4 Transitions

Written by dade on . Posted in 1: Forensic History

Forensic History: Chapter Four
Transitions Between Societies

About 6,000 years ago, the realities of existence for the dominant animals on Earth began to change. Before this transition, people organized their existence around rules that conformed to the basic principles of natural law. They acted as if they considered themselves to be residents of the world, but not its owners. Just residing on land doesn’t give people the right to alter it and make permanent changes to it. Only owners can do these things. They did not consider themselves to be owners, so they didn’t make these permanent changes.

How do we know this?

If they had made permanent changes to the land, we would have evidence of these changes. In fact, although we have large amounts of evidence that people existed, these people lived in such great harmony with the land, and treated it with such respect, that until very recently, most historians thought that humans could not have existed: they would rather believe that there were no people than believe that there were people who lived differently than people live now.

Academic misconceptions:

Some academic authors who realized how silly it is to accept that there either were no people at all or were so few people that anything they did doesn’t matter. Here is a link to an article by Wilbur Jacobs which proposes that the numbers of people claimed for America before Columbus are ridiculously low, and actual numbers were hundreds or thousands of times greater than the mainstream claims. (The term he used is ‘the tip of the iceberg.’) If you read this, you will see his clear frustration at having to argue at all about this issue, as the proponents of the smaller numbers clearly can’t justify their analysis with any kind of evidence or logical arguments.

The evidence tells us this: humans lived on Earth. For the great majority of the time this was true, people had to have organized their existence around entirely different rules than those that support the societies you and I were born into.

Then the rules changed.

People in one place in on one continent (the central part of the Afro-Eurasian continent) changed something in a way that caused them to start treating nature and parts of the world they lived on as possessions of human beings. For some reason, this group acted as if its members rejected the laws the human race had lived by for millions of years.

They created new laws.

The new laws authorized people to treat the land as ‘property.’ They began to treat it as if it belonged to them and they had the right to do anything they wanted with it, to deny others the right to share in the good things it produced, to exploit it for the gain of themselves and other people in their groups, and even to destroy parts of this wonderful planet so that these parts of the world would never produce anything of benefit to the human race again.

How do we know this?

Again, the evidence tells us the change took place. When people start to accept that parts of planets can belong to people, they start to treat the world differently. They start to make alterations in the land that last. We start to see undeniable evidence of this new attitude in a certain part of the world. The first evidence has been dated to roughly 6,000 years ago. Then, the evidence spreads. We see it growing to show that this new attitude toward the world was spreading. Within a few thousand years, this evidence indicates that the new relationship between humans and the planet Earth had spread until it covered virtually the entire continent where the change started.

For the next 5,496 years, the new way of treating the land was confined to a single landmass, the Afro-Eurasian continent. On October 12, 1492 AD by the calendar we now use, a representative of the people who had organized their existence around the different treatment of the land discovered that the planet had several other land masses, some of which were continents. The ownability-accepting societies worked in ways that created very powerful pressures to do something people in these societies call ‘conquer land.’ (I will explain where these pressures came from and how they work in the chapters that follow.) People could increase their personal fortunes by organizing military units to remove, subjugate, or exterminate people who live in other areas, then going through the procedures these societies accept will cause the conquerors and their supporters to turn into ‘owners’ of the land they had depopulated or subjugated.

These societies reward warfare. This leads to very powerful pressures (described below) that push people in them to look for and prefect new tools and tactics of warfare.

By 1492, the people in the Afro-Eurasian societies had already developed extremely advanced weapons, including rockets, bombs, grenades, cannon, and steel blades that could cut off heads or arms with only small amounts of effort. They had already figured out how to organize and motivate people to go into battle and keep killing and killing until they had obtained their objective or were incapable of fighting on. They had already figured out how to organize their economies to grant great wealth to people who could engineer and manufacture high-quality weapons better than others. They had already legitimized the raping of the world to get resources for weapons. They had already constructed massive facilities to turn dirt (iron ore) and feces (saltpeter, the main component in gunpowder, is a byproduct of human and animal waste) into guns and explosives. They had already devoted wealth to giant military academies where people learned the tactics of war, and waged practice wars to determine which tactics. They already have more than 4,000 years of histories of wars to call on, with immense libraries that went over all of the tactics ever used and evaluated their efficiency.

Their societies were already extremely capable in war.

The people in the rest of the world who still lived in conformity with the principles of natural law did not have any of these military advantages. The Afro-Eurasians (the only continent with the ownability-accepting societies, as of 1492) could take advantage of their military superiority and do something their members called ‘conquering’ land at will. The conquest started on November 22, 1943, the very first day that Columbus returned to the island where the people had been so hospitable to him, intent on conquering it. (You can find all the evidence of the people’s hospitability to Columbus, in his own words, together with his description of the conquest, in his logs, available from this link.)

145,029 days:

The conquest officially started November 22, 1493. The last major event to quell organized resistance to the new societies was the Wounded Knee Massacre, which took place on December 29, 1890. This was 145,029 days later.

Although many of the people of the non Afro-Eurasian world still existed, those who survived were effectively under the control of ‘nations’ that were able to exercise domination of the land where they lived, so by the end of 1890, the ownability-accepting societies effectively no longer existed.

The conquest moved at a lighting pace. As soon as the ‘conquistadors’ had taken control of an area, they moved the structures of their ownability-accepting societies into that area. Within a very short time—a total of 145,029 days—they had moved their ownability-accepting societies to cover 100% of the habitable land on the planet. For practical purposes, the societies that had dominated the world for more than 3 million years no longer existed.

You and I were born at times after these changes had taken place. The rules and laws that protected the rights of ‘nations’ and human entities (corporations, communes, and individuals) empowered by ‘nations’ to own parts of planets were already in place when we were born.

We (you and I) are not responsible for this transition.

It took place before we were born.

 

The Transition

 

When the Afro-Eurasian nations conquered land, they brought their new ways of living to the land they now claimed was a of one of their nations. An observer from outer space who had been watching the American continents (and other lands not a part of Afro-Eurasia) for thousands of years, then went away in 1492 for 398 years, would have returned to see that the realities of human existence on that part of the planet had made a huge transition. Before 1492, the people had lived in accordance with the principles of natural law. Within a few hundred years, the land had come to all belong to one or another nation, with each nation exercising absolute sovereignty (total and unlimited control) over its land.

We know a great deal about the most recent stage in the transition between two societies because it happened very recently and was very well documented. I will go over that stage in the transition in great detail later. However, there also had to have been another stage in the transition between societies on Earth. The Afro-Eurasian continent also went through a transition period, where the realities of existence for humans changed. It is important to understand this, because the new societies that came to exist on the Afro-Eurasian continent provided the framework upon which the societies that you and I were born into came to be built.

