History Lesson

In the beginning, at the dawn of time, all energy exploded into matter
And the silence of nothing was spectacularly disturbed
With a splish and a splosh and a splatter
Though this miracle has probably happened a million times before
Where perfect stillness becomes a noisy cosmic chatter.
We like to imagine we are singularly unique
All the better, our fragile egos for to flatter.
Furthermore, there may well be an infinite series of universes
Some bigger, some smaller, some fatter
But I would humbly suggest, at this point in our journey
That these speculative questions of cosmological theory,
Absolutely and definitively don’t matter.

Though our Milky Way galaxy is over thirteen billion years old
Our own solar system is relatively new
Just under five billion years old our beautiful blue planet
And its life-giving sun
Made its explosively dramatic debut.

Slowly but surely our embryonic planet cooled down
And solidified with a magnetic core
And the debris and dust that were swirling around
Formed a firm rocky crust with vital minerals and elements galore.
And as the gases cooled down they fell down as rain
Creating a large oceanic watery floor
And before you could shout ‘Adam and Eve’
Microscopic life forms were knocking and banging at the door.
Though how this single cell life form originally emerged
We really cannot be definitively sure.

The most plausible explanation is a chemical reaction
With lightening as the catalytic key
Though meteorites arriving with living spores in their rocks
Cannot be totally discounted, I’m sure you’ll eventually agree.
Of course the idea of intelligent life from alien worlds
Has been explored by scientists to the nth plus degree
And in the total absence of any credible evidence at all
We have to conclude, we are currently alone, I think it safe to decree.

From these single cell creatures an evolutionary cycle began
With marine life abundant in the seas
And plant life grew lush and the animals flourished and evolved
Until Great Apes were singing and dancing in the trees.
Now the story of evolution is a wonder to behold
And the intricate networks are guaranteed to please
There is no need to fret and no need to fear
Just engage with the scientific expertise.

And when our chimpanzee ancestors came down from the trees
During the five million year transition from Great Ape to Man
An evolutionary development saw those chimps learn to walk on two feet
And this is perhaps, the definitive point, where the real human story began.
There was Homo Erectus and Homo Neanderthal
And many other cousins that made up our clan
But through natural selection and a spot of crossbreeding
We emerged from the Stone Age as the dominant ‘wise man’.
And for the next 300,000 years we criss-crossed the planet
As we learned how to hunt and to kill and to plan.

We hunted in clans and we huddled in tribes
But let’s get things straight right from the start
There emerged only one race – the human race
And any scoundrel that says otherwise is spreading a big smelly fart
And their motive for doing so is to keep us apart
For our skin colour might be different but our DNA is the same
And together we form a majestic mosaic –
Like a fine piece of world beating of art.

Amidst the scarcity and hunger and predators too
We cleverly learned how to harvest wild berries and grains
And so a new period of human history began to appear
With the development of farming and by using our brains
We could feed our families through the good times and bad
And by keeping and taming wild animals we could make further gains.

From these first farming settlements sprung villages and towns
And through cunning and deception hierarchies began to emerge
Then ‘hey presto’ there were rulers that set all the rules
And for the very first time communal society started to diverge
And as the concept of private ownership began to set in
All the features of iniquitous class society began to converge.

Soon civilisations sprung up around the world’s greatest rivers
As the old Stone Age societies gave way to organisations anew
With exotic emperors and pharaohs and all powerful kings
There were Persians and Egyptians and ancient Hebrews
But for the hunters and gatherers still trying to survive
It must have felt like a mysteriously alien ongoing coup.

The most pressing question for this new class of tyrants
Was how to control the farmers and slaves that did all the labour
How could they persuade them to accept the new system
The answer was simple – give things a strict godly flavour.
Religions were created with priests to keep the peasants in order
And with a thousand new diktats,
They could pit tribe against tribe, neighbour against neighbour.

Despite the new civilisations, superstitions and ignorance still dominated
Scientific understanding was minimal and the gods proliferated.
And many heinous crimes were regularly enacted
Simply because, so said the priests, the vengeful gods had dictated.
Then some clever clogs said polytheism was rather outdated
And that just one single god must be religiously venerated.

And as the centuries rolled on the empires rose then fragmented
But the essence was always slavery where lives were brutally truncated
And the wealth that was created, was then greedily expropriated.

The Roman Empire was possibly the greatest empire of all
Its laws and infrastructure had the western world in its thrall
Conquest after conquest, the empire did brutally sprawl
Taking slaves as they marched, the local cultures did fall
And for those that dared fight, it was up against the wall.

But like the empires before it, Rome eventually started to decline
The empire fragmented and old allegiances started to untwine
The reasons were complex and often difficult to define
But it was patently obvious that slavery was a faulty design
With a rebelliously minded workforce that eroded the Imperial spine.

With the collapse of the ancient empires came a land based feudalism
But for the mass of humanity it was just patriarchy and despotism
The peasants were bound in forced labour and militarism
And for a thousand years the human race was caught in a stultifying fatalism
Save for the Islamic World where there was a golden age of scientific dynamism.

Plague and famine intensified the existing antagonisms between society and the landed aristocracy
And soon the peasants and merchants sought their freedom from the feudalistic autocracy
Meanwhile there was something of a renaissance in learning inspired by some classical Greek philosophy
And a renewed interest in global trade, scientific discoveries and general mercantile activity

From this renewed enthusiasm for trade and commerce came an entirely new player on the world scene: CAPITAL
Whereby money was used to buy goods with the sole intention of selling on again to make ones initial pot more profitable
And so began a process of primitive capital accumulation where the thirst for profit would become insatiable
Involving the enclosure of common land where the fate of the peasant classes became entirely expendable
And a new chapter of human misery whereby African workers were dragged to the Americas in conditions most tyrannical
And the indigenous populations of the world became victims of an official policy blatantly genocidal.

With their newly acquired profits the capitalists began to invest in new factories and machinery
And the newly manufactured goods were then sold as a profitable commodity
And with their hands still dripping with blood, and not just metaphorically
The capitalists and their governments, no longer just content with mere human slavery
Began to steal land and precious resources to supplement their initial form of thievery
And with rifle and with bible they proceeded to plunder most inhumanely and obscenely
Until the entire human race was under the jackboot of this newfound capitalist theocracy

In order to try and justify this addiction to stealing other peoples property
The priests and the politicians cooked up a brand new atrocity
By declaring that white people were superior in every mental capacity
And that for the subjugated people of colour to claim equal rights was an outright audacity
So in the era of colonial expansion, racist supremacy became the prevailing ideology
And tragically, many European peasants and workers soaked up this toxic kidology.

It transpired though, that capitalism, like the old societies of slavery and feudalism
Is riddled with antagonisms that spawn bitter anger and activism
And though the capitalists try to keep us divided by gender, religion and nationalism
And distracted with sport and celebrity other forms of mindless consumerism
The prevailing historical trend is in the direction of some form of social collectivism
Whereby production is for needs rather than profit and banal commodity fetishism

And now as we write, technological innovation has brought us to an unprecedented historical junction.
Where nuclear or biological warfare could be unleashed without the slightest humanistic compunction
Where man-made ecological breakdown might lead to a complete civilisation malfunction
Or, perhaps Artificial Intelligence could result in a Homo Sapiens total expunction.
But what seems patently clear is that since that initial cosmic eruption
That the universal struggle of opposites will brook no human interruption.

End JPK copyright 7/6/2020

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