【English/日本語】Read an English book📖英語の本を読もう📚Sapiens―chapter#18 State and Market

🇺🇸English✕ 上級日本語🇯🇵

英語でSapiens を読もう📖#18


For English learners!

Hello everyone, how’s your English learning journey going?😃 Reading an English book is sometimes a long journey. You might inadvertently stop if you are alone. But no worries. You are at the right place already. I would like to explore an English book here so that you can try reading the book with me. We are not alone. Let’s enjoy a fun time reading!

The book, which I picked up this time, is called Sapiens, published by Yuval Noah Harari. The Amazon Kindle link below allows you to read up to chapter 3. Today, I am covering chapter 18.

You can check out my recommending strategy of reading as well as a bit of information about this book with a link below. Okay then, let’s get started📖






Ch.18 A Permanent Revolution

第18章 国家と市場経済がもたらした世界平和

Grasp the structure!🦧構成を把握する

To grasp the chapter, you just try to see its hierarchical configuration. I strongly recommend drawing it either physically or virtually.


The Industrial Revolution
  • to convert energy
  • to produce goods
  • to liberate Sapiens from its dependence on the surrounding ecosystem
Molded to the world
  • cut down forests
  • drained swamps
  • dammed rivers
  • flooded plains
  • laid down railroad tracks
  • built skyscraping metropolises
  • habitats were destroyed and species went extinct
Mass of animals, Today
  • 7 billion Sapiens
    • mass of 300 million tons
  • domesticated farmyard animals
    • mass of 700 million tons
  • wild animals
    • mass of less than 100 million tons
Ecological degradation
  • endanger the survival of Sapiens
  • make the earth less hospitable
  • spiralling race between human power and human-induced natural disasters (unanticipated side effects)
  • subjugate the ecosystem to Sapiens’ needs and whims
  • manipulations of the ecosystem
  • it is not destruction but change
Population transition
  • in 1700
    • 700 million humans
  • in 1800
    • 950 million humans
  • by 1900
    • 1.6 billion humans
  • by 2000
    • 6 billion humans
  • Today
    • 7 billion humans

 🚧工事中 🚧

Sapiens has become:
  • impervious to the whims of nature
  • more subject to the dictates of modern industry and government
  • have unpremeditated changes in daily life and human mentality
  • premodern era
    • subject only to the movements of the sun and the growth cycles of plants
  • modern industry era
    • adhere to a precise clocks and timetables
    • cares little about the sun
Legislation of the time
  • in 1784
    • each British city and town had its own local time
  • in 1830
    • the first commersial train service began operating between Liverpool and Manchester
    • the quirky differences in local hours became a severe nuisance
  • in 1847
    • British train companies agreed that all train timetable would be calibrated to Greenwich Observator time.
  • in 1880
    • British government lagistlated that all timetables must follow Greenwich as a national time.
The major upheavals
  • adapting to industrial time
  • urbanization
  • disappearance of the peasantry
  • the rise of the industrial proletariat
  • empowerment of the common person
  • democratization
  • youth culture
  • disintegration of patriarchy
  • collapse of the family and the local communit and replacement by the state and the market