What do we know about these changes?

 

The Beginning Of Sovereign Law Societies

 

We know roughly where the changes took place and roughly when:

Historians generally point to three different places that are claimed to be the ‘birthplaces’ of the societies that now dominate the world: Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China:

 

1. Mesopotamia:

Historically, the ancient city-states of Mesopotamia in the Fertile Crescent are the cradle of civilization. The convergence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers produced rich fertile soil and a supply of water for irrigation. The civilizations that emerged around these rivers are among the earliest known non-nomadic agrarian societies. Because UbaidSumerAkkadAssyria and Babylon civilizations all emerged around the TigrisEuphrates, the theory that Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization is widely accepted.[21]

2. Egypt, The rise of dynastic Egypt (known as Khemet) in the Nile Valley occurred with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt in approximately 3200 BC, and ended at around 525 BC, at the start of the Achaemenid dynasty‘s control of Egypt. It is one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

 

2. Indus Valley:

By 4000 BC, a proto-Harappan culture emerged, with trade networks including lapis lazuli and other raw materials.  Urban centers during this phase spanned northern and western India and what is now Pakistan. The Indus valley civilization is credited for a regular and consistent use of decimal fractions in a uniform system of ancient weights and measures.[27][28] Furthermore, the streets were laid out in grid patterns along with the development of sewage and water systems. This civilization of planned cities came to an end around 1700 BC due to drying of rivers flowing from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea and geological/climatic changes in the Indus valley civilization area that resulted in the formation of the Thar desert. As a result, the cities were abandoned and populations reduced and people moved to the more fertile Ganges–Yamuna river area. Much remains unknown as the Indus Valley script remains un-deciphered.

 

3. China

Archaeological sites such as Sanxingdui and Erlitou show evidence of a Bronze Age civilization in China, with Erlitou considered the first state level society of Eastern Asia.[29] The earliest bronze knife was found at Majiayao in Gansu and Qinhai province dated 3000 BC.

The Yellow River was irrigated around 2205 BC, reputedly by Yu the Great, starting the semi-mythical Xia Dynasty.Archaeologists disagree whether or not there is archaeological evidence to support the existence of the Xia Dynasty, with some suggesting that the Bronze Age society, the Erlitou culture, was the site of this ancient, first recorded dynasty of China. The earliest archaeologically verifiable dynasty in recorded Chinese history, the Shang Dynasty, emerged around 1750 BC. The Shang Dynasty is attributed for bronze artifacts and oracle bones, which were turtle shells or cattle scapulae with markings reminiscent of ancient Chinese characters and found in the Huang He valley in Yin, a capital of the Shang Dynasty. Turtle shells from the Shang Dynasty have been carbon-dated to around 1500 BC.

Link to source.

 

 

People have devoted a great deal of effort to researching what they call the ‘birthplace’ of the societies that now dominate the world. The above passage provides summary information taken from some of the books that have wide followings. If you want more information, you can go to the above books and references and will find many thousands of additional books and references on the topic, telling you where the authors of the books and posts got their information.

Although different authors, researchers, and historians make different claims about the places these societies started, they all agree in certain general areas. They all agree that this change started in one particular part of the planet, the central part of the Afro-Eurasian continent. They all agree that the first evidence of these new kinds of societies dates back to about 4,000 BC, with evidence then spreading quite rapidly to other parts of the continent, telling us that some set of events caused the new kinds of societies to spread.

As we will see, societies that are built around the principle of sovereignty (absolute ownability) of the world tend to quickly organize themselves around military factors. These societies develop military facilities, weapons, techniques, and forces that are far superior to those of natural law societies. The people in the sovereignty-based societies can gain material wealth in many ways by ‘conquering’ land that is inhabited by people living in natural law societies. If people in sovereignty-based societies act in their own best interests, they will begin to use their superior military capabilities very quickly to ‘conquer’ land inhabited by people with natural law societies. We would therefore expect societies built on the idea of sovereignty to expand to new areas very quickly. This expansion may well take place so rapidly that, later in history, we may not be able to detect the exact location where the initial transformation took place. We may never be able to identify which of the three claimed ‘birthplaces’ for these societies was actually the first to have them.

To understand the underlying mechanisms of how these societies function, we really don’t need to know the exact location in time and space. We know it did happen, we know where, at least generally, and when, within a few hundred years one way or the other. To figure out the rest, we have to examine the post-transition societies a little more closely to see exactly how they differed from the pre-transition societies.

 

Sovereign Law Societies

 

I need a name to refer to ‘societies built on the absolute ownability of land by human entities’ so I can refer to them. The main difference between these societies and natural law societies involves the way the people interact with the mountains, islands, rivers, lakes, nature and things nature made, continents, and parts of continents, and all other physical parts of existence.

The post-transition societies are built on laws and rules that enforce the rights of entities we call ‘nations’ to own all of these things.

These societies are built on a very specific kind of ownability, the kind called ‘sovereign ownability.’ Sovereignty over, or sovereign ownability (also called ‘allodial ownability’ by lawyers, or ‘feudal ownability’ by historians) is absolute and complete ownability. The text box below gives the legal definition for the term ‘sovereignty:’

 

From Blacks Law Dictionary:

Sovereignty:

The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which any independent state is governed; supreme political authority; the supreme will; paramount control of the constitution and frame of government and its administration; the self-sufficient source of political power, from which all specific political powers are derived; the international independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign dictation; also a political society, or state, which is sovereign and independent.

By "sovereignty" in its largest sense is meant supreme, absolute, uncontrollable power: The power to do everything in a state without accountability: to make laws, to execute and to apply them, to impose and collect taxes and levy contributions, to make war or peace, to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like.

 

If people claim and enforce sovereignty over parts of the world, they are claiming and enforcing their rights to treat the land any way they want to treat it, without exceptions of any kind.

 

What does ‘treat it any way they want’ mean?

Here is an extreme example that tells us that the idea of sovereignty has absolutely no limits: After World War Two, several governments were working on nuclear bombs. A group of scientists in the United States came up with an idea for a bomb that they thought may be far larger than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The new bomb was rushed into production before any analysis had been made of its dangers. Several corporations were given the authority to explode the bomb on the island of Elugelab, chosen because it was the most remote place on Earth from the United States so the explosion would destroy everything else before it destroyed the United States.

On November 2, 1952, they detonated the bomb. It turned out to be far more powerful than they had calculated, and blew the entire island of Elugelab off the face of the Earth. It no longer exists.

