Opinion | Human History's Singular Kernel of Causation

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Human History’s Singular Kernel of Causation

©2023 by Vernon Miles Kerr and

To understand anything, my “attention-challenged” brain must analyze — break the subject-matter down to its component parts. If it’s a very conplicated “anything,” in order to understand it further, I have to prioritze those parts and examine how they fit together. Beyond that, if they must be put together in a strict sequence, in order to make sense, then the first part in the sequence usually points to “causation.”

Today, in a flash, in a similar process, during my morning-meditations, the apparent cause, the crux, the kernel comnmon to all human history and to our own current world-news came to me:

It’s hoarding.

I like examples from primate-studies because they give a hint as to possible parallels to our own primitive history. Jane Goodall once did an experiment with the Chimps of Gombe She and her associate set out a large pile of bananas, more than any one chimp could carry. As I recall, after some initial chaos, reminiscent of a Macy’s Bargain-Basement sale, the pile became controlled by one “alpha” figure. Other chinps had to pay obeiecence and subservience to the controller in order to be “meted” out bananas, one-by-one.

Today’s excellent Netflix documentary series, “Chimp Empire,” updates us on the last remainng, huge, Ugandan jungle tract of remaining Chimpanzee “nations.” The entire thrust of Chimpanzee existence is centered around “hoarding” sources of fruit, and defending an imagined territorial border, conducting an eternal, bloody, war against neigboring Chimpanzee troops, in order to protect those sources.

We can speculate about our own primitive history, from these modern-day natural examples, but it’s more effective to look at more current history, supplemented by archaeology, before we later turn to current events.

Think of any historical “civilization.” Whether, Chinese, Hebrew, Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Aztec, Mayan or Incan, they all had one thing in common: the “kernel” of grain. Whether wheat, rye, barley, rice or maize, those grains also had one thing in common: they facilitated long-term hoarding by the fact of their resistance to spoilage. He who controlled the granaries, controlled the populace. I handled this historical propensity six years ago in a poem, ‘The Granule That Broke My Tooth’

We thinbk of “History” as being “ancient,” but in reality, the science of archaeology now documents organized civilizations which existed nearly ten times as far back as the earliest existing “written” history of approximately 5,500 years, in Sumeria. According to the recent book, The Dawn of Evergthing, by Graeber & Wengrow, orrganized civilizations are hinted at in excavations dating to just after the last Ice Age, 50,000 years ago.

Nevertheless, the paltry slice of written human history that we do have, is enough to ilustrate how important hoarding has been in the rise and fall of empires. And we Earthlngs have honed hoarding to a razor’s edge that cuts to every nook and cranny of modern human existence:

How come writers like me have a near impossible struggle to get their work published? Because the source of distribuion has been “hoarded” into a limited number of publishing houses along with those who work as their agents.

Why are professions like Real Estate, Insurance, Law and Medicine so difficult for initiates to get into? Because elite regulatory boards, staffed by cronies from the very industry being regulated, must first issue a license to practice. The more difficult the requirements, the more we see competition within the profession being throttled.

Why are new scientific discoveries, by independent researchers, impeded? Because Academia, with its stilted “peer-review” process, subjects non-partipating scientists to exclusion, and even ridicule for their refusal to partiipate in Academia’s hoarding of science. Let’s not even talk about Academia’s collusion with the Financial World evidenced by unconscionable increases in tuition and the necessity for young people to go into chrushing debt, in order to attain an academic degree.

Why do the Earth’s masses, in so-called democracies, have such a hard time actually being heard? Because governance has been hoarded into a small number of “parties” run by elites, who mete-out pre-set choices for them to vote on. We Americans laugh at Communist nations whose elite Central Committees set out one candidate for the masses to vote on. But, is a choice between only two candidates, presented by our elite Democratic and Republican National Committtees much better?

Given our world’s long-standing entrenchment by the practice of hoarding, what can modern humanity do, to get to a more egalitarian, even utopian, place? A good start would be to simply recognize how enslaved we all are to the elite masters who control the Earth’s stockpiles of goods and services. Once we realize and acknowledge its power over us, we can use what little voting influence we do have,to elect representatives who will begin presiding over the break-up of self-serving agencies, political parties and industries (whose hostile take-overs, constant merging, amalgamating, and colluding severely affect the price of goods and services —thereby moving more money into the coffers of the wealthy. It’s time opportunites-to-hoard were diminished, so the entire Earth, and all her citizens could be truly healthy.

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