e m e n t of m eta p h o r i n my u s e of t h e t e r m s ,b u t t h e re a re , I be l i eve , com m o n p h y s i c a lp rocesses be h i n d t h e format i o n of m e s h ­wo r k s a n d h i e ra rc h i es w h i c h m a ke ea c h d i f ­fe re n t u s a ge of t h e t e r m s q u i te l i t e r a l . T h esecom m o n p ro c e s s e s ca n n ot be f u l l y ca pt u redt h ro u g h l i n g u i st i c re p res e ntat i o n s a l o n e ; weneed t o e m p l oy so m et h i n g a l o n g t h e l i n e s ofen gin eerin g diagrams to s p e c ify t h e m . A co n c ret e exa m p l e m ay h e l p c l a r i fy t h i sc r u c i a l po i n t . W h e n we say (a s m a rx i sts u s e dt o say) t h a t " c l a s s st r u gg l e i s t h e mot o r o fh i story " w e a re u s i n g t h e word " m oto r " i n ap u re l y m eta p h o ri c a l s e n s e . H ow eve r, w h e n w esay t h a t " a h u r r i c a n e i s a stea m m ot o r " w ea re n o t s i m p ly m a k i n g a l i n gu i s t i c a n a l ogy;rat h e r, we a re sayi n g t h a t h u r r i c a n e s e m bodyt h e s a m e d i a g r a m u s e d by e n g i n e e rs to buildstea m m ot o rs - t h at i s , we a re say i n g t h a t ah u r r i ca n e , l i ke a ste a m e n g i n e , c o n ta i n s arese rvo i r of h e at, o p e rates v i a t h e r m a l d i ffe r­e n c e s , a n d c i rc u l a tes e n e rgy a n d m at e r i a l st h ro u g h a (s o - ca l l e d ) Ca r n ot cyc l e . 79 (Ofco u r se , we m a y b e wro n g i n a s c r i b i n g t h i s d i a ­gra m t o a h u r r i c a n e , a n d f u rt h e r e m p i r i c a l58
  • 49. SANDS TONE AND GRANITEres e a r c h m ay revea l t h at h u r r i c a n es i n fa cto p e rate i n a d i ffe re nt way, a ccord i n g to a d i f ­fe re n t d i a gr a m . ) I w i s h to a rg u e h e re t h a t t h e re a re a l s oa b st ra ct m a c h i n e s ( a s D e l e u ze a n d G u atta ric a l l t h ese e n g i n e e r i n g d i a g r a m s) be h i n d t h es truc ture - gen era ting processes t h at y i e l d a sh i sto r i ca l p rod u cts s p e c i f i c m e s hwo r k s a n dh i e ra rc h i e s . Pa rt i c u l a r l y i n st r u ct i ve a m o n gh i e ra rc h i c a l st r u ct u re s a re soc i a l strata(c l a s ses , cast es) . The te rm " s oc i a l st ra t u m "i s itse l f c l e a r l y a m eta p h o r, i n vo l v i n g t h ei d ea t h a t , j u st a s geo l o g i ca l st rata a re l aye rsof ro c ky m a t e r i a l s sta c ke d on top of e a c hot h e r, s o c l a sses a n d c a stes a re l aye rs ­s o m e h i g h e r, som e l ow e r - of h u m a n m a te r i ­a l s . I s i t pos s i b l e t o go beyo n d m eta p h o ra n d s h ow t h a t t h e ge n es i s of bot h ge o l o g i c a la n d so c i a l st r a ta i n vo l ves t h e s a m e e n g i n e e r ­i n g d i a gra m ? G e o l o g i ca l st rata a re c re a t e db y m e a n s of ( a t l ea st) two d i st i n ct o p e ra t i o n s .W h e n o n e l o o k s c l o s e l y a t t h e l aye rs of roc ki n a n ex p o s e d m o u nt a i n s i d e , o n e i s st r u c k byt h e o b s e rvat i o n t h a t e a c h l a ye r co nta i n s fu r­t h e r l a ye rs , e a c h co m p o s e d of p e b b l e s t h a ta re n e a rly homogen e o us w i t h re s p ect to s i ze ,s h a p e , a n d c h e m i c a l co m p os i t i o n . S i n c e59
  • 50. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASpebbles do not come in standard sizes and sh apes, some kind of sortingm echanism must be involved here, some specific device to take a multi­plicity of pebbles of heterogeneous q ualities and distribute them intomore or less uniform layers. Geologists have discovered one such mechanism: rivers acting as veri­table hydra ulic comp uters (or, at least, sorting machines). Rivers transportrocky materials from t h eir point of origin (an eroding mountain) to thebottom of the ocean , where these materials accumulate. In t h e course oft h i s process, pebbles of various size, weight, and sh ape react differentlyto t h e water transporting t h em. Some are so small t h ey dissolve in thewater; some are larger and are carried in suspension; even larger stonesmove by jumping back and forth from the riverbed to the streamingwater, w h ile t h e largest ones are moved by traction as t h ey roll along thebottom toward t h e!r destination. T h e ,i ntensity of t h e river flow (i.e. , itsspeed and other intensities, such as temperature or clay saturation) alsodetermines the outcome, since a large pebble t hat could only be rolled bya moderate current may be transported in suspension by a powerful eddy.(Since t h ere is feedback between pebble properties and flow properties,as well as between the river and its bed, the "sorting computer" is clearlya h ig h ly nonlinear dynamical system.)80 Once t h e raw materials have been sorted out into more or less homo­geneous groupings deposited at the bottom of t h e sea (that is, once t h eyh ave become sedimented), a second operation is necessary to transformthese loose collections of pebbles into a larger-scale entity: sedimentaryrock. T h is operation consists in cementing the sorted components togetherinto a new entity with emergent properties of its own, that is, propertiessuch as overall strength and permeability which cannot be ascribed to thesum of the individual pebbles. T h is second operation is carried out bycertain substances dissolved in water (such as silica or hematite, in t h ecase o f sandstones) w h ic h penetrate the sediment through the poresbetween pebbles. As t h is percolating solution crystallizes, it consolidatesthe pebbles temporary spatial relations into a more or less permanent"arch itectonic" structure .B1 Thus, a double operation, a "double articulation" transforms st ructureson one scale into structures on anot her scale. I n t h e model proposed byDeleuze and Guattari, these two operations constitute an engineering dia­gram and so we can expect to find isomorp h i c processes (that is, t h issame "abstract machine of stratification") not only in t h e world of geologybut in t h e organic and huma n worlds as wel1.82 For example, according toneo-Darwinians, species form through the slow accumulation of geneticmaterials and t h e adaptive anatomical and be havioral traits t h at those60
  • 51. SANDSTONE AND GRANITEgenetic materials yield when combined with nonlinear dynamical processes(such as the interaction of cells du ring the development of an embryo).Genes, of course, do not merely deposit at random b u t are sorted o u t bya variety of selection press ures, including climate, the action of predatorsand parasites, and the effects of male or female choice d uring mating.Thus, in a very real sense, genetic materials "sediment" j ust as pebblesdo, even if the nonlinear dynamical system that performs the sortingoperation is completely di fferent in detail. Fu rthermore, these loose col­lecti ons of genes can (like accumu lated sand) be lost under drasticallychanged conditions (su ch as the onset of an ice age) u nless they consoli­date. This second operation is performed by "reproductive isolation" :when a given su bset of a population becomes mechanically or geneticallyincapable of mating with the rest. Reproductive isolation acts as a "ratchetmechanism" that conserves the accumulated adaptation and makes i timpossible for a given population t o "de-evolve" all t h e way back t o uni­cellular organisms. Through selective accumulation and isolative consoli­dation, individual animals and plants come to form a larger-scale entity :a new species.83 We also find these two operations (and hence, this abstract diagram)in the formation of social classes. We talk of "social strata" whenever agiven society presents a variety of differentiated roles to which individualsare denied eq u al access, and when a su bset of those roles (to which aruling elite alone has access) involves the control of key energy and mate­rial resources. While role differentiation may be a spontaneous effect ofan intensification in the flow of energy through society (e.g. , when a BigMan in prestate societies acts as an intensifier of agric ult u ral produc­tion84), the sorting of those roles into ranks on a scale of prestige involvesspecific group dynamics. I n one model, for instance, members of a grou pwho have acq u ired preferential access t o some roles begin t o acq u ire thepower to control fu rther access to them, and within these domi nant groupscriteria for sorting the rest of society into s u bgroups begin to crystallize.85 Even though most cult u res develop some rankings of this type, not inall soci eties do these rankings become an auto n o m o us dimension of socialorganization. In many societies differentiation of the elites is not extensive(they do not form a center while the rest of the population forms an ex­clu ded periphery), s u rpluses do not accumulate (they may, for instance,be destroyed in ritual feasts), and primordial relations (of kin and localalliances) tend to preva il. Hence, for social classes or castes to become aseparate entity, a second operation is necessary beyond the mere sortingof people into ranks: the informal sorting criteria need to be given a theo­logical interpretation and a legal definition, and the elites need to become61
  • 52. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASt h e g u a rd i a n s a n d bearers of the n ewly i nstituti o n a l i zed traditi o n , that is,t h e l egiti m i ze rs of c h a nge and d e l i n e ators of the l i m its of i n n ovati o n . I ns h o rt, to tra n sfo r m a loose r a n ked accu m u l atio n of traditio n a l roles (andcriteria of access to t hose rol e s) i n to a soc i a l c l a ss, t h e l atte r needs tobecome co n so l i d ated via t h eo logical and l egal cod i ficati o n . 86 No d o u bt, t h i s c h a racte rization of t h e p ro cess t h ro ugh w h i c h soc i a l stratae m e rge is somewhat s i m p l i fi e d ; eve n geo logical strata a re m ore com p l i­cated t h a n t h i s. (For exa m ple, they grow n ot o n ly t h ro u g h se d i m e n tatio nbut a l so t h ro u g h accretio n a n d e n croachme nt. Species a n d soc i a l c l assesm ay also i n volve t h ese m ec h a n isms.) But I wi l l reta i n h e re the s i m pl ifiedd i agram fo r its h e u ristic val u e : sed i m e ntary rocks, s pecies, and soci a lclasses (a n d o t h e r i n stitu ti o n a l ized h i e ra rc h ies) a re a l l h isto rical co n struc­t i o n s , t h e p rod u ct of d efi n ite structu re-ge n e rat i n g p rocesses that take ast h e i r sta rt i n g po i n t a hete rog� ne o u s co l l ect i o n of raw mate r i a l s (pebbles,ge nes, rol es), h o moge n i ze t hem t h ro ugh a so rti ng operatio n , a n d t h e nco n s o l i d ate the res u l t i n g u n i fo rm gro u pi ngs i nto a m o re perma n e nt state .T h e h i e ra rc h ies to w h i c h I h ave refe rred t h ro u g h o u t t h i s c h a pter a re aspecial case of a m o re ge n e ra l cl ass of struct u res, stratified syste ms, tow h i c h n ot o n ly h u m a n b u rea u cracies a n d biological species belo ng, buta l so sed i m e ntary rocks. (And all t h i s without metaphor.) W h at about m e s h wo rks? D e l e uze and G u atta ri offe r a hypoth eticald i agra m fo r this type of str u ct u re, too , but its e l e m e nts a re n ot as stra ight­forward as t h ose i nvolved i n t h e formati o n of strata. Pe r h a ps t h e most­stu d i e d typ e of m e s hwork is t h e " a u tocatalytic l o o p , " a cl osed c h a i n ofc h e m ical p rocesses, which m u st be d i sti ngu i s h e d fro m the s i m ple self­sti m u l ati ng dyn am ics to w h i c h I refe rred m a ny t i mes i n my d escri pti o n oft u r b u l e n t u rb a n growth . U n l i ke si m p l e autocata lysis, a closed loop d i s p l aysn ot o n ly s e l f-sti m u lati o n b u t a l so sel f-m a i n te n a n ce ; t h at is, it l i n ks a se riesof m u t u a l ly sti m u l ati ng p a i rs i nto a stru ctu re t h at rep rod u ces as a w h o l e . T h e p hysical basis for e i t h e r s i m p l e o r com pl e x se l f-sti m u l at i o n a re cat­a lysts, t hat is, c h e m i ca l s u bsta nces capable of " recognizi ng" a m o re o rless s pecific mate r i a l a n d a lte r i n g t hat m ate r i a l s m o l e c u l a r state so t h atit n ow reacts with ce rta i n s U bstances with w h i c h it wou ld n ot n o rm a l lyreact. T h i s act of recog n i ti o n is n ot, of co u rse, a cogn i ti ve act b u t o neeffected t h ro ug h a l oc k-a n d- key m e c h a n i s m : a po rtio n of t h e cata lyticm o l e c u l e fits o r m e s hes with a po rt i o n of the ta rget m o l ec u l e , c h a n gi n gits i nte r n a l struct u re so t h at it beco mes m o re o r less receptive t o yeta n ot h e r s u bsta nce. I n t h i s way, the cata lyst provokes a meetin g of twos ubstances, fac i l itati n g (o r i n h i biti ng) t h e i r reactio n a n d , t h e refo re, t h eaccu m u l atio n (o r decu m u l ati o n ) of t h e p ro d u cts of t h at reactio n . U nd e rspeci a l co n d iti o n s , a s e t of t hese p ro cesses m ay form a c l osed l o o p ,62
  • 53. SANDSTONE AND GRANITEw h e re the p rod u ct t h at a cc u m u l ates d u e to the acce l e ratio n of o n e reac­tion serves as t h e catalyst fo r yet a n oth e r reacti o n , w h i c h i n t u r n ge n e r­ates a p rod u ct t h at cata lyzes t h e fi rst o n e . H e nce, the loop beco m e sself-s u sta i n i ng fo r as l o n g as its e n v i ro n m e n t co nta i n s e n o u g h r a w m ate­rials fo r t h e c h e m ical reactio n s to p roceed . H u m be rto lV1 at u ra n a a n d Fran cisco Va rel a , p i o n eers i n t h e st udy ofa u tocata lytic loops, d i sti ngu i s h two ge n e ra l c h a racte ristics of t h esecl osed c i rc u its: t hey a re dyn a m ical system s t hat e n doge n o u s ly ge n e ratet h e i r own stable states (ca l led " attracto rs" or "eige n states" ), a nd t h eygrow a n d evo lve by drift.87 T h e fi rst c h a racteristic m ay be o bserved i ncerta i n c h e m ical reactio n s i n vo l v i n g a u tocatalys i s (as we l l a s c ross-cata­lysis) w h i c h fu n ction as ve rita ble "chem ical clocks," t h at is, the accu­m u l ati o n s of m aterials from t h e reacti o n s a lte rn ate at perfectly regularintervals. I f we i m agi n e each of t h e two s u bsta n ces i n volved as hav i n ga defi n ite col o r (say, r e d a nd bl u e ) , t h e i r co m bi n ation wo u l d n ot res u lti n a p u rple l i q u i d (as we wou ld expect from m i l l io n s of m o l ec u l es com­bi n i ng at r a n d o m) b ut in a rhyt h m ic reaction with states in which mostly blue m o l ec u les accu m u l ate fol l owed by states in which m ostly red m o l e­c u les a re p rod uced. T h i s rhyt h m i c b e h avio r is n ot i m posed o n t h e sys­tem from the o u ts i d e but ge n e rated spo nta n e o u sly from wit h i n (vi a a nattractor). 88 The seco n d c h a racteristic m e ntio n ed by M at u r a n a a n d Va rel a , growt hby d ri ft, m ay be expl a i n ed as fol l ows: i n t h e s i m p l est a u tocata lytic loopst h e re a re o n ly two reacti o n s , each p rod u ci ng a catalyst fo r t h e oth e r.B u t o n ce t h i s basic two-n od e n etwo rk establ i s h es itself, n ew nodes m ayi nsert t h e mselves i n to t h e mesh as l o n g as t h ey do n ot jeopard ize itsi nte r n a l co n siste n cy. T h us, a new c h e m ical rea cti o n m ay a p pear ( u s i ngpreviou sly n egl ected raw m ate r i a l s o r eve n waste p rod u cts from t h e o rigi­nal l oo p) t h at cata lyzes o n e of the o rigi n a l rea ct i o n s a nd i s cata lyzed bythe ot h e r, so that the loop n ow beco mes a t h re e- n od e n etwo rk. T h emeshwork has n ow grow n , but i n a d i recti o n t h a t is, fo r a l l p ractica l p u r­poses, " u n p l a n n ed . " A new node (wh i c h j u st h a ppens to satisfy somei nte r n a l co n s i ste n cy req u i re m e n ts) i s added a nd t h e loop co m p l exifies,yet precisely beca use t h e o n ly c o n stra i n ts w e re i ntern a l , t h e c o m p l exifi ca­tion does n ot take place in order for the loop as a w h o l e to m eet so m eexte r n a l d e m a n d (su c h a s adapti ng to a s pecific situ ati o n ). T h e s u rro u n d­i n g e nv i ro n m e n t, as sou rce of raw m ate r i a l s , certa i n ly co n stra i n s t h egrowth of t h e mes hwo rk, but m o re i n a p roscri ptive w a y (wh at n ot to d o)t h a n i n a p rescr i ptive o n e (w hat to d o). 89 The q u esti o n n ow is w h et h e r we ca n d e rive from e m p i rical stu d ie s ofm es hwork be h av i o r a struct u re-ge n e rati n g p ro cess t h at is a bstract63
  • 54. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASe n o u g h to o pe rate i n t h e wo rlds of geology, biology, a nd h u m a n society.I n t h e model proposed by De l e uze a n d G u atta ri, t h e re a re t h ree e l e­me nts i n t h i s d i ag ra m . F i rst, a set of heteroge n e o u s e l e m e nts is b roughttoget h e r v i a a n articulation of s uperpositions, t h at i s , a n i nte rco n n ectio n ofd iverse b u t ove r l a p p i ng e l e me n ts. ( I n the case of a utocatalytic l oops, t h enodes i n t h e c i r c u it a re joi ned t o each other b y t h e i r functional comple­m en tarities. ) Seco n d , a spec i a l class of o pe rato rs, or intercalary elements,is needed to effect these i nterco n necti o n s . ( I n o u r case, t h i s i s the rolep l ayed by catalysts, w h i c h i n sert t hemselves betwee n two oth e r c h e m i ca lsu bsta nces t o faci l itate t h e i r i n te racti o n . ) F i n a l ly, t h e i nter locked h ete ro­ge n e ities m u st be ca p a b l e of e ndoge n o u sly ge n e rati ng sta b l e patte r n s ofbe havio r (fo r exa m p l e , patte r n s at reg u l a r tem po ra l or spat i a l i ntervals).90I s it possi b l e to fi n d i nsta n ces of t h ese th ree e l e m e nts i n geologica l , bio­logica l , a n d soc i a l str u ct u res? I g n eo u s rocks (su c h as gran ite) a re fo rmed in a p rocess rad i ca l ly d i f­fe re nt fro m sed i m e n tatio n . G ra n ite fo rms d i rectly o u t of cool i ng magma,a visco u s fl u i d co m posed o f a d ive rsity o f molte n mate r i a l s . Each of thesel i q u i d com p o n e nts h as a d iffere nt t h res h o l d of c rysta l l i zati o n ; that is,each u n d e rgoe s t h e bifu rcatio n toward i ts sol i d state at a d iffe rent criticalpoi nt in te m pe rat u re . As t h e magma coo l s dow n , its d iffe rent e l e m e ntsseparate a s t hey c rysta l l ize in seq u e nce, and t hose t h at sol i d i fy earl i e rserve as c o n ta i n e rs fo r t hose t h at a cq u i re a crystal fo rm l ater. T h e res u ltis a co m p l ex set of h eterogen eo u s crystals that interlock with o n e a n ot h e r,a n d t h i s is what gives gra n ite its su perio r stre n gt h . 91 T h e seco n d e l e m e n t i n t h e d i agra m , i nterca l a ry o pe rato rs, i n cl u des,in a d d i t i o n to cata lytic su bstan ces, a nyth i n g t h at bri ngs a bo u t l ocal a rtic­u latio n s from wit h i n - " d e n sifi cati o n s , i nte nsificati o n s , re i n fo rceme nts,i njecti o n s , s howe ri ngs, l i ke so m a ny i n te rcalary events."92 The react i o n sbetwe e n l i q u id magma a n d t h e wa l l s of a n a l ready crysta l l ized com po­n e nt, n u c leatio n eve n ts wit h i n the l iq u id w h i c h i n itiate the n ext c rysta l l iza­tio n , a n d eve n certa i n "defects" i n side the crysta l s (ca l l ed " d i s l ocatio ns")w h i c h prom ote growth from wit h i n , are all exa m p l es of i ntercalary e l e­me nts. F i n a l ly, some c h e m ica l reactio n s wit h i n t h e magma may a l so ge n ­e rate e n d oge n o u s sta b l e states. W h e n a reaction l i ke t h e o ne i n vo lved i nc h e m ical clocks i s n o t sti rre d , t h e tem po ra l i nte rvals ge n e rated beco mespati al i nterva l s, form i ng beautiful s p i ra l a n d co ncentri c-ci rcl e patte r n st h at ca n be o bse rved i n froze n f o r m i n some ign e o u s rocks.93 T h u s, gra n ite (as m u c h as a f u l ly formed a utocatalytic l o o p) is a ni n sta n ce o f a meshwork, o r, i n t h e terms u se d b y D e l e u ze a n d G u attari, aself-consistent aggregate. U n l i ke M atu ra n a a n d Va rel a , w h o hold that t h eq u a l ity of self-co n si stency exi sts o n ly i n t h e biological a n d l i nguistic worlds,64
  • 55. SANDSTONE AND GRANITEDele uze a n d G u atta ri a rg u e t h a t "co ns iste n cy, fa r fro m bei ng restri ctedto com p l ex l i fe fo rms, f u l ly p e rta i ns eve n to the most e l e m e nta ry ato msand particl es. "94 T h e refore we m ay say that m uc h as h i e ra rc h i es (o rga n i co r socia l ) a re s peci a l cases o f a m o re a bstract c lass, strata , so a u tocat­a lyti c l oops a re s peci a l cases o f se l f-co n s i ste nt aggregates. And m u c h asstrata a re defi ned as an a rti c u lati o n of h o m oge n eo u s e l e m e nts, w h i c hn e i t h e r excl u d e s n o r req u i res t h e specific featu res of h i erarchies (s u c h ash avi ng a chain o f co m m a n d ) , so self-co n siste nt aggregates a re d e fi nedby t h e i r a rticu l ation o f hete roge n e o u s e l eme nts, which n e i t h e r excl u d e sn o r req u i res t h e specific featu res of a utocata lytic l o o p s (su c h as growt hb y d rift o r i n te r n a l a u to n o my). Lets n ow give so m e biological a n d cu l­t u ra l exa m ples o f the way in w h i c h the d ive rse may be a rti c u l ated as s u c hv i a self-co n siste n cy. A speci es (or m o re p recise ly, t h e ge n e pool of a species) i s a p r i m eexa m p l e of a n o rga n ic stratified str u ctu re. S i m i l a rly, a n ecosystem re p re­se nts t h e biological rea l izat i o n of a self-co n siste nt aggregate. W h i l e aspecies m ay be a very h o m oge n e o u s stru ctu re (especia l ly if s e lectio npressu res h ave d ri ve n m a ny ge nes t o fixat i o n ) , a n ecosystem l i n kstoget h e r a wide vari ety of h ete roge n e o u s e l e m e nts (a n i ma l s a n d p l a n tsof d ifferent s peci es), w h i c h a re a rticu l ated t h ro u g h i nte rlock, t h at is, byt h e i r fu n cti o n a l co m p l e m e ntarities. Given t hat t h e m a i n featu re of a necosystem is t h e c i rc u l atio n of e n e rgy a n d m atte r i n t h e fo rm o f foo d ,t h e com pl e m e nta rities i n q u estio n a re a l i m e nta ry: p rey-pred ato r o r p a ra­site- host a re two of the m ost co m m o n fu n ct i o n a l co u pl i ngs in food webs.Symbiotic relations can a ct as i nte rca l a ry e l eme nts, a i d i n g the p rocess ofb u i l d i ng food webs (an o bvio u s exa m p l e : the bacte ri a t h at l ive in t h eg u t s of m a ny a n i m a l s , w h i c h a l l ows t hose a n i m a ls to d i gest t h e i r food ).95S i n ce food webs a lso p rod u ce e n doge no u s ly ge n e rated sta b l e states,a l l t h ree co m p o n e nts of the a bstract d iagram wou ld seem to be rea l izedin t h is exa m p l e . 96 We h ave a l ready o bse rved several exa m ples of c u l t u r a l mes hworkswhich also fit our descri pti o n o f se l f-co nsistent aggregates. T h e s i m p l estcase is that of s m a l l -town m a rkets . I n m a ny c u ltu res, wee k ly m a rketsh ave been the traditi o n al meeti n g p la ce fo r peo ple with h ete roge n eo u sneeds. M atc h i n g, o r i nte rlocki n g, peo p l e wit h co m pl e m e ntary needs a ndd e m a n d s is a n o perat i o n t h at is perfo rmed a utomatica l ly by t h e pricemecha n is m . (P rices tra n s m i t i n fo rmati o n a bo u t t h e re l ative m o n etaryva l u e of d iffe re n t p rod u cts a n d create i n centives to buy a n d se l l . ) AsH e rbert S i m o n o bserves, t h is i nter l ocki n g of p rod u cers and co n s u m e rsco u l d i n pri n c i p l e be pe rfo rm ed by a h i e ra rc hy, b u t m a rkets "avoidplacing on a central p l a n n i ng m e c h a n ism a b u rd e n of calcu l ation t hat65
  • 56. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASs u c h a m ec h a n i s m , howeve r we l l b u ttressed by t h e l a rgest co m p ute rs,co u l d not s u sta i n . [ M a rkets] co nse rve i n fo rmatio n a n d calc u l ation bym a k i n g it poss i b le to assign d ecisio n s to the acto rs who a re most l i kelyto possess t h e i n fo rmati o n (most of it local in o rigin) t h a t is re levant tothose decis i o n s . "97 Of co u rse, fo r t h i s m e c h a n ism to wor k p rices m u st set themselves, a n dt h e refo re w e m u st i m agi n e t h at t h e re is n ot a w h o lesa l e r i n town w h o ca nm a n i p u l ate p rices by d u m p i ng l a rge amou nts of a given p rod uct i nto them a rket (o r by hoard i ng). I n t h e a bsence of p rice m a n i p u l atio n , mo ney(even p ri m itive fo rms of m o n ey, s u c h as salt, s h el l s , o r ciga rettes) fu nct i o n sas a n i nterca l a ry e l e m e nt : w i t h p u re barter, the poss i b i l ity o f two exactlym atc h i n g d e m a n d s me eti ng by c h a n ce is very low; with m o n ey, thosecha nce e n cou nters beco m e u n necessary and co m p lementa ry d e m a n d s mayfi n d e a c h o t h e r at a d istance , so to speak. Ot h e r i nte rca l a ry e l e m e ntsare also n eeded to m a ke m a rkets wo rk. As we h ave re peated ly noted , notj u st material a n d e n e rgetic reso u rces c h a nge h a n d s in a m a rket, prope rtyrig hts (t he legal rights to use th ose reso u rces) do too. H e n ce we typica l lydo not have to model s i m p l e exc ha nges but m o re co m plex tra nsactio nst h at i nvo l ve a host o f o t h e r costs, s u c h a s those i n vo lved in e nfo rci ngagreeme nts. I f t h ese tran saction costs a re too h ig h , t h e ga i n s from tra d em ay eva po rate. I n s m a l l-town ma rkets, i n fo r m a l co nstrai nts (such as code so f b e h a v i o r e n fo rced t h ro u g h pee r p ressu re i n de nse social netwo rks)are also n eeded to red uce tra nsact i o n costs and a l l ow the i nterloc k i n g ofco m p l e m e nta ry d e m a n d s to take p lace.98 F i n a l ly, m a rkets a l so seem toge n e rate e n doge n o u s sta ble states, p articu l a rly w h e n com m e rcial townsfo rm trad i ng ci rcu its, a s ca n be seen in the cyclical be havio r of their p rices,and this p rovides u s with t h e t h i rd ele ment of the d i agra m . T h u s , m uch as sed i m e nta ry roc ks, biologica l s pecies, a n d social h i e r­a rc h i es a re a l l strati fied system s (that is, t h ey a re each t h e h i sto ricalp rod uct of a p rocess o f d o u b l e a rticu l ation), s o igneous rocks, ecosys­te m s , a n d ma rkets a re self-co n s iste nt aggregates, t h e res u lt of t h e com­i n g toget h e r a n d i nterloc k i n g of hete roge n e o u s e l e m e n ts . And just as t h ed i agram defi n i ng t h e " stratifying a bst ract m a c h i ne" may t u rn out t oreq u i re m o re co m p l exity t h a n o u r b a s i c d iagram of a d o u b l e a rticu l at i o n ,s o w e m ay o n e d ay d i scov e r (em p i rically o r th ro u g h theo rizi n g a n d com­puter s i m u l at i o n s) t h at the d i agra m fo r the mes hwork-pro d u c i n g p rocessi n vol ves m o re t h a n the t h ree e l e m e nts o u t l i ned a bove. Mo reov e r, i nrea l i ty w e w i l l always fi n d m ix t u res o f ma rkets a n d h i e ra rc h ies, o f strataand self-co n s i ste nt aggregates . As S i m o n says, it m ay seem p r i m a facieco rrect to say t h at66
  • 57. SANDSTONE AND GRANITE whereas ma rkets figu re most p rominently i n coo rd i nating eco n omic activi­ ties i n cap ital ist cou ntries, h i erarchic orga n izati ons play the largest ro le in social ist cou ntries. B ut that is too simple a fo rmula to describe the real ities which always exhi bit a blend of a l l the mechan isms of coo rd i nati o n . The eco nomic u n its in ca pital ist societies are mostly busi n ess firms, which a re themselves hierarc h i c orga n izations, some of e n o rmous size, that make o n ly a modest u se of ma rkets i n thei r i nte rnal fu n ctio n i ng. Co nversely social ist states use ma rket p rices to a growing extent to s u p plement h i e rar­ chic co ntrol in ach ieving i nter-industry coo rdi nati o n . 99 T h e re is o n e fi n a l aspect of m e s h w ork dyn a m i cs I m u st exa m i n e be­fo re retu rning to our explo rati o n of t h e "geologica l" h i sto r y of h u m a nsocieti es. We m ay wo n d e r why, give n t h e u b i q u ity o f s e l f-co ns istent aggre­gates, it seems so h a rd to th i n k a bout t h e str u ctu res that po p u l ate t h ewo rld i n a ny b u t h i erarchical terms . One poss i b l e an swe r i s that stratifiedst ructu res i n volve the s i m p le st fo rm of causal rela tions, s i m p l e a r rowsgo i n g fro m cause to effect . lOo Acco rd i ng to M ago ro h M a ruya n a, a pio n e e ri n the stu d y of feed bac k , Weste r n t h o u g ht h a s been d o m i n ated by noti o n so f l i near ( n o n reci p rocal) ca u s a l ity fo r twe nty-five h u n d red years. I t wasnot u n til Wo rld Wa r I I t h at the wo rk of N o r m a n Wi e n e r (and e ng i n e e rsi nvo lved in deve l o p i ng rad a r systems) gave rise to t h e study of n egativefeedback and with it the begi n n i n g of n o n l i n ear t h i n k i ng. The classic exa m p l e of negative feed back is the t h ermostat. A t h e rmo­stat co n s i sts of at l e ast two e l e m e nts: a s e n s o r, w h i c h d etects c h angesin a m b i e n t tem pe ratu re, a n d , an effector, a d evice ca p a b l e of c h a ngingt h e a m b i e nt temperatu re . T h e two e l e m e nts a re co u p le d in s u ch a wayt h at w h e never the se n sor detects a c h ange beyo n d a cert a i n th re s h o l d itca uses the effecto r to mod ify t h e s u rro u n d i ng tem pe ratu re in the o p po­site d i recti o n . T h e c a u se-a nd-effect re lati o n , howeve r, is not l i n e a r (fromse nsor to effector) s i nce the moment the effecto r ca uses a c h a nge i n thesu rro u n d i ng t e m p e ratu re i t t h ereby affects the s u bs eq u e n t b e h avio r ofthe s e n s o r. I n s h o rt, the causal rel atio n does not fo rm a straight a rrow b u tfol d s b a c k o n its e l f, fo r m i n g a cl osed l o o p . T h e overa l l res u lt o f t h i s ci rc u ­l a r ca u s a l ity is t h at a m b i e n t t e m p e rat u re is m a i nta i n e d a t a give n l e ve l . M a ruya n a o p poses n egative feed back with " positive feed back" (a fo rmof n o n l i n e a r c a u s a l ity t h at we have al ready e ncou ntered i n t h e fo rmof autocata lysis). W h i le the fi rst typ e of reci p rocal c a u s a l ity was i ncorpo­rated i nto Weste r n tho u g ht in t h e 1950s, t h e seco nd type h ad to waita n ot h e r d ecade fo r resea rch e rs l i ke Sta n is l av U l a m , H e i n z Vo n Foe rster,a n d M a ruya n a h i mself to fo r m a l ize a n d d evelop t h e co n ce pt. lOI The t u r­b u l e n t dynam ics b e h i nd an explosion a re t h e c l e a rest exa m p l e of a sys-67
  • 58. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAStem gove r n e d by positive feed back. I n t h i s case t h e ca u s a l l o o p is estab­l i s h e d between the explosive s u bstance and its tem p e rat u re . The velocityo f an explo s i o n is ofte n d eterm i n ed by the i n ten sity of its tem p e rat u re(t he hotter t h e faste r), b u t beca use t h e explosio n itself ge ne rates he at,the process is s e l f-accel e rati ng. U n l i ke the thermostat, w h e re the arra nge­m e nt h e l ps to k e e p te m pe ratu re u n d e r co ntro l , h e re positive feed backfo rces tem p e rat u re to go o ut o f co ntro l . Perh a ps beca u se positive fe ed­back is s e e n as a d e stab i l iz i n g fo rce m a ny observers have t e n d ed tou n d e rva l u e it re l at ive to negative fee d b ac k . ( I n the so-ca l l e d G a i a hypoth­esis, fo r i n stance, w h e re sta bi l izing negative feed back is postu l ated toexist between l i ving creat u res a n d t h eir en v i ro n me nt, positive feed back isso m et i m e s refe rred to pejo ratively a s " a nti-G a i a n . " )102 M a ruya n a sees t h e q u est i o n in d ifferent te r m s . Fo r h i m t h e pri ncipalc h a racte r i stic o f negative feed back i s its h o moge n i z i n g e ffect: a ny d evia­tion fro m the tem p e rat u re t h re s h o l d at which the t h ermostat i s set ise l i m i n ated by the loop. N egative fee d back is " d evi atio n-co u nte racti ng."Positive feed back, o n t h e ot h e r h a n d , t e n d s to i n crease h ete rogene ity byb e i n g " d eviatio n -a m p l ifyi ng" : two explosi o n s set off u n d e r s l ightly d iffer­ent co n d it i o n s wi l l arrive at very d iffe re nt end states, as the s m a l l o rigi n a ld iffe re n ces a re a m p l i fied by t h e l o o p i nto l a rge d iscre p a n cies.103 We havea l ready o b s e rved the m a ny ro l e s t h at positive feed back has p l ayed in t h et u r b u l e nt h i story of Western town s . H owever, it i s i m p o rtant t o d istingu i s hbetween s i m p l e a u tocatalyt i c dyn a m ics a n d co m pl e x a u tocatalytic loops,which i n volve n ot o n ly self-stim u l ati o n but self- m a i nte n ance (t hat is, posi­tive feed b a c k a n d closu re). Anot h er way of stating t h i s d istin ct i o n i s to say t h at the i n crease i nd iversity t h at m ut u a l ly sti m u l at i n g loops bri ng a bo ut w i l l b e s h o rt- l ived u n ­l e ss t h e h ete roge n e o u s e l e m e nts a re i nte rwoven toget h e r, t h at i s , u n lesst h ey co m e to fo rm a mes hwo rk . A s lIl aruya n a write s, " T h e re a re two wayst h at hete roge ne ity m ay p roceed : t h rough localization a n d t h rough inter­weaving. I n loca l ization t h e h ete roge n e ity betwee n l ocal ities i n creases, w h i l ee a c h loca lity m ay rem a i n o r become homoge n o u s. I n i nterweavi ng, h et­erogen e ity in each local ity i n creases, w h i l e t h e d iffe re n ce between local itiesd ecreases . " 104 I n oth e r wo rds, the d a nge r with positive feed back i s t h att h e m e re prod u cti o n of h ete rogeneity m ay resu lt in isolat i o n i s m (a h i ghd iversity o f sm a l l c l i q u es , each i nter n a l ly hom oge n eo u s). H e n ce t h e needfo r i nt e rcalary e l e m e nts to aid i n art icu l at i ng this d iv e rsity wit h o u t h o m og­e n izatio n (wh at M a ruya n a ca l l s "sym biotizat i o n of c u ltu ral heterogen eity"). N egative feed back, as a system of control a n d red u ction of deviati o n ,m ay be a p pl i ed t o h u ma n h i erarc h i es . Deci sion m a k i n g i n stratified soci a lstruct u res d o e s n ot a l ways p roceed via go a l-d i rected a n a lyti c p l a n n i ng b u t68
  • 59. SANDSTONE AND GRANITEoften inco r po rates a utom atic m e c h a nis m s of co ntrol simil a r to a th ermo­stat (o r a n y other d evice ca p a b l e of ge ne rating h o m eostasis). 105 On t h eother h a n d , social m e s hwo rks ( s u c h a s t h e sym biotic nets o f prod u cersw h o m J aco bs d escribes a s e ngaged in vol ati l e trade) m ay be m o d e l e d onpositive-feed back loops as long as our model a l so incorpo rates a m e a n sfo r t h e resu lting hete roge n eity to be inte rwove n . Mo reover, s pecific in sti­tutio n s wi l l likely be mixtu res of bot h types of reciprocal ca u s ality, a n d t h emixtu res wil l c h a nge over t i m e , al lowing n egative o r positive feed back tod o m i n ate at a given m o ment. 106 T h e q u estio n of m ixt u res s h o u l d be a l sokept in mind w h e n we j u dge t h e rel ative ethical value of t h ese two types ofstructu re . If t his boo k dis plays a clear bias again st l a rge, ce ntralized hier­archies, it is o n ly beca use t h e last t h ree h u n d red yea rs h ave wit nesseda n excessiv e accu m u l atio n of stratified systems at t h e expe n se of m es h ­wo rks. T h e degree of ho moge n eity in t h e wo rld has greatly i n crease d , w hi l eheteroge n eity h as co me t o be s e e n as al most patho logic a l , o r a t least asa p ro b l e m t h at m u st be eliminated . U nd e r the circu m sta n ces, a cal l fo ra m o re d ecentra lized way of o rga n izing h u ma n soci eties s e e m s to reco m ­m e nd itself. However, it is c r u cia l to avoid t h e faci l e concl u sio n t h at mes hwo rksare in trinsica lly better than hie rarchies (in so m e tra n s ce n d e ntal s e n se).I t is true t h at so m e of the c h a racte ristics of me shwo rks (partic u l a rly t h eirres i l i e n ce and a d a pt a b i lity) m a ke them d esi rable, b u t t h at is eq u a l ly trueof ce rtai n c h a racte ristics of hie rarc hies (fo r exam p l e , t h ei r goa l-d i rected ­n ess). T h e refo re, i t is c r u cial to a v o i d t h e te m ptatio n of coo king u p an a rrative of h u m a n histo ry in which m es hwo rks a ppear as h e roes a n dhie rarc hies as vil l ain s . Not o n ly d o m e s hwo rks have dyn a mica l p ro pertiest h at d o n ot necessa rily b e n efit h u m a nity (fo r exa m p l e , t h ey grow a n ddeve l o p b y d rift, a n d t h at d rift n e e d n ot fol low a d i rectio n con siste n t witha societys v a l u es), b u t t h ey m ay co ntain h eteroge n e o u s co m po n e ntst h at a re t h e m se lves in co n sistent with a societys val u es (fo r exa m p l e , ce r­tai n m e s hwo rks of hie rarchies). Assu ming that h u ma n ity co u l d o n e d ayagree on a set of v a l u es ( o r rat h e r on a way of m e s hing a h eteroge n e o u sco l lectio n of pa rti a l ly dive rge nt v a l u es), fu rt h e r et hical j udgme nts co u l db e m a d e a bout specific m ixtu res o f ce ntra lized a n d d ece ntra lized co m po­n e nts in s pecific co n texts , but n ever a bo u t t h e two p u re cases in iso l atio n . T h e co m bin ato ria l possibilities - t h e n u m be r o f possible hybrids ofmeshwo rks and hierarc hies - a re im m e n se (in a precise tech nical se nse), 10 7a n d so a n experimental and empirical attit u d e toward t h e pro b l e m wo u l dseem to b e called fo r. I t i s s u re ly im possi b l e to d eter m i n e purely theoreti­cally t h e re l ative m e rits of th ese d iverse co m bin atio n s . Rather, in o u rsearch fo r via b l e hybrid s w e m u st l oo k fo r ins piration i n as m a ny do m ains69
  • 60. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASas poss i b l e . H e re, we have looked to a rea l m t h at wo u l d n o r m a l ly seemo u t of bo u n d s : t h e m i n e ral wo r l d . B ut in a n o n l i n ea r wo rld in which thesame basic processes of s e l f-o rga n izat i o n take place i n t h e m i n e ra l ,o rga n ic, a n d cu ltu ral s p h e res, p e r h a ps rocks h o l d so m e of t h e keys tou nd e rsta n d i n g sed i m e ntary h u m a n ity, ign eous h u ma n ity, a n d a l l t h e i rm i xt u re s .70
  • 61. Geologica l History:1 700-2000 A . D.P r i o r to t h e e i g h te e n t h c e n ­t u ry a l l t h e e n e rget i c i n t e n s i ­f i cat i o n s t h at h u m a n i ty h a du n d e rta k e n w e re re l at i ve rys h o rt - l i ve d . T h e i n t e n s i f i e de x p l o i ta t i o n s of a g r i c u ltu ra lreso u rces w h i c h h a d s u sta i n edwave a fte r wave of a n c i e n tu rba n i zat i o n we re typ i ca l lyfol l owed by so i l d e p l et i o n o re ros i o n , b r i n g i n g h u m a ne x pa n s i o n t o a h a l t . Eve n71
  • 62. I: LAV S AND MAGMAS Athe m o re re c e n t a cce l e ra t i o n of c i ty b u i l d i n gi n E u ro pe at the tu r n of the m i l l e n n i u m ,whi ch a d d e d co m m e rc i a l a n d p roto- i n d u st r i a lpo s i t i ve fe e d b a c k to the p roces s , was fo l ­l ow e d by a l o n g d e p res s i o n . The f i rst i n te n s i ­f i ca t i o n t o esca p e t h i s cyc l i ca l d e st i ny, b e g i n ­n i n g rou gh l y i n the yea r 1700, was b a s e d o nt h e b u r n i n g of e n e rgy- r i c h o re . Coa l i s t h ep ro d u ct o f o n e o f seve ra l ty p e s o f m i n e ra l i z a ­t i o n t h at o rga n i c m a tte r ca n u n d e rgo . W h e nthe c o r p s e s o f p l a nts a n d a n i m a l s a cc u m u ­l a te u n d e r wate r i n the a b s e n ce of oxyge n ,the m i c ro o rga n i s m s t h at wou l d n o r m a l ly re m ­i n e ra l i ze t h e m a n d re cyc l e the m i n theecosyste m ca n n ot o p e rate ; he n c e thesed e p o s its do n ot rot. I n stea d , they a re co m ­p res s e d , ca r bo n - e n r i che d , a n d eve n t u a l ly pet­r i f i e d . A l tho u g h s eve ra l a n c i e n t soc i et i es h a dm a d e u s e o f the s e roc k s , E n g l a n d w a s thef i rst c i v i l i z a t i o n to s u b m i t co a l d e pos i ts toi n t e n s e ex p l o i ta t i o n , c reat i n g t h e p r i n c i pa lf l ow of n o n hu m a n e n e rgy w i t h whi ch t o fu e lits i n d u st r i a l revo l ut i o n . Thi s n e w i n te n s i f i cat i o n ha d d ra m at i c co n ­s e q u e n ces fo r the p o p u l at i o n of tow n s a n dc i t i e s of E u ro p e , a s we l l a s for t h e i n st i t u t i o n stha t i n ha b i ted the m . H e re we w i l l exa m i n e72
  • 63. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A.D.seve ra l of the s e c o n s e q u e n c e s , ta k i n g a d va n ­tage of the n o ve l i n s i ghts o n the o r i g i n s a n ddy n a m i cs of the I n d u st r i a l R evo l u t i o n p rof­fered by h i sto r i a n s a n d the o r i sts who ha vea pp l i e d to t h e i r s u bj e ct co n c e pts borrowedfronl n onl i n e a r sc i e n ce . I n pa rt i c u l a r, he re t h er i s e of the " i n d u st r i a l a ge " w i l l n ot b e v i e w e da s t h e res u l t of hu m a n s o c i ety ha v i n g reach e da n ew " sta ge of d eve l o p m e n t" (a n e w m o d eo f p ro d u ct i o n ) o r o f its ha v i n g c l i m b e d fu rt h e ru p the l a d d e r o f p rogre s s , b u t , rathe r, a s thec ross i n g of a b i f u rcat i o n whe re p rev i o u s a u to ­cata lyt i c dy n a m i cs (s u b j e ct t o n e gat i ve fe e d ­b a c k) ca m e to f o r m a s e l f- s u sta i n i n g a u to cat­a lyt i c l o o p . M o re ove r, t e ch n o l ogy wo nt b e v i e w e d a sevo l v i n g i n a st ra i ght l i n e , a s i f t h e a d v e n to f stea m powe r a n d fa cto ry p rod u ct i o n w e ret h e i n ev i ta b l e o u tco nl e of t h e evo l u t i o n ofm a chi n e s . O n the co n t ra ry, m a ss p ro d u ct i o ntec h n i q u es i n a l l the i r f o r m s w e re o n ly o n ea l te r n a t i ve a m o n g seve ra l , and the fa ct t h atthey ca m e to d o m i n a te the d eve l o p m e n t ofn ew m a c h i n e ry i s i ts e l f i n n e e d of ex p l a n a ­t i o n . O u r i n vest i g at i o n of the i n te n s i f i cat i o n st h at fo ss i l fu e l s m a d e p o s s i b l e b eg i n s w i t hste a m powe r a n d m oves o n to e l e ct r i c i ty,73
  • 64. I: LAV S AND MAGMAS Aw h i c h fo rmed t h e basis fo r a seco n d i n d u strial revo l ut i o n in o u r own cen­t u ry. Both coal and ste a m , a n d lat e r o i l and el ect ric ity, greatly a ffectedt h e fu rt h e r d ev e l o p m e nt of Weste rn towns, a n d , as u s u a l , once t h e m i n­e ral ized i n frastruct u re of t h ose tow n s , a n d t h e i n stituti o n s wit h i n t h e m ,h ad regi ste red t h e effects of t h ese i nten sificatio ns, t h ey reacted b a c k o nt h e e n e rgy flows t o co nst ra i n t h e m , e i t h e r i n h i b i t i n g t h e m or fu rth e ri nte n sify i n g t h e m . Although E u rope u nd e rwent a l o n g pe riod of rel atively slow eco n o m i cgrowt h afte r 1300, t h e pop u lation o f Eu ropean tow n s n o n et h e l ess u n d e r­went sign i ficant cha nge . The l o n g d e pression h a d acted l i ke a "so rti n gdevice , " e l i m i n at i n g m a ny tow n s o n t h e lowe r ra n k s of C e n t r a l P l a ce h i e r­a rch ies a n d co ncent rati ng growt h at t h e top. Co n seq u ently, t h e co m m a n de l e m e nt in t h e m i x h ad i n creased (as had its degree of ho m oge n izati o n ,d qe to t h e a bso rpt i o n of cities a n d t h e i r regi o n s i nto n ation-states). T h ere latively few n ew E u ro pean cities t h at were bo rn between 1 300 a n d1800 were p l a n n e d cities ( u s u a l ly port cities created by central gove rn­m e nts in o rd e r to e n t e r t h e great m a ritime races). F o r exa m p l e , between1660 a n d 1 7 1 5 , t h e F re n c h h i e ra rch ies u nd e r Lou is X I V cre ated a strate­gic n etwo r k of co m m e rc i a l and m i l itary po rt cities - B rest, Lorie nt, Roc h e­fo rt, a n d Sete - each o n e p l a n n e d "to p l ay a specific role i n t h egove r n m e nts pol itico- m i l itary st rategy fo r sea-power. " 108 By co ntrast, i n t h e 1800s the intense circ u l ati o n of coal e n e rgy gaverise to a far greater n u m be r of new ( m i n i n g and facto ry) towns, m ost ofw h i c h grew s po n ta n e o u s ly, n ot to say chaotical ly. T h i s was the case, forexa m p l e , in the R u h r regi o n , w h ic h wou l d l ater beco m e the ce nter of Ger­m a n he avy i n d u stry, a n d in L a n cas h i re, t h e heart of i n d u st ri a l B rita i n . I nt h ese two regio n s, a n d ot h e rs, m i l l s, m i n i ng centers, a n d m eta l l u rgica lco m plexes m u s h ro o m ed eve ryw h e re , u n regu l ated a n d h a v i n g no system­atic rel at i o n s with one a n ot h e r. Some older citi es, s u c h as Liverpool andM a n c h este r, grew e n o rmou sly (one beco m i ng the gateway, the oth e r thecapital of t h e regio n), wh i le a m u ltitu d e of new town s sprang u p a rou ndt h e m : Bolto n , B u ry, Stockport, P resto n , B l ack b u r n , B u rn ley. As t h eseco al-fu e l e d tow n s d evou red the cou ntryside a n d grew i nto each ot h e r,t h ey fo r m e d h u ge con urbatio ns: extremely de nse b u t wea kly centra l izedu rb a n regi o n s prod u ced by acce l e rated i n d u st r i a l izati o n . I n the words ofH o h e n berg and Lees: The best exam ples of the transforming power of ra pid i n d u strial growth are to be fo u n d in the coal-m i n i ng regio ns. There the explosive co nce ntrated effects of . . . modern eco n o m i c cha nge can be seen in p u re fo rm . Since coal was needed to ru n the engines and smelt the o res, facto ries and fu r-74
  • 65. G£OLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A.D. naces te nded to locate very near coal s u p p l ies or in places where th ey had good access to t ransportatio n . As deman d skyrocketed, m i n ing areas with the i r expa n d i ng n u mber of p its, wo rkshops and new firms attracted new wo rke rs . . . . Both h i gh ferti l ity and migratio n bred an extreme d e n sity of settlement, which soo n s u rpassed anyt h i ng that the proto- i n d u strial era had known . These coal ba sins grew by a kind of regio n a l im plos i o n , whereby a r u ra l m i l ie u crystal l ized i nto a d e n sely u rban on e. lOg Th ese n ew towns wo u l d soo n be i n h a b ited by an i n d u st ry t h at was u n ­d o u bted ly m o re co m p lex t h a n anyt h i ng h u m a nity h ad seen befo re . A n dyet, a s H o h e n b e rg a n d Lees re m i n d u s, i t w a s n ot a s i f soci ety as a w h o l ehad reached a n ew stage a n d every region now moved i n loc kstep towa rdth is type of i n d u strializatio n . Not o n ly were t h e re regi o n s t h at i n d u strial izedin a d i fferent way, but sti l l oth e rs u n d e rwent rad ical d e i n d u strial izati o n .I n d u strial dev elo pme nt i s l i ke bio logi cal evo l u ti o n , w h i c h not o n ly lacksa ny progressive d i rect i o n , it does not eve n have a co n s i st e n t d rive towa rdco m p lexificati o n : w h i le some s pecies co m p lexity, ot h e rs s i m p l i fy. liD I n both cases, a vari ety of p rocesses res u lt in accu m u l at i o n s of com­pl exity in so m e a reas, d e accu m u l atio ns i n ot h e rs , a n d the coexiste nce ofd iffe re nt types of accu m u l ated co m p lex ity. The l a rge-sc a l e , co ncentratedi n d u stry of coal-fu e l e d town s re presented o n ly one poss i b l e d i rect i o n fo rt h e co m p l exificatio n of tec h nol ogy. A reas t h at i n d u stri a l ized m o re slowlya n d m a i nt a i ned t h e i r ties to tra d it i o n a l craft s ki l l s d eveloped methodsof prod u ct i o n t h at were s cattered a n d small i n sca l e b u t h i g h ly sop h i sti­cated , wit h a co m plex d iv i s i o n of l a bo r and a h ig h d egree of m a r ket i n­volve m e n t . "Whet h e r o n e looks at Swiss cotto ns a n d watc h e s , at text i l e si n Pied m o nt a n d t h e Vosges , o r a t m eta lwa res i n central G e r m a ny t h e p i c­t u re is t h e s a m e : u pl a n d v a l l eys fas h io n i ng an e n d u r i n g i n d u st r i a l posi­tion wit h o u t ever t u r n i ng th e i r backs on t h e p roto- i n d u stri a l he ritage . " lli T h u s , t h e re were at least two stab l e t rajecto ries fo r t h e evol u t i o n ofi n d u stry, p roceed i ng at d iffe rent speed s and i nte nsities: l a rge-sc a l e ,e n e rgy- i n ten sive i n d u stry a n d s m a l l-sca le, s k i l l-inte n sive i n d u stry. W h i let h e fo r m e r gave rise to fu nctio n a l ly ho moge n eou s tow n s, in m a ny casescontrol l ed by t h e i r i n d u st r i a l h i e ra rc h i es (t he facto ry tow n), the latte rwas h o u se d i n s m a l l settl e m e nts, with a more hete roge n e o u s s et of eco­n o m i c f u n ctions and less co ncentrated co ntro l . A n t i m a rket i nstituti o n stook over o n ly one type of i n d u stry, t h at w h i c h , l i ke t h e mselves, w a s basedon eco n o m ies of scale. Bes i d es d i ffe r i n g i n t h e propo rt i o n of m e s hwork a n d h i e ra rc hy i n t h e i rm ixes, t h ese tow ns a l so varied i n terms o f t h e fo rm o f t h e i r expa n s i o n .T h e ra p i d , v i o l e nt growt h o f coa l-fu e l ed cities, w h i c h expa n d ed i nto t h e75
  • 66. I: LA VAS AND MAGMAScou ntrys i de with tota l d i srega rd fo r p revious l a n d- u se p atte r n s, co ntrastswith t h e way in w h i c h t h e smal l tow n s t hat ho u se d d ecentral ized i n d u s­tries m e s h e d with t h e i r ru ral s u rro u n d i ngs. ll2 A lt h o u g h a l l town s te n d tod o m i n ate t h e i r cou ntrysides, i nd u stri a l tow n s i nte n s i fied t h i s exploitati o n .As t h e bi ogeogra p h e r I a n G . S i m m o n s h a s n oted , u rban eco n o m ies basedo n coa l h ad a h ost of h id d e n costs - from the vast a m o u nts of d ivertedwate r t h ey used to the d e p ress i o n s, cracks, a n d s i n k h oles that co n t i n uedto fo rm l o ng afte r m i n i ng h ad sto p ped - a n d t h e s u rrou n d i ng rural a reasbo re t h e brunt of t hose ecological costs. 1l3 S i m m o n s v iews cities a s ve rita b l e transfo rm e rs of m atte r a n d e n e rgy:to s u sta i n t h e expa n s i o n of t h e i r exoskeleto n , t h ey extract from t h e i r su r­ro u n d i n gs s a n d , grav e l , sto n e , a n d brick, as w e l l as t h e fu e l n eed ed toco n ve rt t h ese i nto b u i l d i ngs. H e n otes that, l i ke any system ca pable of sel f­o rga n i zatio n , cities a re open (or d i ssi pative) syste ms, with m atte r-e n e rgyflowi ng i n a n d o u t conti n u o u sly. A nd t h i s is a l l t h e m o re true for n i n etee nth­centu ry i n d u strial tow n s . Besides t h e raw m ate r i a l s n eed ed to m a i nta i nt h e i r m i n eral izati o n , these towns n ee d ed t o i n pu t fl ows of i ro n o res, l i me­sto n e , water, h u m a n l a b o r, a nd coa l , as we l l as to o u t p u t oth e r flows (so l idwaste, sewage, m a n u fa ct u red goods) . R u ra l a reas a bso rbed some of t h en ox i o u s o utputs, w h i l e t h e i n p u ts bega n t o co m e fro m fart h e r a n d fart h e raway, p a rticu l a rly as gro u ps of c o a l tow n s coalesced i nto co n u rbatio n s.These l i n ks to faraway s u p ply reg i o n s , p l u s t h e l ac k of syste matic re lati o n sbetwee n servi ces a n d s ize of sett l e m e nts, p l aced these tow n s with i n t h eN etwo rk system rat her t h a n wit h i n the Central P l a ce h i e rarchies.1l4 W h at m a d e t h ese u rb a n ce n te rs s pecia l , h oweve r, was n ot so m u ch t h em atte r-e n e rgy flows t h at trav e rsed t h e m , but t h e w a y i n w h i c h th osef l ows beca m e amplified. H e n ce , a rgues S i m m o n s, w h i le coal u sed for i ro ns m e lti ng was exp l oited with i n crea s i n g i nte n sity s i n ce 1709, i t was n otu nti l t h e n i n etee n t h centu ry, w h e n t h e ste a m e n gi ne h ad matu red , thati n d u strial takeoff occ u rre d : "A small a m o u n t of coa l i n vested in such anengi n e was t h e cata lyst for t h e p rod u cti o n of e n e rgy a n d mate r i a l s ona n ever l a rge r sca l e . " 1l5 In all d iss i p ative system s , e n e rgy m ust be p u t i nbefo re a ny s u r p l u ses ca n b e ta ke n out. Even t h o u g h a n i n d u strial townhad to i nvest m o re e n e rgy t h a n p rev i o u s u rban ce n te rs, it extractedgreate r s u rp l u ses per u n it of e n e rgy. Basical ly, it u sed certa i n flows ofe n e rgy to a m p l i fy ot h e r flows. F u rt h e r m o re, t hese positive-feed back l i n ks betwee n flows bega n toform c l osed ci rcu its: a n ti m a rket m o n ey fl owed i nto m i n i n g regio n s a n di nte n si f i ed coal extract i o n a n d i ro n p rod u ctio n , w h i c h triggered a flow o fm ec h a n ical e n e rgy (steam), w h i c h i n tu rn trigge red a flow of cotto n tex­ti les, w h i c h created t h e flow of p rofits t h at f i n a n ced f u rt h e r expe r i m e nta-76
  • 67. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.tion with coa l , i ro n , a n d stea m tech n o l ogy. These loops of t rigge rs a n dflows we re be h i n d t h e expl osive u rban growth i n E n g l a n d betwee n 1 750and 1850. As R i c h a rd N ewbold A d a m s p u ts it, " G reat B rita i n i n this e rawas a great exp a n d i ng d i ss i p ative str u ctu re, co n s u m i ng i n c re a s i n ga m o u nts o f e n ergy. " li6 A n d p reci sely t h ese a u tocata lytic l o o p s we re w h atk e pt t h i s self-o rgan ized str u ct u re go i ng: A trigge r of one e n e rgy form sets off a flow in a noth e r w h i c h , in t u r n , trig­ gers a release of a flow i n the fi rst; the i nsertion of more parties creates a chain of trigger-flow i nteractio n s that m ay go in series, in para l l e l or both . . . . The trigger-flow i nte racti o n s s pecifica l ly create an i nterd e p e n d e nt repro­ d uction a m o ng the partici pati ng d i ssi pative struct u res. It i nterlocks a series of separate ly re prod u ctive systems i nto a s i ngle, i nte ractive re p rod u ctive system . l17 T hese m es hworks of m u tu a l ly su ppo rti ng i n n ovati o n s (co a l - i ro n-steam­cotto n ) a re we l l k n ow n to h i sto ri a n s of tec h nology. li8 T h ey existed longb efo re t h e n i n etee n t h ce ntu ry (e .g. , the i nte rl ock i ng we b fo rmed by t h eh o rses h oe , t h e h o rse h a rn ess, a n d tri e n n i a l rotat i o n w h i c h w a s be h i n dt h e agri c u ltu ra l i nte n s i fi catio n at t h e tu rn of t h e m i l l e n n i u m), a n d t heyocc u rred afte rward , as in t h e meshwork of o i l , e lectricity, ste e l , a n d syn ­t hetic mate r i a l s t h at contributed t o t h e seco n d i n d u strial revo l utio n .N o n et h e l ess, a s i m po rta nt a s t hey were, a u to cata lytic loops o f technolo­gies we re n ot com pl ex e n o ugh to create a self-s u sta i ned i n d u strial take­off. Befo re t h e 1800s, as we n oted , t hese i n te n sifi cat i o n s ofte n led tod e p l eti o n s of resou rces and d i m i n i s h i n g retu rns. N egative feedback eve n­t u a l ly c h ecked t h e tu r b u l e n t growt h ge n e rated by positive feed back. B ra u d e l u ses two exa m p l es of e a rly e n cou nters betwe e n a nt i m a r k etsa n d i n d u strial tec h n ol ogy to m a k e t h i s point. I n some I ta l i a n citi es (e.g.,M i l a n ) a n d some G e rm a n cities (e.g., Lu beck and Cologne), explosivegrowt h occ u r red as early as t h e fifteenth centu ry. T h e G e r m a n m i n i ngi nd u stry i n t h e 1470s "sti m u lated a whole series of i n n ovati o n s . . . as w e l las t he creati o n of m a c h i n e ry, o n a giga ntic sca l e for t h e t i m e , t o p u m po u t wate r from t h e m i n es a n d t o b ri ng u p t h e o re . " ll9 M i l a n , o n t h e ot h e rha n d , witnessed a n extra o rd i n a ry i ncrease i n text i l e m a n u fa ct u ri ng, withs o p h i sticated " hyd ra u l i c m a c h i n es . . . to t h row, spi n and m i l l s i l k, withseveral mech a n i ca l p rocesses a n d rows of s p i n d l e s all t u r n ed by a si nglewate r-wh e e l . " 120 A l t h o u gh s i m p l e m ut u a l ly sti m u lati n g l i n ks h ad devel­o ped i n t h ese cities, between m i n i n g a n d l a rge-sca l e c re d it, or b etwee ntextile p rofits a nd c o m m e rc i a l ized agri cu ltu re , both i ntensifi catio n s ca m et o a h a lt i n a few d ecades.77
