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The Business Steps That Make Civilization Happens

Updated on August 27, 2020
AzkaFariz profile image

I believe humans thrive because we have the most developed minds, not the most vigorous strength.

We struggled to get to the top of the food chain. We kept being hunted and chased by other dominant animals that existed during that time. But then, we begin to develop the best ability possible: thought and thinking. Because of that, we could hunt larger animals, forage foods, and support each other. While all are important, the latter is the one that makes us the top of the food chain.

Still, supporting each other and making a civilization are two completely different things. Human social ability is second only to those of ants in nature perspective. If that so, then what makes us able to create a complex social system to grow and push humankind throughout history? The answer is specialization and trade.

Specialization is what makes us able to start civilizations, and trade is what complements it. Imagine a society when there isn’t anyone focusing on something: it will be unbearable. For instance, if you want to make a noodle, you will have to grow the wheat, make the flour, and cook the noodle. This simplified example shows how ineffective the world will be if there’s no specialization and trade in place.

From Wandering Nomads to Hyper-Effective Specialists

In those days, our species kept moving from one place to another in search of food. They settled down after being able to grow food themselves. By becoming a settler, we had different kinds of jobs that need to be worked at the same time. Examples would be cultivating fruits and watering the field every morning. By doing so, particular talents, indicated by effectiveness, are found on people. And experts became more common than all-rounders.

"Each man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any"

— Plato

Talented individuals are better at doing something than other people. These individuals can’t assist each other, but they can complement each other. Let’s say John is competent enough to raise 100 cattle or produce 500 bread every month. And his friend, Matthew, can handle 50 cattle or bake 1000 bread at the same time window. Rather than laboring both of these chores, John could focus on tending cattle. And Matthew should prioritize making bread. At the end of the month, John can trade with Matthew to benefit both of them.

Specialization and collaboration will lead to the foundation of civilization. In a functional society, there are butcher, gardeners, guards, and even leaders utilizing their expertise every day. One can’t exist without the other because they can’t do everything alone. So, they resorted to the next key breakthrough in human history: trading.

Self-Sufficient Will Lead to Insufficiency

Economists and business owners believe every trade is beneficial as long as there is the freedom to choose. Nations that kept out from trading with the world, such as Cuba, are facing difficulty in developing their country. On the other hand, states that try their best at the world trading scene are often, if not always, rewarded. In history, successful civilizations usually have one thing in common: prosperous trading businesses.

Chinese Empire, Abbasid Caliphate, and the British Empire are one of many examples of a thriving civilization. They capitalized on their military triumph by also investing in trade. Arguably, there is no success without commerce. Because of that, the importance of trading will not be gone anytime soon.

If someone wants to be self-sufficient, he will soon realize that he will only become insufficient. Trading may not be our everyday necessities, but its importance is possibly the same as them. Without trading, none of our daily items will be available for us. Additionally, Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, explained the importance of trading in his magnum opus: The Wealth of Nations.

"Trade is the oldest and most important economic nexus among nations. Indeed, trade along with war has been central to the evolution of international relations."

— Robert Gilpin

The Holy Cycle of Specialization and Trade

Specialization leads to trade, and trade gives benefits because of specialty. We need each other because not only physically and mentally but also financially. It may seem harsh to summarize it like that, but this statement is the way our world works. It is not wrong to say that specialization and trade are not the only crucial thing. But it is a fact that they deserve the top spot on the importance scales. Unsurprisingly, they may be ranked fourth after foods, healthcare, and education.

The most successful economic ideology also supports this statement. Capitalism is not a breakthrough in how the economy and business system should be. But it is a conclusion of what brings prosperity to people. People will almost always argue that capitalism only benefits certain people. While it may have some truth in it, this idea has brought perplexing results in many nations.

No matter who they are and what they will be, it is and will be guaranteed that they need trades and focused society. These two things may never be replaced by anything else.

© 2020 Azka Fariz Fadhilah

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