Growth and Development World Inequality in Jared Essay

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Growth and Development

World Inequality in Jared Diamond's

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Introduction to Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Under the aegis of W.W. Norton, Jared Diamond published his Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. The book offers a new perspective on world history in the meaning of taking a global approach to all peoples and explaining their evolution in relation to environmental factors. It was translated into 25 languages and won the author the Pulitzer Prize.

The general idea is that those populations which first revealed an ability to manage the plant and animal life in a way that supported the improvement of their own life would later on be able to master other skills, such as reading or writing. Furthermore, these very same populations would reveal superiority in forming governments, creating technologies, military and defense structures and as such conquering the world and gaining power over other less developed populations. "A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history" (Barnes & Noble Website, 2009).

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TOPIC: Essay on Growth and Development World Inequality in Jared Assignment

Diamond recognizes the existence of world inequality from the early commencement of history through today. A relevant example of inequality is offered throughout the book's second chapter, which reveals a time when the centuries of independence of the Moriori population ended with them being enslaved by the Maoris. Upon the arrival of the latter people on the territory of the Morioris, the aboriginals could have launched a combat and, theoretically, could have won it as their numbers were increased in comparison to the number of the invaders. However, the "hosts" were not aware of the actual intentions of the "visitors" and, also due to their long standing tradition of peacefully resolving conflicts, they withheld the attack. "They [the Morioris] decided in a council meeting not to fight back but to offer peace, friendship and a division of resources" (Diamond, 1997, p.53).

The natives did not get a chance to implement their peaceful approach. Throughout the following days, the Maoris viciously attacked, killed, ate or enslaved the Morioris. "Before the Moriori could deliver that offer, the Maori attacked en masse. Over the course of the next few days, they killed hundreds of Moriori […] and enslaved all the others, killing most of them too over the next few years as it suited their whim" (Diamond, p.53).

The brutality presented in this story makes us believe that it must have taken place several centuries ago, probably even before our era. Sadly enough however, it happened during the nineteenth century, more exactly in the December of 1835. This particular scenario reveals an inequality based on differing cultural values. Despite the fact that they outnumbered the Maoris two by one, the Morioris revealed a superior mentality in recognizing the futility and disadvantages of combat, but rather focusing on peaceful approaches to conflict. Such an opportunity was not however presented and combat was launched by the Maoris. Despite being severely outnumbered, the invaders led a triumphant victory. The reason? The inadequacy of their adversaries.

The aboriginals came from a long line of peaceful ancestors, whose operations revolved around hunting animals and gathering the fruits they could find; they possessed little to none experience with war and few and underdeveloped weapons. The Maoris on the other hand came from a long line of warriors. In the words of Diamond, "the Moriori were a small, isolated population of hunter-gatherers, equipped with only the simplest technology and weapons, entirely inexperienced at war, and lacking strong leadership or organization. The Maori invaders […] came from a dense population of farmers chronologically engaged in ferocious wars, equipped with more-advanced technology and weapons, and operating under strong leadership" (Diamond, p.54). The inequality derived from this different ability to understand and control biology.

Despite its relevance and importance to understating world inequality from an environmentalist standpoint, the conflict between the Maoris and the Morioris remains just one of the countless examples offered from antiquity through today. For instance, in 1200 B.C., farmers and fishers from the Bismarck Archipelago north of New Guinea arrived on the difficult-to-reach islands in Pacific Oceans, beyond New Guinea and Melanesia;… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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