The United States was safe, but many other nations were contaminated by the radioactive debris. They filed suit against the corporations that built the bomb. Courts ruled everything was totally legal: the United States had won this island fair and square from Japan in World War Two, so the island belonged to the United States. The corporations wanted the right to destroy it; they applied for the necessary permits from the government, the owner consented, so everything was totally correct, under the laws these societies accepted and enforced.

 

Different Degrees of Ownability

 

The second book of this set, Possible Societies, goes over all possible societies that humans can form. It lays them out in a logical way that allows you to compare them all to each other and see what happens if we move from one type of society to another. As you will see, natural law societies and sovereign law societies are extremes in a range of possible societies. They are essentially opposites: Natural law societies are built around rules that allow human entities to own exactly 0% of the rights to the world. Sovereign law societies are built around rules that allow human entities to own exactly 100% of all rights to the world.

We are not limited to these extreme options. (If extreme societies are possible, logic tells us that non-extreme societies must also be possible.) You will see that we can organize the way we interact with the world and the way we interact with each other in various different ways. You could think of the different structures of societies as building blocks. We can put these building blocks together in various different ways to create various different kinds of societies.

We are intelligent. (The term ‘homo sapiens’ means ‘the intelligent upright-walking beings.’) We can understand the options. Once we understand them, we can analyze them to determine which meet our needs. These blocks were not configured in ways that allow us to meet the long-term needs of the human race when you and I were born. (We didn’t put them together; people in the past did.) But we don’t have to live with this arrangement if we don’t like it. We have the tools (our ancestors have developed them and they already exist, as you will see) to make our societies work any way we want them to work.

I wish I could find a simple way to explain all this in a few talking points or a in few paragraphs of text. Unfortunately, I am not able to do this. To understand how to change our societies into societies that can meet our needs, you have to understand other things first. It is like understanding calculus: you must start by learning how to count; then you must learn to add; then to subtract, multiply, and divide. Then you need to understand algebra. After several years, you will have all of the mental tools you need to understand calculus. Once you have these tools, people who already understand calculus can explain it to you with relative ease.

Perhaps, at some point in the future, someone will figure out a way to explain calculus to people who have not yet learned to count, in a few paragraphs. So far, no one has figured this out, but perhaps someday someone will. Perhaps, at some time in the future, someone will figure out a way to explain how thinking beings with physical needs can organize their existence so that they have material prosperity for all, opportunity for all, and do not divide the world into nations and enforce this division with weapons, all in a few sentences, to people who have no background information.

Unfortunately, I can’t do this.

I only know one way to explain it: step by step. The next step is to understand the specific things that change when natural law societies make transitions into sovereign law societies.

 

Different Degrees of Ownability

 

The second book of this set, Possible Societies, goes over all possible societies that humans can form. It lays them out in a logical way that allows you to compare them all to each other and see what happens if we move from one type of society to another. As you will see, natural law societies and sovereign law societies are extremes in a range of possible societies. They are essentially opposites: Natural law societies are built around rules that allow human entities to own exactly 0% of the rights to the world. Sovereign law societies are built around rules that allow human entities to own exactly 100% of all rights to the world.

We are not limited to these extreme options. (If extreme societies are possible, logic tells us that non-extreme societies must also be possible.) You will see that we can organize the way we interact with the world and the way we interact with each other in various different ways. You could think of the different structures of societies as building blocks. We can put these building blocks together in various different ways to create various different kinds of societies.

We are intelligent. (The term ‘homo sapiens’ means ‘the intelligent upright-walking beings.’) We can understand the options. Once we understand them, we can analyze them to determine which meet our needs. These blocks were not configured in ways that allow us to meet the long-term needs of the human race when you and I were born. (We didn’t put them together; people in the past did.) But we don’t have to live with this arrangement if we don’t like it. We have the tools (our ancestors have developed them and they already exist, as you will see) to make our societies work any way we want them to work.

I wish I could find a simple way to explain all this in a few talking points or a in few paragraphs of text. Unfortunately, I am not able to do this. To understand how to change our societies into societies that can meet our needs, you have to understand other things first. It is like understanding calculus: you must start by learning how to count; then you must learn to add; then to subtract, multiply, and divide. Then you need to understand algebra. After several years, you will have all of the mental tools you need to understand calculus. Once you have these tools, people who already understand calculus can explain it to you with relative ease.

Perhaps, at some point in the future, someone will figure out a way to explain calculus to people who have not yet learned to count, in a few paragraphs. So far, no one has figured this out, but perhaps someday someone will. Perhaps, at some time in the future, someone will figure out a way to explain how thinking beings with physical needs can organize their existence so that they have material prosperity for all, opportunity for all, and do not divide the world into nations and enforce this division with weapons, all in a few sentences, to people who have no background information. Unfortunately, I can’t do this. I only know one way to explain it: step by step. The next step is to understand the specific things that change when natural law societies make transitions into sovereign law societies.

 

How Did The Change To Sovereign Law Societies Take Place?

 

Although we know where and when this transition took place (from the information above) we don’t know exactly who thought of the new idea or the exact events that led to the transition.  Because of this, we have to speculate about the actual events.  I think it is important enough to get some mental picture of the transitional system to do a little speculation here. 

The basic transition requires that one group of people reject the principles of natural law and come to accept principles that are essentially the opposite of the starting principles.  I want to go over one of the possible ways this transition may have taken place with a story.  I am not claiming that this story is what happened, I am only trying to help you see how people could live one way for a very long period of time, and then, in a very short period of time, totally reverse the way they interacted with the world around them:

 

Abram

 

Imagine a village next to a natural marsh that produces wild rice.  Several generations ago, the village had only a few hundred people.  But the marsh produces an large amount of rice, so the people in this village had plenty to eat.  When women were pregnant, they got enough to eat and stayed healthy, ultimately giving birth to healthy babies.  The babies had plenty to eat and grew up healthy themselves, eventually having children of their own.  The population grew, over several generations, from a few hundred to a few thousand. 

During most years, these people still have enough to eat.  The spring rains fill the marsh to the perfect depth for rice to grow; the wild rice grows and produces enough for all.  But the particular year when we start observing these people, unusual weather patterns have blown the spring rains to other areas, leaving this area dry.  The water level in the marsh has fallen and most of it is now dry land.  Without the water, most of the rice plants will not grow enough to go to seed and the marsh will only produce a small fraction of the amount of rice it would have produced if the water were its normal depth.  

Some people in the village have heard stories from previous generations about this kind of thing happening in the past.  These stories tell of horrible hunger and many deaths.  Many people can see that this is going to happen to them again.

