“The class who commands, always, for human mental structure, sought to preserve fiercely their privileges for today, regardless if in the medium term this could also damage the same class. The important thing has always been absolutely not to give up, no privilege must be abandoned: then, possibly, if we will just compelled, we will see. Mercilessly. “
“For the class that controls, it is not sufficient to apply only the Affirmation #1: they also need to flaunt as much as possible the privileges: in words, they deny these privileges but in fact they must prove them, making it clear who’s the boss and force instead the subdued in their corner. Mercilessly. “
“If the controlling class has reached a satisfactory level of well-being, it is led to think that any innovation can be dangerous (why to risk?) and so it will tend to ignore it and if not, at least to minimize it and underestimate it. Mercilessly. “
As we are probably at a historic turning-point of humanity, for the reasons which we’ll see below, to paint the possible scenario of the future we have to be really convinced of the three Affirmations above, otherwise we will slip through our overall sense of reasoning. We add that all the three Affirmations are true and they have always been true to all mankind.
As every acceptable history’s scientist know, the Western world has experienced a period of great technological developments before 2500 BC: then, from 2500 BC until 576 AD (fall of the Western Roman Empire) this technological evolution almost completely disappeared, although it can be justified scientifically, as we do, that Europe was and is prepared to machinery, engineering and construction and in general to the technology itself. The causes of the 3000 years stop must therefore be sought elsewhere. The explanation involves (of course) our three previous Affirmations.
Suetonius in Chapter XVIII of his Life of Vespasian tells the well-known story of an engineer who offered the Emperor some machine projects that would have made it possible to relieve the work of slaves and workers in certain types of construction. Vespasian awarded the engineer but refused to build the machines. Suetonius gives the explanation of Vespasian: “The machines would have prevented the little plebs to earn bread.” So maybe he did it for good-hearted reasons? Of that, you can doubt. The stupid people had bread and circus games, nobles and the leaders were very well: there was no reason to change something. Plenty of workforce? Received from the noble teachings through their parents? Agreed as well? Or simply it was too risky to change? In every case, the people accepted the situation and the Empire flourished…
We anticipate for a moment a technological innovation that will change later on Europe: the watermill. Well, Rome knew the watermill and in some cases used it but it seems that who should decide had taken into consideration our three Affirmations: the watermill applied on a large scale could perhaps anticipate a thousand years our civilization and possibly the Western Roman Empire would not be dropped but, as feared by the powerful, it might have been another kind of Roman Empire, also with different emperors… so, they said, apply the three Affirmations as always and go forward, until the possible fall of the Empire… and yes that making watermills, for the best builders of bridges, roads and aqueducts in the world, could not be a problem.
Bridges, roads and aqueducts, however, served to expand the Empire militarily, while watermills perhaps served to increase the recreation of the plebs, which is extremely dangerous. In addition, according to the Affirmation #3, who commanded was still not receptive to new and external stimuli. When you’re well, also to raise a flower seems prohibitive and stressing…
The Slavs have made the heavy plow (with the wheels) which in the middle ages will change the world? The Celts invented the horseshoe (before the arrival of Julius Caesar)? These are things that we never will do, they are things of barbarians … we are the best…
These, unfortunately, are among the reasons that contribute to drop a civilization. Says Oswald Spengler (The decline of the West) that the time allowed for a civilization is about a thousand years: then, the civilization in question inevitably ends.
In fact, it all ends in 476 AD. A period of loss inevitably is then gripping folks but after just twenty years begins with what you already knew: the watermill. In the next century even the heavy plow spreads throughout Europe. It must be said that the mindset had changed: while in the Empire were our three Affirmations, after the fall of the Empire there were no psychological hesitation in applying the news and even who commanded in the curtes at that time (Abbots and overlords) were not conceptually inclined to a conservative posturing. We had then the huge agrarian rotation news and also the use of the horseshoe is spread from France throughout Europe.
The horses, rather than being tied to wagons with straps or ropes they were tied now with bastos that arrived from the far East: these ideas were not, in fact, disregarded, instead they were immediately taken because there was no more conservatorism but rather hunger for growth.
