In the discussion thread: Stewart Brand: Why Environmentalists Must Accept Nuclear [View all]
Response to GliderGuider (Reply #25)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:41 PM
joshcryer (56,428 posts)
29. Smart primitivists realizing private property is a scam.
Realizing that the shaman was out to fuck them over.
That's how it happens.
Instead of the shaman saying "I can cure your ills" the shaman says "I think this might work to cure your ills." Now, primitivists of the time did know of natural cures in nature, that they discovered themselves, or whose information was emancipated from the shaman (aloe type plants come to mind, poisons to dip tips of darts in, and such).
So it's easy enough for the primitivist to say "Shaman, you have no authority over me." But this is a very difficult prospect because nature is pretty rough, even with community built homes, and even with a good climate. And fear, uncertainty, doubt, they make you look to someone who can fix problems in the community.
With this knowledge it only took a smart guy to wield deity-like powers and claim that he (or she in a few cases) were the law of the land with power infused in magical scepters (that did nothing, but had a good mindfuck for the populations). Of course, with power comes empire, so eventually the Romans came along and while they had a remarkable standard of living, they had ambitions to spread out too much and allowed their culture to fester (had they been against war and massive expansion and slavery I think the world would look a lot different today). The fall of the Roman empire is in many ways similar to the current fall of Civ 1.0, because it overreached without the technological knowledge to prevent its own demise. They could've continued Romes' debauchery while expanding out had they kept education up and not been reliant on the plebs to keep them going.
As information flow became more pervasive, it became more and more difficult for these deity-types to hold power, and as people began to have education, the authority figures had to change tack with how they approached the situation. Originally they had suppressed thought in every way they could. Eventually, the side that won was science and reason based, and it built up an industrial system and a high standard of living in an astonishingly short period of time (given the time frame of recorded human history, 10k+ years, where which 97% of that time we were warring with one another, raping, pillaging, and overall more violent than in any time before).
Now, where does private property come in here? Private property, the concept of non-possessive property is the way this sort of thing is enforced. A king-deity declares that he owns all of a kingdom, he has built a hierarchy of authority, and automatically built a class system whereby some live better than others on the backs of others. A king cannot possess an entire kingdom, maybe their castle, house, or whatever, but that's it. So his "ownership" of the kingdom is private property. For a king to "have" an entire kingdom requires the citizens of that kingdom to be controlled, to control the citizens of a kingdom requires a hierarchy of authority. So you have farmers, then mill workers, then clothes makers, then police or security or enforcers, and such.
Without that authority everyone would have become a farmer, a mill worker, a clothes maker.
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|phantom power||Feb 2013||#3|
|diane in sf||Feb 2013||#20|
Smart primitivists realizing private property is a scam.
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