A river runs close to the land.  One young man in the group—let’s call him Abram—has an idea:  There is a narrow spot just downstream of the marsh that they could block with trees, rocks, and dirt, to make a dam similar to a beaver dam.  If they build this dam, a small lake will form upstream.  The lake will be higher than the level of the marsh.  They can dig an irrigation ditch from the lake to the marsh and fill the marsh with river water, saving the crop.  They don’t have to depend on the rains; they can irrigate their land and grow rice even when rain doesn’t hit their particular area. 

At the next village meeting, Abram brings up his proposal. 

His suggestion prompts a spirited discussion. 

One of the older members of the group says that others have made this same suggestion before.  The old gentleman says that there are certain idealistic and unrealistic people who don’t like the way the world works and want to make it work differently.  (He then looks at Abram and pauses, in case some people at the meeting didn’t know who he was talking about.)  During earlier droughts, people have suggested building a dam at this same site. 

He says that this proposal has never worked out.  A dam is a massive project and requires a lot of work.  To have a dam, people must make sacrifices in time, skills, and materials.  They have to divert labor and resources from other areas and make real commitments in time and effort to get the project finished.  In past efforts, most of the people of the village weren’t willing to do this.  A lot of them thought the project was immoral:  they didn’t own the land and had no right to alter it.  They refused to participate on moral grounds.  Others thought the ones who refused to participate for what they claimed were moral reasons were really just lazy.  They didn’t want to work and used the moral argument as an excuse.  These people didn’t have any moral objection to the dam, but they didn’t think it was fair that they do all the work and the freeloaders get the same benefits as they get.  They refused to work themselves until others could be made to do their share of the work.  Others still had various other objections to the dam.  Some thought it would be ugly.  Others thought that the unnatural lake the dam would produce would harm the environment and animals that depended on the river for survival.  People fought and argued, but nothing substantial ever got done. 

The old gentleman tells the group that when the idealists suggested the dam before, they talked like it was a horrible emergency and had to be built to prevent a catastrophe.  But the dam was never completed and the village is still here.  True, when rains fall, we have hardship that we might not have if we had a dam.  This is a terrible thing of course, and he doesn’t want anyone to think he believes otherwise.  But eventually the rains will come, the marsh will produce rice, and the village will survive.  He tells Abram that this project is a bad idea all the way around.  It will only create hard feelings and conflict without bringing any benefits.  

Other people oppose the dam on religious grounds:  People in this group were raised accepting the principles of natural law.  Nature is above us, not our possession to use as we please.  We are residents here, they believe, not the owners.  We live here from the generosity of nature and our host, whoever this is.  (Some believe that the land was created by a higher power, and the creator is our host, allowing us to live on this land.)  They say that guests should be thankful for what they get; they should not complain that their host isn’t giving them enough.  Building the dam is the same as complaining to our hosts that we are not satisfied with the gifts we are given.  How can we expect continued generosity from our host if don’t appreciate the things we get?

About religion: The book ‘The Wild Rice Gatherers Of The Upper Lakes; A Study In American Primitive Economics’ by Albert Ernest Jenks discusses researchers who traveled around the upper Great Lakes of North America in the days when there was very little European-American presence. He attempted to work out the way these people lived before they had any contact at all with other cultures. They all appeared to be very religious and ceremony was very important to all of them. They all realized that they could have built dams and dug irrigation channels to drive up production, but in no case had any of these changes ever been made. They truly believed they had no right to make these changes: the land did not belong to them, it belonged to ‘the one who created it.’ They were guests on land that belonged to the creator. Guests don’t complain about the things their hosts provide or alter their host’s property to suit their needs, they accept what they get with gratitude.

Others say that the land is the way it is because that is exactly the way the creator wanted it.  If the creator had wanted a lake where the river is now, he would have put a lake there.  Since he did not put a lake there, he clearly does not want one there.  If we put a lake there, we are doing something we know is against the wishes of the all-powerful creator of existence. 

How do we know why the creator didn’t want a lake there?  Perhaps the ground around this area is unstable and a dam will cause the subsoil to shift and cause our entire village to wash away.  Perhaps the creator is protecting us from this catastrophe, by making sure the river flows freely.  Nature is complex and one thing affects another.  Perhaps the creator has put things together in the best possible way, for our benefit.  Perhaps the creator just likes the way it looks now.  Whatever the reason, the creator made it as it is, and it is not our place to claim that we know better. 

The land is not ours.  We have no right to alter it. 

Abram has heard all of these arguments before of course.  Everyone in the village has heard them all before.  Whenever anyone proposes any kind of change, these arguments come out.  But Abram has been working out his responses and has his own arguments prepared:

He says that the opponents of change are not being logical.  Humans are the most intelligent of all animals.  We have the ability to figure out better ways to make the land meet our needs.  The creator gave us this ability.  Why would the creator give us this ability and then get angry at us if we use it?  Since the creator gave us this ability, we are clearly supposed to use it.  To not use a gift someone gives you is an insult to the giver.  We must not insult the creator by refusing to use our talents and abilities. 

The creator loves us.  That is why we were given this ability:  the creator is busy and can’t be here every minute to take care of us.  He wants us to have the ability to take care of ourselves.  We are supposed to use this ability.

We don’t have to suffer.  We don’t have to watch our children suffer and watch the weak and helpless die when food is short.  We can avoid all this by simply using the gifts our creator has given us.

Several people are swayed by Abrams arguments and speak up in support of the dam.  Some of these people are Abram’s friends, others are convinced by his arguments, and others still have more practical reasons for wanting the dam: 

For example, parents with young children know that their children will suffer horribly if food is short.  The children will cry in hunger and their parents won’t be able to do anything to ease their pain.  They know that if their children don’t eat well, they will be susceptible to illness.  Their little bodies can’t adjust to hardship as well as those of adults.  Most of the people who die during famines are young children.  The parents say that beliefs are important, but, to them, the welfare of their children comes before everything else.  They will not let their children die just so that religious fanatics can have their way. 

Young adults (teenagers and people in their early 20s) often have disagreements with their elders.  Most of the time the young people back down and do what they are told, but their minds don’t always fully accept that the people in the older generation know what they are doing.  Often (particularly after arguments) the young people think the members of the older generation are inflexible, ignorant, superstitious, and prejudiced.  Many of the village’s young people don’t want to simply sit back and wait for death just because this is what the older generation wants.  They want to do something about their situation.  Here they have a chance.  Many people in this age group speak up in support of Abram’s suggestion. 

Both sides argue their case.  Eventually, everyone who has something to say about the issue has spoken and it is time for a vote.  For the sake of this example, Abram’s proposal to build the dam has to be rejected.  The village votes to keep things as they are.  They don’t want change. 

