Books and documents:
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà, Brauli Tamarit Tamarit.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Magdalena Grau, Agustí Chalaux.
Chapter 12. From clay to silicon, going through gold & paper.
The clay civilizations used clay for a personalized and informative
accounting-monetary system (perhaps an element of a wide pacification among
townships). The metal civilizations used it to help and improve the exchanges
and the warlike, corrupting imperialism. The paper civilization has used
clay to control the markets and peoples. The electronics civilization is
using it for monetary speculation on a planetary level and to ensure the
control of populations.
The clay civilizations (still considered as 'prehistory') probably enjoyed,
to certain degree, peace among themselves, oddly enough, as long as they
had a personalized and informative monetary system.
Official history starts with the introduction and domination of metals
(for currency and weapons): the towns, which had been independent up until
then, are submitted to historic imperialisms which have lasted until our
Paper introduced a greater degree of refinement in the process of monetary
exploitation and in the growth of markets. The bankers took the role of
decission-making in economy, peace and war.
The State frontiers have lost their security with electronic money.
Any person of any office that «pulls the strings» of money
will automatically be playing with the puppets politics, production, consumption,
Every civilization has, among the things which differentiate it from
others, some materials, tools, instruments, inventions... which seen from
the standpoint of time, we can single out as distinctive of its culture.
For Western civilization, history starts about 4500 years ago when writing
first appeared with the Sumer tablets. But even if we adopt this standard
as a contituting element of history, we see that along almost 7000 years
there were other cultures which already recorded graphic information on
clay (chapter 10). These 7000 years of using
the same information system in places very distant from each other (and
on the whole space in the process of civilization) is a huge puzzle which
challenges the 'wonders' of our history.
What else do we know about this long period in which the foundations
of agriculture, market, currency, crafts, towns, bank, temples, State...
In a fertile land, near to large rivers, ethnic communities and inter-ethnic
aggregates become settled, their farming improves and they start using
some instruments to organize production and trade in its double manifestation,
inside each settlement (possibly sharing and with an incipient exchange)
and between settlements (with exchange and a growing control on accounting).
This is an important element. The exchange of products is not necessary
when property is communal. But this is only possible in communities bound
ethnically, by blood, culture and common myths. When this trust is lost
and differentiated communal or collective properties appear, becomes necessary
exchange among them. These first settlements were made up of small inter-mingled
groups -two or three groups uniting to farm, build and protect themselves
from the outside. This protection most probably caused the building of
walls, which progressively became impregnable ramparts when the settlements
became wealthy, and multi-ethnic towns, with less trust inside and more
dangers outside. The walls became a very effective defence tool. It is
possible that the tons enjoyed peace amongst themselves during a period
of some thousand years, due to the effectivity of these walls. Each one
independent, jealous of its autonomy and sure of its defence, during the
day it opened its gates to merchants arriving with caravans and to strangers
from other towns. In the market place trade transactions were made, which
were recorded in the temple book-keeping. At night, outsiders had to leave
the town. It seems that the introduction of an informative system such
as tokens could not have been feasible without some sort of 'peacemaking'
rules (result of defensive, non-offensive, mechanisms) which, during thousands
of years reached a stability and acceptance and, at the same time, reinforced
security and economic defence.
To carry on the hypothetic tale we must make a very important distinction,
even if the words 'empire' and 'imperialism' are commonly used as synonims.
We shall call these towns 'empire-towns', meaning that their inner agreement
of the constitution was freely made by the groups and inter-groups adopting
it. The empire-town looked for a common outer defence ('imparare') which
allowed free game and the help among groups within it.
Official history starts with the Sumerian writing, but it also starts
with a completely different situation from what we have described up until
now. This situation can be defined, by contrast, as 'imperialism': one
of the towns manages to overcome the others and to keep them, by right
of conquest, under its control. If we call historic imperialisms 'empires',
the confusion, besides being terrible, is suspiciously maintained by the
imperialisms. These, supported by official history, want to deny the historic
legitimity of any free agreement of mutual help among groups. Imperialists
want to underline that «towns» are unfeasible, that only unification'
gives power, and that this must be done by the imposition of one of the
groups, towns or States..., as history shows abundantly.
However, history starts not only when writing appears but also with
a 'new' reality: imperialism. And with it, expansion, annexation and wars
of domination. Unaccountably, the oldest Semites we know, the Akkadians,
who had been lately penetrating into the culture and the lands of the Sumerians,
upset the stable empire-towns. Sargon the Great, of Akkad, establishes
the first imperialism of history, he destroys the old order and introduces
the birth of the 'history of the imperialisms', the only one which has
been considered this up until now. The history of empire-towns, free and
independent, is prehistory! There is almost nothing in common. That was
a different history in which historians of imperialisms are not even interested
in mentioning. The garden of Eden is completely lost. It is a myth for
children. Historic and civilized man 'is' what we know, and he has always
been like that.
The Great Sargon's biography is very illustrative (and, as we shall
see, original!) as he was «of humble birth and was abandoned by his
mother in the Euphrates». Saved by the courtiers of the Sumerian
king, he became his cupbearer. Later «he revolted against him, assumed
power and built a new capital, Akkad. A clear example of a warrior king,
conqueror and founder of empires (imperialisms!) bent on unifying Mesopotamia».
