The hierarchical concentration of wealth and power has been a persistent and fundamental aspect of human social organization. During ancient and medieval times, the powers and privileges of royalty were seen as being ordained by the god(s) du jour, and acclaimed enthusiastically by nearly everyone except a few malcontents. The arts, education, literacy and intellectual pursuits such as history, science and literature were largely reserved to a small and predominantly hereditary sector of society surrounding the royal court and the landed nobility. The vast majority of the people were assigned at birth to a life of slavery or serfdom, hard physical labor and material impoverishment.
According to the pervasive view of much modern media, and expressed in civics classrooms, the evidence of the superiority of the modern world is all around us — from the vast reduction of disease and better living standards, to the advances of technology, symbolized by the ubiquitous presence of computers and the Internet. These advances are undoubtedly real, as is the standard of ‘Freedom’ that has become the hard-won norm in the last few centuries (although that word descends somewhat cynically via the Roman elites who used it to denote ‘freedmen’ who had been conditionally granted their revocable liberty by their patron in return for a debt of faithful loyalty, from whence we get our word ‘patriotism‘).
But in the opening years of the 21st century, among many educated people, there is also a growing sense that we are looking forward into an abyss. The situation seems to be spinning out of control as environmental, economic and military catastrophes multiply and feed on one another. And there is a profound sense of cynicism and disappointment, as people everywhere abandon their aspirations for the common good of humanity – at least among those who are not in a state of denial about the seriousness of the problems.
This website is a grand meta-analysis that asks how the human race has gotten into such a predicament. Basically our thesis is that the wealthiest and most powerful elements of society have always relied on a consistent application of carefully honed principles of psychological manipulation (that is, psychological warfare) to maintain their power, and that these mechanisms are largely held over from the ancient feudal system, operated largely by the heirs of the same families that were running the show since ancient times. And it seems that this power is incapable of applying itself to solving the problems facing the human race – it is only capable of perpetuating its own power.
Conspiracy: Theories and Facts
We began this study in response to several pivotal events which have occurred in the authors’ lifetimes: the three major political assassinations of the 1960’s (JFK, RFK, MLK), the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, and events of 9/11/2001. In each case, our view is that these events are actually best explained in terms of elite criminality and sociopathic behavior, in contrast to the false socially constructed reality promulgated by media and government sources, in which the elite are depicted as victims and problem solvers. However, it is only within our comprehensive framework, that these events can be truly explained and understood.
Among those who agree with us that elite criminality is a root cause of such events, many have a particular villain or scapegoat in mind as the cause of all the world’s problems. Some blame the Jews (or International Bankers, who are alleged to be almost entirely Jews.) Others blame the Communists (who again usually turn out to be identified with the Jews.) The so-called “official theory” of 9/11 blames an Islamo-Fascist conspiracy, figureheaded by Osama bin Laden and Sadaam Hussein. Other theories about 9/11 have named many other possible culprits, including corporate interests, the Bilderbergs, the Jesuits, the Illuminati, the Freemasons and others.
All of these conspiracy theories are both too broad, and too narrow. It may well be the case that all of these various secret societies and subgroups of the elite have played a role in organizing the course of world events. But we are convinced that no single group can take full responsibility. All too often, overly focal “conspiracy theories” serve as instruments of sectarian prejudice, social regression, and war.
While society is organized on a hierarchical basis, nevertheless there seem to be many independent power centers, giving powerful individuals such as the heads of nation-states, large corporations, and churches the ability to operate independently with great freedom of action. From time to time, such individuals might choose to pursue criminal actions (including Big Lies) with reasonable expectations of impunity, knowing that their followers will comply (and generally with good will and eagerness, if propaganda technology is employed correctly) and that other independent organizations have everything to lose and little or nothing to gain by calling out the fraud. So in general there is really no need to invoke conspiratorial explanations for elite criminal and sociopathic behavior.
But based on the evidence we are marshaling in this website, we cannot rule out the possibility of a much grander conspiracy, operating in secrecy within a very small group of elite individuals who are capable of carrying out plans and maintaining institutional memory over multiple generations, and on an international and intercontinentally grand scale.
Niccolo Machiavelli was a highly notable (or notorious) commentator on the hierarchical state of affairs in the Renaissance era, at the dawn of the modern revolt against medieval feudalism. In addition to being an author, Machiavelli was also a politician, diplomat, and a commander of the state militia under the Florentine Republic from 1494 to 1513. When the Medici defeated the Republic in 1513, Machiavelli was forced into retirement. He began quietly circulating a pamphlet among his friends: “The Prince”, a discussion of the practices that had evolved for the maintenance of power in a hierarchically organized world. Machiavelli’s deadpan, respectful and even fawning description of the deceitful and unscrupulous treachery of royalty was so shocking that his very name became an adjective for the worst (“Machiavellian”) aspects of feudal intrigue. Ironically, as pointed out by Garrett Mattingly (“The Prince: Political Science or Political Satire?”1958): in all of his other voluminous writings, Machiavelli was a staunch advocate of Republican and progressive politics, consistent with his actual role in the Florentine government. Machiavelli most likely would be rolling in his grave to find himself taken so often as a sincere advocate of royal immorality and lawlessness, when the true situation is probably as the recent translator Tim Parks suggested in his introductory remarks: that “The Prince” was a satire, “a cautionary tale about how power really worked, the underlying intention being to deprive those who held it of dignity and glamour and teach the people as a whole how to resist it.”