  • 68. I: LAV S AND MAGMAS A Eng l a n d h e rs e l f atte m pted an e a rly ta keoff betwe e n 1 5 60 a n d 1640,at a t i m e w h e n , co m p a ratively spe a k i ng, she was a rat h e r ba ckwardi n d u st r i a l n atio n . To catc h u p, the B ri ti s h waged a c a m pa ign of i n d u s triale s p i o n age in I ta ly and i m p o rted G e r ma n , Dutch , a n d I ta l i a n cra fts m e n ,t o e ffect a tra nsfe r of k n ow- how a n d m a n u fa ctu ri ng tec h n i q u e s t o t h e i ri s l a n d . 121 O n ce a s k i l l reservo i r h a d b e e n fo r m ed a t h o m e , B ri ti s h a nti­ma rkets gave i n d u s try a m u ch i n c reased sca l e a n d levels of capital i n ve st­m e n t reached n ew p e a k s of i n te n s ity. Sti l l , se l f-su stai n ed growt h d id noto ccu r. One possi b l e expl a n atio n i s that a u tocata lytic loops n e ed to a c h i evea t h re s h o l d o f co m p le xity b e fo re t h ey a cq u i re the resi l i e n ce and ve rsat i l ityn e e d e d to ove rco m e d i m i n i s h i n g ret u r n s . H e n ce , wh at m a d e n i net eent h­cent u ry E n gl a n d a speci a l p l ace was t h e fo rm ati o n of a m o re co m p l ex,s e l f-m a i n tai n i n g ci rcu i t o f triggers a n d flows w h i c h i n c l u d e d a n u m b e r ofoth e r catalyt i c e l e m e n ts in add iti o n to tec h no l ogy and big b u s i n e ss: anati o n a l m a r ket, a sta b l e b a n k a n d c re d i t syste m , exte n si ve lo ng-d i stancet rad i n g n etwo rks, a grow i n g agric u l t u ra l secto r to feed t h e expa nd i n gp o p u latio n , a n d , of co u rse, t h e po p u l at i o n i ts e l f, w h i ch provi d ed raw l a bo ra nd s k i l l s . T h e new i n te n s i fica t i o n i n agri c u l tu re , w h i c h was b a s e d o n s i m p l e posi­tive fe e d b a c k (betwe e n cattl e rai s i ng a n d t h e cro ps t h e i r m a n u re h e l pedferti l i ze) but w h i c h i n creased in sca l e d u e to a n ti m a r ket i n ve stm e n t ,p l ayed seve ral roles i n t h e i n d ustri a l ta k eoff. O n t h e o n e h a n d , i t se rvedfo r a l o ng t i m e as t h e p r i n c i p a l co n s u m e r of m e t a l too l s a n d he nce cat­a lyze d , a n d was cata lyzed by, the i r o n i n d u stry. On the ot h e r h a n d , t h en ew agri c u l t u r a l syste m (w h i ch i s exa m i ned i n m o re det a i l i n t h e n extc h a pte r) favo red d i ffere nt type s of s o i l s t h a n t h ose u s e d by t h e prev i o u sagri c u l t u ra l regi m e , a n d s o cre ated a l a rge pool o f u n e m ployed fa rmworkers, w h o wo u l d p rov i d e the m u scu l a r e n e rgy fo r the n ew facto r i e s . 122H e n ce , agri c u lt u ra l regio n s received i n puts ( i r o n ) fro m , a n d pro v i d edi n p u ts ( l a bor, food) to, t h e facto ry tow n s , a n d i n t h i s s e n s e agri c u l t u rewas a n i m p o rta nt n o d e i n t h e a utocata lytic l o op. T h e flow of l a bo r t h a tt h i s n o d e s u p p l i e d , however, w a s t o be u sed mostly as raw m u scu l a re n e rgy. S k i l led l a b o r was a l so need e d , a n d rese rvo i rs o f t h i s h a d begu nfo r m i n g i n t h e e a r ly 1 700s. I n d e e d , t h e fi rst ste a m e n g i n e , a wate r p u m pi n a co al m i n e i n o p erat i o n b y 1 7 1 2, h a d b e e n t h e prod u ct o f s u c h s k i l ledk now- h ow. A l t h o u g h its i n vento r, T h o m a s N ewco m e n , m ay h a ve beenfa m i l i a r w i t h t h e b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s of ste a m a n d the va cu u m , a s e m bod i edi n co nte m po rary s c i e n t i f i c a p p a ratuses, he p u t toge t h e r t h e fi rst e n gi n eu si n g m o stly i n fo rm a l k n owl edge. 123 M u c h the s a m e ca n be s a i d fo r t h eoth e r i n n ovat i o n s of t h e e ig h t e e n t h centu ry:78
  • 69. GEOLOGICAL HISTOR Y: 1 700-2000 A . D. I n erect i n g a mac h i n e . . . not o n ly vis ual [e .g. , engi ne ering d i agra ms] b u t tactile a n d m u scular knowledge are i n corporated i nto the mach i n e b y t h e mec h a n ics a n d ot h e rs w h o u s e too l s a n d s k i l l s and j u dgment to give l i fe to the visions of the e ngi neers. Those workers - m ac h i n ists , m i llwrights, car­ pe nters, we l d e rs, t i n sm it h s , ele ctri cians, riggers, a nd a l l the rest - s u p ply all made t h i ngs with a crucial compo n e n t that the engineer ca n never fu l ly specify. Their wo rk i n vol ves the laying on of knowi ng h a n d s . . . . T he h istori­ cal sign i fi ca n ce of workers knowledge had h a rd ly bee n noticed u n t i l the B ritish eco n o m i c h i sto rian J o h n R. H a rris co n nected it to the tec h n ological lead t hat G reat B rita in held over the Continent d u ring the I n d u strial R evo­ l utio n . I n the seve n teenth centu ry, B rita i n had co nverted to coal as a n i n d ustri al f u e l [and t h is i n volved many cha nges.]. . . The l i st of cha nges o f te c h n i q ues a n d a p p a ratus is very long, but t h ese cha nges are u n a p p reci­ ated beca use m a ny (proba bly most) of them were made by [se n i o r s k i l led] worke rs . . . rath e r t h a n by ow ners or the su pervisors of the wo rks. By 1710 . . . worke rs growi ng knowledge of the te c h n i q ues of coal fuel tec h nol ogy h a d already given B rita i n a co m m a n d i n g i n d ustri a l lead ove r Fra n ce a n d ot her Contine ntal co u n trie s . 124 T h e s e re s e r v o i r s o f s k i l l e d l a b o r were i m po rtant i n p u ts to t h e facto rytow n s a n d h e n ce key n od e s i n t h e l oo p . S k i l l s a n d k n ow- how p rovi d e dwh at o n e m i g h t ca l l "cata lytic i n fo rm atio n , " t h a t i s, i n fo r m a t i o n c a p a b l eo f bri n gi n g toget h e r a n d a m pl i fy i n g flows o f e n e rgy a n d m ate r i a l s . T h i s i sa good a rg u m e nt aga i n st l a bo r t h eo ri e s o f val u e , fo r w h i c h a m a c h i n e i snot h i n g b u t t h e conge a l ed m u sc u l a r e n e rgy t h a t went i n to i t s p rod u ct i o n .Strictly s p e a k i ng, t h i s wo u l d m e a n t h e re i s n o d i ffe rence betwe e n a m a­c h i n e t h at w o r k s a n d o n e t h at d o e s not ( o r a d i sa ss e m b l ed o n e). As t h ea bove q u ote m a k e s cle a r, n ot o n ly i s a d i ag r a m n ecessary ( b ro u g h t i n tot h e p ro ce ss by a n e n g i n e e r) b u t a l s o t h e s k i l le d m a n u a l k n o wledgene eded to i m p l e m e n t t h e a bstract d i agra m . I n s h o rt, t h e e n e rgetic i n p u t st o l a rge-sca l e p ro d u cti o n processes req u i red co m p l e m e n ta ry i n p u t s o fcatalytic i n fo r m a t i o n i n o rd e r for t h e I n d u stri a l R e vol utio n t o beco m e as e l f- s u sta i n i n g proce s s . Of co u rse, i n add i t i o n to t h e se rese rvo i rs o f facto ry i n p u t s , t h e l o o preq u i red n od e s ca p a b l e o f a bs o rbi ng the i n d u stri a l o u t p u t . I n ot h e r word s,t he h u ge outputs o f facto ry tow n s , t h e i r co nti n u o u s flows o f m a n u fact u re dpro d u cts , n e e d ed d o m e s t i c a n d fo reign m a rkets o f a sufficien t scale t oa bso r b t h e m . T he s e m a rkets were n ot t h e prod u ct of i n d u stri a l tow n s b u tof t h e c i t i e s t h a t n a t i o n -state s h a d a b s o rbed as p o l itical capi ta l s a n dgateways to t h e n ow g l o b a l ized netwo rks of exc h a nge. U n l i ke local a n dregi o n a l m a rkets, n at i o n a l m a rkets were n ot t h e p rod u ct o f a process o f79
  • 70. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASself-o rga n izat i o n b u t of d e l i be rate p l a n n i ng by a c o u ntrys e l ites, a co n ­scio u s p o l i cy k nown as mercantilism . 125 It i nvolved n ot o n ly t h e removal ofi ntern a l to l l s and ta riffs, but the con struct i o n of a co m m u n icati o n s n et­wo rk (road s, c a n a l s , m a i ls) to a l low co m ma n d s ( a n d traded goods) fromt h e c a p ital to reac h the whole co u ntry. I n a d d it i o n to a n at i o nwide m a r k et,a n i nt e n sificat i o n of fo re ign trade and t h e p ro l iferati o n of l i n ks betwee ngateway cities a l l over t h e gl obe were a l s o n ecessa ry i ngre d i e nts. Lo n d o n , p a rt pol itical c a p ita l a nd p a rt ma riti m e m etropo l i s, wa s i n stru­me ntal in the creati o n of the B ritis h n ati o n a l a nd fo reign m a rkets . Lo n­don a l so p l ayed a k ey role in t h e formati o n of a sta b l e credit system , witht h e creat i o n i n 1 694 of t h e fi rst central b a n k , t h e B a n k of E ngla nd , w h i c ha l l owed tap p i ng (vi a credit) t h e vast m o n eta ry reserves of A mste rd a m .As B ra u d e l rema rks, eve n t h o ugh Fra nce h a d a t t h e t i m e a greate r rese r­voi r of n atu ra l resou rces t h a n � ngla n d , h.e r c redit ( a n d taxatio n ) systemwas never a s goo d : " a rtifici a l wea lt h " p roved more powerfu l than natu ra lwealth . 126 H e n c e , t h e fi rst a u to catalyt i c l o o p t o ach i eve s e l f-s u sta i n i nggrowth i n vo lved more t h a n i n d u st ri a l e l ites. F i n a n c i a l a n d co m m e rc i a la nti m a rk ets we re a l so k ey i n gred ients, as w a s t h e n atio n -state. A n d w h i l eeach sepa rate e l ite d i d exercise central ized co ntro l o v e r a give n p rocess(th e l ogistics of facto ry town s , the creat i o n of t h e n atio n a l m a rket), t h erevo l utio n a s a w h o l e w a s t h e r e s u l t o f a true mesh wo rk of h i e ra rc h i c a lstru ctu res, grow i ng, l i ke m a n y m es h wo rks, b y d r i ft: Can we rea l ly be satisfied with t h is i mage of a smoot h ly coord i n ated and eve nly deve l o p i ng combination of sectors, capable between them of p rovid i n g a l l the i nte rco n nected eleme nts of the i n d ustrial revolution and meeti ng demands from ot her sectors? I t co nveys the mislead i ng vision of the i n d ustrial revo l ution as a co nsciously p u rsued o bjective, as if Brita i n s society and eco nomy had conspired to make possible the new Mac h i ne Age . . . . But this was ce rtai n ly not how the English revo l ution develo ped . It was n ot moving towa rds any goal, rather it encou ntered one, as it was p ropelled a l ong by that m u ltitude of diffe rent cu rre nts which n ot o n ly ca rried fo rwa rd the i n d ustrial revol ution but also spil led over i n to areas far beyo nd it. 127 T h u s , at least fro m t h e p e rs pective w h e re soci a l dyn a m ics a re t h es a m e as geo logica l dyn a m ics (th at is, fro m the p e rs pective of e n e rgy a n dcata lysis), t h e p rocess of i n d u stri a l ta keoff m ay b e vi ewed a s a bifu rcatio n ,fro m a state i n w h i c h self-sti m u lating dyn a m ics we re n ot co m pl ex e n o ughto overco m e d i m i n i s h i ng retu r n s , to a state i n which t h e series of n odesfo rm i ng t h e c i rc u it beca m e a self-susta i n i ng e ntity. T h e a d d iti o n of n ew80
  • 71. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.n od es to t h e mes hwo rk as it co m p lexified d i d n ot occu r acco rd i ng to ap l a n b u t s i m p ly fo l lowi n g i nt e r n a l co n strai nts; t h at i s , each n ew n od e hadto " m e s h we l l" with the existi ng o n es (i . e . , cata lyze a nd be cata lyzed byexisti ng nod es). As t h e "geo logical h i sto ry" of t h e n i n etee n t h ce ntu ry co n ­t i n ued to u nfo l d , t h e tec h no logies t h at grew a ro u n d t h e i n a n i m ate powerof stea m (as wel l as rad i ca l ly new o n es) s i m p ly i nserted t h emselves asf u rt h e r n od es in the growi ng a utocatalytic loop. The ra i l road a nd the tele­gra p h , fo r exa m p l e , m e s h ed wel l n ot o n ly with o n e a noth e r (am pl ify i n geach ot h e rs stre ngt h s a nd co m pe ns at i n g for certa i n wea k n esses), t h eymes hed we l l i n t h e l a rger co ntext of t h e c i rcu it. T he n ew self-s usta i n ed i nt e n s i f icati o n was made possi b l e by e l e m entsof bot h t h e Central P l ace a nd t h e N etwo rk syste ms. Ad m i n istrative cen­ters a n d gateway po rts joined facto ry town s to fo rm t h e great c i rc u it oftriggers and flows. The I nd u strial R evol utio n , in t u r n , affected in severa lways t h e fut u re growt h of c i t i e s . O n e of t h e revo l uti o n s i nten sified flows ,t h e flow of cast i ro n , triggered t h e begi n n i n g of t h e m eta l l izatio n of t h eu rban exoskeleto n a s t h e i n d u strial regio n s o f E n gl a n d bega n t o u s e i ro nfra mes to b u i ld fi re p roof text i l e m i l l s : fi rst, a six-story cotto n m i l l withi ro n co l u m n s wa s e rected in De rby in 1792; t h e n , in 1 796, a cott o n m i l lwith i ro n beams a n d co l u m n s was b u i lt i n S h rewsb u ry; b y 1830, t h e i nter­n a l i ro n fra me was co m mo n i n i n d u strial a nd p u b l i c b u i l d i ngs i n E ng l a n da n d F ra n ce. 1 28 N ext, t h e web of i nterloc k i n g i n novati o n s t h at c h a racte r­ized t h i s period g e n e rated a seco n d wave of i nte racti ng tec h no logies(th e ra i l road a nd the telegra p h), which had p rofo u n d effects on the E u ro­pea n u rb a n syste m a s a w h o l e , c h a ngi ng the relative i m po rta n ce of t h eca pital a nd t h e metropo l i s . U p t o t h i s p o i n t , l a n d t ra n s po rt co u l d n otco m p ete with t h e swift a nd flexi b l e co m m u n i cati o n s affo rded by t h e sea.W h i le ter restrial d i sta n ces served to se p a rate l a n d l ocked u rba n settle­m e nts, the open sea s e rved to co n nect gateway cities. But the a dve ntof steam-powered tra n s p o rtatio n re moved t h ese co n stra i nts, givi ngterrito ri a l ca p itals many of the adva n tages p revi o u s ly e n joyed by ma ri­time cities. 129 T h e coal regio n s of Engl a n d we re t h e birt h p l ace of t h e fi rst rai l road sys­tem, a d o pti ng t h e " Roc k et" l ocomotive i nvented by Geo rge Ste p h e n s o ni n 1829. T �l i s a l l owed t h e Liverpool a nd M a nc h e ster R a i lway t o o p e n fo rb u s i n ess i n 183 0 . 130 Ot h e r rai lways bega n o p e rati n g o n t h e Co nti n e nt afew yea rs late r, i n Fra n ce a n d A u stria, but t h ey re m a i n ed experi me ntalfo r at l east t e n years. Yet B riti s h leaders h i p in steam-d rive n tra n s po rtwas soo n s u rpassed by t h e U n ited States, w h i c h a few decades e a rl i e rh ad b e e n a n E ngl i s h s u p p ly regi o n . T h ese fo rmer co l o n i es h a d ta k e n offeco n o m i ca l ly in the seco n d h a l f of the eightee n t h centu ry, by m e a n s81
  • 72. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASof t h e s a m e s m a l l-sca le a u tocata lytic p rocess that h a d a l l owed E u ropemany ce n t u ries e a r l i e r to e m e rge from t h e s h a d ow of I s l a m : volati l etrade a m o n g backwa rd cities e ngaged i n i m po rt s u bstituti o n . Acco rd i ng t o J a n e J a co bs , t h e fi rst two American cities t o beg i n t h isp rocess we re Bosto n a n d P h i l ade l p h ia , o ne a B ri t i s h resou rce d epot fo rt i m b e r a n d fis h , t h e ot h e r s u pplyi ng Engl a n d wit h grai n . W h i l e N ew Yo rkrem a i n e d a captive m a rket, Bosto n and P h i l ad e l p h i a were copyi ng Eu ro­p e a n produ cts a n d re p l aci ng t h e m with local o n es , w h i c h t h ey trad�da m o n g t h e mselves. W h i l e t h e i n n ovati o n s t h at c a m e o ut of t h i s p rocesswere s m a l l and u ng l a m o ro u s , and h e n ce ca n not be co m pared with t h eo ne s t h at e m e rged from t h e I n du stri a l R evol utio n , w h a t matte red wasthe rese r v o i r of i n te rlocki ng s k i l l s a n d p roced u re s ge n e rated by i m port­s u bstituti o n dyn a m i cs. 131 After t h e Wa r of I n d e p e n d e n ce , N ew Yo rk joi n e dBost o n a nd- P h i la d el p hi a i n d eve l o p i n g a greate r variety of m a n u fact u ries,w h i l e S a n F r a n cisco w o u l d , afte r t h e gold ru s h , beco m e a gateway to thee m e rgi n g global N etwo r k syste m . T h e mech a n i cs a n d e n g i n e e rs of t hese A m e ri c a n cities c re ated t h e tech ­n o logy t h at wou ld b y 1 8 5 0 a l l ow t h e U . S . rai l roads to s u rpass t h e B ritishrai lway system i n terms of m i leage of wrought- i ro n r a i l s . I f b ri dges andfactories in A m e ri ca were sti l l bei n g b u i lt out of t i m b e r, t h e t ra n s p o rtat i o nsyste m o f t h e n ew n at i o n -state w a s u n de rgo i n g a n e v e n more i ntensemeta l l izati o n than E n gl a nds. M o re i m po rtantly, the tec h n ology d evelo pedin E n gl a n d (loco m otives a n d rai lway con struct i o n tech n i q u es) was l a rgelyu n s u itable for the l o n g d i sta n ces a n d d i fficu lt te r ra i n of the U n ited States,and so it co u l d n ot s i m p ly b e i m ported b u t h a d to develop l oca l ly in n ovelways. 13 2 H e nce the i m po rta n ce of the m eshwo rks of s m a l l fi rms t h at h add evelo ped a l o ng t h e A merican eastern seaboa rd , w h e nce t h e local e n gi­n ee r i n g a n d e ntrepre n e u ri a l t a l e n t n eeded to d e v e l o p t h e n ew mach i neswas recru ited . T h e re is a n oth e r s i d e to t h e s uccess of A m e ri ca n r a i l roads (and to t h efutu re evo l u ti o n of i n d u strial izatio n ) w h ic h i nvol ved n ot m e s hwo rks b u tco m m a n d h ie ra rc h i e s . W h i l e t h e tec h n ol ogical e l e m e nts of t h e systemhad been d eveloped by civ i l ia n e ngi n e e rs from N ew Yo r k and P h i lade l p h i a,m ilita ry engineers were i nst r u m e ntal in d eve l o p i n g the b u rea u c ratic m a n ­age m e n t methods t h at came to c h aracterize A m e ri c a n ra i l roads. I n t h ewo rd s of t h e h isto r i a n C h a rl e s F. O C o n n el l : As the rai l roads evolved and expa nded, they bega n to exh i b it structural and procedura l c haracteristics that bore a remarkable resem blance to those of the Army. Both o rgan izations erected complicated manageme nt h ierarchies to coord i n ate and control a variety of fu n ctionally d iverse, geographically82
  • 73. - GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D. separated corpo rate activities. Both created s pecial ized staff b u reaus to provide a range of techn ical and logistical su p po rt services. Both d ivided co rpo rate autho rity and responsibil ity between l i n e and staff age n cies a n d officers a n d t h e n ado pted elabo rate written reg u l atio ns that cod ified t h e relatio n s h i p between t h e m . B o t h establ ished fo rmal guidel ines t o gove rn ro uti ne activities and i n stituted sta ndardized repo rti ng and accou nting p ro­ ced u res and forms to provide corporate headq uarters with detailed finan­ cial and o peratio n al i n fo rmation which flowed along carefu l ly defi ned l i n es of communicatio n . As the ra i l roads assumed these characteristi cs, they became Americas fi rst " big busi ness." 133 O Co n n e l l poi nts o u t t h at specific i n d ivid u a l s fro m t h e U . S . A rmy Co rps of E ngi n e e rs p l ayed key roles in the b u i l d i ng of a n u m be r of A m e rican rai l roads a n d i n so d o i ng faced m a n ageri a l problems of a sca le a n d com­ p l exity u n k n ow n to t h e local b u s i n ess co m m u n ity. T h ey m a d e strict acco u nta b i l ity a n d b u rea u c ratic h i e ra rchy pivota l e l e m e nts of a m a n age­ ment styl e t h at wo u ld eve n t u a l ly filter t h ro u gh to ot h e r rai l way l i n es (and ot h e r i n d u st ri es). A l t h o u g h t h i s ge n e ra l ly u n ac k n ow l ed ged m i l it a ry e l e m e nt of a nt i m a rket i n stituti o n s is b ro ught i nto h ig h rel ie f by t h e A m e rican experi e n ce i n ra i l road m a n age me nt, it d id n ot o rigi n ate t h e re . I nd ee d , t h e rel ati o n s h i p betwe e n m i l ita ry a n d antima rket i n stituti o n s i s a very old o ne . By t h e s i xte e n t h centu ry, Ve n ice h a d d eveloped sta n d a rd­ ized p roced u res as p a rt of the o p e rat i o n of its a rs e n a l , the l a rgest i n d u s­ trial com p l ex i n E u ro p e at t h e t i m e . 134 T h e a rm ed sai l s h i ps bu i lt at t h e a rse n a l s i nce 1 328 were u sed b y Ve n eti a n a nt i m a rkets n ot o n ly to co n ­ d uct t h e i r l u crative lo n g-d i st a n ce t r a d e with t h e Leva nt, b ut a l so to m a i n­ ta i n by m i l ita ry fo rce t h e i r m o no po ly o n t h at t rad e . I n t h e e ighteenth a nd n i n etee n t h centu ries, a rs e n a l s wo u ld aga i n p l ay a lead i n g role i n the sta n d a rd izat i o n a n d routi n izat i o n of t h e p rod u ct i o n p rocess, i n F l u e n c i n g the futu re deve l o p m e n t of i n d u strial a n ti m a rkets. I n pa rt i c u l a r, m i l it a ry d isci p l i n e was tra n sfe rred to factories, t h e wo rke rs s l owly d e-ski l l ed , a n d t h e i r activities ratio n a l ized . H a rry B rave rm a n , a l a b o r h i sto ria n , a c k n owledges t h e rol e of b u re a u ­ crati c a n d m i l itary h i e ra rc h i es i n t h e o rigi n s of t h e rati o n a l izat i o n of l a b o r : " Fr a n ce h ad a l o n g t raditi o n of atte m pt i ng t h e s c i e n t i f i c s t u d y of wo rk, sta rti n g wit h Lo u i s X I Vs m i n i ster C o l b e rt; i ncl u d i ng m i l it a ry e ngi n e ers l i ke Va u b a n a n d B e l i d o r a nd especi a l ly Co u l o m b , w hose p hysi o l ogical stu d i es of exe rt i o n in l a b o r a re fa m o u s . " 135 I n d e e d , t h e basic routi n es t h at wo u l d l ater evolve i nto m a s s p rod uctio n tec h n i q u es were bo rn i n F r e n c h m i l it a ry a rse n a l s i n t h e eighte e n t h centu ry. These routi n e s we re l ate r tran sfe r red to A m e rican a rse n al s , w h e re t h ey became i n stitu t i o n a l ized over t h e 83
  • 74. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAScou rse of t h e n i n ete e n t h centu ry, eve ntu a l ly deve l o p i n g i nto t h e "Ame ri­ca n syste m o f m a n u fa ctu ri ng." T h e A m e rican system was o rigi n a l ly devised to create wea p o n s wit hperfectly i nterc h a ngea b l e pa rts . W h e n a rtisa n s m a n u fa ctu red t h e d iffer­ent pa rts o f a wea p o n by h a n d , the res u lt i n g hete roge n e ity made iti m poss i b l e to s u p ply fro nts wit h spare pa rts. The n ew system fi rst c re­ated a model of a p a rti c u l a r weapo n , and t h e n the model se rved a s astandard to be exactly re p l i cate d . B u t e n fo rcing t h i s sta n d a rd , to e n s u ret h e h o m oge n e ity of t h e p ro d u cts, req u i red a tra n sfe r - from t h e m i l itaryto the facto ry - of the d i sci p l i n a ry a n d s u rve i l l a n ce methods t h at hadbeen u sed to m a i n ta i n o rd e r in ba rracks and ca m p s fo r ove r two cen­tu ri es. I n s h o rt, t h e A m e ri c a n system tra n sfo rmed m a n u fa ctu r i n g froma n open p rocess based on flex i b l e s k i l l s i nto a closed p rocess based onfixed rout i n e s (e n fo rcea b l e t h ro ug h d isci p l i n e and co n sta nt i ns pectio n): When labor was mechan ized and divided i n n i netee nth-ce ntu ry arms facto­ ries, i ndividual wo rk assignme nts became more s i m p li fied while the overa l l prod uctio n process became more com p l ex. Coord i nati ng and contro l l i ng the flow of wo rk from o n e manufacturing stage to another therefore became vita l and, in the eyes of factory masters, dema nded closely regu­ lated o n-the-job behavior. U nder these co nditio ns the engi neeri ng of people assumed an i m portance eq ual to the engineeri ng of materials. As co nfor­ mity su pplanted individ u a l ity in the wo rk place, craft skills became a detri­ ment to prod uctio n . 136 Obvio u s ly, n ot a l l aspects of t h e rati o na l izatio n of l a b o r had a m i l itaryo rigi n . M i l ita ry i n stitutio n s pl ayed a key rol e , but i n d u strial d i sci pl i n eh a d a l ready d eveloped ( m o re o r less i n d e p e n d e ntly) i n ce rta i n a nti­m a rket e nte r p rises, s u c h a s m i n es . 137 All t h at ca n be c l a i m ed is that thep rocess of ro u t i n izat i o n of p ro d u ctio n in a rsenals, m i nes, and civi l i a nfacto ries u n de rwe n t a great i nt e n sificatio n o n both s i d e s of t h e Atl a ntic,and this i m p l i ed a l a rge i n c rease in t h e co m m a n d element in t h e eco­n o m i c m i x. B ut o n ce aga i n , despite t h e i m p o rta nt c o n seq u e n ces that t h ea d v e n t of rat i o n a l izatio n had o n t h e fut u re of t h e eco n o my, i t i s i m p o rta ntto keep in m i n d all the coexisti ng p rocesses ta k i n g pl ace at this time soas n ot to red u ce t h e i r h ete roge n eity to a si ngle facto r. I n p a rtic u l a r, rou­t i n izat i o n needs to be contrasted with the completely d i fferent p rocessof i n n ovati o n . 1 38 Routi n izat i o n in its i nt e n si fied (a n d co n sciou sly pl a n n ed)form occu rred in a fai rly d efi n e d a rea of t h e E u ro p e a n (a n d A m e rican)exos keleto n , away from t h e n atio n a l a n d regi o n a l ca pita l s w h i c h beca mecenters of i n n ovati o n . W h i le t h e l atte r kept growi ng in d ive rs ity a n d eco-84
  • 75. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.n o m i c hete roge n e ity d u ri ng the n i n etee n t h centu ry, the tow n s , w h i c hu n derwe n t t h e i nt e n sified ro u t i n izatio n o f p rod u cti o n , b e c a m e eve r m o reho moge ne o u s : A t the h igh e n d of the spectru m [ o f occu patio nal homoge n eity], w e f i n d t h e si ngle- i n d u stry a n d "co m pa ny" towns. Often associated w i t h secret m i l i ta ry tec h n ol ogy i n o u r time, the latter go back at l east to the n aval ports, s u c h a s B rest a nd Tou l o n , fou nded b y Lo u i s X l V. I n the n i n etee nth centu ry, s i n ­ gle e nterprises developed s izable towns o r c a m e t o do m i n ate a n u rb a n a r e a . Port S u n l ight (Leve r) i n Engl a n d , Leve rkusen (Baye r) i n Germa ny, a n d Sochaux (Pe ugeot) i n France, a re exam ples. E ntre p re n e u rs were m otivated by the determi n atio n to exe rcise total co ntrol ove r the h u m a n as we l l as the tec h n ical e nviro n m e nt. N o n�basic e m ployment was kept to a m i n i m u m beca use t h e pater n a l i stic e m ploye r d isco u raged com petit i o n a n d "frivolity" i n the provi s i o n of services. 139 T h i s h o m oge n i zatio n of eco no m i c fu n cti o n s, w h i c h retai n ed basic s e r­vices a n d excl u d ed co m peti n g i n d u stries, m e a n t t h at t h e o n ly positivefeedback operati ng in t h ese u rban centers was the e n o r m o u s eco no m iesof sca le to w h i c h their a ntima rket i n stituti o n s h a d access. By sta nd a rd iz­i ng p rod u cti o n , costs co u l d be s pread across a l a rge n u m b e r of i d e nticalp rod u cts, a n d in this way the law of d i m i n is h i n g ret u r n s co u l d be over­come . Yet, t h e re a re ot h e r possi b l e types of positive feed back fo r citiesa n d towns, ot h e r co n n ecti o n s betwee n effi c i e n cy and s i ze - n ot t h e sizeof a ho moge n ized e nterprise a n d its h o m oge n eo u s m ass- p ro d u ced p rod­u cts, but t h e s ize of a h ig h ly h ete roge n e o u s u rba n center which p ro­vides s m a l l fi rms with a variety of m utua l ly sti m u lati n g l i n ks . T h ese a ren ot eco no m ies of sca l e , b u t economies of agglomeratio n : [These eco no m ies] co me fro m the fact that the fi rm can fi n d in the large city a l l m a n n e r of clie nts, se rvices, s u pp l i e rs, a n d e m p l oyees no m atter how spec i a l ized its p rod u ct; this, in t u r n , promotes i ncreased s pecial izati o n . Su rprisingly, however, eco n o m i es of agglo meration e ncou rage f i r m s of t h e same l i ne t o locate close t o o n e a noth e r, w h i c h i s why n a m es s u c h a s H a rley, Fleet, a n d Lom b a rd streets a n d Savil l e R ow - to sti c k t o Londo n ­ ca l l to m i n d p rofessi o n s rather t h a n pl ace. Besides the no n - n egligible p rofit and pleasure of s h o p-ta l k, all can s hare access to services t h at n o n e cou ld s u p po rt alone . . . . A k ey poi nt about econ o m i es of agglo meratio n is that small b u s i n e sses d e p e n d o n them more t h a n do large o n e s . T h e latte r can i nte r n a l ize these " exte r n al e co n o m ies" by p rovi d i ng their own se rvices and gai n locatio n a l freedo m as a res u lt. . . . The relatio n s h i p betwee n large85
  • 76. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAS cities and smal l busi ness is a sym biotic one beneficial to both. The reason is that smal l firms are the major carriers of i n n ovatio n , includ i ng creative adaptatio n to cha nge. This was even more true in the d ays befo re scientific research contributed much to new tech nology. 140 H o h e n be rg a n d Lees a rgue that, whether it was i nfo rmal k n ow- h ow o rfo r m a l k n owl edge, i n fo rmation was, wjth i ncrea s i n g regu l a rity, o ne o f t h em a i n i n p uts of s m a l l-sca le i n d u stry. A n d la rge, d iversified c i t i e s w e r e c e n ­t e r s w h e re i n fo rm at io n accu m u l ated a n d m u ltipl ied . The i n n ovatio n s tow h i c h t h ese e co n o m ies of agglomeratio n led made these cities pio n ee rsi n m a ny n ew i n d u strial p rod u cts a n d processes, w h i c h wo u l d late r beexpo rted to t h e ce nters of h e avy i n d u stry o n ce t h ey h ad bee n rout i n ized ."The n atu re of i n fo rmation as an i n put to prod u ct i o n is that it ceases tobe i m po rt a n t o n ce a give n p rocess becomes routi n e . . At t h at point ot h e rcosts - fo r m a c h i n es , basic l a bo r, a n d s pace - take ove r, a nd central citiesare at a serio u s d isadva ntage . M o reover, eco n o m ies of sca l e beco me criti­cal and . . . very l a rge cities are n ot espec i a l ly favored locat i o n s fo r t h el a rgest e n te r p r i ses." 141 T h u s , eve n t ho ug h routin izat i o n m ay n ot be co n d u cive to, a n d m ayeve n prec l u d e , i n n ovati o n , t h i s loss is offset t h ro u g h t h e gai n s d e rivedfro m eco n o m ies of scale. Mo reove r, i n creasi ng the co m m a n d e l e m e n t i nt h e eco no m ic m ix red u ced not o n ly p ro d u ct i o n costs b u t t ra n sactio ncosts a s we l l . T h i s i s i ndeed h ow t h e n e o i n stitutio n a l ist eco n o m i st Ol ive rW i l l i a m so n expla i n s t h e re p l ace m e n t of m a rkets by h i e rarchies. I n h i sv iew, t hese two extrem es a n d t h e i r hybrids represent d i ffe rent "gove r­n a nce structu res" for h a n d l i ng t h e same transact i o n s . Poo r i n fo rmati o na bo u t a good t o be exc h an ge d , opport u n i st b e h av i o r by t h e p a rtn e rs ofexc h a nge , d ifficu lties in d rawi ng sal e s c o ntracts t h at foresee all eve ntuali­ties (as we l l a s ot h e r i m p e rfectio n s of real m a rkets) i n crease t h e costs oftran sact i n g in a d ecentralized way. At t h e l i mit, tra n sact i o n costs m ayove rride t h e ga i n s from trade a n d t h e n it m ay prove profitable to switchfro m m a r kets to h i e ra rc h i e s a s the mode of gove r n i ng t r a n sactio n s . 142 Wi l l i a m so n a rgues, fo r exa m p l e , that as any asset d eve lops a h ighd egree of s pecificity (e .g., one fi rm buys mach i n e ry geared excl u sivelytoward t h e n eeds of a not h e r f i rm , or wo rkers deve l o p s k i l l s for particu l a rp rocesses), a relati o n s h i p of d e p e n d e n ce d evelops betwe e n t h e peoplei nvolved which may leave t h e door o p e n for o p p o rtu n i st b e h avior. I n t h i ss it u at i o n , give n t h e m u c h i n creased costs of defi n i n g co ntracts t hat cou n­te ract t h e effects of o p p o rtu n i s m , it w i l l pay fo r o n e co m pa ny to a bsorbt h e ot h e r, t h at is, to replace a re lation based o n p rices by o ne based o nco m m a n d s . I n t h e case o f wo rkers, t h e tra nsact i o n costs i nvolved m ay86
  • 77. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D .be t hose of b a rga i n i ng ove r the terms of a co ntract . The ro uti n izati o n oft h e p rod u ctio n p rocess and the co n seq u e n t d e-s k i l l i ng of t h e wo rkersred uces t h e i r barga i n i ng powe r a n d t h e co n se q u e n t costs fo r m a n age rsof tra nsacti ng i n t h e l a b o r m a rket. 143 H owever, W i l l i a m so n s a p p roac h , i nw h i c h a n i n crease i n t h e com m a n d e l e m e n t of eco n o m i c o rga n izati o n si s j u stified excl u sively i n terms of effi c i e n cy (eco n o m iz i n g t r a n sacti o ncosts), h as bee n criticized fo r ove rloo k i ng t h e n o n co ntract u a l be n e fits(to the m a n agers of fi rms) of i n d u strial d isci p l i n e . 144 T h i s i s o n e rea s o nf o r vi ewi ng the deve l o p m e n t of e co no m i c i n stitutio n s (parti c u l a rly i n t h eU n ited States) as part of a wide r " o rgan izati o n a l ecology, " w h i c h m u sti n cl u d e m i l itary i nstituti o n s . I n t h e n ext c h a pter we w i l l need to w i d e neve n m o re t h e scope of t h i s "ecology" as w e deve l o p Fo ucau lts idea t h att h e effi c i e n cy of eco no m i c o rga n izati o n s (fo r exam p l e , t h e facto ry sys­te m) needs to be measu red both in terms of eco n o m i c uti l ity a n d i nterms o f pol itica l o bed i e n ce , w h i c h i s wh ere d i sci p l i n a ry i n stituti o n s pl ayan i m po rta nt rol e . I n t h e n i neteenth ce ntu ry t h e re we re two m o re p rocesses b e n efiti ngh i e rarchies ove r m e s hworks in t h e eco n o my. O n o n e h a n d , a s DouglasN o rth argues, as eco n o m i es co m plexified (as t h e a m o u nts of fixed ca pita li n creased , fo r exa m ple), t h e p r o p o rt i o n of t h e gross n atio n a l prod u ctspent o n tra n sacti o n costs a l so i n creased . T h i s led to a n i n stituti o n a l evo­l ution in w h i c h i n fo r m a l co n strai nts were i n cre a s i n gly co nve rted i ntofo r m a l r u l es and dece ntra l ized e n fo rce m e n t re pl aced by the coe rcivei nte rve nti o n of central states, in o rd e r to kee p tran sact i o n costs re l ativelyIOW. 145 On t h e oth e r h a n d , t h e popu l ati o n of co m m ercial o rga n izat i o n si n h a biti ng cities ( a n d t h e i n d u stri a l h i nterla n d s t h ese cities a n i m ated)u nd e rwe nt d ra m atic c h a n ges. I n pa rtic u l a r, an o rga n izat i o n a l form thatp reexisted the I n d u strial Revo l ution but h ad a lways bee n a s m a l l p a rtof t h e popu lati o n now bega n to prol ife rate: t h e joi n t-stock co m pa ny. T h i stype of o rga n izat i o n is c h a racte rized b y a separati o n of own e rs h i p fromcontro l : t h e own e rs a re a d i s persed gro u p of stock h o l d e rs , and co ntrol ofthe co m pa ny passes from the own e r-e ntre p re n e u r to the profess i o n a lm a n ager (or, rat h e r, to a m a n age r i a l h ie rarchy). Gal brait h , fo r exa m pl e , a rgues t h at a l t h o u g h joi n t-stock co rpo rat i o n sh ave boa rds o f d i rectors w h i c h re p re se n t t h e own e rs , i n p ractice t h isfu n ct i o n h a s beco me l a rgely cere m o n i a l , particul arly i n fi rms w h e re t h em a n age rs sel ect t h e mem bers of t h e boa rd . Own e rs h i p i s a l s o sepa ratedfro m control by the fact that the m a n agers h ave a m o re co m p l ete k n owl­edge of the d a i ly o p e ratio n s of t h e fi rm . In t h ese c i rcu msta n ces, t h estrategy of t h e i n stituti o n c h a n ges fro m o n e of m axi m izing t h e wea l t h oft h e stock h o ld ers to o n e of growt h fo r its own sake, s i n ce this i n creases87
  • 78. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASt h e c o m p l exity of t h e o pe ra t i o n a n d h e nce t h e n e e d fo r i n s i d e r, m a n a ger­ial k n owl e dge. 146 I n te re st i n gly, t h e m o st i nt e n s e p ro l i fe r at i o n of t h i s o rga n i zat i o n a l fo rmdid n ot occ u r in the m o re i n d u stri a l ly a dva n ced B r it i s h c i t i es b u t in t h eU n ited States. (T h e B r i t i s h a n d t h e D utch d i d h a v e j o i n t-stock co m pa n i es,p a rt i c u l a rly t h e fa m o u s Co m pa n i es o f I n d i a s , w h i c h were l i k e states with­in t h e state . ) 147 I t was in A m e r i ca t h at t h e se o rga n i zat i o n s bega n a p ro­cess of e n o r m o u s growt h by swa l l o w i n g s m a l l e r co m pa n i e s , i n creasi nglyre p l a c i ng m a r kets with h i e r a r c h i e s . I n d eed , one eco n o m i st goes so fa r asto say t h at the rea s o n B r ita i n l o st i ts i n d u st r i a l l e a d to t h e U n ited Statesby the e a r ly twe n t i et h c e nt u ry was precisely beca u se t h i s a bso r pt i o n ofm a rkets by h i era rch i e s d i d n ot t a ke p l a c e . B ri ta i n s pro b l e m "was n ott h at it re l i e d too l i ttl e , b u t t h at it re l i ed too m u c h , on m a rket coord i n at i o nof i ts eco n o m i c a ct i v i t i e s . " 148 T h e r e a r e m a ny co m pet i n g exp l a n at i o n sfo r w h y l a rge-sca l e e nt e r p r i s e s i n w h i c h co m m a n d s i n c r e a s i ngly r e p l a cep r i ce s as a coo rd i n at i o n m e c h a n i s m f a i l e d to d ev e l o p o n B r i t i s h s o i l , atl ea st wit h t h e s a m e i nt e n s ity as on t h e o t h e r s i d e of t h e At l a nt i c . O n ei ntere st i n g pos s i bi l ity rests o n t h e i d e a t h at Lo n d o n ( a n d t h e rest o f E n g­l a n d s c i t i e s , w h i c h fe l l u n d e r its co ntrol) was at t h e t i me t h e co r e of t h eN etwo rk syst e m ( a n d h e n ce of t h e n o w global i z e d wo r l d -eco n o my) a n dt h at , as s u c h , i t h a d t h e resou rces o f t h e e nt i re wo r l d a s i t s own p r i vates u p ply zo n e . (T h a t i s , in t h e n i n et e e n t h c e n t u ry, E n gl a n d a s a w h o l e mayb e seen a s a m o n o po ly.) B a c k i n t h e fou rte e n t h a n d "fifte e n t h ce n t u r i e s ,w h e n Ve n i ce w a s t h e co r e of t h e E u ro p e a n wo rld-eco n o my, " s h e was fa rbe h i n d t h e p i o n ee r c i t i es of Tu sca ny as regard s b a n k i n g or t h e fo r m a t i o nof l a rge f i r m s . " 149 I t i s a l m o st , a s B ra u d e l s u ggests, a s i f t h e w h o l e ofVe n i ce, whose e n t i re po p u l at i o n l e n t m o n ey to t h e m e rc h a nts, were ah u ge j o i nt-stock co m pa ny it se l f, t h e re by i n h i bi t i n g t h e develo p m e n t oft h i s o rga n i z at i o n a l fo rm w i t h i n i t . W h atever t h e re a s o n s fo r t h e d el a y i n B r i ta i n , t h e p r o c e s s of se pa ra­t i o n of o w n e rs h i p fro m co n t ro l a n d t h e w h o l esa l e re p l a ce m e n t of m a rketswit h h i e r a rc h i es we re p a rt i c u l a rly c l e a r i n u r ba n sett l e m e nts in t h e U n itedStates. T h i s cou ntry h a d w i t n essed i ts own a cce l e r at i o n of city bu i l d i ng i nt h e n i n ete e n t h c e n t u ry. W h i l e t h e po p u l a t i o n of towns i n 1790 i n cl u de do n l y a co u pl e d oze n c i t i e s , by 1 9 2 0 t h e r e we re a l m ost t h re e t h o u sa n d . l5 oT h i s po p u l at i o n i n c l u d e d ca p i ta l s , gateway p o rt s , a n d i n d u st r i a l tow n s ofd i ffere nt typ e s , fro m o p p ressive a n t i m a rket tow n s l i ke P ittsbu rgh to m o resoc i a l ly co n ce r n ed text i l e m i l l tow n s l i k e L owe l l , L awre nce, a n d M a n c h es­ter. 151 I n t h e l ater p a rt of t h e ce ntu ry, t h i s a cc e l e r at i o n fu rt h e r i n te n s i fi e da n d t h e percen tage of t h e h u m a n p o p u l at i o n l iv i n g i n u r b a n centers d o u ­b l e d betwee n 1 890 a n d 1 9 20 . 152 I n d u st r i a l i za t i o n h ad a l so i nte n s i f i e d , s o88
  • 79. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.t h at by t h e t u rn of t h e ce nt u ry t h e U n ited Stat es had beco m e t h e wo rl d sl ea d i ng m a n u fact u r e r. T h e po p u l a t i o n of co m m e rc i a l i n stit u t i o n s i n h a bi t i n g A m e r i ca n c i t i esu n d e rwe n t an i nt e n s e wave of i nt e r n a l izat i o n of m a rkets by h i e r a rc h i es.T h i s i ntegra t i o n took o n e of t h ree fo r m s : b a c kward vert i ca l i ntegratio n ,w h i c h m e a n t t hat a m a n u fa ct u r e r a bs o rbed i t s s u p p l i e rs of raw m ateri a l s ;fo rwa rd vertical i ntegrat i o n , w h i c h re s u lted i n t h e i n co rpo ratio n o f a fi r m sd i stri b u t i o n syste m ; a n d , fi n a l ly, h o rizo n t a l i n tegrat i o n , w h i c h i n vol vedt a k i ng over ot h e r fi rms in t h e same i nd u st r i a l speci a l ty. 153 I n the s eco n dh a l f o f t h e n i n etee n t h c e n t u ry, C h i cagos tool m a ke rs a n d meat p a c k e r s ,M i lw a u k e e s beer prod u ce rs , N e w Yo r k s text i l e m i l l s a n d sewi n g-m a c h i n em a n u fa ct u re rs a l l bega n a p rocess o f fo rwa rd v e rt i c a l i ntegra t i o n byd evel o p i n g t h e i r own n a t i o n w i d e m a rket i n g o perat i o n s , i n te r n a l i z i n g a neco n o m i c fu n ct i o n prev i o u s ly pe rfo r m e d by n etwo rks o f co m m i s s i o n e ds a l e s m e n a n d brokers. W h i l e t h e A m e ri c a n eco n o my i n 1 8 5 0 " w a s o n e ofs m a l l b u s i n esses wit h m a ny u n i ntegrated fi r m s d e p e n d e nt u po n m a nym a rketi n g m i d d l e m e n . . . by 1900, co n t e m p o r a ry o bs e r v e rs were d e scrib­i n g a q u ite d i ffe rent wo r l d , a wo r l d of v e rt i ca l ly i ntegrated b i g b u s i n e s s .A few l a rge fi r m s w h o se i n te rests s pread o u t o v e r t h e w h o l e c o u ntry d o m ­i n ated e v e r y m aj o r i n d u stry." 154 A m e r i c a n i n d u st r i a l h i e ra rc h i e s b o t ha bsor bed t h e i r m a r kets a n d m e rged a m o n g t h e m se l ves, with t h e a i m o fa vo i d i n g ol i gopol i stic com petiti o n a n d i n crea s i n g c e n t r a l ized co ntro l : T h e ra i l roads, w h i c h were the cou ntrys first big busi ness, e n co u raged ot her big busi ness i n at least two ways in add itio n to p rov i d i n g the mod el. . . . They were a ca rd i n a l factor in creating a nat i o n a l m a rket, and i n d o i n g so, they p u t a s h a rper edge o n i ntra m u ra l com petit i o n . T h ey broke down m o n o pol i stic m a rket posit i o n s by m a k i ng it poss ible for fi rms to i n vade eac h othe rs te rrito ry. To p rotect themselves fro m the wo u nd s a n d bruises of com petiti o n , b u s i n essmen i ntegrated horizo nta l ly a s well a s vertical ly, t h u s givi ng a n other boost t o b i g busi ness. 155 I n the n o rt h east e r n U n i ted States, t h e process of i nte r n a l i z at i o n wo u l dp l ay a n i m p o rta n t ro l e i n t h e n ext great e n e rgy i nt e n s i ficati o n : el ect r i f i ca­t i o n . W h i l e i n d e p e n d e n t i n ve n t o rs ( s u c h as E d i s o n ) , who b e n e fited fro meco n o m i e s of aggl o m e rati o n , h a d d e v e l o ped t h e fi rst few el ect r i ca l prod­u cts, a p rocess of i nte r n a l i zat i o n by i n vesto rs15 6 was be h i n d t h e h a r n e ss­i ng of the gravitati o n a l e n e rgy of N i aga ra Fa l l s, a n d i t was t h e l atte r t h a ttran sfo rm e d e lect r i c i ty from its l i m ited role a s a s o u rce of i l l u m i n atio n tot h a t of a u n iversal fo rm of e n e rgy. I n t h e cou rse of t h i s u n d e rt a k i n g, c r u ­c i a l tec h n i c a l q u est i o n s (s u c h a s t h e r e l at i ve m e rits o f d i rect v e r s u s a l te r-89
  • 80. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASn at i ng cu rre nt) we re settl e d , a nd t h e natu re of t h e e n terprise itse l f (ap ro d u cer of e n e rgy, not a s u p p l i e r o f l i ght) was e l u c i d ated . T h e d r i v i n gforce be h i n d t h e p roject wa s a gro u p of ba n kers w h o fo rmed t h e Cata ractCo n st r u ct i o n Co m p a ny in 1889. T h ey i nte r n a l ized an esta bl i s hed c o m ­p a n y a nd a l l its m a c h i n e ry, a n d s e t o u t to face t h e co m p l ex tec h n i c a l a n dl ogisti cal pro b l e m s of co n q u e ri ng t h e fa l l s. By 1896, t h e p l a n t t h ey b u i l twas tra n s m i tt i ng powe r to t h e city of B u ffa lo, a n d t h e e l ectri cal u t i l ityco m p a ny as we k n ow it had co m e i n to existe n c e . 157 A prod u ct of i n v e sto r i nt e r n a l izat i o n , t h e el ect r i c a l i n d u stry h e l pedp i o n e e r a n ew fo r m of ab so rpt i o n : the d i rect i n ter n a l izati o n of eco n o m i e sof aggl o m e ratio n . U n l i k e its riva l s (co a l gas fo r i l l u m i n at i o n , ste a m fo rmoto rizat i o n ) , e l ect r i city was i n c rea si ngly d e pe n d e nt o n formal a nd i n fo r­m a l k n ow l e d ge fo r its d evel o p me n t . K n ow l edge, i n t u r n , i s a n i n p u t ofp rod u ct i o n w h i c h exacts h ig h tra n sa ct i o n costs. O n ly w h e re patents a reperfectly e n fo rce a b l e wi l l i n fo r m a t i o n be a l lowed to flow t h ro u g h m a rkets,e l se a n t i m a rkets wi l l p re fe r to i ntern a l ize i t i nto t h e i r h i e rarc h i e s . l58 Oneway a corpo rate h i e ra rchy m ay i nte r n a l ize k n owledge is by fu n d i ng arese a rc h l a b o rato ry. A l t h o u g h t he G e r m a n orga n i c-c h e m i stry l a b o rato riesa n d Ed i so n s Menlo Park l a b were precu rso rs, t h e fi rst modern i n d u st r i a ll a b o ratory ded icated excl u s i ve l y t o research (as o p posed to m e re testi ng)was created by t h e G e n e ral E l e ct r i c C o m pa ny in t h e ea rly ye a rs of t hetwe ntieth ce n t u ry. T h e G . E . l a b , a nd t h e m a n y t h at we re l at e r created i nits i mage , m ay b e v i ewed a s a n i nte r n a l i zed m e s h wo rk o f s k i l l s : I t i s a great strength of t h e i n d ustrial la boratory t h at i t c a n b e bot h "spe­ cial ist" a n d "ge n e ra l i st," permitting an i n d ivid ual to wo rk alone or a team to work together. . . . The re search l a b o ratory prov i d e s an i n d i v i d u a l with access to s k i l l s and fa cil ities wh i c h greatly i n crease h i s capacity. It ca n at the same time, however, orga n ize a team effort fo r a specific ta sk and t h u s create a co l l ective "generali st" with a greate r range of s k i l l s and kn ow l­ edge tha n a ny i nd ivid u a l , no matter how gifted, co u l d pos s i b ly acq u i re i n a l i fetime. 159 Alt h o u g h t h e u se of e l ectricity as an e n e rgy sou rce owed its o rigi n s tou rb a n eco n o m i e s of agglo m e rat i o n a nd t h e i n form at i o n t h ey ge n e rate,o n ce t h ose m e s h wo rks had bee n i nt e r n a l ized a n d ro u t i n ized, e l ectricitysf u t u re belo nge d to eco n o m i e s of sca l e . M u c h as t h e ste e l i n d u stry, w h i c hreq u i red l a rge r a n d m o re s o p h i st i cated m a c h i n e r y a n d p l a n t s t h a n i ro nm i l l s , a u to m a t i c a l l y b e n efited l a rger e nte rprises, s o e l ect r i city i m me d i ­a t e l y m at c h e d t h e s ca l e at wh i c h a nt i m a r ket i n st i t u t i o n s o p e rate. 160 T h en e w i n te n s i ficati o n t o o k pl ace a l o ng seve ral fro n t s . S i ze , t e m perat u re ,90
  • 81. GEOL OGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D.a nd press u re were a l l i nt e n s i fi e d to ge ne rate eco n o m i e s of sca l e i n t h eproduction p rocess. Vo ltage , too, wa s greatly i nt e n s i fi e d , a n d positivefeedback was created i n the transmission p rocess a s wel l . Yet, a s fa r a se l ectricitys effect o n soci ety, t h e i nt e n sificati o n t h a t mattered m o st w a st h at of consumption , w h i c h fol l owed n at u ra l ly fro m el ect ricitys m u l t i t u d eo f pote n ti a l u s e s . I n o t h e r words, t h e i nj ecti o n o f m o re a n d m o re e n e rgyi n to u rb a n centers wo u l d n ot on its own h ave p rod uced m u c h o f ac h a nge, si n ce t h e u se s to w h i c h t h e o l d e r fo rm s of e n e rgy co u l d be p u tw e r e l i m ited . At s o m e p o i nt u rb a n societ i e s wo u l d h a ve reached a poi nto f satu rat i o n , and the i n t e n sificat i o n wo u l d h av e cease d . But el ect ricitysi m u lt a n e o u sly i n creased t h e flow of e n e rgy a n d t h e pote n t i a l uses o ft h a t e n e rgy. H e n ce, i n t h i s ca s e , it w a s as m u c h t h e i nt e n s ity a s t h e formof t h e new e n e rgy i n p uts t h at m atte re d . At t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u ry, e l ect r i c i ty h a d t h re e poss i b l e u se s , n o t tom e nt i o n a m u lti t u d e of pot e n t i a l u ses ( s u ch a s co m p ute rs) that wo u l d berea l i zed o n ly l at e r. T h e se t h ree a p pl icat i o n s were co m m u n i cat i o n s , li ght­i ng, a n d me c h a n i cal powe r. T h e f i rst two were t h e bett e r k n o w n , s i nceel ectri city h ad been co n n ected wit h the flow o f i n fo rm a t i o n fro m e a rly o n .Sto red i n b atte r i e s , i t h a d powered t h e tel egra p h t h ro u g h o u t t h e n i n e ­tee nth c e n t u ry. E l ectri city h a d a l s o powe red l ig h t i n g syste m s , begi n n i ngi n t h e 1870s . B ut its t r u e tra n sfo rm i ng powe r wo u l d not d e p e n d as m u c ho n i t s ro le i n com m u n icat i o n s o r i l l u m i n at i o n a s i n t h e creati o n of a n e wb reed o f motors t h at, u n l i ke ste a m e ng i n es, co u ld b e miniaturized, w h i c hp e r mitted a n ew d egree o f c o n t ro l o v e r t h e flow of m e c h a ni cal e n e rgy. 161T h e m i n i at u riza t i o n of m ot o rs a l l owed t h e grad u a l re p l a c e m e n t of a c e n ­tral i ze d e n gi n e by a m u lt i t u d e o f d ecentra l i zed o n e s ( e v e n i n d i v i d u a l too l sco u l d now b e m otorized ) . M ot o rs bega n d i s a p p e a ri n g fro m vi ew, weav i ngt h e m s e l v e s i n to t h e very fa b r i c of re a l ity. Of co u rse, e l ectricity wa s not t h e sole ca u se of t he l a st great i n t e n s i fica­tion u n d ergo n e by We ste r n cities. A s wit h e a r l i e r i nte n s i fi c a t io n s, i t wasthe i nt e r p l ay of several i n n ovati o n s ( e l e ctri city and e l e ctr i c a l prod u cts, t h ea u to m o b i l e a n d its i nt e r n a l co m b u st i o n engi n e , p l astics a n d o t h e r syn t h eticm a teria l s , ste e l a n d oil) t h at a l l owed t h i s i nt e n s i fi cat i o n to su sta i n i tse l f. I t is a l so i m p o rta n t to k e e p i n m i n d t h at t h i s n ew we b of i nterloc k i n gtec h n o l ogies d i d n ot re p l a c e t h e o l d o n e . A l t h o u g h coa l lost gro u n d to o i li n t h i s c e n t u ry, e v e n a s l ate as t h e 1960s coa l sti l l acco u nted f o r h a l f o ft h e wo r l d s e n e rgy co ns u m pt i o n , a n d its rese rves we re l ess d e p l eted t h att h o se o f oi l . 162 R a t h e r t h a n p e r fo rm i ng a w h o l e sa l e re p l ac e m e n t , t h e n e wc i rc u i t o f trigg e rs a n d fl ows i n se rted itse l f i n to t h e o l d o n e . T h e o rigi n a ll o o p (co a l - i ro n -ste a m -cotto n), a n d its newly acq u i red n o d e s (ra i l ro a d s ,t e l egra p h), conti n u ed to f u n ct i o n i nto t h e twe n t i et h ce n t u ry. T h e n ew91
  • 82. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAS e mselve s i nto t h e p r ev i o u s m e s hwor k ,tec h n o l og i e s s i m ply grafted t h s p rod u ct i o n a n d ,beco m i ng y e t o t h e r n o d e s , p a rt i c i pati n g i n i t s e l f-re s . R at h e r t h a n b e i n g l eft be h i n d , t h e o l dh e n ce , r e p rod u c i n g t h e m s e l vec i rc u i t s i m p ly co m p l e x i fi e d , l o s i n g a few t rigger-f l ow com po n e nts w h i l eg a i n i ng m a ny n ew o n es . C it i e s be ga n t o c h a nge u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n ce of t h ese n ew n od e s . N ewYo r k a n d C h i cago i n p a rt i c u l a r expe r i e nced an i nt e n se e l ectrifi cat i o n a n dm e t a l l izati o n , w h i c h res u lted i n t h e b i rth o f t h e skys c r a p e r, a n o rigi n a lu r ba n fo rm u n i q u e to t h e U n i ted States, p r i o r to Wo r l d Wa r I I . T h e i ro nfra m e , w h i c h a l l owed m a so n ry wa l l s t o b e re p l aced w i t h glass, h a d beenp i o n e ered in E u r o p e a n c i t i e s such a s L o n d o n and Pa r i s . B ut it was i nA m e r i c a t h at t h i s m etal l i c e n d os k e l eto n evo lved i nto t h e s kysc r a p e r.El ect r i c m oto rs i n t u r n a l l owed e l e vato rs to tra n s po r t p e o p l e vertic a l lyt h ro u g h t h ese h u ge towers. C h i cago p i o n e e red t h e u s e of steel a n d e l ec­t r i city i n t h e co n st r u cti o n i nd u stry, cata lyzed by t h e great fi re of 1 8 7 1 ,w h i c h d estroyed t h e citys co m m e rc i a l c e n t e r a n d l it e ra l ly c l e a red t h e wayfo r i n n o vative b u i l d i n g tech n i q u es to be a p p l i e d . By t h e 1890s, C h i cagowas the w o r l d c a p i t a l of the s kysc r a p e r, with N ew Yo r k a close seco n d .B u t i f el ect r i city a n d steel a cted a s centri peta l forces, m a ki ng possi b l et h e i nte n se h u m a n a n d m ac h i n e co n c entra ti o n s re p rese nted by t h e n ewmega c i t i e s , t h e i nt e r n a l co m b u s t i o n e n gi n e a n d t h e a u t o m o b i l e h a d ac e n t ri f u ga l e ffect, a l lowi ng p e o p l e to move out of c e n t r a l c i t i es i nto ra p i d lygrowi ng s u b u rba n a re a s . A u t o m o b i l e s , say H o h e n be rg a n d L e e s , " a ctedas a s o l v e n t r a t h e r t h a n a c e m e n t to the u rb a n f a b r i c . " 1 6 3 T h e year 1920 m a r k s a t u r n i n g poi nt i n t h e acce l e rati o n of A m e r i c a ncity b u i l d i n g , t h e m o m e n t w h e n t h e n u m be r o f A m e r i c a n s l i v i n g i n citiess u r p a ssed t h e n u m be r i n h a b i t i n g r u ra l areas. But 1 92 0 a l so m a rks them o m e n t when t h e growt h of central c i t i e s was s u r p a s s ed by the growth att h e i r fri nges, the m o m e n t u r b a n d eco n ce ntrati o n bega n to i nte n s ify. Ass u b u r bs sta rted h o u s i n g m o re of the u r b a n p o p u l a t i o n t h a n cen tra l cities,the l a tter b e c a m e p a rt of l a rge r " m etro pol i ta n regi o n s " (as t h ey ca m e tob e k n o w n ) a n d of a n ew te rr i t o r i a l d i v i s i o n of l a bo r. C i t i e s lost so m e oft h e i r eco n o m i c f u n ct i o n s to su b u r b s a nd i nd u str i a l h i nterl a n d s, a n dd ev e l o p e d s peci a l i zat i o n s i n yet ot h e r f u n ct i o n s ( t h o se t h at were i n fo r m a­t i o n - i n t e n s i ve). T h i s p rocess w a s l a rgely u n p l a n n e d , form i ng a te rrito r i a lm e s hwo r k of i nt e r l oc k i ng s p e c i a l izat i o n s . As o n e a u t h o r p u ts i t , " O n em ig h t d es c r i b e t h e m etro p o l i t a n re gio n a s a gi a nt n etwo r k o f fu nct i o n a lrelat i o n s h i ps i n sea rc h of a fo rm a n d a gover n m e nt . " 164 B e s i d e s t h ese c h a nges i n i n te r n a l fo r m , t h e relati o n s h i p betwee n citiesin E u rope a n d in A m e r i c a bega n to c h a nge. I n pa rti c u l a r, t h e core of theglobal N etwo r k system s h i fted i n t h e 1 920s from L o n d o n to N ew Yo r k92