He conquered and submitted most of the towns from «the Persian Gulf
in the south to the region later occupied by Assyria in the north. In the
south-east he reached Elam [...], he penetrated the north of Syria and
perhaps also Asia Minor1».
A perfect description of the appearance of imperialism and of official
There remains an important question fron these facts: how is it that
this Akkadian king managed to subdue the other towns which had been independent
during 7000 years? The walls enclosing them could not be destroyed by military
means until much later, when Alexander the Great (another 'Great' emperor)
used the catapult and the mechanic ballista in the sieges of Tyre and Sidon,
300 years before Christ. But we are talking about the Sumerian towns being
subdued 2000 years before any war device was able to knock down fortresses!
The Sumerians, who were peaceful inhabitants of those lands during centuries,
and who had been great cultural creators and inventors of the systems of
tokens and bullae, therefore, of writing, were invaded and subdued by the
Semites-Akkadians, who gained control of Mesopotamia in a few years. The
title «king of Sumer and Akkad» was held by the following dynasties
during over one thousand years with the evident intention of staying in
power, based on the legitimacy of the first (cultivated) inhabitants and
of the (barbaric) conquerors.
«On the other hand, there is a meaningful analogy between Sumer
and Greece, for they not only were two important cultural centres, which
gave shape to other civilizations, but, their basic political nucleus was
In the same way that Greece became a victim of Roman imperialism, Sumer
was defeated by the Akkadian imperialism. It now appears certain that 2700
years before Christ things began to change in Sumer, with wars among the
towns. In three hundred years the Akkadians won and 'unified' them. In
the same period and in the same areas, the bullae system started
to be substituted for writing, at the same time the Semites started to
master the secrets of precious metals -gold, silver, bronze-; of weight,
with the precision scales; and quality, with aqua regia and the touchstone.
There is nothing that indicates how this triumphant warrior managed
to get into the walled cities. We must remember that perhaps it was no
coincidence, as Sargon had been a cupbearer -in charge of cellars, measures
and treasures. It is a daring hypothesis, and in any case a challenging
one. A impregnable militarily town has only one weak spot: its gates. If
the complicity -treason- of some town official is obtained, invaders can
get in by night and seize it. But how could complicity be obtained? What
was so valuable, that would cause an officer to take the risk of betraying
his own town? Any valuable present would have aroused suspicion: how could
he have obtained valuable goods without any operation being recorded in
the temple, nor any operation made in the market place? To accept the position
of 'town governor', appointed by the conquering king, was an unforgivable
offence which would cause a very dangerous nurderous hate. Eagerness for
power had always been very limited by circumstances.
Sargon's ingenuity was to discover that there was a solution: to give
a lot of gold in exchange for the 'complicity' of opening the gates. And
at the same time, to promise that the 'normal' trend of the last years,
when the Semites accepted gold as a 'currency' for all the exchanges, would
become general with the new king. He would abolish the system of bullae
and records; you could buy and sell without the Sumerians' administrative
and 'oldfashioned' obstacles. It was certainly a good deal. Even so, if
this officer did not accept, they would kill him and give the position
to another officer...
The myths of 'miraculous' seizings of fortified towns are probably meaningful.
Tokens have been found in the ruins of Jericho. And one day Jericho, the
impregnable, was assaulted by Semites due to the fact that its walls were
miraculously pulled down without fighting. They only paraded a gold ark
in front of it... At that time, as much as now, it was necessary to keep
up appearances, and conquerors did not like to show their tricks. They
prefered to hide their shame under magnificent and mysterious myths which
gave them heavenly support. The Trojan horse may be one more myth concealing
the power of gold.
Under the Akkadian domination the role of the temples was reinforced
and they were unified with the State; bureaucracy, compulsory taxes, oppression
of women, ritual murders, monumental buildings, unceasing wars and conspirations
increasesd. Since then, all the 'civilizations' have shared the same historic
features. All has been sold and purchased with total impunity.
Since then, documental invoicing for book-keeping purposes has been
separated from payment with the monetary instrument. Since then, bankers,
tradesmen, and State have had their accounting systems, which have allowed
to grant credits and collect interests; to create inflations and deflations,
while increasing, reducing or forging 'currency' (always limited and limitable)
according to their own intersts. Since then, book-keeping has always been
false, without an exact, parallel counterpart in actual exchanges.
The paper -and printing- civilization has developed the same issue:
to improve the accounting and credit systems for a few and to 'free' them
from the drawbacks of metals by the emission of banknotes (always controlled,
too, by those who emit them arbitrarily, by definition). Cheques and money
orders have still added more manoevring capacity.
The most invisible subtlety, but also the most powerful, has been reached.
With the birth of the silicon civilization, and the basic material of chips,
that is of electronics and telematics (data processing handled at a distance).
It is neither gold nor paper but electronic recordings. But their structure
is still, in its basic traits, the same as 4500 years ago, and to the same
ends: not to leave any track, to control information, and to monopolize
the ability to create purchasing power.
The hypothesis given out on the origin of 'official history' must evidently
be submitted to a much more serious study. Presenting it has, however,
a twofold function: induce further work and, open a challenging path on
the subject under consideration. «Se non è vero, è
Griñó, «Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana», Barcelona,
1979, vol. 13, p. 349.
vol. 14, p. 67.