Building a Case: The People v Intraspecific Hierarchal Economics
It is instructive that in most early languages, debt is synonymous with “sin” or “guilt” for violence perpetrated upon fellow tribe members. Violence, seen as a debt or deficit imposed on another, required reparations to the victim (giving something of positive value) in order to ‘square’ the economic exchange. In today’s punitive form of justice, we still utilize the ‘ancient’ language—if not the practice—by requiring the guilty to pay their ‘debt to society.’
There is clearly a causal relationship between drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and developing liver disease, or shooting someone with a gun, who consequently dies; the more difficult causation for criminologists to ascertain is “why” people do these things to themselves or to others. Biological economics is meant to establish a systemic causation of violence that is all-encompassing (in every manner and degree) by showing that human existence has been built from the bottom up and from the inside out upon a foundation of connection, to maintain a homeostatic balance, and where disconnection (and thus imbalance) exists, clear and identifiable negative values will result.
We currently reside on the surface of a giant rock in the middle of space; this clearly constitutes a closed-loop environment. Everything is interconnected, and because of this, there is no such thing as a negative externality, biologically speaking; there are only negative values, that cancel out positive values.
In the biological economics of war, for example, human life, limbs, and mental health are exchanged for someone else’s property rights. Why would we make this exchange? In the economics of slavery, short-term financial gains have been exchanged for generations of transgenerational trauma and incalculable suffering that persists today. How was this allowed to happen?
While these exchanges create social deficits and violent disconnection which is without precedent, within the current version of intraspecific hierarchal economics, the labor has been severed from the laborer such that war and slavery (or outcomes such as gun violence, obesity, poor health, drug and alcohol abuse, etc.) have nothing but financial benefits for suppliers, distributors, or investors in these products. Meanwhile, soldiers, slaves, school children, consumers, and the chronically ill are stuck with the social / relational negative value. The message is clear: if there is going to be suffering, at least someone should benefit from it.
Equally chilling is that the healthcare ‘costs’ ($4.3 trillion in U.S., 2021)—which should represent the social / relational negative value of these disconnected exchanges—are instead added on top of the profits of violent disconnection and counted as positive ‘economic growth’. The message is clear: War, slavery, guns, junk food, fentanyl, cigarettes, and whiskey don’t kill people; people kill people. The system, therefore, is immune from prosecution; it can wash its hands of this human crucifixion (the religious analogy is allowable, as evidence will soon demonstrate).
This treatise will employ the originalist view of biological economics—which takes legal precedence over the fabricated intraspecific hierarchal version currently practiced—so that The People may put this arbitrary system on trial in the higher (originalist) court of Natural Law. As Natural Law also takes precedence over the fabricated version of judicial (or common) law currently practiced, the people will seek a more truly ‘originalist interpretation’ of Constitutional law—through its Preamble—from which to seek reparations for current injustices to life, liberty, and happiness.
[Author’s note: although politics does not knowingly employ any science, it has nevertheless been declared a (social) science (along with hierarchal economics); therefore, it is scientifically within the scope of this treatise to inject politics into the discussion. One road block to implementing some form of biological economics is currently being laid down within the U.S. Supreme Court, where so-called ‘originalist interpretations’ of the Constitution nonsensically contend that the Preamble of the Constitution does not, in fact, have any bearing on Constitutional law, when it is clear that the Preamble was originally intended to be the “key to the Constitution” and serve as a guide to fashion, enact, and interpret all federal and state laws. The implementation of biological economics will necessarily rely on the ‘spirit of the law’ embodied in the Preamble, which is there to extend the longevity of the document (as a ‘Living Constitution’) so that it might evolve (adapt) along with the people it was intended to serve.]
The current hierarchal economic paradigm is not in line with the biological economic paradigm upon which eukaryotic existence was built. Imbalance signals disconnection, and every disconnection generates imbalance, both of which are contrary to the stable biological foundation designed to generate balance through connection; it would be difficult to refute the success of this strategy, as We the People are the byproduct of it.
Disconnection and imbalance are the root of all human suffering. Ignorance of this ‘Natural Law’ should be no excuse; if imbalance and disconnection kills people, and we still use it on them, it is either manslaughter (ignorance of potential lethality), negligent homicide (we knew it might kill them but did it anyway), or the worst offense, premeditated murder (we planned on it—to drive ‘economic growth’—and feel no remorse for it).
- War. Violence (bullying, rape, murder, suicide). Gun deaths. Vandalism. Theft. Riots. Mass incarceration. Child abuse (ACEs). Drug and Alcohol abuse. Eating disorders. Stress.
