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What technology does for politics

A short compendium of the ways humans have learned to take dominion over the earth and each other.

Allows us to cater to the basest instincts of humans.
It ain't pretty, it wasn't pretty, it won't be pretty unless we force it to be. 
Hopefully we can make it pretty in the future.

10,000 BC
Farming leads to feudalism
Invention of bread allows humans to start exponential population growth.
Domestication of plants and animals (and humans: slaves are indistinguishable from peasants.)

5000 BC
Reading, writing lead to the codification of religions for the millennia
They allow the creation of cities, taxes, mass fortifications, grand palaces, royalty.

0 AD
Religion and huge empires gang up to reign over the earth. Religions invent sin for blackmail. Empires invest in mass death and invent citizenship as a reward.

1500 AD
Printing - allowed the breakdown of the Catholic Church, the Protestants. The protestors. The Great Awakenings where anyone can publish a holy book about a new religion cheaply and efficiently. 
Capitalism is invented: the ability to exploit others and not be punished by the state.

Mass printing allows the invention of the Newspaper - mass delivery of information, does this information have to be true? Nope, no way, not even most of the time. The owners of the newspapers print what sells: Yellow journalism was invented before nation states.

Newton's laws and calculus are invented. We can now prove what's the most efficient way to do something, we just have to learn how to actually do it. Manufacturing productivity increases exponentially. We are about to enter the age of over-abundance.  

Steam Engine
Power if you need it.
But it's expensive, inefficient and causes us to start to burn down the earth's forests, rape it for coal and pollute the air with its putrid outputs. In Britain and the US millions die of air pollution. However, humankind finally realizes they do have the power and that royalty, that has been negotiating its own power sharing deals (see the magna carta, for instance) is not really in charge anymore if we don't let it. US breaks away from the crown. France throws the royalty under the blade and religion out of the government. As in all new forms of government, some do better than others.

Individual message delivery.
I can telegraph almost anyone in the world. Great ocean spanning cables are laid, laying waste to many species of insects, trees and animals used to manufacture them. My empire can be world-wide and I don't have to wait months for information to travel at the same rates as goods on ships. I can get the info in a few minutes.
This allows nation states to really come into their own, spanning continents, creating the final form of colonialism, where Europe enslaves the world to produce goods for Europeans at the expense of native populations.

The equations of electrical fields are now understood. With the use of calculus we now know that power can be sent from one place to anywhere else. We don't know how to do this efficiently yet, but we learn quickly.

The scientific method spreads to alchemy and it becomes chemistry. Atoms are proposed but the proof and what size they are takes many decades to determine. 

Photography. At this point in time photographs don't lie. The terrible consequences of slavery and colonialism become obvious to the average person. The shift in minds is irreversible. Abolition gains world wide acceptance. Feudalism ends across Europe.

In the US, desperate to save their economy, the Slave states revolt but are crushed in a brutal civil war.
Andrew Johnson gains the reigns after Lincoln's death and tries to absolve responsibility to protect the rights of ex-slaves, he's impeached but not convicted by one (bribed) vote. 
Reconstruction end soon after and Slave states begin passing black codes that allow them to arrest and force blacks into slave labor. The federal government claims it has no responsibility to protect the rights of all humans (Dred-Scott decisions.) 

The north is horrified, but with the filibuster and the gutting of the 14th amendment, there is nothing they can do beyond starting another civil war. The south begins to rewrite history and glorify the insurrection. The Indians continue to be massacred and sent to concentration camps. The government reneges on every treaty ever signed with the existing population of the continent, stealing their land to create wealth for the white colonialists. Farmers have their final victory over hunter gatherers and indigenous populations in America.

The telephone comes of age! I can now call anyone anywhere, soon to be available world wide. The telegraph cables are converted to telephone, soon to be converted back to data. Empires can now get instantaneous information from any part of their empire. Wooden ships are replace by iron ships. The countries that can't keep up soon lose their empires to the new upstarts that figure out how to build ships their enemies can't sink.

Jim Crow comes into its own. It's apparently illegal to be black in the south and use any public facility. It takes many decades before the US Supreme Court finally rules this illegal and unconstitutional. 

Darwin publishes his seminal works on evolution. Racists take this theory to heart and claim scientific backing for their heinous acts. Eugenics becomes popular to 'improve' the human race.

