Evolution of societies. Types of hierarchies. Palace-states. Pyramidal monarchies.

by manualformen

Besides compensating for the harmful instincts, religion had another very important function — support of the hierarchical structure. How many men could a leader control, keep in his power? How many could he personally supervise? The answer is some two dozen. This is the max [male] headcount of a pack, or the most primitive tribe. This is the size of an infantry platoon in the army. If the leader is very strong — lets double the count, but forty is still a very small amount. Otherwise, all the leader’s time will be occupied with fighting with other strong males that are looking to take his place. But the power of a society is in its numbers. What to do? Very simple, the minimum of religion and cultural tradition, supported by the shaman and the elders, is enough to upgrade the pack into a tribe and allow it to grow up to hundred fifty (the Dunbar’s number). This is the population size of a tribe, and the size of an army’s company, cohesiveness of which is supported, besides the commander, by the commanders of platoons, and the commissar (chaplain, zampolit, or army psychologist, the name does not matter, their function is the same). But how to grow the society further? Religion helps here, too. The leader makes a deal with the shaman and declares himself to be the god’s vicar, or even the god’s son. His rank in the hierarchy rises beyond anyone’s reach. The declaration is accompanied by the best shaman’s tricks to instill fear in the tribe’s members. It is one thing to mess with the strongest man, and it is completely another to mess with the son of god. The chieftain’s authority becomes irrefragable, and the tribe can grow by two orders of magnitude. It is, however, insufficient to scare the tribesmen. They should also be managed. A leader can not do it all by himself due to time constraints, he needed bureaucrats. This is how the first civilizations appeared, the state-palaces. The chieftain, the priests and the bureaucrats lived in the palace, which doubled as a temple, as a warehouse and as a fortress. The size and luxury of the god’s son’s, and god’s servants’ living place had to impress the locals and instill fear in any potential attacker, so no resources were spared to build one. Such palace-states are found all over the world, the most famous ones are on Crete.

And here the new civilization encountered a new problem. A bureaucrat has to be follow the will of the ruler, and be much lower in rank than his boss. He should not too cool, otherwise he will refuse to serve. At the same time, a high-rank high-instinct-drive man, a strong warrior, might deny the bureaucrat’s authority to give him orders. A tough guy only can only be ordered by an even tougher guy, and that toughness has to be proven. Even today, some people accept a policemen as an authority and follow his orders, while others view him as an opponent, and his demands as a personal insult, a male challenge for fight for a place in the hierarchy, and start conflicting with the policemen. in other words, in any large society, the high-rank high-instinct-drive male, which held the tribe together in the previous era, which is adored by females, became a source of endless troubles. And the society started to get rid of men who are too tough. They became criminals. The society started the process of artificial selection. Another evolutionary arms race started between the individuals — he who adapts best to the new relationship in the hierarchy, has the best survivability. And a new one started between societies — the winner is the one with larger population, better organization and more advanced material culture.

There were four ways to get rid of the contradiction between the new hierarchy and the old instinctive firmware:
1. Select according to the instinct-drive, favoring low.
2. Select according to the rank potential, favoring low.
3. Pit another instinct against the harmful one.
4. Adapt the hierarchical and social structure, as well as tradition, for that instinct.
All four were tried, in various proportions and with varying degrees of success.

The first two are simple enough. Whoever would not obey to the ruler, statesman or the law (the high rank, high-instinct-drive) were killed, banished, imprisoned and did not allow to reproduce. Every society waged and wages war on with the harmful animalistic instincts. Those with instinct drive too high, those who broke the societal structure, namely, thieves, murderers, harshly dominating women, mutineers were hanged, beheaded, burnt, impaled, castrated, etc.

As the result of civilization’s artificial selection, the average instinct-drive level, as well as rank potential, were lowered among the individuals. Different selection methods led to different results — if the only rule is to behead whoever grows up too high, it will be the rank potential that is decreased most. To put more emphasis on the instinct drive, a society has to create a set of laws and only punish those who break them.

The harmful manifestations of the hierarchical, gender and steal instincts can be countered via the self preservation instinct — fear of punishment. They can be pitted against the same hierarchical instinct by raising the rank of the ruler, statesman or family man by bestowing a portion of divinity upon each one of them. In the hierarchical system of a society, god, being omniscient and omnipotent and whatever other super qualities the priests could imagine, held the rank unachievable by any man. The ruler was the first after the god, and his rank is, too, too high for any man to achieve, and that made the hierarchy more stable.

The adaptation of the social structure to satisfy the hierarchical instinct was done via rigid fixation of structural elements. Families and clans were put in orders or castes, and the position of the caste in the social order was immutable. Mobility between castes was impossible or difficult. The Indian caste system is the most well known example of such a system. The higher the caste, the lower the instinct drive of the people in it. Initially, there was an artificial selection of sorts — human were sorted by level of instinct drive, and distributed among castes that corresponded to their level. Once the genetic material has been sorted, the caste of an individual was determined by birth and inheritance. The Brahmins (the highest caste) — had the lowest drive, and this is the caste in which scientists, managers and clergy are. Most of traditional societies formed a low-instinct-drive caste — the priests and elders. Cultivating the authority toward the old men, whose instinct drive is low because of age is, essentially, the primary method of creating such a caste. Likewise, in the tradition creation process the instincts were taken into account in every step. All our life consists of bits of instinctive programs. All this formed naturally over many millennia, naturally in the evolutionary sense, according to the survival of the fittest rule, it was the result of the competition between societies and individuals.

We have already covered the pack and the tribe in details. Their classical structure is a pyramid, they are marked as small triangles in the image fourteen. The structure of a tribe includes a super dominant, marked with a small dot above the triangle. In both structure, high-rank, high-instinct-drive individuals predominated.

In growing pyramidal structures, as the result of the selection and in the process of growth, the average individual rank potential and instinct drive of the male half of the population is lower, as compared to the tribe’s levels. Clans and families in the pyramid can compete with each other freely, or they can be divided into castes to lower the tensity within the pyramid (caste system). Every type needs a special type of a religion. Islam is a religion used in classical pyramid, and Hinduism is used in caste pyramid.

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