 

Disobedience, Banishment and Exile

 

After the meeting, Abram and others who want the dam walk back with Abram to his home and talk about the decision.  They say that the opponents of progress were just being foolish and backward-looking.  No one presented any real evidence that anything bad will actually happen if they build the dam.  No one has proven that any invisible entity will get angry at them for altering the world.  Abram points out that other animals build dams.  Beaver, for example, build dams that wind up creating entirely new ecosystems.  Nature doesn’t destroy these other dam builders.  Why would nature let animals do these things, but not let humans do them? 

Shouldn’t humans have at least as much rights as beaver? 

Finally, someone makes a suggestion: 

Why don’t the people who want the dam build it themselves, without the help of the village?  The group can claim there was a misunderstanding at the meeting and they thought that the decision was they weren’t going to do it as a village project, not that it couldn’t be done at all.  They thought that if they wanted to build the dam on their own, they had the right to do this.  If the other people don’t agree, they can take action, but until they do, the group can keep going and build the dam. 

They start work.

The people who opposed the dam are very upset with this.  They complain to the village elders.  The elders send someone to talk to Abram and his people.  But Abram has his excuses ready.  He has already made up his mind:  he intends to keep building until someone physically stops him.  Finally, the elders realize that Abram is not going to stop unless the village takes action.  They call another village meeting to decide what to do.

The people who had opposed the dam all along have another argument ready:  it is no longer about the dam itself, they are considered with the authority of the community.  We had a vote.  Abram and his people lost.  They can’t build the dam.  Their claims that they misunderstood are just tricks to avoid complying.  We can’t let people get away with this.  If we let people ignore group decisions and then excuse their way out of it, no one will ever pay any attention to group decisions again, they will just make up excuses.  The people who oppose the dam have created a resolution that requires Abram and his people to undo their changes and put the land in the same condition it was in before.  Until they do, they will not be allowed any food.  The majority of the villagers believe that they have to support the resolution for the sake of social order, and the resolution is passed. 

Abram and his people are not happy about this.  They decide they aren’t going to comply with the resolution.  The village needs the dam to avoid starvation and they aren’t going to let the people they love starve to death just because a few stubborn people managed to use their political power to lure gullible people to accept their position.  Besides that, they the rice in storage doesn’t belong to the just people who voted to deny them food.  The people who are building the dam did a large part of the work during the harvest.  The rice in storage belongs as much to them as to anyone else. 

Who are these other people to claim that they shouldn’t have food? 

They decide they will go to the storehouse and take what belongs to them.  If people try to stop them, they will use force.  They go to the storehouse start filling baskets with rice.  Word gets around and a large group of villagers come to the storehouse and order them to stop.  They ignore the order.  Finally one of the villagers moves in to physically stop a person from filling a basket, and a brawl breaks out.  Several people are badly injured and one is killed before the villagers are finally able to subdue the people trying to steal the grain.  

Now they have another village meeting: 

The people who opposed the dam from the first have another argument:  We can’t allow people who are willing to use violence to overcome the will of the majority to continue to live with us.  We have to banish the offenders.  Abram and his people will have to leave.  If any of them ever return, regardless of the pretense, the village people will put them to death.  After some discussion, the majority votes in favor of the measure.  They realize they can’t let people get away with violence and still have an orderly society.  Abram and his people can’t go to any of the neighboring villages, because the people in these villages have heard about the trouble and don’t want this kind of thing in their villages either.  Abram and his people will have to go to a remote area, away from the currently-inhabited lands, and start new lives. 

 

A New Philosophy of Existence

 

As they travel, they talk about their banishment and exile.  They come to the conclusion that the people who opposed change were just superstitious old fools.  Humans have the power and ability to build dams.  We therefore have the right to build dams.  The elders were wrong to say otherwise.  The elders said that the ancients did it this way so they had to do it this way too.  But if the ancients were not willing to be reasonable, that makes them just as wrong as the elders.  Just because people lived a long time ago doesn’t mean they knew more than people living today. 

In fact, a lot of the things the elders and ancients believe may be wrong.  Maybe we don’t have to worship the land and think of it as a god.  Maybe the land is not really above us at all.  Maybe we are in charge.  Maybe the land is really just a tool that humans—the dominant beings on Earth—are supposed to use to make our lives better.  We have greater abilities than any other animals.  Why would the creator have given us these abilities if we weren’t supposed to use them? 

Abram and his people travel for many months looking for another place that can produce enough to support them.  Finally, in the middle of the winter, they come to a marsh adjacent to a river.  The marsh has some wild rice plants in it.  It only has a few however:  the water isn’t deep enough to support a thriving crop.  But they see that there is a spot downriver that seems almost to be designed to be dammed up.  If they put a dam there, the river water will back up and turn the marsh and all surrounding land into a shallow lake, with perfect conditions for rice to grow. 

Abram thinks that this is a sign.  They found a place that could easily support them, if they build a dam.  It is almost as if they are supposed to build a dam, one way or the other.  Abram proposes that they remain and build the dam and the others agree. 

The next spring, the water backs up behind the newly-built dam and forms a shallow lake.  The marsh begins to produce immense amounts of rice. 

A few of the people in Abram’s group hadn’t been entirely sure they had made the right choice siding with change.  Their people had held the old beliefs for a very long time and been able to survive.  Abram and other leaders in their group were basically telling them to reject everything they had been raised to believe.  They thought they were making a very risky move and many of them feared that nature would eventually punish them with some catastrophe.  But the catastrophe does not come.  In fact, their new land produces a great deal more than the land at their old location.  They can all live much better than they ever lived before.

Vision quests:

In vision quests, people go alone into remote areas without food, water, clothing, or anything that will protect them from the elements or give them any elements of comfort. They then remain without sleeping, eating, drinking, or protecting themselves from the elements until they get delirious and start to have visions. (In other words, until they start to hallucinate). People who go on vision quests (and many people do it, even today) believe that the visions give them insight into critical realities of existence they wouldn’t otherwise be able to understand.

After the successful harvest, Abram decides to go on a vision quest to see if he can get some insight into the intentions and desires of whatever higher power appears to be watching over them.  Although he is confident in public, he isn’t entirely sure he made the right choice.  (It is very hard to go against the wisdom of your parents, the elders of your village, the ancients, and all of the other people you were raised to respect.)  He wants very badly to have a vision that will help him confirm, in his own mind, that he was right to do what he did. 

