Skáldskapr: Necessity of population control

This episode speaks to the inevitability of humans entering into a societal collapse with some form of control. Therefore, the perception of the necessity to maintain a longer-term control over a population became clear to some. The understanding that humans did not seem to operate on an honor based system anymore necessitated the deployment of larger scale controls.

Todays episode starts at the dawn of human existence. Back to the days before the newly evolved humans left Africa. Their ancestors had harnessed the use of fire 100 thousand years before, along with the development of preparation meals by cooking. Because the cooked food was easier to digest, thereby increasing the creation of the Forkhead Box Protein (FoxP2). This new protein began to develop the synapses within the brain, thereby constructing a “relational” thought process which allowed these early humans to move beyond instinct to cognitive thought.

Instinct is a pure intuitive communication channel where (predominantly) animals, even humans, communicate with the spirits around them, whether prey or predator, in the quest to maintain balance. It is this programmed instinct that the young is taught to establish the channel of communication with the spirits. As the young begins to mature, we find that many replace this spiritual communication with repetitive training.

As I said, we find these early humans migrating out of Africa around 196 thousand years ago, as they migrated, their diet would continue to change allowing the exponential growth of the synapses within the human brain. This would lead to their discovered thought process of “cause and effect”. This new thought process would lead to a reality of the next major milestone, and that’s “safety in numbers”. By creating larger groups these early humans realized that the group had a better chance of survival, so they begin to gather in larger and larger establishments.

We have arrived at civilization as we know it. By about 50 thousand years ago we see in antiquity many larger communities. We know from the anthropological record that there are several “stalls” in the migratory path, where the culmination of individuals became substantial enough to challenge the available resources of the area.

The major selling point for the architects of this new type of practice was the ignorance of the general public about natural phenomenon. Midgard can be scary, and violent, as well  as uncertain. People of the era would have desired to have explanations, and understanding of how and when the situation would reoccur. This ignorance of natural events, as well the supernatural, or mystical powers, led some to latch on even the most basic of explanations, even if only for someone else to blame.

This is where the population control comes in. Now it’s not just any population control, it had to an invisible control. Although it would need the support and approval of the ruling classes of the area, it would need to be implemented in such a way that people would believe they were being controlled. But how do you control a society without them knowing it.

Firstly, we need some legitimacy to who the center of attention is going to be. It needs to be a “god”, infinite and all knowing, borrowing ideas from the Mesopotamians, and Egyptians, but instead, it’ll just be “god”. However, there is only one god, not the crowded scene of the Roman Empire, or the other pantheons. While we would be required to know him, because 99% of society couldn’t read, they had no choice but to accept somebody’s word that he was reading the right book.

Next, we would need a repeated practice that had to be followed every day in every situation. So, we would set the expectation so that others would use “shame” and exclusion to modify other’s behavior. Then, because the public couldn’t come into the privacy of your home without conflict, they needed to use another tactic, guilt. By making one feel guilty about not being included, they could enforce their will even when there wasn’t others to deploy the shame. By forcing public inclusion in Sunday services (as an example) they began the process of brain washing. However, they got greedy (as many people do), and began to use this new practice to extort money from the population. With phrases like “it will be paid back ten fold”, and “only give 10% of your earnings”. This is the way to create a “value” for a product received.

The idea that these measures were initialized, and quickly embraced speaks loudly about the common person’s misunderstanding of the “mystical forces” throughout nature. For all intents and purposes, it was an easy “sell” for a majority of the population. The remainder of the common folk were swept under the rug by the early church’s primary objective of securing support from the ruling classes of the day. There were many benefits for the ruling class:

  1. Their god was “working through the kings” and fully supported their monarchy. This would ensure that the “commoners” recognized the necessity of the monarchy and wouldn’t be overly ambitious about staging a rebellion. By ensuring that the king served a purpose in toward the benefit of man by their god, it ensured obedience to the monarchy.
  2. The necessity of each person needing to “tithe” to the church,, allowed the royal’s coffers to be filled without the added burden of additional taxes. The king was able to maintain the respect of his people, while still having the resources to raise an army.
  3. The benefit to this new church was that when there was opposition, the church (being attached to the monarchy) could enforce the “comply or die” enforcement that became the calling card of this new church.
  4. The list of benefits to this new practice became long, and deeply entrenched with the ruling classes of every society it touched.

There are countless examples as to why this new practice worked, however, chiefly among them was that the ruling bodies quickly realized the financial gain to be made. The unfortunate aspect to that fact, was that it was probably some of my ancestry that helped prove the point, as they raided churches up and down the coast of (what is today) England, and France. Primarily the Viking was committed against the churches of the areas, because it was a known fact that they were where the money.

Prior to the arrival of the new monotheistic practices in Europe, we find that most practiced the pagan beliefs of the Germanic tribes who were escaping the advancing Roman legions. It was these fractured pagan practices that became galvanized into what we know as the Norse. With understandings that the polytheistic Roman Empire (in the earlier days), which changed under Constantine I to become a Christian state. While many of the Gaul would be converted before 300, the Franks would hold out until late 300 into 400 AD before being converted by the “comply or die” mentality of the day. The mainstays of Scandanavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland) would hold out much longer, finally succumbing to the arrival in the mid 1100s.

However, it is the infestation into the Scandinavian lands that would cause so much change within the Christian doctrine. As we now know, most of the major holiday celebrations would appropriate most, and outlawed the rest as pagan or heathen. Many of the stories that fill the pages of the Christian bible were first told by Frankish converts, allowing the scribes of the time to simply transpose the names to make it support their agenda.

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