It was adopted throughout Europe (except in southern Italy) the practice of the open fields, where they were given access to the neighbouring owners to put a large culture, integrating agriculture with breeding. The windmill (invented in Persia, that is Iran, in the seventh century after Christ, with wings mounted on a vertical axis, very inefficient) was used from start with wings mounted on a horizontal axis. As far as we are concerned, we skip everything else and we see that in the Europe of the XI – XIII centuries it was established, with the wellness, another ruling class, who thinked to reapply the three Affirmations… and again overlook Sumptuary laws (= laws against luxury).
Solon, Athenian, jurist and poet in the 7th century BC, had tried to block the Affirmation #2 in order not to give reason of rebellion to the plebs and then there were other laws like that, but without success. The notables wanted, whatever it costs, to show their financial capacity. The same happened in Rome in 215 BC, “no woman will have more than 14 grams of gold, nor wear robes of different colors…” but in 195 BC the patrician women rebelled, deaf to all reason: “what we need the money if we can not show them? We must also give it on the nose to envious…” Vanity of vanity… so it is not enough to have the privileges: you have to show them.
In 182 BC, the government tried to limit the number of guests to dinners.
In 142 BC, “you can’t put on the table any bird other than a hen not greased”. Also most prominent citizens had to swear to respect a lot of constraints: local wine and no stranger ones in the table… and so on.
In 141 BC, Rome extended the punishment to the invitees. Then it was decided that in a meal you could not spend more than a certain amount.
Then the government forbade, in the table, the dormice pigs, oysters and exotic birds.
In the end, they forced the patricians and rich people to have lunch and dinner with the doors open…
It looks like a fight against windmills. You have to show your money… for the wealthy, it is an insuppressible need. Human nature doesn’t change. In the display there is the light-heartedness of the beauty of frivolity: the shallowness of the emptiness of the futility. But nvertheless it is very useful to distinguish your body among others, if the distinction is not in your brain.
In the 12th-13th centuries a silk cloth was priced as an eye of the head and a craftsman made about a yard or so per day.
First round: the wives of patricians create a fashion where the trail the longest and the most prestigious is. The plebeian had an outfit only, as short as possible and in any case a dress was priced as two months of doctor’s work.
Second round: Plebs merchants have made money and the major crafters a well and their wives swagger dragging yards and yards of expensive fabric, in the dust of the streets, full of rubbish every foul-smelling.
Third round: the patrician wives, with no more privileges, react with protest in the higher sites.
Fourth and final round: The higher sites issued a law banning long clothing for non-noble fellows. If this fellow is rich, worse for him … If he wants to flaunt, he must be noble. But the match was not at the end…
Not to mention of Venice and the struggle for moderating the appearance of luxurious gondolas: the government obliged to use a black color and a standardized model.
Up to this point the three Affirmations are met, especially the first, the second and the third as well….
Never surrender! Privileges belong to us! And we will show them if the plebs are in doubt. I remind you that in 1721 in the Ravenna’s county, the Church owned 71% of assets entered in the land register.
Let’s keep our privileges! and the more the people is dying hunger the more we feel privileged. Mercilessly. But… but in 1348 the black plague (Yersinia pestis), transmitted by mice, appeared in scenes.
In 1348 the population in Europe was about 75 million inhabitants: a huge number for that time. The black plague arrived from the Black Sea and landed in Sicily. The clothes of the black plague should be burnt, but with what cost, they were stolen to dead (or dying) and put on with black plague bacteria including. The hygienic conditions were beyond any imagination. In short, there were 25 million deaths (one third of europeans) and, in alternate phases, the black plague resubmitted several times until 1690 (The Health Virgin celebration in Venice for the end of the black plague refers to 1631).
Why are we interested in all this talk about the black plague? Because it was the only case in living memory, in which petty Lords and priests, without being compelled by force, had to drop the slings. There were in fact no more workers, farmers or laborers: all dead or nearly so. Even the nobility were partly vanished, but the survivors, including priests, had to resign themselves to enlarge the bag and pay more. It was no more enough as the sermons from the pulpit: one had to pay. Little fertile lands, which were barely grown before the black plague, now were abandoned and the Renaissance was born soon after the black plague, when craftsmen and European farmers were free to regroup, free from laces and needs of the nobles and the Church.
Once again, then, until 1348 who commanded had applied our three Affirmations. And for the first time in 1348 and ensuing years, the nobles were forced, not having to work, to make life more livable for their poor neighbors. Apart from the 25 million deaths, the black plague of 1348 was the end of a period on one hand, but it was also a good beginning of a new period on the other hand.