  • 83. GEOLOGI CAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A.D.C i ty. By t h e twe n t i e s , N ew Yo rk h a d a l ready e n j oyed several d ec a d e s offi n a n c i a l i n d e p e n d e n ce from L o n d o n . For i n sta n ce, e l e ctri f i cati o n , u n l i k eN ew Yo r k s e a r l i e r i n t e n s i fi cati o n s, h a d n ot b e e n fi n a n ced from a b ro a d . 16 5A few d ec a d e s later, a fte r Wo r l d Wa r I , t h e U n i te d States e m e rged as ac red itor n at i o n , a n d a n ot h e r m a ri t i m e metropol i s ( N ew Yo rk), not a l a n d ­l o c ked c a p i t a l (Wa s h i ngto n), wo u l d a s s u m e t h e ro l e a s c o r e of t he g l o b a lN etwo r k syste m . H owev e r, N ew Yo rk wou l d soo n e x p e r i e n ce a p h e n o m e n o n w h o s e rootswent back seve ra l c e n t u r i e s , to t h e t i m e w h en n atio n- states fi rst bega nto swa l l ow u p u r b a n c e n t e rs : t h e p rocess of city killing. O n e fact o r co n ­t r i b u t i n g to t h e d e p l e t i o n of u r b a n a u tocata lyt i c dy n a m i cs was t h e u n ­p reced e n ted m o b i l ity of l a rge co rpo ratio n s , w h i c h , h a v i n g i n ter n a l i z e d t h eb e n efits of eco n o m i es of aggl o m e ra t i o n , co u l d m o v e h e a d q u a rte rs a n dp rod u cti o n faci l it i es w i t h relative e a s e . U n l i ke s m a l l f i r m s , w h i c h a rel o c ked i n a m e s h w o r k of i nterd e p e n d e n c i es w i t h ot h e r s m a l l e n t e r p r i sesand h e n ce ca n n ot e a s i ly m o ve to a n ot h e r ci ty, i nd u st r i a l a n t i m a r kets a refree to c h a nge l ocati o n betwe e n , or o u ts i d e of, u rb a n ce nters. A n d a st h ey m ove away, l a rge co r p o rat i o n s t a k e t h e i r i n ter n a l i ze d m e s hwo rksw i t h t h e m , d e p r i v i n g c i t i e s of a n i n ca l c u l a b ly v a l u a b l e reso u rc e . M e s h ­wo rks of sm a l l f i r m s m ay a l so be d estroye d i n a m o re d i rect w a y by l a rgeo rga n i zati o n s u s i n g t h e i r eco n o m i e s of sca l e to ga i n co ntrol of m a rkets.I n B ra u d e l s wo r d s : O v e r the twenty yea rs or so before the crisis of the 197 0s, N ew Yo rk - at that time the lead i n g i n d u strial city i n the world - saw the decl i n e o n e after a n other of the l i ttl e firms, so meti mes em ploying l ess t h a n t h i rty people, w h i c h made up i ts commerci a l a n d i n d ustrial s u bsta n ce - t he h u ge cl oth­ i n g sector, h u n d reds of small pr i nters, m a ny food i nd u stries a nd s m a l l b u i lders - al l co ntri b u t i ng t o a tru ly "com petitive" world whose l itt le u n i ts were both in com petiti o n wi t h , yet dependent u po n each other. The d is­ o rga n i zati o n of New Yo rk wa s the re s u l t of the s q u eezi ng out of t h ese t h o u ­ s a n d s of b u s i n esses w h i c h i n the p a s t made it a c ity where co n s u m ers co u l d fi n d in town anyt h i n g they wa nted, prod u ced , stored and sold o n the s pot . I t was the b i g firms, with t he big prod u ct i o n u n i ts o u t of town , wh i c h o usted the l ittle m e n . 1 66 A n t i m a rket o rga n izat i o n s w e re not t h e o n ly h i e ra r c h i c a l st r u ct u rese ngaged in city k i l l i ng . Acco rd i n g to J acobs, go ver n m e n t a l b u rea u c raciesh a v e fo r c e n t u r i e s b e e n d e st royi ng u rb a n m e s h w o r k s in a va r i ety ofways, a d i versity of " t r a n s a ct i o n s of d ec l i n e " (as s h e calls t h e m ) t h atres u lt i n t h e l oss of p o s i t i v e fee d b a c k , or at l e a st i n t h e l os s of t h e s p e c i a l93
  • 84. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAStype of e co no m i e s of agglome ratio n i n volved i n i m po rt-s u bstit u t i o ndyn am i cs. Beca u se s m a l l c i t i e s n eed a flow of i m p o rts to b u i l d u p t h e crit­ical m ass t h at res u lts i n an explosive e p isod e of rep l ace m e n t dyn a m i cs ,a ny gove r n m e nt p o l i cy t h at redi rects t h i s flow away f r o m t h e m i s a pote n ­t i a l c ity k i l l e r. Taxi ng u rb a n ce nters i n o rd e r t o s u sta i n ru ral s u bsid i es i so n e exa m p l e , as i s t h e p ro m otion of trade betwee n l a rge a n d s m a l l cities,si nce a l a rge city wi l l attem pt to tra n sfo rm a s m a l l e r city i nto a s u p plyzo n e . (As we o bse rved earl i e r, vo l ati l e trade req u i res backward c ities tou se each ot h e r sym b i otical ly. ) 167 To retu r n to o u r m a i n a rgu ment, d es pite t h e loss of vital ity of m a n yciti e s , t h e great a u tocatalytic loo p of trigge rs a n d fl ows conti n u ed to com­p l ex i fy by a cq u i r i ng n ew nodes (e lect ri city, automo b i l es), w h i c h a l l owedit to c i rc u mvent i nt e r n a l l i m its to its growt h (su c h as a satu ration of t h eu rb a n d e m a n d fo r m o re a n d m o re e n e rgy). T h e co n ti n u i ng growth alsod e p e n d e d , of co u rs e , o n ot h e r facto rs, s u c h as t h e ava i l a bi l ity of rela­tively c h e a p e n e rgy sou rces, a n d t h is i n turn d e p e n d ed on the a b i l ity ofWester n n at i o n s to tran sfo r m t h e rest of t h e wo rld i nto a vast p e ri p h e ry,o r s u p ply zo n e . We wi l l ret u r n to t h e q u esti o n of col o n i a l is m i n t h e n extc h a pter, b u t fo r n ow it will s u ffice to n ote that, u n l i ke t h e o rigi n a l c i rcu itof t rigge rs and flows in B ri t a i n d u ri ng the I n d u strial Revol utio n , t h eresou rce n od es i n t h e exp a n d ed ve rs i o n of t h e l o o p (t h e seco nd i n d u s­trial revo l u t i o n ) h ad l o n g been i nternatio n a l . (Western cities becamepai n fu l ly awa re of t h e i r l o ng depe n d e n ce o n u n d e rpriced e n e rgy - a n dh e n ce t h e i r d e p e n d e nce o n t h e i r g l o b a l s u p ply zo n es - d u ri n g t h e o i lc r i s i s of t h e 1 970s . ) T h e a u to catalytic l o o p beca m e i n creasi ngly d ep e n ­d e n t, too , o n t h e f l o w of i n fo rm atio n . A n d t h i s fl ow, i n t u r n , bega n tobe affected by t h e creatio n of n ew i n stitutio n s : t h e resea rc h l a bo ratoryand the tec h n ical u n ive rsity. As Peter D rucker writes: Few of the majo r figu res i n 19th ce ntu ry technology received much fo rmal ed ucatio n . The typ i cal i nve ntor was a mechanic who bega n his apprentice­ s h i p at age fo u rtee n or earlier. The few who had go ne to col lege [Eli Whitney, Samuel Mo rse] had n ot, as a ru le, been trained i n technology or science, but were libera l arts students . . . . Tech nological i nvention and the develop­ ment of i nd ustries based on new knowledge were i n the hands of craftsmen and artisans with l ittle scie ntific education but a great deal of mechan ical ge n i us . . . . The 19th century was also the era of tech n ica l-u n ivers ity build­ i ng. Of the majo r tec h n ical i n stitutio ns o n ly one, the Ecole Polytechn i q u e i n Pa ris, a ntedates t h e ce ntu ry. . . . B ut by 1901, w h e n t h e California I nstitute of Tec h n ology in Pasadena adm itted its fi rst class, vi rtua lly every one of the major tec h n i cal coll eges active in the Weste rn world today had al ready94
  • 85. r-�" GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D . com e i nto bei ng. Sti l l , in the o pe n ing decades of the 20th ce ntu ry the mom e n t u m of tech n ologica l p rogress was being carried by the self-ta ught mechanic without s pecific tec h n ical o r scientific ed u catio n . 168 The switch fro m t h e s e l f-ta ught i n ve nto r of t h e n i n eteenth centu ry to t h e i n d u strial l a bo rato ry of t h e twe ntiet h , wit h its staff of tec h n ical­ u n i ve rsity grad u ates, i nvolved a reve rsal i n t h e b a l a n ce o f powe r betwe e n i n fo rm a l a n d fo rmal k n ow ledge. Sti l l l a t e r o n , t h e adve n t of co m p u ters (wh ic h a re basica l ly a u to m ated fo rmal systems) a p p e a red to co n s o l i d ate t h e victo ry of a n a lyti cal ove r e m bodied k n owledge, to t h e poi n t w h e re t h e d i fferen ce itself seemed t o va n i s h fo r a l l b ut a few p h i lo so p hers. 169 Acco rd i ng to G a l b ra i t h , t h e e n l a rged role t h at k n owledge b ega n to p l ay as a n i n pu t to prod u ct i o n p rocesses (as wel l as i n ot h e r areas of corpo rate a ctivity, s u c h as m a rket i ng) h ad a s ign i fica n t i m pact o n t h e gove r n a n ce struct u re of l a rge eco n o m ic o rg a n izatio n s , a cti n g as a co u n te r b a l a n ce to t h e i ncrease d a mo u n t of com ma nd e l e m e nts i n t h e i r m ix. Despite t h e existen ce of m a n ageri al h i e ra rc h ies i n most co rpo ratio n s , the deci s i o n ­ m a ki ng p rocesses wit h i n t h ese i n stituti o n s a re n ot ba sed e n t i rely o n r a n k a n d fo rmal a u t h o rity, b u t o n com mittees, an appa rat u s for gro u p deci s i o n m a k i n g (wh i c h h e c a l l s t h e "te c h n ostr u ctu re"). Th ese co m mi ttees se rve as a m e a n s fo r poo l i ng k n ow ledge, fo r m a l and i n fo r m a l , a nd a s m e c h a­ n isms fo r test i n g t h e releva n ce of col lective o p i n i o n s. Top m a n agem e n t ten d s s i m ply t o rat i fy t h e d ecisi o n s made b y t h ese col lective bodies, p a r­ ticul arly i n situ atio n s w h e re t h e deci s i o n s to be m a d e a re n ot routi n e . 17 0 The i nten sificatio n of t h e flow of k nowl edge a l so affected t h e dyn a m i cs of cities a n d t h e i r i n d u strial h i n terl a n d s . A recen t study of two i n d u st ri a l h i nterl a n d s - " S i l i co n Va l ley" i n N o rt h e r n C a l i fo rn i a a n d R o ute 1 2 8 n e a r Bosto n , bot h o f w h i c h d eveloped i n close co n ta ct w i t h tec h n i ca l u n iversi­ ties (Sta n fo rd and M assac h u setts I n stitute of Tec h n ol ogy, respectively) ­ i l l u strates t h e effects of t h i s i nte n s i fi catio n . The study o bse rves t hat: S i l ico n Va l ley has a d e ce ntra l ized i n d u strial system that i s o rga n ized arou n d regi o n a l n etworks. L i k e f i r m s i n J a p a n , a n d pa rts of Germany a n d I taly, Silico n Val ley co m pa n i es tend to d raw on local knowled ge a n d relati o n s h i ps to create n ew m a rkets, p rod u cts, a nd appl icati o n s . T h ese special ist firms co mpete i ntensely while at the same t i m e l ea r n i ng from o n e a nother a b o ut changing m a rkets a n d tech nologies. The regi o n s d e n s e social networks and open labor m a rkets e ncou rage experim e n tation a n d e ntreprene u rs h i p. The b o u n d a ries with i n firms a re p o ro u s, as a re those betwee n firms t hem­ selves and betwee n firms a n d local institutions such as trade association s and u n ive rsities. l7l 95
  • 86. I: LAVAS AND MAGMAS T h e growt h of t h i s reg i o n owed very l ittl e to l a rge fi n a n ci a l flows fro mgove r n m e nt a l a n d m i l itary i nstitutio n s . S i l ico n Va l l ey d id n ot deve l o p som uc h by eco n o m ies of scale as by the ben efits d e rived from an agglom­e ratio n of v i s i o n a ry engi n e e rs , speci a l ized co n s u lta n ts, and fi n a n c i a le nt re p re n e u rs . E ng i n e e rs m o v e d ofte n fro m o n e fi rm t o a n ot h e r, d eve l o p­i n g loyalties to t h e c ra ft a nd t h e regio n s n etworks, n ot to a ny partic u l arco rpo ratio n . T h i s co n ti n u a l m igrati o n , toget h e r with a n u n u s u a l (fo r cor­po rat i o n s) c u ltu re of i n fo rm atio n s h a ri ng a m o ng t h e local prod u ce rs,e ns u re d t h at n ew fo r m a l and i nfo rm a l k n owledge wo u l d d i ffuse ra pid lyt h ro ugh t h e regio n . B u si n ess associatio n s foste red co l l a bo rati o n betweensma l l a n d m ed i u m-sized co m pa n ies. R i s k taki ng and i n n ov at i o n we repreferred over sta b i l ity a n d ro ut i n izati o n . (Of co u rse, t h i s does not m e a nt h at t h e re we re n o t l a rge, ro uti n ized fi rms i n S i l ico n Val ley, o n ly t h at t h eyd i d n ot d o m i n ate t h e m ix . ) N ot so o n Ro ute 1 28: While Sil ico n Va l l ey prod ucers of the 1970s were em bedded in, and i n separable from, i ntricate social and tech n ical netwo rks, the Route 128 region came to be dom i nated by a small n u mber of h ighly se lf-sufficient corporations. Co nso n a nt with New E ngland s two ce ntu ry old ma n u factur­ i ng traditi o n , Route 128 fi rms sought to prese rve their i ndependence by i nte rnalizing a wide ra nge of activities . As a res u lt, secrecy and corporate loyalty govern re lations between firms and their customers, s u p pl iers, and com petitors, re i nfo rci ng a regional culture of sta b i l ity and se lf-re l iance . Corpo rate h ierarch ies ensured that authority rema i n s centra l ized and i n formatio n flows vertical ly. The bou ndaries between and wit h i n fi rms and between fi rms and loca l i nstitutions thus rema i n fa r more d istinct . 172 Befo re t h e recessi o n of t h e 1980s, bot h Sil ico n Va l ley a n d R o ute 128had be e n c o n ti n u o u sly expa n d i ng, o n e o n eco n o m ies of agglomeratio na nd t h e ot h e r o n eco n o m i es of scale (o r, rath e r, m ixtu res d o m i n ated byo n e type o r t h e ot h e r); n o n et h e l ess, t h ey bot h felt t h e f u l l i m pact of t h edowntu r n . I n resp o n se to h a rd t i mes, som e l a rge S i l ico n Va l l ey fi rms,ignoring t h e dyn a m ics be h i nd t h e regi o n s s u ccess , bega n gea ri ng p rod u c­t i o n towa rd eco n o m ies of sca l e , t ra n sfe r r i n g t h e m a n u fa ct u re of ce rta i npa rts t o ot h e r regio ns a n d i nte r n a l izi ng activities p rev i o u sly performedby sma l l e r fi rms. Yet t h e i ntensi ficat i o n of routi n izatio n and i nte r n a l iza­t i o n in Si l ico n Va l l ey was not a co n st itutive pa rt of the regio n (as it was o nR o ute 1 28), w h i c h m ea nt t h at t h e o l d m es hwo rk system cou l d b e revived .A n d that is, i n fact, what h a p p e n e d . Si l ico n Va l leys regi o n a l n etwo rkswe re ree n e rgized, t h ro u g h the b i rt h of n ew firms in the old pattern , a n dt h e regi o n h a s n o w ret u r n ed to i t s fo rmer dyna m i c state , u n l i ke t h e co m-96
  • 87. GEOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A.D.m a n d - h eavy Ro ute 1 28, w h i c h conti n u es to stag n ate. T h is s hows t h at,while eco n o m i es of scale a n d eco n o m i es of agg l o m e rati o n , as fo rms ofpositive feedback, bot h p ro mote growt h , o n ly the l atte r e n d ows firmswith t h e res i l i e n ce and a d a pta b i l ity n eeded to co pe with adve rse eco­n o m i c co n d itio n s . T h e case o f S i l i co n Va l l ey a n d Ro ute 1 2 8 s h ows t h at t h e re a re seve ra lv i a b l e l i n es of deve l o p m e n t fo r futu re prod u ctio n syste ms, m u c h as t h e rewere a lte r n at ive fo rms of i n d u strial izatio n i n prev i o u s ce ntu ries. Paradoxi­cal ly, t h e co m p ute rized p rod u cts m a n u fact u red in t h ese tyVo i n d u st ri a lh i n te r l a n d s , a n d t h e f u rt h e r i nt e n sificat i o n i n t h e flow of k n owl edge t h atco m pute rs a l l ow, co u l d p u s h t h e evol u ti o n of i n d u strial p rod u ct i o n i ne i t h e r d i rectio n , t o i nc rease o r decrease t h e re l ative p ro p o rtio n s o f co m­mand a n d self-o rga n izatio n . O n o n e h a n d , co m p uters m ay beco me t h e m a c h i nes t h at fi n a l ly e l i m i­n ate h u m a n bei ngs a n d t h e i r fl exi b l e s k i l l s from i n d u strial prod u cti o n ,as i n fu l ly a uto mated facto ries. M at u ra n a n otes t h at o n e c h a racte ristic o fa utocata lytic loops is t h at t h e i r i nte r n a l states d ete rm i n e m ost of t h e i rbe havi o r, with extern a l sti m u l i p l aying t h e ro l e of t rigge rs. H e co m pa resthis to p u s h-butto n m a c h i n e s w hose be h a v i o r i s n ot cau sed by the p u s h ­i ng of a butto n , o n ly triggered b y itY3 Auto m ated facto ries a re veryco m plex p u s h-butto n m a c h i nes of t h is type a n d , as s u c h , planned autocat­alytic loops. I n d ee d , as l ate as t h e 1960s, a ro uti n ized , rati o n a l ized p ro­d u ctio n p rocess t h at ge n e rated eco n o m i es of sca l e was t h o u ght by m a n yto be t h e pe rfect exa m p l e of a w h o l e t h at is m o re t h a n t h e s u m of itspa rts. T h at so-ca l l ed systems a p p roach cele brated ro uti n izatio n as t h ecrow n i ng ach ievement of m o d e r n sci e n ce . 174 Tod ay w e k n ow t h at p l a n n edloops of trigge rs a n d fl ows a re o n ly o n e of a n u m be r of system s t h atexh i bit e m e rgent p ro perties, a n d t hat spontaneou sly ge n e rated loopsmay be m o re a d a ptive and res i l i e nt than rigi d ly p l a n n ed o n es. 175 A u to m ati o n resu lts i n s e l f-su sta i n i ng a utocata lytic loops o f ro u t i n e s ,with a l i m ited ca pacity fo r s p o n t a n e o u s growt h . T h ese l oops e m e rge a ndgrow by co r po rate p l a n n i ng, so t h ey c a n be o n ly as good as t h e p l a n n e rst h e mselves. On t h e ot h e r h a n d , i n stead of a i d i ng t h e growt h of s e l f-su ffi­cient co rpo rati o n s , co m pu te rs ca n be u sed to c reate a n etwo rk out of aco l l ecti o n of sm a l l fi rms, as h a p p e n ed i n some i n d u st ri a l h i n te r l a n d s i nE u rope, a l l owi ng eco n o m ies o f agg l o m e rati o n t o co m pe n sate fo r t h e l a c kof s c a l e of t h e i n d iv i d u a l fi rms. 176 I n t h i s ca se, t h e a b i l it i es of t h e i n d ivid u ­a l s i n vo lved wi l l be a m p l i fied by p rocesses of se l f-orga n izati o n occ u rri ngat t h e i n stitutio n a l and regi o n a l leve l s. By faci l itati n g t h e fo rm ati o n ofm es hwo rks of co m p l e m e nta ry eco n o m ic fu n ct i o n s , the co m p ute rs createdin i n d u st ri a l h i nterl a n d s co u l d a l l ow u rban centers to recover t h e rich97
  • 88. I: LAVAS AND MAGMASn o n l i n e a r dyn a m i cs of e a r l i e r p rod u ction methods, s u c h as i m po rt-su bsti­tution d y n a m ics . I f s o m et h i ng l i ke t h i s were to h a p pe n , t hese regi o n s wo u l d s i m ply berepayi n g a very o l d d e bt to citi es. I n d u strial h i nte r l a n d s h ave a lwayse m e rged i n close co n n ectio n with dyn a m i c u rb a n ce nte rs , spawned a ndn o u ri s h ed by cities a n d town s enjoyi ng some k i n d of positive feed backfro m t h e i r aggl o m e rati o n of s k i l l s and eco n o m i c fu n ct i o n s . Cities t h atserved mostly a s a d m i n istrative ce n te rs, with m o re com m a nd t h a n m a r­ket co m po n e n ts , d i d n ot a n i m ate active i n d u stri a l regi o n s beyo n d t h e i rbo rd ers. Lo n d o n , Amsterd a m , Paris, L o s A nge les, N ew Yo rk, S a o Pa u l o,S i nga p o re , a n d Seo u l did, w h i l e M ad rid , Lisbo n , Atl a nta, B u e nos A i res,M a n i l a , and Ca nto n did n ot. A ccord i n g to J aco bs, t h e l atte r l acked t h evolat i l ity i n t rade a n d t h e dyn am ism of smal l-prod ucer n etwo rks neededto i n fu se l i fe i nto a citys regi o n s, as o pposed to m e rely exp l o i t i n g t hemas resou rce d e pots. In N e ed l ess to say, co m p uters wi l l n ot m agi ca l ly p rod u ce a q u ick tec h n o­logical fix to u rb a n problems. For o n e t h i ng, t hey may sti l l evolve i n thed i rect i o n of routi n izati o n , fu rt h e r e rod i n g t h e co m bi n ato r i a l ric h n ess ofk n owl edge a n d m a k i ng f l ows of i n fo rm atio n ever m o re ste r i l e . T h e d igitalrevo l u t i o n s h o u l d be t ho ught of as o n e more e l e m e n t added to a co m pl exm ix, fu l ly coexist i n g with o l d e r com po n e nts (e n e rgetic a n d m ate rial), n ota l l of w h i c h h ave been left i n t h e past. I n ot her words, d igita l mach i n e ryis s i m ply a n ew n od e t h at has bee n grafted o n t h e expa n d i ng a u tocat­a lytic loop. F a r from h a v i n g b rought soci ety to a n ew stage of its deve l o p­ment, t h e i n fo rmati o n stage , c o m p u te rs have s i m ply i nte nsified t h e flowof k n owledge , a f l ow w h i c h , l i ke a ny ot h e r cata lyst, sti l l n eeds m atte r a n de n e rgy flows to be e ffective. T h e re i s one fi n a l i nstitutio n a l development t h at n eeds to be m e n ­t i o n ed h e re: t h e tra n s n at i o n al corporatio n . A l t h o u g h gove r n m e n t a nd m i l ­itary i n stituti o n s evolved side b y side w i t h big b u s i n ess, fo rm i ng a t r u em e s h w o r k of h i e ra rc h i es, a rece n t i n te n sifi catio n of t h e m o b i l ity t h at h a sa l ways c h a racte rized a nt i m a rkets has a l l owed t h e m t o tra n sce nd nati o n a lbou n d a ries a n d h e n ce t h e i r i nterl ocki n g rel atio n s h i ps w i t h t h e state.(Tra n s n ati o n a l co rporati o n s a re n ot a n ew p h e n o m e n o n , but t hey u sed tofo rm a sm a l l fract i o n of t h e tota l po p u l at i o n of u rba n firms.) The ro uti n­izati o n of p rod u ct i o n and t h e i ntern a l izatio n of m a rk ets a re n ow carriedon at a global leve l , w h i l e powe rfu l co m puters a l l ow the central ized con­trol of geogra p h i ca l ly d i spersed activities. Accord i ng to some a n a lysts,the i nternati o n a l i zati o n of a n ti ma rket i n stituti o n s (or at l east the i nte nsifi­cati o n of this p rocess) was i nd eed b ro u g ht about by adva n ces in the sci­e n ce of central izatio n (for exa m p l e , in o pe ratio n s rese a r c h , w h i c h was98
  • 89. G£OLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A . D.develo ped by t h e m i l ita ry d u ri ng Wo rld Wa r I I ) a n d by t h e u se of l a rgeco m pu te rs to coo rd i n ate a n d m o n ito r co m pl i a n ce with ce ntral p l a n s . 17 8 I n t h i s way, m a n y co rpo ratio n s have n ow become tru ly i n d e pe n d e nt ofa ny partic u l a r co u ntry, m u c h as decades ago t h ey beca m e i n d e pe n d e ntof cities. I n d eed , n at i o n-states have beco m e obstacles fo r t h e expa n s i o nof a nt i m a rket i n stituti o n s , s i n ce the ach i eve m e n t of eco n o m i e s of sca l eat a n i nt e r n ati o n a l l evel d e m a n d s t h e d estructio n of t h e regu l atio n s withw h i c h i n d e p e n d e n t co u ntries attem pt to co ntrol t h e flows of m o n ey,good s, a n d i n fo rmatio n across n atio n a l b o rd e rs. Despite t h e fact t h at m es h wo rk-ge n e rati ng p rocesses a re active tod ayin seve ral pa rts of t h e globe, h i erarc h i ca l stru ct u res e njoy a co m m a n d i n g,two- o r t h ree- h u n d red-ye a r lead , w h i c h co u ld v e ry we l l d e c i d e t h e i ss u e ,parti c u l arly n ow t h at p rocesses of h o m oge n izat i o n h ave beco me i n te r­n ati o n a l . B u t even if t h e futu re tu r n s o u t to belo ng to h ierarchies, t h i s wi l ln o t occu r bec a u se a " l aw of c a p it a l i s m " s o m e h ow dete rm i n ed t h e o ut­co me fro m a bove. H u m a n h i sto ry is a n a rrative of co nti n ge n cies, n otn ecessities, of m issed o p p o rtu n ities to fol l ow d i ffe rent routes of deve l o p­ment, n ot of a u n i l i n e a r s u ccess i o n of ways to co n v e rt e n e rgy, m atte r,a n d i n fo rmatio n i nto c u ltu ra l p rod u cts. I f com m a n d stru ctu res e n d u pp reva i l i ng over s e l f-o rga n ized o n es, t h i s its e l f wi l l b e a co n ti nge n t h isto ri­cal fact i n need of exp l a n ation in co nc rete h i sto rica l terms. I have a l readys u ggested h e re that a m u lt i p l icity of i n stitutio n s (eco n o m ic, politica l , a ndm i l ita ry) w i l l e nter i nto t h i s exp l a n ati o n . A m o re d eta i led a n a lys is of t h ep rocess th rough w h i c h h o m oge n iz i n g fo rces ca m e to overw h e l m t h osepromoti n g h ete roge n izat i o n wi l l in fact i n volve a wider variety of o rga n iza­t i o n s ( i n c l u d i n g sc hools, h ospitals, a n d p riso n s) . I n t h e n ext c h a pte r, we wi l l exp l o re ot h e r aspects of t h e a cc u m u lati o nof h i e ra rc h ical str u ct u res wit h i n t h e E u ropean a nd A m e ri ca n exos ke l eto n .Exam i n i ng t h e ro l e t h at t h ese i n stitutio ns p l ayed wi l l a l l ow u s to p u t so meflesh on t h e bare bones of our accou nt of Weste r n i nstitutio n a l and u rb a nh i sto ry.99
  • 90. =-
  • 91. Biologica l History:1000-1 700 A . D.I n t h e eyes of m a ny h u m a nbe i n gs , l i fe a ppea rs to be au n i q ue a n d spec i a l p h e n om e ­n o n . Th e re i s , of co u rse , som et ru t h to t h is be l i ef, s i n ce n oot h e r p l a n et i s k n ow n to be a ra ri c h a n d co m p l ex b i os p h e re .H oweve r, t h i s v i ew bet rays a n" orga n i c c h a u v i n is m " t h atl ea d s us to u n d e rest i m ate t h ev i ta l ity of t h e p rocesses of se l f­orga n i zat i o n i n ot h e r s p h e res103
  • 92. 2: FLESH AND GENESof rea l i ty. I t c a n a l so m a ke u s fo rget t h a t ,d e s p i t e t h e m a n y d i ffe re n c es betw e e n t h e m ,l i v i n g c r e a t u res a n d t h e i r i n o rg a n i c co u n t e r ­pa rts s h a re a c r u c i a l d e p e n d e n ce o n i n t e n s ef l ows of e n e rgy a n d m a teri a l s . I n m a n yre s p e cts t h e c i rc u l a t i o n is w h a t m a tt e r s , n ott h e pa r t i c u l a r fo r m s t h at i t ca u s es to e m e rge .As t h e b i oge o g r a p h e r I a n G . S i m m o n s p u tsit, " T h e f l o ws of e n e rgy a n d m i n e r a l n u t r i ­e n t s th ro u g h a n ecosys te m m a n ifest t h e m ­se l ves a s a ct u a l a n i m a l s a n d p l a n t s of a pa r ­t i c u l a r s p e c i es ." l O u r o rga n i c bod i e s a re , i nt h i s s e n s e , n ot h i n g b u t te m p o r a ry coa g u l a ­t i o n s i n t h e s e f l ows : w e ca pt u re i n o u r bod i esa ce rta i n p o r t i o n of t h e f l ow at b i rt h , t h e nre l e a s e i t a g a i n w h e n w e d i e a n d m i cro­orga n i s m s t ra n s form u s i n to a n e w batc h ofraw m a t e ri a l s . T h e m a i n form of m a tt e r - e n e rgy f l ow i nt h e b i o s p h e re i s t h e c i rc u l a t i o n of f l e s h i nfo o d c h a i n s . F l es h , o r " b i o m a s s ; c i rc u l at e sc o n t i n u o u s l y f r o m p l a n ts to h e r b i v o res ,a n d from h e r b i v o res to c a r n iv o res , g i v i n g t h eecosyst e m its sta b i l i ty a n d res i l i e n c e . (Th i sb a s i c food c h a i n i s i n rea l i ty o n l y o n e a m o n gseve ra l , fo r m i n g a syst e m o f i n t e r l oc k i n gc h a i n s refe rred to a s a " food w e b ." ) Th e fo u n -104
  • 93. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.d at i o n of a n y food we b is its p l a n ts , w h i c h" b ite " i n to t h e st re a m of sol a r rad i a t i o n ,c a pt u r i n g so m e of i t a s s u ga rs by m e a n s ofp h otosyn t h e s i s . P l a n t s a re t h e o n l y n o n pa ra ­s i t i c c reat u res i n a n ecosyste m , its p r i m a ryp ro d u c e rs , w h i l e t h e a n i m a l s w h o eat f l e s h( p l a n t or a n i m a l ) a re m e re co n s u m e rs . T h ec o m p l ex m i c rof l o ra a n d n1 i c rofa u n a t h a tp rocess t h e ecosyste m s wa ste a re a s i m por­ta n t a s p l a n t s , s i n c e t h ese o rga n i s m s re m ­i n e ra l i ze a n d re i n j e ct d e a d p l a n t a n d a n i m a lb o d i es b a c k i n t o t h e we b . 2 Co m pa red top l a n t s a n d m i c ro o rga n i s m s , " h i g h e r " a n i m a l sa re j u st fa n cy d e c o r a t i o n s i n a n e cosyste m ,con s u m i n g a n d tra n sform i ng biomass wit hd e c re a s i n g eff i c i e n cy a s t h e i r s i ze i n c re a s e s . 3 Fo r t h i s rea s o n , t h e e m e rge n ce o f a n e c o ­syst e m i s typ i c a l l y d esc r i b e d a s a s uccessio no f pla n t assem bla ges t h at i n t e ra ct w i t h e a c hot h e r, pa s s i n g t h rou g h seve ra l sta b l e statesu n t i l t h ey re a c h a " c l i m a x ." A te m pe rate fo r­est, of t h e ty p e t h at c h a ra ct e r i z es t h e E u ro ­p e a n co n t i n e n t , fo r exa m p l e , b e g i n s a s a na s s e m b l a ge of l i c h e n a n d m o s s , fol l owed bys c r u b by b i rc h a n d a s p e n , t h e n p i n e fo rest,a n d f i n a l ly a m a t u re oa k , l i m e , e l m , a n d be e c hfo rest . 4 A l t h o u g h it m a y a p pea r ot h e rw i s e ,105
  • 94. 2: FLESH AND GENESt h i s p rocess of s u ccessio n d oes n ot h ave t h e c l i m a x state as its go a l .R a t h e r, t h e e m e rge n ce o f a n ecosyste m i s a b l i n d gro p i n g from sta blestate to st a b le state i n which each p l a n t ass e m b l age creates t h e co n d i­t i o n s t h at sta b i l ize t h e n e xt o n e . A v a r iety of h i sto rica l co n stra i n ts (e n e r­getic, m a te ri a l , dyn a m i c a l ) d ete r m i n e at some po i n t t h at t h e re is noot h e r sta b l e state atta i n a bl e fro m t h e cu rrent o n e , a n d so t h e p rocessc l i m axes. T h i s is, of cou rse, j u st a n ot h e r exam p le of a m e s hwo rk ofhe teroge n e o u s e l e m e nts evo l v i n g by d r ift. A more rea l istic mod e l of t h i smes hwo r k wo u l d h ave to i n c l u d e m i c roo rga n i s m s , t h e myriad i n sectsa n d ot h e r s m a l l a n i m a l s t h at p l ay key roles in t h e f l ow of b i o m a ss, a n deve n so m e "d ecorative" l a rge p re d a to rs, l i k e tige rs, wo lv es, o r e a rlyhu m a n s. T h i s secti o n ex p l o res t h e r e l a t i o n s h i ps betwe e n med ieval cities a n dtowns a n d t h e ecosyste m i n w h i c h t h ey grew - n o t o n l y t h e fo rests t h eyd e vou red as t h ey p rol ife rated b u t a l so a l l t h e ot h e r i nte racti o n s t h eym a i nt a i n e d wit h b i o l ogica l e n tities, e s p eci a l ly m i c roo rga n is m s . H e re wew i l l a rg u e t h at e v e n t ho u g h p l a n ts we re i n a way s u b m itted to t h e co n tro lof t h e tow n s , m i crobes resisted co n t rol m u c h l o n ge r (if i n d e ed we c a ns a y t h a t a n t i b i otics hav e fi n a l ly b ro u g ht t h e m u n d e r o u r com m a n d , w h i c hm ay n ot be q u it e t r u e). A n d t h e n , o f co u rse , we m u st co n s i d e r t h at ot h e ru n co n t ro l l a b l e e l e m e n t of ecosyst e m s , t h e c l i m at e . Bot h i n fect i o u s d i s­eases a n d c h a ngi ng weath e r patte r n s p l ayed a great ro le in u r b a n h i sto ry,m a k i n g e p i d e m i cs a n d fa m i nes p a rt of t h e " b iological reg i m e " t h at d o m i ­n ated u rb a n a n d r u r a l l i fe u n t i l t h e eighte e n t h ce n t u ry. F ro m a d i ffe rent pe rspecti ve, citie s a n d towns m ay t he m s elves beco n s i d e red ecosyst e m s , at l e ast to t h e exte nt t h a t bio m ass ci rc u l a test h ro u g h t h e m to fe e d t h e i r i n h a b i t a n ts. T h e d i agra m of t h i s ci rc u l at i o n ,however, m u st i n cl u d e p rocesses occu r r i n g o u t s i d e cities a n d tow n sbeca u se u r b a n ce n t e rs h a ve a lways d e p e n ded o n t h e i r cou ntrys i d e s fo rfoo d . I n h u m a n - m a d e ecosyst e m s , t h e i n h ab ita nts of t h e s u rrou n d i n g v i l ­la ges a re t h e p r i m a ry prod u ce rs w h i l e city dwe l l e rs, d e s p ite t h e i r c u l t u ra lso p h isticati o n , a re m e re co n s u m e r s . Mo reover, t h i s p a rasi t i c re l atio n s h i pc a n be re p ro d u ce d a t a l a rge r sca l e . I n t h e ea rly s i xte e n t h ce ntu ry, fo rex a m p l e , as c i t i e s g rew a n d d e v e l o p e d tra d e l i n ks w i t h o n e a n o t h e r, t h e i rfood bega n t o flow fro m e v e r remote r s u p p ly zo n e s . F i rst ea ste rn E u ro p ew a s t ra n s fo r m e d i n to a v a s t "cou nt rysi d e" fo r t h e u r b a n co m p lex t o itswest, t h e n Ame r i ca and ot h e r fo reign l a n d s were co n v e rted i n to reso u rcede pots to feed we ste r n E u ro p e a n cities.T h u s, o u rs will be a d u a l story, one t raci ng o u r b i o l ogical co n ne ct i o n s ton o n h u m a n l i f e , t h e ot h e r d escri b i n g t h e grad u a l co n v e rs i o n of t he w o r l di n to a s u p p ly regi o n to f u e l E u ro p e a n u rb a n growt h . We begi n by d i s-106
  • 95. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.c u s s i n g t h e p r i n c i p a l d i ffe re nce betwe e n n a tu ra l a n d u r b a n ecosyste m s :t h e i r d e gree of ho moge n e ity a n d he te roge n e i ty. Ecologi sts ha ve l e a r n e d fro m t h e i r e m p i ri ca l s t u d y of ecosyste m s t h att h ere is a close relatio n s h i p between sta b i l ity a n d the d egree of s p ecieshete roge n e ity in a food web. H oweve r, the n a tu re of t h e co n n e ctio nbetwe e n t h e two i s n ot yet fu l l y u n d e rstood. I n t h e ea rly seve n t i e s , somem a t h ema t i ca l m o d e l s of ecosyste m s s u ggested t h at t h e re m ay not eve nbe a co n n ect i o n : we bs of ra ndomly assem bled s p ecie s t e n d e d to beco m em o re u n sta b l e as n e w s p ecie s we re a d d e d ; d ive rs ity b re d i n sta b i l ity.H oweve r, a l l t h at t hose mod e l s p roved was t h a t re a l ecosystems a re n o tra n d o m asse m b l ages of s pecies, b u t sel f-o rga n i zed m e s hwo rks i n w h i c hs p ecies a re i n te rco n n ected b y t h e i r fu nct i o n a l co m p l e m e nt a rities: p reya n d p re d a to r, h ost a n d pa rasite . 5 Acco rd i ng to o n e eco l ogist, hete roge n e­ity e n dows t h e se mes hwo rks n ot so m u c h with sta b i l ity (t he c a p acity tom a i nt a i n a state w i t h rel a t i v e ly m i n o r i nte r n a l f l u ct u at i o n s) as w i t h res i l i ­e n ce (the ca pacity to a bsorb m a j o r exte r n a l a n d i nte r n a l fl u ct u atio n s byswitc h i n g betwe e n seve r a l a lt e r n ative sta b l e states). 6 C o n t i n e n t a l fo restsa re an exa m p l e of t h e s e res i l i e nt webs of i nterlocked speci e s . I s l a n d sfa r fro m t h e m a i n l a n d , o n t h e other h a n d , a re m o re ho moge n e o u s a n dless c a pa b l e of abso r b i ng s h ocks a n d m ay be d rastica l ly d e sta b i l ized bya s u d d e n i n f l u x of a n ew s p ecies. T h e cities t h at bega n m u l ti p ly i n g in E u ro pe at t h e begi n n i n g of them i l l en n i u m were l i ke so m a ny i s l a n d s i n t h e m i d d l e of a l a rge te m p e ratefo rest in its c l i m a x state , d o m i n ated by o a ks a n d e l m s . Cities a re l i kei s l a n d s i n two d iffe re n t ways. I n t e rm s of c l i mate , cities a re " h eati s l a n d s , " sepa rated fro m t h e i r co u nt rysi d es by a s h a r p d i ffe re nce in te m ­p e rat u re J La rge fu rn aces a n d m a c h i n e s t h at e m i t heat, a m i n e r a l i n fra­structu re t h a t sto res h e at fro m the su n and then re l e ases it at n ig ht, a n dl o w evapot ra n s p i rati o n a re a m o n g t h e facto rs t h at co n t ri b u t e t o m a k i n gl a rge cities co nce ntratio n s of wa ste e n e rgy. I n med ieval t i m e s , of co u rse,o n ly a few reg i o n a l c a p i t a l s a n d gateway po rts ( i f a n y) h a d m i n e r a l i z e da n d i n d u st r i a l ized e n o u g h to beco m e h e a t i s l a n d s . B u t a l l m e d i ev a l townsbig and sm a l l we re i s l a n d s in a n ot h e r res p ect: t h e i r l ow d egree of s p ecie sh ete roge n e ity. A ty p i c a l m e d i e v a l tow n can be d escri b e d as a tightlyp a c k e d asse m b l age of h u m a n s , a few s p eci es of a n i m a l s and p l a nts, a n d ,as o n e writer has p u t it, "a l u m p e n - p ro l eta riat of i n sect s . " 8 B eca use tow n s a r e n e cessa rily p a rasitic o n t h e i r r u ra l s u r ro u n d i ngs ,u r b a n ecosyste m s e n c o m pass m o re t h a n what is fou n d i n si d e t h e i r w a l l s .A t o w n w i t h t h ree t h o u s a n d i n h a bita nts, a m e d i u m-sized t o w n i n t h eM i d d l e Ages , n e e d e d t o control t h e l a n d s o f a t l e a st t e n v i l l a ges a ro u n d i t( a n a rea of a p p rox i m a tely f i v e sq u a re m i les) t o e n s u re a con sta nt s u p p ly107
  • 96. 2: FLESH AND GENESof e d i b l e b i o m a s s . T h u s , a l t h o u g h d e n si ty of popu l a t i o n is t h e cr ite r i o nn o r m a l ly u s e d t o d e fi n e a n u r ba n c e n te r, Fer n a n d B r a u d e l a rgues t h a t t h ed i vis i o n o f l a bo r betwe e n food prod uc ers a n d co n s u m e rs (a nd t h e powern e e d ed to i m p ose a n d m a i n ta i n i t) i s t h e true d e fi n i n g trait of u r ban l i fe . 9We s h o u l d n ot i m agi n e , howe v e r, t h at the m e d i e v a l d i sti n ctio n betwe e nt h e u r b a n a n d t h e ru ra l w a s as s h a r p a s i t is tod ay. " E v e n t h e l a rge tow n sco nti n u e d t o e n gage i n ru ra l acti vities u p t o t h e e i ght e e n t h centu ry. I nt h e West t h ey t h e refo re h o u s ed s h e p h e rds, ga m e k e e p e rs, agri cu ltu ra lwo r k e rs a n d vi n egrowe rs (e v e n i n Pa ris). Every town ge n e ra l l y owned as u r ro u n d i n g a rea of ga rd e n s a n d o rc h a rds i n s i d e a n d o u t s i d e its wa l l s . . . .I n t h e m i d d l e ages t h e n o i s e of t h e fl a i l co u l d be h e ard right u p to t h eRat h a u s i n U l m , A u gs bu rg a n d N u re m b u rg. Pigs we re reared i n fre e d o mi n t h e streets. " l 0 T h e m a i n c h a racte rist i c of a n u r ba n ecosystem is i ts h o moge n e ity:h u m a n b e i n gs shorten all food chains in the we b, e l i m i n a te m ost i n terme­d i a r ies a n d foc u s all b io m a s s fl ows o n t h e m s e l v es. ll W h e neve r a n o u t­s i d e s p ecies tries to i n s e rt i ts e l f i nto o n e of these c h a i n s , to st ah t h eprocess o f c o m p l e xifica t i o n aga i n , it i s r u t h l e ssly expu n ged a s a "weed"(a term t h at i n cl u d e s " a n i m a l we e d s" such as rats and m i ce). M e d ieva ltown s were, i n t h i s respect, no exce ptio n . M o reove r, t h e agric u lt u ra l l a n d st h at f e d t h e s e tow n s we re t h e m se l ves s i m p l ificatio n s of t h e forests t h eyh a d re p l a c e d . W h e n a piece of fo rest was c l e a re d to create a r a b l e l a n d ,a n asse m b l a ge o f p l a nts i n i ts c l i m a x state was d r i v e n back t o its v e ryfi rst state of s u ccessi o n , its s p ecies com positi o n h o m oge n ized a n d itse n e rgy a n d n u trie nts re d i rected towa rd a si ngle ce n te r. (Yet, fo r the s a m ereaso n , i t was t r a n sfo r m e d i n to a place w h e re p l a n t s p e c i e s wit h " o p p o r­t u n istic" re p rod u ctive strategies [i . e . , we eds] co u l d m u l t i p l y.) T h e s a m e h e l d t r u e with respect to a n i m a l s . Seve r a l d o m esticatedspecies (p i gs , catt l e , goats) may be c o n s i d e red biomass converters, w h i c ha i d t h e process of s h o rte n i n g a n d red i recti ng food c h a i n s . Fo r exa m p l e ,catt l e a n d goats t r a n sfo rm i n d igest i b l e b i o m a s s ( l e a v es, grass, sp routs)i nto e d i b l e fles h a n d m i l k . P i gs a re even m o re effi c i e nt co n v e rte rs (o ne­fifth of t h e c a rbo hyd rates t h e y eat a re tra n sfo r m e d i n to prote i n ), but t h eyfeed mostly on so u rces t h at a r e a l so su ita b l e f o r h u m a n co n s u m pt i o n . 12T h ey c a n n e v e rt he le s s s e r ve as l i v i n g sto rage dev ices fo r u n p red icteds u r pl u s es. Toget h e r, h u m a n s and t h e i r "exte n d e d fa m i ly" of d o m e sti cate s ,as t h e h isto ri a n A l fred C ro s by cal l s i t , tra n sfo r m e d a h ete roge n e o u s m e s h ­w o r k of s p e c i e s ( a te m p e rate fo r e st) i n to a h o m oge n eo u s h i e ra rc hy, s i n cea l l b io m ass n ow fl owed towa rd a si ngle p o i n t at t h e to p . I n a s e n s e , aco m p l e x food web was r e p l a c e d by a s i m p l i fied food pyra m i d , at l e a st i nt h ose a r e a s w h e re u r ba n izatio n h a d t ri u m p h e d .108
  • 97. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D. T h i s ho mogen i zati o n , h oweve r, had to be m a i n ta i n ed t h rough the s h e e rweight of h u m a n nu m b e rs . W h e n e v e r t h e h u m a n pop u l atio n d e c l i n e d , t h ea n i m a l s a n d p l a nts t h a t w e r e exc l u d e d fro m t h e u rb a n eco syst e m m a d ea come b a c k . R o u gh ly s p e a k i ng, E u ro p e s popu l a t i o n i n c rea sed betwee n1100 and 1350 a n d betwe e n 1450 a n d 1650; it d e cl i n e d betwee n 1350and 1450 a n d aga i n betwe e n 1650 a n d 175 0. I n t h e p e r i o d s of d e cl i n e ,h u m a n s h a d t o struggle t o kee p t h e i r p l a ce a t t h e t o p o f t h e pyra m i d : T h e whole of E u rope, from t h e U rals to t h e Straits o f G i b raltar, was the domai n of wolves, and bears roamed i n a l l its mou ntai n s . The o m n i p res­ ence of wolves and the atte ntion they aro u sed mak e wo l f- h u n t i n g an i n dex of the hea lth of th e cou ntrys ide, and even of the towns, and of the c h a rac­ te r of the ye ar go ne by. A momenta ry i n atte nti o n , an economic set back, a ro ugh wi nter, and they mu lti p l i e d . I n 1420 packs e n tered Paris t h rough a breach i n the ra mpa rts or u n guarded gates. They were t h e re aga i n in September 1438, attacking peo p l e this time outside the town, between Mo ntma rtre and the Sai nt-A nto i n e gate . 13 L a rge pred a to rs c o n t i n u e d t h e i r v i s itati o n s u n t i l t h e e n d of t h e e i gh­te e n th ce ntu ry, by which t i m e h u m a n hu nters had n e a r l y d r i v e n them toexti nctio n . A n d yet t h ey we re n ot t h e o n ly s p e c i e s fo r w h o m h u m a nb e i n gs we re a fo od s o u rce . Of gre ate r i m p o rta n c e , a n d o f m o re e n d u ri n gi n fl u e n c e , were t h e " m i c ro p redators," t h e d i s e a s e s t h at ate h u m a n f l e s hfro m wit h i n . Co ntagi o u s d i s e a s e s a n d t h e i r h o sts fo r m co m p l ex, n o n l i n ea rd y n a m i c a l systems with seve ra l poss i b l e states . W h e n t h e p o p u l atio n ofh o sts is i n s u ffi cie nt, or i n s u ff i c i e ntly pack e d , m a k i n g co ntagi o n d i ffi c u l tfo r t h e m i croo rga n i s m , t h e dyn a m ic a l syst e m e nte rs a n u n st a b l e statecal l e d " e p i d e m i c , " a n d the po p u l ati o n of ge r m s grows e x p l os i v e ly u n t i l itb u r n s out its h u m a n fu e l . When, o n t h e co ntra ry, ove ra l l po p u l a ti o n a n dpo p u l a tio n d e n s i ty a re beyo n d a c r i t i c a l t h re s h o l d , so t h at t h e re i s a l waysa fre s h s u p p ly of fl es h fo r the pa r a sites to i n fect (typ ic a l l y s m a l l c h i l d re n ) ,a ft e r a few e p i d e m ics t h e dyn a m i c a l syste m sta b i l izes i n to w h at i s c a l l e da n " e n d e m i c" state. H u m a n s u r v i v o rs of t h e d i s ease beco me i m m u n e ,t h e m i c ro o rga n i sms l o se s o m e of t h e i r v i r u l e n ce a n d m i cro be a n d ho ste n te r i n to a state of m u t u a l acco m modati o n . I n Wi l l i a m M c N e i l l s wo rd s : O n ly i n co mmun ities o f seve ra l thousand perso n s , where enco u n ters with ot h e rs atta i n s u fficient freq uency to al low i n fection to s p read u n ce a s i n gly from one i n div i d u a l to another, ca n such d iseases pe rsist. These com m u n i­ ties are what we ca l l civil ized : large , co mpl exly o rga n ized , dens e ly popu­ la te d, and without exce pti on di rected and do m i n ated by cities. I n fecti ous109
  • 98. 2: FLESH AND GENES bacterial a n d viral d iseases that pass d i rectly fro m h u m a n to h u m a n with no i nterm e d i ate host are therefore the d iseases of civi li zation par exce l­ lence : the pecu l i a r hal lmark and bu rden of cities and of cou ntryside in con­ tact with cities. They a re fa m i l iar to a l m ost all conte m p o rary h u m an ki n d as the ord i n ary d iseases of c h i l d hood : measles, m u m ps, whooping co ugh, sma l l pox and the rest . . " M ost a n d proba bly all of the d i sti nctive infectious d i seases of civi l i zation tran sfe rred to hu man po pu lati o n s from a n i mal herds. Contacts were closer with the domesticated species, so it is not sur­ prising to fi nd that many of o u r co mmon infectious d iseases have recogn iz­ able affi n ities with o n e or a nother d isease affl icting d omesticated a n imals. Measles, fo r exa m ple, is probably related to ri nderpest a nd /or ca n i n e d is­ tem per; sma l l pox is certa i n ly co n n ected closely with cowpox . . . i nfl uenza is shared by h u m a n s a n d hogS . I4 M e d ieval cities, with t h e i r i nti m ate pac k i n g of d o m esticated a n i m alsa n d h u m a n s, we re ve rita b l e " e p i d e m io logical l a bo ratories." T h ey offe redce rta i n m icroo rga n isms the pe rfect ha bitat in w h i c h to evolve novel vari­a n ts. Si nce t h e i r v e ry existe n ce wo u l d go u n recogn ized fo r m a ny ce ntu ries,t h i s crucial co m po n e n t of u rb a n ecosyste ms was effectively o uts ide ofh u m a n co ntro l . A l t h o u g h q u a ra n ti n e m e a s u res existed in E u ro p e s i ncethe fifte e n t h centu ry, most c u l t u r a l acco m mod at i o n s to i nfectio u s d i seasewe re h a bits a nd ro ut i n es that d eveloped wit h o u t a co nscious p l a n , by trialand e rro r. T h ese were, in a se nse, c u l t u ra l mate rials t h at accu m u l atedu n co nsciou sly, s o rted out by the p ress u re of the pa rasites t h emselves.H e nce, germs a nd h u m a n s fo r m ed a m es hwo rk, coevolvi ng t h rough d ri ft,in sta rk co ntrast wit h the rest of t h e food h i e ra rchy at the service ofu rb a n c u lt u re . I t is e asy to d isco u nt t h e i m p o rta nce of e n e rgy a nd n utrient flows byu n d u ly e m p hasiz i n g t h e c u lt u ra l e l e m e n ts that i ne vita bly flow a l o n gs i d et h e m . F o r exam pl e , C l a u d e Levi-Strauss pointed o u t d ecades a g o t h at bio­m ass does n ot e nt e r h u m a n soci ety i n its " n at u ra l " state : it is at t h e v e ryleast p rocessed t h ro u g h t h e "civ i l izi ng" powe r of fi re. I n t u r n , t h e d iffe r­e nce betwee n raw a nd cooked biomass beco m e s a l a rge ly sym bol i c o ppo­siti o n , a p p ro p ri ated by myth a n d l ege n d . I5 C u ltu re a l so regu l ates t h eflow of f l es h , d isti ngu i s h i ng betwee n taboo, sacre d , a nd everyd ay food s .T h e i n creas i n g e l a bo ratio n of s a u ces a n d co m p l ex d i s h e s w h i c h bega n i nE u rope i n t h e fi ftee n t h c e n t u ry (a n d i n C h i na a n d I s l a m m u c h e a r l i e r)added m o re a n d m o re l ayers of cu ltu re to t h e c i rc u l at i o n of raw m atte r­e n ergy. H oweve r, t h ese c u l tu ra l add itives, i m po rta nt as t h ey were, s h o u l dn ot b l i n d u s to t h e fact t h at u lt i m ately i t w a s sti l l t h e n utritional value oft h e flow t h at m atte red . N ot h i ng se rves better to rem i n d u s of t h i s fact110
  • 99. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D .t h a n the recu rrent fam i nes t h at p l agued E u rope and ot h e r co nti n e nts,n ot o n ly in m e d i eva l t i m es but u nti l the very eve of t h e I n d u strial Revo l u­tio n . I n extreme cases, p e o p l e wou l d n ot o n ly eat b i o mass t h at had n otb e e n c u l t u rally s a n cti o n e d (s u c h as grass, bark, o r eve n soi l ) , b ut, m o rei m po rtan tly, t h ey wo u l d break t h e most powe rfu l of a l i m e ntary taboosand eat h u m a n fles h . Fam i n e recu rred so i n siste ntly for ce ntu ries o n e n d that i t became i n corpo­ rated i nto m a n s biological regime a nd built i nto his d a i ly l ife . Dea rth a n d pen u ry were co nt i n u a l a n d fam i l ia r even i n E u rope, d espite its privi leged positio n . A few ove rfed rich d o not a lte r the rule. I t could n ot have been otherwise . Cereal yields were poor; two consecutive bad ha rvests spel led d isaster. . . . For these and other reaso ns fa mine o n ly d isa p peared fro m the West at the close of the eighteenth centu ry, or even later. . . A privileged . cou ntry l i ke France is sa i d to have experienced 1 0 general fam i n es d u ri ng the tenth centu ry; 26 in the eleve nth; 2 in the twe l fth ; 4 in the fou rteenth; 7 i n the fifteenth; 1 3 i n the sixteenth; 1 1 i n the seve ntee nth a n d 16 i n the eightee nth . We o bviously offered this eighteenth ce ntu ry sum mary without guarantee as to its accu racy: the o n ly risk it runs is of over-opti mi sm, beca use it om its t he h u n d reds and h u n d reds of local fam i nes. 16 Fa m i n es a n d e p i d e m i cs we re two biol ogi cal p h e n o m e n a t h at com petedin i m po rt a n ce wit h the p u re ly c u ltu ra l p h e n o m e n a of the t i m es . C u lt u rei s n ot a co m p l ete ly sepa rate s p h e re of rea l ity, b ut i n stead m ixes a n db l e nds with flows of o rga n i c ( a n d eve n m i n eral) m ate rials. So fa r w e h avee m ph a s ized o n ly o n e of t hese o rga n i c flows - biom ass - but of e q u a li m po rta nce i s t h e flow o f ge n etic m ateri a l s t h ro ugh ge n e ratio n s . Wit h o utt h i s flow, o rga n ized fles h wo u l d exist i n fo rms as e p h e m e ra l as h u rrica n e s(a n d oth e r n o n o rga n i c se lf-o rga n ized e ntities), a n d , m o reove r, it co u l d notevolve. S i n ce evol u t i o n a ry p rocesses far exceed t h e l i fe s p a n of i n d iv i d u­a l s , a ny significa n t a cc u m u l atio n of a d a ptive traits req u i res ge n etic m ate­ri a l s to be registe red a n d sto red . I n t h e view w h i c h d o m i n ated t h e West fo r two m i l le n n ia t h e t raits t h atd efi n e a give n species we re n ecessarily tied toget h e r fo r a l l t i m e s i n cet h ey were exp ress i o n s of a n ete r n a l essen ce. Today we k n ow t h at t h e re i sn ot h i ng n e cessary a bout th ese a cc u m u l atio ns. S pecies a re h isto rical c o n ­structi o n s , t h e i r defi n i ng tra its a p u rely co nti nge nt c o l l ecti o n asse m bledby means of sel e ctio n p ressu res, which a ct as a genetic sort i n g process.I n a v e ry rea l sense, m u c h as o u r bod ies a re tem p o ra ry coag u l at i o n s i nt h e flow o f biomass, t h ey a re also pass i n g co n structi o n s i n t h e flow ofge n et i c m ateri a l s . As R i c h a rd Dawk i n s has put it, p l a nts a n d a n i m a l s a re111
  • 100. 2: FLESH AND GENESm e re ly "su rvival mach i n es" that h ave been b u i lt to h o u se a nd pe rpetu atethe flow of ge nes, or re p l icators: Re p l icators bega n not me rely to exist, but to constru ct fo r themse lves co n­ ta i n e rs , ve h icles for their co ntinued existe nce. The re p l i cato rs that su rvived were the o n es that built s u rvival mach i n es for themselves to l ive in . . . . N ow they swarm i n h uge colon ies, safe inside giga ntic l u mbering robots, sea led off from the outside wo rl d , com m u n i cati ng with it by to rtuous, i ndi­ rect routes, ma n i p u l ati ng it by remote controlY F o r t h e biogeogra p h e r, t h e flow of b i o m ass t h ro u g h food webs isparamou nt; fo r the evo l u ti o n a ry biologi st, the flow o f ge nes t h ro ugh ge n ­e ratio n s i s w h at m atte rs c h i e fly. I t is clear, howeve r, t h at t h e bod i e s o fa n i ma l s a n d p l a n ts a re t ra n s i e n t agg l o m e rati o n s of mate r i a l s derivedfrom bot h of t hese flows, and n ot o n ly fo r the obvious reaso n t h at l iv i n gcreatu res m u st e a t ( a n d a v o i d b e i n g eate n ) t o s u ccessfu l ly rep rod uce.A m o re fu n d a m e ntal reaso n i s t h at t h e very structu ra l a n d fu n cti o n a lp ro perties of t h ese bod ies can n ot be exp l a i n ed in terms of genetic m ate­ria l s a l o n e . Betwee n the i n fo rm atio n coded i nto ge n es a n d the a d a ptivetra its of a p l a n t o r a n i m a l (i . e . , betwee n ge notype a n d p h e n otype),t h ere a re seve ral l ayers of self- o rga n iz i n g p rocesses, each susta i n ed bye n d oge n o u s ly ge n e rated sta b l e states , t h e mselves the p rod u ct of m atte r­e n e rgy fl ow. G e n e s a re not a b l u e p r i n t fo r t h e gen e ratio n of o rga n icstruct u re a n d fu n ct i o n , a n i d e a i m p lyi ng t h at ge n etic m ate rials predefi n ea fo r m t h at i s i m posed o n a passive fl es h . Rather, ge n es a n d t h e i r p rod­u cts act as co n st ra i nts on a vari ety of p rocesses that spo ntaneou slyge n e rate o rd e r, in a way teasing out a fo rm from active (and morp ho­ge n etica l ly p reg n a n t) fles h . 18 U n l i ke an ecosyste m , w h i c h is a m es hwork of h i g h ly h ete roge n eo u se l e ments, t h e ge n e p o o l of a species m ay be see n as a h i e rarchy ofh o m oge n e o u s e l e m e nts. As t h e p h ysi cist H oward Pattee h as a rgu e d , t h ecrucial fu n cti o n of ge n es is to force i n d ivid u a l molec u les wit h i n a ce l l t oo bey t h e ce l l its e l f, a n d s i m i l a rly fo r i n d i vi d u a l ce l l s i n a tiss u e , i n d ivid u a ltissues i n a n o rga n , a n d i n d ivid u al o rga n s i n a n o rga n i s m . A t e a c h ra n ko f t h e h ie r a rc h y, t h e ge n es p u rpose i s t o co n stra i n t h e l owe r l evel tobe h ave i n ways d ete rm i n ed by t h e i m med i ately u ppe r leve l . 19 If we i m ag­i n e a case i n w h i c h t h e s e l ecti o n p ressu res o n a species h ave had t h et i m e a n d o p p o rt u n ity to work t h e mselves o u t (i . e . , t o e l i m i n ate m a nyge nes from t h e pool a n d d rive others to fixation), t h e res u lta nt specieswi l l i n deed be a very h o moge n e o u s e n tity. 20 Of cou rse, in rea l ity m osts pecies reta i n a d egree of hete roge n eity, p a rtic u l a rly if t h e select i n g e nvi-112