At this website we are revisiting Machiavelli’s theme, and taking a new look at the means by which elite power has been perpetuated. As important and accurate as Machiavelli’s observations were for his time, we argue that he missed some of the key mechanisms used by the elites to maintain their power in ancient, medieval and modern societies. Specifically, we argue:
- There has always been an intimate link between the royal, feudal, or democratic and technocratic elites, and the religious and spiritual (priestly) authorities. The elite have systematically and deliberately manipulated the natural religious sentiments of ordinary human beings, as well as the natural order of economic production and trade, for their own benefit. Whether in the role of political leadership, or entrepreneurial and executive leadership over business enterprises, or education, or spiritual leadership over great churches, the elite claim to take on the mantle of responsibility for their followers. Ironically, or rather sardonically, the metaphor that is frequently invoked for the general social paradigm is that of a shepherd tending his flock. As we shall see, the Biblical Hebrew foundational narrative of Abraham and the Conquest of the Promised Land describes the insertion of foreign (Hittite) shepherds, Abraham and the tsaba, into a native (Canaanite) flock. Later we find (related?) foreign shepherds, the Sabines, similarly inserting themselves into the foundational narrative of the Roman state. One may be forgiven for wondering if it is a coincidence that the Sumerian word for shepherd is ‘saba’.
- The view has been that each country was ruled over by a royal family (or a class of elected politicians) whose principal loyalty was to their own country. But an examination of paternal relations and intermarriage reveals that in fact a small set of extended families, linked by intermarriage, was ruling over the countries of Europe during the Middle Ages; and that during the great colonial expansions of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, this power basically extended over the entire planet. According to legendary sources (which we have no particular reason to disbelieve), these families have been running the show since biblical times. To return to the metaphor of the shepherds, one can realize that there are many shepherds and each has a distinct flock. However the shepherds are related and exchange data on the herding techniques they use. Of course the shepherds or their flocks may also be competitive, leading to very real episodes of strife and war. This aspect readily lends itself to the confusion that the shepherds are indeed in allegiance with their specific herds. But ultimately it is a mistake for the sheep to assume that the shepherds would put the interests of the sheep over the interests of their brothers, the other shepherds. The metaphor is rarely developed to its obvious conclusion: that a shepherd periodically fleeces his flock, and fattens them for the market.
- While sheep can be confined and directed by physical means such as fences or barking sheepdogs, humans tend to rebel against such overt mechanisms, although of course prison camps have always had their role in the arsenal of the state. In general, the methods of psychological manipulation are much more commonly used. Machiavelli discussed one basic tool, the creation of a manipulated image of the greatness and good nature of the ruler, in juxtaposition to the hidden amorality of his opportunistic policies. He also touched on the role of warfare and preparation for warfare as a crucial means for cementing the loyalty of the people to the prince and his government. Our analysis expands upon this framework, as we consider the creation and elaboration of pseudo-Hegelian dialectics of artificially inverted philosophy and theology, along with the exploitation of racial and cultural distinctions, as the root sources of the conflicts of which war represents the “continuation by other means”. Even when war is not immediately in the offing, the tensions of dialectical conflict serve as a psychological priming mechanism, maintaining the people in a state of unease and agitation. This dialectic tension can also serve as a driving mechanism for colonialist expansions.
- For efficient administration, the ruling class must always maintain a buffer class of financiers, academics and intellectuals. In normal times this buffer class serves a functionary role, but in extremis the central elite can submerge and disappear, leaving behind the buffer class as the sole apparent heir to power; or alternately, the buffer class can take a scapegoat role and itself become sacrificed to propitiate the people. As we shall see, the Judaic culture has been primed to take this latter role at least since the days of the Roman Empire.
Many of the specific historical topics discussed in this website are related to religion. And we imagine that many of our readers will be religious, or involved in organized religions or other spiritual practices to varying extents. Some of our readers may find our approach to the history of religion to be heretical or disrespectful, and we’d like to say a few introductory words about our beliefs.
All religions of the ancient world, as well as most modern religions, trade in tall tales involving miracles. Some of these miracles are physical, such as Jesus’ resurrection in the flesh, or King Midas’ ability to turn dross into gold at his touch. Other miracles are more spiritual or intangible, such as the fulfillment of prophecies, or healing of the sick. Some miracles are presented as literal historical facts (or are taken as such by the believers), and others are more obviously intended metaphorically.
Our position is that these miracles and prophecies are never the result of supernatural causes. Miracles and supernatural events cannot occur, because the philosophical and scientific principles of uniformitarianism, decree that the laws of physics and biology are the same at all times and places. This is backed by enormous experience. All modern engineering, technology and medicine rely on it.
The belief in miracles is a socially constructed reality, driven at crucial moments by Big Lies as well as by misunderstandings and wishful thinking. Furthermore: out of all the different monotheistic views of God, only one can be logically correct. Thus, fundamentalist monotheistic religions must be intolerant and provincial with respect to other faiths than their own.
This is not a harmless matter: religious fundamentalism is an enabler for the warlike behavior of the elites as well as the sheepish compliance of the masses. Liberal religious movements, although rejecting intolerance on their own behalf, are often unable to effectively challenge fundamentalist belief systems because of having bought into much of the erroneous reasoning that drives fundamentalism. Our hope is that as the true origins of organized religion become better understood, more people will feel a sense of outraged revulsion that will lead them to abandon and reject these organizations and beliefs altogether.
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