 🚧工事中 🚧

Three ancient frames
  • prior to the Industrial Revolution, the daily life of most humans ran its course within:
    • the nuclear family
    • the extended family
    • the local intimate community
  • they functioned as:
    • the walfare system
    • the health system
    • the education system, and so on
old-fashioned community
  • characteristics
    • on the basis of local tradition and an economy of favor
    • village life involved many transactions but fewe payments
    • kingdomes and empires tended to stay out of it
    • even taxation and violence were in charge of communities
  • Ex1: the Ottoman Empire
    • allowed family vendettas to mete out justice
  • Ex2: the Chinese Ming Empire
    • allowed the population to organaize into the baojia system
Life in the bosom of family and community
  • it could oppress their members
  • the internal dynamics were often fraught with tension and violence
  • losing family was as good as dead, and it was crucial to find an alternative family
Changes over the last two centuries
  • the Industrial Revolution gave…
    • the market immense new powers
    • the state with new means of communicasion and transportation
  • the market and the state’s path…
    • to indoctrinate people by nationalist education
    • to conscript them into armies
    • to turn into a rootless urban proletariat
    • to intervene via police and court
    • to let people become individual
  • provide
    • food
    • shelter
    • education
    • health
    • welfare
    • employment
    • pensions
    • insurance
    • protection
Women’s status
  • modern states see women as individuals not as property
  • let them enjoy economic and legal rights independently
    • hold their own bank accounts
    • decide whom to marry
    • choose to divorce
The cost of the liberation of the individual
  • bewail the loss of strong families and communities
  • feel alienated and threatend by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives
  • be intervened in their lives by the states and markets much more easily than by strong families and communities
  • be exploited by markets
  • be persecuted by armies, police forces, and bureaucracies
  • lose the awesome power of culture
Intimate needs
  • something that state and market are incapable of providing
  • the markets’ intervention
    • the market shapes the way people conduct their romantic and sexual lives
    • the markets tailors people’s romantic and sexual preferences and lends a hand in providing for them for a fat fee
    • money passes to fashion designers, gym managers, dieticians, cosmeticians, and plastic surgeons, who help us looking as similar as possible to the markets ideal of beauty
  • the state’s intervention
    • oblige parents to send their children to be educated by the state
    • parents authority is in full retreat, as the state ought to prevent parents from beating or humiliating their children (this was ludicrous and unworkable until not long ago)

 🚧工事中 🚧

Traditional imagined communities
  • in ancient China
    • tens of millions of people saw themselves as members of a single family
  • Muslims
    • people see themselves as they were all brothers and sisters
  • these played second fiddle to intimate communities
  • they didn’t fulfill the emotional needs
Today’s imagined communities
  • the intimate communities withered, leaving imagined communities to fill in the emotional vacuum
  • it makes people imagine…
    • millions of strangers belong to the same community as themselves
    • they have a common past, common interests, and a common future
  • it is not a lie but inter-subjective realities that exist only in our collective imagination
  • Nation
    • the imagined community of the state
    • nationalism works hard for it
    • do its best to hide its imagined character, as if it were a natural and eternal entity
    • most existing nations evolved only after the Industrial Revolution
    • it’s been increasingly eclipsed by tribes of costomers
      • A german vegetarian might well prefer to marry a French vegetarian than a German carnivore
  • The consumer tribe
    • the imagined community of the market
    • consumerism works hard for it
    • they share the same consumption habits and interests, therefore, feel part of the same consumer tribe
    • they define themselves by what they consume
      • Madonna fans
      • Manchester United fans
      • vegetarians
      • environmentalists
The Middle East borders
  • Syrian, Lebanene, Jordanian, and Iraqi nations
    • French and British diplomats drew haphazard borders without considering local history, geography, and economy
    • French devided who would be Syrian and who Lebanese or Iraqis
  • Iraq
    • Saddam Hussein and Hafez el-Asad tried to promote and reinforce their Anglo-French-manufactured national consciousnesses
    • Saddam Hussein co-opted the heritage of the Abbasid caliphate and the Babylonian Empire, even calling one of his crack armoured units the Hammurabi Division.

 🚧工事中 🚧

Social order characteristics
  • Before
    • hard and rigid
    • implied stability and continuity
    • social structure was inflexible and eternal
    • people reconciled themselves to the status quo
    • safeguarded the traditional order
  • Today
    • acquired a dynamic and malleable nature
    • a state of permanent flux, incessant change
    • every year is revolutionary
    • think social order as something which we can engineer and improve at will
    • destroy the old world and build a better one
The last seven decades
  • the worst of times
    • violence and horror
    • a series of deadly wars
    • WWII: faced the possibility of complete self-annihilation
  • the best of times
    • peace and tranquility
    • experienced more economic, social, and political change
    • the new elastic order seemt to enitiate radical structural changes
  •  🚧工事中 🚧