- Pollution. Waste. Soil degradation. Global warming. Ozone depletion. Poor physical, mental, and emotional health outcomes. Ecosystem collapse. Environmental racism. Crumbling Infrastructure.
- Debt. Inflation. Economic scarcity. Homelessness. Poverty. Unlivable wages. Taxation. Unemployment. Foreclosures. Bankruptcy. Wealth disparity. Inequality of opportunity. Discrimination. Gentrification. ‘Food Deserts.’ ‘Redlining.’ ‘Blockbusting.’ ‘White Washing.’ Predatory lending. Austerity measures. Welfare.
- Corporate subsidies. Bank bailouts. Tax incentives. Economic scarcity. Economic rent. Taxation. Institutional landlords. Money as free speech. Corporations as people. Gerrymandering. Union busting. Fear mongering. War mongering. Partisanship. Political Action Committees.
These crimes against humanity all share the same fundamental problem: there is no chargeable suspect in any of them because they are systemically generated. Historically speaking, hierarchal arrangements have all enjoyed immunity from prosecution (at least until they are overthrown completely). Since this is not the overall intent, the only other choice is to put our economic system on trial, as well as anyone aiding and abetting the system or obstructing justice during this process; it is the only option available to eliminate the countless crimes (measured in negative values) thatthis type of system has caused and continues to cause. There is a thread of Natural Law that runs through the Constitution and connects to both government and its court system, but it is a thread some are looking to cut, which would be the logical strategy for intraspecific hierarchal economics because it cannot perpetuate financial imbalance in an environment of connection.
This treatise serves to make a case against these 5,000-year-old crimes against humanity, for which there is no statute of limitations, not only because it involves ‘capital offenses’ or embezzlement of public property, but also because these crimes are ongoing. Intraspecific Hierarchal Economics is a 5,000-year-old Crime Against Humanity so egregious that it has socially / relationally resonated through the medium of Time, where it becomes the main suspect in every crime committed today. There are no random acts of violence; all intraspecific violence is caused by disconnection, therefore any person, organization, or institution that means to perpetuate disconnection is in violation of Natural Law, upon which the United States Constitution—and thus the United States—was founded.
Pursuant to this investigation, the treatise will establish culpable actions both voluntary and involuntary (actus reus), along with the concurrent mental state (mens rea) of the perpetrators at the time of said crimes. A timeline will be entered into evidence—to demonstrate causation—so that formal charges may be initiated, and just compensation rendered. A writ of coram nobis will be filed on behalf of the American people, so that previously upheld statutes, adjudicated without either correct or complete evidence at hand, can be properly revisited, to afford all citizens equal protection of the “Natural” law. If members of the judicial or congressional branch fail to act (act of omission), this would establish grounds (actus reus) for their prosecution, impeachment, and removal from office.
Further perpetuation of these crimes would elevate the charges against all perpetrators from “accidental and negligent” to “premeditated” for every premature death by unnatural causes. There would be, of course, no statute of limitations for prosecuting crimes of premeditated murder, and as these crimes are hierarchal in nature, those at the top of the hierarchy will be named in each case, and held accountable for each conviction, on charges ranging from conspiracy and aiding and abetting to obstruction of justice and treason. Because hierarchal law is imposed from the top down, the effectiveness of hierarchal law depends on where one resides in the hierarchy relative to the law. To ensure no one is above the law, we must impose Natural Law, which has the advantage of emanating from the bottom up.
Natural Laws Cited for This Case:
There are no natural rights, obligations, or privileges, only considerations that must be mutually or reciprocally conferred to endure.
Only reciprocal considerations result in natural (biological) homeostatic balance, the foundation for cellular and multicellular existence (of which humans are a natural progression). Therefore, whatever considerations are conferred upon one must be conferred upon all, or an unacceptable imbalance will result.
Life is a process of Communication (energy transfer)that involves many levels of Connection.
- Beliefs fuel our Will to Exist (or Purpose); (conversely, our Will to Exist is the medium or channel through which we communicate our Beliefs).
- Beliefs drive (and therefore are connected to) Choice.
- Choice fuels our Liberty; (conversely, our Liberty is the medium or channel through which we communicate our Choices).
- Choice drives (and therefore is connected to) Labor.
- Labor fuels our physical person or Body; (conversely, our Body is the medium through which we communicate our Labor).
- Labor is our means of connection to the Earth’s potential or stored energy, and our means of connection to others, through the communication (transduction, transformation, translation) of these raw energy resources, where they serve as a means of potential positive value for others.