  • 101. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D .ro n me n t i s itse l f hete roge n e o u s in time or space. Besides, a tota l ly h o m o­ge n e o u s s pecies wo u ld be i ncapable of evo lvi ng, s i n ce natu ra l sel e cti o nreq u i res va riatio n i n t h e ge n e poo l a s its raw mate ri a l . N everthel ess, co m­pa red to ecosystems, t h e ge n e poo l of a s pecies may be see n a s a struc­t u re with more com m a n d e l e m e nts in its m ix . Although h ig h ly h o m oge n e o u s, t h e ge n e poo l of t h e h u m a n s p e c i e s i ssti l l vari a b l e d u e to t h e l a rge vari ety of ecosystems t h at h u ma n s have col­o n ized , as we l l as to cu l t u r a l taboos agai n st i nterraci a l m a r r i age. H ow­ever, w h atever h ete roge n eity rem a i n s i n t h e h u m a n ge n e poo l affects o n lyo u r o u tward a ppeara nce a nd has l ittl e a d a ptive v a l u e , wit h so m e excep­t i o n s . F o r exam ple, i n n o rt h e r n E u ro p e d u ri ng t h e M id d le Ages, t h e re wasa ge n e cod i n g fo r a n e n zyme t h at a l l owed ad u lt h u ma ns to d igest rawm i l k . E l sew h e re , in t h e p o p u l at i o n s of C h i n a a nd I sl am , fo r i n sta n ce , t h egen e d i d n ot exist , s o m i l k h ad to b e cultu ra l ly p rocessed (tra n sfo rmedi nto c h eese o r yogu rt) befo re it co u l d be d igeste d . A nother ge n e , w h i c hw a s d istri buted t o s o m e d eg ree a l o ng t h e Med iterra n e a n but w a s m u c hm o re p reva l e n t o n t h e west coast of Afri ca, a l l owed i t s h u m a n carri e rs toresist " be i n g d i gested" by m a l arial pa rasites . 21 M ost h u m a n traits a re n ot, of co u rse, d ete rmi ned by a si ngle ge n e .S k i n co l o r, fo r i nsta nce, i nvolves sever a l gen e s (o r m o re tec h n ical ly, p a i rsof a l le l es, alte rn ative ge n es fo r t h e same posit i o n i n a c h romosome).M o re i m po rta n tly, most o f t h e ge nes t h at a re n t co m m o n to a l l h u m a ncom m u n ities d e fi n e l ite ra l ly s u pe rficial tra its: s k i n c o l o r, h a i r fo r m , bodys h ape, a n d stat u re . Despite t h e fact that t h ese tra its m ay h ave so m ea d a ptive sign ificance , t h e real i m po rta n ce o f t h is h eteroge n e o u s " o u te rs h e l l" is o u r u s e o f i t a s a basis fo r c u l t u ra l d i ffe rentiatio n a n d raci a lste reotypi ng. Tru l y o bjective a n alysiS (o bjective, that i s , i n co m p a ri s o n tot h e caricatu res of o bjectiv ity t h at Soc i a l D a rwi n ists a n d e u ge n icists h avegive n us) of the ge n etic m a ke u p of the body as a w h o le reve a l s a sta r kge n etic h o mogen eity. I nte resti ngly, t h e ge n etic variatio n a m o n g i n d iv i d u ­a l s of a p a rti c u l a r r a c e is gre ate r t h a n t h e variati o n betwee n races: Of all ge netic vari atio n , 85% is between i n d ivid u a l people wit h i n a n ation o r tribe . . . . The re mai n i ng variatio n is spl it eve n ly between variatio n between nations wit h i n a race a n d va riatio n between one major race a n d a nother. To p u t the matter crudely, i f afte r a great cataclysm, o n ly Africans were l eft al ive, the h u m a n species wou l d h ave retai ned 93% of its total ge netic variati o n , although the species as a whole wo u l d be d a rker sk i n ned . If the cataclysm were eve n m o re extreme a n d o n ly the Xhosa people o f the southern tip of Africa su rvived, the h u m a n species wo u l d sti l l retai n 80% of its gen etic va riati o n . 22113
  • 102. 2: FLESH AND GENES T h e ge nes t h at defi n e t h e " o u te r s h e l l " (as we l l as t h ose few t h ati n volv e b i o logica l ly i m p o rta n t fu nct i o n s , s u c h as re sista nce to m a l a r ia o rt h e a b i l i ty to d i gest r a w m i l k) evolved i n h i sto rica l t i m e s , w h i ch p rovest h a t the h u m a n ge n e pool is sti l l c h a n g i n g. B u t t h i s k i n d of c h a n ge ("geo­l ogica l l y" s l ow c h a nge) h a s not p l ayed the cen tra l ro l e in t h e dy n a m ics oft h e h u m a n ge n e poo l . T h at h o n o r is reserved fo r l a rge m i grato ry m ove­me nts t h at m i xed h i t h e rto se pa rate p o p u la t i o n s . Fo r exa m p l e , the m e d i ­eva l d i st ri b u t i o n of b l ood ty pes owed m o r e t o a n c i e n t m igratio ns t h a n ton atu r a l or c u l t u r al se l e ct i o n . 23 F r o m t h e ge n etic p e r s p e ctive, t h e c a u s esof h u m a n m i gra t i o n (a fa m i n e , fo r i n st a n ce) a re l e ss i m p o rt a n t t h a n i tseffects: t h e h o m oge n iz i n g or he te roge n i z i n g co nseq u e nces of i n jecti ngD N A from one l oc a l ge n e pool i n to a n ot h e r. " M igra t i o n i s of the gre atest -ge n e t i c re l e v a n ce . It is the v e h i c l e for the mecha n i s m of evol u t i o n t h a ttoday is p ro d u c i n g t h e greatest evol u t i o n a ry effect, a l low i n g t h e i n corp o­r a t i o n of n ew ge n e s i n to e sta b l i s he d ge n e pools, e n h a n c i n g i nt r a po p u la­t i o n and re d u c i n g i n terp o p u l a ti on v a r i a b i l ity. "24 W h e n h u m a n m igrati o n is n ot a move m e nt i n to p re v i o u s l y e m pty s p a ce ,i t i n volves t h e i n va s i o n of ot h e r p e o p l es l a nd s . I n t e r m s o f i t s effects o nt h e l o c a l ge n e poo l , we m ay d i sti ngu i s h t h ose c a s e s i n vo l v i n g t h e exte r­m i n a t i o n of t h e l oc a l p o p u l at i o n ( a n d h e n ce a re p l acerl} e n t of o n e genep o o l by a not h e r) fro m t h ose w h e re t h e a i m i s to s u bj ugate t h e l oca l s a n du s e t h e m as a wo r kfo rce . I n t h i s seco n d case t h e re i s coexi ste nce betwe e ngro u ps, w h i c h a l l ows a s m a l l t r i c k l e of ge n e s t o p a ss betwe e n t h e twogrou p s , d e s p ite t h e soci a l b a r r i e rs se p a rat i n g o n e pool from a n ot h e r.T h is ge n e t i c exc h a n ge typ ica l l y occu rs fro m t h e co n q u e ro rs to t h e c o n ­q u e r e d s poo l . 25 Seve ral i n va s i o n s p l ayed i m p o rt a n t roles in s h a p i ng t h e c o m p os i t i o n ofE u ro p e a n ge n e p o o l s . L u igi Cava l l i Sfo rza h a s d i scove red in t h e d istri bu­t i o n of ge n etic m a te ri a l s i n p re s e n t-d ay E u ro p e a n a l m ost ci rcu l a r p atte r nof so me of i t s co m po n e nts, with its cente r i n t h e Mi d d l e E a s t . A fter r u l i n go u t t h e hyp o t h e s i s t h a t select i o n p ressu res co u l d h ave ge n erated t h i sc i rcu l a r grad i e n t (t h e re d oes n o t s e e m t o h ave be e n e n o u g h t i m e f o r t h isto h a p p e n s p o n t a n e o u sl y), he h a s co n c l u d e d t h a t it was p rod u ced byan a n c i e n t i n v a s i o n , w h i c h b ro u g h t agr i c u l t u re f r o m its p l ace of origi n i nt h e Fe rti l e C resce n t to t h e E u rop e a n co n t i n e n t t h e n i n h a b ited by p o p u l a ­t i o n s of h u nte r-ga t h e re rs . T h e l o n g- a n d w i d e ly h e l d be l i ef t h at agr i c u l ­t u re was i n t r i n s ica l l y s u pe r i o r to h u n t i n g a n d gat h e r i ng, a n d h e n ce t h a t ithad s p read by t h e diffusion o f ideas, h a s bee n l a rge ly refuted by rece ntresea rc h . 26 The old way of o bt a i n i n g food was as effi c i e n t as the new o n e ,s o agri c u l t u re co u l d n ot ha ve won over t h e Eu ro p e a n p o p u l ation beca useof its i nt r i n s i c s u p e r i o r ity; i n ste a d , i nv a s i on a n d re p l ace m e n t of some114
  • 103. BIOL OGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.local p o p u l a t i o n s p l ayed a key ro l e i n s p re ad i n g the n ew eco n o m i c syste macross E u ro p e . Sforz a s co m p uter s i m u l a ti o n s, however, i n d icate t h at toge n e rate t h e c i rc u l a r patt e r n we n e ed to a l low some acc u l t u rat i o n of t h er e m a i n i n g h u nte r-ga t h e re r s, i n v o l v i n g both c ross- m a r r ia ge a n d a d o pt i o nof t h e n ew te c h n o l ogy. A l t h o u g h some aspects of cu ltu re, t h e l e a st n o r mative a n d bi n d i ng, d ot r a v e l fre e ly f r o m m i n d to m i n d ( a n d f r o m c u l t u re to c u l t u re), ot h e r as pectsm o re central to a soci ety seem to m i grate a l o ngs i d e its ge n e s . Acco rd i n gto Sfo rza , l a ngu ages a re a good exa m p l e of c u l t u r a l m ateri a l s t h at a res p read t h ro u g h i n vasi o n s . L i n g u i stic n o r m s do n ot d i ffuse e a s i l y fro m c u l ­t u re t o c u l t u re (wi t h t h e exce pti o n o f i n d i vid u a l word s), s o lo cal l a ngu agesa re easier to k i l l by e l i m i n a t i n g t h e i r s pea ke rs t h a n to c h a nge by loca ladopt i o n of fo re ign n o r m s . A n o t h e r p o rt i o n of m e d i e v a l E u ro p e s ge n ep o o l was co n t r i b u t e d b y I n d o-Eu ro p e a n i n v a d e rs w h o b r o u g h t ge ne tic a n dl i ngu istic m at e ri a l s to t h e co n t i n e n t a n d exte r m i n ated m a n y loca l co m m u ­n i t i e s a n d l a ngu age s . M e d i e v a l E u ro p e a n ge ne poo l s we re a l so affected b y t h e coexiste nceof ( a n d ge n e flow betwe e n ) d i ffe rent pools. (T h e expa n s i o n a n d retre at oft h e R o m a n E m p i re a n d t h e gen e flow betwe e n Lati n a n d G e r m a n i c poolsbelo ng to this catego ry, as do the ge nes t h a t ar rived with t h e M o ngol a n dM o o r i n va s i o n s , a n d t hose s p re a d b y t h e Je wish D i a s p ora . ) 2 7 T h e i n ten­si ty a n d fo r m of t h i s ge n e flow were, i n t u r n , affected by c u l tu ra l i n st i t u ­t i o n s : t h e d egree t o w h i c h m a rri age occu rred o u ts i d e t h e gro u p (t hed egree of exoga my) o r t h e d i stri b u t i o n of m a rri age d i sta nces ( l o nger fo ru rb a n t h a n fo r r u ra l m a rri ages), fo r e x a m p l e . 28 I n co n se q u e n ce of t h ev a r i o u s patte r n s of m i gra t i o n t h ro u g h Eu ro p e over t h e m i l l e n n i a , t h e e n ti­ties we d e s i g n ate as " ra ces" to d ay a re s i m p l y the h i storical o u tco m e s oft h ese h o m oge n i z i n g ge ne tic flows, a n d raci a l grou ps a re d i ffe re nti atedo n l y by t h e i r " ou t e r s h e l l " : B r ito ns, s o con s c i o u s o f t h e i r ra ce, a re, i n fact, a n a m a l g a m o f t h e B e a k e r F o l k o f the B ro n ze A g e , t h e I n d o- E u ropea n Ce lts of t h e fi rst m i l l e n n i u m B.C . , t h e A n g l e s , Saxo n s , J ute s, a n d P icts o f t h e f i rst m i l l e n n i u m A.D. , a nd fin a l ly t h e V i k i ngs a n d t h e i r pa rve n u gra n d c h i l d r e n , t h e N o r m a n s . . . . [ H e n ce] t h e n ot i o n t h at t h e re a re sta b l e , pu re races that o n ly now a re i n d a nger o f m ixi ng u n d e r t h e i n f l u e nce o f mod e r n i n d u st r i a l cu ltu re i s n o n s e n se . T h ere m ay i n deed b e e n d oga m o u s gro u ps, l a rgely b i o l ogica l ly i so l ated by geogra phy a n d cu lt u re from t h e i r n e ig h b o rs , s u c h as t h e Pyg m i e s o f t h e I tu ri Fo rest, b u t t h ese a r e ra re a n d n o t p erfectly isolated i n a n y eve nt .29115
  • 104. 2: FLESH AND GENES A n o t h e r c ru c i a l ro l e m igrat i o n p l ays i n u rb a n dyn a m ics a ffects l ess theco m positi o n o f a c i tys ge n e poo l than t h e v i t a l p roce sses o f t h e c i ty t h e m ­s e l v e s . M e d i e v a l town s , a n d i n d e e d a l l cit i e s u p t o t h e l a t e n i n et e e n t hcentu ry, we re n ot se lf-re p ro d u c i n g e n t i t i e s . T h a t i s , t h ey d i d not re p ro­d u ce t h e i r p o p u la t i o n by s i m ply co m b i n i n g t h e f l ow of b i o m ass fro m t h eco u ntrys i d e wit h t h e ge n e s t h a t had acc u m u l a ted with i n t h e i r wal l s . D e a t hrate s i n u rb a n c e n ters exce e d e d b i rt h rates fo r m a n y ce n t u r i e s ( m o rta l i tyrates a mo ng i n f a n ts a n d t h e poo r were e s p ec i a l ly h i g h ) , so cities werea lways i n n e e d of m igrants fro m t h e co u n trys i d e . S i xte e n t h -ce n t u ry Lon­don, fo r exa m p l e , n e e d e d a bo u t five thousand ru ral m igra nts a yea r. 30A n d , of co u rse , si nce m a ny of th ese i m m igra n ts were p o o r, t h e i r m o rtal ityrates (a nd eve n m o re so, t h e i r c h i l d re n s) i n c rea sed t h e m o m e nt t h eypa ssed t h ro u g h t h e city gate s , w h i c h expl a i n s w hy tow ns we re co m m o n lyreferred to as "d eat h tra p s . " "Yet town s, pa rti c u l a rly sm a l l e r centralp l aces (as o p po s e d to po rts , p roto- i n d u st r i a l cities, or great c a p ita l s), we reby no m e a n s alw ays d e ath tra ps . . . . I n fant m o rta l i ty, t h e key co m pon e n ti n n o rm a l t i m e s [ h a s be e n ca l c u l ated to b e ] eq u a l fo r r u r a l a reas a n ds m a l l e r m a rket tow n s : 2 5 to 3 3 p e rc e n t o f t h e c h i l d re n u p to f i v e yea rs,as op posed to 40 perc e n t to 5 0 perc e n t in l a rger c i t i e s . "31 I n the n i nete e n t h ce n t u ry, i m p roved water trea t m e n t (a nd o t h e r s a n ita­tion pol i c i es) and m u t u a l a d a ptati o n b etwe e n h u m a n s a n d m i c ro o rga n i s m sb e g a n t o reverse t h e t re n d a n d u rba n b i rth rates cl i m b ed a bove deathrates. B ut before that (a n d in m a ny p l aces, a l o n g ti m e afterward ) tow n swe re as d e p e n d e n t o n ru r a l a reas fo r t h e i n fl ux o f ge n e s as t h ey were fo rt h e i n fl u x of fo od . G e n etic m a te ri a l s from ru ra l ge ne p oo l s d i d not, o fcou rs e , m i x fre ely w i t h t h ose of t h e citys own ge n e pool (i . e . , t h e ge nesof l egi t i m ate ci tize n s of t h e city, w h o co u l d tra n s m i t t h e i r r i g hts a n d o b l ig­ati o n s to t h e i r p roge ny). R at h e r, t h e two poo l s coex i sted a n d excha ngeds m a l l fl ows of ge n es. Fo r i n sta nce , a ty p i c a l way of ga i n i ng c i tize n s h i p wasto m a rry a citiz e n s d a u ghter ( h e n ce i nje cti ng o u tsi d e ge n es); a n d , ofcou rse , c i tize n s ge nes fo u n d t h e i r way i l legi t i m ately i n to t h e m i gra nt po p­u l atio n s poo l . T h i s bri ngs u s t o t h e q u est i o n o f t h e soc i a l struct u re o f u rb a n ce nters.So fa r we have d escri bed u rba n ecosyst e m s a s pyra m i d s in w h i c h s h o rt­e n ed food c h a i n s red i rect a l l e n e rgy towa rd t h e a pex, b u t t h e existe nceof soci a l cl asses i m p l i e s t h a t the a p ex itself has a h i e ra rc h ica l st ructu re;t h at is, i t i s d i v i d ed i n to seve ral n iches a rra nged in ra n ks. Niche i s theterm us ed by ecologists to d e fi n e t h e pos i t i o n of a given s p e c i e s in a foodwe b . I t t a k e s i nto co n si d e rati o n t h e e n e rgy u sed i n s e a rc h i n g o ut a n dobt a i n i n g food , as we l l a s t h a t s p e n t i n avo i d i ng be i ng eate n . Eachspecies has its own pecu l i a r way of p e rfo r m i n g thes e two t a s k s , a n d116
  • 105. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.t h e s e b e h a v i o ral a n d physi o l og i c a l a d a ptati o n s d e fi n e its "jo b, " o r n i c h e ,i n a n ecosyste m . T h e ecologist Pa u l Col i n v a u x has p ro p o s e d th at, t o t h ee xte nt t h a t d i ffere n t soci a l cl asses d o not h ave e q u a l access t o d i ffe re nttypes of food ( a n d ot h e r e n e rgy reso u rces), t h ey m i ght be said to besocial n iches . 32 In t h e M i d d l e Age s , for i n st a n ce , m a ny p e a s a n t s s u r v i v e do n a m o noto n o u s d i et of b re a d , gru e l , roots, a n d coo ked tu be rs. T h ey h a d ,i n C o l i n v a u xs term i n ology, a v e ry na rrow n i c h e . T h e e l i te s , o n t h e ot h e rh a nd , w h et h e r fe u d a l o r u rba n , h a d acce ss t o a l a rge r v a r i ety o f food­st u ffs, i n c l u d i ng l a rge q u a nt i t i e s of meat a n d l u x u ry items (e . g. , s p i ces).T h ey had a w i d e n i ch e . I n rea l i ty, o f co u rse, t h i ngs we re m o re co m p l e xa n d c h a nged ove r t i m e . C o l i n v a u xs ge n e ra l po i n t, howe v e r, s e e m s to a p ply rega rd l ess of ch a ng­i n g h isto rical d eta i l s . H e a rg u e s t h at , j u st as w i l d a n i m a l s m u st a dj u st t h et i m i ng a n d q u a n ti ty o f t h e i r reprod u ct i v e o u t p u t (e . g . , b ree d i n g s e a s o na nd c l u tc h size) t o sq u a re with t h e reso u rces ava i l a b l e t o t h e m , so, too,m u st h u m a n s . In p a rticu l a r, h e a rg u e s that t h e re is a close re l a ti o n s h i pbetwe e n n i c h e width a nd n u m b e r of offs pri ng. Pea s a n ts a n d t h e u r b a npoo r, pa rt i c u l a rly re c e n t i m m igra nts, l i ved i n a pe n u ri o u s b u t i n ex p e n s i ven a rrow n i c h e , so t h e i r reprod u ctive "ca l cu l atio ns" l e d t h e m to co n c l u d et h a t t h ey cou l d affo rd m a ny c h i l d ren . We a l t h i e r c l a sses, on t h e o t h e rh a n d , d e s i ro u s of ra i s i n g wi d e - n i c he c h i l d re n , " c a l c u lated" that t h ey cou l daffo rd fewe r p roge ny.33 T h i s l i n e of a rgu m e n t co rre s p o n d s with the po pu latio n a l p h e n o m e n o nk nown as t h e " d e m og ra p h i c tra n s i t i o n " : t h e m o re u rb a n ized a gi v e n soci­ety, t h e l owe r i ts ferti l i ty rate . As a general stat istical p h e n o m e n o n , t h i st r a n s i t i o n d ates t o t h e e n d of t h e n i n et e e n t h centu ry, b u t t h e re i s so m ee v i d e n ce (from cit i e s s u ch a s G e n e va a n d Ve n i ce) that w e a l t hy c l a sses i nt h e West l i m ited t h e i r re p rod uctive o u t p u t l o ng b e fo re th at. "A l t h o u g hh e re t h e p i ct u re i s p a rti c u l a rly u n ce rta i n a n d co m pl ex, it may be t h a tu rb a n dwe l l e rs we re t h e fi rst i n l a rge n u m be rs to restri ct fa m i ly s i ze w i t h ­i n m a rri age , a s well a s to s h a pe d e s i red fa m i ly size t o eco n o m i c c i rc u m ­sta n ce s . "34 M a ny a d d itio n a l facto rs m u st b e b ro u g h t t o b e a r t o m a keC o l i n va u x s mod e l m o re real istic. Th e i n h e re n t u nc e rta i n ty of t h e p re­i n d u strial u rb a n e n v i ro n m e nt, p a rticu l a r ly the high i n fa n t- m o rta l i ty rates,made i t h a rd to c a l c u l ate e v e n a sati sfactory fa m i ly size. P e o p l e h a d top rod u ce extra ch i l d re n a s i n s u ra n ce agai n st fam i n e and d i s ease, and int h e case o f fa rm e rs, a s pote n t i a l eco n o m i c co n t r i b uto rs . M o re ove r, t h e rewere co l l ective m e c h a n i s m s of po p u l at i o n c o n t ro l : P re i n d u strial weste r n E u rope exhi b ited o n e stri k i n g a n d a b e rrant c h a racte r­ istic. W h i le pop u l at i o n d i d t e n d to grow i n t h e prese nce of a b u n d a nt l a n d ,117
  • 106. 2: FLESH AND GENES the rate of i n c rease always rem a i n e d mode rate. The ferti l ity rates, l ower t h a n in oth e r societies, i n d i cate the p resence of p reventive c hecks to b i rt h s . T h e s e checks we re co m m u na l rath e r than i n divi d u a l , a n d a m o u nted to a E u ropean system of social co ntro l of fertil ity. The most com m o n mode of control i n western E u rope was to i m pose socio-eco n o m ic co n d itio n s on m a r­ riage: a ten a n cy or gu i l d m e m b e rs h i p fo r the groom , a n a p p ropriate d owry fo r the bride. As a res u lt, people were often forced to marry late a n d m a ny remained single t h roughout life beca use they cou l d not achieve an i ndepen­ dent s ituatio n . 35 T he c h a n g i n g ro l e of w o m e n i n med ieval society is a noth e r factor thatm u st be added to Co l i nv a u xs mode l . Recent stu d ies of t h e demogra p h ictra n si t i o n i n m o d e r n ti mes make it i ncreas i n gly c l e a r t h at a wide n i ng ofwo m e n s n ic h e s is as i m po rtant as u rb a n izatio n i n i n d u c i n g t h i s bifu rca­ti o n in the T h i rd Wo r l d . Wom e n s access to educati o n , co n traceptives,and j o bs (th at is, a ny expa n s i o n beyo n d the na rrow n ic h e of " breeder" ) ,as we l l as i n cre ased decisi o n - m a k i n g powe r i n t h e process of fam ily p l a n ­n i ng, i s a prere q u isite for t h e tran s i ti o n . 36 To the exte nt t h at wom e n a refo rced to exist w it h i n n a rrow n i c h es, ge n d e r d isti n ctio n s a re v e ry m uc hl i ke c l ass o r caste d i sti n cti o n s . T h at i s , rep rod u ctive strata a r e also h i e r­a rc hical str u ct u res, o n ly o n a sm a l l e r sca l e , si n ce fa m i l i a l h i e ra rc h iesexist wit h i n socioeco n o m ic o n es. In t h e p revio u s c ha pte r we n oted t h at h ierarchy b u i ld i ng co nsists oftwo d i sti n ct operat i o n s , a h o m oge n i zatio n pe rfo rmed by a so rti ngp rocess, fol lowed by a co n so l idation t h ro ugh cod i ng i n to l ega l , rel igi o u s ,o r oth e r fo r m a l regu l ati o n s . T h i s i s n ot , of cou rse, a strictly seq u e ntialp rocess: in p ractice, eve n afte r a code has been esta b l i s he d , new sorti ngope rati o n s co n ti n ue , a l o n gside o r eve n agai n st t h e regu l ated ro uti nes.R e p ro d u ctive n ic h es (or strata) m ay be see n as the res u lt of s u c h a h ie r­a rchy- bu i l d i ng p rocess. T h e i n itial h o mogen izat i o n is pe rfo rmed o n m ate­rials su p p l ied by the b i ological s u bstratu m . Some of the tra its that a rege n etica l ly dete r m i ned i n a s i m p l e way (raw- m i l k d igest i b i l ity, m a l a ri a lresista n ce) exist as s h a rp d i c hoto m ies ( a n i n d iv i d u a l e i t h e r possesses t h et r a i t o r does n ot), w h i le traits d eterm i n ed b y t h e i nte racti o n of m u lt i p l ege n es (or p a i rs of a l l e l es) fo rm a m o re o r less co nti n u o u s statistica l d istri­buti o n . The a b i l ity to bear c h i l d re n i s of the fi rst typ e , w h i l e m ost of theseco n d a ry sexu a l c h a racte ristics (th e o n e s u sed to defi n e ge nder ro l es)a re of t h e seco n d type. Co n seq u e ntly, wit h re spect to the i m porta n t cate­go ry of seco n d a ry sexu a l c h a ra cte ristics, gen etic mate r i a l s create twof u zzy stati sti ca l d i stri b utio n s (o n e for m a les, t h e ot h e r fo r fe m a l es) withan area of overlap. 37118
  • 107. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D. W h e n we com pare t hese ove rl a p p i ng fuzzy sets with cu lt u ra l defi n i­tio ns of ge n d e r, i n w h i c h reified essen ces s u c h as " ratio n a l ity" o r " e m o­tio n a l ity" a re s h a rply d i c hoto m ized, we ca n be s u re t h at a h o m oge n iz i ngo pe rati o n has taken p l a ce . F o r exa m ple , wo m e n h ave traditi o n a l ly bee nd e n ied fight i n g (o r eve n se lf-defe nse) s k i l l s . I n co m pa riso n to b i o l ogi­ca l ly v ital fu n cti o n s s u c h as giv i n g b i rt h a nd ta k i n g ca re of c h i l d re n (aswe l l as m a k i ng biomass e d i b l e , by gri n d i n g, soaki n g, coo k i n g, a n d fe r­me nti ng), fighti ng m ay n ot see m so i m portant, at l east not befo re state­d i rected wars of co n q uest bega n to yie l d rich s po i l s . But fight i n g sk i l l swe re cru c i a l ; t h e i r exe rcise gave peo p l e access to certa i n ro les (t h e w a r­rior) t h at we re sou rces of p restige a nd stat u s . S i m ply i n terms of p hysica lst re ngth , wo m e n at t h e u p pe r e n d of the sca l e , fa l l i n g i n t h e a rea of ove r­l a p , wo u ld h ave bee n s u pe ri o r fighters i n co m pa riso n to m e n l ocated att h e botto m e n d of t h e m a l e sca l e of p hysica l st re n gt h , a n d yet t h ese"ge n etica l ly e n d owed" pote ntial fe m a l e wa rrio rs we re exc l u d ed from t h ep restigi o u s ro l e . 38 M o re ove r, beca use p hysical stre ngt h c a n be a m p l i fiedby tra i n i ng, exc l u sio n m ea n t t hat the ove r l a p a re a was artificially red u cedin size: Biology can feed back o n to biology through soci a l d i sti nctions: fo r hormonal reaso ns, women, o n the average (but o n ly o n the ave rage), have a d i ffe rent proportion of m uscle to fat than men, and this has the conseq uence that wom e n , on the ave rage (but o n ly on the ave rage), can exert so mewhat less p hysical force o n objects. The d ivision of l abor between men and women a n d the d ivision of ea rly tra i n i ng, a ctivity a n d attitu de cause a very co nsid­ erable exaggeration of this s ma l l d iffe rence, so that wo men become p hysi­ ca l ly weaker than men d u ri n g the i r development to an exte nt fa r in excess of what can be ascri bed to hormo nes . 39 I n med ieval E u ro p e , as t h e h i sto r i a n Ed ith E n n e n h a s s h ow n , t h i s excl u ­sio n fro m t h e ro le of wa rri o r p reserved t h e age-ol d fu n ctio n of "gu a rd i a n­s h i p" as t h e exc l u s i ve d o m a i n of t h e fat h e r or ot h e r m a l e m e m b e r of apatri a r c h a l fami ly. I n a se n s e , t h e fu n ctio n of t h i s i n stituti o n (a n d ot h e rrel ated o n es) w a s t o co ntro l t h e flow of ge nes, b y m e a n s of asym metrica lregU l ati o n s rega rd i ng i n fe rti l ity, i n fidel ity, a n d own e rs h i p of offsp ri ng. It i si m po rta nt, however, n ot t o view re prod u ctive strata as static e ntities, b u tt o focus i n stead o n t h e dyn a m i cs of t h e i r d efi n i n g b o rd e rs . E n n e n writesof the s h i ft i n g bord e rs of med i eva l wo m e n s roles: In the h istory of women i n the M id d l e Ages there are co n sta nts and changes - and there is permane nce wit h i n the cha nges. The most powerfu l119
  • 108. 2: FLESH AND GENES co nsta nt: woman as the rich hei ress, wo ma n as bearer of successors and heirs. Th is is tru e fo r monarchs and peasa nts, nobles and bu rghers. The h igher the ra nk, the more importa nt this "fu nctio n", the va l u e of which, for the fertile and the pregnant wo ma n , is ca l cu lated in money terms in the werengeld-regu lations of the F ran kish leges [Germanic tribal law]. The s u r­ vival of the dynasty depends on her.4oE n n e n goes o n to p o i n t o u t other co nsta nts, most i m po rta ntly, t h e p reser­vatio n of t h e fu nctio n of g u a rd i a ns h i p . B u t E n n e n a l so o bserves t h atwo m e n s n i c h es we re co n si d e ra b ly broad e n ed by t h e advent of u rban l ifea n d by t h e slow re placement (i n n o rt h e r n E u rope) of G e rm a n i c l aw byC h risti a n codes. P r i o r to t h is m i l l e n n i u m , a m a rri age co ntract wase ntered i n to by the gro o m and the wo m a n s g u a rd i a n ; by the year 1030, .a wo m a n s co n se n t was req u i red i n E n gl a n d . By t h e twe lft h ce ntu ry, t h el ega l p r i n C i pl e of m a rri age b y co n s e nt w a s f u l ly esta b l is h e d , a n d i m posedm a rriages we re barred , at least in t h eo ry.41 I n m a ny cases, of co u rse,fam i ly po l itics sti l l dete r m i ned whom d a ughte rs wo u ld m a rry, s i n ce ad va n ­tage o u s m a rriages were o n e of o n ly a f e w m e a n s fo r a fa m i ly t o risesoc i a l ly, b u t some m ed i eval wo m e n d i d a cq u i re a d egree of freedom i nchoos i n g a h u sba n d . I n med ieval town s wo m e n s n iches we re wide ned i n a variety o f ways .Wo m e n a cq u i red a re l atively h igh d egree of co m m e rcia l i nd e p e n d e n ce ( i nfact, wo m e n were m o re t h o ro u g h ly excl uded fro m co m me rce i n t h e n i n e­tee n t h ce ntu ry t h a n t hey were i n t h e l ate M id d l e Ages42) , a n d ben efitedfro m c h a nges in the l aw of m atri m o n i a l prope rty as wel l as in i n h e rita n cel aws with respect to wives a n d d a ughters. M a l es a n d fem a l e s a l sobeca me e q u a l i n citize n s h i p rights, a l t h o u gh not i n pol itica l partiCi pati o n : I n t h is way [th rough i m p roved legal status a n d hered ita ry rights] women ga ined a share of civic freed om. I n many civic lega l codes, e.g . that of B re­ men dati ng fro m 1186 and of Stade fro m 1209, the husband an d wife are both exp l i citly mentioned in the importa nt article which states that any per­ son who lives i n the town u n der m u n icipal law fo r a reaso nable period is free. Wo me n swear the civic oath and are entered in the register of citizens. The wifes share of the civic rights of her h u sba nd co nti n ues i n fu l l after h is death . . . , H oweve r, the sou rces do not i n d icate that wo men played any pa rt in the ga i n i ng of these freedoms, a n d those who fought for them were n ot co n cerned wit h the emanci patio n of women in the modern se nse. The med ieval co n cept is not based o n the n otio n of a perso n a l sphere of free­ dom; it is seen in co rpo rate te rms, and it is the freedom of the citizen ry as a whole, the town commun ity, that is p u rsued .43120
  • 109. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D. M e d ieva l E u ro p e a n town s were n ot o n ly isol ated as ecosyste ms ( heati s l a n d s and food-web i s l a n d s) but t h e i r walls made them i s l a n d s in a c u l ­tu ral s e n se, pl a ces w h e re ce rta i n p rivi leges co u l d be exerc i se d , w h e re t h eo l d feu d a l restrictio n s co u ld be re l axed , w h e re new n ic hes ( e . g. , a m i d d l ec lass) co u l d be c reate d . U n l i k e i nd ivid u a l se rfs who we re bo u nd t o a give nm a n o r a nd its l a n d l o rd , u rb a n citize n s h a d no s u c h i n d ivid u a l o b l igatio n s,although cities as a whole did owe dues to bis h o ps, co u nts, o r k i n gs . T h erelative a uto n o my of tow n s , w h i c h va ried fro m p l ace to p l a ce, te n d e d t obe reflected i n the i n stituti o n a l n o rms a n d ru les t h a t s l owly acc u m u l atedwit h i n t h e i r ra mparts. If after so me period of resid e n ce a town ado pteda ru n away se rf, these i n stituti o n al n o rm s re p l aced his or her own a l le­gi a n ce to a l o rd , and t h i s made the med ieval town "a verita b l e m a c h i n efo r b rea k i ng u p o l d bo n d s. "44 T h i s d o e s n ot mea n , of cou rse, t h at ru ra li m m igra n ts we re n ot d rawn a l most i m med i ate ly i n to o t h e r pyra m i d a lstr u ctu res . I n B ra u d e l s wo rds, " t h e peasant w h o u p rooted h i mself fromhis land and a rrived in t h e town was i m me d iate ly a noth e r m a n . He wasfree - o r rat h e r he had a ba nd o n e d a k n ow n and h ated servit u d e fo ra n ot h e r, n ot a lways g u essi ng t h e exte nt of it befo re h a n d . "45 The u rban i nte n si ficati o n that pea ked by t h e l ate t h i rtee nt h ce ntu ryc reated m a ny o ppo rt u n ities fo r s u c h esca pes. W h i l e i n 1050 a r u n awaypeasa n t had nowh e re to go, s i n ce town s were seve ral d ays from eachoth e r, by 1300 most town s we re o n ly o n e d ay a p a rt. M o re i m po rta n tly,w h i l e i n 1050 town s we re s u r ro u nded by forbid d i ng forests w h ic h actedas ba rri e rs to m igratio n , by 1300 t h ese fo rests we re begi n n i ng to d i sap­pear.46 B u t w h at was b e ne fi c i a l from t h e perspective of m igrati ng pe as­a nts wa s pote ntially catast ro p h ic fo r the u rb a n cen te rs t h emselves. I ntwo a n d a h a l f ce n t u ries, town s a n d t h e i r s u pply regi o n s h ad grown at t h eexpe n se of t h e biological meshwo rk w it h i n w h i c h t h ey h a d evol ved. T h eecosystem w a s greatly h o m oge n ized : ma ny p a rts of t h e fo rest had bee nclea red a n d either co nverted i nto agri cu ltu ral l a n d o r s i m ply d estroyeda n d u sed fo r fuel or c o n struction m a te r i a l s . As o n e a utho r p uts it, u rb a nexpa n s i o n w a s bought o n cred it, u s i n g as col late ral the co nti n e n ts n at­u ra l resou rces. Afte r 1 300, n at u re fo recl osed a n d E u rope faced its fi rstecol ogical crisis of the m i l l e n n i u m . P r i o r to the fo u rtee nt h centu ry, m ostfa m i nes we re loca l ize d , w h i c h m ea n t t h at regi o n s w hose agricu ltu ra lp rod u ctio n fa i l ed cou l d i m po rt bio mass from nea rby a reas. B u t a fter1300, ge n e ra l fam i nes became com m o n , o n e of t h e most seve re of w h i c hstruck i n 1 3 1 5 a n d l asted seve ral yea rs.47 Defo restatio n of m o u n ta i n slopes l ed to eros i o n a n d t h e l oss of fe rt i l esoi l . A l t hough som e of t h i s soil accu m u lated i n t h e va l leys b e l ow, i n creas­i n g t h e i r fe rti l ity, defo restatio n i nten si fied t h e fre q u e n cy of floods, lead i ng121
  • 110. 2: FLESH AND GENESto fu rt h e r soi l l oss a n d d estructi o n of crops. T h is h a p pe n e d , fo r i n sta n ce,in certai n regi o n s of t h e U p per R h i n e Val l ey.48 Soil l oss due to care l essexplo itatio n of the fo rests resou rces , p a rti c u l a rly the tra n sfo rmatio n ofsteep s l o pes i nto agricu lt u ra l l a n d , h as been a co n stant t h reat to u rb a ncenters t h ro ug h o u t h isto ry. I n fact, some h isto r i a n s post u l ate t h at u rb a nl i fe bega n i n Egypt a n d M e sopota m i a p recisely beca use t h e l a n d t h e rewas flat a n d h e nce n ot s u bject to e rosio n a n d soil loss. T hey cal c u l atet h at most ot h e r u rb a n c i v i l izat i o n s we re a b l e to pass t h e i r ge nes fo r o n lyseve nty ge n e rati o n s before t h ey ra n out of soi l .49 Eve n t h o ugh methodsof p reve nti ng e rosi o n we re k n own from the times of t h e a n cient P h oe n i­c i a n s (te rraci n g tech n iq ues, fo r exa m p l e), m a ny u rb a n �I i e rarchies i n t h ep a s t fa i l ed t o i m p l e m e n t s u c h k n owl edge. T h is is a n ot h e r exa m p l e of thepractica l l i m its of bo u n ded rati o n a l ity, a n d p roof t h at, although somem ate ri a l a n d e n e rgy "fl ows ca n be "soci a l i zed" (i.e., s u bm itted to c u ltu ra lcontrol), i n practice m a ny are n ot.50 I n add ition to d efo restatio n , t h e fo u rtee nth-ce nt u ry eco l ogica l crisisi n volved d is r u pti o n s to t h e s i m p l i fied ( h e n ce u n resi l i e n t) ecosyste mswith which cities and t h e i r regi o n s h ad repl aced t h e fo rest. By s h o rte n i ngfood c h a i ns, h u m a n p o p u lati o n s acq u i red co ntrol ove r n utrie n t cycles.F o r i n st a n ce , cattl e a n d ce rtai n c ro ps we nt h a n d in h a n d : t h e man u re ofthe cattle, which were raised on ce rea l s , cou ld be p l ugged back i nto thesystem as fe rt i l izer, closing the n u trient cyc l e . I n itself, t h i s tighte n i ng oft h e cycles was goo d . I n deed, ecosystems sponta n e o u s ly s h o rte n t h e i rn u tri e n t cycles as t h ey co m pl ex i fy. A h ig h ly co m p l ex syste m s u c h as ara i n fo rest r u n s its n utrie nts so tightly, via e l a bo rate m i c roflo ra a n d m i cro­fa u n a in the tree roots, t h at the so i l i s l a rgely d e prived of n utrients .T h i s i s o n e reaso n w hy t h e d estru ction of rai n fo rests is s o wastefu l : t h esoil left be h i n d is l a rge ly ste ri l e . T h e te m pe rate fo rests of E u rope, o nt h e ot h e r h a n d , d o r u n t h e i r n utrie n t cycles t h ro ugh t h e soi l , a n d t h e red e fo restat i o n l eaves a va l u a ble reservo i r be h i n d . B u t w h e n E u ro pe a n sre p l aced t h is ecosystem b y ta k i n g co ntrol of the cycles t h e m se lves,u nfo resee n glitches d is r u pted the syste m . For exa m p l e , as some agric u l­tu ra l l a n d s s peci a l ized, a n d cattl e were se nt to the h ig h l a n d s to graze ,the m a n u re cyc l e was b ro k e n , l e ad i ng to a loss of soi l fe rti l i ty.51 Co m po n e n ts of the ecosyste m w h i c h l i e o utside soci a l contro l , s u c has the cl i mate , a l so co ntri b u ted t o the ecol ogical c r i s i s . Wo rldwide coo l i ng "tre n d s see m to h ave affl icted t h e fou rte e nth a n d seve ntee nth ce ntu ries.Braudel n otes t h at eve n civil izati o n s at great d ista n ces from o n e another(e.g. , E u rope a nd C h i n a) m ay h ave bee n co n nected by global cli m atec h a nges t h at affected t h e yield of t h e i r h a rvests a n d h e nce t h e fates oft h e i r po p u l atio n s . T h e re is so me ev i d e n ce that t h e cycles of popu l atio n122
  • 111. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.growt h and d ecl i n e in the Far E ast a n d the Far West we re syn c h ro n izedbefo re t h e e ighte e n t h ce ntu ry; give n t h e re l atively low i n ten sity of com­m e rcial co ntact betwe e n East and West, gl obal c l i m ate rhyt h m s wou ldse e m fo be t h e m i ss i n g l i n k: A gen e ra l coo l i ng-d own process occu rred in the N o rthern h e m i s p h e re i n the fo u rteenth ce ntu ry. The n u m b e r o f glaci e rs and ice-floes i ncreased a n d wi nters b ecame more seve re . O n e h i storia n suggests t h a t the Vi k i ngs rou te to Ame rica was cut off by d a ngerou s ice at the time. A noth e r t h i n ks that some d readf u l climatic d rama fi n a l ly i nte rru pted E u ropean col o n izatio n i n G re e n la n d , t h e evi d e nce b e i ng t h e bod i es o f t h e last s u rvivors fou n d i n the froze n eart h . . " Si m i l a rly the " l ittle ice age" . . . d u ri n g Lou i s X I Vs reign was m o re a tyra nt than the S u n K i ng. Everyt h i n g moved to its rhyt h m : cereal­ growing E u rope a n d t h e rice-fields a n d steppes of Asia . . . , A l l t h i s gives additi o n a l m e a n i ng to the fl u ct u ation s of m aterial l ife, and possi b ly exp l a i n s t h e i r s i m u lta n eity. The poss i b i l ity of a certa i n p hysical a n d biological h istory com m o n to all h u ma n ity b efore the great d i scoveries, the i n d ustrial revo l u­ tion or the i nterpenetrati o n of eco n o m i es . 52 T h e re was a nother co m p o n e n t of u rb a n ecosyste m s t h at d efied h i e rar­c h ical co ntrol by h u m a n c u ltu res a n d l i n ked t h e fates of East a nd West:co ntagi o u s d isease . As we saw, u rb a n ecosyste m s on both s i des o f E u ra­sia ( a n d in m a ny places in betwe e n ) we re e pi d e m iologica l l a b o rato riesw h e re a n i m a l d i seases evolved i nto h u m a n o n es , and w h e re t h e d e n sityof p o p u latio n was intense e no u g h to m a ke t h e disease e n d e m i c , that is,to a l low it to s u bsist in m o re o r l ess stable coexiste nce with its h u ma nh osts . M a ny o f t h e c h i ld h ood d iseases t h at affl i cted medieval E u rope h a dbeen " ma n u factu red" o n e o r two m i l l e n n i a e a r l i e r i n t h e fou r sepa rate" la bo rato ri es" t h at had e m e rged by classical ti mes (t h e M e d ite rra n e a n ,t h e M id d l e East, I n d i a , a n d C h i n a). S m a l l pox, for i n sta n ce, may h ave bee nb ro ught to t h e R o m a n E m pi re by sol d i e rs retu rn i ng fro m a cam paign i nM eso pota m i a . 53 A ltho u g h e a c h o f t h ese ce n ters evolved sepa rately fo r aw h i l e, as t h e i nte nsity of trade (o r warfa re) betwe e n t h e m i n te n s i fi e d ,t h ey b e c a m e i n te rco n necte d . 54 T h e l o n g carav a n s t h at co nti n u o u sly traversed the S i l k R oad a n d t h ei n te nse m a ritime com m e rce across the I n d i a n Oce a n had e m e rged ast h e main co m m u n icatio n c h a n n els co n ne cti n g t h e d i ffe rent d isease pool s.M ic ro o rga n isms trave led with silk a n d ot h e r goods t h ro u gh th ese c h a n n e l s ,w h i c h were s u sta i n e d b y m i l itary powe r, h a bit, a n d routi n e . T h e acce l e r­ated u rb a n izati o n of E u rope a t h o u sa n d ye a rs l ater a n d t h e co nse q u e ntesta b l i s h m e n t of regu l a r l a n d a nd sea routes fo r co m m e rce h a d a s i m i l a r123
  • 112. 2: FLESH AND GENESeffect at a s m a l l e r scale, joi n i ng t h e cities a l o ng t h e Med iterr a n e a n coastwit h the bran d - n ew c ities in t he n o rt h i n to a s i ngle d i sease pool . 55 T h eseh o mogen izatio n s of t h e m i c rosco p i c compo n e n t of u rb a n ecosystemshad a b e n e fi c i a l effect: h a d the d i se ase pools rem a i ned isolated, a ny co n­tact betw e e n them wo u ld h ave u n leas hed explosive e pi d e m ics. H owev e r, u rb a n p o p u l atio n s we re n ot alone in fo ste ri ng e n d e m i c d i s­e ases. Wild a n i m a l p o p u l atio n s , too, h a rbo red co l o n ies of m icrobes, a n dco n tact betwe e n t h ese a n i m a l s a n d h u m a n s co u l d h ave catastro p h i cre su lts. T h at is w h at h a p pened i n 1 346 , w h e n t h e b u bo n ic plague w a s u n ­l e a s hed o n E u ro pe . T h e plague baci l l u s (Pasteurella pestis) h a d beco mee n d e m i c a m o ng u nd e rgro u nd popu l atio n s of rats and fleas at the foot­h i l ls of the H i m a l ayas. The expa n s i o n of the M o ngol E m p i re, w h i c h co n­ve rted t h e o l d low- i nte n s ity trade routes i nto a co m plex n etwo rk ofcarava n sa ri e s exte n d i ng i nto the n o rt h e r n E u rasi a n ste p pes and co n nect­i ng C h i n a with E u ro pe , h ad created n ew d isease c h a n n e l s , both forh u ma n s and fo r rats: W hat p ro b a bly h a p p e n e d between 1331 and 1346 . . . was that as p l ague s p read from ca rav a n s e ra i to ca rava n s e ra i across Asia a n d Eastern Eu rope, and moved the nce i nto adjacent h u ma n cities wherever they existed , a par­ a l l e l m ove m e nt i nto u n d e rgro u n d rodent "cities" of t h e grassla n d s also occu rre d . I n h u m a n-rat-flea com m u n ities a bove gro u nd , Pasteurella pestis re m a i n e d a n u nwelcome a n d l et h a l vis ito r, u na b l e to esta b l i s h perma n e nt lodgment becau se of the i m m u n ity reactio n s a n d heavy d ie-off it p rovoked a m o ng its hosts. I n the rod e n t bu rrows of the ste p p e , however, the baci l l u s fou nd a p e r m a n e nt h o m e . . . . Befo re the B l ack Death cou ld str i ke as i t d i d [i n E u rope], two m o re co n d itions had t o be f u l f i l l e d . F i rst of all, pop u lations of b l ac k rats of t h e kind whose fleas we re l i a ble to carry b u bo n ic p l ague to h u m a n s had to s p read t h roughout t h e E u ropean contin e nt. Seco n d ly, a n et­ work of s h i p p i n g h a d to co n n ect the Med ite rra ne a n with n o rthern E u rope, so as to be a bl e to carry i n fected rats a n d fleas to a l l the po rts of the Co nti­ n e nt. Very l i kely the s p read of black rats i nto n o rt h e r n E u rope was itself a res u lt of the i nte n sification of s h i p p i ng contacts between the M ed iterra n e a n a n d n o rt h e r n ports . 56 H e nce, t h e same i nt i m ate co nta cts t h at had made m e d ieval cities i n toa si ngle d i sease poo l , w h i c h p reve n te d t h e i r co ntagi o u s d i seases frombecom i n g e p i de m ic, n ow worked aga i n st them by a l low i n g cross-borde rcontact betwee n u rb a n p o p u l atio n s a n d d i se ase-ca r rying rats a n d fleas,which s p re a d t h e p l ague r a p i d ly across E u rope. Acco rd i ng to Wi l l i a mM c N e i l l , it t o o k a b o u t 1 00 t o 1 33 years (five o r six h u m a n ge n e ratio n s) fo r124
  • 113. BIOL OGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D.the p l ague to b eco m e e n d e m i c . 57 N evert h e l ess, beca u se e n d e m ic e q u i ­l i b ri u m m ay be cyc l ica l , local ized e p id e m i c outbreaks of v a ry i n g i nten sityconti n u ed u nt i l at l east t h e eighteenth centu ry. I n t h e fi rst m ass ive o u t­break ( 1 346-1 350), about a t h i rd of t h e E u rope a n po p u l ation was co n ­su med b y t h e p lague. S u bseq u e n t wave s were a l m ost as leth a l , a n d itseemed as i f u rb a n a n d ru ra l E u rope we re be i ng d igested fro m w it h i n by.,weeds (rats, fleas) a n d t h e i r m i c ro p a rasites. T h e soc i a l co nseq u e nces of t h e i nten sified m o rtal ity rate s were n u m e r­o u s . T h e peasa ntry a n d wo r k i n g classes ben efited i n t h e se nse t ha t t h esu rvivo rs fo u n d t h emselves i n a w o r l d wit h acute l a b o r s h o rtages, n ot tom e nt i o n t h e fact t hat t h e su rvivors i n h e rited t h e possessi o n s of thosee ate n by t h e p l ague. Wages i nc reased, broade n i ng wo r ke rs n ic h e s sig­n i ficantly. T h ese m ight be d e scri bed as Pyr r h i c be n efits , howeve r, s i n cet h e u rb a n a n d r u ra l poo r s u sta i ned t h e vast m ajo rity of casu alties. T h er i c h wou ld a ba n d o n a c ity a t the fi rst sign s o f e p i d e m ic, w h i l e "the poo rre m a i ned a l o n e , pe n n ed u p i n t h e co nta m i n ated town w h e re t h e State fedt h e m , isol ated t h e m , b l ockaded t h e m and ke pt t h e m u n d e r o bse rva­tio n . " 58 Not o n ly the in ha bita nts but the cities t h e m se lves " d i e d , " s i n cem a ny of t h ose w h o p layed key roles i n gove r n m e nt a n d co m m e rce fledand key u rb a n fu n ct i o n s ( b u s i n ess and l ega l activities, re l i gi o u s services)ceased o p e rati ng. Despite a ge n e ral d e re l i ctio n of d u ty, gove r n m e nt h i e rarchies d i drespo n d to t h e c h a l l e nge, t h ro u g h a vari ety o f methods, i ncl u d i ng q u a ra n ­t i n es, su rvei l l a nce, i n h a l a nts, d i s i n fecti o n , b l ocked roa d s , close co n fi n e­m e nt, a n d h e a l t h certi ficates.59 P l a n n e d respo n se , h owever, re m a i n e di n effectu a l , n o t o n ly beca u se of t h e l i m itati o n s of bou n ded ratio n a l ity, b u ta l so becau se t h e cau se of t h e p l ague (a baci l l u s) a n d i t s m et h o d of co nta­gio n ( rats, flea s, h u m a n s) d efied h u m a n co m pre he n s i o n u nt i l the l aten i n etee n t h ce ntu ry. N ev e rt h eless, in the eyes of the s u rvivors, secu l a ra ut h o rities h a d a t least m ad e a n effo rt t o fight back, w h i le ecclesiasticalh i erarchies h a d rem a i n e d powe rless to cope wit h t h e e m e rge n cy. I n theafte rm at h , t h e a utho rity of t h e c h u rc h e m e rged d a m aged (anticlerica l ismi nte n sified) w h i l e secu l a r h i e rarch ies we re stre ngt h e n e d . 6o I n t h e e n d ,howeve r, it w a s n ot any p l a n n ed respo n se t h at sto pped t h e p l agu e , b u t atria l-an d-error acco m modation to it. 61 T h e re we re ot h e r soci a l co n se q u e n ces of t h e p l agu e . After each su cce s­sive e pi d e m i c wave had passed, t h e ge n e flow betwe e n classes i n creasedin i nte n s ity. C ities fo u nd t h e m s e lves depopu lated and lowered t h e i r sta n ­d a rd s fo r citize n s h i p . Ve n ice, n o r m a l ly ve ry cl osed t o fo reign e rs, n owgra nted free citize n s h i p to a nyo n e w h o settled t h e re fo r a yea r. 62 Soc i a lm o b i l ity i n creased, as su rv ivi ng e l ites n eeded t o re p l e n i sh t h e i r ra n ks125
  • 114. 2: FLESH AND GENES ps a m o ng cities altered beca use of t h e e n o r­ with . fre s h blood . R e l at i o n s h i wrought by t h e p l agu e . T h e eve n t u a l e m erge n ce m o u s -d e m ogr a p hi C s h i fts t h e N etwo r k system was i n n o s m a l l measu re a-of Ve n i ce as t h e core of p h c h a nges .63 co n se q u e n ce of those d e m ogra i c T h e B l ack Death stru ck a E u ropean popu latio n t h at was a l ready affl i ctedby an ecological crisis of its own m a k i ng. Alt h o u g h the defo restatio n thatp re ci pitated t h i s crisis was t h e p rod u ct of i n te n sified u rb a n izati o n , wes h o u ld d isti n g u i s h a variety of roles p l ayed by d i ffe re nt types of cities.The cities of the Ce ntral P l ace syste m - that is, l a n d l ocked h i e ra rc h i es oftowns of d i ffere n t sizes - cl e a red t h e i r fo rests for fa r m l a n d , for the reser­voi r of n utrie n ts t h at the tem pe rate forests soi l co nta i n e d . The gatewaypo rts of t h e N etwo rk syste m , o n t h e other h a n d , m a r keted the i n d i­gest i b l e b i o m ass of th e fo rest (wood) as fu e l o r co n st r u ctio n m aterial fo rs h i ps. M o re accu rate ly, t h e v a r i o u s regio n s that gave b i rt h to t h e m a r itimem etro p o l ises of E u ro p e rose to p ro m i n e n ce by exploit i ng t h ree d i ffe rentreservoi rs: t i m ber, salt, and fis h . 64 W h i l e some Ce n tra l P l ace h ierarch iesexterm i n ated their fo rests with a l m ost religi o u s zeal ( i n some cases u si ngspecia l ized m o n ks w h o t h o ught of every acre c l e a red of d e m o n - i n festedfo rest a s an acre gai n ed for God65), N etwo rk-syste m gateways had a m o rem a n age rial attitude toward t h e i r rese rvoi rs. T h ere we re, of cou rse, m ixtu res. Some Central Place cities, such asParis, ho u se d h i e ra rc h ies t h at v i ewed their fo rests as re n ewable resou rces.F re n ch fo rests we re sta b i l ized in t h e sixteenth a n d seve nteenth centu ries,p a rtly by d ecree (th e great o rd i n a n ce of 1573 and t h e measu res takenby Col be rt) and p a rtly beca u se t h e rem a i n i ng forest soi l s were too poo r toexploit.66 N eve rth e l ess, t h e re were i m p o rta n t d iffe re nces between m etrop­o l i se s and c a pita l s as ecosyste ms w h i c h i n fl u e n ced t h e i r re l ati o n s h i psto t h e flow of bio mass, e d i bl e a n d i n ed i bl e . M a n y of t h e seapo rts - a n dcerta i n ly a l l t h e o n es t h at served as co re of t h e N etwo r k system beforet h e n i n etee n t h centu ry (Ve n i ce , G e n oa , Amsterd a m ) - we re ecologicallydeprived p l aces, i n c a p a b l e of fee d i n g t he mselves. I n t h i s se nse, they werea l l l i ke A m alfi , a s m a l l M ed iterra n e a n port whose h i nte r l a n d s were l a rgelyi n fe rti l e , b u t t h at at t h e t u r n of t h e m i l l e n n i u m h a d se rved as a gatewayto t h e dyn a m i c m a rkets of I s lam a n d had p l ayed a key role in t h e reawa k­e n i n g of E u ro p e . like Amalfi i n its hollow a m o n g the mou ntains, Ve n ice, scattered over sixty or so isl a n d s a n d islets, was a strange world, a refuge perhaps but hard ly a convenient one: there was no fresh water, no food s u p p ly - o nly salt i n a b u n dance . . . . I s this a n exa m ple o f the town red u ced t o bare essentials, stri pped of everyth i ng n ot ?trictly u rba n , and co ndemned, in order to sur-126
  • 115. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D. vive, to o btai n everything fro m trad e: wheat or mil let, rye, meat on the hoof, cheese, vegeta bles, wi ne, o i l , tim ber, stone - and eve n d ri n ki n g water? Ve n ices entire populatio n l ived outside the "primary sector" . . . [her] activi­ ties all fel l into the sectors which eco nomists would nowadays descri be as seco ndary and te rtiary: i ndu stry, com merce, se rvices. 57 T h e s a m e is true of G e n o a , w h ic h was t h e fi n a n ci a l capital of s ixtee nth­ce ntu ry E u ro p e : the c ity a rose o n a s m a l l str i p of l a n d s u r ro u n d ed bym o u nta i n s barre n of trees a n d eve n grass. 58 T h e extre me pove rty of t h el a n d s o n w h i c h the I ta l i a n m a ritime metro p o l i ses we re b u i lt was pa rtlyd u e to t h e s o i l d e p l eti o n cau sed by p rev i o u s i nte n s i fi cati o n s . I n m a nyregi o n s i n a n d a ro u n d the Med iterra ne a n w h e re prod u ctio n h ad bee ni nte n sified a t h o u s a n d years e a r l i e r to feed t h e cities of t h e R o m a n E m p i re ,e ros i o n had l o n g s i n ce removed the fleshy soi l a n d exposed t h e u nd e rly­i n g l i m esto n e skeleto n . Acco rd i ng to s o m e h i sto ri a n s , o n ly t h e s o i l n o rt hof t h e P o Va l l ey h ad bee n s p a red t h i s destructi o n , a n d these we re t h el a n ds t hat l ater fed med ieval E u rope. T h e regio n s t h at h ad be e n t h e stageof ba rbaric i nvasio n s a n d war after the fa l l of the R o m a n E m p i re h ad a l s orecove red t h e i r ferti l ity b y med ieval times, s i nce m i l ita ry tu r b u l e n ce madeco n ti n u o u s i nte nsified agricu ltu re i m possi ble .59 B u t t h e land on w h i c htow n s l i ke Ve n ice, G e n o a , o r A m a l fi grew sti l l bore t h e sca rs of carelessi nte n s i ficati o n . T h u s , although m a n y cities in t h e fou rtee n t h centu ry (e .g. ,F l o re n ce) we re a l ready i m po rt i n g gra i n fro m far away, tow n s s u c h a sVe n ice a n d G e n oa were, fro m t h e start, condemned t o trade t o m a i n ta i nt h e i r l i fe l i n e. T h e re a re other i nteresti n g d iffe re n ce s betwee n Ce ntra l P l ace a ndlJ etwo rk cities i n t h i s respect. Although t h e fo rmer were bette r e n dowedeco l ogical ly, even fo r t h e m co nti n u o u s growt h e ntai l ed i nte n s i fi cati o n a ndh e n ce d e p l et io n . At s o m e p o i n t, e it h e r trade o r i n vasion became n eces­s a ry to ta p i nto t h e n utrient reservo i rs of ever m o re d i sta nt s o i l s . W h i lecities bel o ng i n g to t e rrito r i a l states i nva ded other peo p l e s l a n d s, gatewaypo rts p e n etrated t h e i r m a rkets. I n ot h e r word s ( a n d a l lowi n g fo r co m plexm ixtures), l a n d l ocked capita l s took ove r fe rt i l e l a n d s , at times givi n gbi rt h to a l a n d l ocked col o n i a l city o n foreign soil a n d redi recti ng t h e flowof biom a s s to the moth e rla n d . M et ropol ises, on t h e oth e r h a n d , took ove rstrategica l ly located a l beit barre n p i eces of rock i n t h e m i d d l e of t h eocea n , t o co ntrol t h e t r a d e r o u t e s t h at co n nected E u rope to l u crative fo r­eign m a r kets. As B r a u d e l s ays, " I n o rd e r to co ntrol t h e l a rge expa n se s i nq u estio n , i t was suffici e n t t o hold a few strategic poi n ts (Ca n d i a , captu redby Ve n ice i n 1 204; C o rf u , 1383; Cyp r u s, 1489 - o r i n d eed G i bralta r, w h i c ht h e B riti s h took by s u rprise i n 1704, a n d Malta, w h i c h t hey ca ptu red i n127
  • 116. 2: FLESH AND GENES1800) a n d to esta b l i s h a few co nve n i e nt monopo l i e s , w h i c h the n had tobe m a i ntai n e d i n good wo r k i ng o rd e r - as we do m ac h i nes tod ay. "70 From t h ese strategic p l aces a naval powe r co u l d co ntrol the M ed iter­ra n e a n ( a n d the m a rkets of t h e Leva nt) a n d , h e n ce , t h e trade l i fe l i n e oft h e regi o n . F ro m l i kewise eco l ogica l ly poo r stro n g h o l d s on fo re ign coasts,or fro m fo re ign gateway cities, Eu ropean metropol ises acq u i red co ntrol offa raway m a rkets i n I n d i a , C h i n a , a n d the Leva nt. F ro m these entry poi nts,t h ey capt u red and red i rected a co nt i n u o u s flow of l u xu ry goods (spices,fo r exam pl e), with p e r h a ps n egl igi b l e n utritio n a l v al u e but ca pable of ge n ­erating extraord i n ary p rofits . I t i s t r u e t h at s o m e gateways a l so e n gagedin the co l o n ization of n e a rby l a n d s for t h e i r so ils, as w h e n Ve n ice too kco ntrol of t h e I ta l i a n m a i n l a n d a ro u nd it ( i n c l u d i n g t h e tow ns of Pad u a ,Ve ro n a , B rescia , a n d B eraga mo) i n t h e early 1400s . B u t eve n t h e re , t h el a n d w a s soon u sed not t o feed the ci ty, but to raise ca s h crops a n d l ive­stock fo r the ma rket. Amste rd a m , a n ot h e r ecologica l ly poo r gateway port,and its sister cities in t h e U n ited P rovinces s h a pe d t h e i r l i m ited h o l d i ngsof fert i l e l a n d i nto an efficient agricu ltu ra l m a c h i n e, t h o u g h it, too, waso ri e n ted towa rd exte r n a l ma rkets . 71 I n m a ny respects, th ese Netwo rkcities we re not tied to t h e land and ex h i bited the k i n d of weightl essn ess,or lack of i n e rt i a , that we associ ate wit h tra n s n atio n a l co rpo ratio n s tod ay.I s it any wo n d e r t h at m a riti m e m et ro pol i ses such as Genoa o r Ven i ce(as we l l as those regi o n a l capitals closely co n n ected to t h e m , such asF l o ren ce o r M i l a n ) we re the b i rt h pl ace of many a n t i m ar ket i n stitu tio ns? B ra u d e l i nvites us to view the h i sto ry of t he m i l l en n i u m as th ree s e pa­rate flows moving at d iffe rent speeds. O n one h a n d , we have the l i fe ofthe peasant popu latio n , m o re or l e ss c h a i n e d to the l a n d , whose c u sto m sc h a nge w i t h t h e v iscos ity o f l a v a . Corn , w h i c h fed E u ro pe , a n d rice,which fed C h i n a , we re tyra nts t h at forced o n the peasa ntry a rigid ad h er­en ce to we l l-wo rn ha bits a n d ro u t i n e s a n d a closed cycl e of p roduct io n .T h i s i s w h a t B ra u d e l c a l l s " m ate ria l l ife," t h e know-h ow a n d t rad iti o n a ltools, t h e i n h e r ited reci pes a n d c u sto m s , with w h i c h h u m a n bei ngs inte r­act with pla nts to ge n e rate the flow of biomass that s u sta i n s v i l l ages a n dtow n s . T h is body o f k n owledge res i sts i n novat i o n s a n d h e n ce c h a ngesvery s l owly, as if h isto ry barely flowed t h rough it. O n e h isto ri a n suggestst h at o n e n ee d s o bservati o n a l t i m esca les a m i l l e n n i u m l o n g to u n d e rsta ndthe agra r i a n stru ctu res of I ta ly. 7 2 The peasa nt masses are , i n a sense,l i k e t h e asse m b l age of flora at t h e base of n at u ra l ecosystems, an i m mo­b i l e e n gine t h at creates the e n e rgy w h i c h ma kes eve ryt h i ng a ro u n dt h e m move. N ext com e s the wo r l d of m a rkets a n d co m m e rcial life , w h e re the flowof h i story beco mes l e s s vi scou s . B ra u d e l ca l l s market towns "acce l e ra-128