Sometimes, people who want something to happen very badly start to script the events they hope will happen in their subconscious mind.  Abram hoped the visions would confirm his decision.  As soon as he had told people he would take a vision quest, he started thinking about how such a vision might play out.  (Vision quests are very scary thing; many people who go on these quests don’t live through the experience.  People are naturally afraid and think a lot about how the quest may turn out.)  Abram wants the creator to appear to him in his visions and tell him he did everything right.  At night, he dreams about what it might be like to come face to face with the creator, and what the creator may say to him.  He has a plan in his mind about the best possible outcome, and he hopes against hope that it will become reality. 

He goes on the quest in the early winter.  He stands on cliff, naked, in the rain and the cold, not giving in to sleep, taking any steps to protect himself from the weather, or eating anything for three days before his mind stars to break down and visions come to him. 

When Abram returns to the new village, he tells the people that everything that has happened to them happened because it was supposed to happen:  They were supposed to have the conflict at the old village.  They were supposed to travel for nine months and then eventually find this wonderful piece of land.  In the vision, the creator told Abram that this land was set aside for Abram and his group on the day it was created.  It is their land—specifically, their ‘nation’—and the creator made it especially for this group and their descendents. 

They now have an obligation to their creator to protect this land.  They must not let outsiders share the wonderful things their nation provides, because the creator made this land only for them.  They must make sure that others can’t come in force and drive them away.  They must make sure that future generations know that this ‘nation’ was made for them and belongs to them.  They must be proud of having been honored by the creator with their own part of the world; they must honor their nation, respect it, pay homage to it, and protect it with the same vigor and dedication that they protect their loved ones. 

The adults in the group must see to it that future generations are raised with the right beliefs, so that they don’t fall back into the old ways.  The world has changed.  The old ways are primitive remnants of the past.  These people have an obligation to their creator to live differently and follow his directives. 

 

Division Into ‘Classes’

 

This land is their land.  How should they treat it?

Many people have ideas they want to try.  At a general meeting, one man says that he wants his own farm, for himself and his family.  The family intends to work the land together, improve it together, and share the good things it produces together.  Other people also want land for their families.  After several meetings and long discussions, the group decides that the best way to use the land for the benefit of the group is to give it to the group.  They divide the land of their nation into farms and then give one farm to each family.  Larger families get more land, smaller families get less, and singles are allowed to join other families and share with them until they have families of their own. 

The group has a lot of productive land, so the family farms are very large.  Each family gets much more land than it needs to support its members. 

With abundant food and good living conditions, woman can give birth to many healthy babies.  With abundant food and good living conditions, the children will grow up healthy, and eventually have children of their own.  The group’s population will grow.  The first generation of family heads will leave their land to the next generation.  Families with a lot of children will have to divide their large farms into smaller farms, so that their children can all get a share of the family land. 

As this happens, the size of the average farm will have to fall.  You can see how small the farms could eventually get if you imagine the population doubles every generation.  (This is a very conservative estimate of population growth.  Without effective birth control, the average mated woman will give birth to about 8 babies.  If half of the babies survive to reproductive age, the population doubles each generation.  If 2/3rd of the babies survive, the population triples every generation.  If food is abundant and living conditions are good, a survival rate of 50% is very conservative.)  If the starting farms averaged 24 acres in size, the next generation farms will only average 12 acres.  The next generation after that, the average farm will only be 6 acres, then 3 acres, then 1½ acres, and finally ¾ of an acre. 

Although the average farm size will have to fall, the farms won’t all fall in size at the same rate. 

Some parents will have lots of children and divide their farms into many parcels.  The record for children from one couple is 69 children, of which 67 survived childhood.  During times of plentiful food, many families have had more than 20 children that survived childhood.  These people have no birth control technologies at all.  If they have sex, they have babies.  Some families will have more than a dozen children.  These people will have to divide their land into very small farms so that their children can have farms. 

Some parents have low fertility and only have 1 child.  This child inherits the entire farm.  Sometimes, farms get consolidated together through marriage, with couples combining their farms to work as families.  If two large farms are joined this way, the couple will have one very large farm. 

People with very small farms will not be able to support their families on the land they own.  Some of them will eventually have to start trading the little bit of land they have for food and other necessities of life, or their families will die.  Their already-small farms will get smaller.  Eventually, some people will have no land at all, either for themselves or to leave to their children. 

Others, those who started with farms that produce more than they need for their families, will be able to trade their surpluses of food for the additional land when the less-fortunate people offer their land.  The already-large farms will get even larger.  The already-small farms will get even smaller.  Since this land is bountiful (producing large amounts with relatively little labor), and the owners get the bounty, the owners who started out with very high incomes because they had a lot of land will see their incomes grow; those who start with low incomes will see their incomes fall.  Within a few generations, we will start to see a basic reality that will be a part of all sovereign law societies from here on, for the rest of the time that they exist:  In these societies, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. 

Eventually, the gap between the rich and poor will be so great that the two groups will basically be in a different classification of existence.  Many of the small farmers will eventually have no land left to trade for the necessities of life.  They will be ‘landless.’  They will only have one thing to trade for food and necessities:  their labor.  They will have to get some sort of paid work or they won’t have food and will die.  We live in societies where many people are in this condition; we have come to call this classification of humans either ‘the working class’ or ‘the lower class.’   

Another class will have large amount of land.  Remember, nature produces rice, not humans:  all humans do is collect nature’s bounty, and this doesn’t take a great deal of work.  Since not much work is required, the owners won’t have to turn over very much of the land’s production to the workers to pay them to collect it (and perhaps do other tasks, like sow seeds in the spring and tie the stalks in the summer to increase the yields).  After they pay the workers, they will have enormous amounts of rice left over.  They won’t have to do anything at all for their incomes and will have the leisure to do whatever they want with their time.  We live in societies where many people are in this condition; we have come to call this classification of humans either the ‘leisure class’ or the ‘upper class.’ 

Earlier we looked at the basic realities of natural law societies and saw that these societies placed the majority in a position of authority for a simple reason:  the majority controlled the food supply.  In the sovereign law society, the upper class is in this same position of authority, for the same reason:  they control the food supply.  If any members of the lower classes want food, they have to come to people with food and make a deal to trade something they have for food.  Usually, the only thing they have is labor, so they must trade their labor for food.  The majority of the people of this society no longer has any natural source of power, because the majority no longer controls the food supply.  This puts the minority that does control the food supply in a position of authority and power no group had in natural law societies:  the minority class of society can start to build mechanisms that allow it to control the majority.

 

Money

 

The people who control the food supply may find it easier to do the things they want to do if they can create a kind of money.  Some owners of very large farms may hire craftsmen to create special metal disks, or ‘coins,’ that will represent the right to obtain food from those farms.  If they are worried about counterfiting, they may make these coins out of relatively rare metals like gold, silver, or copper.  The owners can then announce that, from then on, they will trade their food only for money.  People who want food will have to get money, somehow, or they won’t be able to obtain food and will die. 

