Men are not the only beings diat operate in groups but the human species

Men are not the only beings diat operate in groups

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Men are not the only beings diat operate in groups, but the human species embarked upon a unique line of development because man had die capacity to make and use tools. The very act of making tools was a stimulus to increasing rationality rather than the < equence of a fully matured intellect In historical terms, man the worker was every bit as important as man the thinker, because the work with tools liberated men fibmsheer physicaTïïêêessïty, so that he canid imp< mself upon other more powerful species and upon nature itself. The Is with which men work ancTffie manner in which they organize their labor are both important indices of social development More often than not, the term “development” is used in an exclusive economic sense—the justification being that the type of economy is itself an index of other social features. What then is economic development? A society develops economically as its members increase jointly their capacity for dealing with the environment This capacity for dealing with the en- vironment is dependent on the extent to which they understand the laws of nature (science), on the extent to which they put that understanding into practice by devising tools (technology), and on the manner in which work is organized. Taking a long-term view, it can be said that there has been constant economic development within human society since the origins of man, because man has multiplied enormously his capacity to win a living from nature. The magnitude of man’s achievement is best understood by reflecting on the early history of human society and noting the follow- ing: firstly, the progress from crude stone tools to the use of metals; sec- ondly, the changeover from hunting and gathering wild fruit to the domestication of animals and the growing of food crops; and thirdly, the improvement in organization of work from being an individualistic activity towards being an activity which assumes a social character through the participation of many. Every people have shown a capacity for independently increasing then- ability to live a more satisfactory life through exploiting the resources of nature. Every continent independently participated in the early epochs of the extension of man’s control over his environment—which means in effect that every continent can point to a period of economic development. África, being the original home of man, was obviously a major participant in the processes in which human groups displayed an ever increasing capacity to extract a living from the natural environment. Indeed, in the HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA 5 early period, Africa was the focus of the physical development of man as such, as distinct from other living beings. Development was universal because the conditions leading to economic expansion were universal. Everywhere, man was faced with the task of survival by meeting fundamental material needs; and better tools were a consequence of the interplay between human beings and nature as part of the struggle for survival. Of course, human history is not a record of
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