  • 117. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.tors of a l l h isto rical ti m e . "73 Although peasa nts so met i m e s c a m e to t h ecity m a rket of t h e i r own acco rd , m o re often t h a n not t hey we re fo rcedto co m e , and to th at e xtent we m ay say that tow n s fed on t h e m , or p artsof t h e m , m u c h as an h e rbivo re d oes. So a bove the botto m l aye r ofm ate r i a l l i fe comes t he favou red terra i n of the ma rket economy with its many hori­ zonta l com m u n i cations between the d iffe re nt markets : here a d egree of automatic coord in ation u s u a l ly l i n ks s u p p ly, demand a nd prices. Then al ongside, or rather above this l ayer, comes the zone of t he anti-ma rket, where t he great p redato rs roam and the law of t he j u ngle operates. T h is ­ tod ay as in the past, before and after the i n d ustrial revolution - is the re a l h o m e o f ca pital ismJ4T h i s is t h e layer of maxim um m obility, w h e re l a rge a m o u nts of fi n a n ci a lca pita l , fo r exam ple, flowed co nti n u o u s ly fro m o ne h ig h ly profitab l e are ato a n ot h e r, d efying fro ntiers a n d accelerat i ng m a ny h i sto rica l p rocesses.I n s u m m a ry, acco rd i n g to B ra u d e l , t h e E u ro pe a n eco nomy com prisedt h re e s p h e res o r l aye rs: t h e i ne rt i a l peasant l aye r, w h i c h was t h e sou rceof b i o m ass flow; t he m a rket eco n o my, w h i c h set s u rpl u ses i nto moti o n bym e a n s of t h e flow of mo ney ; a n d t h e anti m a rket, w h e re m o n ey d etachedits e l f fro m b i o m a ss , beco m i ng a mobile m uta nt flow ca p a b l e of i nvest i ngi n a ny a ctivity t h at i n te n sified t h e p rod u ctio n of p rofits. T h i s u lt i m atel ayer m ay be properly ca l l ed " pred ato ry" to e m p h asize its n o n co m petitivea n d m o n o p o l i stic (o r o l igopo l istic) natu re. A n ti m a rket s , of co u rse, coex­i sted wit h oth e r p redators (or as M c N ei l l ca l l s t h e m , " macropa rasites" 7 5),s u c h a s centra l states and fe u d a l h i e rarc h i e s , w h i c h also d e rived t h e i rs u ste na nce b y ta ppi n g i n to t h e e n e rget ic flows p rod u ced b y ot h e rs, v i ataxes, re nts, o r fo rced l a b o r. These h i era rc h ies ( a l l u rb a n in the case of m e d i eval I ta ly) s o m eti m esmeta m o rp hosed fro m o n e type of m acropa rasite i n to a n ot h e r. We a l t hym e rc h a n ts a n d f i n a n ci e rs , fo r i n stance, wo u ld retire from b u s i n ess a n db u y l a n d , sacrifi ci ng t h e i r m o b i l ity in ho pes of acq u i ri ng access t o t h ea ri stocracy a n d t h e o p portu n ity t o spread t h e i r genes across c l a ss ba rri­ers. Noble l a n d l o rds, on the other h a n d , wou l d so m et i m es take advan­tage of their mo nopol ies of soi l , t i m ber, and m i n eral d e posits to p l aya nt i m a rket ro les, a l beit l a c k i n g t h e rati o n a l izat i o n a n d ro uti n izat i o n t h atc h a racterized big b u s i n e ss. M o re often t h a n not , however, t h e s e n o b l e­m e n co l l a bo rated i n t h e tra n sfe r of s u rp l u ses from agricu ltu ral regi o n s . As E u ro pe s u rban ecosystems expa n d ed a n d m u ltiplied t h e i r i nter­con necti o n s with o n e a n oth e r, they beca m e n ot o n l y a s i ngl e d i sease pool129
  • 118. 2: FLESH AND GENESbut a si ngle eco n o my as wel l . Soo n t h e s i m ple re l ati o n s h i p betwee n a citya n d its s u r ro u n d i ng s u p p ly zo n e of s m a l l v i l l ages was left be h i n d (at l e asto uts i d e the lower ra n ks of Central P l ace h i e ra rc h ies), a n d m a ny l a rgetown s bega n to d raw t h e i r n utrie nts l a rge ly fro m a s i ngle, vast sou rce,re p l icati ng on a h u ge scale t h e o rigi n a l parasitic relatio n s h i p t h e i nd ivid­u al cities h ad with t h e i r cou ntrysides. I n ot her wo rd s , d u ri ng the s ix­tee nth ce ntu ry E u ro pe bega n co l o n iz i n g itself, tra nsfo r m i ng its ea ste rnregi o n s ( Po l a n d and oth e r territo r i es east of the H a m b u rg-Vi e n n a-Ve n i ceaxis) i nto its s u p ply zo n e . As with a l l s u c h pe ri p h e ra l regio n s, t h e i r re la­tio n s h i p to t h e co re that exploited t h e m was mostly n egative: their ownma rket town s l o st vita l i ty, h osti l i ty to i n n ovatio n i n crea sed , a n d ba rri e rsbetwe e n c l asses h a rd e n ed . T h e res u l t was t hat, u n l i ke sma l l town s i n t h em idd l e z o n e w h i c h co u l d trade with o n e a not her a n d eve n t u a l ly s h a kethei r s u bo rd i n ate positio n , t hese peri p he ra l a reas were co nd e m n ed to aperma n e nt state of backward ness. I n t h e case o f Easte r n E u ro pe , its red u ctio n to co l o n i a l stat u s wasbrought a bo u t by t h e actio n s of seve ral h i e ra rc h i es : t h e l ocal l a n d l o rds,w h o i ntensi fied their macro p a rasitism to a n extre me (six days a wee k offorced l a bo r was not u n co m m o n fo r peasa nts), and w h olesa le rs i n citiess u c h as Amsterd a m w h o p reyed o n t h e l a n d lo rd s t h emse lves, m a n i p u­l ati ng s u p p ly a n d d e m a n d t h ro u g h w a re h o u si ng a n d adva n ced p u rchasesfrom p rod u ce rs J 6 As this i nte r n a l col o n izatio n was ta k i ng place, E u ro p ew a s begi n n i ng to deve l o p a core-peri p h e ry relati o n s h i p o n a n eve n l a rgersca l e , t h is time at a global leve l . S pai n a n d Portuga l , w h ose soi l s had n otrecovered from t h e i nt e n si ficati o n of t h e R o m a n E m p i re , s pea r h eadedthe co n q u est of l a n d s across t h e Atl a ntic, t h e co nversio n of Ameri ca i ntoa co nti n e nt-wide s u p p ly zo n e . Med i eva l cities h ad atte m pted a fi rst ro u n d of foreign col o n izat i o nce n t u ries e a r l i e r, a t the t i me of t h e C r u sades, but t h i s e a r l i e r efforthad l acked stay i n g p owe r. Des pite the h u n d reds of t h o u sa n d s of E u ro­pea n s w h o h ad bee n m o b i l ized fo r the i nvasio n of t h e H o ly La nds,E u ro p e s col o n ies a broad (Edessa, Antioch, Tri p o l i , J e r u sa l e m ) hadp ro m ptly ret u r n ed to I sl a m i c co ntro l . M u c h as p o p u lati o n d e nsity wast h e o n ly means to m a i n ta i n t h e d o m i n atio n of u rb a n ove r fo rest eco­systems (d rops in p o p u l at i o n a l l owed the ret u r n of ba n i s h ed p l a nts a n dwolves), h ere , t o o , d e n s ity w a s n e eded t o s u sta i n a E u ropean p rese n ceo n f o reign so i l . A n d yet, as o n e h i sto r i a n puts it, despite t h e o rigi n a lm a ssive tra n sfe r of peo p l e , E u rope " l ost the p ropagatio n game . " 77 I nadditio n , t h e re was a noth e r great b i o l ogical barri e r to t h e s u ccess of t h eCrusad e s - m ic roo rga n isms:130
  • 119. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D. When the Cru sad e rs a rrived in the Levant, they had to u n d e rgo what B ritish settlers i n the N o rth A m e rica n co l o n ies centu ries l ater ca l l ed "seaso n i ng" ; they had to i ngest a n d b u i l d resistance to the local bacterial ·flo ra. They h ad to s u rvive the i n fecti o n s , wo rk out a mod u s vive n d i with the Easte rn m i c ro­ l ife and parasites. T h e n they cou ld fight the Sarace n s . T h i s period of sea­ s o n i n g sto l e time, stre ngth a n d efficie ncy, a nd e n d ed in death of te n s of thousands. It is l i kely that the d isease that affected the Crusade rs the m ost was m a l a ri a . . . . C ru sa d e rs from the Mediterra n e a n . . . had b rought with them a d egree of resista n ce to malaria . . . . U nfortu n ately fo r [them], a p e r­ son i m m u n e to o n e k i n d of m a l a ria is n ot i m m u n e to a l l , a n d i m m u n ity to m a l a ria is n ot l o ng-lasti ngJ 8 G e n es t h a t p rovi d e resista n ce to m a l a ri a (the s i c k l e-ce l l a n d beta­t h a l asse m i a ge n es) existed in the so u t h e r n E u ro p e a n ge n e poo l , but t h eywere ra re i n t h e no rt h . C o n s e q u e n t l y, C r u sad e rs from Fra nce, G e r m a ny,a n d E n gl a n d w e re devou red f r o m with i n by t h e pa rticu l a rl y v i ru l e nt m a l a r­i a l stra i n s e n d e m i c i n t h e M i d d l e East. W h e n Eu rope bega n colo n i zi ngfa raway l a nds fou r h u n d re d years later, she co n fro nte d an e n t i re ly d i ffer­ent situ ati o n . N ow h e r c h i ld h ood d iseases , p a rticu l a rly s m a l l pox a n dmeasles, fought o n h e r s i d e . A s M c N e i l l says, t h ese w e r e a " biologica lw e a p o n u rb a n co n d iti o n s of l i fe [ h a d ] i m p l a nted i n t h e b l oodstre a m s ofciv i l ized peop l e s . " 79 I n fact, w h e n ev e r e nco u nte rs took p l ace betwe e nh u m a n pop u l atio n s t h a t h a d n o t b e e n i n close co ntact with o n e a not h e ra n d o n ly t h e i nvad e rs possessed "civi l ized" d iseases, t h e affa i r rese m b l e da giga ntic food c h a i n i n w h i c h o n e m a s s of h u ma ns i ngested t h e oth e r : Fi rst, t h e struct u ra l o rga n ization o f n eighboring com m u n ities w a s broken d own by a combi n atio n of wa r (ct. m astication) a n d d isease (ct. the c h e m i­ cal a n d p hysical actio n of sto m ac h a n d i n testi n es). Someti mes, no d o u bt, a l ocal pop u l ation s u ffe red total exti nctio n , but t h i s was n ot typica l . M o re ofte n , the s h atte ri n g i n itial e ncou nters with civi l ization left s u bsta ntial n u m­ bers of cu ltu ra l ly d isoriente d i n d ivi d u a l s on the l a n d . S u c h h u m a n m aterial co u l d then be i nco rpo rated i nto the tissues of the e n l a rged civi l ization itself, eithe r as i n d iv i d u a l s o r as small fa m i ly a n d vil lage grou p i ngs.8oAs E u rope bega n reach i n g o u t i nto t h e wo r l d to create n e w su p p l y regi o n s ,E u ropea n d iseases v isited n e a r-ext i n ct i o n o r, a lt e r n atively, d ec i m atio no n t h e i nd ige n o u s popu l a t i o n s . I n o n e of t h e fi rst s u ccess fu l atte m pts atco l o n izat i o n (the C a n a ry I s l a n d s), t h e local peoples (t h e G u a n c h es) w e red ri v e n to t h e b ri n k of exti n cti o n , most l y by t h e i nvad e rs d i seases. Tod aya few G u a n c h e ge n e s re m a i n i n t h e Ca n a ries ge n e poo l , a l o ng w i t h a few131
  • 120. 2: FLESH AND GENESwords and nine sentences from their original language. 81 The rest wasannihilated. On the other hand, in what proved to be the most su ccessfu land long lasting colonial enterprise, the conversion o f the American con­tinent into a huge peripheral zone to feed the Eu ropean core, only someareas (the U nited States, Canada, Argentina) witnessed the wholesalereplacement of one gene pool by another. In the rest of the Americas ,entire commu nities were instead cultu rally absorbed. Like those insectsthat first regurgitate a sou p of enzymes to predigest their food, the con­q u erors from Spain killed or weakened their victims with smallpox andmeasles before proceeding to Christianize them and incorporate them intothe colonial culture. Earlier attempts at colonizing the N ew World had failed partly beca u seof a lack of "predigestive enzymes." The N orse, who tried to colonizethis continent earlier in the millenni um failed beca use their motherland(Greenland) was "so remote from E u rope that they rarely received thelatest installments of the diseases germinating in Eu ropean centers ofdense settlement, and their tiny populations were too small for the main­tenance of crowd diseases." 82 The new wave of invaders from Spainnot only were in direct contact with the epidemiological laboratories that"manufactured" these biological weapons, they were the fleshy compo­nent of the disease factory. The local Amerindians, on the other hand,though densely populated enough to s u stain endemic relatio ns with para­sites, lacked other components of the laboratory : the livestock that coex­isted with humans and exchanged diseases with them.83 Overall, the effects of the encounter between epidemiologically scarredEurope and virgin America were devastating. The total popu lation of theN ew World before the Conq uest was by some estimates as high as 1 hun­dred million people, one-third of whom bel onged to the Mexican andanother third to the Andean civilizations. Fifty years later, after its initialenco u n ter with Cortes, the Mexican popu lation had decreased to amere 3 million (about one-tenth of the original).84 After the initial clash i nMexico i n 1 5 1 8 , smallpox traveled sou th, reaching the I nca empire by1526, long before Pizarros troops began their depredatio ns. The diseasehad eq u ally drastic conseq u ences, making it much easier for the con­q u erors to plunder the I ncas treas ures and resources. The measles fol­lowed smallpox, spreading through Mexico and Peru in the years1530-1531. Other endemic diseases s u ch as diphtheria and the mumps. soon crossed the ocean, and even some of the epidemics that stillafflicted Eu rope (e.g., ty ph u s and influ enza) may have also leaped thisancient seawater barrier: the globe was beginning to form a single dis­ease pool.85132
  • 121. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D. The cultural advantages that the Spanish enjoyed (horses, very primi­tive firearms, metal armor) would have been q uite insufficient for thetask of conq uering a densely inhabited territory. Large animals and loudweapons had, no doubt, a powerful psychological effect on the nativepopulation. But after the first encounters, during which the indigenouswarriors saw their stone weapons pierce through European armor andhorseflesh and witnessed the inefficiency of the Spaniards inaccurate,single-shot muskets, these cultural advantages would have dissipated.But because the majority of the native inhabitants died from disease,draining the reservoirs of skills and know-how that sustained their culture,that meager advantage sufficed. Culture certainly played a role here, butit was not the most important. Cultural materials flowed together withgenes and biomass (not all of it human) across the Atlantic, and it wasthe whole complex mixture that tri umphed. An entire continent was in this way transformed into a supply regionfor all three spheres of the European economy: material life, markets, andantimarkets. Sugar and other inexpensive foodstuffs for the masses wouldsoon begin flowing in large q uantities from the colonies and plantationsto the homeland. A variety of raw materials to be sold in her markets alsoflowed home. Finally, an intense flow of si lver (and other precious metals)provided fuel for European antimarkets and for the European monetarysystem as a whole. We saw above that while some cities took over alien lands other citiestapped into foreign resources by manipulating markets. Unlike the pro­cess of colonizing a territory, a mostly biological affair, penetrating for­eign markets (such as the huge I ndian or Chinese markets, which rivaledthose of Europe until the ei ghteenth century) involved large q uantities ofmetallic money. Silver (rather than infectious diseases) played the role of"predigestive enzyme" here. Thanks in part to the steady flow of metalfrom American deposits, the European monetary system "was projectedover the whole world, a vast net thrown over the wealth of other continents .It was no minor detail that for Europes gain the treasures of Americawere exported as far as the Far East, to be converted into local money oringots in the sixtee n th century. Europe was beginning to devour, to digestthe world."86 Central Place capitals such as Madrid, N etwork-system metropolisessuch as Amsterdam, and hybrids such as London used their own biologi­cal or mineral materials to dissolve foreign defenses, break apart loyal­ties, weaken the grip of indigenous traditions. After gaining entry ontoforeign soil this way, a massive transfer of people, plants, and animalswas necessary to establish a perma n e n t European presence. I n some133
  • 122. 2: FLESH AND GENES areas of t h e wo r l d , p a rticu l a rl y those that h a d bee n u s ed a s ga teways to e x p l o it fo re ign m a rkets, t h e n e w co l o n i e s wo u l d fa i l m u ch as t h o se estab­ l i s h e d d u ri ng the C r u s a d e s h a d . B u t in ot h e r p a rts, West e r n co l o n izers wou l d i n d e e d w i n t h e pro p aga t i o n g a m e a n d , wit h it, access to t h e most fe rt i l e a n d p rod uctive l a n d s of t h e p l a n et.134
  • 123. Sp ecies a n d Ecosys te msWe wou l d do we l l to pa u s e n owfo r a m o m e n t to co n s i d e r s o m eof t h e ph i l oso p h i ca l q u est i o n sra ised by t h e f l ow of ge n es a n db i o m ass , a s we l l a s by t h e st ruc­t u res t h at e m e rge from t h osef l ows . As I a rgu ed i n t h e p rev i ­o u s c h a pte r, t h e re i s a s e n se i nw h i c h spec i es a n d ecosyste m sa re t h e p rod u ct of st ruct u re ­ge n e rat i ng p rocesses t h at a rebas i ca l ly t h e sa m e as t h ose135
  • 124. 2: FLESH AND GENESw h i c h p rod u c e t h e d i ffe re n t typ e s of roc k st h a t p o p u l a te t h e wo r l d o f geo l o gy. A g i ve ns p e c i es (or, m o re a cc u ra tely, t h e ge n e pool ofa s p e c i es) ca n be s e e n a s t h e h i stori ca l o u t ­com e o f a s o rt i n g process (a n a c c u m u l a t i o nof ge n e t i c m a te r i a l s u n d e r t h e i n f l u e n ce ofs e l e ct i o n p res s u res) fol l owed by a p rocess ofco n s ol i d a t i o n ( re p rod u ct i ve i s o l a t i o n ) , w h i c hg i ves a l o o s e a c c u m u l at i o n o f ge n es a m o reor t es s d u ra b l e - form by a ct i n g a s a " ratc h e td ev i c e ." T h e m ost fa m i l i a r for m of re p r o ­d u ct i ve i s ol at i o n con s i d e re d b y b i o l og istshas an ext e r n a l ca u s e : geogra p h i ca l c h a n ge si n t h e h a bitat w h e re re p rod u ct i ve co m m u ­n i t i es b e l o n g i n g to t h a t s p e c i e s l i ve . Fo ri n sta n ce , a r i ve r m a y c h a n ge i ts cou rse (ove rm a n y yea rs) a n d r u n t h ro u g h t h e m i dd l eof a p rev i o u s l y u n d i v i d e d t e r r i t o ry, m a k i n gcon tact betw e e n m e m b e rs of a re p rod u ct i vecom m u n i ty d i ff i c u l t o r i m p os s i b l e . I n t h ats i t u a t i o n , t h e two ha l ves of t h e com m u n i tywi l l sta rt to a c c u m u l at e c h a n ges i n d e pe n ­d e n t l y of e a c h ot h e r a n d h e n c e beg i n tod i ve rg e , u n t i l t h e d ay w h e n m a t i n g betw e e nt h e i r res pect i ve m e m b e rs beco m e s ( m e c h ­a n i ca l l y) i m p os s i b l e , o r p rod u c e s o n l y ste r i l eoffs p r i n g .136
  • 125. SPECIES AND ECOSYSTEMS H oweve r, t h e p rocess of re p rod u ct i ve i s o l a ­t i o n (a n d t h u s , of specia tion) m a y b e m o rec o m p l e x t h a n t h a t ; i n pa rt i c u l a r, i t m a yh a ve in ternal ca u s es a s we l l a s exte r n a l o n es .O n e w e l l - st u d i e d e xa m p l e of a n i n t e r n a lca u s e i s t h e " s p e c i f i c m a te recogn i t i o n sys ­te m ," or S M R S . 87 T h i s is t h e syste m of t ra itsa n d s i g n a l s (wh i c h ca n be be h a v i o ra l ora n a tom i c a l , o r bot h ) t h a t m e m be rs of a s e x ­u a l l y re p rod u c i n g s p e c i e s u s e t o re cog n i z epot e n t i a l m a t e s . G e n et i c c h a n ges t h at a ffe ctt h e S M R S ( m a t i n g ca l l s , co u rts h i p r i t u a l s ,i d e n t i fy i n g m a r k s a n d d e c orat i o n s , s m e l l s)m a y i n d e e d a ct a s a ba r r i e r to i n t e r b re e d i n ge ve n i f t h e two d i ve rge n t d a u g h t e r s p e c i e sc o u l d pote n t i a l l y m i x t h e i r ge n es . I n t h i sc a s e , s e x u a l s e l e ct i o n (t hat i s , s e l e ct i o n p res ­s u res e x e rc i s e d o n a n i n d i v i d u a l by its p ot e n ­t i a l m a tes) ca n ca u s e a s m a l l i n i t i a l d i ffe re n c eto b e a nl p l i f i e d i n to a m a j o r b a r r i e r to t h eexc h a n ge of ge n es a n d , h e n c e , res u l t i n t h ec reat i o n of a n e w s p e c i es . 87 Th u s t h e f l ow of ge n es (w h i c h o n e m i g h ti m a g i n e as p ote n t i a l ly c o n t i n u o u s) beco m ese n c a ps u l a ted vi a t h es e i s o l at i n g b a r r i e rs i n tos e pa rate pac kets , ea c h d ef i n i n g a d i ffe re n tst rat i f i e d syst e m . H oweve r, t h e re i s a r i s k of137
  • 126. 2: FL ESH AND GENESexagge rat i n g t h e stre ngt h of t hese ba rri e rs, p a rti c u l a rly i f we p ay atte n­t i o n o n ly to t h e wo r l d of re lative ly l a rge a n i m a ls, to which we belo ng.I n d eed , ot h e r l ivi ng creatu res may n ot be as ge n etica l ly "com p a rtme ntal­i zed" a s we a re . M a ny p l a nts, fo r exa m p le , a re able to hybrid ize w i t hp l a nts of ot h e r species (that is, t h e isolating barri e rs reta i n a m e a s u re ofp e rm e a b i l ity), w h i l e m a ny m i croo rga n isms fre e ly exc h a nge ge nes withoth e r species d u ri ng t h e i r l i fetimes. (As we s h a l l see, t h is seems to be theway m a ny of the bacte r i a that c a u se i n fectious d iseases have a cq u i redresista nce to a nti b i ot i cs . ) In s h o rt, the flow of ge n e s in the bios p h e re asa whole may n ot be as d isco nti n u o u s (as strati fied) as one wo u l d i m agi n eb y l oo k i n g at l a rge a n i m a ls a l o n e . I n fact, i n s o m e speci a l c i rc u m sta n ces,even a n i m a l s in tota l r e p rod u ctive iso l a t i o n may e xc h a nge ge n etic m ate ri­als via i n h e rita b l e v i ruses (ca l l e d retroviruses). 89 Ta k i ng a l l t h is i nto a ccou nt, t h e pict u re of evo l utio n a ry p rocesses t hate rn e rges resem b l es m o re a m e s hwo r k t h a n a strict h i era rchy, a bush orr h izo m e m o re t h a n a n ea t ly b ra nc h i ng tree: There is s u bstantial evide nce that o rga n isms a re not l im ited fo r thei r evo l u ­ tion t o ge nes t h a t b e l o n g t o the ge ne pool o f their species. Rather it seems m o re pla u s i b l e that i n the time-scal e of evol ution the whole of the ge n e poo l of the bios phere is ava i l a b l e to a l l o rga n isms a n d that the more d ramatic steps and apparent d isconti n u ities in evol utio n a re in fact attri buta ble to ve ry ra re events i nvolving the adoptio n of part or a l l of a foreign gen o m e . O rga n­ isms a n d ge nomes may thus be regarded as com partme nts of the bios p h e re t h rough which ge nes i n ge n eral circu l ate at vari o u s rates a n d in which i n d i­ vid u a l ge n es a n d opero n s m ay be i nco rpo rated if of s u fficient advantage . 9o Eve n w i t h t h i s a d d e d com p l icatio n , t h e two a bstract m a c h i n e s d is­cussed i n t h e previous c h a pt e r ( o n e ge n e rati n g h ie ra rch ies, t h e ot h e rm es hwo r ks) a re a d e q u ate to a ccou n t fo r l iv i n g str u ct u res, p a rt icu l a rly ifwe m a ke a l lowa n ce fo r v a ryi ng m ixtu res of the two types. H owever, Iwou ld l i ke to a rgue t h at t h e re is a n ot h e r a bstract m a c h i n e i n volved i n t h ep rod u ctio n of biologica l e n t it i e s w h i c h h a s n o co u nt e r p a rt i n t h e geo l ogi­c a l wo r l d , t h e refo re d isti ngu i s h i ng species from sed i m e nta ry roc ks . T h i soth e r a bstract m a c h i n e , howe ve r, m ay be fou n d i n ot h e r n o n biologicalrea l m s ( i n h u m a n cu ltu re, fo r i n st a n ce) and t h e refo re does n ot co n stitutet h e " esse n ce" of l iv i n g creatu res. D a rw i n s basic i n sight was t ha t a n i m a l and p l a n t s pecies a re the c u m u ­l ative res u lt of a p rocess of d esce n t w i t h mod i ficatio n . Late r o n , h oweve r,scie ntists c a m e to rea l ize t h a t any variable replica tor ( n ot j u st ge netic re p l i ­cato rs) co u p l ed to any sorting device ( n ot j u st ecol ogical sel ectio n p res-138
  • 127. SPECIES AND ECOS YSTEMSs u res) wou l d gen e rate a capacity fo r evol utio n . For i n sta nce, i n t h e 1970s,t h e com puter sci enti st J o h n H o l l a n d d evised a s m a l l c o m p u te r p rogramt h a t s e l f- re p l icated by fol lowi ng a set of coded i n structi o n s a n d t ra ns m it­ti n g a copy of t hose i n structi o n s to its p roge ny. H o l l a n d s p rogram d idvery l ittl e ot h e r t h a n ge n e ra te v a r i a b l e re p l i ca t i n g copies of its e l f. H ow­ever, if a population of t h ese rep l icati ng p rogra m s was s u b m itted to s o m es e l ecti o n pres s u re (fo r exa m p l e , i f t he u s e r of the p rogram w e r e to weedo u t t hose va r i a n ts that did not seem an i m p rove m e n t , l ett i n g o n ly t h em o re p ro m i s i n g varia nts s u rvive) , the i n d ivid u a l p rogram s d eveloped u se­ful p ro pe rties a fte r m a ny ge n e ratio n s . T h i s i s the basis fo r H o l l a n d s"ge n et i c algo rit h m ," w h i c h is w i d e ly used today i n some co m p u te r- basedd isci p l i nes, as an effective p robl em-solvi n g d evice.91 R i c h a rd D awk i n si nd e pe n d e n tly rea l ized t h at patte r n s o f a n i m a l be havior (s u c h a s b i rd­songs o r t he u se of too l s by a pes) co u l d i nd eed repl i cate t h e m selves ift h ey s prea d a c ross a popu l a t i o n ( a n d a c ross ge n e ratio ns) by imitation .B i rdso ngs a re t h e most t h o rough ly stu d i e d exa m p l e of t h ese re p l i cators( " m e m e s , " as Dawk i n s ca l ls t hem), and t hey do i n deed evolve newfor m s and ge n e rate d iffe rent d ia l ects . 92 I n each of t h ese cases, t h e cou pl i ng of varia b l e rep l i cato rs wit h a selec­t i o n p ressu re resu lts i n a k i n d of " se a rc h i ng d evice" (o r " p ro be h e a d " )t h at explores a s pace of poss i b l e forms (t h e space of poss i b l e o rga n i cs h a pes, o r b i rdsongs , o r sol u t i o n s t o com puter p ro b l e m s). T h i s sea rc h ­i ng device i s , of cou rse, b l i n d (o r m o re exactly, s ho rtsighted), fol l owi n gt h e key p r i n c i p l e of n eo-Da rwi n i s m : evolution h a s n o foresight.93 ( I t is, n ev­e rt h e l ess, h i g h ly effective, at least in ce rt a i n c i rcu m sta n ce s . ) T h i s probehead is the a bstract m a c h i n e we were looki n g fo r, t h e one t h at d i ffe re nti­ates the p rocess of sed i m e nt a ry-rock fo r m at i o n from the p rocess t h a ty i e l d s biol ogica l species. A n d yet, a lt h o u g h t h e new m a c h i n e i s c h a ract e r­istic of l i fe-fo r m s , t h e s a m e bas i c d i agram a p p l ies to m e m es a n d ge netica l go rit h m s . I t wo u l d be i n co rrect to s ay t h a t evo l u t io n a ry con cepts areu sed metaphorically when a pp l ied to co m p uter p rogra m s a n d b i rdso ngs,but l ite ra l ly w h e n ta l ki n g a bo u t ge n e s . It i s true t h at scientists fi rst d i s­cove red t h is d i agram i n t h e wo rld of l i v i n g c reatu res , a n d it may eve n betrue t h at t h e l ivi ng world was the fi rst p hysi c a l rea l izati o n of t he abstractm a c h i n e o n t h is p l a n et. H owever, t h at d oes n ot m a ke t h e a b st ra ctm ac h i n e a n y m o re " i nt i m ately rel ated" to D NA t h a n to a ny ot h e r re p l ica­tor. H e nce, i t does n ot c o n stitu te an " esse n ce" of l i fe, in the s e n se ofb e i n g tha t which makes life what it is.94 T h e flow of ge nes t h rough re p l i catio n is i ndeed o n ly a p a rt of w h at l i fei s . The o t h e r pa rt is co n stitu ted by t h e fl ow of b i o m ass. I n d i vi d u a l a n i­m a l s a re n ot j u st m e m b e rs of a species, but m e m be rs of a p a rti cu l a r139
  • 128. 2: FLESH AND GENES re p ro d u ctive co m m u n ity i n h a b iting a pa rtic u l a r ecosystem a n d t h u s p a r­ ticipate i n t h e e xc h a nge of e n e rgy a n d m ate r i a l s t h at m a ke s u p a food web. As with a ny p hysi c a l system , the i nte n se flow of e ne rgy m ov i ng t h rough a n ecosyste m p u s hes it far from eq u i l i b ri u m a n d e n d ows it with t h e a b i l ity to ge n e r ate its own dyn a m ic stab l e states (attracto rs). The same dyn a m i c holds true fo r t h e i n d iv i d u a l orga n i s m s evolvi ng wit h i n t h at ecosyste m . Co n se q u e ntly, t h e space t h at t h e p robe h e a d b l i n d ly explores is n ot co m pl etely u n structu red b ut a l re ady pop u l ated by various types of sta b l e states (static, cycl ica l , c haotic, a u to po ietic). T h i s p restruc­ t u ri ng of t h e s e a rc h s p ace by i n te n s i fi catio n s of t h e e ne rgy flow m ay i n deed faci l i ta te t h e j o b of t h e a b stract m ac h i n e (bl i n d as it is). For exam­ ple, s i nce o n e pos s i b l e e n d oge n ou sly gen e rated sta b l e state is a pe riod i c attracto r, w h ic h wo u l d a uto m atical ly d raw gen e activity a n d ge n e p rod­ u cts i n to a cyc l e , the s e a rc h i ng d e vice m ay h ave stumbled upon t h e m e a n s to ge n e rate a p r i m itive m etabo l i s m v e r y e arly o n . F u rt h e r evol u­ tio n a ry com p l exificati o n m ay h ave been a c h ieved as the probe head moved fro m attracto r to attracto r, l i ke so m a n y ste p p i ng-sto n es . W h e n search s paces (or " a d a ptive l a n d sca pes") we re fi rst post u l ated i n b io logy i n t h e 1930s, t h ey were t h ought t o be prestruct u red b y a si ngle e q u i l i b ri u m , a kind of m o u n ta i n with one pea k , w h i c h se l ectio n p re ss u res fo rced the p robe head to c l i m b . Accord i ng to t h i s sch e m a , the top of t h e m o u n ta i n re p rese nted t h e p o i n t of m ax i m u m fitn e s s , a n d o nce a pop u l a­ t i o n h a d bee n d ri v e n t h e re , se lecti o n pressu re s wou l d k e e p it locked i nto t h i s o pt i m a l e q u i l i b ri u m . H owever, rece n t exploratio n s of a d a ptive l a n d­ scapes, u si n g sop h i sticated co m pute r s i m u l at i o n s, h av e revea l ed t h at t h e s e search s paces a re a nyt h i ng b u t s i m p l e , t h at they m ay com p rise m a ny m o u n ta i n s of d iffe r e n t h e ights (loca l opti m a), c l u stered in a vari ety of ways , t h e v a l l eys a n d p e a k s rel ated n ot d i rectly to fitness b u t to u n de r­ lyi ng dyn a m i c a l stab l e states. M o reover, o n ce the q u esti o n of coevo l u ti o n i s i nt ro d u ced ( a s w h e n a n i m p rov e m e n t i n a p reys a rm o r puts p ressu re o n its pred ato rs fa ngs a n d cl aws to fu rt h e r s harpe n , w h i c h in turn sti m u­ l ates a t h i c ke n i ng of t h e a rm o r) , it beco mes c l e a r t h at i nteract i ng species in a n ecosystem have t h e a b i l ity to change each others adaptive landscapes. (T h i s i s j u st a n ot h e r way of sayi ng t h at i n a p re d ator-prey a rm s race t h e re is n ot a fixed d e f i n ition of w h at cou nts as "the fitte st. " )95 Although the notio n of u n iq u e sta b l e states did some d a m age to evo l u -. tio n a ry b i ology (by i m posi ng a n oversi m p l ified vers i o n of e vo l u ti o n w h i c h d i s rega rded e n e rgy flow a n d t h e far-fro m -eq u i l i br i u m co n d itio n s t h e flow of e n e rgy ge n e rates), the i d e a of the " s u rvival of the fittest" had m u c h m o re d a m agi n g effects w h e n it w a s a p pl ie d t o h u m a n cu ltu re. T h at m i s­ a p p l icat i o n d e ge n e rated a l most i m m e d i ately i nto Soc i a l D arwi n i sm a n d 140
  • 129. SPECIES AND ECOSYSTEMSt h e euge n i cs move m e n t a n d , l ater o n , i n s p i red t h e raci a l clea n s i ng poli­cies of N azi G e r m a ny. C o m i n g as it d id afte r centu ries of i nt e n se col o n i al­i s m , Socia l Da rwi n is m n atu ra l ly fostered t h e i d e a t h a t t h e Caucasian racewas su perior to all others. Of cou rse, i n a d d it i o n to t h e m i sta k e n n oti o no f a s i n gl e , opti m a l eq u i l i br i u m , t h e s e soc i a l move m e n ts were n u rtu redby the bel ief t h at ge n e s determ i n e cu ltu re , t h at i s, t h at t h e re i s but a s i n ­gle probe head (wh e re a s , as w e j u st saw, e v e n bi rds e m body at l e a s t two). I n reactio n to t h i s positio n , a n u m be r of a n t h ropologi sts ( i n c l u d i ngF ra n z Boas, M a rga ret M e a d , a n d R u t h B e n ed i ct) developed d u ri ng t h efi rst d e c a d e s of t h e twe ntieth c e n t u ry a co u nte rt h e o ry t h at not o n ly gaveh u m a n c u l t u re its dese rved a uto n o my from ge n etic d ete rm i n at io n , b u td e n i e d t h at biological evol u t i o n h a d a ny effect w h atsoeve r o n t h e deve l o p­m e n t of h u m a n societies. Acco rd i ng to t h ese a n t h ropol ogists, h u m a nn atu re w a s co m p l etely m a l l ea b l e a n d flexi bl e , a n d h U m a n b e h avior dete r­m i n ed by cultu re a l o n e . I n t h e s ho rt ru n , "cu ltu ra l relativi sm" (as it c a m eto be k n own) d i d us t h e co n si d e ra b l e se rvice of foste r i n g a greate r to l e r­a n ce of c u l tu ral d iffe re n ce s (a welco m e a nti dote to t h e raci st i d e a s a n dp o l i c i e s of t h e Soci a l D a rwi n i sts a n d e u ge n icists), b u t later o n it h a rd e n edi nto d ogma, a n d i n some cases it eve n dege n e rated i nto e m pty c l i c h e s(such a s t h e slogan " ev e ryt h i ng i s soci a l ly co n st ru cted").96 Fort u n ately, a nth ropo logists seem to be m ovi n g away from dogm aticpositio n s and deve l o p i n g a new interactionist a p proa c h , w h e re i n botho rga n i c and cultu ra l evol ution a re co n s i d e red si m u lt a n e o u s ly. One versionof this n ew a p p roach (t h e one d eveloped by Wi l l i a m D u r h a m ) see m s p a r­ticu l a rly c lose to t h e view we are explo r i n g h e re : t hat both o rga n ic a n dcultu ra l c h a nge i n vo lve rep l i cato rs a n d t h at n ew structu res a r i se b y selec­tive rete n t i o n of va r i a n ts. M o re over, D u rh a m agrees t h at t h i s does n oti nvolve a meta p horical u se of bio logica l co n cepts. ( H e c a l l s t h i s C a m p­bel l s ru l e : t h e a na l ogy to c u l t u ra ! accu m u l atio n s is n ot fro m o rga n i c evo­l ution but fro m a ge n e ra l m od e l of evo l u t io n a ry c h a nge, of w h i c h o rga n i cevo l u t i o n is but o n e i n st a n c e . )97 Befo re descri b i n g t h e five d ifferent ways i n w h i c h ge n etic a n d c u ltu ra lre p l i cato rs i nt e ract acco rd i n g to D u r h a m , we m u st fi rst a d d ress t h e q u e s­t i o n of j u st w h at ge n etic effects we a re co n s i d e r i n g h e re . A l t h o u gh a fewi n d iv i d u a l ge n es have b e e n a d d e d to t h e h u m a n ge n e pool i n h i sto rica lt i m e s (su c h as t h e ge n e t h at c a u se s sickle-ce l l a n e m i a but p rotects itscarriers agai n st m a l a ri a), ge n et i c evo l ution is so m u c h s l ow e r t h a n c u ltu r­a l e vo l ut i o n t h at its i n fl u e n ce i n h u m a n a ffai rs is m a rgi n a l . As Ste p h e nJ ay G o u l d poi nts o u t , "W h i l e t h e ge n e fo r s i c k l e-ce l l a ne m i a d e cl i n es i n fre­q u e ncy a m o n g black A m e rica n s [si n ce t h ey a re n ot s u bjected to t h em a l a ri a l sel ect i o n p ressu re], w e h a v e i n ve nted t h e rai l ro a d , t h e a uto m o-141
  • 130. 2: FLESH AND GENESb i l e , ra d i o a n d te levis io n , the ato m b o m b , the co m pu te r, the a i r p l a n e a n dspace s h i p . "98 T h u s , t h e ge netic effects w e a re co n si d e r i n g a re t h e o rga n icl i m itatio n s i m posed o n u s by o u r own bodies w h i c h c a n be called " h u m a nu n ive rsals" as l o n g as w e do n ot attach a ny transce n de nta l m e a n i ng tot h i s te rm . (O rga n i c co n stra i nts, l i ke cu ltural co n st ra i n ts, a re co nti nge n th isto rical p ro d u cts, t h o u g h t hey o p e rate ove r l o n ge r t i mesca l es. ) O n e way i n w h i c h ge n etic a n d cu ltu ra l rep l i cato rs i nteract (o r act o no n e a n ot h e r) i s as so rti n g d evices. O n t h e o n e h a n d , ge n es , o r rat h e rt h ei r bod i ly (o r p h e n otyp ic) e ffects, m ay act as selecti o n pressu res o n t h eacc u m u l at i o n of c u ltu ral m at e ri a ls. D u r h a m d i sc u s se s t h e exa m p l e o fcol o r percept io n , a n d i ts relatio n s h i p with c o l o r word s, p a rtly beca u se itsa n ato m ical b a s i s i s re l atively well k n ow n (both the p igme nt-based sys­tem of l ight a bso r ption i n t h e eye a n d t h e processi ng of s e n so ry i n p ut byt h e brai n ) a n d p artly beca use m u c h a n t h ropological rese a rc h on t h i ss u bject a l ready exists. C r u c i a l evi d e n ce o n t h e " u n iversal ity" of color per­cepti o n w a s gat h e red in the 1 960s by the a nt h ropologists Bre n t Berl i na n d P a u l K a y i n t h e co u rse of a n experi m en t designed t o p rove t h e o ppo­s ite hypot h e s i s : t h at each l a n g u age p e rfo rms the cod i n g o f colo r experi­e n ce in a d iffe rent m a n n e r. B e rl i n and K ay s howed a l a rge sample ofcolor chips to s u bjects b e l o n gi n g to twe n ty d iffere n t l i n g u i stic co m m u n i­ties a n d asked t h e m to l ocate i n t h e grid of c h i ps both w h at t h e s u bj e ctswo u l d con s i d e r to b e t h e focal po i nt of the referent of a give n co l o r wo rdas well as its outer b o u n d a r i e s . On the basis of the l i ngu i stic re l ativ ityhypothesis (that t he r e is no " n at u ra l " way to cut u p t h e spectr u m ) , theserese a rc h ers expected t he i r exp e r i m e nts to e l i cit w i d ely scattered focalpoints and d i scord a n t o u te r bou n d a ri e s , but i n stead t h ey reco rded a verytight cl u steri ng of focal points ( a n d co n co rd a nce of bou n d a ri es) rega rd­less of h ow m a ny col o r te rms existed in a given n ative voc a b u l a ry. Morerecent resea rch h as s u p po rted ( a n d refi n ed) Berl i n and K ays resu ltsa n d has fu rthe r s hown t h at even though d i fferent cu ltu res h ave acc u m u ­l ated a d i ffere n t n u m b e r of co l o r l a be l s , t h e order tha t this a ccum ulationfollows exh i b i ts so m e d e f i n ite regu l a rities, with terms fo r " b l ack" a n d"wh ite" always a p p e a r i n g fi rst , fol l owed b y terms for p ri m a ry col o rs i ncerta i n seq u e n ces (red-gree n-ye l low-bl u e , f o r exa m ple). O n e poss i b lei n te r p retatio n i s that t h e fi rst l a bels t h at accu m u l ate (" black" a n d "w h ite" )d esign ate b roa d , com posite catego ries ("d a r k-cool" a n d " l ight-wa r m , "respectively), w h ich slowly d i ffe re n ti ate as n ew l a be l s a re a d d e d t o t h ereperto i re , e a c h o n e e nte ri n g t h e s et i n a s pecific a n d h igh ly co n stra i n edfas h io n . O n t h i s basis, D u rh a m h as co n cl u d ed t h at t h i s is an exa m p l e ofgen etic co n strai nts o n percept i o n gu i d i ng t h e acc u m u l ation of c u lturalre p l i cato rs (colo r wo rds).99142
  • 131. SPECIES AND ECOSYSTEMS C u lt u ra l mate r i a l s , i n t u r n , m ay act i n t h e o p pos i te d i rectio n a n d i n fl u ­e n ce t h e acc u m u l at i o n of ge n e s . U n l i ke t h e accu m u lation of co l o r te rms,howeve r, t h e accu m u latio n of genetic m a te r i a l s h a p p e n s so slowly as tobe v i rtu a l ly u n o bse rva b l e . H e n ce, h a rd ev i d e n ce i s much m o re d i fficu l t too btai n in this case, and we a re forced to d i sc u ss hypothetical sce n a rioso n t h e basis of i n d i rect evide nce, such as t h a t provi d e d by myt h s . T h eexa m p l e D u r h a m d iscu sses i n d et a i l i s t h e ge n e t h at a l l ows s o m e I n d o­E u ro pe a n races to d i gest raw m i l k as a d u lts. F i rst of a l l , variation fo r t h i sge n e d o e s exist a n d i s h ighly co rre l ated w i t h certa i n cu ltu ra l patte r n s .H igh p reva l e n ces of t h i s ge n e exist o n ly i n popu l atio n s t h at tod ay co n s u m eco m pa ratively l a rge a m o u nts of fre s h m i l k a n d possess a n ci e n t mytholo­gies t h a t both reco rd a nd e n co u rage ad u lt fresh-m i l k co n s u m pt io n . I nt u r n , t h ese ge n etic a n d cu ltura l m ateri a l s a re a ssoci ated with e n v i ro n ­m e nts of l o w u ltraviolet r a d iatio n , w h ere vita m i n D a n d m et a bo l i c calci u mare c h ro n ical ly d efi ci e n t , t h a t i s , with e n v i ro n me nts w h ere fres h-m i l k con­s u m ptio n c a n h ave positive health effects. D u rh a m revi ews seve ra l possi­ble sce n a rios t h at may exp l a i n t h ese corre l at io n s a n d concl u d es t h at t h em ost p l a u s i b l e o n e ( a s we l l as t h e o n e m o re co n s i st e n t with t h e h i sto rycod ed i n to myt h s) is as fo l lows : A s ge nes fo r L A [lactose absorption] were favored a t h igh latitudes, more people cou l d d ri n k m i l k after wean i ng, thereby spread ing the be n efits of m i l k prod uctio n a n d i m provi ng the local cu ltura l eva l u ation of the memes be h i n d the practice. The i ncreased ava i l a b i l ity of m i l k, in t u r n , wou l d have conti n u ed the genetic se lection of LA ge notypes, thereby augmenti ng the freq uency of ad u lt lactose a bsorptio n , t he be nefits of m i l k i ng, the cu ltu ra l preference fo r m i l k, a n d s o on i n perpetu ity. . . . T h e cycle may have started as a co nti n u ation of routine i n fa nt feed i ng practices. Early on, the m i l k of d a i ry a n i mals may have been tried as a supplement to mothers m i l k , i ncreasi n g t h e vol ume o f lactatio n , its d u rati o n , or both. B y virtue o f the (i n itially rare) LA gen otypes, some recipients wou l d h ave mai nta i ned lactose sufficiency beyo n d its normal lapse, conti n u i ng to d r i n k m i l k a n d thereby avoid i ng rickets i n thei r early years . . . . I n pa rtic u l a rly rachitoge n ic a reas, the advantage to fresh milk co nsu mption wou ld have exte n ded i n to adoles­ cen ce and ad u lthood . loo I n a d d it i o n to t h ese two ways of i nteract i n g d i rectly with each ot h e r, c u l ­t u re a n d ge n es m a y e nte r i n to other, m o re i n d i rect rel atio ns. I n p a rt ic u l a r,D u r h a m poi n ts o u t t h a t o n ce certa i n cu l t u r a l m ateri a l s have accu m u l ated ,t hey m ay h a rd e n i nto i n stituti o n a l val ues, w h i c h i n t u r n act as select i o np ress u res fo r fu rt h e r cu ltu ra l accu m u l ation s . H e nce, s o m e c u l t u r a l re pl i-143
  • 132. 2: FLESH AND GENEScators m ay, i n a s e n se , be self-selecting, a nd th i s g i v e s t h e m a degree o fa u to n o my i n t h e i r evol u t i o n . U n d er t h e s e co n d itio n s , c u l t u ra l a d a ptati o n sm ay co m e t o h a v e re l a ti o n s of e n h a n c e m e n t , o p p o s i ti o n , o r n e u t ra l itywith res pect to ge n etic a d a ptat i o n s . I n cest ta boos a re a n exa m p l e of e n h a n c e m e n t . Zoologists have co n­v i n c i ngly d e m o n st rated t h at i n bre e d i n g has d e l ete rio u s g enet i c e ffectsa n d t h a t m a ny a n i m a l s h a ve evolved an i nsti n ctive avoid a n ce of it. H u m a n sm ay i n d ee d s h a re t h i s b u i lt-i n con stra i nt, a s st u d i e s o f a v e r s i o n to sex u a li n t e rco u rse a m o ng a d u lts w h o w e r e rea re d toget h e r i n k i b b utzim s e e m t os how. Howev e r, as Du r h a m p o i nts o u t, t a b o o p ro h i b itio n s a re n ot n eces­s a r i l y t h e s a m e as avo i d a nce of i n bree d i ng. He o b s e r ves t h a t " t h e re ca nbe n o n i ncest u o u s i n b re e d i n g (as w h e n sexu a l i n te rco u rs e betwe e n certai ncatego ries o f k i n i s n ot p ro h i b ited) a n d n o n i n b red i n cest (as w h e n p ro h i ­b i t i o n s a p p ly betwee.n p a re nts a n d t h e i r a d o pted c h i l d re n ) . " lOl G i v e n t h era nge o f v a r i a b i l ity of t h e i n cest p ro h i b i t i o n s , w h i c h o n ly p a rt i a l ly overl a pwith i n b re e d i ng, D u r h a m co n c l u d e s t h at t h e sets o f regu l a t i o n s t h at co n­stitute the taboo in d i ffere n t societies evolved u n d e r cu l t u ra l s e l ecti o np re s s u res (a l t h o u g h i t i s poss i bl e t h at i n st i n ctive avo i d a nce may h avep l ayed a role in t h e i r a ccu m u lat i o n ea rly on in h u m a n e vo l u ti o n). The re l at i ve a u to n o my with w h i c h s e l f-selection e n d ows the evo l u t i o n ofc u lt u ra l repl icato rs a l l ows t h e m to fo l l ow a d i rect i o n t h at is n e u t ra l re l a­tive to o rga n i c a d a ptat i o n s . F o r t h e s a m e reaso n (i . e . , c u lt u ra l re p l icatorsre lative e vo l u t i o n a r y a u tono my), v a ri o u s aspects of c u l t u re may t u r n outto ha v e m a l a d a ptive co n s e q u e n ces rel at i ve t o o u r b i o l ogy. F o r exa m p l e ,m a ny c i v i l izati o n s i n t h e p a st carel essly i n t e n s i fi e d t h e e x p l oitati o n of t h e i rs o i l s, fa i l i n g to i m p l e m e n t a v a i l a b l e te c h n i q u e s (s u c h a s t e rraci ng) t h atco u l d h a ve p rotected t h i s v a l u a b l e resou rce fro m erod i n g away. Con se­q u e ntly, those societ i es i n a d v erten tly set a l i m it o n the n u m b e r o f t i m e st h ey co u l d p a s s t h e i r ge n e s down t h ro u g h t h e ge n e ra t i o n s . (An u p pe rl i m it o f s e v e n ty ge n e rati o n s existed fo r m o st c u l t u re s , a cco rd i ng to o n eh i stori a n s ca l c u l ati o n s . ) I n t h i s case, t h e bo u n ded ratio n a l ity o f m a nye l i t es a n d t h e pros pect of s h o rt-te r m ga i n s p romoted t h e accu m u l at i o nof h a b i ts a n d ro uti nes t h at, i n t h e l o n g r u n , d e stroyed t h e co n d itio n su n d e r w h i c h t h e ge ne poo ls o f t hose ci vi l izat i o n s co u l d r e p rod u ce t h e m ­s e l v e s . D u r h a m a l so fi n d s th ese m a l a d a pt i ve cu ltu ral m at e ri a l s acc u m u ­lating i n co nte m po ra ry co m m u n ities o f E I S a l va d o r a n d H o n d u ras, t h e i rl a n d s c a p e s " l i ttered w i t h tel lta l e si gns of m a l a d a ptati o n . S l o pes of fortyo r fi fty degrees . . . we re b e i n g c u ltivated in perpetu ity . . . w i t h ste a d i l ydec l i n i n g y i e l d s . C o r n w a s c u l t ivated i n ro ck o u tcro p s , a n i m a l s grazed i nstee p gu l l ies, a n d t h e e rosive fo rce of tropical ra i n s c a r r i e d o ff eve rm o re of t h e l e a c h e d a n d wo rn-o u t topso i l . " 102 I n t h i s case, h owev e r, t h e144
  • 133. SPECIES AND ECOSYS TEMSp ro b l e m i s n ot t h e local p e a s a n t c u l t u re . R a t h e r, t h e m a n i p u l a ti o n ofl a n d t e n u re po l i ci es by the la n d e d e l i tes a nd the gove r n m e nts s u p p o rtfo r expo rt agri c u l tu re h ad i m posed t h es e m a l a d a pt i v e co n d iti o n s o n t h ep e a s a nts . From t h i s a n d o t h e r ca s e s , D u rh a m co ncl u de s t hat a m a j o rca u s e o f o p positio n b etwe e n ge n etic a n d c u l t u ra l r e p l icators i s t h e i m po­s it i o n fro m a bove of h a bits a n d c u sto m s (or l i v i n g co n d i t i o n s l ea d i n g toc e rt a i n h a bits a nd c u sto m s) t h at a re m a l a d a ptive. H oweve r, one m u st not assu m e t h a t the powe r to i m pose a set o f va l u e so n a pop u l a ti o n (a n d h e nce to i n fl u e n ce t h e d i rect i o n of t h at p o p u l a ti o n sc u l t u ra l evo l u t i o n ) is a l ways stro ng e no u g h to e l i m i n ate t h e sel ectiveeffect of i n d i vid u a l c h o i c e . ( H e re i n l i es a n ot h e r we a k n e ss of "cu l t u ra l r e l a ­t i v i s m " : n ot o n ly does it e m p h a size t h e exotic a t t h e expe n se o f t h e u n re­m a r k a b l e , w h i ch i s wh e re h u m a n u n iv e r s a l s a re to b e fo u n d , b u t i t t e n d st o foc u s o n t h e n o r m s o f a soci ety w h i l e i g n o r i ng t h e act u a l b e h a vi o r o fi n d i v i d u a l age nts, wh o m ay o r m ay n o t al ways a d h e re to t h o se n o rm s .Pe rfect o b e d i e nce ca n n ot b e ta k e n fo r g r a n t ed . 103) Acco rd i ng t o D u r h a m ,a bs o l u t e i m p o s i t i o n a n d free i n d i v i d u a l c h o ice n e e d t o b e t a k e n a s i d e a l ­i z e d p o l e s of a co nti n u u m , with m ost actu a l b e h av i o r fa l l i ng s o m ew h e rei n betwe e n , as a m ixtu re of t h e two . H a v i n g esta b l i s h e d t h e d i ffe rent fo r m s of d i rect a n d i n d i rect i nt e r­act i o n s betwe e n cu ltu ral a n d ge n et i c re p l i cato rs, we m u st n ow a dd resscerta i n q u esti o ns rega rd i n g the kinds a nd n umb er o f a b st ract p ro b eh e a d s at w o r k i n cu ltu ra l evol ut i o n . Fo r e xa m pl e , w e o bs e r ved t h at t h eflow of ge n e s th ro u gh l a rge a n i m a l s i s q u i t e d i ffe re nt fro m t h e flowt h ro u g h m i croorga n i s m s , the fo r m e r fol lowi n g a rig i d v e rt i c a l fo rm (fro mo n e ge n e ratio n to a not h e r) w h i l e t h e l atte r a d d i t i o n a l ly i n vo l v e s a h o rizo n­t a l exc h a n ge of ge n e s (from one s pecies to a n ot h e r, v i a p l a s m i d s orot h e r vectq rs) . I n t e r m s o f the n u m be r of ch a n n e l s fo r tra n s m i ss i o n , t h eflow o f c u ltu ra l mate r i a l s i n h u m a n societ i es i s q u ite ope n , a n d i n t h a ts e n s e a ki n to t h e flow of ge n e s th r o u g h b a cte r i a . C u l t u ra l r e p l icato rs flowv e rt i ca l ly in a o n e-to- o n e st ruct u re (from p a re nts to offspri ng) or in am a ny-to- o n e struct u re (as w h e n t h e a d u lts i n a co m m u n i ty exercise p res­s u re s o n a c h i l d). C u l t u ra l re p l i cato rs a l s o flow h o ri zo n tal ly, fro m a d u l t toa d u l t (o n e -to-o n e) o r from l e a d e rs to fol l owe rs (on e-to-m a ny) . 104 M o reover, it may b e a rg u e d t h at cu l t u ra l evol u t i o n i nv o l v e s m o re t h a no n e sea rch i ng d evice: w h i l e s o m e m a te ri a l s rep l i cate t h ro u g h imitation(a n d , h e n c e , a re a n a l ogo us to bi rdso n gs o r, m o re ge n e ra l ly, to m e m es),ot h e rs re p l i cate th rough en forced repetition : c h i l d re n do n ot s i m p l y l e a r nto i m i tate t h e so u n d s a n d gra m m a tical ru l es t h a t m a ke u p a l a n g u ag e ,t h ey adopt them a s a n o rm o r repeat them a s a rule. (T h i s i s o n e m i n o rs h o rtco m i ng o f Du r h a m S a n a lysi s: h e u ses t h e t e r m meme fo r a l l c u lt u ra l145
  • 134. 2: FLESH AND GENESre p l icators, eve n t h o u g h s o me of t h e m a re t ra n s m i tted as n o rm s [e . g . ,h i s "s eco n d a ry v a l u e s " ] . ) Sfo rza obse rves t h a t l i ngu istic n o rms (exce ptfo r i n d iv i d u a l wo rd s) d o n ot e a s i ly re p l icate ac ross d i ffere nt c u l t u res b u ttravel a l o n g w i t h t h e bod i e s t h a t se rve as t h e i r o rga n i c su bstra t u m .( H e n ce the t i g h t corre s p o n d e nces h e fi n d s betwe e n l i ngu ist i c a n d geneticm a p s . ) H e attri b utes this co n se r vative te nd e n cy to t h e fi rst two (ve rt i c a l )me c h a n i sms of cu ltu ra l tra n s m i s sio n . 105 T h e f l o w t h ro u g h h o ri z o n t a lc h a n n e l s , o n t h e ot h e r h a n d , does i n vo lve i m itat i o n a n d so m a y b e co n ­sid e red a f l ow of me m e s . A d i ffe re n t p rocess i s i n volved w h e n t h e tra n s m is s i o n i n volves n otfo r m a l ized k n owledge b u t em bod i e d k n ow- how. I n t h i s case, t h e i n fo r m a­t i o n i n q u esti o n c a n n ot travel by itse lf (t h ro u g h boo ks, fo r exa m p l e) b u tn e e d s h u m a n bod i e s as i t s ve h i c l e . T h i s k i n d o f tra n s m i s s i o n m ay beco m p a red to t h at i n volved in e p i d e m i c co ntagi o n . B r a u d e l argu es, fo rexa m p l e , t h a t t h e p r i nt i n g p ress a n d m o b i l e a rti l l e ry d i d n ot cre ate a p e r­m a n e n t i m ba l a n ce i n t he d i stri b u t i o n of powe r i n E u ro p e beca use t h eys p re a d too ra p i d ly a c ross t h e C o n t i ne nt, t h a n k s to the m o b i l ity of t h e i rp ractiti o n ers . P ri n t e rs a n d m e rce n a ries i n t h e s i xte e n t h a nd seve ntee n t hce n t u ries m i grated co nti n u ou sly, ta k i n g t h e i r s k i l l s a n d k n ow- how w h e r­ever t h ey went, s p re ad i n g t h e m l i k e a n e p i d e m ic. lo6 I n t h i n k i n g t h ro u g h t h e m e c h a n i s m s of c u l t u ral evol u t i o n , we m u sttake i n to co n s i d e rati o n the kinds of e n tities that may be said to evolve i na give n soci ety. W h e n stu dyi ng societies t h at l a c k d iv e r s i f i e d politico­eco n o m i c i n st i t u t i o n s , we may v i ew c u l tu ra l tra n s m i s s i o n i n terms ofre p l i cati o n of t h e w h o l e set of v a l u es a n d n o r m s w h i c h b i n d s a p a rt i c u l a rsociety toget h e r. B u t i n u r ba n societ i e s , i n st i t u ti o n s m a y a l s o re p ro d u cet h e m se l v e s w i t h va r i a t i o n individua lly. T h e eco n o m i sts R i c h a rd N e l s o na n d S i d n ey W i n t e r, fo r i n st a n ce, es p o u se a n evo l u t i o n a r y t h eory of eco­n o m ics based on t h e i d e a t h a t o n ce the i n tern a l o p erati o n s of an o rga n i­zat i o n have beco me ro u t i n ized , t h e rou t i n es t h e m s e lves co nst i t u te ak i n d of "o rga n izat i o n a l m e m o ry. " 107 Fo r exa m p l e , w h e n a n eco n o m i ci n st i t u t i o n (e . g . , a b a n k ) o p e ns a b r a n c h i n a fo reign city, it s e n d s a p o r­t i o n of its staff to re c r u i t a n d t ra i n new pe o p l e ; i n t h i s way, it tra n sm itsits i nte r n a l ro u t i n e s to the new bra n c h . T h u s , i n st i t u t i o n s may be sa i d tot ra n s m i t i n fo r m a t i o n vert i ca l l y to t he i r "offs p r i n g . " On the other h a n d ,s i n ce m a n y i n n ovati o n s s pread t h ro u g h t h e eco n o my by i m itat i o n , i n sti­t u t i o n s m ay al so affect e a c h ot h e r i n a m a n n e r a n a l ogo u s to i n fect i o u scontagi o n . H e re w e h ave bee n exp l o r i n g exc l u sivel y t h e i n teract i o n s betwee n c u l­t u re a n d ge n etics, b u t n o n et h e l ess we m u st n ever lose sight of t h e fa ctt h a t t h e flow of re p l ic ato rs (w h e t h e r ge n es , m e m e s , n o r m s , or ro u t i n e s)146