- Therefore,through beliefs, which drive choice, that guides labor toward production, others may connect, through the exercise of their choice, driven by their beliefs; thus, the process of life becomes circular, or interconnected.
- While Choice is always binary (to either connect or disconnect), Life cannot be communicated without connection, therefore the Will to Exist is the Will to Connect, and the Beliefs that fuel this Will to Connect—and serve as the means to express each person’s Life—are communications that also facilitate connection when they resonate with others.
- Beliefs—as a form of communication—can indirectly produce positive value, but only if they serve as a means of connection toward some shared purpose that leads to Labor (the only means of positive value creation). Beliefs that communicate disconnection will produce only negative values.
- Because the process of Connection—through means such as Beliefs, Choices, and Labor—requires deliberate purpose (action), and all organisms are stubbornly willing to enact this purpose, a clear will to exist is being exhibited, which necessarily becomes the foundation of a ‘Natural Law’.
Conclusions (The Foundations of Natural Law)
I. Existence is the will of all known organisms.
To exist, each person must have access to the means and mediums of their existence.Thus, for existence to become a reciprocal(or mutual) consideration we must entrust each person with the means and mediums through which to enact their existence.
- The Human Body serves as the medium or vessel through which each person communicates their existence. To exist, each person must be afforded uninterrupted access to their Body. Therefore, we will entrust each person with ownership—and to take ownership—of their Body.
- Beliefs are the means of connection to each person’s deliberate purpose, which drives their will to exist. To exist, each person must be afforded uninterrupted access to theirBeliefs. Therefore, we will entrust each person with ownership—and to take ownership—of their Beliefs.
- The Choice whether to connect or disconnect in any given moment represents each person’s means of communicating their beliefs. To exist, each person must be afforded uninterrupted access to theirChoices. Therefore, we will entrust each person with ownership—and to take ownership—of their Choices.
II. Life cannot be initiated, generated, or communicated without Connection.
To Live, each person must have access to the means and mediums of their connection. Thus, for Life to become a reciprocal(or mutual) consideration, we must entrust each person with the means and mediums through which to enact their connection.
- Liberty serves as the medium or channel through which each person communicates their Choice. To connect, each person must be afforded uninterrupted access to theirLiberty. Therefore, we will entrust each person with ownership—and to take ownership—of their Liberty.
- Labor serves as each person’s means of connection to the Earth’s resources, as well as the means of translation (transformation) of those resources into positive value. To connect, each person must be afforded uninterrupted access to theirLabor. Therefore, we will entrust each person with ownership—and to take ownership—of their Labor.
- Shared Beliefs serve as our means of connection to each other. To connect, each person must be afforded uninterrupted access to theirShared Beliefs. Therefore, we will entrust each person with ownership—and to take ownership—of their Shared Beliefs.
- Human Institutions serve as the medium or channel through which each person communicates their Shared Beliefs. To connect, each person must be afforded uninterrupted access to the Institutions that house their Shared Beliefs. Therefore, we will entrust each person with ownership—and to take ownership—of their Shared Institutions.
III. Sustained Existence cannot be achieved without homeostatic balance.
To maintain homeostatic balance, each person must be entrusted to own and take ownership of the means and mediums of their existence and connection but cannot forcibly own or take ownership of anyone else’s. Therefore, we must not entrust ourselves or anyone else with another person’s means and mediums of existence or connection.
- Interconnectedness requires each person to enjoy uncoerced Connection to their Shared Institutions; only then can all values positive and negative be properly dispersed, and relative homeostatic balance be maintained. Through this arrangement, however, any extraction of positive value by parasitic or predatory means represents a Forced Connection, which would be corrosive to the homeostatic balance of all.
- Violence is the language through which Forced Connection is communicated; it appropriates or nullifies one or more of the means or mediums of existence and/or connection which have been reciprocally entrusted to each person; Violence represents the only source of negative value gained through connection. Once the interconnectedness of existence is fully understood, Violence against anyone will be seen to disturb the homeostatic balance of everyone.
Exhibit A: The (Original) Great Transformation
The interpretive hypothesis posed is that eukaryotic evolution is a reactive (adaptive) process by which economics (the reaction process) is applied toward uncertain environments (the ‘reactant’) to ‘yield’ sustained existence (the ‘product’). Evolution represents how organisms adapt to change, and since the process of cellular economics is ‘constant’,’ the ‘variable’ in this equation must be the changing (and therefore uncertain) environment. Therefore, to understand how the human organism was ‘bent’ in a particular way, it is important to examine known environmental changes that might have driven one group to choose kleptoparasitic economic relations (intraspecific hierarchal dominance) over another as an evolutionary survival strategy.
