The Stronghold and the Shrine

Does the sudden appearance of the mass, authoritarian state and fortified cities in human history after millennia of small band and tribal life suggest extraterrestrial intervention?

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Fifth Estate # 353, Summer, 1999

Image shows several human figures presented as the "descent of man," being confronted by a "modern" man in business suit. In the background are pyramids and modern buildings.
Painting by Stephen Goodfellow

I contend the state is extraterrestrial (E.T.) in origin and that the city emanated from the state. The city is, therefore, also E.T. in origin. I will also demonstrate that the abolition of slavery necessitates the eradication of both. In the 1960s, author Erich Von Daniken asserted in his controversial Chariots of the Gods? that E.T.s had mated with monkeys and apes via artificial insemination and gene-splicing, producing early hominids. The repeating of the E.T. mating, gene-splicing process with hominids eventually produced Neanderthals and finally Homo Sapiens, according to Von Daniken.

His theory is a special case of the general theory of punctuated equilibrium propounded by Niles Eldredge, a curator at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, in his book, The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equalibria. According to the dust jacket of the 1985 text, “Eldredge…startled the world by challenging Darwin’s cherished beliefs—proposing instead that once a species has evolved it rarely undergoes change, and that the evolution of new species occurs only periodically, in relatively rapid spurts.”

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines punctuated equilibrium as “evolution that is characterized by long periods of stability in the characteristics of an organism and short periods of rapid change during which new forms appear especially from small subpopulations of the ancestral form in restricted parts of its geographic range.”

Von Daniken also asserted that the gods of antiquity were E.T.s. My claim is a variation of this theme, namely, that the state emanated from E.T. gods of antiquity and that the city emanated from the state. The theory of punctuated equilibrium and Von Daniken’s E.T.-monkey mating, gene-splicing theory are mutually supporting by explaining the so-called “missing links” in the fossil record.

Much of the rest of this argument consists of extensive quotations from Lewis Mumford’s The City in History (1961, abbreviated TCIH) and The Myth of the Machine (1966-67, abbreviated TMOTM).

The Gods Were E.T.

I cite Mumford because of his comprehensive descriptions and analyses of the cultures of the Old and New Stone Ages and the earliest ancient cities. I am not asserting, however, that Mumford either believed or asserted that the gods of antiquity were E.T.s or that they actually existed outside the human imagination. I believe the gods were E.T.s and that they existed simultaneously inside and outside the minds (imaginations) of Paleolithic campers and Neolithic villagers simultaneously.

Also, it must be kept in mind that paleo-neolithics were steeped in animism and ancestor worship and it is likely, in my opinion, that they referred to certain manifestations of their ancestral spirits as gods. In other words, if E.T.s existed and made themselves audible or visible to paleo-neolithics, the paleo-neolithics would identify, refer to and consult the E.T.s as materialized ancestors and therefore as gods.

For the purpose of building cities the E.T. gods would prop up Paleolithic hunting chieftains and neolithic witch doctors into divine kings and high priests, respectively, in the same way 18th and 19th century British colonialists did at a later time. E.T.s, if they existed, would have been advanced technologically and needing a civilized environment for the imperialistic purpose of feeding, clothing, and sheltering themselves via enslavement. The earliest ancient cities were known as ancestral cities. Some primitives went along, devotedly, with the wishes of their “ancestors,” others no doubt, rebelled. But no records exist of these rebellions since writing wasn’t invented until one or two centuries after the earliest city (Sumer) was built, according to Mumford.

The earliest ancient cities did not evolve out of neolithic villages for reasons of defensive or offensive warfare. In Mumford’s words,

“Such neolithic villages as have been exhumed show a remarkable lack of anything that could be called weapons; and though this is a negative proof, it fits well into the picture of self-contained communities, too tiny, too lacking in surplus manpower, too far apart and too poor in easy means of movement until boats were invented, to have any need to crowd one another or encroach on each other’s domain… at this point, I submit, war is not yet in evidence…The primal war of ‘each against all’ is a fairy tale: Hobbes’ bellicose primitive man has even less historic reality than Rousseau’s noble savage. As with the birds, ‘territoriality’ may have amicably settled boundary claims that only later, under more ‘civilized’ concern for property and privilege, led to savage conflicts.”

