Building Pyramids and other big ego trips – the system of repression

20 Mar

Started on 2017 March 17th (yes, have another beer, and blame it on the Éire)

the 2017 ‘babies’ (hopefully baby girls)

What was it, in the human condition, that enabled tens of thousands, if not hundreds, over many years, humans to build (especially) the great pyramids?

These edifices to monumental ego, many more are proliferating now, in our current society.

Imagine the absurd extremity of such a self-absorbed ego, in utter detachment from the disparate struggles of the 99% of humanity, driving forward such an endeavour, with no physical relevance for the betterment of the people!?

Holy shit!

And that’s it, isn’t it, getting so many people to believe in a fiction, to such a degree that they would voluntarily perform in the service of what should be obviously an insane undertaking.  All of the major religions fit into this category of, as Yuval Harari describes in his fantastic book, “Sapiens”, “inter-subjective” “fictions”.  But no more fictitious than modern economic theory, and /or ‘the divine right of kings’, or any self-identifying affiliation’s propounded assertion that they are the people favoured by any divine power.  It’s utterly idiotic, but many, many people believe in the controlling myths.

Harari, in alignment with the growing acceptance in the theory that between 90 and 60 thousand years ago, there was some change that happened to anatomically modern humans, i.e. no discernable morphological changes identifiable by surviving fossilized remains analyzed.  Anatomically modern humans have been around for about 200 thousand years; there are many theories for what the change was, which immediately preceded the launch of rapid expansion of the species out of north east Africa, at an astounding pace compared with long term migration patterns of humans and proto-humans before that time.

Harari refers to it as the “Cognitive Revolution”.

Many concur that the “great leap forward”, as Jared Diamond refers to it in “Guns, Germs, and Steel”, included an increased capability in communication, and thus vastly improved sharing of thoughts between humans, consistent with Harari’s reasoning.

Recently I have been speculating on this topic, a long time favourite of mine, to which I have devoted much energy, that this advancement was the capacity to lie.

But I much refer Harari’s description of it, as an ability to communicate, and (on the other side) accept a fiction, actually understand it, and believe in it.

I love this book!

It is this capacity to believe in the make-belief that enabled human kind to cooperate in groups many times the size of the theoretical cognitive maximum, i.e. how many people that you can personally know, considered less than 150 individuals, over extended periods of time, on goals that had to benefit, whatsoever, for their ongoing physical survival!

Pre-cognitive revolution humans would never have been stupid enough to devote such efforts to such abstract, thus effectively insane, objectives.

Harari says there are two main things which are required to sustain this harnessing social myth-fiction, 1. “True Believers”, people who really, completely believe in the fiction, say like Hammurabi’s implicit requirement for a social hierarchy, i.e. some people of different worth to other people in society, and/or the American Constitution’s “self-evident”, “inalienable rights”, and “equality among men”. The second thing being “The Prison Walls”, which breaks down into, “a. The imagined order is embedded in the material world”, “b. The imagined order shapes our desires”, and “c. The imagined order is inter-subjective.”

In our society, we are on the brink of a failing social myth.  New disruptive technologies are changing our species to a similar extent as the cognitive revolution, the inter-connectivity revolution, i.e. the internet age.  While it, combined with modern psychological theory, is drastically increasing the ability to shape individuals’ perceptions, it is also enabling the sharing of information that contradicts necessary social myth-fiction.  Like the belief in the free and objective news media, completely blown in my mind.

The main character in the literary fiction Wayward, ponders such dilemma’s considering all of the effort that was spent on the Y2K project in chapter 6. Yawn, on December 31st 1999.

In my next rant, I will elaborate on the suggested conditions required for a change in societal public fiction-myth.

 

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