An example of a money system:

The coins/disks can be 10 grams each and made either of copper, silver, or gold. Perhaps owners may sell rice for one copper coin per pound. Silver coins may be ‘worth’ 20 coppers or 20 pounds, and gold coins may be worth 12 silver coins, or 800 copper coins, or 800 pounds of rice each.

The owners can then control people’s behavior by controlling the distribution of the money.  The owners can give money to people who do things that benefit them.  Once people get the money, they have to give it back to the owners to get the food the land produces.  The owners can then use the money to pay people who provide goods or services to them.  These people will eventually need food so the money will come back to the owners in a big circle.  The owners will have the ability to manipulate members of the working class by only giving money to people in this class who do things that benefit the owners. 

 

Class Conflict and Military Needs

 

The land that Abram and his people built their nation is very bountiful.  This term means that it produces a great deal of rice without a great deal of labor.  (Nature produces rice, not humans.  Humans only spread a few seeds around in the spring and then harvest the rice that nature produces.)  The low need for labor is very bad for people in the working class.  It means that there won’t be many jobs, at least not in areas related to food production.  At times, many of the people who need jobs won’t be able to get them for the simple reason that the jobs don’t exist:  the owners simply don’t need many people to bring in nature’s bounty for them and spread a few seeds for next year’s crop. 

You and I live in societies where many number of members of the working class are often unable to find jobs.  We call these people ‘the unemployed.’ 

The unemployed will have to innovate, beg, or steal to survive.  Those who innovate will try to find goods or services that the people with money want.  (Remember, in this very simple sovereign law society, money goes in a big circle, always ending up with the owners of food-producing land.  The workers will cater to these people, who are the ultimate customers for everything, the owners.) 

People in the leisure class will find themselves being offered every kind of luxury and comfort they can imagine, if they will just part with some of their money.  Many members of the leisure class will accept many of these offers.  Soon they will have luxurious mansions, jewelry, furniture, apparel, regalia, and artwork of various kinds, with numerous servants minister to their needs.  The people who provide these goods and services will be able to ‘make a living.’   They will trade their goods or services for money, which will then go back to the owners in exchange for food. 

The unemployed who are not able to innovate or live by begging will have to steal to stay alive.  They will realize that they can organize to steal from the rich (who obviously have much more to steal than non-rich) and then sell the items they steal to live off of the proceeds. 

The people in the upper class will not be able to personally watch all their goods all the time to keep people from stealing their things.  They will have to hire guards to protect their property.  Of course, the thieves will know that the valuables are guarded.  They have incentives to try to come in greater force than the guards, so they can overpower them and take the valuables.  The owners will have to make sure that their guards have tools they can use to turn back large groups that attack them.  The owners will have to make sure their guards are armed.  They will have to go to craftsmen and have them design and build tools that have the purpose of inflicting pain or death on other people.  They will have to start building weapons, or they won’t be able to protect their land or other possessions.

Once some owners have armed forces, they will be in a position to start ‘conquering’ land from outside their nation, and adding it to their land.  They can simply ‘claim’ unoccupied land and use their armed forces to deal with any who don’t respect their claims.  When they encounter land occupied by people with natural law societies, they can use their militaries to remove these people and then claim the land for themselves. 

The armies won’t be able to drive people from the land that they have lived on for centuries with kindness and gentle urging.  (Would you leave your home and the land that your ancestors have depended on for hundreds of years just because you were asked, nicely, to do so?)  They have to be ready, willing, and able to use whatever level of force is necessary to get the people to move and, if they absolutely won’t move, they have to be ready, willing, and able to kill them.  To get them to move, they have to make it more painful for the people to remain than to leave.  They have to inflict pain on other people. 

Humans have an instinctive empathy for the pain of other people, as a part of our social instincts.  When we see other people in pain, our first impulse is to try to ease their pain.  When we see people who are not in pain, we recoil at the thought of inflicting pain on them.  The soldiers won’t be able to do their jobs if they give in to their natural empathy and are unable to cause pain to or kill the people they are trying to move.  The owners must find some sort of training program that will desensitize these people to their instinctual feelings of empathy. 

 

Organized Mental Training

 

The will probably not be entirely successful if they wait to start this training program until the people they are trying to turn into soldiers are already adults.  They will have much more success if they can start with children and create a way of thinking that makes them receptive to the basic idea of ‘patriotism’ (fighting, killing, and dying for one’s ‘nation’) from an early age. 

We live in societies where people implant these thoughts into the minds of children.  People have looked for and found methods that they continue to use because they work.  The children are told that the nation they live in is a wonderful and natural thing, the one thing that has only their best interests at heart.  (In most cases, they are told that a higher power is behind the idea of nations; this higher power—perhaps called ‘God’—created their nation and endowed it with all of the blessings a deity can endow.)  Their nation is the vessel that good, kind, noble, and altruistic people (working with God, if God was claimed to have been involved with the creation of their nation) use to bring all good things (freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice, liberty, for example) to the people of the world.  Since their ‘nation’ is the source of all good things the people in that nation enjoy, they have an obligation to worship and love their nation and protect them from any enemies. 

Generally, when people with these ideals actually see war, and realize it is not the glorious experience they expected, their minds can’t handle the disconnect. A large percentage of the people in this situation commit suicide. (Obviously, governments keep suicide rates secret for morale reasons, but people who have experience with the realities of military life know that a large percentage of war deaths are suicides.) Others turn to drugs, and others still go insane and turn into the perfect soldiers, killing anyone or anything they are ordered to kill without any regard to their own personal welfare. For an example of one of these ‘perfect solders,’ read about Lt. Calley in the My Lai dispatches, by Seymour Hersch.

Adults with no previous training would almost certainly find such ideas to be ridiculous; they would realize the people who say these things are trying to manipulate them and laugh at these suggestions.  But if children are started at an early enough age, they can be made to believe these messages and turned into ‘patriots.’  After they have taken mental possession of the implanted beliefs, they will get angry at any who try to tell them that they have been manipulated and refuse to listen.  When the time comes for these children to go to war, they will be ready and even willing to do so.  (See text box to right for more information.) 

At first, the people who want to instill this state of mind in children won’t be very good at it, but eventually they will learn which tools work and use those tools.

 

New Nations and Cancer

 

At some point, some people in the working class with military backgrounds and experience will realize that they can gain the rights of owners themselves by a simple mechanism:  they can take weapons and whatever supplies they can steal and head to an area that is far enough away that their superiors won’t be able to find them.  They can find another part of the world that could be able to feed large numbers of people and call it their ‘nation.’  They will be the upper class and rulers of this nation:  they can take whatever it contains and produces for themselves.  They can use the weapons and the military techniques they already understand to sure none of the groups with natural law societies around them interfere. 

