No, Large-Scale Societies Don’t Need Massive Inequalities

David Wengrow interviewed by Astra Taylor in Jacobin:

The popular narrative goes that history is governed by evolutionary forces. While there are exceptions to every rule, its broad sweep pushes in a general direction that is predictable and obvious. Before the rise of agriculture, humans lived in small egalitarian bands. It’s been downhill ever since, as our species trends increasingly toward domination and arbitrary hierarchy.

Belief in this story about humanity isn’t confined to either side of the political spectrum. But is the narrative true? World-renowned archaeologist David Wengrow of University College London says no. Wengrow makes this case in his new book, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, which he coauthored with the late anthropologist David Graeber.

More here.