He continues:

“What the early castles and strongholds point to is not war and conflict between opposing communities, but the one-sided domination of a relatively large group by a small minority. Such compulsion and control as arms may have imposed were within the community, and not at first in struggles against other communities: it was by the wielding of arms that the ‘nobles’ at first achieved their age-old power over their own peasantry. Competition, conflict, violence and outright murder may all have existed in various degrees in every group, though they have probably been exaggerated by modern scholars who gratuitously read back into primitive times the aberrations and offenses peculiar on a magnified scale to ‘higher’ civilizations. But Bronislaw Malinowski’s judgment on this subject seems to me sound: ‘If we insist that war is a fight between two independent and politically organized groups, war does not occur at the primitive level.'” (TCIH).

As for warfare between hunters, Mumford states, “Now apart from a few dubious cave paintings of men with drawn bows facing each other, there is no early evidence to suggest that hunters preyed on other hunters.” (TCIH). Later according to Mumford, Paleolithic hunters preyed on neolithic villagers in order to round them up and coerce them into building a cities.

“What actually happened before the city came into existence can only be conjectured. Perhaps residual Paleolithic hunting groups and the new neolithic settlers, each still too sparse to have the upper hand, began to occupy the same territory and stayed together long enough to absorb some of each other’s ways and interchange some of their kits of tools…They were probably at first equal partners, but the relationship became increasingly one sided as the weapons and coercive habits of the aggressive minority were reinforced by the patient capacity for work that the stone-grinding neolithic peoples showed. As often happens, the rejected component of the earlier culture (hunting) became the new dominant in the agricultural community, but it was now made to do duty for the governance of a superior kind of settlement. Weapons served now not just to kill animals but to threaten and command men.” (TCIH).

Mumford continues,

“In this emergence of the city, the dynamic element came, as we have seen, from outside the village. Here one must give the new rulers their due, for their hunting practices had accustomed them to a wider horizon than village culture habitually viewed.” (TCIH).

This “Paleolithic-neolithic union” or ‘urban revolution’ was accompanied by a transformation of deities. Quoting Mumford,

“That urban transformation was accompanied, perhaps preceded, by similar outpourings from the collective unconscious. At some moment, it would seem, the local familiar gods, close to the hearth fire, were outpowered and partly replaced, certainly outranked, by the distant sky gods or earth gods, identified with the sun, the moon, the waters of life, the thunderstorm, the desert. The local chieftain [before the emergence of the city the local chieftain was a hunter who held a permanent stronghold which prior to that time was a temporary hunter’s campsite] turned into the towering King, and became likewise the chief priestly guardian of the shrine, now endowed with divine or almost divine attributes.” (TCIH, my brackets)

“The historic effort, as recorded on two famous Egyptian palettes, begins at the point where the Paleolithic hunting chief, the first among equals, passes over into the powerful King, who takes to his own person all the powers and prerogatives of the community.” (TMOTM).

“Going beyond Frankfort, I suggest that one of the attributes of the ancient Egyptian god, Ptah, as revealed in a document derived from the 3rd millennium B.C.—that he founded cities—is the special and all but universal function of kings.” (TCIH)

“‘Power in personality’ was what the city and its gods provided: That was the chief source of the great accomplishments that kingship itself made possible…deprived of such sacred powers, the ancient city would have been only a heap of baked mud or stones, formless, purposeless, meaningless; since without such cosmic magnifications, the common man could live an equally good or even far better life in the village. But once life was conceived scarily, as an imitation of the gods, the ancient city itself became, and remained right into Roman times, a simulacrum of heaven.” (TCIH)

In summarizing so far I have tried to show that: (1) the earliest ancient cities, according to Mumford, did not evolve out of neolithic villages and/or Paleolithic caves and campsites for reasons of warfare; (2) late Paleolithic hunters, after having been turned into kings by the gods, enslaved neolithic villagers for the purpose of building cities; (3) this enslavement was accompanied by a transformation of gods (deities); (4) the gods are E.T. in origin; (5) the state (i.e., kingship), having emanated from the gods, is E.T. in origin; and (6) the city, having emanated from the state, is E.T. in origin.

The last three assertions, (4), (5) and (6) can be shown more clearly by consolidating and reordering some of the preceding quotes of Mumford.

I’m sure that many scientific and scholarly readers will interpret descriptions such as “‘lowered down from heaven.'” “The five kings appointed by deity…” and “…authority, derived from a god or a group of gods,…” metaphorically. However, it is time language such as this be taken literally. We should learn to interpret religious language in a more literal and less figurative way; otherwise, the Paleolithic hunter will be blamed for creating the state, slavery and civilization in a natural and continuous Darwinian fashion.