Our civilization has therefore something worse then the black plague: in fact, it has the three Affirmations.
Let us see why now, in 2015, thre is a new situation.
Items to evaluate are:
- the population of the territory that we are considering.
- technological development for the sustenance of the population.
- the degree of technological learning for the population.
Let’s now underline relevant points for the past 5000 years:
- Period prior to 2500 BC.
- the points A, B, C follow the linear blue: some slow development of the population and a good development of the technology, comfortably slow. The population is learning enough to use technological innovations: as result, you exit the Neolithic and begin the civilization. Those who command have not yet consolidated.
- period from 2500 BC to 576 AD
- the people follow the blue trend and who is expanding expands to the achievements of the territory.
- technological development, excluding the military, is blocked by patricians, gentlemen and elders. No line chart, neither red nor blue, is used, except for military technology which uses the red and the blue lines alternatively.
- There is nothing to learn, if not for military purposes.
- period from 576 AD to approximately 1000 AD
- the populations follow the blue trend.
- technology development follows the blue trend: no powerful guy is so powerful that he prevents anything: Europe is divided into many small microcosms (cortes) where leaders, although weak, are the Lords and priests: towards the 750 AD began to emerge the Carolingian Empire but it does not disturb too much.
- population learning follows the blue graph: every generation learns something new and there is enough time to learn, to auto correct and to try again.
- the period from the year 1000 AD to the year 1700 AD.
- the populations follow the blue trend.
- technology development follows the blue trend moderately. Every time someone try to track red, he is blocked by wars (with elder that hijack the development on the military sector) or by conservative laws. The Church, who thrives in ignorance,desperately is trying to block the development of the economy with laws on interest and with any other devilry. The Galileo episode falls under this scheme. The first sign of open rebellion to the economic interests of the Church comes from Martin Luther in 1517.
- linear technological development (blue) makes it possible, for all those who want, to keep themselves up with the times.
- from the year 1700 AD to 1950 AD.
- the increase of the population follows the exponential red line but it is not a problem because the means to feed the people are still there. The red line is still below the blue line technology. Population growth is slowed by the two world wars: the dead of all time previous wars are nothing if compared to those of the two world wars.
- technology line follows the blue line.
- the learning curve of the technology is blue and it cannot be otherwise because the structure of the human brain is so done.
- From 1950 up today and for the future: we outline here a scenario never seen. The discomfort and symptoms that we are living (on 2015) should be framed in this context.
- the increase of the population follows the red line exponentially and begins to be a problem, both for food and for the density. The frightening and exponential technological evolution means that people indispensable for the development are less and less. There are masses of layabouts increasingly numerous, well maintained (see technology) and with very long lifespans.
- the rise of technology follows the red line: the development of technological medicine increases the average lifespan, preparing explosive situations.
- the worst of all, here are the real dramatic news: due to physiological issues (perhaps slightly modifiable in one million years), the blue line of technology (learned by the masses) cannot follow the red line and necessarily follows the blue line. The point of the blue line is already far below the technological evolution red line. Those who now command understood the situation and no longer have fear of the masses: the masses will be destroyed by themselves because they are more and more losing ground. If the masses would decrease, it could be, maybe, dangerous, given the current technology but it does not seem to be the case for the moment.
What to say in conclusion? A great fear of the leaders is that there could be a revolution. No other fears, because technological evolution is no longer at the level of the people: the technology is much, much higher and will evolve more and more, leaving the increasingly ragged in always worst rags.
Since there are many ragged, nothing will change: perhaps an ebola epidemic could bring the world to the level of 1348, forcing the wealthy to re-split the cake but we hope that medecin will avoid it.
About revolutions, it goes for the powerful the following principle, articulated in two places (and they know this principle very, very well):
- the poor do not rebel because they do not know their strength.
- Could they know their strength they could rebel but they won’t, just because they don’t know their strength.
Despite this, the elder try to keep the situation under control, to avoid some revolutionary colonel.
Till the people has bread and spectacles (panem et circenses in Rome) they will not rebel.
Little hope, then: we’ll talk about again. Spes ultima dea… The Hope is the last goddess to which turn with the prayer that something changes.