2.58 million BC: start of Pleistocene Epoch, or Ice Age, where rivers stop flowing and sea levels drop 400 feet.
2.5 million BC: humans rise to level of apex predator.
300,000 BC: modern humans (homo sapiens) appear.
19,000 BC: End of last Ice Age; sea levels begin to rise.
12,500 BC: rapid climate change (known as the Bølling warming) collapses Antarctic Ice Sheet; sea levels jump up 45 feet.
10,000 BC: Pleistocene Epoch ends, along with the last Ice Age. Sea levels are completely restored, rivers flow once again, and land becomes more fertile, which paves the way for many humans to migrate toward and settle into various river valleys, leaving their previous nomadic lifestyle to adopt more sedentary agricultural practices.
2.6 million BC: The beginning of the Pleistocene Epoch, or last Ice Age.Water is drawn upward, but nothing trickles back down, and thus resource inequality is felt by all. Sea levels drop 400 feet, which provides new pathways for migration. Animals are forced to mobilize in search of stable food and water sources. Water shortages cause the vegetation to die out, which causes the larger vegetarians to die out, which causes the large apex predators to die out; by 2.5 million BC, humans assume the role of apex predator.
The changing environmental conditions force humans to adopt a nomadic carnivorous lifestyle; evidence showsthat the human stomach evolved to better digest meatduring this period of scarce vegetation.  Humans likely followed the same migration pattern as other animals, in search of vegetation and water. By observing various scavengers, they learned to raid large animal carcasses for the only remains left behind: bones filled with marrow, and skulls filled with brain matter. Opposable thumbs came in handy for wielding percussive tools (stones) capable of breaking open these bones, once they were carried to a safe distance.
12,000 BC: The Ice Age ends, causing rivers to flow back to the seas; levels rise by 400 feet, back to where they were two and a half million years earlier. By 4500 BCE, communities of humans had gathered along various river valley communities in Egypt, India, China, and Iraq, likely drawn back toward these rivers while following the migration patterns of their prey. In each case, the fertile ground was conducive to agriculture, and though separated, each geographic area followed a similar economic pattern: several people were willing to leave their previous nomadic lifestyle and instead ‘put down roots’—to reconnect with the Earth, and consequently with each other.
Though ‘Growing areas’ were somewhat limited, as more people arrived, innovation won out over territorialism and led to the unconscious biological mimicry of natural vascular systems. Irrigation ditches spread out like capillaries and expanded the growing area to feed the ever-increasing population, in what proved to be the first successful manmade (but nature-inspired) infrastructure project. Necessity bore innovation.
While the domestication of plants and animals often gets the most attention, it is the domestication of these early farmers that laid the foundation for all the hierarchal economic oppression that followed. Inevitably, the innate human drive to attain more certainty drove one group of people to settle down, but just as inevitably, once rolling stones stop rolling, they run the risk of gathering unwanted attachments, who in the big picture, are simply seeking their own kind of certainty.
An inevitable dichotomy began to form; after two million years of hunting down living prey, many had grown accustomed to this nomadic carnivorous lifestyle, and were not inclined to give it up so readily. Meanwhile, those who did choose reconnection soon acquired new skills as farmers; they built homes, domesticated plants and animals, and were able to accumulate much more than nomads could carry with them on their backs.
By 3000 BCE, wars of conquest began to escalate in all but the Indus River Valley region (India), followed by clear hierarchal class structures centered around religious practices that involved the instruments of property and labor.
The development of human hierarchal kleptoparasitism (or oppression) is a confluence of several forces that—like any crime—must converge at one moment in time: the main suspect in crimes of violence is disconnection; the motive is the emotional uncertainty caused by perceived imbalance. The river valley people inhabited the fertile soil and possessed the ability to patiently nurture and grow their food source. The nomads inhabited the desert and possessed the ability to patiently track and kill their food source.
Sir Paul Collier’s hypothesis is that early humans were a people weaker and stronger, skilled and unskilled, and it was the ‘unskilled stronger’ group that went on to oppress the ‘weaker skilled’ types. The skills required to kill do transfer over well into occupations such as war, extortion, piracy, annexation, coercion, subjugation, and the like, but as several have reasonably pointed out, the ‘skill’ does not always imply the ‘will.’ Though disconnection between the two groups clearly existed, ‘motive’ and ‘opportunity’ must still be established.
