I can’t help but wonder how humanity would respond if aliens– or, more fun to think about, a single alien– came to Earth, killed a BUNCH of corrupt people, gave us select technology to help us solve our problems, then disappeared without ever explaining how it found us or why it decided to help.
Would we damn the alien? Praise it? Claim it never existed?
I wonder if the existing powers-that-be, having been flown-in-the-face, would go on hyper-damage-control-mode, attempting to reign in all of their former resources and powers, inciting propaganda and smear campaigns against the “strange visitor” who showed up uninvited to murder our helpless Earth citizens.
Believe it or not, I arrived at these thoughts from having been contemplating the origins of kings.
I’m not going to go through all the steps to lead you from “Point A” to “Point Messier 83”, but what I was most concerned with, was (to quote Monty Python),
“King, eh? Well I didn’t vote for you,”
“You don’t vote for kings . . .”
“Well ‘ow did you become King, then?”
Great question ugly old peasant woman (played by Terry Gilliam)!
I’m sure it didn’t always work out exactly the same way, but in most cases, it basically went like this:
At some point in ancient (pre)history, a somewhat smarter-than-average powerful warrior decided that he wanted to build something greater than what he could accomplish on his own, and realised that he could do so with the human capital (yes, I’m sure he thought of it in those terms) available in his immediate region. So he gathered together some like-minded gentlemen, and the group went on about raiding and pillaging villages, stealing their wealth (in the form of natural raw resources) and hoarding them at a cave fortress.
The cave fortress was eventually supplied with women, which of course led to children, and eventually there was a domestic community, supplied and protected by these ravaging barbarian warriors.
As time went on, the more intelligent of these types began to build, employing the latest technologies available to them, and as they become sophisticated technologically, they also advanced socially. (In that order? Hell if I know, this is mostly just musing. If you want historical facts, you should really check into it. Oh, and do let me know, wouldja?)
Eventually, these advancements gave rise to a sort of “kingdom”, the edge of which was determined by how far the scouts and warriors could (or were willing to) travel, before coming back to the centre of the kingdom– the “castle”. Inevitably, these kingdoms met each other, sometimes clashing into immediate war, other times sharing their resources, knowledge, culture, technology, and helping each other to advance. The most advanced of these developed rules of sorts by which we were meant to get along, and called them “manners”.
Among other things, these “manners” also dictated how a high-class “King” type person should behave in order to maintain a perceived elevation over his “peasants”, which we call “status”. This “status” is in part a primal thing, evolutionarily beneficial since the King (alpha) is the most mate-worthy subject– but in large part, it was also superficial and synthetic, crafted specifically in order to appear almost god-like and untouchable by the masses.
In modern day, we’ve refined this sort of status to include a huge jumbled mess of now socially-accepted-narrative-driven classist nonsense; but since the masses buy into it, it works, and we get people who are famous for no discernible reason, and people who stay famous despite any given blunders or faux-pas, due to their existing unrealistic “on a pedastal” status.
Many of these people are well aware of the ephemeral threads by which they hang, and how easily their bubble could be burst, and they’re amazed daily that they get to go on living the way they do with the idiot masses supporting their lofty lifestyles. Others simply take it for granted. Some even abuse it.
That makes me wonder: What if . . . aliens?