Further evidence supportive of the assertion that the earliest ancient states and cities were E.T. in origin are attained by showing they did not “evolve” gradually out of neolithic villages and/or hunter-gatherer caves and campsites. Also, further supportive evidence is attained, assuming that the “evolution” was sudden and rapid via punctuated equilibrium, by showing that the primary causal agent of the transformation did not originate inside the neolithic village and/or the hunter-gatherer cave and campsite.

The citadel is a fortification, stronghold and city proper which rests inside the city-at-large. Inside the citadel is the palace which houses the god (first in command) and the king (second in command) and the temple which houses the high priest and subordinate priests.

“In the citadel’s bodyguard, we find the first army and the first police officers; …the first housing for such military functionaries, the barracks. Here, too, we find the first foreign office, the first bureaucracy, the first court of law (at the gate of the palace), likewise, from the temple quarter, the first astronomical observatory, the first library, the first school and college: not least, the first ‘theater’. All these flourished in the citadel before there were any independent municipal equivalents with a larger domain to work in, or any question of democratic participation. (TCIH).

The city-at-large emanated and diffused from the citadel which houses the god and the king who are the state. Hence, the city emanates from the state. “The citadel served as the original pilot project for the city;” (TCIH) “The city as it took form around the royal citadel, was a man-made replica of the universe.” (TCIH). Inside the citadels of ancient Sumerian cities were huge ziggurats (temples) which “reached the height of true man-made mountains, comparable [in size] to the pyramids of Egypt…” (H.W. Janson, History of Art).

I submit that the earliest ancient citadels could not have possibly evolved, gradually, out of neolithic villages and/or hunter-gatherer caves and campsites. Although, I concede, that a sudden transformation over a short period of time (punctuated equilibrium) may have taken place centering around the hunter chieftain’s permanent stronghold which was formerly a temporary campsite.

In other words, the citadel’s palace and temple evolved rapidly from the hunter chieftain’s stronghold and shrine. This is similar to Mumford’s assertion.

“The proto-city had, as I pointed out, the beginnings of its institutional life in the fortified camp and the shrine, not necessarily occupying a common site. The mark of the city, let me repeat, is the coming together of these two institutions in a special precinct, set apart from the profane world.” (TCIH).

If this is true then I must ask, how and why does a hunter chieftain together, possibly with his hunting band transform a campsite stronghold and a small rudimentary stone hut into a citadel as described above without the aid of some colossal, external power and intelligence? We are asked to believe that the gods were simply and solely no more than a figment of the hunter/gatherer’s imagination. Yet,

“Beginning as a concentration of manpower under a firm, unified, self-reliant leadership, the ancestral city was primarily an instrument for regimenting men and mastering nature, directing the community itself to the service of gods.” (TCIH).

“…villages compelled under threat of starvation to labor like slaves.” (TCIH). “Every feature of the early city revealed the belief that man was created for no other purpose than to magnify and serve his gods. That was the city’s ultimate reason for existence.” (TCIH).

“The modest foundations of the village had been laid in the earth: but the city reversed the village’s values, and turned the peasant’s universe upside down, by placing the foundations in the heavens. All eyes now turned skywards.” (TCIH).

“But the fact that the city has from the beginning been based on forced labor, and that forced labor was produced, not only by enslavement, but by monopoly of the food supply, seems to be indisputably incised on the walls of the ancient city. Planned scarcity and the recurrent threat of starvation played a part from the beginning in the effective regimentation of the urban labor force…for the guardians of the granary, with the support of an armed soldiery, held powers of life and death over the whole community. It was not for nothing that this great storehouse was within the heavy walls of the citadel, protected against the inhabitants of the city.” (TCIH).

“According to Akkadian and Babylonian scriptures, the gods created men in order to free themselves from the hard necessity of work.” (TMOTM). I submit that the gods were far more than figments of the paleo-neolithics’ imaginations. In the main room of the “White Temple” of the Sumerian city state of Uruk “…sacrifices were offered before the statue of the god,” (History of Art).

“Is it any wonder that early man looked back to the period before the city as the Golden Age?” (TCIH).

The earliest newly built citadels were probably way stations and loading docks for E.T. expeditionary flying craft. The palace and its precinct provided leisure and comfort while the ziggurat temple and its precinct provided the docking area for space craft to load provisions and luxury goods.

