Posted by Tim Stobbs on April 15, 2008
Alright yesterday we looked at our story and the fact it has a rather large lie in it. So obvious question is why did we conquer the world if the world wasn’t made for humans in the first place. After all in humankind’s entire existence we have tried numerous cultural organizations and none of them turn us into world conquers until just about 10,000 years ago where one little branch of humans stumbled upon three ideas that would change the face of the world.
The first idea was actually a technology. It was first introduction of what we call agriculture today. You see back in those days agriculture had many different forms. Some people planted a few things and ignored them for the season and then ate what happen to grow. Others put in a bit more work and looked at the food a few times a month. Yet up till then no one check on things daily. After all plants knew how to grow so really what was the point. The introduced technology was to check on the plants daily and do anything you could to make things better for them. Obviously this style of agriculture was much more work intensive that previous ones, but it did have a pay off. It produced more food per area of land than any other. To this day farmers are still trying to get more yields by introducing anything they can to produce more food.
So an obvious by product of the people who had this technology is one of the basic laws of biology. If you expand a food supply you end up with a bigger population. So with more of population we ended up with a culture that was starting to expand. So hence was born our expansion drive into other people’s lands.
This by itself actually wasn’t a problem. After all it is sort of hard to attract people to work for you when you tell them they are going to have to work twice as hard as their neighbours. Young people like to rebel from their parents anyway, but having excessive working would have driven them off in large numbers. It’s entirely possible this technology has surfaced before this point and just fell out of use as people thought what is the point and gave up the hard working lifestyle.
So why were we different? We had two other ideas in our heads the changed the game. First we locked up the food. Now for us today the idea is hardly anything new. After all we are now use to the idea of exchanging work for money for food. Yet at that point in time the idea would have been a little laughable. Population density was so light that people could easily life off of the land without using this new style of agriculture. So again the idea changed the game, but would have likely collapsed given time.
This brings us to our third idea which is the key to making all this work. You see after working so hard to get their food our ancestors must have been thrilled to see their families grow larger and considered it a blessing from god. Yet after a few generations of this the idea of a blessing is common place and the young people were leaving them for easier lives elsewhere. They needed something more than a blessing. Then it came to them. They were not just blessed they were the chosen of God and their way of life was the one true way to live. The world was made for them and they should take their large numbers and conquer it because after all the entire history of this world was leading to us we are the end product of the story of everything (now doesn’t that seem a bit familiar).
So now we had the key. A story that gave use justification to rule the world. Yet the story itself isn’t all that remarkable. It’s one little idea in it that is the true key: the one true way to live. That was the dangerous piece of thought we set us on this path. You see up till this point there had been large cultures developed that conquered others, but they never told those they conquered how to live. As such over time many of them failed and the people just walked away from their cities as they found they didn’t work.
Now with this idea of the one true way to live and locking up the food we managed to chain ourselves to this highly labour intensive lifestyle and kept our most of our children in the same lifestyle. So with a growing population we expanded and took over. War lead to other technologies which in time we took to the far reaches of this planet and beyond.
Here ends part II. I’ll continue tomorrow with the dead world theory and the rise of escapism which will lead us to modern consumerism.