The Indus Valley civilization (India) seemingly clouds both motive and opportunity, as the violence of intraspecific hierarchal dominance that occurred in Egypt, Iraq and China did not occur in India. The Indus Valley people did not face conquest for the entire period between what is now seen as its establishment (approximately 7,500 BCE) until its eventual decline around 1800 BCE; this fact, however, only helps to clarify the case against the other three.
An Unholy Alliance
“Religion,” quipped historian David Hollinger, “is too important to be left in the hands of people who believe in it,” yet historically speaking, social science seems very thin on religious history when it directly intersects politics, economics, violence, property rights, forced labor, subjugation, crime, punishment, money and taxation; all the stuff of earthly—and not eternal—reward. It is crucial to this investigation that we establish the whereabouts of religion during the time in question, how violence came to comingle with it (whereupon a ‘moral hierarchy of violence’ was conceived) and most importantly, whether this union was consensual, or if evidence of a crime (actus reus) can be established.
“Some of the most successful ancient empires all had strikingly non-moral high gods.” Baumard and colleagues acknowledge that morals are independent of religions, and may have been a part of the human condition long before the major religions focused on them.
Utilizing philology and linguistics, Frandsen determined that ancient peoples equated the ‘fear’ of the gods with the fear they felt about their kings, and that the transfer of this fear seemed equivalent to the exchange of property rights from king to king.
Puett determined that self-deification of rulers coincided with territorial expansion, conquest, and the building of empires. Religious conquest gave birth to legitimized violence; thus, under claims of bringing ‘universal primordial peace,’ the ethnic cleansing of assimilation was born. More telling, perhaps, is how the concept of divine kingship historically fell in and out of favor during this time period; records show that divine power usually coincided with periods of imperialistic expansion.
Excavation of one temple from the Ur III empire showed it was altered several times, to worship whatever conqueror was currently in control; after it changed hands from the fourth ruler (Shu-Sin) to the Eshnunnan ruler (Shu-iliya), the temple was desecrated by the people, which coincided with the abandonment of deification in that province.
Deification of kings proved a political power move in conjunction with the religious system (Bernbeck). Friedal also established how claims of divinity were cleverly connected to the economic control of these empires, as kings tied themselves to the gods of every essential resource, creating “vertically integrated market systems” and establishing “non-reciprocal obligations.” (Polanyi)
Every one of these early ‘cradles of civilization’ had its own cast of characters, both human and divine, but other than the Indus River Valley civilization, the plot remained essentially the same. We will use the ancient Sumerians as the example, who settled the area around the Persian Gulf, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers ran to the sea.
The Story of Sumer
The Sumerians were advanced peoples, with an isolated spoken and written language, as well as skills in agriculture, math, architecture, astronomy, and governance; those areas of heaven and earth outside the comprehension of Sumerian wisdom were attributed to the work of many gods, for which the Sumerians were extremely grateful. Long before biblical descriptions of the Creation, the Great Flood, or the Tower of Babel, these stories were told as part of Sumerian mythology. Sumerian gods and goddesses also closely resemble those within Greek mythology. Prior to being captured in written form, these stories resonated through the powerful medium of storytelling, where natural phenomenon was explained, and a “pantheon of gods and myths” was established. 
Further north, groups of Akkadian-speaking Semites began settling along the same river valleys by 8,000 BC. These Semites appear to have entered Sumer sometime after 3500 BC, and were firmly established there by 3000 BC. Evidence shows that Sumerian society was slowly transformed from an egalitarian structure to a hierarchal class structure during this same time period, and soon became solidified “around a semi-divine kingship.”
In the earliest iteration of Sumerian governance, each ‘city-state’ was overseen first by a personal deity, and this God held the title of šarrum, or King. The high priest (or priestess) had direct communication with this patron deity, and in the beginning, the king, a hereditary position, was given the position of iššiak (a derivative of ensí), or ‘steward’ of the city-state. The ‘steward’ king headed an egalitarian council of tribal elders, and was charged to “carry out its decisions.”
The high priest (or priestess) was originally equal in power to the king, and made an equivalent living as well; one source of wealth came through the offerings of the people, who looked to the priests to help them curry favor with the gods, especially the patron god or goddess of their particular city-state. (It should be noted that priests were not there to engage with or console the people, but to engage with the gods and communicate their will to the people; lines of communication traveled decidedly one way).
Besides acting as a one-way religious medium to communicate the will of the patron deity to the people,priests ran the sacred temples that were the major commercial hub (medium) for every city-state—a “city within a city”—that at times employed thousands of people, and introduced the concept that labor could be disconnected from the laborer, to be utilized for some other-directed purpose.
