High priests of high treason

In the evolution of mankind there is a curious competition between the Prince and the Priest. The Prince bases his power upon the strong men, the knights of armour, the mafia mob, the army and police. The Priest foretells the paths in heaven, interpretes the astrological signs, reads the goat entrails, baptises the children and performs the rites of passage into the other world. In some cases the Prince is stronger than the Priest, and pays him with bread and wine to cement his power. In other cases the Priest is stronger than the Prince, and pays him with meat and beer to cement his power. In some cases Priest and Prince are united in one person and then he can pick his meal.

Traditionally there are three Estates: clergy, nobility, and the commoners (a.k.a. peasants). Charlemagne sent out his officials in pairs, clergy and secular. Yet he got his crown only from pope Leo. Apparently he held annual meetings with his “important men” (wikipedia). When parliaments developed they had those three estates in three Chambers. The dukes of Burgundy establised the States General in 1464. The separation of church and state apparently started with Martin Luther 1528.

In the French Revolution in 1789 the Chamber for the clergy was abolished. Apparently the high priests had committed high treason.

My suggestion is that the Priest could have developed into the Scientist. Studying the stars and wondering about the future could have become a serious enterprise. Many priests like Thomas Aquinas indeed had such imagination. Sadly the Priest failed. The wine tasted too good, the stars looked nicer at leisure. Rather than developing hard science, the Priest relied on magic with “hocus pocus” (thought to be derived from “hoc est corpus, Pilato passus”).

The Priest thus committed treason with respect to his historical and evolutionary role in society indeed.

In an alternative history, the Priest could have become the Scientist, and we would still have that third Chamber. We could call it the Economic Supreme Court. It would play an important role in scientific advice for government.

Thus, adaptation of the Trias Politica and installing an Economic Supreme Court would actually be a repair on the flow of history.

Si no è vero è ben trovato.

(One drawback to this tale is that some people might think that economists already are our high priests and that they committed high treason again.)

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