  • 135. SPECIES AND ECOSYSTEMSconstitu tes o n l y h a l f t h e sto ry. The f l ow of m atte r a n d e n e rgy t h ro u g h asystem (w h i c h ofte n m e a n s t h e flow of b i o m a s s , e it h e r l iv i ng or fo s s i l ) isof e q u a l i m p o rt a n c e , pa rti c u l a rly d u r i n g i n te n s i ficatio n s . T h e ro l e ofge netic a n d cu l t u r a l re p l icators (o r, m ore accu rate l y, of t h e p h e n otyp i ceffects of t h ose re p l i cators) is t o act as cata lysts t h at fa c i l itate o r i n h i b itthe self-orga n i z i n g p roces ses made possi b l e by i n t e n se m a tte r-e n e rgyflows. I t is t h ese f l ows t h a t d eterm i n e t h e n at u re of t h e t h e r mody n a m i csta b l e states ava i l a b le to a syste m ; t h e catalysts act m e re l y as co ntrolme c h a n i s m s , c h o o s i n g one sta b l e state ove r a not h e r. A n ot h e r featu re ofcata lytic act i o n is that l ow expe n d itu res of e n e rgy ca n b r i n g a b o u t h i gh­e n e rgy tra n sfo rm a t i o n s . An e n zym e, fo r exa m p l e , m a y b r i ng a b o u t al a rge accu m u l ation of a given s u bsta nce by acce l e ra t i n g a p a rticu l a rc h e m i c a l reacti o n , w i t h o u t itse l f bei ng c h a nged i n t h e p rocess ( i . e . , w i t h ­o u t itse l f p a rtici pati ng i n t h e l a rge r e n e rgy tra nsfers). C u l t u ra l re p l i cators may be v i ewed as h a v i ng p h e n otyp ic effects s i m i l a rt o catalysis. A com m a n d given by so m e o n e o f h i gh ra n k i n a h i e rarc hy,fo r exa m p l e , can set off d i s p ro po rt i o n ately l a rge f l ows of e n e rgy, as i n t h ecase o f a d e c l a rat i o n o f wa r. H owev e r, t h e m i l it a ry o rd e r itse l f is powe r­l ess u n l ess backed up by a c h a i n of co m m a n d t h a t has bee n k e p t i nwo r k i n g o r d e r t h ro u g h co nsta nt d ri l l a n d d i sci p l i n e (i n cl u d i n g p hysica lp u n i s h m e n t fo r n o nco m p l i a nce), a l l of w h i c h i n vo l ves e n o r m o u s e x pe n d i­tu res of bod i ly ene rgy. T h e h i sto ry of Weste r n society i n t h e l a st few ce n­tu ries ev i d e nces an i n c reasi ng d e p e n d e ncy o n d i sci p l i n a ry fo rce to secu reo b e d i e n c e . T h e refore, we ca n n ot be content w i t h a d e scri pti o n of soci etyexp ressed excl us i v ely in te rms of re p l i cato rs a n d t h e i r cata lytic effects,b u t m u st a l ways i n c l u d e the mate ri a l a n d e n e rgetic p rocesses t h a t d efi n et h e poss i b l e sta b l e states a v a i l a b l e to a g i v e n soci a l d y n a m i c .147
  • 136. Biologica l History:1 700-2000 A . D.Po p u l at i o n ex p l os i o n s te n d tobe cycl i ca l , l i ke a g i ga n t i cb reat h i n g r hyt h m i n w h i c h t h ea m o u nt of h u m a n f l es h co n ce n ­t rated i n o n e p l ace ri ses a n dfa l l s . Th ese r hyt h m s a re pa rtlyt h e p rod u ct of i n te n s i f i cat i o n si n food (o r ot h e r e n e rgy) p ro ­d u ct i o n , w h i c h a re ty p i ca l lyfol l owed by d e p l et i o n s . T h ei n n u m e ra b l e n ew m o ut h s ge n ­e rated i n t h e cyc l e s u pswi n g149
  • 137. 2: FL ESH AND GENESeve nt u a l l y eat the a g r i c u l t u r a l s u r p l u ses c re ­at ed b y p rev i o u s ge n e rat i o n s a n d p l u nge thep o p u l at i o n i n to a d ow n sw i n g . Towa rd them i d d l e of the e i ghte e n th ce n t u ry, E u ro p e wa se m e rg i n g from a cyc l i ca l d ow n sw i n g , a h u n ­d re d ye a rs of sta g n at i o n o r, a t best , very s l owp o p u l at i o n growth. A ro u n d 1 7 5 0 , howeve r, seve ra l fa cto rs co n ­s p i re d to i nc re a s e thi s m a s s of h u m a n bod i esa g a i n . A cha n g i n g re l a t i o n sh i p w i th m i c robeswa s b e g i n n i n g to t ra n s fo r m l a rge c i t i es fromd ea th t ra p s i n to n et p ro d u c e rs of p e o p l e . N ewa g r i c u l t u r a l m etho d s w e re b e g i n n i n g to m a kei nte n s i f i e d foo d p rod u ct i o n s o m e wha t m o res u sta i n a b l e . A n d , p e rha p s m o re i m p orta n tly,m a ss i ve e m i g r at i o n ha d a d d e d a n esca p ehatch t o the d y n a m i ca l syste m , a m e a n s toe x p o r t h u n g ry m o uths ove rs e a s , p reve n t i ngthe m fro m d ra gg i n g the syste m i n to d e c l i n e . M ore ove r, the ex po rtat i o n of excess p op u l a ­t i o n a l l ow e d E u r o p e t o t r a n sform v a st reg i o n so f the wo r l d i n to i ts s u p p ly zo n e s . N o r m a l ly,l oca l ly a v a i l a b l e re se rvo i rs of b i o m a s s i m po s ea ce i l i n g o n p o p u l a t i o n growth (tech n i ca l l yk n ow n a s " ca r ry i ng ca p a c i ty " ) , b u t co l o n iza­t i o n a l l ow e d E u ro p ea n u r b a n c e n te r s to s u r ­m o u n t l oc a l l inl i tat i o n s a n d to cont i n u e the i r .150
  • 138. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.ex pa n s i o n . E u ro p e a n s m i grated ove rs e a s i nl a rge - eve n t u a l l y e n o r m o u s - n u m b e rs , a n dthey b ro u ght w i th the m othe r, n o n h u m a n " re p ­l i cators " : the i r exte n d e d fa m i l i es of d o m esti ­cated a n i m a l s a n d p l a n ts. C reatu re s n ot y ets u b m i tted to hu m a n co n t ro l u s e d the E u ro ­p e a n s a s veh i c l e s fo r a great n1 i g rat i o n ofw e e d s . Fi n a l l y, i n st i t u t i o n a l o rga n i zat i o n s a l som i grate d , ex p o rt i n g the i r ro u t i n es a c ro s s theo c e a n s to c re ate va r i a n t re p l i ca s of the m ­s e l ves . H e re w e w i l l f i rst ex p l o re s o m e of theco n seq u e n ces that thi s co m p l ex m i x t u re ha do n the l a n d s that rece i ve d the m i grato ry f l ow,s p e c i f i ca l l y the g reat o rg a n i c a n d i n st i t u t i o n a lho m oge n i zat i o n s that i t e ffe cte d , a n d the nwe w i l l fu rthe r a d d ress the m i g ra t i o ns effectson the c i t i e s of E u ro p e . B efo re 1 8 0 0 , E u ro p e ha d o n l y s e n t be ­twe e n two a n d thre e m i l l i o n p e o p l e to he rn e w t ra n s atl a n t i c co l o n i es ( " o n l y" i n com p a r i ­s o n t o the s i x rTl i l i i o n Af r i ca n s who had b e e nforced to m i grate the re ) . B u t betwe e n 1800a n d 1 9 6 0 , s i xty- o n e rTl i l i i o n E u ro p e a n s m ove da c ro s s the Atl a n t i c . O f thes e , the m aj o r i tyl eft fo r the N ew Wo r l d i n a p e r i od of s eve n tyye a rs . I n the wo rd s of the histori a n A l fredC ro s by:151
  • 139. 2: FLESH AND GENES A n d so the E u ro pea n s came between the 1840s a n d Wo rld Wa r I , the great­ est wave of h u m a n ity eve r to cross ocea n s a n d probably the greatest that ever wi l l cross ocea n s . This Caucasian ts u n ami began with the starving I rish a n d the ambiti o u s Germans a n d with the B riti s h , who n ever reached peaks of em igration as h igh as some other n ati o n a l ities, but who have an inexti n ­ gu ishable ye arn i n g t o leave h o m e . T h e Sca n d i navia n s joi n ed t h e exo d u s next, a n d then towa rd the e n d o f the centu ry, t h e southern a n d eastern E u ropean peasantry. I ta l i a n s, Poles, S p a n iards, Portuguese, H u nga ria ns, G reeks, Serbs, Czechs, Slovaks, Ash ke n azic Jews - fo r the first time i n pos­ sessi o n of k n owledge of the opportu n ities overseas a n d , via ra i l road a n d steams h i p , of the mea n s to leave a l i fe of an cient pove rty behind - poured thro ugh the po rts o f Eu rope and across the seams of Pangaea. 108 Pa n gaea is J h e �cierJtific n a m e fo r t h e hypot hetica l l a n d mass t he co n ­t i n e n ts of t h e N o rt h e r n a n d So u t h e r n H e m i s p he res fo r m e d w h e n t h eywe re sti l l j o i n e d toget h e r, m a ny m i l l io n s of yea rs ago . N ew a n i m a l a n dp l a n t species e m e rge w h e n t he i r re prod u ctive com m u n ities b eco m e iso­l ated fro m o n e a nother; t h u s t he a n ci e n t b rea k u p of Pa ngaea (a n d t h eco n s eq u e n t s e p a rati o n of reprod u ctive co m m u n ities) trigge red a n i nte n seperiod of o rga n ic heteroge n izati o n . The wo rld that witn essed the greatm igratory flow of the 1800s, however, was a l ready beco m i ng reho moge­n ized . As C ros by p u ts it, Pa nga e a was b e i n g stitched toget h e r aga i n v i atra n socea n ic co m m u n i cati o n s . lOg Befo re t h e 1 500s, t h e I s l a m ic peopleswe re l a rge ly respo n s i b l e fo r t h e tra n sfe r of species across ecol ogic a lbo u nd a ries (citrus, r i c e , cotto n , s uga rca ne), b u t from 1 500 o n , t h e E u ro­pea n s wou l d be t h e m a i n d i spersants. I n five sepa rate regi o n s of t h e globe - the tem p e rate regi o n s of t h eU n ited States , C a n a d a , Arge n ti n a , A u stra l i a , a n d N ew Zea l a nd - t h e p ro­cess of re h o m oge n iza ti o n reached its p e a k of i nte n sity. T h ese regi o n sbeca m e , i n fact , repl icas o f t h e E u ro pea n u rb a n a n d r u r a l ecosystem s .Crosby a rgues t h at, i n o rd e r fo r E u ro p e a n cities t o re p l i cate themse lves, togive b i rth to d a ughte r cities s u c h as Bosto n , Q u e bec, B u e n os A i res, o rSyd n ey, a w h o l e a rray of species ( h u m a n s a n d the i r d o m e sticate s) had tom igrate toget h e r, h ad to col o n ize t h e n ew l a nd as a tea m . T h e e n d re s u ltis t ha t t he te m pe rate a reas of these five cou n tries beca m e w h at he cal l s" N eo- E u ro p e s . " llo T h ere were, of cou rse, i m port a n t colo n i a l cities outs i d e t h e regi o n swith strictly " E u ro pe a n " c l i m ates. H oweve r, t h ese oth e r col o n i a l u rba nce n ters d id n ot re prod u ce t h e s a m e "soc i a l ecosystem" as i n u rb a nE u rope; i nste a d , t h e rel atio n s betwe e n town a n d cou n trys i d e w e r e m o rel i ke t h ose of f e u d a l E u rope. A d d itio n a l ly, t h e neo-Eu ro pes, u n l i ke M exico152
  • 140. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D.or Peru , w h e re t he co n q u e ro rs m i xed with t h e l oca l s , we re a classic caseof re p l ace m e n t of one ge n e pool by a not h e r. F i n a l ly, t h e te n s of m i l l io n so f E u ro p e a n s w h o m igrated overseas begi n n i ng i n 1800 we re receivedp r i n c i p a l l y by t h e u rba n cente rs of the n eo-E u ropes. T h ese m asses weren ot o n ly p u s hed out by t h e pop u l atio n explos i o n at h o m e , b u t a l s o p u l l edin by t h e p rospect of movi ng to an a l m ost exact re p l ica of the u rba necosyste m t h ey we re to l eave be h i n d . (H aving re l atives a b ro a d , t h e so­ca l led stock effect, was a f u r t h e r p u l l facto r. )l1l T h e reason it wa s n ece ssa ry for a w h o l e tea m of co l o n izers to m igrateacross the oce a n s is re l at ively easy to gra s p in the case of h u m a n s a ndt h e i r d o m esti cated crops a n d l i vestock . Fo r a n u rb a n ecosyste m to wo rk,food c h a i n s m u st be s h o rte n ed and ce rt a i n o rga n is m s m u st be u sed tored i rect t h e flow of biomass towa rd t h e top of t h e h i e ra rc hy. B u t i n a d d i ­t i o n t o t h e s e d o m esticated s pecies, t h e E u ropean m igra n ts i n ad ve rtentlyi m po rted "weeds," i n this case p l a nts with o p po rtu n i stic re prod u ctivestrategie s , w h i c h a l lowed them to co l o n ize s i m p l ified ecosystems. U n l i kem a n y p l a nts t h a t t h rived i n t h e n ew l a n d s o n ly with d i rect h u ma n i nter­v e n ti o n , E u ropean weeds (t h i stles, p l a n ta i n , wh ite clover, n ettl es) p ropa­gated o n t h e i r own , wi n n i ng their own " battl es" aga i n st l oca l rivals a n dfu r n i s h i n g a key co m po n e n t o f t h e food we b as fod d e r fo r catt l e : T h e Old Wo rld q u adrupeds, when transported t o America, Austra lia a n d New Zeal a n d , stri pped away t h e l ocal grasses and fo rbs, and these, which i n most cases had bee n su bjected to o n ly l ight grazi n g befo re, were often slow to recover. In the mea n time, the Old Wo rld weeds, particu la rly those fro m Europe and nea rby parts of Asia and Africa, swept in and occup ied the bare gro u n d . They were tolerant of open s u n l ight, bare soi l , and close cropping and of being co nstantly trod u po n , and they possessed a n u mber of mea ns of propagation and spread. For instance, often their seed s were eq u i pped with hooks to catch on the hides of passing l ivestock or were tough enough to su rvive the tri p t h rough the i r stomachs to be de pos ited somewhere d own the path. When the l ivestock retu rned fo r a meal the next seaso n , it was there. When the stockman went out in searc h of his stock, they were there, too , a n d healthy. 1l 2E u ro p e a n fo rage grasses, w h i c h h a d coevolved wit h catt l e , wo n t h e i r owncolo n izat i o n war aga i n st m a ny l oca l weed s , w h i c h we re d efe n s e l ess aga i n stt h e novel select i o n pressu res (su c h as i n t e n se grazi n g) b rought on by t h eE u ropean m igrati o n . O n ly i n a reas w h e re l a rge l ocal h e rb i vo res t h ri ved(e .g. , t h e A m erica n G reat P l a i n s with its h e rd s of buffal o) d id t h e loca lgrasses h ave a fighti ng c h a nce. 113 I n seve ra l of t h e n eo-Eu ro pes , t h e weed"colon izatio n fro nt" raced a h ea d of the h u ma n wav e , as if p re p a ri ng t h e153
  • 141. 2: FLESH AND GENESgro u n d fo r it. I n deed , co n s i d e ri n g that t he h u ma n co l o n izers we re repeat­i ng past m ista kes by ove rinte n sifying t h e i r exp loitation of t h e new l a n d (viacareless d eforestatio n , fo r i n sta n ce), weeds p l ayed a n ot h e r key role, t hatof resta b i l i z i n g t h e exposed soil and p reve n t i n g e ros i o n . "The weed s, l i kes k i n t ra n s p l a nts p l aced ove r b road a reas of a b raded a n d b u rned fles h ,a ided i n h ea l i n g t h e raw wou n d s t h at t h e i nvaders tore i n t h e e a rt h . " 1l4 Weeds were n ot t h e o n ly o rga n i c e ntities to spread without co nscioush u m a n effo rt. So m e p l a nts t h at h a d been d o mesticated a n d even u rb a n ­i z e d a cq u i red "weedy" be h av i o r a n d bega n wi n n i n g t h e i r o w n p ropagat i o nbatt l e s . S u c h w a s t h e c a s e , f o r exa m p l e , w i t h peac h a n d o ra nge trees . 1l5Eve n s o m e a n i m a l s ( p igs, catt l e , h o rses, a n d d ogs) esca ped h u m a nge netic co n t ro l a n d beca m e fe ra l a ga i n , m u lt i plyi n g expo n e nt i a l ly. T h esea n i m a l s l ost so m e of the q u a l it i e s t h at d o mesticatio n had i m posed onthem and reacq u i red some qf the " re p ressed" tra its of t h e i r a n cesto rs.T hey, too , bega n col o n iz i n g t h e l a n d . I n A u st ra l i a , p igs beca m e razo r­backs, " l o n ged-l egged a n d l o n g-s n o ute d , s l a b-sid ed , n a rrow-backe d , fasta n d vicio u s , a n d eq u i p ped with l o n g, s h a rp tusks . " 1l6 I n A rge n t i n a, cattl ebeca m e fe ra l , p ropagat i n g i n s u c h l a rge n u m be rs t h a t t hey stym ied t h egrowt h of h u m a n popu lati o n s . H e re a n d e l sewh e re , t h ese bov i n e m u lti­t u d es fo rmed " a cattle fro n t i e r [t hat] p receded t h e E u ropea n fa r m e rs ast hey moved west fro m the Atl a ntic." 117 T h ese i n d e pe n d e n t co l o n izers ti lted t h e ba l a n ce i n t h e exc h a nge ofs pecies betwe e n E u rope a n d t h e rest of the wo rld . W h i l e some A m e ri c a np l a nts, i nc l u d i ng m a ize a n d potatoes, to m atoes a nd c h i l i pe ppers, d id" i n vade" E u ro pe, t hey d id so excl u sively i n t h e h a n d s of h u ma ns , n ot o nt h e i r own . T h e oth e r s p o n ta n e o u s exc h a n ges, s u c h as t h e exc h a n ge ofm icroorga n is m s , were a l so a sym m etrica l , despite t h e "gift" of sy p h i l i sw h i c h A m e ri ca m ay h a ve bestowed o n h e r co l o n i a l m asters . U8 A n d , ofcou rs e , t h e exc h a nges at the top of t h e food pyra m id we re heavi ly o n e­s i d ed . Despite the i n fl ux of m i l l i o n s of Africa n s brought in by the s l avet rad e a n d the m a sses of Asi a n s who went ove rseas as i n d e n t u re d wo rk­e rs after s l ave ry was a bo l i s hed in the mid n i n etee n t h centu ry, by t h etwentiet h , E u ro pe a n m igrants a ccou nted fo r as m u c h a s 80 pe rce nt o ft he total m igrato ry flow. u9 E u ropea n s b e n efited from t h i s m a ssive t ra n sfe r of people i n seve ra lways. N ot o n ly d id m igrati o n se rve as an escape h atc h from t h e pop u l a­tion explos i o n at h o m e , but t h ese m asses were what gave stay i n g powe rto E u ropes colo n i a l ventu res. Add itio n a l ly, t h e m igra n ts w h o sett l ed i nt h e n eo-Eu ropes a c h ieved u n p recede nted fe rt i l i ty rates. B etwee n 1750and 1930, t h e i r po p u l at i o n i n creased by a facto r of 14, w h i l e t h e pop u l a­tio n of the rest of the wo rld i n creased by a facto r of 2 . 5 . 120 N o nw h ites154
  • 142. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A.D.we re n ot so l u cky. Sl ave ry, w h i c h b roke up fa m i l ie s , ti lted the ge n d e rratio of p o p u l atio ns towa rd m a le s , a n d forced peo p l e t o l i ve i n s u b h u m a nco n d it i o n s , m a d e p ropagati o n o f Africa n ge n e s a b ro a d very d iffi c u lt . 121Befo re 1800, Africa n m ig ra n ts o ut n u m be red E u ropea n s t h ree to o n e , b utt h e i r growt h rates i n A m e rica were vastly d iffe re n t : t h e six m i l l i o n s l a ve srem a i n e d a l most co n sta n t i n n u m be r, w h i l e t h e roughly two m i l l i o n E u ro­pea n s sext u p l ed t h e i r po p u l atio n . P a rt o f t he e no rm o u s po p u l at i o n boo m i n t h e n eo- E u ropes was d u e tothe extre m e fe rti l ity of t h e i r l a n d s , in terms of both s o i l n utrie n ts a va i l­a b l e a fter defo restati o n a n d p h otosynthetic pote n t i a l ( i . e . , t h e a m o u n t ofso l a r e n e rgy ava i la b l e fo r t ra nsfo rmation i n to s uga rs; the tro p i cs h a vep l e nty of l i ght, b ut h azi n ess a n d u nva ryi n g day l e ngt h t h ro ughout t h eyea r m a ke it l e s s u sefu l fo r gra i n cu ltivati o n ). 122 Tod ay, t h e n eo-E uropesfeed t h e rest of the wo r l d . Eve n wh i l e n ot lead i ng in absolute food p rod u c­tivity, t hey a re t h e regi o n s with t h e greatest food su rpl u se s . I t i s no wo n ­d e r t h at l o n g before t h ese co l o n ies ga i n ed t h e i r i nd e p e n d e nce t hey werea c r u c i a l s u p p ly reg i o n for E u ro p e a n cities. On t he oth e r h a n d , the O l dWo rld h a d to wo rk h a rd t o create t h i s reservo i r fo r itse l f: If the d i scovery of America bro ught Eu rope l ittle retu rn in the s ho rt ru n , t h i s w a s beca u se the new conti nent w a s o n ly partly apprehended a n d settled by t h e wh ite m a n . Eu rope h a d patiently to reconstruct America i n her o w n i mage before it bega n to correspo n d t o her o w n w i s h e s . Such a labor of reco n struction was not of cou rse accomp l ished overn ight: i n the ea rly days, Eu rope i n deed seemed i n s ign ificant and i m potent faced with the s u perh u man tas k a head and as yet o n ly i m perfectly perceived . I n fact Eu rope took ce ntu ries to b u i l d a wo rld i n her own i mage across the Atla ntic, and then o n ly with i m mense variatio n s and d i sto rt i o n s , and after overcom i ng a long series of obstacles one after a n other. 1 23 C reat i n g ecologica l re p l i cas of E u rope was o n ly p a rt of t h i s e n o rm o u st a s k . T h e E u ro pe a n po p u l atio n of i n stitutio n s - t h e whole spectru m ofgove r n m e n ta l , co m m e rci a l , eccle s i a stic, and e d u catio n a l o rga n izatio n s ­a l so h a d t o b e rep l i cated o n t h e ot h e r side o f t h e ocea n . Eu ro pe s i n stitu­tions were a co m pl ex m ixt u re of m a rkets, a nt i m a rkets , and rati o n a l izedb u rea ucracies, and t h e i r re p l i cas across the Atl a ntic were eq u a l ly v a r i e d .M o reove r, t h e tran sfo r m at i o n of t h e A m e ri c a n conti n e nt i nto a s u p p lyregio n i n volved i nteracti o n s betwe e n i n stitutio n s of d i ffere n t e ra s , m o res pecifica l ly, a m ixtu re of d i ffe re nt st rategi es fo r t h e extraction of s u r­p l u se s , so me a n ci e n t , som e n ew, i n a p rocess a k i n to E u ro pes e a r l i e rself-co l o n i zati o n .155
  • 143. 2: FLESH AND GENES As u rb a n E u rope bega n to tra nsfo r m Pol a nd a n d oth er eastern regi o n si nto a s u p p ly zo n e , t h e most " ad v a n ced" secto rs o f t h i s popu l atio n ofi n stitutio n s (th e b a n k e rs a n d wholes a l e rs of A m sterd a m , fo r exa m ple)acted i n col l u si o n with t h e most " b ac kward" o n e s , t h e e aste r n E u ro p e a nfe u d a l l o r d s , to t r a n sfo r m t h e f r e e peasantry i nto se rfs agai n . 124 T h e"seco n d s e rfd o m " w a s n o t a step d o w n t h e l a d d e r of p rogress, but rat h e ra l ateral m o v e to a sta b l e state (a sta b l e s u rp l us-extract i o n strategy) t h ath a d bee n l a t e n t i n (o r, ava i l a b l e to) t h e dyn a m ical system a l l t h e t i m e .Si m i l a r ly, a n t i m a rk ets fo u n d entry i nto t h e A m e rica n colo n ies t h rough t h egreat s uga r p l a ntati o n s , a l l of w h i c h u sed s l ave l a bo r. I t w a s t h i s i n stitu­ti o n a l m ixt u re t h at u n l e a s h e d the great flows of s ugar, one of the m osti nf l u e nt i a l fo r m s of b i o m ass of t h e col o n i a l age . I n 1650, s ugar was a l ux u ry a n d its co n s u m pt i o n a m a rker of stat u s ,but b y t h e n i n etee n t h c e n t u ry B ri t i s h i n d u st r i a l a n d agricu ltu ra l workershad "sugar p u m pe d i nto every crevice of their d iets . " 125 Su crose m a d eit possi b l e t o i nc rease t h e calo ric i ntake of t h e u n d e rc l asses i n a re l ativelyi n ex p e n sive way, co m p a red with m e at , fis h , or d a i ry prod u cts. Althoughit was n ot the o n ly foodst u ff prov i d ed by t h e n ew s u p p ly zo nes, i t wasthe m ost effic i e n t o n e i n terms of co nvert i n g sola r e n e rgy i nto calories.( O n e acre of land prod u ced ro u g h l y e ight m i l l i o n c a l o r i e s . 126) I n t h i ss e n se , s uga r w a s at l e a st a s i nf l u e n t i a l as m aize o r p otatoes, t h e m i ra c l ecrops E u rope a d opted from t h e N ew Wo rld . Large-scale s uga r prod uct i o na l so req u i re d a s pecifi c i n stituti o n a l m ix, as suga r p rocess i n g a n d refi n­i ng d e m a n d ed l a rge a m o u nts of c a p it a l and, h ence, a n t i m a rket o rga n iza­t i o n s . Sugar a lso ge n er ated i nten se p rofits, m ost of w h i c h accu m u l atedn ot on the p l a ntatio n s t h e m selves but in the E u ro p e a n cities that m a r­keted t h e p rod uct a n d p rovided t h e cred it fo r t h e e nterprise. 12 7 Sugarp rofits fired the E u ro pe a n eco n o my and l ater p l ayed an i m port a n t ro l e i ns u sta i n i ng t h e I n d u st r i a l R evol utio n . E u ro p e a n col o n izatio n tra n sfo rmed t h e N ew Wo rld , a n d t h e N ew Wo rldi n turn co ntri b u te d to a tra n sfo r m at i o n u nd e r way in E u ro pe . T h ere, then atio n a l capitals, m etropol ises, regi o n a l c a p itals, and eve n small townsbega n in the e ightee n t h centu ry to esca pe from the biologi c a l regi m eof fa m i n e s a n d e p i d e m i cs t o w h i c h t h ey h ad been s u bjected si n ce b i rt h .Access to overseas s u p p l ies, t h e s pread o f t h e m i ra c l e crops, a n d bettersoil m a n agem e n t tec h n iq u es all contri buted to t h e a batem e nt of glo b a lfa m i nes; better tra n s p o rt at i o n a n d co m m u n i catio n s a l l owed emerge n cya i d to re l ieve local fam i n es q u ic kly. T h e rel atio n s h i p b etwee n u rba nm asses a n d t h e m i croo rga n i sm s t h at fed on t h e m was a l so c h a n gi ng.N ew e p i d e m i c o utbreaks acted as catalysts fo r gove r n m e nt acti o n , a n du r b a n c e n te r s slowly beg a n t o d ev e l o p n ew a p p roac h es t o p u b l i c sa n ita-156
  • 144. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A.D.t i o n (pa rticu l a rly sewage a n d water control) a n d to e m b race the n ewtec h n o l ogy of vacc i n at i o n ; t h at i s , t hey s l owly rej ected s po nt a n eous a d a p­t at i o n to d i sease i n favo r of co m p u lsory i m m u n izatio n . A lt h o u g h d e l i be r­ate i n ocu l atio n h a d been p r acticed as a fol k remedy s i nce a n c i e nt t i m e s(i n Tu rkey, fo r exa m pl e), m o d e r n E u ro p e a n s we re t h e fi rst to p ra cticei n ocu l a t i o n o n a m assive sca l e . 128 ( I nocu lation refe rs to t h e p ractice ofi nt rod u c i n g the germs t h at cause h u m a n d iseases i nto the o rga n i s m ; vac­c i n atio n , on t h e oth e r h a n d , i n volves t h e i nt rod uct i o n of closely re l atednon h u m a n d iseases . ) La rge cities we re t he fi rst p l aces to d evelop a n u n p l a n n e d acco m moda­t i o n wit h their m i c ro p a ra sites v i a e n d e m icity. T h i s m ay expl a i n w hy " fo l k"i nocu latio n tec h n iq u es fi rst too k h o l d , i n Engl a n d , i n v i l l ages a n d s m a l ltown s (w h e re t h e critical h u m a n m ass t o s u st a i n t h e sta b l e state o fe n d e m icity d id n o t exist), b egi n n i ng wit h i n ocu l atio n s aga i n st s m a l l pox i n1 7 21. T h i s d o e s n ot m e a n , of cou rse, t h at u rba n i n h a b it a nts we re n ev e ri n oc u l ated (t h e e l ites, i n cl u d i ng t h e roya l scio n s of E n gl a n d , we re) butt h at, as M c lJ e i l l p uts it, the p ractice of d e l i be rately i nt rod u c i n g s m a l l poxin the o rga n is m d id n ot "ta ke" in Lo n d o n a n d ot h e r l a rge centers. 129 Tru evacc i n at i o n fo r s m a l l pox ( u s i n g t he wea ke r cowpox germ) was i nt ro d u cedin 1 7 98 by Edwa rd J e n n e r, an E ngl i s h cou ntry d octo r, a n d s p read fromt he botto m of Central P l ace h i e ra rc h i es u pwa rd . I n co nti n e nt a l E u ro p e ,o rga n ized res i stance to t h i s p ractice l a sted l o n ge r, a n d it wo u l d t a ke t h edeath of a k i n g (Lo u i s XV) to cata lyze t h e m a i n l a n d c i t i e s i nto act io n .U n l i k e i n B rita i n , howeve r, h e re t h e practice o f vacci n atio n s pread fromthe top down : the fi rst c a m p a ign s of vacc i n at i o n too k p lace among t h ee l ites, t he n t he arm ies ( by com m a n d from t h e top), a n d , fi n a l ly, t h e c i v i l­i a n po pu latio n . 130 I n t h e coio n i es, w h i c h lacked t h e critical h u m a n m a ssa n d co n sta nt contact wit h t h e old wo rld e p i d e m i o logical l a bo rato riesn ecess a ry to a c h ieve e n de m icity (and w h e re , t herefo re , a d u lt v u l n e ra b i l­i ty to d i sease was greater), u rba n a d o pt i o n of t h e new tec h n iq u es wasm u c h swifter. R e l i a b l e sou rces of food a n d t he rise of o rga n ized m e d ici n e h e l pedE u ropean cities a n d t he i r col o n i a l d a ug hte rs l e ave be h i n d t he o l d bio­l ogical regi m e , begi n n i ng i n t h e m i d eighteent h centu ry. B u t as t h i s bifu r­cat i o n to a new sta ble state was ta k i ng p l ace, as u rb a n c u lt u re sloWlyd etached itse l f from the o rga n i c co nstra i nts of fa m i n es and e p i d e mics,t he population of institutions t h at i n h a bited E u ro pea n cities u n d e rwe n t am o m e n tous tra nsfo r m a t i o n of its own . M i l ita ry, m e d i c a l , e d u catio n a l , a n d j u d icial i n stitut i o n s beca m e , i n avery real s e n se , m u c h m o re " b i ological" t h a n b efo re : t h e i r h i e ra rc h iesn ow rel i ed less o n tradition and sym bo l i c gestu res and bega n to exercise157
  • 145. 2: FLESH AND GENESpower i n a fo r m i n creasi ngly t a i l o red to t h e fu n ctio n i ng of the h u m a n body.Although t h e h u ma n pop u l at i o n exp l o s i o n t h at bega n i n t h e m i d eigh­tee n t h c e n t u ry d id n ot c a u se this t ra n sformation ( i n a rm i e s , fo r exa m p l e ,t h e process h a d sta rted i n t h e sixteenth centu ry), it d id h e l p t h e n ewb reed of o rga n izatio n s to s pread a m o n g t h e i n stituti o n a l pop u l at i o n . T h e b i rt h of the m o d e r n hosp ita l is a good exa m p l e o f t h e i n stituti o n a ltra n sfo r m ati o n s ta k i ng p l ace . Weste rn d octors h a d s i n ce A nt i q u itya cq u i red med ica l k n owledge a l m ost excl u sively fro m o l d a utho ritativetexts (t hose of G a l e n , fo r exa m p l e). The e m e rge n t m e d i c a l p rofessi o n , i nco ntrast, o rga n ized itse l f a ro u nd hosp ita l s a n d cou l d fo r t h e fi rst t i m ebrea k away fro m text u a l a n d co n ce ntrate o n biologica l bod i es . 131 M o re­over, t h i s e p i stemo l ogi c a l bre a k d i d n ot p recede the creat i o n of hospita l s ,b u t rath e r wa s p reci pitated b y it. T h e n ew hospita l s e m bodied a n ewa n d d i ffe re n t u se of space, o n e t hat a l lowed cl ose o bse rvation of d i se asea n d i solati o n of its c a u se . S i n ce ocean trade routes we re c h a n n e l s w h e rem e rc h a n d is e , m o n ey, i d e a s , a n d ge rms a l l flowed together, naval hospi­t a l s p rovi d e d t h e perfect m i l i e u fo r d i s e n ta ng l i n g t h e com p l ex com b i n a­t i o n of factors t h at c a u sed e pi d e m ics: A po rt, a n d a m i l ita ry p o rt i s - with its circ u l ation of goods, m e n s igned up wi l l in gly o r by force, sailors e m barking a n d d i s e m b a rk i ng, d iseases and e p i d e m ics - a p l ac e of desertio n , s m u ggli ng, co ntagi o n : it is a crossroads for d angero u s m ixtu res, a m eeti ng-place fo r forbid d e n c i rc u l atio n s . The n aval h ospita l m u st therefo re treat, but i n order to d o this it m u st be a filter, a mecha n i sm that p i n s d own a n d partitions; it m u st p rovide a hold ove r t h i s whole mobile, swa r m i ng m ass, by d issipating the co nfu s i o n of i l l e­ ga l ity a n d evi l . T h e m e d i ca l s u pervision of d iseases a n d co ntagi o n s i s i ns e p a ra b l e from a whole series of oth e r controls: t h e m i l i ta ry co ntrol ove r dese rte rs, fiscal control over com modities, adm i n i strative contro l ove r remed ies, rat i o n s , d i s ap p ea ra nces, c u res, d eaths, s i m u l ations. H e nce the need to d istri b ute a n d partition off s pace i n a rigo rou s m a n n e r. 132N ot o n ly hos p ita l s b u t a w h o l e seg m e nt of the popu l at i o n of i n stitutio n sc h a nged d u ri ng t h e e ightee n t h centu ry. T h e c h a nge may n everth e l e ss beu sefu l ly d escri bed in m e d ic a l te rms. Fouca u lt p it h i ly c ha r a cte rized t h eg u i d i ng pri n c i p l e be h i n d t h i s i n stitutio n a l tra n sfo rm atio n i n t h e p h rase:"treat l e p e r s a s p l ague victi m s . " 133 I n E u rope, peo p l e suffering froml e p rosy ( H a n se n s d i se ase) h a d traditi o n a l ly bee n d ea lt wit h by co n fi n i ngt h e m to spe c i a l b u i l d i ngs ( l e p rosaria) u su al ly b u i lt o utsi d e t h e wa l l s ofm e d ieval tow n s . T h ere were a bout n i n eteen thousa n d s u c h l e p rosa r i a bythe t h irte e n t h centu ry. 134 The peo p l e of a p l ag u e str i c k e n town , o n t h e158
  • 146. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.ot h e r h a n d , we re h a n d led in a very d i ffe re nt way, at least in t h e Med ite r­r a n e a n natio n s that h a d esta b l i s hed q u a ra n t i n e regu latio n s as ea rly a sthe fifteenth ce n t u ry. R a t h e r t h a n be i ng re m oved from society a nd l u m pedtoget h e r in one i so lated p l ace o u t of sight, t hey we re i n stead p i n n e d totheir res i d e n ces and obse rved ca refu l l y d ay afte r d ay by special h e a l t hi n specto rs, who regi stered t h e i r co n d it i o n i n writi ng, creati ng a flow ofrepo rts l i n ki ng the obse rve rs to a central co m m a n d . H e nce, t h ese twoi n fect i o u s d i seases e l i cited d ifferent i n stitutio n a l re spo n se s , a n d t h ei n s ights glea n e d from o n e co u l d b e co m b i ned w i t h t hose a r i s i n g fro m t h eother - a n d a p p l ied to n o n m e d i c a l p ro b l e ms . "The l e pe r a n d h i s sepa ra­tio n ; the p l ag u e a n d its segm e ntati o n s . The fi rst i s m a rke d ; the seco n da n a lysed a n d d istri bute d . . . . Two ways of exerc i s i ng powe r ove r m e n , ofco ntro l l i ng t h e i r re latio n s , of s e p a rati ng out t h e i r d a ngerous m ixtu re s . " 135 Acco rd i ng to Fouca u lt, t h e t h ree e l e m e nts e n u me rated a bove - syste m­atic spatial p a rtition i ng, ceaseless i n s pectio n , and perm a n e nt registra­tion - wh ic h had bee n put to wo rk in the open s pace of the tow n , we re n owco m b i n ed i n a n ovel way a n d a pp l ied to t h e cl osed s pace of t h e hospita l .Eighte e n t h-ce ntu ry hospita l s beca m e o ptica l m ac h i n es , p la ces w h e ret h e p e n etrati ng cl i n ical gaze co u ld be tra i n e d a n d deve l o ped , as we l l a swriti ng m a c h i nes, "great l a bo rato ries f o r scri pt u a ry a n d docu m e nta rymethod s , " 136 w h ere eve ry d et a i l about visits, c h ec k u ps, d osages or p re­scripti o n s , wa s carefu l ly reco rde d . To t h is exte nt, these m o d e r n " l e p ro­s a r i a" h a d i n deed i nte r n a l ized t h e q u a ra nt i n e d u rba n ce n t e r. On t h e ot h e rh a n d , b y a d m i n iste r i n g tests a n d exa m i n atio n s o n t h e b a s i s o f w h i c h i n d i­vid u a l s were compulsorily assigned to certa i n catego ries ( h e a l t hy/sick,n o rm a l /a b n o r m a l), h os p ita l s we re a d a pt i n g t h e strategy of bi n a ry d i v i s i o na n d bra n d i ng t h at h a d bee n u sed i n "treating" l e p e rs. I n s h o rt, the d isci­p l i n a ry a p p roaches to d ise a se co ntrol did n ot rep resent an a d va nced"stage" in t h e evo l ut i o n of powe r; rat h e r, t h ey we re new e l e m e nts a d d e dt o a m ixtu re of mate r i a l s t h at h a d been accu m u l at i n g fo r ce ntu ries. N evert h e less, what d i sti ng u i s h e s t h e seve ntee n t h and eightee n t h cen­t u ries in this rega rd i s t h e " e p i d e m ic" s p read of the p l ag u e a p proac h tocontrol. B efore t h i s strategy became m i n e r a l i zed in t h e form of hospita ls,it existed a s a d i sp e rsed set of tactical co nti nge n cy p l a n s, h e u ri sticrecipes, and m o re o r l ess rati o n a l ized p o l icies, with which cou ntries bo r­d e r i n g t h e M e d iterra n e a n atte m pted to cope with t h e t h reat of b io logicalco ntagio n . T h e form a l pol icies had s p read widely in the south, b u t wereu n a b l e to p e n et rate t h e town s of t h e n o rt h e r n regi o n s beca u se a d iffer­ent t he o ry of e p i d e m i cs had beco m e " e n d e m ic" t h e re . M ed ic a l p rofes­s i o n a l s in t h ese cities b e l i eved t h at " m ia s m a s , " n o n o rga n i c e m a n a ti o n sfro m d eco m posing o rga n i c m atte r, c a u sed i n fect i o u s d i sease, n ot ge rms159
  • 147. 2: FL eSH AND GeNeSpass i ng from o n e body to t h e n ext. Aga i n st t h i s noxious, putrid a i r, t heyt h ought, t h e m et h od s of u rba n q u a ra n t i n e we re u s e l ess, a n d they b lockedall efforts to i m p l e m e n t q u a ra nt i n e policies u n t i l a bout 1880. I n t h at yearwith t h e a i d of a much i m p roved m ic roscope, scie ntists soon esta b l i s h edthe existe n c e of i n vi s i b l e m i c roorga n i s m s . The m i a s m a t h eo ry beca m eexti nct a n d q u a ra n ti n e methods s o o n p e n etrated a l l t h e cities o f E u ropeand h e r col o n ies, and even some I sl a m ic tow n s. 137 T h i s is o n ly h a l f of t h e story, h owever. As Fo u ca u lt re m i n d s u s , in a d d i ­tio n t o fo r m a l ized a n d rou t i n ized policies that m ay be tra n sfe rred a s aw ho l e fro m o n e o rga n i zation to a noth e r of t h e s a m e k i n d , th ere a re a l somethods a n d p roced u res t h at m ay d i ffuse i n d ivid u a l ly t h rough d i ffe re nttypes of o rgan izatio n s : i n fo r m a l tec h n i q u es of n otat i o n and regi stratio n ;h e u ristic methods fo r c reati ng, co rre l ati ng, sto ri ng, a n d retriev i n g fi les;ro uti n e s fo r co m p a ri ng d oc u m e n ts from d ifferent fi e l d s to create cate­go ries a n d determ i n e ave rages; tec h n iq u es fo r the use of p a rt i ti o n s too rga n ize s pace; a n d m ethods to co n d u ct i n s pecti o n s on a n d s u pe rv i sethe be havio r of t h e h u m a n bod i es d i strib uted i n t h a t s pace. T h u s , eve ntho ugh t h e s p read of fo r m a l ized p o l i c i e s from t h e M ed iterra n e a n to t hen o rt h was effectively b l ocked by t h e m ia sm a theo ry, t h i s i nfo r m a l co m po­n e n t co u l d sti l l s p read co ntagi o u s ly, fro m o n e i n stitutio n a l host to t h en ext, i n cl u d i n g n o n m e d i ca l i n stituti o n s . As n e w a rc h itect u ra l d e s i g n s fo ra l l these i n stitutio n s a n d new exa m i n at i o n a n d doc u m e ntati o n tec h n i q u e swe re deve loped , t h e " l e pe rs" (st u d e n ts , wo rke rs , priso n e rs , sol d i e rs)we re i n d e e d t reated a s p l ague v icti m s : ca refu l ly ass ign ed to thei r p laces,t he i r b e h a v i o r ( a n d m i sbe havio r) syste m atica l ly watc hed and recorded inwriting. This i s n ot to i m p ly, however, t h a t medical i n stitu tio n s we re thesole sou rce of t h ese d isci pl i n a ry i n n ovati o n s . A rm i es we re a lso great i n n o­vato rs i n t h is a re a , as w e re some e d u catio n a l o rga n izati o n s . Fo u ca u ltexa m i n es t h e hypoth es i s t h a t t h ese i n fo r m a l tech n i q u e s m ay h ave spon­ta n e o u s ly c o m e toge t h e r and i nte rloc ked to form a self-o rga n ized m e s h­wo r k , or a n " a n o nym o u s strategy" of d o m i nati o n . I n h i s words, w h atfo rmed t h i s strategy was a m u ltipl icity of often minor processes, of d iffe re nt o rigi n and scattered l ocati o n , w h i c h overlap, repeat, or imitate o n e another, s u p port one a n other, d i sti ngu ish t hemse lves from one a nother according to their domain of a p plicatio n , co nverge and gra d u a l ly prod u ce the blueprint of a ge n e ra l method. They were at wo rk i n seco ndary e d u cation at a very early d ate , later in pri mary schools; they slowly i nvested the space of the hospi­ ta l ; a n d , in a few decades, they restructu red the m i l itary o rga n ization. They sometimes circ u l ated very rapid ly from o ne point to a n other (between the160
  • 148. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D. a rmy a n d the tech n ica l schools or seco n da ry school s), sometimes slowly a n d d iscreetly (the i ns i d i o u s m i l ita rization of the large wo rks hops). O n a l m ost eve ry occa s i o n , they were adopted i n respo n se to parti c u l a r needs: a n i n d u strial i n novation, a re newed outbrea k of certa i n epidemic d i seases, the i nvention of the rifle o r the victo ries of Prussia . . . . S ma l l acts of cu n­ n i ng endowed with a great powe r of d iffus i o n , s u btle arra ngeme nts, appa r­ ently i n nocent, but profo u n d ly s u spicious, mecha nisms that obeyed eco n o m i e s too s ha mefu l to be acknowl edged, or pursued petty fo rms of coercio n . 138 I n a d d iti o n to enta ngl i ng h u ma n bod i e s i n a net of writ i n g a n d o bse rva­tio n , so m e of t hese i n stitutio n s (mostly a r m i es , but a l so schools) cap­t u red t h e e n e rgy of t hese bod i e s t h ro ugh t h e u se of co nti n u o u s p hys icalexercises, both fo r t ra i n i n g and p u n is h m e nt, and a system of co m m a nd sbased o n s ign a l s t h a t t rigge red i n sta n t obed i e n ce . Toget h e r, a l l t hese e l e­m e n ts p rod uced great "eco n o m i e s of sca l e . " I n t h e D u tc h a rm i es of t h es ixte e n t h ce ntu ry, for i n sta nce, t h e o pe ra t i o n of l oa d i ng a n d f i r i n g awea po n was fi rst a n a lyzed i nto its m i c roco m po n e nts (forty-two s e p a rateacti o n s , each associ ated with a s pecific com m a n d) , then " reasse m b l e d "i n a w a y t h a t red u ced wastefu l move m e n ts a n d i m p roved coord i n atio n .A n a rmy o f sold i e rs w h o h a d " me m o rized" t h e se effic i e n t seq u e n ces i nt h e i r bod ies by m ea n s o f co nti n u o u s d ri l l i ng beca m e m o re t h a n t h e s u mo f its pa rts : a n office rs com ma n d co u l d trigge r a syn c h ro n ized series ofa ct i o n s (a l a rge n u m be r of wea po n s f i r i n g s i m u lta neou s ly) p rod u c i n g a" sol id" w a l l o f meta l l ic p roject i l e s , w h ic h h ad a greater i m pact o n e n emyl i n es than ra n d o m s h ooti ng. 139 Co l l ect i ve ly, t h a n ks to this d isci p l i n a rytech n iq u e , t h ese sol d i e rs h a d n ow i ncreased t h e i r powe r, but i nd i v i d u a l lyt h ey h a d com pl etely lost co n t rol ove r t h e i r a ct i o n s i n t h e battl efi e l d ." D i sci p l i n e i n crea ses t h e fo rces o f the body ( i n eco n o m i c te rms of u t i l ity)a n d d i m i n i s hes t hese s a m e fo rces ( i n political terms of obed i e n ce)." 14o U n l i ke s l avery o r s e rfd o m , w h e r e i n t h e body is a p p ro p r i ated as a nu n d iffe re ntiated w h o l e , h e re t h e m ic rofea t u res o f bod i ly a ct i o n s we rew h at m attered. The new goa l was to study bod i e s a n d b re a k down t h e i ractio n s i nto basic tra its , a n d t h e n t o e m pty t h e m o f t h e i r k n ow- how a n dre p rogram t h e m wit h fixed routi n es . The resu lt i n g i ncrease i n t h e " p ro­d u ctivity" of sold i e rs expla i n s why D utc h a rm i es were so s uccessf u l in t h ebattlefi e l d . A l t h o ugh d ri l l a n d d isci p l i n e d i d n o t replace t h e old e r a n dc r u d e r a pp roaches (s lave ry, serfd om ) b u t s i m ply bec a m e a new a d d i t i o nt o t h e grow i n g rese rvo i r o f w ays o f h a rn ess i ng t h e power o f t h e h u m a nbody, t h e i r s p read n everthel ess took o n e p i d e m i c p roport i o n s d u e t o t h eeco n o m i e s o f sca l e t h ey ge n e rated :161
  • 149. 2: FLESH AND GENES The style of a rmy o rga n izati o n that ca me i nto bei ng in H o l l and at the close of the sixteenth ce ntury . . . spread . . . to Swed en and the Germa n ies, to France a n d Engl a n d , and eve n to Spain before the seventee nth cent u ry had come to a close. D u ri n g the eighteenth centu ry, the contagio n attai ned a fa r greater range : tra n sform i ng R u ssia u nder Peter the G reat with near revol u­ tionary force ; i nfiltrating the N ew Wo rld and I ndia as a byprod uct of a global struggle for overseas e m p i re i n which Fra nce a n d G reat B ritai n were the protago n ists ; and i n fect i ng even such cu ltu ra l ly a l ie n pol ity as that of the Ottom a n e m p i re. 141 T h u s far we h av e d escri bed two l i n es of biologi c a l h i sto ry. O n o n eh a n d , t h e e ighteen t h ce n t u ry s a w E u ro pe d igesti n g t h e wo rl d , tra n sfo rm­i ng it i nto a s u pply zo n e fo r t h e p rovis i o n of e n e rgy and raw mate r i a l s , aproce-s-s t h at, at l east -i n t h e ca-se of t h e n eo-E u ropes, i nvolved a greateco l ogical a n d cultu ral h o m oge n izati o n . On the ot h e r h a n d , E u ropeann atio n-states bega n d igesti ng their m i n orities, in t h e se n se that the newd isci pl i n ary i n stitutio n s e m bo d i e d ho moge n iz i n g crite r i a of n o r m a l ity tow h i c h eve ryo n e was n ow m a d e to co n fo r m . M u c h as sta n d a rd E ngl i s h o rFre n ch we re n o rmative crite r i a e m a n at i n g from capital cities a n d i m posedo n l i n gu istic m i n o rities e l sew h e re (We l s h , Scottis h , I ri s h ; La ngu edoc,Cata l a n , P rove n <;a l) , so the tests a d m i n istered by v a r i o u s i nstit u ti o n s todete r m i n e m i l i t a ry perfo r m a n ce or h e a l t h status fa i l ed to refl ect the c u l ­t u ra l d ive rsity e n co m p assed wit h i n the bo rd e rs o f n at i o n -states s u c h asFra n ce and E n gl a n d . A s po p u l atio n growt h i nte n sified i n E u rope after 1 7 50, t h e n ew m assesbega n to be " processed" t h ro ugh the exa m i n i ng, regi ste ri ng, and pa rti­tio n i ng m ac h i n es t h at hospita l s , facto ries, schools, a n d o t h e r i n stitutio n sh ad beco m e . T h ese i nstitutio ns acted as sorti ng devices, weed i ng o u t cer­t a i n i n d iv i d u a l s fro m t h e rese r vo i r of " n o r m a l " citize n s w h o were used tofi l l h ie ra rc h i ca l stru ctu res with i ntern a l l y h o moge n eo u s ra n ks . S i m u lta n e­ously, s u rp l u s m asses we re be i ng expo rted with u n p rece d e n ted i nte n s ityto t hose te m pe rate a re a s of t h e wo rld w h e re re p l i ca s of u rban a n d r u ra lE u rope - u p t o t h e l ast weedy d eta i l - h ad been created. I n t hose ecologi­cal ly h o m oge n ized reg i o n s , s i m i l a r i n stitutio n s p roceeded to exa m i n e ,d ocu me nt, a n d d isci p l i n e t h e m igrat i n g h u m a n masses. We m u st n ot, however, lose sight of t h e fact t h at j u st as t h e creati o n oft h e neo-Eu ropes i nvolved not o n ly h u m a n s but a l so crops a n d l ivestock,so t h e n ew d is c i p l i n a ry i n stitu t i o n s p rocessed m o re t h a n h u ma n bod i es :a n i m al s a n d p l a nts, too, fe l l u n d e r a n et o f writing a n d observati o n .Exa m i n i ng t h i s o t h e r h a l f o f o u r bio logi ca l h i story, i t s n o n h u m a n h a l f, wi l la l l ow u s t o e x p l o re t h e ro l e t h at eco n o m i c i n stitutio n s p l ayed i n t h e162
  • 150. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.p rocess of o rga n i c h o m oge n izati o n . I n pa rti c u l a r, big b u s i n esss e n t ryi nto agri cu ltu re provided t h e i m pet u s to a p p l y d i sci p l i n a ry tec h n i q u es tot h e m e m b e rs of t h e ext e n d ed h u m a n fa m i ly. A n t i m a rkets h ad beeni n vo lved i n t h e flow of b i o m ass to so m e exte nt ever si n ce cities s u c h asVe n ice and A m sterd a m switched to exte r n a l s u p p l i e rs fo r t h e i r food a ndd e d i cated t h e i r own l a n d to a vari ety of special ized cash c rops, i n c l u d i ngo i l , w i n e , m u l berries, h e m p , a n d flax. Trad itio n a l ly wealthy m e rc h a n ts h adpu rchased l a n d as a passpo rt to n o b i l ity; i n co n trast, t h e i n fi l trati o n oft h e s o i l by a n t i m a rkets was a n eco n o m i c i n vestm e nt, a n d so b rought withi t t h e kind of rati o n a l izati o n t h at yields eco n o m i e s of sca l e . 142 B u t n otu nti l t h e seve ntee n t h a n d eighte e n t h centu ries d i d a n t i m a rket i n stitu­tio n s i nvolve m e n t in agricu l t u re i nt e n s i fy, eve ntu a l ly to t h e exte n t t h at itsought to co ntrol not o n ly flesh but ge n e s . A p a rt from t h e sugar i m ported f r o m colo n i a l p l a n tati o n s , t h e flow o fbio m a ss t h at fed t h e exp lod i ng pop u l ation of n i n etee nt h-ce ntu ry Engl a n dc a m e from regi o n s of h e r cou n t rysi d e t h a t h a d u n d e rgo n e a n " agra r i a nrevo l u tio n " betwee n 1650 a n d 1800. A n i m po rta n t co m po n e n t o f t h i s rev­o l ut i o n was t h e deve l o p m e n t of n ew tec h n iq u es fo r b ree d i n g l ivestock.T h e ge n e s of farm a n i m al s h ad been u n d e r h u m a n co nt rol fo r a longt i m e , of cou rse , m a n ag i n g to escape o n ly u n d e r rare ci rcu m sta nces (wh e nd o m esti cates beca m e fer a l ) . B u t a m o re syste m at i c (if p r e sc ie nt i fic)attem pt at m a n i p u l at i n g the flow of ge n e s t h rough ge n e rati o n s d id n t co m eu nt i l t h e agra ri a n revo l utio n . T h e D utch b red m u ch l a rger cattle w h i le theB ritish bred s h eep t h at p rod u ced s u p e r i o r woo l , a n d as t h ese b reed i ngp ractices s p re a d , so d i d the u se of conti n uo u s observat i o n a n d registra­tio n , wh ich a l o n e m a d e m o re p recise gen etic co nt rol , and the co nseq u e nt(someti m e s d a m ag i n g) ge netic homoge n izatio n , possi b l e : A t the time of the I n d u strial and Agra r i a n Revol uti o n s both ped igrees a nd eco n o m ic d ata we re reco rded . Official centralized reco rds of ped igrees we re i ntrod uced with the fo u nd i ng of the G e n e ral Stu d Book in 1791 and Coates H erd Book i n 1882 . M a ny of the ge n etic advantages a n d l i m itatio n s of pedi­ gree reco rd s a re o bvi o u s . The most serious l i m itation has been the grad u a l b u ild-up of a ped igree mystiq u e , i . e. that ped igree a n imals a re " s u perior, " " p re potent" etc. b y v i r t u e of t h e i r pedigre e . This has led m a ny breed e rs t o con ce ntrate o n the re p rod uctio n of a ste reotype - the extreme of which ca n be seen i n a n u mbe r of modern d og breeds where the condition has ofte n re su lted i n the i nc i d e n ce at h ig h freq u e ncy of u nd e s i ra ble ge nes . . . . [So me ped igree m o n o pol ies a n d regu latory acts] certa i n ly i m p roved the lowe r level of n o n-ped igree E n gl i s h cattle by e l i m i nating cas u al mati n g with "frin ge" b u l ls of ofte n i nferior q u a l ity. H oweve r, such l ic e n s i n g acts have te n d ed to163
  • 151. 2: FLESH AND GENES beco m e too rigid i n a p p l i cati o n , fac i l i tati ng the "foss i l i zatio n" of ce rtain breeds i n th e face of c h a ngi ng e co n o m i c req u i re m e nts . 143 H i st o r i c a l ly, ped i g ree b reeds h ave a l ways te n d e d to beco m e h i e ra rc h i ­c a l struct u res, w h e re i n a s m a l l , d o m i n a nt grou p of b re e d e rs su p p l i e sge n e s t o s u bo rd i n ate r a n ks, ca l l e d " m u lt i p l i e rs , " w h i c h i n t u r n p a s s t h e mo n t o yet l o w e r ra n ks , i n a co m p l ete ly top-d ow n ge n e fl ow. T h i s t i ghtlyco nstra i n e d flow was s u pposed to gu a ra ntee u n ifo rm ity and s u p e r i o rq u a l i ty, a n d yet t h e re i s evi d e nce t h at bottom - u p flow ca n , i n s o m e ci r­c u m sta n ce s , p ro d u ce b re e d s s u pe r i o r to h o m oge n ized ped igrees . l 44 Atfi rst, howeve r, t h e p e d igree b re e d s prod u ctiv ity w a s great, a n d t h i sa l lowed t h e h i e ra rc h i c a l ped igrees t h a t e m e rged i n e ig h tee n t h-ce nt u ryEngl a n d (e s p ec i a l ly s h e e p a n d p i gs) to t h rive a n d t h e n s p rea d , a i d e d byl a rge agri c u lt u ra l s h ow s W h e re n ew m a c h i n e ry a n d c h a m pi o n b reed swere e x h i b i te d . 145 T h u s, m u c h as t r a n socea n i c n avigat i o n h ad accele ratedthe ge n et i c h o moge n iz at i o n of c e rta i n p a rts of the wo r l d ( by a l l ow i n gm a s s ive tra n sfe rs of s p e ci e s) , t h e c reat i o n of m o n o p o l i e s a n d ol igopo l i esa ro u n d the flow of l i vestock ge n e s fostered t h e dest r u cti o n of ge netich ete roge n eity in E u ro p e . T h ese g e n e t i ca l ly "we l l - d i sc i p l i n e d " a n i m a l s w e r e o n ly o n e co m po n e n tof t h e agra r i a n revo l u ti o n . T h e re were n ew crops as we l l , p a rticu l a r lyfod d e r c r o p s , and a few new m a c h i n e s (the seed d r i l l , fo r exa m p l e), b u tt h e m ost i m po rta nt i n n ovat i o n was t h e i n trod u cti o n of m o re routi n izedmet h o d s fo r the p rod u ct i o n of food , fo r both h u m a n s and l i vestock. A n d ,o f c o u rse, ty p i c a l o f a n y e n d e avo r o f a nt i m a r ket i n stitu t i o n s , these m e t h ­o d s w e re i m p l e m e nted o n a l a rge s c a l e . T h e new sy n e rgistic co m bi n at i o no f e l e m e n t s w a s c a l l ed " t h e N o rfo l k system , " afte r t h e reg i o n i n Engl a n dw h e re it fi rst tr i u m p h e d . We m u st d i st i n g u i s h , however, two d iffe rentco m po n e nts of t h i s syst e m . U n l i ke the case of l a rge-sca l e m a n age m e n ta n d l a b o r d i sci p l i n e , t h e b a s i c m e s h w o r k t h a t gave t h e n e w system i t ss e l f-s u sta i n a bi l ity was n ot i n t rod u ced by big b u s i n ess b u t was t h e creatio no f m a rket eco n o m i e s . T h e dy n a mic cities o f fi ftee n t h-centu ry F l a n d e rs( B r u ges, Yp res, G h e n t) sti m u l a ted t h e i r c o u ntrys i d es i n to p rod u c i ngthe b a s i c i n n ovat i o n s . I n F l a n d e rs, a s o n e em i n e n t h i stori a n has p u t it,u rb a n l i fe s p re a d l i k e "an i n fect i o n w h i c h roused the p e a s a n t fro m h i sa ge- l o n g t o r p o r. " 146 At t h e t i m e of t h e N o r fol k syst e m s creat i o n - t h at i s , before it wasa d o pted by a n t i m a rket i n st i t u t i o n s and b efo re it w a s ca l l ed t h e N o rfo l ksyste m - t h e m o st w i d e s p r e a d syste m of agri c u l t u re co n s i sted of s i m p l ec r o p rota t i o n : a fa rm w a s d i v i d ed i nt o two (o r m o re) p a rts, o n e u sed fo rgra i n cro p s a n d t h e o t h e r l eft fa l l ow, not to let t h e s o i l " rest" (so i l s d o164
  • 152. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.n ot s po n ta n e o u s ly recove r t h e i r fe rtil ity in a si ngle s e a s o n ) , but to a l low" fa rm e rs to keep weeds at bay by i nte r r u pt i ng t h e i r n a t u ra l l i fe cyc l ewit h t h e p I OW. " 147 D e n y i n g so i l n ut ri e nts t o we e d s a n d kee p i ng p re d ato r sfro m e ati ng l i vestock were t h e p ri m a ry ways i n w h i c h h u m a n s s h o rte n e dfoo d c h a i n s ; c o n seq u e ntly, cro p rot a t i o n was a c r u c i a l co m p o n e n t of t h eo l d m e t h od . T h e F l e m i s h co n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e agr i c u l t u ra l i nt e n s i ficat i o n wasto e l i m i n ate the fa l l ow period by a l t e r n at i n g gra i n crops with fo d d e r cro p s(s u c h a s clover). A s t h e D u tc h h isto r i a n J a n De V r i e s h as a rg u e d , p o p u l a­t i o n growth ofte n t r a p p e d t h e o l d m et h o d i n to a v i c i o u s ci rcl e : as d e m a n dfo r h u m a n foo d i n c re a s e d , m o re l a n d w a s d evoted t o gra i n p ro d u cti o na n d l e ss to p ast u re , w h i c h d i m i n i s h e d herd s i zes a s we l l a s t h e a m o u nt ofm a n u re av a i l a b l e , a n d t h i s in t u r n red u ced s o i l fe rt i l ity. A s y i e l d s d ecl i n e d ,a h i g h e r p e rcentage of t h e l a n d h a d t o be u sed fo r gra i n , exace r b ati n gt h e ove r a l l d ec l i n e . 148 Tu r n i ng t h i s v i ci o u s c i rc l e i n to a v i rt u o u s c i rc l e i n volved reo rga n i zi ngthe rotat i o n system so t h a t a ra b l e l a n d s co u l d c o n t r i bute to t h e fod d e rs u p p ly. T h i s m e a nt p l a n t i n g clover (or, l ate r o n , a lfa l fa o r t u r n i ps) i n steadof lett i n g land l ay fa l l ow. Feed i ng th ese crops to cattl e , i n t u rn , a l l owedh e rd s to i nc rease in s i ze and h e n ce to m u l t i p ly m a n u re s u p p l i e s . M o re­ove r, co n ti n u o u s ly fee d i ng m a n u re back i n to t h e soi l , as we l l a s u s i n g fod­der c ro ps to b i n d the soi l and prevent i t fro m esca p i ng the syste m v i awate r o r wi n d e ros i o n , m e a n t tightening the n utrient cycles, a p rocess t h attakes pl ace s po n ta n eo u s ly i n m at u re ecosyst e m s a n d gre a t ly co n tr i b utesto t h e i r res i l i e ncy. F l a n d e rs, a h ig h l y u r b a n i z e d area , was a m o n g t h e least fe u d a l izedregi o n s in E u rope, w h i c h goes a l o ng w ay in expl a i n i n g w h y the n ew agri­c u l t u r a l m e t h o d s d ev e l o p e d t h e re . That t h e reg i o n was n ot fe u d a l , h ow­ever, d o es not m e a n it was " c a p i t a l i st. " As I have r e p e ated ly p O i nted o u t ,p r ivate p ro p e rty a n d c o m m erci a l i zati o n d o n ot n ecess a r i ly i m p ly t h e p res­e nce of a n t i m a r ke ts . I n d eed , De V r i e s ex p l i cit ly m a rks t h i s d i ffe re n ce byd eve l o p i n g two sepa rate m o d e l s to a n a lyze t he evo l u t i o n of t h i s agri c u l ­t u r a l regi m e , o n e b a s e d o n m a rket i n vo l v e m e n t, t h e o t h e r a n t i m a rket. 149 T h e F l e m i s h m et h o d , fu rt h e r d e v e l o p e d i n t h e N et h e r l a n d s , s o o n fo u n di ts way to E n g l a n d , w h e re it was e m p l oyed on a l a rge s c a l e a n d s u bj e ctedto d i s c i p l i n a ry m a n a ge m e n t . O n ly aft e r the E n gl i s h mod i fi ed the systemwas t h ere a t r u ly " c a p i ta l i st" agri c u l t u re. In e i g h t e e n t h-ce ntu ry Engl a n d ,vast tracts o f l a n d were s u bm i tted t o t h e n ew i n t e n s i v e m e t h o d s a n de n c l osed on a l l s i d es w i t h h e d ges. L a n d ow n e rs a n d t h e fa r m e rs of l a rgeh o l d i ngs rea ped t h e b e n efits of t h e new p rod u ct i v ity, w h i l e co u ntrys i d estrata ( l a n d l o rd s , t e n a nts, a n d d e - s k i l l e d l a bo r e rs) h a rd e n e d , red u c i ngt h e n u m b e r of i n te r m ed i ate classes (s m a l l h ol d e rs, r u ral t r ad es m e n ) . l 5o165