[Author’s note: it should be pointed out that from the people’s perspective, this economic exchange was still equitable, which is why it remained unchallenged: in exchange for their labor and various other offerings (taxation), the people received valuable solace from their uncertainty through a perceived personal connection to their gods; at this time, the shared belief was that the gods lived among them, in the house (temples) the people built for them.]
The priests held a third of the land within each city-state, and among other commodities kept sheep for wool that weavers turned into cloth. They employed scribes, guards, artisans, messengers, but also kept slaves. The high priests sat above the kings in authority during this early period; they not only had complete immunity in economic downturns, they would often conveniently use the king as a scapegoat, announcing to the people that their king had ‘fallen out of favor with the gods.’
What is Religion?
“Essentially, the spirit world was converted to one of gods, and the control of nature…was now in the hands of the priests. Nature itself became hostile and its forces, controlled by gods, required pacification though offerings. The king—the ‘one true priest’—and the priests placed themselves as the central unifying force around which continued economic success depended. In so doing, they could maintain the flow of resources that provided their enormously high levels of conspicuous consumption and wasteful expenditures that certified their status as envoys to the natural world.” –Archaeologist John F. Henry
- Religion the Concept is a label to identify the compilation of people’s beliefs in how the universe came to exist, which served as a defense mechanism to stave off uncertainty and therefore allow a higher purpose to emerge.
- Beliefs are the vehicle that drive each person’s will to exist; they serve as the fuel or catalyst that ignites labor, as well as the steering mechanism—liberty—through which navigational choices are made.
- Religion the Concept served as the foundation for Science and the Scientific Method; to fashion stories about how the elements we can see (and not see) make up the universe in which we exercise our will to exist.
- Religion the Institution serves as the foundation for intraspecific hierarchal economics, by creating the first labor market through which people relinquished their liberty for access to their shared beliefs.
- The priests utilized the people’s belief that the gods created the universe to establish real property rights over the land in the name of the gods; the people, who labored upon this land to exist, slowly were made to pay the gods for this opportunity.
- The priests established—through the religious temple—a property management corporation that collected the fruits of the people’s labor in ‘rent,’ then exchanged these products with outside merchants, often for ‘luxury goods.’
- Thus, the people’s shared beliefs—which were established prior to the religious institutionalization of them—became the intellectual property rights of the priests, who were able to use them to dictate the terms of surrender for the fruits of any labor that was mixed with the god’s property.
- Eventually, the shared belief in one or more gods was exchanged for a shared belief in intraspecific hierarchal money, such that now people exchange their labor for it instead.
The human multicellular organism is engineered to take in and interpret sensory information, then form reactive strategies designed to either overcome—or navigate around—perceived uncertainty. For the people of Sumer, who operated at the social / relational level, myths served as a reactive strategy to alleviate the uncertainty of things that could not be known, controlled, or explained.
Though the distance between individuals at the social / relational level is precariously wide, connection remains a prerequisite for existence. The Sumerian pantheon of gods served as the first such medium of connection. Because early religion was an attempt to make sense of the universe by A) postulating the most likely explanations for unexplainable phenomenon, then B) sharing these theories which C) changed through time to take in (and make sense of) new information, Religion the Concept can be seen as the genesis of science and the scientific method; except somehow, it isn’t.
As the people shared their ‘religious’ beliefs, they became a means to connect people to one another. Their value increased arithmetically based on the number of believers, and undoubtedly ‘went viral’ at some point; uncertainty was replaced with hope and purpose, which in turn drove increased production, which in turn fostered a sense of community. Connection is every organism’s most powerful tool.
Everything tangible gets beaten down by Time; the only way to beat Time is to connect to something intangible; something to which Time cannot connect. Dreams and beliefs exist outside the reach of Time. It is no coincidence that everybody keeps one or both tucked away where neither Time nor Space can erode its power. When we are brave enough and vulnerable enough to share our beliefs, they can become a hub (medium) through which we connect to each other. Interestingly, when we accept each other’s beliefs, they become a bridge for all of us to believe in each other as well. Time has scattered us to the wind, but slowly, we are attempting to piece ourselves back together, one belief at a time.
This initially raw resource of ‘Beliefs’ were converted into stories—powerful communications about how one god held up the Earth, another held up the sky, and a third turned night into day—and slowly, a ‘pantheon’ of gods was working nonstop to hold Time and Space together so that people might exist. Through this personal relationship with the gods, the people proudly and gratefully labored to convert ‘resources’ (provided by the gods) into the means of their survival. In hierarchal economic terms, there was clearly a ‘market’ for these shared beliefs; to capitalize on them, a marketplace would need to be established so shared beliefs could be exchanged for something; that ‘something’ logically turned out to be labor, the only means of positive value creation.