“In the early stages of ancient city development, we seem indeed to be dealing with a controlled totalitarian economy, centered in the temple. It is not alone that the god owns the neighboring land and exacts service from everyone:…; the temple precinct itself was not purely a religious area: it served also as a ‘trading estate,’ where goods were manufactured, and as a ‘shopping center,’ where they were stored and distributed. The store houses, Frankfort points out, contained ‘an immense variety of articles: grain, sesame seed as the raw material for oil, vegetables, beer, dates, wine, fish (dried and salted), fat, wool, skins, huge quantities of reeds and rushes, mats, asphalt, stones.’ Wool-plucking, grain-milling, tanning, spinning, and weaving were all done within the temple precinct. Only with the growth of the urban population and the increasing complexity of economic operations was a portion of this economy released to more purely secular enterprise, in other quarters of the town.” (TCIH). (my emphasis)

Why didn’t the E.T. gods teach the slaves theoretical and applied sciences and introduce them to advanced industrial, agricultural and biological technologies so the slaves could serve their gods with greater efficiency? Undoubtedly, the reason they didn’t was, if they had, then the status of the god(s) in the mind of the slave would have been significantly reduced.

Theoretically, in a relatively short period of time the slaves could have learned to build spacecraft (gliders for example) thus lifting the slave to the status of a god in their minds.

The slaves would have then been in a constant state of rebellion and might have overthrown the god, the king and their boot-licking priests and set up a proletarian state dictatorship which, of course, would have meant that villagers in the surrounding area would have been rounded up and pressed into urban slavery in order to fill the vocational vacancies left behind by the newly, self-liberated slaves who had in the meantime become citizens, that is, ruling class members. Or, the newly self-liberated slaves could have returned to their former horticultural, rural village way of life and given up the city altogether for what it really was and always will be; a human slave “megamachine”.

The emergence of the city in paleo-neolithic times and places was a technological, anti-social revolution. The very molecules of this new technology was forced, complex, machine-like social organization which is better known as slavery. This slavery was required to create a division of labor which itself was required to build and maintain the city. The force required to put all this together, i.e., the force that was required to build and maintain the city, was a state-centered chain of command that thoroughly permeated the whole society.

Mumford refers to this social organization as the “megamachine,” out of which the city and all subsequent technology and advancing technology emerged. Thus, slavery (i.e., forced, complex, machine-like social organization), not technology or machines in the ordinary sense of the word, is the basis of civilization. The oft repeated concept by marxists and conservative alike that civilization has progressed beyond slavery is a ruling class lie. Modern social organization is astronomically more complex than all of the metal and plastic, high tech machinery combined. The city requires slavery. The city requires the state.

Numerous scholars throw the emphasis on the many technical innovations that the use of copper and bronze first made possible. But the radical changes I am calling attention to antedated the age of metals by many centuries, possibly by millennia.

“V. Gordon Childe’s attempt to explain this vast explosion of power and confident human command mainly through inventions like the plow and the military chariot, neglected the most important fact—namely, that the technological exhibitionism that marks the beginning of the Pyramid age was effected with only small, modest, mechanically primitive instruments: chisels, saws, mallets, ropes. The huge stones that were transported for miles to the pyramids at Giza were borne on wooden sledges, and raised into position without the aid of a wheel, a pulley, a windlass, or a derrick, or even animal power except that of mechanized men.” (TMOTM).

“…But no tool or machine, in the ordinary sense, was responsible for the form that this organization [i.e. the earliest, newly built ancient cities of Egypt and Mesopotamia] assumed, since the new institutional and ideological complex took hold, certainly in Egypt and probably in Mesopotamia and elsewhere, before wheeled vehicles and plows were invented, or even written language.” (TMOTM, my brackets).

Hence, the earliest ancient towns (e.g., Jericho, 7000 B.C.; Catal Fitiytik, 6000 B.C.) came into existence in the absence of advancing campsite and/or village technics. Similarly, the earliest ancient cities (3500 B.C.) came into existence in the absence of advancing campsite and/ or village and/or town technics with the exception of a forced, complex, machine-like social organization.

Sometime after the emergence of an ancient city (maybe a few centuries or so) the E.T. gods would abandon the city and its rulership and leave it to a god-king (maybe an E.T.-human hybrid) and his boot licking priests. Dynastic periods probably begin around this time. This new ruling class was probably, through time, more willing to allow technology to advance. Perhaps the hypnotic trance that the supernatural mystique of the E.T. god ruling class induced in the slave wore off after the E.T. gods abandoned the city. As this condition advanced, perhaps more and more slaves were allowed to share in the secret knowledge hidden away in the temple.

Slaves would be set free and educated but only when there was a large enough reserve of potential slaves in the free villages in the surrounding area to take their places. An advancing technology causes upward social mobility. Consequently, the ruling class grows larger, the slave class grows larger and the city grows larger.