Electricity and associated systems are invented by Edison at General Electric (GE) and Tesla at Westinghouse and spread around the world quickly. This power is much more portable (as compared to steam) and begins a quick end to farming as the main employer. Farms no longer need thousands of workers. 
Automobiles and tractors take advantage of the liquid replacement of coal (gas) and start to replace animal and human labor with machines. Millions of people become unemployed. The government doesn't know what to do about it in the US and would have collapsed except for the fiat money provided by the billionaires of the time to stop the masses from starving. 
Mass death machines (machine guns and tanks) are built.  Chemistry creates cheap explosives (dynamite) and the kill ratios per dollar continue to rise exponentially, peaking almost 100 years later with the invention of the Hydrogen bomb and ballistic delivery system which can produce hell on earth in an instant. Humankind thinks it's a good idea to produce enough bombs to turn every square inch of the earth into hell many times over. They still do.

1900 to 1920
Radio is invented. The first real mass communication media (you don't have to read, literacy rates are still preventing the newspaper's ideology from taking over the minds of everyone.) But now the leader can speak to everyone at once. This leads to the politics of simpletons (royalty is slowly replaced by the cult of personality) in many countries, i.e.; fascism and communism are new governmental theories where governments and the capitalistic companies gang up together to control the means of production. In the US we opt for a more cooperative form of  socialism (FDR) which saves our country from another revolutionary war. 

It was no accident that fascism first reared it's ugly head in the country that invented radios. (Marconi in Italy.)

Automobiles replace horses, the mechanization of farming is now complete and the first attempts at mass farming by machine help to cause the dustbowl which causes substenance farming to be unsustainable in the US, causing millions to starve and be forced off the land. This increases the death and misery of the Great Depression (electricity eliminates the majority of manual work.)
While automobiles allow the starving to migrate to cities, the airplane starts to allow the populations of countries to be moved across the world. 

The last gasp of royalty in the west is eliminated in the first world war. Nation states now become powerful enough to enslave entire populations. Fiat money is created in each nation. Some nations handle this better than others. Some nations continue to starve their lower castes for decades. The majority of nations are run by gangs headed by the military, authoritarian countries where might makes right. 

The electromagnetic theory predicts infinite energy in materials as they heat up. Since this never happens, Bohr proposes a quantum theory where there's only fixed values of energy allowed. This matches what we observe. Einstein goes further and refines gravity and proposes that not only energy but light itself comes in discrete packages. He gets the noble prize for using statistics to predict the size and energy of individual atoms. Charge is also found to be quantized. Electron's are individually measured for the first time. 

1920 to 1940
Women get the vote. Alcohol is banned. Men revolt. Alcohol is unbanned.

Film is invented. People can see entire histories. Film makers make what sells. Imaginary histories fomenting genocide (Gone with the Wind, Nuremburg Rallies, The Birth of a Nation) are widespread and popular. This does not calm humans down, in what was thought to be the last gasp of war, we kill tens of millions of people. Then we do it again twenty years later, but this time we kill hundreds of millions. Hundreds of thousands die in a single day in the dreaded fire storm bombings in Germany and Japan. This is still hard work. It takes mass armies and air forces to deliver mass death.\

The first live television broadcasts appear. This doesn't bode well as mass hysteria can now be created on demand.

The discovery of the atom leads to the discover of the nucleus and radiation. Physicists world wide recognize that their is immense destructive power locked up in each atom that dwarfs chemical energy that has driven the human race to economic super-abundance. Basically there is no reason for anyone on the earth to starve at this point. Three percent of the population can feed the rest and the rest are now available to do whatever some madman can convince them to do. Hundreds of millions starve because of madmen, and they are almost always men.

We decide to make mass death more efficient and build Atomic bombs, to bring hell on earth with a single plane. We can now kill hundreds of thousands of people and decimate any city in a single hour. America invents Superpowers. The Russians quickly follow. France and Britain follow quickly.

The age of superabundance starts with the introduction of steam power:

And more detail on what's happened since then. Over hundreds of years a 1 % increase in productivity every year produces enormous effects. What we can measure gets optimized. We'd better be sure it's the right thing.

1940 to 1980
Television continues its toll on humans and reduces the common knowledge of humankind to myths and legends.  Science struggles to justify itself, but only more mass death and warfare are funded by most governments. The US continues its colonial march across the globe, finally giving up in Vietnam when the daily reports of death and televised mayhem disabuse us of our civilizing myth. 

Science builds the nuclear bomb and the ballistic missile to deliver it. At this point we can destroy any city on earth in one hour. Mutual Assured Destruction becomes the accepted mythos of a Superpower. Wars start to become smaller and more limited. Deaths from starvation, deaths from war and deaths from genocide continue to dwindle.