  • 153. 2: FLESH AND GENEST h e se "we l l d i sc i p l i n e d" l a n d s fed t h e g rowing B r i t i s h po p u l at i o n , a s u b­sta n t i a l po rt i o n of w h i c h wo u l d p ro v i d e t h e raw m u scu l a r e n e rgy a n ds k i l ls fo r t h e n ew i n d u st r i a l tow n s a n d co n u rbati o n s fo r two ce ntu r i e s . By t h e m i d 1800s, l a rge-sca l e agricu ltu re i n Engl a n d was ecli psed bys i m i l a r but eve n l a rg e r e n terpri ses in the ne o-Eu ro pes: the U n ited State s,A u stra l i a , a n d Arge n t i n a . In t h e s e pl aces (as we l l a s in Si b e r i a) the m e s h ­wo r k t h a t c h a ract e r i ze d t h e N o rfol k system acq u i red n e w n o d e s ( i n t h efo rm of n ew m ac h i n es, s u c h as McCo rm ic ks re a p e r, w h i c h a u to m atedsome a s pects o f h a rvesti n g) and m u ch greater p ro po rti o n s. 151 Mo reover,t h e v e ry t i g h t n ut r i e n t cycl e s t h at c h a ra cterized t h e N o rfo l k system weres u d d e n ly s p l i t wide o p e n as n a t u r a l and arti fici a l fe rt i l izers beg a n to beuse d in agricu l t u r a l prod u ct i o n . 152 I n the U n ited States, fo r exa m p l e ,ferti l i z e r began t o f l o w i n fro m as fa r away as C h i l e . 15 3 N o t o n ly w e r e t h en u t r i e n t cyc l e s o pe n e d t o i n p u ts f r o m d i stant o r igi n s , t h e i r o u t p u tsWere a l so d i v o rced from t h e soi l : t h e n i t rogen a n d p h o s p h o r o u s i n m a nyfe rti l ize rs w e re not c o m p l ete ly a bso rbed by pla nts (al most h a l f of thesen u trie nts w a s wasted) and escap e d t h e N o rfo l k syste m , see p i n g i n to t h egro u ndwater a n d ove re n ri c h i n g i t i n a p rocess ca l l e d e u trophicatio n . 154Mo reover, e v e ry n u t r i e n t flow t h at ca me fro m outs i d e t h e farm was o n em o re poi nt o f e n t ry fo r a n t i m a r kets , a n d , h e n c e , re p resented a f u r t h e rl oss of c o n t r o l b y t h e fo od p rod u c e rs . A ce nt u ry l at e r, a s w e wi l l see ,corpo ratio n s wo u l d ge n e t i c a l ly e n g i n e e r crops t h a t req u i red exces s i veferti l i zati o n , t h u s etch i n g e n try poi nts fo r a n t i m a r kets i nto the cropsve ry ge n e s. A l t h o u g h t h i s k i n d o f n e a r-tota l ge netic co ntrol over the flow of p l a n tb i o m ass wo u l d not b e r e a l ized u n t i l t h e l ate twe n t i e t h ce n t u ry, t h e d i sci­p l i n i n g of pl a n t ge n e s was a l ready p racticed in t h e l ate n i n etee n t h a nde a rly twe n t i eth ce n t u r i e s . P l a nt ped igree h i e ra rc h i e s l agged be h i nd the i rl i vestock co u nterp arts, b u t w h e n they fi n a l ly mate ri a l ized t h e d egreeo f h u m a n co n t rol ove r t h e m wa s m u c h greater. A n d t h at m a n i p u l a ti o nof p l a n t ge nes wo u l d l e ad t o a p rocess of genetic ho moge n i zatio n t h a tdwarfed a l l e a r l i e r h o m oge n i zi n g t r e n d s . As ofte n t h e case, m o re t h a n o n e k i n d of i n stitu t i o n was i n volved i nt h i s p rocess. I n pa rti c u l a r, cert a i n gove r n m e n t age n ci e s i n t h e n eo­Eu ropes led t h e way to the c reatio n of p l a nt ped igre e s . I n 1862, as t hewest e r n fro nt i e r was offici a l ly o p e n e d i n t h e U n ited State s, a d ep a r t m e n tof agricu ltu re (t h e U S DA) was created for t h e p u rpose of coll ecti ng, p rop­agati ng, a nd d i stri b u t i ng seeds fo r crop p l a nts. La n d -gra nt u n i v e r s i t i e sa n d expe r i m e nta l -agri c u lt u re stat i o n s w e r e a l so c r e a t e d to h e l p d ev e l o pbette r p l a n t v a r i e t i e s a n d m u l t i ply t h e m ; t h a t i s , p l a n t i n g t h e m o n l y a s aso u rce of g e n e t i c m a t e r i a l s . 155166
  • 154. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D. T h e fi rst p l a n t to be c a pt u red i n t h e ne t of o b s e r v a t i o n a n d writ i ng wasco r n , ch ose n fo r the acces s i b i l ity a n d m a n i p u l a b i l ity o f i t s sexu a l o rga n s .By 1896, o n e o f t h e agr i c u l t u ra l stat i o n s h a d d e v e l o p ed t h e tec h n i q u e o fin bred lin es: re peated ly cross i n g a give n st ra i n with itse l f, u n t i l c e rta i nge n e s we re e l i m i nated a n d o t h e rs d ri v e n t o fixati o n . D e s p i te t h e " p e d i ­g r e e myst i q u e , " it soo n bec a m e o b v i o u s t h a t s u c h extre m e h o m ogene ityactu a l ly had d a m agi ng effects on the pla nts, but by 1905 a new tec h ­n i q u e h a d be e n develo ped t o co m p e n sate fo r t h i s : cross i ng two d i ffe re nti n bred l i n e s o f co rn k e pt t h e "desi ra b l e" tra i ts i n the i r p roge ny w h i l e e l i m ­i n ati ng so m e of the u nd es i ra b l e o n es. T h i s p rocess p rod u ced w h a t c a m et o b e k n ow n a s " hy b rid co r n " : Although hybrid corn was first i n trod uc ed to far m e rs i n 1926, only a bout one p e rcent of the acreage i n the Corn Belt was p l a n ted to hybrid va rieties by 1933 . This c h a nged ra p i d ly, however, and by 1944 m o re than eighty­ eig h t pe rce nt of the Corn B e l t was p l an ted to hy brid corn. Yie l d s i n c rea sed d ramatical ly; "corn powe r" had a rrived . . . . With hyb rid co rn , o n ly th ose who knew the parent l i nes a n d breed i ng seq u e n ce knew how to make the hig h ­ yie l d i n g hyb ri ds - ca l l e d a "closed ped igree" in t h e busine ss - a n d t h i s knowl edge w a s lega l ly protected as a trade secret. M o re i m porta n t ly from the busi ness sta n d po i nt, fa r m e rs cou l d not save and reuse hyb rid seed the fo l l owi n g yea r and obtain the same yie l d , si nce "hyb rid vigor" wo u l d d ec l i n e wit h cont i n u i ng use o f the seed . F a r m e r s h a d t o retu rn to the seed co m p a ­ ni es t o buy new seed each yea r. 156Hybrid co rn w a s t h e p rod u ct of o n e h o m ogen i z i n g o pe rati o n (w h i c h cre­ated the pa rent in bred l i n e s) fo l l owed by o n e or m o re h ete roge n i z i n go pe rati o n s (c rossi ng t h e i n b re d s to m a i nt a i n hyb rid vigor). H owe ve r, d u et o t h e h i e ra rc h ical stru ct u re o f ped igrees a nd o f t h e o l igopo l i stic p racticesb e h i n d t h e i r s p read , t h e whole p rocess was crown e d with a n o t h e r (a n dm o re powe rfu l) h o m ogen izatio n : i n t h e n i n eteenth c e n t u r y t h e ge n e poolo f Ame rica n c o r n was r i c h i n va ri ety, b u t by Wo rld Wa r I I m o st of th osege n e s h a d been driven o u t a nd re pl aced by the c l o n ed ge n etic m at e ri a l sfrom a few pa rental l i n e s . A t t h e ti m e , t h i s p rocess was co n s i d e red " p rogress, " b u t t h e h o m oge­ni zati o n of t h e C o r n Belt ( a n d ot h e r food-p rod u ci n g regi o n s) was i n d e e dext re m e ly d a ng e ro u s . A l t h o u g h c rops a n d l i v e stock h a ve f r o m a n c ie ntti m e s bee n as su scepti b l e to e pi d e m ics as h u m a n p o p u l at i o n s , a cert a i ndegree o f h e te roge n e i ty i n t h e i r g e n e t i c m a ke u p protected t h e m fromexti nctio n . W h i l e some o f t h e i n d i vi d u a l p l a nts i n a fi e l d wo u l d p e r i s hu nd e r t h e o n s l a u ght of d i sease, o t h e rs wo u l d su r v i ve a nd co nt i n u e t h e167
  • 155. 2: FLESH AND GENESl i n e . B u t w h e n 80 p e rc e n t of t h e p l a n ts i n a give n p o p u l at i o n a re v i rt u a l l yclo n e s , t h e m o m e nt a n ew m i croo rga n i s m h its 0 11 a " ge netic wi n d ow, "t h e re a re no o bsta c l e s to its s p re a d . T h i s is exactly w h a t h a p p e n e d sev­eral d e cades ago, w h e n a n e w fu n g u s fo u n d an e n try po i n t that e n a b l e dit t o e l u d e h y b r i d co r n s d e fe n se s : Reprod u c i ng ra p i d ly i n the u n u s u a l ly warm and mo ist weat h e r o f 1 9 7 0 , [t he fu n guss] spo res ca rried on the wi n d , the n e w d i s ease bega n movi ng no rthwa rd toward a fu l l -scale in va s i o n of Americas vast corn empire . . . . The new fu ngus moved l i k e wi l d f i re through one co rn field after another. I n some cases it wou l d wipe out an enti re sta nd of corn in ten days . . . . T h e fu n gus moved swiftly t h rough Georgia, Alabama, a n d Kentuc ky, an d b y J u n e its a i rborne spores were h e a d e d stra ight fo r the nations Corn B e lt, where eighty-five perce nt of all American co rn is grown. I 57As it h a p p e n e d , afte r a good p a rt of t h e ye a r s crop h a d b e e n d e stroye d ,a c h a n ge i n t h e weat h e r a n d e m e rge ncy m e a su res t h a t we re ta k e n savedthe d ay. B ut the e p i d e m i c had a l re a dy m a d e clear the d a n ge rs of h o m og­e n izat i o n a n d t h e l o ng-te r m co n s eq u e n ces of deci s i o n s m a d e t h ree o rfo u r d ec a d e s befo re . M o reove r, afte r t h e i n it i a l s u ccesses with co r n ,hyb rid izat i o n tec h n i q u e s s p read t o ot h e r p l a nts ( e . g . , a l fa l fa a n d sorgh u m )a n d t h e n , i n t h e 1940s, to a n i m a l s - fi rst c h icke n s a n d late r on catt l e . I5 8T h e re s u lt i n g g e n etic u n i fo r m ity h a s m a d e m a ny i n d u stri a l ized nat i o n s"ge n e poor" co u n t r i e s t h a t n ow v i ew w i t h e n vy t h e ge n et i c resou rces o ft h e i r "ge n e r i c h " u n d e rd eve l o p e d n e i g h b o rs. Even befo re hybrid izat i o n te c h n i q u es h a d "ge n etica l l y d i sci p l i n e d "co r n , t h e e a r l i e r su cce sses of l i vestock ped igree h i e ra rc h i es had i n s p i reds o m e sci e n ti s ts to d re a m o f a p p l y i n g s e l ective breed i n g te c h n i q u e s toh u ma n beings. In t h e seco n d half of t h e n i n etee n t h c e n t u ry, whe n Fra n ­cis Ga lto n co i n e d t h e t e r m "e ugen ics," a wides p r e a d m ov e m e n t s o u g h t t og i v e d i sci p l i n a ry i n stitut i o n s co n trol ove r t h e flow of h u m a n ge n etic m ate­r i a l s . The m ov e m e n t ga i n e d m o m e ntu m in the ea rly twe n t i e t h c e n t u ry,p a rti c u l a rly afte r t h e re d i scovery of M e n d e l s wo r k on h e red ity a n d t h eesta b l i s h me n t of ge n e s as t h e ca rri e rs of h e red ita ry i n fo r m ati o n . T h ei d e a of " i m p rov i ng" h u m a n b e i ngs t h ro u g h selectiv e breed i n g w a s n otn e w (it is at l e a st as o l d as P l atoI59), but i n t h e ea r l y twe n t i e t h ce ntu ry itm e s h ed we l l wit h t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a n d s p read of h o s p ita l s , p r i s o n s , a n dot h e r i n stit u t i o n s that routi n e ly p a rtit i o n e d , exa m i n e d , a n d d oc u m e ntedh u m a n be i n gs. In ot h e r wo rd s, w h i l e t h e dream of "ge n et i c hyg i e ne" m aybe o l d , t h e too ls fo r its i m p l e m e nta tio n we re j u st rea c h i n g matu rity a n dspr e a d i n g t h ro u gh t h e po p u l at i o n o f i n stitut i o n s . S p e c i a l o rgan izat i o n s168
  • 156. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D.s u c h as t h e E u ge n ics Reco rd Office c a m e to l i fe i n t h e U n ited States (aswe l l a s in E n g l a n d a n d G e r m a n y) and took on t h e task o f s u bj e ct i n g theh u m a n ge n e pool to t h e syste m o f co nti n u o u s wri ti n g a n d obse rvat i o n : Researchers at or affi l i ated with these l a b o rato rie s gat h e red i n formati on bearing on h u m an hered ity by exa m i n i n g medical reco rds or co n d u cting exte nded fa m i ly stu d ies, often relying u pon fiel d-wo rkers to construct trait ped igrees in sel ected popu lati o n s - say, the re sidents of a rural co m m u n ity - o n the basis of i n tervi ews and the exam in ati on of genea logical reco rd s . . . . By 1926, as a res u lt of its surveys and stu d i es, the Euge n i cs Record Office had accu mulated a bout 6 5 , 000 she ets of man uscript field re ports, 30,000 she ets of special traits reco rds, 8, 5 00 family trait sche d u les, a n d 1, 900 pri nted ge nealogie s , town histo ries, and biogra p h i e s. 16 o A l t h o u gh t h e scie ntific val u e of m ost of th ese d a ta was m i n i m a l (o n l yt h e r e l a t i v e l y few h e r i ta b l e t r a i ts t h at d e pe n d e d o n a s i n gl e ge n e co u l d betra p ped i n this n et), its so c i a l co n s eq u e n ces were n ot. I n fo rm e d by verypri m itive t h i n k i n g a bout ge n e tics , wh ere even t h e m o st co m p l ex d is p o s i ­ti o n s we re r e i f i e d i n to s i m p l e e n tities a n d l i n k ed with si n g l e ge n e s , A m e r i ­can e u ge n i c i sts m a n aged to i n vo l ve seve ra l i n stituti o n s d i rectly i n t h eco n t ro l of t h e flow of h u m a n g e n e t i c mate r i a l s. Begi n n i n g w i t h I n d i a n a i n1907, ove r twe n ty states p a s s e d co m p u l s o ry ste r i l izat i o n l a ws i n a n ove rtatte m pt to e l i m i n ate c e rta i n ge n e s fro m t h e po o l . D e s p ite t h e fact t h atm ost of th ese "ge n es" we re s p u r i o u s ( e . g . , d r u n k e n n e ss, fe e b l e m i n d ed­n e s s , and vagra n cy "ge n e s"), t h o u s a n d s o f p e o p l e were ste ri l ized a n dconti n u e d t o b e forcefu l ly d i sco n n ected fro m t h e ge ne pool ev e n afte r t h ee u ge n ics m ove m e nt h a d d i ed . Addit i o n a l ly, fe a r i n g t h e great i n f l u x o fso u t h e r n E u ro p e a n b l o o d , t h e t a i l e n d of t h e m a ss ive h u m a n wave t h a tc a m e to t h e n e o-Eu ropes i n t h e n i n ete e n t h a n d twe n t i eth ce ntu r i e s , i m m i­gra t i o n a u t h o r i t i e s passed l aws to rest r i ct t h e ki nd of ge n e s that c a m ei n to t h e U n ited St ates. Alt h o u g h t h e I m m igrat i o n R estrict i o n A c t of 1924d i d n ot ex p l i c itly ph rase its p o l i cy i n e u ge n i c te r m s , it i s c l e a r (as Ste p h e nJ ay G o u l d h a s a rgued) t h a t it w a s i n t e n d e d t o fa vor t h e e n t ry of n o rt h e r nE u ro p e a n " stock" at t h e expe n se of ge n e poo l s d e e m e d i n fe ri o r. 161 T h e practice of i m m igrati o n contro l is p a rticu l a rly rel eva nt h e re beca u s eit i n vo l ved a n ew type of exa m i n a t i o n te c h n i q u e t h a t i s sti l l u sed tod ay a sa " s o rti n g d e v i ce " : t h e I Q t e s t . O r i gi n a l ly created ( by A lfred B i n et between1905 and 1908) as an aid to d etect c h i l d re n who m ay need special e d u ca­t io n , it was tra n sfo r m e d by A m e ri c a n e u ge n i c i sts i n to a ro uti n e d ev i ce fo rtest i n g a n d ra n k i n g a l l c h i l d re n a n d a d u lts acco rd i n g to t h e i r (su p posed l yh e ritable) m e n ta l wo rt h . 162 A n e s s e nc e of " rat i o n a l ity" w a s post u l ated ,169
  • 157. 2: FL ESH AND GENESreified i n to a " t h i n g" i n t h e bra i n , a n d t h e n associ ated with a s i n gle " g e n e "w h os e pre s e n ce o r a bse nce from t h e ge n e po o l was s u sce pti b l e t o i n stitu­tio n a l m a n i pu l a t i o n . R ega rd l e ss of t h e fact t h at t h e test mostly m ea s u redfa m i l i a rity with Am e ri c a n c u lt u re , m a ste ry o f t h e "the a rc a n a of bowl i n g,co m m e rc i a l p rod u cts, a n d fi l m sta rs , " 163 it beca m e a ro u t i n ized p roce­d u re to b r a n d i m m i gra nts accord i n g to t h e i r ge n et i c e n dowme nt. It wasa l so d i rectly co n n ected wit h the st e r i l izat i o n c a m p a i g n , s i n ce low I Qsco res were t h o u g h t t o s i g n a l " fe e b l e m i n d e d n e s s , " a su p posedly h e r i ta ­b l e co n d itio n t h at e nd a nge red t h e i ntegrity of t h e A m e ri c a n ge n e poo l . A l t h o u g h e u g e n ics wa s e v e n tu a l ly d i scred ited w h e n N azi G e r m a nys h owed t h e wo r l d j u st w h at s u c h g e n e t i c " i m p rove m e nt" co u l d l e a d to i fi m pl e m e nted o n a l a rge e n o u g h sca l e , t h i s d i d n ot m e a n t h at t h e h u m a nb o d y esca p e d t h e n et of wri t i n g a n d obse rvatio n i n to w h i c h i t h a d b e e nd rawn two o r t h ree ce ntu r i e s e a r l i e r; t h e re were ot h e r m e a n s of co ntrol­l i n g its c a p a b i l i t i e s w h i c h were- u n re l ated to crude g e n etic cl e a n s i n gca m p a i g n s . We m ay d iv i d e t h e s e i n to two types, fo l l ow i n g t h e d i sti nct i o nb i o l ogists m a ke betw e e n s o m a a n d germ line: t h e l atte r refe rs p ri m a r i l yt o cel l s with r e p rod u ctive ca pac ity (eggs a n d s p e r m ) , b u t m ay a l so besaid to i n c l u d e all t h e t i s s u e s and o rga n s t h at ma ke up our re prod u ctiv esyste m , w h i l e t h e fo r m e r i n c l u d e s a l l t h e ot h e r syste m s (digestive, m u s­cu la r, n e rvo u s , etc . ) t h at fo r m t h e rest of t h e body. I n terms of soc i a lco ntrol o v e r t h e s o m a , i t h a s p r i n c i p a l ly b e e n t h e m a l e b o d y t h at h a ss u ffered t h e effects of d i sc i p l i n a ry te c h n i q u e s . N ot o n ly w e r e d r i l l a n ds u r v e i l l a n ce deve l o p e d i n excl u s i v e l y m a l e a r m i e s , b u t l a rge m a s sesof male bo d i e s were u s e d as ca n n o n fo d d e r f r o m the N a po l eo n i c Wa rst h ro u g h Wo r l d Wa r I . ( I n t h e latt e r, an e n t i re ge n e ratio n wa s u s ed to" fe e d " e n e m y arti l l e ry. ) I n te r m s of t h e ge rm l i n e , on t h e ot h e r h a n d ,t h e fe m a l e body h a s b o r n e t h e b r u nt o f i n t e n se exa m i n atio n a n d regis­tra t i o n t e c h n i q u es . A v e ry i m p o rtant i n stitut i o n a l e n croa c h m e n t o n t h e germ l i n e occu r re di n t h e U n ited States d u r i n g t h e n i n et e e n t h ce ntu ry t h ro u g h t h e asce n ­d a n ce of o bstet rics a n d gyn e col ogy. Betwe e n t h e m , th ese n ew s p e c i a l t i e sm a n aged i n a f e w d e ca d e s t o acq u i re a virt u a l m o n o p o ly o v e r t h e m e t h ­o d s a n d pract ices u s e d to a s s i st i n c h i l d b i rt h . " I n t h e [ea r ly] twe ntiet hcentu ry, p hys i c i a n s p u s h e d fo r o bstet rical refo r m , w h i c h l a rge l y e l i m i ­nated m i dwives a n d m o ved b i rth from t h e h o m e t o t h e h o s p i ta l . W h i l e i n1 900, fewe r t h a n 5 p e rcent o f A m e rica n wo m e n d e l i v ered i n h o s p i t a l s ,by 1 940, a bo u t h a l f d i d a n d by 1 960, a l mo st a l l . " 164 As m e d i ca l stu d i e s( by d octo rs) h a ve rev e a l e d , d u r i ng t h e pe riod of t i m e i n w h i c h h o s p i ta l stoo k ov e r fro m t r a d i t i o n a l p ractices t h i s c r u c i a l posit i o n i n t h e f l ow o fge n et i c m ate r i a l s , o b ste trici a n s were c a u s i n g m o re d a m a ge t o wo m e n170
  • 158. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D.t h a n m i d w i ve s eve r d i d . Agg r e s s i ve u s e of forceps t e n d e d to r e s u l t i nto rn b i rth c a n a l s , a n d l a ck o f hygi e n e s p r e a d d i sea ses a m o n g t h e i n fa n ts: I n c reased p hysician atte n d a nce at b i rth did not re sult i n i m p roved outcome fo r mothers a n d ba bie s. As the pe rce ntage of b i rths atte nded by midwives d e c reased from 50 to 15 percent, pe ri natal i n fant morta l ity i n crease d . D u r­ i n g the fi rst de cad e of the twe ntieth centu ry, mid wives in New Yo rk were signifi ca ntly su peri o r to docto rs in p reve nti ng sti l l b i rths a n d c h i l d b e d fever. For exa m p l e , Newa rks mate rnal morta l ity rate of 1. 7 per 1 , 000 from 1 914 to 1916 among mot h e rs d e l ivered by mi dwives co mpared most favo rably to the 6 . 5 pe r 1 , 000 rate in Bosto n , where midwives were ban ned . 165 I n t h e l o n g r u n , as rat i o n a l izat i o n a n d r o u t i n izati o n gave r i s e to e c o n o­m i e s of sca l e , h o s pita l s m ay h a ve b e co m e bett e r pl aces fo r h u m a n s tobe b o r n , at l e a st in te rms of d ecreased m o rt a l ity. T h e pro b l e m , as wit ha s s e m b ly- l i n e facto r i e s , w a s t h a t t h i s i n creased " p rod u ctiv ity" c a m e w i t hh i d d e n costs i n t e r m s of l o ss of c ontr ol (fo r t h e wo m e n g i v i n g b i rth). Asw it h all d i sc i p l i n a ry i n st i t u ti o n s , a true acco u nt i n g m u st i n c l u d e t h os efo rces t h at i n crease ( i n eco n o m ic t e r m s of u t i l ity) a n d t h ose t h at d e c re a s e(i n p o l i t i ca l t e r m s of o be d i e n c e ) . S e d ated wo m e n g i v i n g b i rt h i n h o s p ita l snot o n l y l o st co ntro l o v e r d e c i s i o n s m a d e d u ri n g l a b o r (fo r i n sta n c e ,w h eth e r o r n ot a ny s u rg i ca l i nt e r v e n t i o n i s req u i re d ) b u t a l s o o v e r ot h e rfu n ct i o n s l at e r o n : I n the 1 930s physicians bega n re p l a c i n g the wo m a n s b reast m i l k (w h i ch a n e a rly Ge rber adve rtise ment fo r baby fo rm u l a c a l l e d "a vari able excretion") with fo rmu l a , a prod uct i n c reasi ngly av ai l a b l e from d rug a n d m i l k com pa­ n i es . . . . To d i scou rage n u rsing o n d e m a n d , t h ey separated mot h e r and c h i l d . Th ey esta bl i s h e d ru les req u i ri n g fe e d i ngs at i n tervals of no les s than fo u r hou rs . . . . I n the n u rseries, babies were fed s u p p l e m ental bottles with­ out the mothe rs knowledge. Conseq ue ntly, the babies were not hu ngry when brought to the mother. Without su fficient suckl i n g the mothe rs m i l k d ried u p . . , . B y t h e 1940s t h e p ropo rtion o f women breast-feed i ng, with o r without s u p pleme ntal bottl es, had d rop ped t o 65 percent. B y 1 9 5 6 , it was down to 37 pe rce nt; by 1966, 2 7 percent. 16 6 D e s p ite t h e c u rre nt reviva l of m i d w i fe ry (a n d b reast feed i n g), t h e tra ns­fe r of b i rt h fro m p r i vate h o m e s to p u b l i c spaces of o bs e r v at i o n a n d w r it­i n g w a s an i n stituti o n a l e n cro a c h m e n t on t h e h u m a n ge r m l i n e . A n d t h i st a k e ove r co m p l e m e n ted t h e e a r l i e r s n a r i n g o f o u r s o m a i n a s i m i l a r n et o fco m p u l s o ry te sts a n d reco rds. T h e Fre n c h m i l i t a ry, w h i c h p i o n e e re d t h e171
  • 159. 2: FLESH AND GENESrouti n izati o n of i n d u st r i a l p rod u ct i o n i n its e ighte e n t h -ce n t u r y a rse n a l s ,was p e r h a ps t h e fi rst t o co m b i n e t h e effects of d r i l l w i t h th ose of hygi e n ea n d m e d ici n e t o prod u ce n ot o n ly o bed i e n t b u t h e a l t hy bod i e s . T h e m a s­sive a r m i e s of u rb a n propo rti o n s w i t h w h ich N a p o l e o n co n q u e re d Eu ropewere e p i d e m i o logi c a l ly a k i n to cities. O n ly t h e co m bi n e d effects of c o m­pu l so ry vacc i n a ti o n , a rit u a l atte n t i o n to c l e a n l i n e s s , a n d a m e d i c a l co rpswith a c l e a r c h a i n of co m m a n d m a d e possi b l e t h e s e o t h e r w i s e i m pr u d e n tm i xtu res of recru its from regi o n s n ot n o r m a l ly i n cl ose c o n tact with o n ea n ot h e r. 167 T h u s fa r we h ave e x p l o red t h e two h a lves of our b i o lo g i c a l h i sto ry, t h eh i sto ry o f o u r own f l e s h a n d b l o od as w e l l a s t h e n o n h u m a n ge n e s a n db i o m ass u n d e r ou r co n t ro l . H owev e r, a s w e have a l re a dy see n , t h e h i storyof u rb a n a l i m e n t a ry pyr a m i d s n e e d s to be com p l e m e n ted by a n a lys i s oft h e l a rge r b i o l og i c a l m e s h w o r k of w h i c h cities and tow n s a re a p a rt. M o respeci fica l ly, we n e e d to retu r n to t h e m ic rosco pic co m p o n e nt of t h o sefood webs, t h e w o r l d of i n fecti o u s d i seases t h a t c o n t i n u e to feed on o u rbod i e s a n d h e n c e s h ort-c i rc u it ou r t i g htly focused b i o m ass fl ow. M o re­ov er, m i croo rga n i s m s i n te ract n ot o n ly with ou r o rga n i c bod i es but a l sow i t h o u r i n stitut io n s , exert i n g s e l e c t i o n p ressu res o n t h e m a n d t h e rebyact i n g as sort i n g d ev i c e s for the routi n es t h a t these i n stituti o n a l re pl ica­tors tra n s m it ve rti c a l ly a n d h o rizonta l ly. M u c h a s t h e p l ag u e sti m u l ated t h e cre a t i o n of t h e m e t h o d s a n d rout i n e st h a t wou l d l ater o n m i n e ra l ize i n to h os pi t a l s , t h e c h o l e ra e p i d em i cs ofthe n i n ete e n t h a n d twe n t i et h ce ntu ries cata lyze d i nto existe nce a n u m be ro f u r b a n i n stitu t i o n s c o n c e r n e d w i t h p u b l i c h e a l t h a n d hygi e n e . I n B ri t i s htow n s , l ocal b o a r d s of h e a l th e m e rged as a re s p o n se t o t h e fi rst o u t b re a kin 1832. A seco n d w a v e h i t i n 1848, a n d t h i s t i m e a c e n t r a l iz ed age ncywas created to i m p l e m e nt fa r-rea c h i n g programs of p u b l i c s a n i tati o n .C h o l e ra i s a w a t e rb o r n e d i s e a s e , a n d s o t h e re spo n s e t o i t n eces s a r i l yi n volved n e w syst e m s o f w a t e r s u p p l y a n d sewage d i sposa l . T h e i n t r u s i vec h a racter of t h e i n frast r u ctu re t h a t was n e e d e d ( p i pes ru n n i n g u n d e r p ri­vate pro p e rty, fo r exa m p l e ) , as �ell as t h e t h e n -d o m i n a n t m i a s m a t h e o ryof e p i d e m i cs ( w h i c h fav o red a i r a n d e a rt h as tra n s m i tte rs), gen e ratedres i sta n ce to the p roject, a n d it too k the i n te ns e fe ar t h a t c h o l e r a i n s p i re dt o overc o m e t h ese obsta c l e s . S i m i l a r situ atio n s cr o p p e d u p i n ot h e r pa rtsof E u r o p e , as w e l l a s i n t h e l a n d s E u ro p e a n s had sett l e d : Spreaq [of the new pol i cies] to ot h e r co u n tri es occurred re latively rapid ly, though not i n freque ntly it took the same sti m u l u s of an approac h i n g epidemic of c h o l e ra to compel loca l vested interests to yield to advocates of sa nita ry refor m . T h u s , in the U n ited States, it was not unti l 1866 that172
  • 160. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A.D. a co mparable Boa rd of H eal th wa s esta b l i s hed in New Yo rk City, modele d on the B ritish prototype a n d i n s p i red by i d e ntical a p pre h ensions of the i m m i n e n ce of a new c h olera e p i d e m i c . In the a b sence of this sort of st i m u ­ l u s, such a great city as H a m b u rg persisted i n postp o n i n g costly i m prove­ ments of its water s u p ply u n t i l 1892, when a vis itation of cholera p roved beyo nd a l l reaso n a b l e d o u bt that a co nta m i n ated wate r s u p ply pro pagated the d iseas e. 168 M c N e i l l ca l l s c h o l e ra t h e fi rst lli n d u stri a l d i sease" n ot beca u s e it o r i ­gi n ated i n facto ry tow n s (it d i d n ot) b u t b e c a u s e it h a d re a c h e d E u ro p ef r o m I n d i a th a n k s to n e w tra n s p o rtat i o n te c h n o l ogies s u c h a s t h estea m s h i p a n d the ra i l ro a d . Th ese c h a n n e l s a l l owed m i c roo rga n i s m s totrave l fa rt h e r and faster t h a n eve r b e fo re : a c h o l e ra e p i d e m i c t h a t bega ni n B e n ga l i n 1826 re a c h e d e a ste r n Eu rope in 1831, t h e U n it e d States i n1832, a n d M ex i co i n 1 8 3 3 . 16 9 C o n se q u e n t l y, c h o l e ra a l s o cata lyz e d t h efi rst att e m pts at i n te r n ati o n a l c o o p e rat i o n i n res p o n d i ng to e p i d e m ics.(As e a rl y a s 1 8 3 1 , E u ro p e a n s we re c o l l a b o ra t i n g w i t h Egypti a n a u t h o r i t i e si n trac k i n g t h e cou rse of t h e d i s e a s e . ) W h e n stea m s h i p s b ega n co n n e ct­i n g t h e w o r l d s m a r iti m e gateways a r o u n d 1870, t h e ra n ge of h a b i tatst h at c o u l d b e c o l o n i z e d n ot o n ly by ge r m s b u t by weeds (rats a n d t h e i rfle as) i ncreased greatly. I n t h e 1890s , a n ew e p i d e m ic of b u b o n i c p l ag u eb roke out i n C h i n a a n d b y 1894 h a d re a c h ed C a n t o n a n d H o ng Ko ng.Fro m th ere st e a m s h i p s c a r r i e d the i n fected rats a n d fleas to ot h e r p o rts,fro m w h i c h , in t u rn , the d i s e a se s p re a d i n to b u rrowi n g ro d e n t co m m u n i ­t i e s e l sew h e re . A l t h o u g h i n te r n ati o n a l t e a m s of d octors a n d a n u m b e r ofp r o p hy l a ctic m e a s u r e s m a n aged to co nt a i n t h e sp read of p l ag u e toh u m a n s , e v e n today n e w vers i o n s of p l ag u e a re ev o l v i n g in u n d e rgrou n drod e n t " c i t i e s , " s o m e capa b l e of i n fect i n g pe o p l e : Plague was brought by s h i p to the n o rthwest of Ame rica aro u n d 1 900. About 200 deaths we re reco rded in t h e th ree-year San Fra n c i sco e p i d e m i c w h i c h started j u st afte r t h e eart h q u a ke in 1 906. A s a resu lt, t h e weste rn part of the U . S . A . , pa rti cu la rly N ew Mexico, is now one of t h e two l a rgest re s i d u a l foci of plague (in mice a n d voles parti cu lar ly) in the worl d - t he ot her i s in R u ssia . The p l ague baci l l u s has spread ste ad ily eastwards fro m the west coast and in 1 984 was fo u n d among a n i mals in the mid-west. T h e wave fro nt h a s moved on average a bo u t 35 m i l e s a year. . . . I f, o r rather, w h e n , p l a gu e reac h e s the east coast of the U . S . A . with its la rge u rban areas, the pote n t i a l fo r a serious e p i d e mic wi l l be co nside ra bl e . N ew Yo r k , fo r exa m p l e , has an esti ma ted r a t popu lation o f one rat pe r h u ma n ; a n d m i ce - also effective dis ease ca rri ers - p robably n u mber mo re. 170173
  • 161. 2: FLESH AND GENES As t h i s exa m p l e i l l u st rates, t h e fact t h at modern m e d i c i n e has ga i n ed al a rge r mea s u re of co n t rol over m icroo rga n i s m s d oes n ot m e a n t h at weh ave ce ased to fo rm a mes hwo rk wit h bacte ria , v i ruses, p l asmod ia , fu ngi ,a n d ot h e r "we e d s . " B u t t h e co m m a n d e l e me nts i n t h e ove ra l l m ixtu reh ave i n creased , a n d t h is h as h ad i m p o rt a nt h isto rical co n seq u e n ces. Tobeg i n with , t he m e d i ca l a n d p u bl i c h e a lt h i n stitu t i o n s t h a t we re ge n e ratedin our c l a s h with e p i d e m ics m a n aged to push cities a c ross a t h res h o l da ro u n d t h e ye a r 1900: fo r t h e fi rst t i m e i n t h e m i l l e n n i u m (a nd p e rh a ps i nh isto ry) l a rge c i t i e s we re a b l e to re p rod u ce t h e i r h u m a n popu l atio n s with­o u t a co n sta n t flow of i m m igra n ts from t he cou ntrys i d e . The city beca m e ,i n a sense, s e l f-re p rod u ctive . T h e n i nte r n a ti o n a l e m igrati o n flows received a boost as m i l itary m e d i­ci n e , n ow able to i m p l e m e n t hygie n ic and i m m u n ol ogica l p rogra m s bycom m a n d , a l l owed a r m ies to bre a k away from old b i o logical regi mes a n do pe n e d new a reas fo r col o n izat io n . Some o f t h e great co l o n i a l enterprisesof t h e l ate n i n etee n t h ce ntu ry - t h e o pe n i ng of the Pa n a m a Canal by theU n ited States (in 1904) and t h e carving up of the Afri c a n c o nt i n e nt byseve ra l E u ro p e a n powers - we re m a d e poss i b l e by t h e i n cre ased controlover m a l a ri a and yel low fever a c h i eved by m i l it a ry m ed i ci n e . The vectorof bot h d iseases (mosq u itoes) was brought i nto the d isci p l i n a ry net by arigorous s a n it a ry pol ice " s u p po rted a n d s usta i n ed by m eticu l o u s o bse r­vat i o n of m os q u i to n u m be rs a n d patte r n s of be havi o r. " l71 B ut t he rea l breakt h ro ugh in t h e atte m pt to s u b m it m i c roorga n i s m s topyra m id a l co n t ro l occu rred w h e n l a bo rato ries l e a r n e d how to t u r n m icrobea ga i n st m i cro be o n an i nd u st ri a l sca l e . This took p lace d u ri ng Wo rld Wa r I I ,wit h t he deve l o p m e n t of a se ries of n ew c h e m ica l s, s u c h as p e n i c i l l i n a n ds u l fa s . W h e n t h e term a ntibiotic was i ntrod uced i n 1942, it w a s defi ned a sa ny c h e m i ca l s u bsta nce p rod u ced b y a m i c roo rga n i sm c a p a b l e o f d i stu rb­i ng a vital l i n k i n the meta b o l i s m of a n ot h e r o n e , t h u s k i l l i ng it or i n h i bit­i ng its growt h . l7 2 (Today some a nti biotics a re c h e m i ca l ly syn t h es ized , sothe d efi n it i o n has bee n b road e n ed .) T hese n at u ra l ly occu rri ng su bsta ncesm ay be t h e p ro d u ct of arms races betwe e n m i crobes (si m i l a r to t hosebetwe e n p red ators a n d t h e i r p rey), a n d t h e i r existe n ce had been k n ow nfo r seve ra l d ecades p ri o r to t h e wa r. B u t n ot u nti l t h e 1 940s d id t h e wa ro n d isease possess t h e i n d ustrial met hods n eeded to fo rce a " m icro b i a lp ro l etari at" t o m ass- p rod u ce t hese c h e m ical weapo n s . A l t h o u g h a n t i biotics d id p rove d ecis ive i n wi n n i ng t he fi rst battles,t h ey d i d not a l l ow m e d i ca l i n stituti o n s to w i n t h e wa r. T h e p roblem wast hat, as i t t u r n e d out, m icrobes offe red t hese wea po n s a co n stantly m ov­i ng t a rget. T h e flow of ge n es i n m ic roo rga n isms, u n l i ke l a rge a n i m a l sa n d p l a nts, is n ot rigi d ly h ie ra rc h i c a l ; eve n t hose m icrobes t hat re p ro-174
  • 162. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1700-2000 A . D .d u ce sexu a l ly ( a n d t h u s c h a n n e l ge n e s "ve rtic a l ly," as we d o) a lso com­m u n icate " h o rizo ntal l y" with one a n ot h e r, freely t ra n s fe rr i n g p ieces ofge n etic i n fo r m ation across stra i ns and eve n s pecies. Soon afte r Wo rldWa r I I , ge nes t h a t co n fe rred resi sta n ce to a ntibiotics we re p ro m ptly t ra n s­ferred fro m o n e s pecies of bacte ri u m to a noth e r. S i n ce p e n i ci l l i n s i n it i a lu se i n 1941, a m ajo rity of its ta rgets (sta p hylococci) h ave beco m e res is­t a n t to it. 1 73 P u m pi ng m assive a m o u nts of antibiotics i nto a n i ma l a n dh u ma n i ntesti n a l tracts wo rs e n e d t h e situation b y creati n g t h e pe rfecte n v i ro n me nt fo r the se l ecti o n (on a n eq u a l ly m assive scale) of new res i s­t a n t stra i n s; Tod a y, n ea rly eve ry d i sease k n own to m e d i ci n e h a s beco m eresista n t to at least o n e a nti biotic, a n d seve ra l a re i m m u ne to m o re t h a no n e . I t see m s clear n ow t h a t w e wi l l co n ti n u e t o fo rm a mes hwo r k withthe m ic rowo rld d espite all the adva nces in medical sci e nce. A s i m i l arpoi n t a p p l i e s to p l a n t a n d i n sect "we e d s . " Beca use of t h e m assive a p p l i ­catio n s of D DT ( a n d ot h e r m e m b e rs o f its c h e m ical fa m i ly) t o s h o rte nu rb a n food c h a i ns, s o m e sci e n tists bel ieve t h a t t h e o n ly weed s th at w i l lbe a ro u n d i n u rban ized regi o n s by t h e yea r 2000 are t hose resista n t t ot h e s e pestici d es . 174 T h u s , a n ew arms race developed, t h i s time betwe e n h i e ra rc h ical m e d ­ical i nstitutio n s a n d t h e ra p i d ly evo l v i n g m e shwork of m icrobes. I n t h el a test ro u nd of t h is co n test, t h e v e r y m a c h i n e ry be h i n d t h e h o rizo ntaltra n sfer of ge nes a m o n g bacteria was rec r u ited t o se rve t h e b a cte riasvery e n e my. The mec h a n i s m i nvolves at l e a st two com po n e nts: j u m p i n gge n es a n d a vector of tra n sm i s s i o n (plasm i d s , tra n s poson s). T h e d iscov­e ry t h a t p i eces of ge n etic i nfo rmatio n can move a ro u n d in a c h ro mo­so m e d ates to the l ate 1 940s , but it took d ecades before the e nt re n ch e do rthodoxy cou l d acco m m o d ate the n ew i d e a s . Tod ay w e k now t hat ge n e sn ot o n ly c a n move a rou n d i n s i d e t h e n uc l e u s , t h ey c a n a l so "j u m p" o u ti n to t h e cyto p l a sm a n d becom e i n corpo rated i nto o rga n e l l e s (s u c h asp l a s m ids), which re p rod uce o n their own wit h i n t h e cel l . Plasm i d s cant ravel f ro m o n e ce l l to a not h e r (or one bacteri u m to a not h e r) and d e l i ve rt h e "j u m pi ng gen e , " w h i c h t h e n i ncorpo rates itse l f i n to t h e n uc l e a r D NAof t h e n ew ce l l a n d t h u s beco mes h e rita b l e . T h i s m e c h a n i s m m ay exp l a i nhow resista n ce t o a nt i b i otics s p read so ra p i d ly a m o n g t h e pop u l ation o fm icrobes. Wit h t h e d i scove ry of ge ne-s p l ic i n g and ge n e-gl u i ng e n zymes, a s we l la s t h e ot h e r tec h n i q u e s o f b iote c h n o l ogy, h u m a n res e a rc h e rs were a b l eto e x p l o i t t h is m ec h a n i s m a n d ta ke ge n etic m at e ri a l s from · o n e l i vi n gcreat u re , attach t h e m to a p l a s m i d (o r oth e r vecto r), a n d t h e n i nject t h e mi nto a d iffe re n t c reatu re, i n effect, creati n g " c h i m e ras" : a n i m a ls , p l a nts,or m icrobes with the ge n etic c h a racte ristics of two o r m o re d i ffe re n t175
  • 163. 2: FLESH AND GENESs peciesY5 T h e p ractical v a l u e of c h i meras fo r t h e a r m s race betweenm e d i ca l i n stitu t i o n s and m i c robial evol ution is this: ge n e s t h at code fo rspecific e nzymes (o r ot h e r p rotei ns) with pote nti a l m e d i ca l a p p l icati o n scan n o w be i n co rpo rated i n to a n easy-to-c u l tivate ce l l , u si ng its ownm a c h i n e ry to "tra n s l ate" t h e ge n e i nto a p rotei n . By c l o n i n g t h i s c h i m e ri ccel l repeated ly, l a rge po p u l atio n s of p rote i n p rod ucers c a n be createda nd their p ro d u ct h a rvested t h rough a v a ri ety of method s . P a radoxical ly, t h e very p roced u res e m pl oyed to d e ny m icroparasitesaccess to the u rb a n flow of b i o m ass a l l owed macroparasites (especi a l lya nti m a rket i n stitutio n s) to i n se rt t h e m se l ve s at m u lt i p l e poi nts i n t h e foodc h a i n . As we saw a bove , t h i s tre nd bega n with the i nt rod u ction of c h e m i­c a l ferti l izers (a s we l l a s h e rbicides a n d i n sect i ci des), w h i c h a re m a n u ­factu red f a r fro m t h e fa rm a n d w h i c h s p l it o p e n t h e n utrie nt cycles t h ath a d bee n closed fo r ce n t u r i e s . W h i l e a ce n t u ry a n d a h al f ago A m e ricanfa rms p rod u ced m ost of w h at t h ey n e e d e d (ru n n i ng on tight nutrientcycles), tod ay t h ey receive u p to 70 percent of t h e i r i n p u ts ( i n cl u d i ngseed) fro m t h e o utsid e . 1 76 B iotec h nology is accelerati ng t h is tre n d , b u t itdid n ot create it. Take, fo r exa m pl e , the gre e n revolution of the 1950s. New p l a n t hybridswith ge nes t h at d i rected m ost p hotosynthetic activity to t h e prod u ct i o n ofe d i b l e gra i n (as o p posed to i ne d i bl e ste m s) were i ntrod uced i n t h e T h i rdWo rld, with t h e a d m i r a b l e goa l of m a k i n g t h ose co u ntries n utrition a l ly self­s u fficient. A n d , i n deed, t h e m u c h h i g h e r yields of t h ese " m i racle" p l a ntsdid fo r a w h i l e stre n gt h e n the food b a se of cou ntries s u c h as M exico , t h eP h i l i p p i n es , a n d I n d i a . T h e catch w a s t h at t h e n ew breeds req u i red l a rgea m o u nts of o utside i n p uts (fe rt i l i ze r) to perform t h e i r m i racles, a n d i n t h ea bs e n ce of c h e m ical fe rt i l izer t h e i r y i e l d s w e r e not n e a rly as i m p ressive.T h e situation was s i m i l a r to t h at of stea m powe r: in o r d e r to get h ig h out­p uts of m ec h a n ical e n e rgy, i nt e n se i n p uts of coa l were needed . I n oth e rwords, t h i s k i n d o f set u p p rofited f r o m eco n o mies of sca l e a n d t h e refo reb e n efited l a rge fa r m e rs, trigge r i n g a p rocess of c o n so l i d at i o n i n w h i c hm a ny s m a l l fa r m s d i sa p p e a red . Open n utrient cycl e s a lso m a d e fa r m e rsvu l n e ra ble to outs i d e m o n o p o l i es : w h e n t h e Ara b oil cart e l bega n ra i s i n gp rices i n t h e ea rly 1 97 0s, ferti lizer costs i n creased d ra m atical ly a nd t h egre e n revo l uti o n col la p se d . Wo rse yet , c l o n e s o f t h e n ew p l a nts n ow d o m i­n ated t h e loca l ge ne pool s a n d m a ny ge n etic mate r i a l s of traditi o n a l vari­eties (w h i c h did n ot d e p e n d o n ferti l i zer) h a d been lost, m a k i n g it veryh a rd to t u rn back t h e clock. l n T h e h o m oge n i zation of t h e ge n eti c base of crops a n d l i vestock rea c h e dh igh p e a k s of i ntensity i n t h e l a st few d ecad es. A n d t h e g e n e s that a rebei ng sel ected n ow, u n l i ke d u ri n g t h e G reen Revol utio n , a re not t hose t h at176
  • 164. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.i ncrease the n utritio n a l v a l u e of biomass, but rath e r its adaptability to homo­geneous factory routines. For i n st a n ce , i n t h e 1950s a n d 1960s, m a n u fac­t u re rs of farm m a c h i n e ry worked toget h e r with p l a n t b re e d e rs to fit n ewvegetable va rieties to t he d e m a n ds of routi n izat i o n a n d rati o n a l izati o n .G e n es t h at caused vegetables t o yie l d u n iform s hapes a n d sizes, a s we l l a st o m at u re s i m u lta neou sly t o a l l ow h a rvest i n g a t t he s a m e t i m e , m a d e iteasier to a d a pt veget a b l e p rod u ction to mach i nes and to facto ry sched u l es: C rops in the fiel d m u st fi rst meet the tests of yie l d , u n ifo rm growt h , a n d sim u ltaneous matu rity. After this, their fru it or kernels m u st b e a b l e t o with­ sta n d the rigo rs of mechanica l ha rvesting, re peated h a n d l in g, and various kinds of transport fro m one poi nt to a nother. lJext come the trials of steam­ i ng, cru s h i ng, or ca nn i ng. In some cases, the raw agricultural crop must "sto re wel l" or "trave l wel l ," or be good fo r freezing or fryi ng. And gen es are the keys to meeting each of these ste ps in the food-making process; the ge nes that co ntro l the fi eld-to-table cha racte ristics of every crop fro m broc­ col i to wheat. In this process the genes t h at matter are those of yield, ten­ s i le stre ngt h , d u r a b i l ity, and long shelf l i fe . H owever, the genes fo r n utrition - if co nsidered at a l l - are fo r the most part ignored . 178I n some cases, the ge n etic m ate ri a l s be h i n d "we l l-d i sci p l i n e d " p rocessi ngp rope rties a re in d i rect op positi o n to t hose i m p rovi ng n utriti o n a l v a l u e(t hat i s , b ree d i ng f o r o n e e l i m i n ates t h e othe r). Co n seq u e ntly, t h e l atte rcou l d ve ry we l l d i s a p pe a r fro m t h ese n ew p l a nts, a n d as c l o n es of t h enew va rieties s p r e a d , t h e ge n es of o l d v a rieties wi l l b e g i n to d is a p p e a rfro m t h e ge n e poo l . H e nce, t he evo l ut i o n o f c rops (a n d l i vestock) i s tru lybei ng d riven from t h e p rocessing e n d of t h e food c h ai n . A few centu riesago, c u l t u res ( I s l a m ic, E u ro p e a n ) were the m a i n vecto rs fo r the t ra n s m i s­s i o n of ge n e s across ecosyste m s ; tod ay, co rporat i o n s have i n h e rited t h ish o m oge n izi ng tas k . IVI c D o n a l d s , fo r i n st a n ce, is now t h e m a i n age n t ofp ropagat i o n of the ge nes be h i nd t h e B u rba n k potato; t h e Adol p h CoorsC o m p a ny, of t he ge nes fo r t h e M o ravian I I I ba rley; a n d t h e Q u a ke r OatsCo m p a ny, of the ge n etic base of a few v a ri et i e s of w h ite corn hyb rids. 179 B iotech n o l ogy is bo u n d to i nten sify t h is h o m oge n izat i o n even m o re .A l t h o u g h m ost biote c h n ologi ca l i n n ovati o n s were developed by s m a l lco m pa n i es, t hese i n n ovators a re bei ng d igested t h rough ve rti cal a nd h o ri­zo ntal i ntegration a nd i n co rpo rated i nto t h e tissues of m u lt i n at i o n a l co r­porat i o n s , i n m a ny cases t he s a m e o n es w h o a l ready own seed, fert i l i ze r,a n d pest i c i d e d iv i s i o n s . R a t h e r t h a n t ra n sferri ng pest-resista nt ge nes i nton ew crop p l a nts, t hese co rpo ratio n s are p e r m a n ently fixi ng d e p e n d e nceo n c h e m i ca l s i nto crops genetic base. F o r i n st a nce, corporat i o n s such as177
  • 165. 2: FL ESH AND GENESD u Po nt a n d M o n sa nto, w h i c h cre ate weed k i l le rs , n e ed to devel op cropst h at wit hsta n d t h ese c h e m i c a l atta c ks. T h us they a re t ra n sferring t h eg e n e s fro m w e e d s t hat h ave d e v e l o p e d res ista nce to t h ese s u bsta nces ton ew crop varieties, a n d t h ereby ge netica l ly freezi ng fa r m e rs d e p e n d e n ceon exte r n a l i n p uts. 180 Farm a n i m a ls a re s u ffe ri ng a s i m i l a r fate . Fo r i n sta n ce , "we l l-d isci p l i ned"p igs and cows - t hat i s , l i vestock t hat a re capa ble of withsta nd ing t h estresses of co n fi ne m e nt a n d t h at possess t h e u n i fo r m c h a racte risticsd e m a n d e d by m e at- pac k agi ng s pecifi catio n s - are tod ay b e i n g bred o re ng i n e e re d . M o reov e r, t h e tec h n iq u es used t o exercise tighter controlove r t h e flow of genes across a n i m a l ge n e rati o n s ( a rtifi c i a l i nsem i na tio n ,i n vitro ferti l izatio n , a n d e m b ryo tran sfe r) we re soo n a p p l ied t o h u m a n s ,o n ce t h e tech n i q u es h a d p rove n t h e m s e l ves "safe" a nd effective . Need­l e ss to say, d e s pite t h e rece nt revival of e ugen ics (exe m p l i fi e d , for exa m­ple, in the creatio n of h u m a n s pe r m ba n ks lBI) a n d the o n go i n g h u m a nge n o m e p rogra m (wh i c h a i ms fo r co m p l ete ge netic se l f-k nowledge b y t h efi rst decade o f t h e n ew m i l l e n n i u m) , t h e h o moge n iz i n g co n seq u e n ces fo ro u r species wi l l n ot be nea rly as d ra m atic as fo r o u r crops a n d l ivestock .G ive n t h at o u r fl esh d oes n ot flow i n t h e u rb a n food pyra m i d , w e h a rd lyrisk be i ng forcefu l ly "evolved" by food p rocessors a nd packagers. A n dyet, as w e s a w before, t h e re a re r e a l d a nge rs i n h u m a n ge neti c m a n i p u la­tio n , t hough t h e d a ngers l i e e l sewhere. T h e i n stituti o n a l strategi es of co nti n u o u s exa m i n at i o n and reco rd i ngt h at h a d bee n d eve l oped to fight t h e p lagu e were fi rst a p p l ied to h u m a n s ,a n d o n ly l ater t o p l a n t a nd a n i m a l ped igrees. G e n etic tests , s u c h as t hosebei ng deve l o ped to scre e n us fo r h e rita b l e d iseases (t h e m a i n rat i o n a l ebe h i n d t h e h u m a n ge n o m e p rogra m), wi l l b e added to t h e growi ng a rse­nal of exa m i n ation p roced u res a l ready used by ma ny i n stitutions toscree n a nd s o rt h u m a n bei ngs . M o reove r, m a ny of the genetic d iseasest h at wi l l i n t h e near futu re beco m e detectable t h rough genetic testing lackany effective medical trea tmen t or cure. U nd e r these c i rc u m sta n ces, a l l agenetic test wi l l do is bra n d ce rta i n i n d ivid u a l s as carriers of t h e d isease.T h u s , as s o m e critics of ge n etic test i ng h ave a rgu ed , "We risk i n crea s i n gt h e n u m be r of people d e fi n ed as u n e m p l oya b l e , u n e d u ca b l e , o r u n i n s u r­a b l e . We risk creat i n g a b io l ogica l u n d e rclass." IB2 I n t h i s c h a pter we have fo l l owed t h e h isto ry of t h e d i ffe rent bio logicalco m p o n e n ts of u rba n dyn a m ics. These m u st be added to t h e flows ofm i n e ral m atte r- e n e rgy t h at traverse Weste rn u rba n soci eties . We h avenoted repeate d ly t hat, in a d d iti o n to the co nstruction m ater i a l s fo r o u rho mes a n d bod ies (sto n e a n d ge n es , l ive a n d fossi l e n e rgy), a variety o f"cu ltu ra l m ate rials" flow t h rough a n d a ccu m u l ate wit h i n o u r cities. H ow-178
  • 166. BIOLOGICAL HISTORY: 1 700-2000 A.D.ever, with so m e exce pti o n s, we have u sed t h i s p h rase in a l a rge lymeta p ho ri c a l way, to s u ggest t h at, in t h i s case too , we a re d e a l i n g wit hn oth i ng b ut "stuff." I t i s t i m e n o w t o atte m pt t o excise t h i s meta p h o r, t oexplore cu ltu ra l accu m u l at i o n s i n d e t a i l a n d d e c i d e whet h e r t h ey, too , a rem e rely sed i m e ntati o n s h a rd e n ed by t i m e a n d scul pted by h i sto ry, i nter­ca l ated h ete roge n eities co n n ected by t h e loca l actio n of cata lysts, re p l i­cat i n g structu res b l i n d ly expl o ri n g a s pace of pos s i b i l ities. T h e fol lowi n gc h a pter focuses o n l a ngu age , of a l l t h e d i ffe re nt m a n i festat i o n s of h u m a ncu ltu re , n o t o n ly beca use i t is t h e o n e struct u re t h at ma kes u s u n iq u ea m o n g l i v i n g creatu res, b u t a l so beca use l i ngu istic structu res h a ve u nd e r­go n e a s i m i l a r p rocess of i ntense h o m oge n izatio n , i nvol v i n g a variety ofi n stituti o n s , s u c h as a ca de m ies and schools, n ews papers and n ews age n ­cies. O u r explorati o n of t h e ro u t i n izatio n a n d u n ifo r m at i o n of l i n g u i sticmate ri a l s wi l l revea l t h at an eve n wid e r segm e n t of the pop u l atio n of i n sti­t u t i o n s was i n volved in creati n g th e h om ogen ized wo rld we i n h a bit tod ay.179
  • 167. - --- -- --
  • 168. L inguistic History:1000-1 700 A . D.H u m a n l a n g u a ges a re d ef i n edby t h e s o u n d s , word s , a n dg ra m m at i ca l co n st r u ct i o n s t h ats l owly acc u m u l ate i n a g i ve ncom m u n i ty ove r c e n t u r i es .T h ese c u l t u ra l m ate ri a l s d on ot acc u m u l at e ra n d o81 ly b utrat h e r e n t e r i nto syste m at i cre l at i o n s h i ps wit h o n e a n ot h e r,a s we l l a s wit h t h e h u m a n b e ­i n gs w h o s e rve a s t h e i r o rga n i cs u pport . T h e " so n i c m atte r " of183
  • 169. 3: M�M�S AND NORMSa g i ve n l a n g u age (the pho n e m es of Fre n ch o rE n g l i sh, fo r i n sta n c e ) i s n ot o n l y st r u ct u redi n te r n a l ly, fo r m i n g a syste m of vowe l s a n dco n s o n a n ts i n whi ch a cha n ge i n o n e e l e m e n ta ffe cts eve ry oth e r on e , b u t a l s o so c i oe co­n o m i c a l ly: s o u n d s a cc u m u l ate i n a s o c i ety fo l ­l ow i n g c l a s s o r ca ste d i v i s i o n s , a n d , togetherw i th d re s s a n d d i et , f o r m an i nte gra l pa rtof the syste m of t ra i t s whi ch d i ffe re n t i atesso c i a l strata . A si m i l a r p o i nt ca n b e m a d ea bo u t l e x i ca l m ate r i a l s a n d gra m m at i ca l pat­te r n s . As the s o c i o l i n g u i st W i l l i a m La bov ha so b s e rve d , a l a n g u a ge com m u n i c ates i n fo r m a ­t i o n n ot o n ly a bo u t the wo r l d b u t a l s o a bo u tthe gro u p - m e m b e rsh i p o f i ts hu m a n u s e rs . l Thi s s ect i o n o u t l i n e s the b ro a d h i story ofl i n g u i st i c a cc u m u l at i o n s i n E u ro p e b etwe e n1000 a n d 1 70 0 A. D. a n d the m o re o r l ess sta ­b l e e n t i t i e s they gave r i s e to , pa rt i c u l a r lywhe n l i n g u i st i c m ate r i a l s a cc u m u l at e d w i th i nthe wa l l s of a c i ty o r tow n . T h u s , a s thes o u n d s , wo rd s , a n d co n st r u ct i o n s co n st i t u t­i n g spoken Lat i n s e d i m e n te d i n the e m e rg­i n g u r b a n c e n t e rs of the s o u the r n re g i o n so f E u ro p e , they w e re s l owly tra n s fo r m e d i ntoa m u lt i p l i c i ty of d i a l e cts , ce rta i n of whi cheve n t u a l l y d eve l o p e d i n to m o d e r n Fre n ch ,184
  • 170. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D.S p a n i sh, Po rt u gu es e , a n d I ta l i a n . (A n d a s i m i­l a r p rocess tra n s fo r m e d the G e r m a n i c b ra n chof I n d o - E u ro p e a n d i a l e cts i n to v a r i o u s m o d ­e r n to n g u es , i n c l u d i n g E n gl i sh, G e r m a n , a n dD u tch . ) H e re w e w i l l e x p l o re the i d ea that the d i f­fe re n t st r u ct u re -ge n e rat i n g p rocesses thatre s u l t i n m eshwo r k s a n d h i e ra rchi es m ay a l s oa cco u n t for the syste nl at i c i ty that d e f i n esa n d d i st i n gu i shes eve ry l a n g u a ge . I n pa rt i c u ­l a r, e a ch vow e l a n d co n s o n a n t , e a ch s e m a n t i cl a b e l a n d syn ta ct i c patte r n , w i l l b e tho u ghtof a s a replicator, that i s , a s a n e n t i ty that i st ra n s m itted f r o m p a re n ts t o offs p r i n g ( a n d tonew s p e a ke rs) as a n o rm or social obligation.A v a r i ety of soc i a l a n d gro u p d y n a m i cs p ro ­v i d e s the se l e ct i o n p ress u res that s o rt o u tthese re p l i ca t o rs i n to m o re o r l e ss ho m o ­ge n e o u s accu m u l a t i o n s . The n , othe r so c i a lp rocesses p rov i d e the " c e m e n t " tha t ha rd e n sthese d e pos its of l i n gu i st i c s e d i m e n t i n tom o re o r l ess sta b l e a n d st r u ct u re d e n t it i es .Thi s i s n ot , o f co u rs e , a n ew i d e a . I n d e e d , i twou l d s e e m t o b e the b a s i c a s s u m pt i o nbehi n d s eve ra l s chool s o f hi sto r i c a l l i n gu i st i cs ,eve n i f i t i s n ot a rt i c u l a t e d a s s u ch . Th i s i spa rt i c u l a rly c l e a r i n the ro l e that isolation185
