Keeping Up With the Joneses

The idea of “one-up”ing another person is a tendency that we see very often in everyday life, especially in American culture. Sports, fashion, music, art, and many more aspects of life are more often than not driven by this invisible competition between the populations. The city of Lattara begins to show the birth of this sociological phenomenon.

            The idea of mixing cultures would seem to begin with the people of the southern France first wanting to copy their Greek and Italian counterparts. Envy is a strong driving force in the people of southern France adopting foreign practices. Without this emotion, there would not be a reason for the people of southern France to adopt the foreign techniques of construction, art, commerce and decoration. Envy is an emotion that is played with by the advertising community to coerce consumers into purchasing items to feel better than your peers, so it would not be hard to imagine that this would also drive a local population to adopt aspects of a foreign culture.

            The creation of a money system in Lattara, with the advent of coin money, plays a strong factor in seeding or perhaps nurturing an already existing urge in humans to gain goods and to position themselves at a higher position than their peers or neighbors. It also seems to begin the advent of materialism in human culture. Money begins its march to eventually control the motivations of the world here at Lattara. Materialism is an ultimate motivator not only in modern times but in the times of these early people as well. The creation of a money system seems to point out that humans may have never had an instinct to share goods without receiving something in return.

This arrival of materialism into the world, which may have also started in Morbihan with the ornate axes and tools given at burial, will also begin to drive the community to venerate beauty in higher regard than ever before. The importance of beauty and the tendency towards materialism will begin to drive the community as trading becomes practiced. Trading may first begin in exchanging goods of need to both parties, but eventually people will begin to notice that beautiful goods sell well and will begin to play on this aspect in a new burgeoning economy.

This is all important to art as it brings the realm of art into a brand new environment. The ideas of beauty and materialism that came from the urge of the people of Lattara to obtain what they had envied of what foreign cultures brought has pushed art from what was first religious to become more commercial. The privatization of art is an important concept that will drive modern art and burgeon the importance of art to the common man who may have not been able to participate in religious art due to sacred practices.

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