This is how Religion the Institution came to exist. Step one was to gather all the people’s beliefs into one place; a religious temple was built, which at first served as a house where the gods could live. Next, a third of the land was allocated to the gods, which would seem fair, since they created all of it anyway. Third, the land needed tilling, and thus the ownership of land created the first labor market; The priests, as self-proclaimed one-way mediums to the will of the gods, (and thus their logical property managers), got the people to exchange their labor for the continuing comfort of connection provided by shared beliefs that were also theirs. This might seem naïve of these early peoples, except for the fact that people today still do not own the value of their beliefs, so thus continue to pay for them; it was Religion the Institution that began this 5,000-year-old precedent.
Finally, the priests had to do something with all the excess ‘offerings’ of people’s labor; the religious temple came to double as the medium of exchange for the fruits of this extracted labor, which was performed for the gods, and therefore was also the property of the gods; as these goods were exchanged with outside merchants, the modern-day marketplace was formed, and the priests enjoyed luxury equivalent to any king.
The people’s gods were giving and benevolent, therefore the priests had to adopt a similar visage to remain above suspicion; this left them vulnerable. Religion the Institution had now become the highest valued asset in Sumer (and elsewhere)—a turnkey operation just ripe for a hostile takeover by anyone who had the audacity, weapons, and army to declare themselves to be the true medium through which the more vengeful ‘will of the gods’ would be executed.
Akkadian-speaking Semites from the north began filtering into the city; the Sumerians made room for them. Sumerians had adopted the biological economics strategy of using connection to minimize uncertainty. The first signs of intraspecific violence came from the outside; so-called ‘barbarians’ saw early societies as ‘one-stop shopping centers’ where all universally-recognized physical wealth had been conveniently gathered in one place. This violence was inevitable, meant to communicate that one group had become disconnected and imbalanced compared to the other.
Theft is a relatively mild communication of disconnection, though it likely set a precedent for the larger scale kleptoparasitism to come. It also began the futile tradition of erecting walls, as a reaction to the uncertainty caused by these ‘barbarian’ raids. Walls (even ‘Great Walls’) have never stopped any motivated incursion, but symbolically offer psychological solace from the subconscious paranoia (projected guilt, or self-inflicted uncertainty) of knowingly having accumulated more wealth relative to those in proximity.
All the elements for the crime of hierarchal oppression were present: A stronger, weaponized, unsocialized, unskilled group of nomadic ‘outsiders’ and a weaker, unarmed, educated, skilled group of settled ‘insiders.’ Meanwhile, an already-established hierarchal scam had been put in place by a wealthy priestly class professing to be the property managers for the gods.
All that was needed was a match to light this highly flammable world on fire; someone so disconnected from everyone that he might use one group to subdue the other, hack into this religious interface, place himself between the high priest and the gods, and thus step into their turnkey operation and secure long-term access to the mother of all ‘convenience stores;’ for the Sumerians, this was Sargon of Akkad.
A Study in Disconnection, Example I: Sargon of Akkad
Sargon the Great, Sargon of Akkad (the city of Akkad has never been found); ‘Sargon’ means ‘legitimate ruler’ in the Akkadian language; no one knows his real name. He was an abandoned orphan, found and raised by a gardener, who showed up one day at the palace of the Sumerian king Ur-Zababa of Kish, was taken in, and worked his way up the ranks, eventually becoming the king’s cupbearer. Sargon gained favor with the military as well as important courtiers, and eventually encouraged a coup, where the king was assassinated, and Sargon put in his place. The king had a notion that Sargon was dangerous, but when trying to have him killed, the king relied on people who had already become part of Sargon’s future coalition. Later, many ‘hero’ stories depicted humble beginnings such as these, but Sargon preceded these myths; he was the basis for them, and the prototype for all despots to follow.
In his handbook on how to be a successful dictator, Bueno de Mesquita recounts the story of ‘Sergeant Doe’, an illiterate and unskilled soldier who first appeared out of the West African jungle around 1980, scaled the palace fence of then Liberian president William Tolbert, bayonetted him while he slept, fed his entrails to the dogs, then assumed control of the country, executing everyone along the way who might challenge his authority. Recorded history has accrued a 5,000-year-long list of such men—with nothing to lose and everything to gain—but Sargon’s name will always be the first one on it.