Mass statistics of death
  • in 2000
    • 310,000 died for wars
    • 520,000 died for violent crime
    • 830,000 comprised 1.5% of 56 million people died in the same year
    • car accidents: 2.25%
    • suicide: 1.45%
  • in 2002
    • 741,000 died for human violence, while 873,000 committed suicide
    • the average person was more likely to kill themselve than to be killed by a terrorist, a soldier, or a drug dealer
The rise of the state
  • most violence resulted from local feuds between families and communities
  • in Medival Europe
    • 40 murders out of 100,000 inhabitants
  • Today, globally
    • 9 murders out of 100,000 people
    • states and markets have become all-powerful and communities have vanished
    • violence rates have dropped even further
    • most of them happend in weak states, such as Somalia and Colombia
  • Today, in Europe
    • 1 murder a year per 100,000 people
Increasing security forces
  • state-run courts and police fores have probably increased the level of security world wide
  • the Brazil’s dictatorship between 1964 and 1985
    • even in oppressive dictatorships, the agerage modern person is far less likely to die at human hands than in premodern society
    • several thousand Brazillians were murdered by the regime
    • thousands more were imprisoned and tortured
    • yet, the average Brazilian in the capital was far less likely to die at human hands than ingigenous people in Amazon
  • The indigenous people in Amazon
    • the Waorani, Arawete, and Yanomano live in the depths of the Amazon forest
    • without army, police, or prisons, 25-50% of men die in violent conflicts over property, women, or prestige
The collapse of the European empires
  • empires have crushed rebellions with an iron fist
  • since 1945 most empires have opted for peaceful early retirement; relatively swift, calm, and orderly process
  • The British Empire
    • ruled a quarter of the globe in 1945
    • 30 years later, ruled just a few small islands
    • retreated from most of its colonies in a peaceful and orderly manner
    • focused on not retaining power but on transferring it smoothly
  • The French empire
    • its collapse involved bloody rearguard actions in Vietnam and Algeria that cost hundreds of thousands of lives
    • more stubborn, still retreated from the rest of their dominations quickly and peacefully
  • The Soviet
    • collapse in 1989 was even more peaceful
    • no military defeat except in Afghnistan, no external invasions, no rebellions, no sivil disobedience
    • when its members realized that Communism was bankrupt, they renounced force, admitted their failure, and went home
    • Mikhail Gorbachef and his colleagues gave up without a struggle not only Soviet conquests of WWII but also the much alder tsarist conquests in the Baltic, the Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Central Asia
The disappearance of international war
  • it occurred in other parts of the world, then reached Europe
  • South America
    • the Beru-Ecuador War in 1941
    • the Bolivia-Paraguay War in 1932
  • Arab
    • only one full-scale international wars after winning their independence; the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (the Gulf War) in 1990
    • bisides quite a few border clashes, numerous civil wars, an abundance of coups and revolts
  • Africa
    • since their independence was won in the 1960s and 1970s, very few countries have invaded one another
  • Europe
    • after WWI, a European war remained a plausible eventuality, and the expectation of war dominated the thinking of armies, politicians, and ordinary citizens alike.
The law of the jungle
  • ‘For every two nearby polities, there is a plausible scenario that will cause them to go to war against one another within one year.’
  • an iron law of international politics decreed
  • was in force…
    • in late 19th century Europe
    • in medieval Europe
    • in ancient China
    • in classical Greece, such as Sparta and Athens
  • Today
    • humankind has broken the law of the jungle
    • at last real peace, the implausibility of war
    • Never before has peace been so prevalent that people could not even imagin war
Contributing factors
  1. the price of war has gone up dramatically; nuclear weapons have turned war between superpowers into collective suicide, and made it impossible to seek world domination by force of arms
  2. the profits of war has declined; before it was easy to enrich themselves by looting or annexing enemy territories, whereas, wealth today consists mainly the following
    • – human capita
    • – technical know-how
    • – complex socio-economic structures
  3. peace became more lucrative than ever; foreign trade and investments have become all-important, therefore, peace brings unique dividends.
    • ex.) as long as China and the U.S. are at peace, the Chinese can prosper by selling products, trading, and receiving US investments
  4. a tectonic shift in global political culture; war is viewed as evil and avoidable, whereas war was viewed as a positive good once
Four factors feedback
  • when pacifism spreads…
    • war recedes and trade flourishes
    • trade increases both the profits of peace and the costs of war
    • creates another obstacle
  • the tightening web of international connections
    • erodes the independence of most countries
    • lessens the chance of war
    • being not independent cannot be the simple reason to engage in full-scale war
  • the world Empire effectively enforces world peace.
A matter of timing
  • one time
    • an era of mindless slaughter, war, and oppression
  • another time
    • an era of peace, epitomised by the serene visages of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King
  • perception is distorted by events of the last few years
  • we are on the threshold of both heaven and hell