  • 171. 3: MEMES AND NORMSp l ays i n t h e se t h eo ries. M u c h as re p rod uct ive isolation co n solidates l ooseaccu m u l atio n s of ge nes i nto a n ew a n i m a l o r p l a n t species, communica­tive isolation t ra n sfo r m s accu m u l a ti o n s of l i ngu i stic rep l i cato rs i nto sepa­rate e ntities. I n the word s of t h e evo l ution ary l i ngu i st M. L. S a m u e l s : I t i s . " the m e re fact of isolation o r separation o f gro u ps that acco u nts fo r a l l s i m p l e r k i n d s of [li ngu istic] d ive rsity. Co m pl ete separatio n , whether t h rough m igratio n o r geogra p h ical o r other barriers, m ay resu lt i n d i a l ects being no lo nge r m ut u a l ly i ntel l igi b l e ; a n d t h u s , if t h e re is no sta n d a rd lan­ gu age to serve as a l i n k between t h e m , new la ngu ages co m e i nto bei ng. Lesser d egrees of isolatio n res u lt i n what is known as a d ia lect conti n u u m ­ a series of systems in wh ich those n earest a n d most i n co ntact show o n ly s l i ght d iffe rences, w he reas t h e whole conti n u u m , w h e n co nsidered fro m e n d to e n d , m ay s h ow a l a rge degree of total va riatio n . Dialect co nti n u a a re normally " h o rizontal" i 6-d i lTi e n s i o n ; l : e . they occu py a regi o n i n w h ich fre s h d i ffere nces . . . co nti n u a l ly a p pe a r as o n e proceeds f r o m o n e village to t h e next; but i n l a rge town s t hey m ay also be "vertical," i . e . the diffe rent groups b e l o ng to d ifferent socia l strata i n the social sca le . 2T h u s, t h e flow o f n o rm s t h rough ge n e ratio n s ( a n d ac ross co m m u n ities)may re s u lt i n both m e s hwo rks a n d h i e ra rc h ies. A conti n u u m of d i a l ects i sa m e s hwo r k l i ke col lectio n of hete roge n eo u s eleme nts t o t h e exte nt t h ateach d i alect reta i n s its i nd i vi d u a l ity a n d is a rti c u l ated with t h e rest byove r l a p p i n g with its i m m e d i ate n e igh bors. It is t h is a re a of ove rl a p - th eco m m o n sou n d s , word s , a n d constructio ns betwee n n e a rby d i a lects ­t h at a rticu l ates t h e whole without h o moge n izat i o n : two d i a l ects o n t h eoutskirts of t h e conti n u a m ay be q u ite d i ffe re nt (o r eve n m ut u a l l y u n i ntel­l igi ble), and yet t h ey a re co n n ected to each ot her t h ro ugh i n termed i ated i a l ects. For i n st a n ce , t h e d i a l ect of m e d ieva l Pa ri s ( n ow refe rred to as"Francien") was co n n ected to t h e d om i n a nt d i alect of I taly (Tu sca n) bym a n y i nte r m e d i ate fo r m s : a w h ol e set of F re n ch , Fra nco- P rovenr;al, a n dG a l l o- I ta l i a n d i a lects . ( R a t h e r s h a rp t ra n s itions, o r isoglosses, do occ u r i nt h i s conti n u u m .) 3 Co n ve rse ly, t h e d o m i n a n t varia nts o f the l a ngu age of a given c ity, aswe l l a s d i a l ects t h at h ave beco m e " st a n d ard" (su c h a s written Lat i n in theM id d l e Ages), are rel atively h o m oge neou s e ntities, in which t h e normsh ave been fixed e i t h e r t h ro ugh t h e d e l i beratei nte r ve nt i o n of an i n stit u t i o n (in the case of "sta n da rd s" ) or by the " pe e rp ress u re" exe rcised by the m e m be rs of a soci a l strat u m o n e a c h oth e r.T h e se m o re o r less u n ifo r m accu m u lati o n s of n o r m s a re ra n ked acco rd­i ng to t h e i r p restige, with the sta n d a rd l a nguage a n d the e l ite s d i a lect186
  • 172. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D.occ u py i n g t h e top of t h e pyra m i d . Of cou rse , h e re as e l sew h e re , o n ly mix­tures of mes hwo rks a n d h i e ra rc h ies a re fo u n d i n rea l ity, a n d a ny give nd i a l ect l i kely belo ngs s i m u lta n e o u s ly to a vertical h iera rchy a n d to a h o r i­zo nta l conti n u u m . T h e acce l e rati o n o f city b u i l d i ng i n t h e yea rs 1000-1300 affected i nm a ny ways t h e l i ngu istic mate r i a l s t h at h a d accu m u l ated i n E u rope i n t h ep revi o u s m i l l e n n i u m . I n t h ose t h ree ce ntu ries t h e R o m a nce l a n gu ageswere cryst a l l iz i n g i nto the fo rms wit h w h i c h we a re tod ay fa m i l i a r. T h esesta ble e n tities e m e rged from the conti n u u m of spoken-Lat i n d i a l e ctswhich coexi sted with the sta n d a rd writte n fo rm in all t h e a reas t h at hadbee n s u bjected to t h e i m pe ri a l rule of Rome. In terms of prestige, theho moge n ized sta n d a rd was c l e a rly at t h e to p (a n d wo u l d conti n u e to beu nt i l the seve nteenth centu ry), but soci a l su perio rity did n ot tra n s l atei nto l i ngu i stic p ro d u ctivity: the writte n fo r m , p recisely beca u se of itsm u c h-ad m i red "froze n " body of n o rm s , was l a rge ly ste r i l e , i n ca pa ble ofgivi ng b i rt h to n ew l a ng u ages. The meshwork of " v u l g a r" L at i n , on t h eoth e r h a n d , conta i n e d sou n d s , word s , a n d co n struct io n s t h at re p l icatedwith variation a n d we re t h e refo re capable of fu e l i ng l i ng u i st i c select i o np rocesses a n d gen e rati ng n ew structu res. As t h e soci o l i ngu i st A l be rtoVa rva ro p uts it, the d i ve rgence of the d i a lects that wo u l d beco m eR o m a nce l a ngu ages bega n centu ries e a rl i e r a n d was k e pt i n c h eck o n lyby t h e power of the p restigio u s spoken n o r m of R o m e : I n I m pe rial ti m es the l i ngu istic wo rld of Latin h ad several i m po rtant prop­ erties: a m i n o rity e n d owed with e no rmous pol itica l , soci a l , eco n o m ic a n d cult u ral p restige w a s a bsorb i n g a l a rge m ajo rity who we re l ess a n d less con­ v i n ced of their own o rigi nal and d iverse ide ntities . . . I n fact, o n ly Basq u es . and B reto n s avoided Lat i n izati o n ; even the Germans, despite the fact that they now h e l d power, gave way to this tre nd in a l l the a reas where they we re n ot i n a majority. Yet, if we go back to the ce ntu ries of the E m p i re , the Lati n s po k e n b y these rece ntly Lati n ized masses u n d o u bted ly tol e rated i n fringe­ ment of the n o rm . . . , Like a l l n o n sta n da rd p he n o m e n a i n a l l l a nguages , some we re widely tole rated a n d s o m e less s o , and some we re re p ressed as b e i n g too p o p u l ar (socia l ly a nd/or geogra p h ical ly).4 This state of affa i rs , i n w h i c h variat i o n with i n t h e m e s hwork was k e ptfrom d iverg i n g too m u c h , c h a nged rad i ca l ly with t h e col l a pse of t h eRo m a n E m p i re a n d t h e co n co m itant wea k e n i ng o f t h e h i e ra rc h i c a l n o rm .T h i s res u lted, a cco rd i ng t o Va rvaro, i n "the loss o f t h e centri pet a l o r i e nta­tio n of the vari atio n . " 5 I n the centu ries l e a d i ng to the seco n d m i l l e n n i u m ,o n ly a m o n g t h e feu d a l a n d ecclesiastica l e l ites i n t h e d i ffe rent regi o n s187
  • 173. 3: MEMES AND NORMSwas t h e re a ny sense of " u n iversa l i s m " with respect to t h e Lat i n l a ngu age .The r u ra l m asses were left free to rei nvent t h e i r l a ngu ages a n d to fo rgelocal i d e ntities . T h e q u e st i o n n ow i s , At what poi nt i n t i m e d id t h e speak­ers of t h e se d iverg i n g d ia l ects begi n to "feel" t h ey were u si ng d ifferentl a ngu ages? Before the year 1000, with o n e exce ptio n , h a rd ly a ny of t h eselow-p rest i ge d i a lects had a d efi n ite name o r i d e nt ity. " T hese fo r m s m ayh ave been n a m e d by t h e n a m e of a v i l l age or d i strict, w h e n n eed a rose,b u t m o re proba bly never received a n a m e at a l l ."6 M ost l i kely, all t h e sepeople p e rceive d t h e ms elves as s pea k i ng t h e sa m e l a nguage , t h e spokenversion of sta n d a rd written Lati n . L i ngu i stic self-awa re n e ss (as we l l as t h en a m es o f t h e new e n t ities) req u i red c u l t u ra l d i st a n ce fro m t h e l i ngu i sticmes hwo rk in which t hese Lati n ized m a sses were i m me rsed a n d viewi ngthe whole fro m a h i e ra rc h ical point of view. N ot u nt i l the yea r 813 was t h efi rst n a m e fo r a v u lgar v a r i a nt i ntrod u ced : " R u stica R o m a n a , " w h i c h l aterbecame v e r n a c u l a r O l d F r e n c h . T h i s i nt ro d u ct i o n , a n d t h e awa reness of l i ngu istic d iverge nce t h a t i ti m pl i e d , ca m e i n t h e context of t h e l i ng u i stic refo r m s t h at t h e court o fC h a rl e magne i ntrod u ced i n t h e n i nt h centu ry. T he s pecifi c a i m of t h e C a r­o l i ng i a n refo r m s was to reverse t h e " e rosion" of wri tt e n Lati n , as wel l a st o s e t sta n d a r d s o f p ro n u n ci ation f o r t he rea d i ng of L at i n aloud , p a rticu­l a r ly w h e n read i n g from t h e Bible. U n l ike t h e sponta n e o u s evo l ution ofd ia l ects, t h i s act of sta n d a rd izat i o n i nvolved a d e l i berate act of p l a n n i nga s we l l as a significant i n vestm ent of resou rces (ed u catio n a l , pol itical) togive weight to t h e n ew sta n d a rd s : T h e trad ition o f rea d i ng Lati n aloud as a n a rtificial l a n guage, a sound fo r each written l etter . . . h a s the a i r of being obvious, a n d as though it had bee n fo rever present. But someone, somewhere, had to e sta b l i s h that as a sta n d a rd ized n o r m , fo r it co u ld not a rise n atura l ly i n a n ative R o m a n ce com m u n ity. T h e re was a conti n u ity through the years betwee n Carol i ngia n a n d I m pe r i a l Latin i n the voca b u l a ry a n d syntax of the e d u cated , for these cou l d a lways be res u rrected from classical books by a ntiq uarians, but w hat we n ow t h i n k of as trad itio n a l Lati n p r o n u nciation had no s u c h d i rect co nti­ n u ity with that of the E m p i re J T h e Carol i ngi a n reform s were i n s u fficient i n t h e m se l ves t o create sta­ble e ntities with sta b l e n a m e s out of t h e c h a ngi ng " so u p" of the d ia l ectconti n u u m , a n d sev e ra l oth e r p l a n n e d i nte r ve ntio n s were n ecessa ry top reci p itate t h e evol ution of R o m a nce vern acu l a rs . I n t h e centuries a fterthe refo r m s, h i e r a rc h i e s of towns bega n to fo rm w i t h i n creasi ng i nte n­s ity from the eleventh centu ry o n , and t he loca l d i a lects of each of t hese188
  • 174. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.u rba n settl e m e nts acq u i red a d egree of p restige co m m e n s u rate to itsra n k . The most p restigi o u s d ia l ects we re t hose of regi o n a l cap ita l s (Flo­rence, Pa ris) a n d core gateways (Ven ice). S i m u lta n eo u s ly, t h e i nt e n s i fica­tion of comm e rcial and gove r n m e nt a l activity wit h i n t hese and ot h e rtowns bega n t o create ( o r reactivate) a m u lt i p l icity of n ew uses for writtenlanguage. Lice n ses, certificates, petit i o n s, d e n u nciatio n s, w i l l s , a n d post­m o rtem i n vento ries bega n to be writte n with i n crea s i n g freq u e n cy a n dkee p i n g reco rds beca m e p a rt o f t h e d a i ly ro uti n e o f every m e rc h a nt o rb u rea u c rat. 8 At t h e t i m e of t h e C a rol i ngi a n refo rm s , a l l fo u r d o m a i n s of p racticall iteracy - b u s i n ess, gove r n m e nt, c h u rc h , a n d h o m e - we re d o m i n ated bysta n d a rd Lati n . But t h e rise i n d e m a nd for writi ng s k i l l s fo rced u rba ne l ites, p a rti c u l a rly t hose w h o s po k e t h e most p restigi o u s d i a lects, t o d evisefixed o rt hogra p h ies fo r t h e i r spo ken l a nguage s and to e n fo rce them asa sta n d a rd . Acco rd i ng to the l i ngu istic h i sto r i a n R i c h a rd Wright, writ i ngsyst e m s (s u c h as t h at of O l d F r e n c h ) d i d not evolve spo nta n eo u sly b utwe re t h e res u l t of a p l a n ned resp o n se to specific p ro b l e m s of co m m u n i ca­tio n . 9 The deve l o p m e nt of writte n fo rms of the various ve rn acu l a rs , i ntu r n , acted a s a co n servative p ress u re o n u rb a n d i a l ects, red u c i ng va ri a ­tion a n d h e n ce s lowi ng down t h e i r evol utio n . T h i s dece l e ration may h a v ebeen pe rceived b y co nte m p o ra ry spea kers of a g i v e n d i a l ect a s t h e e m e r­ge nce of a sta b l e e ntity, a n i m p ressi o n re i nfo rced by t h e m o re or lesss i m u lt a n eou s a ppeara nce of a name fo r t h e writte n fo r m . B u t it i s not t h ecase t h at spea kers o f a d ia l ect h a d beco m e awa re of its d ive rge n ce fromspoken Lat i n and t h i s awa re ness p rovo ked them to devise a l a be l fo r t h en ew l a ngu age. T h e d ive rge n ce d id i nd eed exist a s a n o bjective p h e n o m e­n o n , b u t it was too slow a n d fuzzy ( i . e . , Lat i n d ive rged i nto a conti n u u mo f d i a l ects) t o b e d i rectly pe rceived without a n i n st itutio n a l i nterventio n . T h e p rocess t h rough w h i c h t h e e m e rging R o m a nce l a nguages acq u i redn a m es raises so m e i nterest i n g q u esti o n s rega r d i n g the n atu re of " n a m ­i ng" i n ge n e ra l . Accord i n g to G ott i o b F reges sti l l- i n f l u e nt i a l t h e o ry, t h eco n n ecti o n betwee n a g i v e n n a m e a n d i t s refe rent i n t h e rea l w o r l d i seffected t h rough a m e nta l e ntity (o r psyc hological state) t h at w e ca l l "t h em ea n i n g" o f t h e n a m e . (F rege ca l l ed it t h e " s e n se" o f a n a m e , a n d Fer­d i n a nd de Sa u ssu re, h i s contem porary, ca l l ed it t h e " sign ified .") T h i sm e a n i ng, o n ce gra s ped b y a speaker, i s su p posed t o give h i m o r h e r" i n st r u ct i o n s" (n ecessary a n d sufficient cond iti o n s) t o i d e ntify t h e objector eve nt t h at the n a m e refe rs to. So, fo r exa m p l e , the m ea n i ng of t h eword s "tige r" o r "zeb ra" a l l ows t h e i r u se rs t o gras p t h at w h i c h a l l tigersor ze b ra s h ave in co m m o n (i . e . , t h at w h i c h m a kes them mem bers oft h at catego ry) a n d h e nce e n d ows s pea kers with the a b i l ity to u se t h e189
  • 175. 3: MEMES AND NORMSn a m e s co rrectly ( i . e . , to a p p ly t h e m to t h e right catego ry of e n t i t i e s). l0T h e p r o b l e m h e re i s , of c o u rse , t h a t t igers or ze b r a s do not have a ne sse n ce i n com m o n . T h ey a re h i sto rica l co n st r u ct i o n s , m e re agglo m e ra­t i o n s of a d a pt i ve tra its t h at h a p pe n to h ave co m e toget h e r t h ro u g h evo­l u ti o n a n d acq u i re d sta b i l i ty (at l e a st, e n o u gh fo r u s to n a m e t h e m )t h ro u g h re p ro d u ct i ve i so l a ti o n . H owe ver ge n et i ca l ly h o moge n ized t h eym ay be, t h e exte r n a l a p p e a ra n ce of t h e se a n i m a l s sti l l reve a l s a w i d era nge o f v a r i a ti o n , a n d , h e n ce , l i ke d i a l e cts, t h ey fo r m a co n t i n u u m ofove rl a p p i ng fo r m s . A r i v a l t h e o ry of refere n ce h a s be e n p u t f o r t h b y severa l p h i l oso p h e rs,i n c l u d i ng S a u l K ri p ke a n d H i l l a ry P u t n a m , w h o d e e m p h a s i ze the " i n s i d et h e h e a d " a s p e cts of refe re n ce a n d stress t h e h i sto rica l a n d soc i a la s pects of l a ngu age . T h e b a s i c i d e a i s t h at a l l n a m e s w o r k l i ke p hysi ca ll a b e l s : t h ey do not re fe r to a n o bj ect v i a a m e n t a l e n t ity; b u t d i rectly,t h e way t h e wo rd " t h i s" d oe s . (T h i s is tec h n i ca l l y ex p ressed by sayi ngt h a t a l l n a m e s h ave an " i n d e x i c a l co m po n e n t" and h e n ce t h at t h ey a rea l l l i ke p ro p e r n a m e s . ) N a m e s m a nage to " st i c k" to t h e i r refe re n tsbeca u se of t h e p re s s u re s t h a t s p e a ke rs pl a ce o n o n e a n o t h e r : t h e re i s aca u s a l c h a i n l e a d i n g fro m my u s e of a wo rd , to t h e u se by t h e p e rs o nwho ta u g h t i t t o m e , to t h e u s e by h i s o r h e r te a c h e r, a n d so o n , a l l t h eway to t h e o r i gi n a l " b a pt i s m a l cere m o n y" t h at i nt rod u ced t h e l a be l . llH e n ce , o n e s c u r re nt u sage o f a term i s " co r rect" o n ly t o t h e exte nt t h a ti t i s co n n ected t o t h e w h o l e history of uses of a n a m e . Acco rd i n g t o t h i st h eo ry, n a m e s d o n o t give every s p e a k e r t h e m e a n s t o specify refe re nt s :fo r m a ny word s , o n ly certa i n expe rts ca n co n fi r m t h e a ccu racy of t h eu sage . F o r exa m p l e , i f t h ro u g h ge n et i c e ngi n e e r i n g we co u l d b u i l d a n i m a l st h a t l oo k ed l i ke t i ge rs o r z e b r a s b u t were a ge n et i c a l l y d i st i nct s pecies,the m e a n i n g of "tige r" and "zebra" wo u l d be of l itt l e help to esta bl i s h cor­rect refe re n ce . We wou l d h a ve to rely, as P u t n a m says, on a soc i a l d i vi­sion of l i n gu i s t i c l a b o r w h i c h gi ves gro u p s of experts (ge n e t i ci sts, in t h i scase) t h e a u t h o r i ty t o co n fi rm w h et h e r o r not s o m et h i n g i s t h e a ct u a l ref­e r e n t of a wo rd , as d e te r m i n e d at i t s b a p t i s m a l i n trod u ct i o n . P u t n a m d o e s n o t d e ny t h a t w e ca rry ce rt ai n i n fo r m a ti o n i n o u r h e a d sregard i ng a ref ere n t , s u c h a s a f e w i d e n t i fyi ng t ra its fo r ti ge rs (be i ngq u a d r u pe d a l a n d ca r n ivo ro u s , be i n g yel l ow w i t h b l a ck stri p e s , a n d so o n ) .B u t t h ese i t e m s a re i n m a ny cases overs i m p l i ficati o n s ( h e c a l l s t h e m"ste reotypes"), a n d fa r fro m re p res e n t i ng s o m e esse nce t hat w e gra s p ,t h e s e stereoty p e s a re m e re ly i n fo r m a ti o n t h a t w e a re u n d e r a social oblig­a tion to l e a r n w h e n we acq u i re t h e word . 12 H e nc e , several socia l facto rsco m e i nto p l ay i n expl a i n i n g h ow l a b e l s "sti ck" to t h e i r refe re n ts : t h e h i s­to ry of t h e a cc u m u l ated u ses of a wo rd , t h e ro le of expe rts i n determ i n -190
  • 176. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.ing its refe r e n c e , and the o b l igato ry acq u i s i t i o n of certa i n i n fo r m a t i o nw h i c h co u nt s a s part of o u r a b i l ity to u s e t h e word . T h e c a u s a l t h e o ry of refe re nce m ay be u se d to i n crease o u r u n d e r­sta n d i ng of l i ng u i stic h i sto ry i n two d i ffe rent ways . On t he o n e h a n d , bye m p ha s i z i n g t h e soci a l p ra ct i c e s i n v o l ve d i n fix i n g t h e refe re nc e of ate r m , n o n d i scu rsive p ra ct i ces t h at i nt e r ve n e i n re a l i ty beco m e e s p e c i a l lyi m p o rta nt. T h u s , success f u l refe re n ce is not p u re ly l i n gu i s t i c a n d e n t a i l sex p e rtise i n t h e m a n i p u l ati o n a n d tra n sfo r m a t i o n of t h e obj e cts a n deve nts w h i c h serve as t h e refe re nts of wo rds - rega rd l e ss of w h e t h e rt h i s ex p e rt i s e i s co nce n trated i n a s m a l l n u m b e r of p e o p l e d u e t od i v i s i o n of l a b o r. I n t h e pa rti cu l a r c a s e of t h e n a m e s of t h e R o m a ncel a n g u ages, t h i s i n te r ve n t i o n in real ity too k t h e fo rm of expe rt gra m m a ri ­a n s a sse ssi ng d e g r e e s of d i ve rge nce a m o ng d i a l e ct s a n d d e v i s i n gs pe l l i ng sta n d a rd s . It a l so i n vo lved i n stituti o n a l e n fo rce m e n t of t h esesta nd a r d s , re s u l t i n g in the a rt i fi c i a l i so l at i o n of some d i a l ects a n d t h ec o n seq u e n t i n crease i n t h e i r sta b i l ity a n d d u ra b i l ity. O n t he ot h e r h a n d ,by s h owi n g t h a t t h e m e a n i ng o f a wo rd is n ot w h a t a l l ows its u se rs tod ete r m i n e its co rrect refe r e n ce , i m p l i e s t h a t n ot h i n g i n t h e m e a n i ngs oft e r m s l i ke " F r e n c h d i a l e ct" or " F r e n c h l a ngu age" (refe rri n g to t h ed esce n d a nts of Occitan a n d F ra n ci e n , res p ect i v e ly) ca n h e l p u s e sta b­l i s h s o m e e ss e n t i a l d i ffere n c e betwee n t h e m . O u r u se of t h e t e r m" F re n c h l a ngu age" wo u l d be correct to t h e ext e n t t h at it co n fo r m s to t h eh i st o ry o f its u s e s , a h i sto r y w h i c h b ega n w i t h a n i n st i t u ti o n a l ba pti s m ,a n d d oe s n ot d e p e n d o n o u r gra s p of s o m e e s s e n t i a l featu res of F r a n ­ci e n . ( F ra n c i e n d i d p o s s e s s c e rta i n d i sti ngu i s h i n g feat u re s , b u t t h esefeatu res we re s h a re d by m a ny n e a rby d i a l e cts and, h e nce, did n otd ef i n e t h e esse n tia l i d e n ti ty of t h e d i a l e ct of P a r i s . ) I n t h i s s e n s e , w em ay rega rd t h e d i st i n ct i o n betwe e n " d i a l ect" a n d " l a ngu age" a s co m­p l etely a rt i f i ci a l , d ra w n by soc i a l co n se n s u s , and w h ateve r feat u re s u s e r sa ssociate w i t h t h e l a b e l " F re n c h l a n gu a ge" ( a n esse nti a l " c l a r i ty" o r" rati o n a l ity," fo r exa m p l e ) , a s not h i ng m o re t h a n a ste reotype t ra n s m it­ted t h ro u g h soc i a l o b l i gati o n . 1 3 T h e co n cept of soci a l o b l igati o n i s c r u c i a l to an u n d e rsta n d i ng of n oto n ly n a m i n g b u t l a n g u age its e l f . If sou n d s , wo rd s , a n d co n st r u ct i o n sa re i n d e e d re p l i cato rs, a n d if, u n l i ke m e m e s , t h ey d o n ot r e p l i catet h ro u g h i m itati o n but t h ro u g h e n fo rced repetiti o n , t h e n t h e key q u e stio nb e com e s , H ow exactly a re l i ngu i s t i c n o r m s e n fo rced? I n w h a t s e n s e a ret h ey s o ci a l ly o b l igato ry? T h e s p e c i a l case of sta n d a r d i zed n o r m s offersn o d i ffi c u lty s i n ce the e n fo rce m e n t is p e r fo r m ed by i n stitu t i o n s , i n cl u d i ngs c h oo l s a n d cou rts a n d gove r n m e n t a l offices, w h e re t h e sta n d a rd i s u se dt o carry o u t eve ryd ay a ct i v i t i e s . B u t w h a t a b o u t t h e p o p U l a t i o n of n o r m s191
  • 177. 3: MEMES AND NORMSthat fo rm t h e d i a lect conti n u u m ? Soci ol ing u i sts answer t hat, with res pectto d i al e cts, it is i nfo r m a l soci al networks that operate as enforcementmechanisms. 14 To stu dy t h e social n etwo rk of a town where a p a rti c u l a r d i a l ect is spo­k e n , one wo u ld com p i l e fo r every i n h a bitant the l ist of his or her f ri e n d s ,a s wel l as fri e n d s of f ri e n d s . Certa i n p roperties o f t h e se two c i rcles wou ldt h e n be a n a lyze d : H ow we l l do t h e f ri e n d s of an i n d iv i d u a l ( a n d t h efriends o f h i s o r h e r f ri e n d s) k n ow o n e a noth e r? D o t h ey i nte ract witheach ot h e r in m u lt i p l e ca pacities (as n e igh bors, co-wo r k e rs, kin) o r o n ly i nspec i a l ized circu msta nces? H ow l i kely i s it that t h ey wi l l re mai n with i n then etwo r k afte r they m ove u p or d own t h e socioeco n o m i c h iera rc hy? T hosen etwo rks w h e re t h e re is l ittle social mobil ity and w h e re the m e m b e rsd e pe n d on each ot h e r soci a l ly or eco n o m i cally a re ca l l ed " h igh-den sity"(o r "cl osed �) n etwo r k s . 15 . S m a l l m e d ieva l tow ns a n d v i l lages wo u l d l i kely h ave been po p u l atedby one o r m o re h igh-den sity netwo rks, and cl osed netwo rks sti l l exist inwo r k i ng-class and eth n ic com m u n ities in mod e r n cities. On the oth e rh a n d , t h ose tow ns i n the M i d d l e Ages w h e re a m i d d le cl ass w a s fo rm i nga n d social m o b i l ity i n c reas i ng we re c h a racte rized by low-d ensity (o r" o p e n " ) n etwo r k s. (N eed less to say, any given town m ay co nta i n bothextre m es and a variety of netwo rks of i ntermed i ate de ns ity.) Fo r our p u r­poses h e re , w h at m atters is that h igh-d e n s ity netwo rks a ct as efficientm ec h a n isms fo r e n fo rc i n g soci al o b l igat i o n s . An i n d ivid u a l belo ngi ng tos u ch a co m m u n icat i o n n et d e p e n d s on oth er m e m b e rs n ot o n ly forsym bol ic exc ha nges b u t also fo r t h e excha nge of goods and services.The o n ly way to prese rve o n e s pos ition in a netwo rk, a nd h e nce to e njoyth ese rights, is to h o n o r o n es o b l igati o n s , a n d t h e fact that everyo n ek n ows each ot h e r m e a n s t h at a n y violati o n o f a gro u p n o r m q u i cklybeco m es com m on k n owledge . In s h o rt, d e n s ity itself a l lows a n etwo r kt o i m pose n o r m ative co n se n s u s o n i t s m e m bers . H igh-d e n s ity netwo rks are espeC i a l ly i m po rta n t to sociol i nguisticsbeca u se t h ey p rov i d e rese a rc h e rs with a n swe rs to t h e q u estion of howlocal d i a l ects a re a b l e to s u rvive d e s p ite t h e p ressu res of an i n stitutio n a lsta n d a rd . ( H ow, fo r exam p l e , h a v e so m a n y d i a l ects o f F r e n c h su rvivedto this day when the mass media and the system o f co m p u lsory ed uca­tion relentl essly pro m ote sta n d ard F re n c h ?) The a n swe r is that la ngu ageco nveys n ot o n ly refere nti a l i n fo rmat i o n but i nfo r m ati o n a bout gro u p­m e m be rs h i p. T h e sou n d s , l exico n , a n d gra m mat ica l patte r n s c h a racteris­tic of a local d i a lect a re p a rt of t h e s h a red va l u es t h at b i n d t h e m e m b e rsof a d e n se n etwo rk toget h e r a n d he nce com m u n icate i nfo rmation abouts o l i d a rity a n d loya lty. I n tech n i cal terms, th e repl icato rs that cha racterize192
  • 178. L I NGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.t h e d i a lect of a dense netwo rk are said to be tra nsm itted as a h ig h lyfocused set of n o r m s , w h i l e t h e d i alects of t h e u pwa rd ly m o b i l e m id d leclasses flow as mo re diffuse sets of no rm s . Pa rad oxica l ly, t h e gro u psi n t h e very top soci a l strat u m (wh e re , by d efin iti o n , n o u pward m o b i l ityis poss i ble) fo rm d e n s e netwo rks, too, a n d t h e n o rms of t h e i r d i a l ectsa re also h ig h ly focu sed. T h e d i ffe rence is, of co u rse, t h a t the n o r m s ofe l ite d i a l e cts a re h i g h ly prestigi o u s w h i l e t hose of local d i ale cts a re n ot,and m ay even be soc i a l ly stigm atized . 16 The oth e r d iffere nce is thate l ites, afte r m a ki ng t h e i r d i a l ects t h e sta n d a rd s , have access to t h e i n sti­tuti o n a l means to i m pose t h e i r norms on a m u c h wid e r s pe e c h co m m u ­n i ty, parti c u l arly on t hose with aspi rat i o n s of u pwa rd m o b i l ity w h osed i ffuse l i ngu istic n o r m s are pro n e to s u cc u m b to sta n d a rd izatio n . T h e not i o n of an i n fo r m a l soci al n etwo r k is also h e l pfu l i n u n d e rstan d ­i ng t h e ro l e t h at i n d i v i d u a l s (a nd the styl istic v a r i a t i o n s t o w h i c h t h esei n d i vid u a l s give rise) p l ay in the evo l utio n of la ngu age . As La bov notes,a given i n d ivid u a l va r i a n t d oes not e nter this evo l utio n a ry process u nt i lit h as sta b i l ized i n a po rti o n of a com m u n icati o n n etwo rk - that i s , u nt i l i thas beco m e collective. I n o t h e r wo rd s, the sou rce o f l i ngu istic c h a nge isn ot t h e id iosyn c rati c h a b its of an i n d ivid u a l ( a n d certa i n ly n ot w h at goeson i ns i d e h i s or her head) but a v a r i a nt patte r n s h a red by a gro u p a n du sed t o co m m u n icate w i t h ot h e r gro u p sY From t h i s poi nt of v i ew, speak­e rs a re not eva l u ated acco rd i ng to thei r i n d ivid u a l psyc h ological pro p e r­ties b u t a cco rd i ng to t h e prope rties of the l i n kages t h at b i n d t h e m to o n ea n o t h e r. l8 G iven a n etwo r k o f a certa i n d e n sity, t h e h ig h e r t h e local pres­tige of a n i n d ivid u a l , o r the l a rge r the n u m be r of h is or her co nta cts , t h em o re l i kely i t is that a v a r i a nt o rigin ated b y t h at i n d ivid u a l w i l l beco m eco l l ective a n d event u a l ly become p a rt o f t h e accu m u l ated h e ri tage. In s u m m a ry, we m ay pictu re med ieva l E u rope as a la rge po p u l ation ofre p l icating l i ngu istic norms u n d e rgo i ng a variety of transfo r mations a n dselectio n pressu res : becom ing m o re focu sed i n so m e areas a n d m o re d i f­fuse i n ot hers, retain i ng a mes hwo r k of co n n ecti o n s i n some p arts w h i l ee l sew h e re b re a k i ng down i nto h i e ra rch ies a ro u n d pro m i n ent u rban cen­ters . So m e of th ese acc u m u lations became co nsol i d ated t h rough i s o l atio n ,beco m ing more i nte r n a l ly h o m ogeneous, w h i l e ot h e rs reta i n ed a h ig h e rd egree of h eteroge n e ity by coexist i n g w i t h ot h e r d ia l ects i n d i ffe rent typesof contact situations. The stu dy of co ntact betwe en la ngu ages is i m po rta ntin h isto rical l i ngu istics beca u s e it bri ngs to l ight the d iffe rent fo rms ofhori zo n ta l flow betwee n d ia l ects , as opposed to the ve rtica l flow of n o rmst h rough ge n e rations. I n add ition to the flow of l i ngu istic mate ri a l s be­tween ne igh boring d i a lects i n a contin u u m , l a ngu age may be a ffected byflows of n o n l i ngu istic mate ri a l s , s u c h as t h e m igration of a popu l atio n of193
  • 179. 3: MEMES AND NORMSs p e a k e rs w h o a re t h e o rga n i c s u bstrat u m of a d i a l ect. As we saw befo re,cu rre nt m a ps of t h e geogra p h i c a l d i stri bution of l a ngu ages coi n c i d e i nm a ny p a rts with ge netic m a ps - not beca use ge nes d eterm i ne l a ngu ages,but beca use bot h travel toge t h e r d u ri ng m igrat i o n s , as we l l as d u ri ng col­o n izat i o n and co n q u est. The d i ffere nt contact s i t u at i o n s created by m igrato ry moveme nts a reexe m p l i fi e d by t h e bi rth of t h e Engl i s h l a nguage i n t h e centuries l e ad i ngto t h e seco n d m i l l en n i u m . T h e basic l i ngu istic materials o u t of w h i c h Eng­l i s h evolved were fi rst b rought to B rita i n i n the fi ft h ce ntu ry by Te uto n i ci nv a d e rs (J ute s , Angles, Saxo ns) w h o d i s p l aced its o rigi n a l i n h a bita nts,t h e Celts . Although the Ce lts were not exterm i n ated (o n ly d rive n west­ward) t h ey we re l a rgely re p l aced i n most a reas of t h e i s l a n d without m uc hi nte rm ixture. I n most cases, t h e d i rect i o n o f l i ngu i stic flow i s from t h eco n q u e ro r to- t h e co n q u e re d s l a nguage; co nseq u e ntly t h e flow of Celticnorms i nto t h e l a ngu age of t h e i nv a d e rs was m i n i m a l . I n t h e fo l l ow i ng sixce ntu ries, o n the ot h e r h a n d , t h e basic raw mate r i a l s p rovided by theAnglo-Saxo n d i a l ects came i nto contact with seve ra l other l a ngu ages (Lati n ,seve ra l Sca n d i n av i a n d i a l ects, N o r m a n F re n ch), w h i c h i n fl u e n ced t h e i revol uti o n i n a m o re d ra m at i c way. Some Lati n te rms flowed i nto Engla ndfro m conti n e ntal E u rope as pa rt of the m i l ita ry, eco n o m ic, a n d soc i a l traf­fic betwe e n Ro m a n s a n d Te uto n s . B u t the re a l i n fl ue n ce of Lati n normso n t h e "sou p" of G e r m a n i c re p l icato rs ca m e at t h e e n d of the s ixt h cen­tu ry, w h e n Pope G rego ry t h e G reat co m m i ssioned Sa i nt August i n e "tol e a d a m issio n a ry b a n d of forty m o n ks i n a peacefu l i nv a s i o n of B rita i nfo r t h e p u rpose o f t u r n i ng t h e warl i ke Teuto n s away fro m thei r pagan cus­to m s , h e a t h e n be l i efs , a n d ve ngefu l practices . " 19 T h e C h rist i a n ization ofB rita i n (o r rat h e r, a re-C h rist i a n izat i o n , s i n ce t h e re were a l ready n ativeCeltic C h risti a n s) caused not o n ly a l a rge flow of Lati n words to O l d Eng­l i s h , but a l so promoted t h e creati o n of schools a n d a syste m of writing. 20Convers i o n to C h ri sti a n ity was effected h e re , as on the Co nti ne nt, not byco n verti n g e a c h i n d i vi d u a l i n h a bita n t b u t by t h e m o re efficient p roced u reof fi rst bri ngi ng t h e ru l i ng e l ites i nto t h e fo l d . H e n ce , t h e flow of wordsfro m Lat i n pe n etrated the l a ng u age fro m t h e top and fl owed downward .T h e next great i n fl ux of a l i e n n o rm s i nto t h e sti l l m ostly G e rma n i c mes h­wo rk of d ia l e cts, too k t h e op posite route, pe netrat i ng O l d E ngl i s h fro mt h e bottom u p . T h i s was d u e to several waves of Sca n d i n a v i a n i nvasi o n st h at too k p l a ce fro m t h e eighth t o t h e eleve nth c e n t u ries. A l t h o u g h a st u r b u l e n t m i l itari ly as t h ose staged e a r l i e r b y Te u to n i c tri bes, i n t h e e n dt h ese i nv a s i o n s res u lted i n coexiste n ce a n d i nte r m a rriage . I n t hese cen­tu ries, Sca n d i n avi a n words such as "th ey," "th o u g h , " and about eighth u n d red oth e rs we re a d d ed to the m ixtu re. 21194
  • 180. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D . By the t u r n of the m i l l e n n i u m , Old Engl i s h had evolved t h rough seve ra ltypes of contact: o n e c a u sed t h e re p l acem e n t of Celti c n o r m s , a n ot h e rfoste red coexiste n ce betwe e n d i ffere nt G e rm a n ic n o rm s , a n d , i n betwe e n ,sti l l a n ot h e r fac i l itated a cu l t u r a l p e n etration b y Lat i n n o r m s . T h e tra n s­fo r m ati o n of O l d Engl i s h (w h i c h is closer to G e r m a n ) i nto Early M i d d l eEngl i s h (w h i c h is recogn iza b l e as " E nglis h") too k p l ace i n yet a n ot h e r con­tact s ituatio n : t he w ho l es a l e re p l ace m ent of t h e local e l ite by a fo reigno n e . I n t h e e l eventh ce ntu ry, a s t h e d ifferent d ia l ects of F re n c h werefi n a l izi ng t h e i r d ifferentiation fro m Lat i n , t h e F re n ch-s pe a k i n g N o r m a n sstaged a s uccessfu l i nv a s i o n o f Engl a n d a n d ru led t h a t cou ntry fo r n e a rlya cent u ry ( 1066-11 54) . T h e Old E ngl i s h-s pea k i ng n o b i l ity v i rtu a l ly ceasedto exist, and even t h e h ig hest offices of the c h u rc h fe l l i nto N o rm a nh a n d s . F r e n c h beca m e t h e l a ngu age o f t h e e l ites fo r over two centu rie s ,w h i l e O l d Engl i s h beca m e t h e low-p restige d ia l ect of t h e p e a s a nt m asses.In t h i s way, t h e Norman Co n q u est affected Old E ngl i s h m u c h t h e way t h eco l l a pse of t h e R o m a n E m p i re affected Lati n , as we obse rved e a rl ie r. A so n e h i sto r i a n puts it: The most i m portant s i ngle i n fl u ence of the lI orman Co nqu est u pon English was the rem oval of the co nservative p ressu res that te nded to i m pede its evol uti o n . As the tongue of a s u bj ugated cou ntry O l d Engl ish lost prestige . West Saxo n was no lo nger the l ite rary sta ndard of the co nquered B rito n s, a n d the Anglo-Saxo n scri bal trad ition was s u p presse d . Ne ither c h u rch nor state had much time to give to the language of the Engl i s h peasa nts, and the soci a l ly and i nte l l ectua l ly el ite co u l d not be bothered with it. U n der s u ch co n d itions of lai ssez fai re, the language ben efited fro m a return to ora l pri macy: col loq u ia l u se determi ned usage and variant d ial ect fo rms co m peted for accepta nce. U n h i n d ered by ru les of prescri ption and pro­ scri ptio n , the E ngl ish peasants . . . rem odeled the l a ngu age with tongue and palate.22 T h u s , t h a n ks to t h e fo rcefu l removal of an e m e rging sta n d a rd (WestSaxo n ) , t h e flow of n o r m s th rough seve ral ge n e rati o n s of Engl i s h peas­a n ts beca m e m o re fl u i d , the a m o u n t of variation i n crease d , a n d t h ew h o l e co nti n u u m of d i a l ects evolved faster. B y t h e t i m e t h e Engl is h e l itesred iscove red t h e i r n ative l a ngu age in the t h i rtee n t h centu ry, it h a da l ready c h a nged i n d r a m atic ways. I n p a rticu l a r, it h a d b e e n tra n sfo rmedfro m a syn thetic la nguage i nto a mostly analytic one. These te rms refer toa l te r n ative ways i n w h i c h l a n gu ages express ce rtai n gra m m atica l fu nc­t i o n s . A synt h etic l a ngu age exp resses fu n ctions l i ke t h e ge n d e r a nd n u m­be r of n o u n s , o r th e te nse of ve rbs, v i a certa i n l i ngu i stic p a rticles ca l l ed195
  • 181. 3: MEMES AND NORMSi n flecti o n s . M od e r n E n gl i s h reta i n s a few of t hese (the -s for p l u ra l a n dt h e -ed fo r past te n se), b u t m ost o f t h e i n fl ecti o n s from O l d Engl i s h havebee n d ro p ped . I n flect i o n e d l a ngu ages a re free to positi o n words in sen­te n ces in seve ral a lter n ative ways (si nce t h ey carry gra m m atica l m a rke rswith t hem), w h i le l a n gu ages t h at have l ost t h e i r i n fl ecti o n s express gra m­m atical fu n ct i o n s t h ro u g h a fixed word order (e. g. , s u bj ect-ve rb-o bject).G i v e n that wo rd o rd e r ca ptu res ve ry eco n o m ica l ly t h e logic be h i n d a sen­te n ce, t h ese l a ngu ages a re ca l l ed a n a lytic. Eth nocentric l i ngu i sts in t h e past ( p a rt i c u l a rly t hose studying E n gl i s ha nd F re n c h ) d i d n t s e e i n t h e tra n sfo rmati o n from synt h etic t o a n a lytic as i m p l e switc h fro m o n e set of gra m m atical res o u rces to a not h e r equiva­len t o n e , b u t rat h e r a move up t h e l ad d e r of p rogress, as if an i nt e r n a ld rive fo r greate r cla rity (rati o n a l ity) w e r e gu i d i n g t h e evo l ution of l a n ­gu ages. B ut si m i l ar gra m matical s i mp l i fi cati o n s occ u r i n l a ngu ages t h atc h a u v i n i stic spea kers of E n gl i s h or F r e n c h wo u ld never c o n s i d e r to be o nt h e s a m e level a s t h e i r mother to ngue. T h ese are t h e so-ca l led trade jar­gons, or pidgins , l i ke the fa m o u s S a b i r, or M ed iterra n e a n l i ngua fra nca, alo n g- l ived d i a l ect w i d e ly used i n t h e Levant trade begi n n i ng i n t h e M i d d l eAges . T h e study o f pidgi n s i s p a rticu l a rly re leva nt h e re n ot o n ly fo r thel ight it t h rows o n t h e d i st i n ct i o n betwee n a n a lyti c and synth etic, but a l sobeca u se it i l l u st rates yet a not h e r type of co ntact s i t u at i o n t h at a ffects l i n­gu i stic evol utio n : t h e t r a n sitory l i n gu istic co ntact created by m i l itary ortrad e e n cou nters betwe e n a l ie n c u lt u re s . T h e o rigi n s of Sa b i r a re obsc u r e . O n e t heory post u l ates t hat it wasbo r n of the C r u sades, begi n n i ng in the yea r 1095. If so, the J e r u s a l e mbattlefi e l d s wo u l d h ave been i t s p lace of b i rt h , fro m w h e n ce it s p read fol­l owi ng m i l itary a nd m e rc h a nt m ove m e nts. 23 Critics of t h i s theory poi n tout t h at as l ate as t h e t h i rteenth centu ry m a ny Levant t ra d e doc u m e n tswe re writte n n ot i n S a b i r b u t i n a c h a n g i n g hybrid of I ta l i a n , Fre n c h , a n dLati n . Sa bi r m ay h a v e e m e rged s h o rtly afte r, a n d t h e n , t h a n ks t o i t s s i m ­p l i city, re p l aced t hose e a r l y hybri d s . O n t h e ot h e r h a n d , it m ay n eve rh ave existed as a si ngle e ntity b u t as a s e ri es of pidgi n s , each d rawi ng o nd ifferent R o m a nce l a ngu ages fo r i t s l exical m ate r i a l s . 24 Fo r exa m pl e , i nt h e ea rly M id d le Ages t h e voca b u l a ry o f Sa b i r m ay h ave rel i ed mostly o nbo rrowi n gs from t h e d i a l ects o f G e n oa a n d Ve n i ce , s i nce t h ose cities d o m ­i n ated t r a d e with t h e Leva nt. W h e n l ater o n t h e Portuguese fou n d a lte r­n ate routes to t h e l u x u ry m a r kets a nd bega n to bre a k t h e mon opoly ofthe I t a l i a n cities, Sa b i rs voca b u l a ry c h a nged accord i ngly. At a ny event,Sabir is ra re a m o ng p idgi n s beca u se of its l o n gevity (it d ied o n ly i n theearly twe ntieth centu ry, a s the Ott o m a n E m pi re col l a psed). Most p i dgi n se m e rge a nd d isappear as t h e s h o rt-l i ved co ntact s i t u ati o n s t h at give rise196
  • 182. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A . D .to them co m e to an e n d . But p idgi n s e n d u re w h erever con tact betwee na l i e n c u ltu res h a s b e e n i nstitu t i o n a l ize d , a s h a pp e n e d , fo r exa m p l e , a ts l ave trad i ng posts a n d o n s u ga r p l a ntati o ns . O n e d i sti n ctive featu re of pidgi n s - w hat d iffe renti ates t h e m f r o m s i m ­p l e m ixtu res - is that t h ey greatly s i m p l i fy t he set of n o r m s fro m w h i c ht h ey were d e rived . M a ny red u n d a n t featu res of l a ngu ages (su c h a st h e v e r b " t o b e " ) a re e l i m i n ated , si nce t h e i r m a i n fu n ct i o n i s t o m a kespeec h m o re self-co nta i n ed or red u n d a n t ( i . e . , l ess d e p e n d e n t o n contex­t u a l c l u e s fo r co rrect i n te r p retati o n ) . Without t h ese resou rces, p idgi n sbeco m e m o re d e p e n d e n t o n co n text, so t hat, i n a sen se, be h a v i o ra la cts s u c h a s poi nti ng t o refe re nts beco m e p a rt o f t h e "gra m m a r" o f t h epidgi n . Yet, far fro m be i ng d ege n e rate t o n g u e s t h a t devolved fro m t h e i r" m a st e r" l a ngu ages, pidgi n s a re creative a d a ptatio n s of l i n gu i st i cresou rces . 25 S l ave p i d g i n s , fo r exa m p l e , w e r e not a k i n d of " b a by ta l k"c re a ted by the master to com m u n icate with h i s s laves, b u t a creativea d a ptati o n by s l aves from d i spa rate l i ngu i stic backgro u n d s to co m m u n i­cate with o n e a noth e r. 26 D u e to t h e i r stigm atizat i o n as " i n ferior" l a ngu ages, pidgi n s d i d n otbeco m e a serious s u bject of study u nti l relatively rece n tly. Tod ay, t h efi e l d i s grow i n g expl osively as eth n ocentric prej u d ice g i v e s way to a m o reo bj ective a p p roac h . Si m u lt a n eo u s ly, t h e e m p ha s i s h a s c h a nged , a n d l i n­gu i sts a re l ess i nte rested i n p idgi n s as d i sti nct e ntities t h a n i n " pidgin iza­tion" a s a ge n e ra l p rocess t h at m ay o r m ay not create a sta b l e e n tity.Befo re t h i s switch i n a p p roa c h , t h e creatio n of sta b l e e n tities was seenas a simple p rocess co n s i st i ng of two s u ccessive stages: fi rst, a "ta rget"l a ngu age (e.g. , the l a ngu age of t h e s l ave m a ster) was s i m p l ified a nd apidgin was cre ated . T h e n , w h e n t h e sl aves were set free , t h e fi rst ge n e ra­tion of c h i l d r e n who l e a rn ed the p i dgi n as a mother to ngue re-createdm a n y of the red u nd a nt featu res that had been strip ped away, and a n ewentity e m e rged : a creole. (Of cou rse , n ot o n ly c h i l d re n partici pate i n t h isreco m p l exification of t h e p id gi n ; ad u lt s p e a ke rs m ay a l so co ntri b u te bybo rrowi ng ite m s fro m ot h e r d i a l ects. )2 7 A lt hough t h is p rocess of crysta l­l ization of n ew c reole l a n gu a ges vi a e n ri c h m e n t of a p i d g i n is sti l l of greati n te rest to l i ng u i sts (si n ce it rep rese nts an acce l e rated ve rs i o n of l i ngu i s­tic evol utio n , o n e t h at is co m p ressed i nto o n e or two ge n e ratio n s) ,tod ays e m p hasis i s m o re o n t h e p rocesses of pi dgi n ization a n d creo l iza­tion i n ge n e ra l , whet h e r t h ey resu l t i n n ew sta b l e entities or n ot : A l i near m o d e l of two d iscrete ste ps, as i m plied b y the sta n d a rd co nce ption of pidgi n and creo le, m ay ove rsim p l i fy the com plexity of the h i sto rical cases to the point of disto rtio n , and i n itself contri bute to the d i fficu lty of i nte r-197
  • 183. 3: MEMES AND NORMS preting the evide nce. Wit h i n a s i ngle regio n there may coexi st, co ntiguous ly, m o re than o ne stage of development. And there may i ndeed be more than two stages - a pre-pidgin cont i n u u m , a crysta l ized p i dgi n , a pi dgi n undergo­ i ng de-p idgi n ization (reabso rption by its d o m i nant sou rce), a pidgin u nd e r­ goi ng creol i zatio n , a creole, a c reole u n dergoi ng de-creol i zation . 28 A n u m be r of l i ngu i sts a n d p h i loso p hers of l a ngu age h ave noted t h e s i m i ­l a r ity betwe e n t h e contact situati o n s giv i ng rise to t h ese p rocesses a n dt hose be h i n d t h e e m e rge n ce of t he R o m a nce l a ngu ages a nd E ngl i s h . T h i si s not to s a y t ha t t h e R o m a nce l a ngu ages o r Engl i s h s h o u l d b e co nsid­ered pi dgi n s o r creo l es , but t h ey may a l so h ave u nd e rgo n e s i m p l i fi cat i o n sa n d reco m p l ex ificat i o n s . For i n sta n ce , t h e l o s s of i n fl e ct i o n a nd t h e fix i n gof wo rd o rd e r w h i c h d isti ngu i s h a n a lyti c l a nguages s u c h as F r e n c h a n dE ngl i s h ca n a l so be o bse rved i n the evo l ut i o n of m a n y pi dgi n s . T h e removalof a do m i n a nt n o rm (West Saxo n i n the case of O l d E n gl i s h , R o m a n Lat i ni n t h e c a s e of O l d F re nc h ) , w h i c h i ncreases variatio n a n d h e n ce t h e s peedof d iverge nt evo l utio n , i s a lso a const a nt facto r i n the d eve l o p m e n t ofpidgin ized l a ngu ages. O n the ot h e r h a n d , t he ex pa n d i ng voca b u l a ry a n dm u lti plyi n g u ses of l a ngu age (i n e d u catio n , l aw, etc.) t h a t c h a racte rizecreoles are a l so p a rt of t h e birth p rocess of d om i n a nt l a ngu ages (as w h e nP a r i s i a n F re n c h re p l aced Lat i n o r w h e n L o n d o n s E ng l i s h repl aced N o r m a nFrench). 29 T h u s, t h e popu l a t i o n of l i ngu ist i c repl i cators t h at i n h a b itedE u rope i n the M id d l e Ages may be seen as h a v i n g u n d e rgo n e p rocessesnot o n ly of foc u s i ng a n d d iffu s i o n (in soci a l n etwo r ks) a n d h i e ra rc h izat i o n(i n u r b a n ce n te rs) b u t a lso of pidgin izat i o n a n d creo l izat i o n . S u c h i s , i n so m a ny words, t h e l i ngu istic viewpoi nt a d o pted by G i l l e sD e l e u ze a n d F e l ix G u att a r i , w h o ca l l t hose l a ngu ages t h at have risen t ot h e top of a h ie r a rc h y " m aj o r" l a ngu ages a nd those fo r m i ng a m e s hwo r kof d ia l ects " m i n o r" l a ngu ages. Yet t hey d o not u se t h ese terms t o refe rp r i m a rily to sta b l e e ntities (so m e m o re h o moge n e o u s , some m o re h ete ro­ge neous) b u t rat h e r to t h e p rocesses (beco m i ng major, beco m i ng m i n o r)t h at a ffect t h e po p u l at i o n of n o r m s as a w h o l e : Should w e ide ntify m ajor and m i n o r l a ngu ages on t h e b a s i s of regional situ­ ations of b i l i ngua l i s m o r m u lti l i ngu a l i s m i nc l u d i ng at least one d o m i nant la ngu age a n d o ne d o m i nated l a ngu age . . ? At least two t h i ngs p reve nt us . fro m adopti ng this point of view. . . . W hen [modern] F rench lost its world­ wide maj o r function it lost not h i ng of its co nsta ncy and homoge neity. Con­ ve rsely, Afr i kaans attai ned hom ogeneity when it was a l ocally m i no r la ngu age struggl i ng aga i nst [modern] Engl ish . . . . I t is d i fficu lt t o s e e how the u p hold ers of a m i no r language can operate if not by giving it (if o n ly by198
  • 184. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D. writing i n it) a co nsta ncy and homoge neity making it a loca l ly major lan­ gu age ca pable of fo rci ng official recogn ition . . . . B ut the o ppos ite argu ment seems more com pe l l i ng: the m o re a la ngu age has o r acq u i res the charac­ teri stics of a major langu age, the more it is affected by conti n u ous varia­ tions that tra n s pose it i nto a " m i no r" la nguage . . . . Fo r if a language such as B ritish Engl i s h o r American Engl i s h i s m ajo r o n a wo rld sca le, it i s necessar­ ily worked u po n by a l l the m i norities of the wo rld, u s i ng very d iverse proce­ d u res of va riation. Ta ke the way Gaelic a n d I rish Engl ish set Engl i s h i n variation. Or the way Black Engl i s h a n d any n u m ber o f "ghetto l a ngu ages" set Ame rica n Engl ish in variatio n , to the poi nt that New Yo rk is virtu a l ly a city without a la nguage.3o To ret u rn to t h e M i d d l e Ages, t h e acce l e rated u rban izat i o n t h at p ro d u ce dregi o n a l h i e ra rc h i es of towns created seve ral h igh- p restige vernac u l a rsfor each port i o n of t h e conti n u u m of Lat i n ate d ia l ects. Each regi o n a l ca pi­ta l witn essed t h e rise of its own v a r i a nt to t h e sta t u s of a l oca l ly " m ajor"l a ngu age, w h i c h h a d its own writ i n g system and acc u m u l ated prestige att h e expense of a n u m be r of " m i n o r" varia nts s po ke n i n low-ra n k s m a l ltowns a n d r u r a l s u pply a reas. T h u s, t h e co nti n u u m of F r e n c h d i a l ects wasd ivided i nto two regio ns str u ggl i ng for s u p r e m acy: a fa m i ly of s o u t h e r nd i a l ects c a l l e d l a ngu e d oc a n d a not h e r fa m i ly s p o k e n i n t h e north a n dcenter, k n own as l a n g u e d oi l , which i n cl u d e d t h e Pa r i s i a n vernac u l a r(Fra ncien) as we l l a s t h e v a r i a nt t h at t he N o r m a n s h a d i m posed o n B rita i n .N ot h i ng i nt r i n sica l ly l i ngu istic was t o d ete rm i n e t h e outco m e of t h isstru ggle between langue d oc and l a ng u e d oi l . O n t h e contra ry, thea sce n d a nt p restige of l a ng u e d oil was the res u lt of a v a ri ety of n o n l i ngu i s­tic events. T h e s u ccessf u l co l o n izati o n of t h e B riti s h I s les by t h e N o r m a n sw a s o n e s u c h event, as w a s t h e A l bige n s i a n C ru sade, w h i c h ben efitedF r a n c i e n at the expense of Occita n , a m e m be r of the l a ng u e d oc fa m i ly.A rat h e r p recocio u s pol i ti ca l ce ntralizatio n a ro u n d Paris a d d ed to t h em o m e nt u m , as d i d exte n s i o n s i n t h e u sage of ve r n ac u l a r, s u ch a s t h etra n s l at i o n of t h e B i b l e (i nto F ra n c i e n) i n t h e ye a r 1 2 50 b y sc h o l a rs a tt h e U n iversity of Pa r i s . 31 Ot h e r e m e rgi ng R o m a nce l a ngu ages fol l owed s i m i l a r l i n e s . On t h e I ber­i a n Pe n i ns u l a , seve ra l regi o n a l varia nts d eveloped , a n d Cata l a n bega n tod iv e rge f ro m t h e rest ( k n own col l ectively as t h e H i s p a n o- R o m a nced i a l ects) a rou n d t h e n i nt h ce n t u ry. T h e d i a l ect that wou l d eve nt u a l ly riseto t h e top, Casti l i a n , was a t fi rst a rat h e r p e ri p h e ra l v a r i a n t spoken i n t h eregi o n t h a t late r (aro u n d 1035) beca m e t h e K i ngd o m of Castil e . Casti l i a n spote n ti a l riva l s , Leo n ese a n d A rago n ese, were at t h a t t i m e m o re p re sti­gio u s and m o re i n kee p i ng with t h e R o m a n ce l a ngu age s s po ke n o utside199
  • 185. 3: MEMES AND NORMSt h e p e n i n s u l a . T h e rise of Casti l i a n bega n with t h e war aga i n st I s l a m ,w h i c h h ad col o n ized t h e so u t h e r n regio n s of the p e n i n s u l a fo r eight cen­t u ri e s . T h e K i ngd o m of Cast i l e p l ayed t h e most i m p o rtant rol e i n t h e wa rof reco n q u est, begi n n i ng with t h e ca ptu re of Tol ed o i n 1085. T h rough t h ep rest i ge wo n d u ri n g t h e war, as we l l as the m igratio n of Casti l i a n s t o set­t l e t h e reco n q u ered territories, t h e c u l tu ral a n d te rrito ri a l i n fl u e n ce ofCast i l i a n grew at the expe n se of oth e r H is pano- R o m a n ce d i alects, most ofw h i c h , fo rced to the defe n sive, eventu a l ly wit h e red away.32 Afte r t h ereco n q u est, To ledos n ew Casti l i a n-spea k i n g el ite s , togeth e r w i t h t hosefro m Sevi l l e , fu r n i s he d t h e m ateri a l s from w h i c h the S p a n i s h l a ngu ageeve n t u a l ly evo lved . U n l i ke F r a n ce a n d S p a i n , w he re political central izat i o n came re l ativelyearly, I taly and G e r m a ny wou ld re m a i n fragme nted for centuries beca useof t h e o p position to central. rule by their i nd e p e n d e n t city-states . T h i sfragm e n tati o n , o r rat h e r resista n ce t o h o moge n izatio n , acted a s a l i ngu i s­tic centri peta l fo rce. C e rta i n u rb a n ve r n a c u l a rs rose to p ro m i n ence, b u tt h e i r tri u m p h w a s less c l e a r-cut a n d l i ngu istic do m i n a nce often s h iftedbetween regi o n s . For i n sta nce, the d i a l ect of the city of L u beck becamet h e sta n d a rd of the powe rfu l H a n seatic Leagu e ; b u t when the com m e rcials u ccess of t h e league wa n e d , oth e r G e r m a n varia nts became d o m i n a nt.33I n I ta ly, the Tu sca n d i a lect had enjoyed a privileged statu s s i n ce the fou r­teenth centu ry; it h ad been ad o pted n ot o n ly by t h e p a p a l cou rt b u t by an u m be r of l itera ry writers, w h i c h greatly i n creased its p restige . H owever,each I t a l i a n city-state reta i ned its own local vari a n t fo r centu ries (t hat is,t h e variant used by its e l ites), and l i ngu i stic u n ification was not attem ptedu nt i l the n i n etee nt h centu ry.34 Besides t h e s e local m oveme nts i n wh i ch a few varia nts we re " becom­i ng m ajor" re l ative to the rest of the conti n u u m , t h e re was a global strug­gle betwee n t h e local m aj o r l a ngu ages a n d t h e u n d is p uted global m aj o r :writte n Lati n . T h i s struggle , w h i c h took p l a ce betwee n t h e t h i rteenth a n de ig htee nt h centu ries, i s k n own a s t h e " ri se of t h e v e r n a c u l ars." Lati n ,w h i c h i n t h e ea rly yea rs of t h e R o m a n E m p i re h ad been a m i n o r l a n gu agein co m pa rison to G reek, bega n t h e new m i l l e n n i u m greatly stre ngt h e n e d ,fo r seve ral reaso n s . I ts r o l e a s t h e official l a ngu age of t h e c h u rc h h adbee n cod i fied i n t h e yea r 526 with t h e B e n ed icti n e R u le , w h i c h gave it ace ntra l p l ace i n m o n astic l ite racy a n d m a n u script p rod u cti o n , a ,stat u srei n fo rced b y t h e Caro l i ngian refo r m s . T h e central izat i o n of religi o u spowe r a n d co n so l idation o f eccle siastica l h i e ra rc h ies betwee n t h e years1049 and 1216 a l l owed the i n stituti o n a l izatio n of Lati n as t h e o b l igato rym ed i u m fo r t h e co n d u ct of m ass, w h i le the vernacu l a rs were fo r b i d d e nfro m p l ay i n g t h i s rol e . 35 F i n a l ly, t h e l i ngu i stic h ete roge n eity p revai l i ng i n200
  • 186. LINGUISTIC HISTORY: 1000-1700 A.D.E u rope created the need fo r a l i ngua fra n ca fo r i nte rnati o n a l co m m u n i ca­tio n , and Lati n eas i ly e c l i psed S a b i r and t he oth e r low-statu s pidgi n s(s u c h as M oz a r a b i c) t h a t m ay h ave perfo rmed t h i s rol e . B u t t h e agricu ltu ral a n d co m m e rci a l i nt e n s ificatio n s t h a t bega n com­p l exifyi ng u rb a n l ife fro m the e l eventh ce ntu ry o n soon a ltered Lati n sstat u s . The u ses fo r writ i n g greatly d ivers i fi e d , a n d t h e d e m a n d fo r l ite r­ate i n d ivid u a l s greatly i nc reased in ad m i n ist ratio n , l aw, a n d co m m e rce.The esta b l is h m e nt of cat h e d ra l schoo l s and u rb a n u n iversities s h i ftedthe center of e d u cation towa rd t h e n ew towns a nd away from ru ra lm o nasteries. ( I n I ta l y t h e re were even s o m e l ay schools w h e re t h ei nstr u ct i o n w a s co n d u cted i n t h e vern acu l a r. ) L a y offi c i a l s ga i n ed i n creas­i n g i m po rta n ce at t h e exp e n se of t h e c l e rgy, at l east wit h i n t h e wo r l d ofsecu l a r ad m i n i strat i o n . F i n a l ly, t h ere were p rocesses affect i n g not t h ei n stitutio n a l but the o rga n ic s u bstratu m of Lati n , s u c h as t h e B l a c kP l ag u e of t h e fou rte e n t h ce ntu ry. As Wi l l i a m M c N e i l l s u ggests, " T h e r i s eof ve r n acu l a r t o n g u e s as a m ed i u m fo r serious writ i n g a n d t h e d ecay ofLatin a s a lingua franca among t he e d u cated m e n of Weste rn Eu rope wash aste ned by t h e d i e-off of c l e ri cs a n d tea c h e rs w h o k n ew e nough Lati nto kee p t h at a n