The Mesopotamian record shows Sargon ‘tore down’ and ‘destroyed’ the walls of these Sumerian cities,  which no doubt made him popular with Akkadians, who like him, had infiltrated these city-states, but still felt disconnected from the majority of the population. Sargon claimed to be sent by the gods, to fulfill the unification of Mesopotamia (and beyond) and align the earth with the heavens. With his military behind him—5,400 strong, by his account—he sealed his absolute authority by supplanting the role of both high priest and governor (steward) within each city-state he conquered, giving the posts to his winning coalition of family and close supporters instead. He took control of the temple’s lands, labor, and economy, and established the concept of private property ownership, by giving tracts of the temple lands over to his loyal supporters for housing.
Sargon established the art of religious war and set the bar for conquest and empire-building. He took men as both slaves and soldiers from among each conquered city-state, to expand his economy and his territory, respectively, and to prevent conquered cities from raising an army against him. For this, he has been credited with creating a ‘theology of war.’
Through the medium of religion, property rights were exchanged from the gods to the despotic ruler of the moment, simply by creating the title of semi-divine kingship, then transferring the ‘title’—via the first official Deed of Trust—from the gods to the despotic ruler. The high priests are accomplices in this crime, but would also face charges of defrauding the public, embezzlement of public funds, and aiding and abetting a murderer in the commission of a treasonous act. By claiming to be the local god’s ‘property managers,’ they coerced the people into tilling the soil, then proceeded to set up a market within the temple from which to sell these goods for profit in the god’s name, retaining said profit for themselves. This was how finance became centered in the ancient temples, and the priests became the wealthiest class.
Meanwhile, people who lived outside the gods’ official property still came to the temple with numerous offerings, out of gratitude to the gods, which the priests also accepted. These offerings eventually became mandatory and represent the first form of taxation. Property rights, labor, taxation—all products of early religious fraud perpetrated because the people were happy to exchange whatever they had for some certainty. As historians have recognized, the metals procured from economic exchanges with outside merchants came out of these temples. Likely, the temple found no practical use for the metal, so began exchanging it with the locals for their excess real goods, which would generate more profit in the ‘global’ marketplace. To prove these metal ‘tokens’ held real value, the priests allowed the locals to pay tithes, tribute, levies, and offerings (i.e., taxes) with them, which allowed the priests to repeat this process each season and cleverly drain the excess real goods from those who labored outside the god’s designated property. Once again, the priests had devised the perfect racket: to exchange real goods for shiny metal (i.e., nothing), then get it back for doing nothing; additionally, the people came to view these metal tokens as backed by the sovereignty of the local god. The belief in gods became the medium through which the people would believe in—or at least accept—all manner of human sacrifice, although this treatise will only focus on the people’s learned faith in property rights, unfree labor, taxation, and money.
Sargon, “bailiff of Ishtar, priest of An…governor of Enlil…bestowed the right to rule by Ea”; through invoking higher authority, Sargon legitimized the art of religious war, and religious crusades, and sealed his absolute authority, “neutralizing any attempt to attack him on a theological level.” The priesthood was caught with their robes down; at best, the priests would have to admit their own scam to expose Sargon’s scam. Therefore, an unholy alliance was formed between church and state. Sargon walked straight into the priest’s turnkey business, and because of the already-established tools of property, labor, taxation, and fictitious mediums of exchange, the transition was seamless.
Gods are extremely flexible and can be whatever someone needs them to be; they can serve both predator and prey. Originally, Sumerian gods worked together in egalitarian arrangements alongside the people, but after the conquering of Sumer by the Akkadians, the gods adopted a hierarchal structure and began to obey the authority of those above them. They were removed from their home in the temple and placed high out of reach of the people who first legitimized their existence.
The people’s stories also began to change; Enki, the Sumerian god of water—who originally molded humans from clay and water—had now secretly mixed in the blood of a murdered god, so that humans might rule the universe; Religion the Institute, it seems, had begun amarketing campaign to legitimize intraspecific violence.
Soon, Sumerian gods were replaced by Akkadian counterparts that were not as giving or forgiving. As a series of tyrants sought control of the Earth, notions of one God began to emerge, along with claims that conscious awareness was somehow our fault—an original sin that could only be erased through a lifetime of hard labor coupled with sheep-like meekness.
Like all despots, Sargon spent his entire life killing his perceived enemies, and crushing various uprisings. He absorbed the Sumerian culture, much like the Romans did to the Greeks; he was the original ‘master’ of violent disconnection and forged the master’s tools of Hierarchy (intraspecific hierarchal dominance), Property Rights, Indentured Servitude (coerced Labor), Taxation, War, and Economic Growth (through expansionism, imperialism, etc.). Sargon set the bar for all who followed.