That's an intriguing suggestion. I certainly agree that organized violence plays a dominant role in the evolution of human societies. I think it's much more granular than the big picture illustrated above. Different eras with different characteristic military technologies invariably adopt different societal forms, with the primary dichotomy between centralization/decentralization or equivalently, liberty/authoritarianism.

In some ages (the Greek iron age, for instance, or the Roman Republican era) weapons were relatively easy to use and cheap to make. The result is a preference for mass armies composed of regulars, typically citizen soldiers who in many cases provide their own equipment (note that the professional armies of the Roman Imperial period were a late development). In other eras - for example, medieval Europe, in which a knight required a large quantity of expensive armour and needed a lifetime of training to use it effectively - it takes a much larger economic effort to support a single warrior, and the result is a more hierarchical society.

Back to the ancient despotisms. I'd argue that the chariot may have been the driving technology. They were invented around the right time, they weren't cheap by the standards of the late neolithic, and armies without them would have stood no chance against armies with them. The result was the development of a specialized warrior caste supported by a peasant caste (sure, the peasants would be conscripted and handed spears when war broke out, but spearmen aren't much of a threat to charioteers).

Before that era, weapons technology was relatively static - flint knives, spears, and arrows, the same as during the hunter-gather period of the neolithic. Since these were available to all, they resulted in an egalitarian society.

After the chariot era, advances in metallurgy lead to wider availability of bronze and then iron weapons. Iron was the real game changer as it's so much easier to mine and make. The result: the hierarchical societies of the chariioteer bronze age gave way to the relatively egalitarian city states of the Hellenic iron age.

The invention of the stirrup then returned the emphasis in warfare to cavalry; thus, the aristocratic warfare of the middle ages, and the hierarchical social structure that accompanied it.

With gunpowder, the musketeer and then the rifleman soon dominated the battlefield. Mass democracies were not far behind, and serfs became free-holding yeoman farmers.

The 20th century saw the development of mechanized warfare and aerial warfare, both extremely expensive weapons technologies that are far beyond the reach of individual households. Democratic republics gave way in function, though not in form, to vertically integrated managerialism ... again the pattern continues.

Extrapolating to the future, it seems the next iteration in mechanical warfare will be the drone. Drones are in principle extremely easy to use, very cheap to manufacture, and when combined with 3D printing it will be possible to make them at home. Military exercises with drone-equipped platoons indicate that they are a ridiculously potent force multiplier, enabling a formation to take a hardened objective in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the number of men. If the pattern holds, that points to a return to a decentralized, egalitarian societal form.

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>Iron law of oligarchy

Good point.

I'd add that only Autocracy can combat Oligarchy.

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We only cannot say after Covid-19 and the Sanitary Emergency requiring mass vaccination. "Long-term social “experiments”—attempts to impose a new morality from above—show that social norms and institutions which go strongly against human nature do note “take,” no matter how hard they are promoted. (Turchin, p. 146)" https://www.news-medical.net/news/20220425/COVID-19-vaccine-can-elicit-a-distinct-T-cell-dominant-immune-mediated-hepatititis

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One way that they imposed power over the centuries is the fear of "ghosts" etc, these days viruses...


These were used to impose violence on one's own citizens, like a modern day inquisition.

It's funny that many who push back against this pandemic theater are still believing in the decades long fraud https://drsambailey.com/covid-19/why-nobody-can-find-a-virus/

Modern scientism is the new major religion, carrying on the control of people that used to be from "god"

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