In the US Jim Crow laws are declared unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Act and Voting rights act are passed in the US.  This causes the confederate states to continue racism under whatever guise they can: from no blacks voting for over one hundred years to a higher percentage of blacks than whites voting. Whites still hold the vast majority of power. Public works are destroyed because they would have to be shared with the lower caste. There's a big push to privatize government so discrimination will be allowable. School integration begins by firing all of the black teachers and shutting down black schools.

Religion, which had been slowly decaying for centuries, makes a comeback as a way to allow discrimination and the privatization of cults of personality. Strongmen appear everywhere. 

Science makes a pitch: A Space Race to the moon! Ballistic missiles are used to place men in space and land on the moon. A computer is made to control the 100 different maneuvers needed to land successfully, since weight is paramount, electronics continue to shrink in size which also increases its performance. After spreading all the pork from the space race across the country, America soon loses interest. There's no money to be made on the moon.

Democracy starts to flood the world. After the US fucks over Iran, the Philippines and Chile, we see what horror we have created and begin to push governments into our own mode, which is more stable and depends upon negotiation and cooperation, not coercion. The world becomes a much safer place. The next to last royal empire in the world collapses under its own weight as people pretend to work and the government pretends to pay them. The last royal empire in the world figures out that a command economy doesn't work, manages to stop the killing of expertise and barely manages to institute a capitalist country only be massacring millions. 

1980 to 2010
Mass delivery and world wide supply chains become common place. America exports its efficiency to the world and continues its globalization policies. Any person in the world now has access to more information than any King ever. They also have more access to disinformation than ever. Lies can now spread at the speed of light. Truth is still limited to the scientific method and its antiquated peer review and publish or perish ethos. Science doesn't care who you are, it's all in the reproducibility. Even though scientists are humans and prejudiced, the system is not racist. Nobody knows you're a dog on the internet.

The middle class grows in Asia, but peaks in the west as oligarchs figure out how to game the system and claim all the excess productivity.

Individualized mass communication to any one, any where, any time spreads across the globe. 

Television becomes unhinged from spectrum with Cable. Once limited to a few channels over the air and regulated by government to pretend to tell the truth or at least be fair, there is now no limit on what one can pass off as the truth and the light. Ignorant people continue to fall for cults of personality, refusing to invest their emotions in sports and insisting on playing politics as a game. 

The Internet explodes from three nodes in 1969 to billions*. Misinformation and propaganda are available at a click of a button, carefully curated by artificial intelligence to increase the time humans spend looking at it, dragging vast hordes of idiots into further radicalization. What was thought to be the most efficient mode of production and delivery in the world (the sears roebuck catalog and the US postal service) are now woefully inefficient by comparison. Next day delivery of anything anywhere is now possible with one click. Real information is also available with one click as search engines leverage all the hyperlinks to determine what is popular; electronic delivery of books (where the real wisdom is held) becomes instantaneous. The limiting factor is the attention span of humans.  

2010  to 2020
Localized, stylized, personalized communications point to point. Targeted marketing is perfected. Everyone has a platform to broadcast to everyone. Social media companies don't care how they get their audiences, they don't care if it starts to tear society apart or not. They have learned how to monetize outrage and it feels good! Individual messages can be targeted to individuals that radicalize and increase their usage which leads to immense network effects magnified beyond belief. Mass shootings become common in countries with guns. Pogroms, which had been diminishing start to creep up again. Genocide is now pushed down to the individual level. And it's only going to get worse.

2020 to 2030
The social networks become personalized communicators that lure you into friendship, not only do they curate your feed, they create your posts. They know what you want more than you do. They control you to maximize the profits of corporations. Amoral corporations. Governments will be overthrown. Death and mayhem will return at unprecedented levels. Control of populations will extend far beyond persuasion as people see they will be left behind in the lower caste if they don't get the latest brain implants and genetic modifications to extend their lifetimes. The human race will enslave itself to survive. The death march to competence and expertise will drown our humanity. Unless something changes this is not going to end well.

If America can't control its politics and spend their 'defense' budget policing the world, the world is doomed. Nobody else will do it. This is one of the main reasons that immigration is critical for control. Without immigrants, its just ugly Americans. With immigration, it's the best of the world fixing their own problems. 

2030 and beyond
The human borg begins to settle the planets. 
Maybe we should have never invented bread 10,000 years ago.

Thanks for reading!
 -Dr. Mike

*On October 29, 1969, ARPAnet delivered its first message: a “node-to-node” communication from one computer to another. (The first computer was located in a research lab at UCLA and the second was at Stanford; each one was the size of a small house.) The message—“LOGIN”—was short and simple, but it crashed the fledgling ARPA network anyway: The Stanford computer only received the note’s first two letters.


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