Ruling the Elite
Ruling the Elite
Chapter 1. The Legacy of the Ruling Elite
Every nation has its own, unique set of problems. Common issues that trouble the people of most nations often come neither from nature nor from enemies outside their borders. Problems of the majority in a nation emanate from the wrangling of relatively few people from within who seek control of their countrymen and access to their money. American-style democracy, exceptional in so many ways, does not escape this axiom.
Looking back to the earliest human history, it is likely that there were always at least a few who held the notion that they should control everyone else, usually for the majority's "own good." Of course, that same few believed that they should be well compensated by the majority for their leadership and control. Perhaps such behavior was innate to primitive mankind, or maybe it was a reflection of the natural existing world that human communities developed into. Science says that by the time humans appeared, there existed a hostile environment of danger and death, inhabited by all sorts of life forms that already had well defined hierarchies and behavior patterns. The primary pattern was that the biggest, the fiercest, and the most swift and savvy would prey upon others and brutalize even their own species for the benefit of themselves. Whether T-Rex or velociraptors among dinosaurs, or the largest gorilla in a pack, this was the pattern of life that was evident. To the humans, perhaps it seemed incontrovertible; it just "was the way it was."
It is conceivable that our human predecessors simply mirrored this animal world pattern in the beginning of their community development and then, over the eons, embellished it with trappings of all sorts, like rules, buildings, and class divisions. The few who controlled the many eventually elevated themselves to the status of royalty. Some claimed to have been sent by gods to rule or were even said to be gods themselves, worthy of praise, power and even prayers. For various reasons, the daily lives and the wealth of the many came to be controlled by the few. While the small number in control lived long and well, those being controlled lived as assets of the few, to be used and eventually discarded-all by incident of their birth. Those in opposition to such control would be punished or eliminated because it was said to be "necessary" for the "benefit of the people/culture/crown/state." Those who supported the ruling class were offered protection and perhaps even some share of the wealth. Most of those who produced wealth lost it to the rulers, much like lesser animals lost their dinner to the T-Rex, who found it easier to take than to work for their own. After all, it "was the way it was."
A truly amazing thing occurred around 1750 bc , an event that would begin to change the way the masses would think about themselves. Hammurabi, a Babylonian king, provided a body of rules for his people that they, and he, would follow. They were chiseled into stone columns and erected in public places. For perhaps the very first time, the people who were being ruled could know the limits of their ruler's power through this means of mass communication. Instead of royal whim, the people had guarantees or "rights" to certain behaviors and they were literally "cast in stone" before them. One of these pillars is in the Near Eastern Antiquities Collection of the Louvre in Paris. Because it was an event of such great consequence, I term it an "Evolutionary Point of Change" within the human community. A slow but steady expansion of these ideas began. Many times over the subsequent centuries, the ideals of what came to be known as democracy, where ordinary People would seek to gain more control of their lives and destinies, would cause change and unrest and even revolution. Another important Point of Evolution of the human community came