[Marxism] The Incas’ Knotty History

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 20:43:55 MDT 2018

It is tempting to view the march of progress as an uphill climb to the
present moment, and the wheel, markets, and writing as hurdles cleared in
the arduous trek toward advanced civilization. Modern-day customs are the
lens through which we view the past, defining success—our own
condition—with a “despite” clause for others who don’t follow our own path.
In reality, the Incas’ 3D records are intimidating because they are so
radically outside the comfort zone of modern society and communications
technologies. The Incas managed to centralize and collapse mathematics,
language, accounting, and history into a durable and portable recording
device. Their khipus are a perfect example of why it is dangerous to judge
the past through the lens of the present. If ancient peoples were
“primitive,” then we must be as well—the Incas and the narrative khipus have,
after all, managed to baffle us so far.


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