People will form these new nations.  Each new nation will start with some initial allotment of land—whatever its soldiers can defend—as a seed.  Its rulers will have weapons and a social order that is capable of supporting fighting forces.  They can use these forces to expand their nations, displacing more and more people with natural law societies. 

The nations will grow.

The best model for the growth of this new system is the model of cancer.  Cancer starts with a single cell mass—a tumor—that grows and takes over the resources of a certain part of the body.  Then, when the tumor is large enough to support colonies, it sends out tendrils to other parts of the body. Each tendril leads to a new tumor, which grows like the original.  Eventually, the tumors start to grow together.

Sovereign law societies grow the same way: 

The change that tool place on Earth probably started with a single group of people who renounced the old ways and formed the first nation.  After several generations, people left that nation to form their own nations.  (If they stole the weapons and tools, they would have gone a long way away to get beyond the reach of the police and armies that would be following them to punish them for their theft.)   The nations then grow and send out additional tendrils to new areas, to form new nations, which will also grow.  The nations will eventually grow to the point where they touch each other. 

At some point, all the land inhabited by the relatively easy to conquer natural law societies will be claimed by one nation or another.  At this point, if leaders want their nations to grow, they will have to attack other nations and take land from them.  The rulers of all nations will realize they have to have weapons and armies, or they will be taken over. 

They will then have to use their armies, to keep them experienced.  They will have to take advantage of every opportunity for a fight.  If they refuse to harm the land to get resources to make weapons, while other nations don’t worry about the harm they do, the nations that refuse to harm will have serious disadvantages in war.  The realities of war will force them to accept damage to the environment as collateral damage.  Some leaders will find that they can have advantages in war if they actually encourage environmental destruction (most nations to day subsidize it very heavily), because this drives down the cost of raw materials and therefore drives down the costs of weapons. 

 

What Actually Happened?

 

The first group that changed from a natural law society to a sovereign law society may have made the change any of a great many different ways.  Without a time machine, we can’t tell exactly how they made this change.  However, once a sovereign law society existed, its internal mechanisms started working to reward certain behaviors and create a certain network of behavioral incentives. 

Book two of this series, Possible Societies, goes into great detail about the concept of behavioral incentives and shows how and why different societies have different incentive structures.

If we know how societies produce incentives, and we know how people react to incentives, we will be able to predict how those societies will operate with a great deal of precision.  Once a group of people accepts the underlying belief of sovereign law societies—that parts of planets can belong to groups of people and their descendents forever—and builds their society to conform to this belief, the inherent forces of this society will lead to a certain train of events. 

The people who gain ultimate benefits in nations (the people in the upper class) can increase their wealth by using the tools the nation offers to ‘conquer’ additional land and add it to the other land that is providing benefits for them.  They have incentives to organize the activities of the nation so that conquests will take place. 

People born into the lower class who have had military experience will realize they can take weapons and go some distance away from the nation they live in and form their own nation.  If they do, they become the upper class with the benefits this brings; they have incentives to break away and form their own nations whenever they can do this. 

If a landmass starts out with 100% natural law societies, but one group comes to accept the beliefs of absolute ownability of land (by nations) as Abram and his people did in the above example, the incentive structures of this system will cause the system to expand.  It will continue to expand until the entire landmass, and all known islands near the landmass, is under the control of one or another nation.  Sovereign law societies will grow and expand until societies built on the simple beliefs of natural law no longer exist.

 

Incentives

 

The last chapter looked briefly at the incentives that are inherent in natural law societies.  These societies work in ways that cause the bounty the land produces to be shared.  This creates a certain set of easily-understandable incentives.  (For example, if everyone shares the bounty, everyone benefits if the land is healthy because healthy land produces a greater bounty.)  Since people respond to incentives in predictable ways, if we understand the incentives, we have a good idea how the societies are going to operate.  

Sovereign law societies also work in ways that create incentives, but they create entirely different incentives than natural law societies  In fact, sovereign law societies basically have the opposite incentive structures as natural law societies:  they reward the behaviors that natural law societies punish, and vice versa. 

For example, natural law societies give all of the people more wealth (money if they use money for transactions) the land is healthier and  more bountiful, creating incentives that lead to good stewardship of the land.  Sovereign law societies reward the nations that can get the most resources for wars by granting them victory in wars.  They can get more resources by raping the world faster and more thoroughly, so they have incentives to rape the world as rapidly and thoroughly as they can.  The majority does not share the bounty of the land in sovereign law societies, so ordinary people have no inherent forces pushing them to keep the land healthy.  Members of the working class only have better lives if their system has more jobs, so they have incentives to support any policies that create jobs.  Since rape of the world is extremely labor intensive, they have incentives to support policies that rape the world.  The environmental incentives of these two societies are almost exactly the opposite.

Natural law societies have inherent flows of value that reward personal responsibility:  People in these societies know that much of their income depends on good relationships with others.  They get more wealth (money if they use money for transactions) if they can figure out the behaviors others consider to be responsible and act that way all the time.  Sovereign law societies train children from an early age to believe that killing and destruction are not just acceptable, but noble, under certain conditions.  Sovereign law societies reward people who do the most horrible things imaginable (drop napalm bombs on children, burning them alive, for example) with the highest honors and greatest wealth they have to give.  They reward people in the working class who are willing to contribute to these acts with higher wages than they give people who refuse to do so.  Again, almost the opposite incentives.

Natural law societies have internal flows of value that reward social responsibility.  To claim that no one other than you or your group has any right to benefit from a part of the world that nature created is the ultimate act of social irresponsibility.  Nothing could be more wrong, in natural law societies, than making claims like this. 

Sovereign law societies reserve their greatest rewards people who make these claims and can gain control over enough military force to make their claims stick.  The greatest heroes in history are the people who ‘founded’ nations, doing the exact things that people in natural law societies consider the most reprehensible. 

Natural law societies don’t reward progress and growth in any way, so we can expect them to be stagnant.  Sovereign law societies allow people to take advantage of their skills, talent, and other capital, to change the world in ways that increase production and improve technology. 

Both of these societies have something to offer the human race, but neither puts everything we need together into one package.  If we want to do this, we will have to look at societies built on something other than guesses about whether or not nature and planets are ownable.  We will have to start somewhere else. 

As you will see, we can have societies that have all of the characteristics we need to meet all of our needs and move us toward a better existence each day that passes.  But to do this, we will have to have more information, starting with additional information about how we got to our current place in time.   

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