Summarize the chapter concisely🦧章を一言でまとめる

To summarize, check the hierarchical configuration and make sentences with important points of each.


Along with the Industrial Revolution, Sapiens have degraded the ecosystem to fit their needs. Sapiens population has grown as well as domesticated farmyard animals, while wild animals have decreased. Industrialization brought various upheavals. Legislation of time is one of the most significant. The market and the state, which gained immense new powers, have intervened and weakened the bond of the family and the community, which was the strong aspect of culture. Whereas individuals have become alienated and threatened by the power of the market and the state. The replacement of the family and community is ‘imagined communities,’ supplying tribal bonds. Nationalism works hard for nations, while consumerism works hard for the consumer tribes. The social order has been changed from hard and rigid to swift and radical. Although people experienced wars and genocide, it has been also the most peaceful era. And, it enables us to initiate radical structural changes without collapsing into violent conflict. Modern life become significantly peaceful thanks to the rise of the state. The decline of violence is due largely to state-run courts and police forces. International violence has dropped to an all-time low. Since 1945 most empires have opted for peaceful early retirement. States have no longer invaded other states in order to conquer and swallow them up. Wars are no longer the norm. The global empire effectively enforces world peace.

産業革命とともに、サピエンスは自身のニーズに合うように生態系を壊してきました。その結果サピエンスの人口は家畜の数と共に増加してきましたが、野生動物の数は減少しています。工業化はまた様々な激変をもたらしました。時間の立法もその最たるもののひとつです。巨大な新しい力を獲得した市場と国家の介入は、文化的側面も強い家族とコミュニティの絆を弱めました。一方、個人は家族やコミュニティの繋がりが弱まったことによって疎外感を増し、市場や国家の権力にも脅かされています。家族とコミュニティの代わりは「想像上のコミュニティ」です。それは想像上のコミュニティ内の見知らぬ者同士に架空の絆をて供給するのです。ナショナリズムや、大量消費主義は各々の想像上コミュニティの活性化に最善を尽くしています。社会の秩序は、かつての堅固なものから、迅速で急進的なものに変わりました。人々は時に戦争と大量虐殺も経験しましたが、これはまた最も平和な時代でもありました。そして、この平和は私たちが暴力的な紛争に陥ることなく根本的な構造変化に着手することを可能にします。国家の台頭により、現代の生活は非常に平和になっています。暴力の減少は、主に裁判所や警察などによるものです。国家間の暴力は史上最低の落ち込みをみせています。 1945年以来、ほとんどの帝国は平和的な早期引退を選択してきました。国家は他の国家を征服して併合するような侵略をもう行っていません。戦争はもはや規範ではなくなったのです。グローバル帝国は今効果的に世界平和の実施に努めています。

Make questions to discuss🦧ディスカッション用の質問を作ろう

To discuss, make questions. It gives you a great topic to talk about in English.


Evaluative question 全体的な評価についての質問

What does it mean? How are the parts connected? what is the reason for people’s actions?

There is more than one possible answer, but the viewer’s opinion is based directly on the text.



