Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Eso’s Chronicles 295 / 8  
A Civilization of Persecution
© Eso A.B.
All comments appearing within brackets [ ] are editorial in origin. This series of blogs begins with 288.


As I wrote in some older blogs, among my acquaintances is a young woman who works as a prostitute in Riga. I mention this in the context of the economies of the peripheral countries of the EU, which are designated to become part of the Federation of the EU. The economic conditions where I live are horrific enough (and have been such for many years) that many young Latvian women employ themselves as prostitutes in the Latvian capital.

An acquaintance was recently telling me that in a question and answer television show where the prize for the correct answer is money, the question came up: which is the oldest profession: sowing or whoring? When the contestant guessed: “sowing”, she lost her standing, because the right answer according to the MC is “whoring”.

According to R.I. Moore, whose theme “Persecuting Society” (Blackwell), I expand on in this series of blogs, mentions in his book of that “…the familiar phenomenon of urban prostitution… comes clearly into view in the cities of Northern Europe in the second half of the twelfth century….” While prostitution as a ‘job’ for females appeared due to the rise of urbanization and dire economic circumstances in the countryside (it had not been known as a profession in the countryside before its replacement by the city), it was not prohibited, because the king, church, and nobility profited from it. However, later Rome (perhaps after having some second thoughts) decreed that prostitutes should be excommunicated. This led to “…the treatment of prostitutes [to] resemble that of the Jews….” (p. 91)

My own response is that I believe that the contestant was more right than wrong, because the oldest profession—contrary to popularly disseminated belief—is not prostitution, but thievery. In antiquity this was a crime severely dealt with: the thief often lost his-her hand or fingers.

However, gradually this offense against community solidarity became one of the most common crimes on the books. Why should this be so?

In a previous blog (293), I pointed out that the beginning of Capitalism is not to be sought in business or trading activity, but in taxation. Taxation most likely came about as a result of the robberies, which the Vikings committed against some shaman’s faith healing station or temple, where local people tended to leave gifts for the Gods whom they believed helped heal them.

Out of necessity to defend the community about him, the shaman turned into a military leader and, thereafter, into a King. As the attacks from the Vikings did not cease, but plundering parties actually increased, the shaman-King was forced to ask his people for ‘donations’ (as we might call them), which became a necessity and eventually were instituted as taxation. This began, most likely, in ancient Byzantine Empire.

In antiquity, taxation was not collected to support the pensioners, who were believed to be able to support themselves or be supported by their families, but it was to support the armed men with who the King surrounded himself. However, in due course, a part of the taxes also found their way into the King’s own pockets.

The evolutionary path is directly apparent: thievery < taxation < and corrupt government to this day.

This evolutionary path led to (as per blog 293) to major rebellions of the people of the wood and their direct descendants, the early peasants. [Incidentally, the early peasants were called ‘pagans’, which is a word derived from ‘pa-yans’ (half herder).]   I also pointed out, how this path from shaman as charismatic military leader led to irresponsible and unconscionable Presidents and Prime Ministers and governments. Except for the leadership of such governments, which militarily powerful ‘democracies’ in our times have declared ‘dictatorships’, and whose leaders have been tried and hung, no leaders of so-called ‘democracies’  have been brought to trial, convicted, and hung.

Nevertheless, the ‘gap’ in our day is not only between the rich and the poor, which the media deliberately emphasize, but is also evident between those who are asked to sacrifice their lives vs the privileged who do the recruiting, yet make no sacrifices of their own. In the last case, I am thinking about the ordinary soldiers who come from the ranks of the plebs vs the political leadership among who are few who are not millionaires.

We are taught to believe that mutation and evolution moves on through logical steps, except that we fail to ad that the steps have logic of their own and are seldom determined by the logic of the political establishment itself. For this reason, the greater significance of deforestation--whether accomplished by ordinary cross saw, chain saw, or artillery—is not agriculture (though not discounted), but mass murder by machine guns and the order of government that follows.

Though we discount the effects of these ‘victories’ on soldiers, and though these ‘effects of victory’ are seldom noted by the public or the media, their cumulative effects on the wounded is not negligible. The most obvious consequence of one such ‘victory’ is that the German peasant insurgency of the 16th century may yet discover its future in an insurgency of 21st century military, a topic deliberately not discussed—likely due to pressure on the media by the military and political elite.  Nevertheless, if one looks around, dissatisfaction among the military plebs, certainly the ones who return from combat zones with grievous physical and mental wounds is steadily increasing.

Just as the German peasant revolt of 1525 was preceded by many other revolts, revolt among the ranks in the military, too, has a history. The most famous one is that of the crew of the Russian naval battle ship ‘Potemkin’ .  (1905 Revolution, contributed to the 1917 Revolution). Interestingly, a naval ship (including submarine) is one of the last places in the military where the captain of the ship shares the fate of the crew. The top leadership of infantry units are generally absent from the battlefield, but if for some reason are close, an armed helicopter is surely spinning its rotors and waiting to whisk them away at a moment’s notice.

In short, the military command of all modern governments works on the principle of the charismatic and ‘imaginary King’ who acts as the ruler of the people of the wood, which in the modern age has been replaced by the urban desert. Once the charisma of a leader is shattered, what takes place is the braking apart of the community into a ‘democracy’ of shattered loyalty. The following link, a German (Das) interview with Snowden , however, points in the opposite direction, i.e., the hubris of government officials to themselves murder the plebs of the ranks of the empire they believe themselves to be the leaders of. While the threat is no bluff, it may well be hubris.

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