This phenomenon has continued right up into modern times where the advanced industrial working classes of the U.S., Canada, France, England, Russia, Japan and other nation states are ruling class members who are, via economic imperialism, living off, exploiting and uprooting the resources, of the working classes and the indigenous villagers of the Third World.

Contemporary Neolithic, indigenous populations of the world are still being used as a reserve slave labor pool by the consumerist ruling class-working classes of the First World. Technological advancement still drives the indigenous off of their land and into the world’s urban centers. Mumford continues,

“If anything proves that the city was primarily a control center, long before it became a center of communication, the persistent restrictions exercised over the extension and communication of knowledge would support this interpretation. As in the United States and Soviet Russia today, the great business of the citadel was to ‘keep the official secrets.’ These secrets created a gap between the rulers and the ruled that almost turned them into different biological species; and it was not until the achievements of civilization themselves were called into question, by popular revolt, that any part of these secrets was shared…So far I have dwelt on one phase of the monopoly of knowledge and power originally exercised by the rulers of the citadel. But as a matter of fact, this monopoly covered most of the functions which were later taken over and collectively distributed by the municipality only after many thousands of years. One might call this the law of cultural seepage…This royal monopoly held for many technical innovations, which made their appearance in the citadel long before they spread to the rest of the city.” (TCIH).

Chances are that, initially, the E.T. gods prevented technology from advancing and prohibited any existing “advanced knowledge” from “seeping” out of the citadel’s palace and temple and into the city-slave population-at-large. The E.T. gods did this, most likely, in order to obstruct any additional desire in slaves to achieve upward socio-economic mobility. It should be kept in mind that the slaves were anatomically modern humans, that is, Homo Sapiens, with our capacities, emotional and intellectual. Probably, the E.T. gods ruled over proto-literate Mesopotamia and pre-dynastic Egypt until approximately 3000 B.C., when they relinquished their rulerships there to E.T. god-human hybrid, god-kings and pharaohs. Accompanying this ruling class transition was a change in policy with respect to advancing technology. The new ruling class, perhaps being less supernatural (in the minds of the slaves) than the full blooded E.T. god ruling class, felt that they could afford to let technology advance at some controlled “low” rate. And within the interval 3200 B.C.:2800 B.C. according to Mumford,

“…grain cultivation, the plow, the potter’s wheel, the sailboat, the draw loom, copper metallurgy, abstract mathematics, exact astronomical observation, the calendar, writing and other modes of intelligible discourse in permanent form, all came into existence at roughly the same time, around 3000 B.C. give or take a few centuries. The most ancient urban remains now known, except Jericho [and probably Catal Htiytik 6000 B.C.], date from this period. This constituted a singular technological expansion of human power whose only ‘parallel is the change that has taken place in our own time.” (TCIH my brackets).

In summary, I have tried to show: (1) the gods are E.T. in origin; (2) the state, having emanated from the gods, is E.T. in origin; (3) the city, having emanated from the state, is E.T. in origin; and (4) E.T. gods (the state proper) applied force, coercion and deception to Old and New

Stone Age societies, yielding complex, machine-like social organization thoroughly permeated by a chain of command centrally directed by the E.T. gods.

This chain of command, permeating social organization, was necessary to put into place an ongoing and increasing economic division of labor which in turn was necessary to build and maintain the city. Admittedly, the preceding argument has been a very linear and non-dialectical, cause and effect description of the civilization process. But this is as it should be because the state, whose only reason for existence is the implementation of slavery is inorganic, mechanistic, linear and non-dialectical. I would describe this cause and effect aspect of the civilization process in a consolidated schematic form thusly:

extraterrestrial god (i.e., the state and ruling class proper) > Paleolithic hunter chieftain appointed king and boot licking neolithic witch doctors appointed priests (i.e., the state and ruling class bureaucracy > chain of command permeated machine-like social organization (i.e., slavery c ongoing and increasing economic division of labor > city (i.e., civilization) > advancing technics.

What is to be done? We must effectuate the complete and permanent physical, moral and psychological eradication of the state and its written laws. Further, we must completely and permanently break each and every link in each and every chain of command of the social order so that each and every individual becomes a sovereign individual neither giving nor obeying orders.

Thus, with the sinews of the state and its by-product civilization completely and permanently dissolved, we will have then returned to that golden, chain of commandless, pre-urban cave and campsite, village and garden anarchy of the Old and New Stone Ages.

We must return to the campsite and the garden; return to anarchy in order to have anarchy; return to when the individual and the collective, humanity and humanity, humanity and nature, means and ends, subjective and objective, campsite and shrine, were in harmony for tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years.

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