My opinion: The four factors that the author listed up in this chapter are interesting. It is convincing for me to believe why peace has been maintained. Meanwhile, I was a bit unclear that why empires chose earlier retirement such smoothly, and I was wondering if nuclear weapons also contributed to it. Although I would think that nuclear weapons will keep helping us to maintain peace, I think it is just better we assume WWIII is likely to happen since history tends to choose an unlikely option. By the way, I learned the word ‘Pax Atomica’ for the first time. Did you hear of it before? Do you agree with the author’s statement that “the Nobel Peace Prize to end all peace prizes should have been given to Robert Oppenheimer and his fellow architects of the atomic bomb”? As a person who had education about the atomic bombs heavily in school hood, it was a mind-blowing way of thinking that how it is seen globally.


five questions for discussion🦧ディスカッション用の5つの質問

How does this make me feel? What does it remind me of?

There are many correct answers that are related to one’s experience; they can be found outside of the text/speech.

  • Have you ever…?
  • Does it make you angry when…?
  • Which part did you like?
  • How hard was this to understand?



  • こんな経験ありますか
  • こんなとき、怒った気持ちになりますか
  • どのパートが気に入りましたか
  • これを理解するのは難しかったですか

What does it say?

One correct answer is found in the text.

  • Who is …?
  • What happens first?
  • Where are …?
  • What is the difinition of this word?



  • これは誰?
  • 何が最初に起きた?
  • これはどこですか?
  • この言葉の定義はなんですか?

What does it mean? How are the parts connected? what is the reason for people’s actions?

There is more than one possible answer, but the viewer’s opinion is based directly on the text.

  • Why did the speaker…?
  • What can we say about the speaker’s point of view?
  • What is the significance of the title?
  • What did the speaker mean when they said…?



  • どうして話者は...?
  • 話者の視点について、どんなことが言えますか。
  • タイトルにはどんな意味があるでしょう。
  • 話者が...といったのはどういう意味でしょう。

What is the message beyond this presentation? What are the greater issues or questions this piece deals with?

The presentation is not directly referenced in the question. There are many possible answers found outside of the presentation, but it’s a starting point.

  • How do people…?
  • Why do people…?
  • What is the truth about…?



  • 人々はどうやって...?
  • どうして人々は...?
  • ...の真実は何でしょう?

How effective is the presentation in whole or in part? Why did the speaker/author make these choices and how well do they work?

Many possible answers can be found outside of the presentation but it’s a reference.

  • Is it realistic when …?
  • How does the speaker use … to show …?
  • Would this be better if …?
  • Is the speaker biased towards/against…?



  • この箇所は現実味がありますか。
  • 話者がこの...をどのように表現しましたか。
  • もし...であればもっとよかったですか。
  • 話者は...の考え方に偏っていますか。

Expressions and terms🦧覚えておきたい単語・表現

Pick some terms that you are unfamiliar with from sentences you high-lightened and memorize them because you need them to discuss this chapter!!


termexample sentence
upheavalThe Industrial Revolution brought about dozens of major upheavals in human society.
befallYet all of these upheavals are dwarfed by the most momentous social revolution that ever befell humankind: the collapse of the family and the local community and their replacement by the state and the market.
proletariatParents and community elders were reluctant to let the younger generation turn into a rootless urban proletariat.
bewailThe liberation of the individual comes at a cost. Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities
breachFor it breaches countless generations of human social arrangements. Millions of years of evolution have designed us to live and think as community members.

I saw a post, which was written by a British the other day, says that “We do not exist for the sake of something else. We exist for the sake of ourselves.” However, if I interpret ‘we’ as each mutual individual, it sounds literally “Becoming Individuals,” which the state and the market have propagated. If I interpreted ‘we’ as the family and the community, it sounds completely opposite. For me, it sounds like “each individual exists for the sake of themselves.” Therefore this kind of well-meaning message can be seen as full of ignorance toward other cultures that still possess the cultural aspect of valuing family and local communities. Since it is obvious that liberated individuals are suffering from being alienated, I feel like ‘please do not draw us into your hell swamp.’