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A historical study of the pre-Renaissance society of the 21st Century
Since adolescence I have had a fascination with history, especially the mysterious Dark Ages of the early centuries of the second millennium. Since the Last Wars and the Period of Reconstruction, a great deal of knowledge concerning those ancient times has been lost. It has only been in recent decades that a few curious inquirers such as myself have been able to sift through the artifacts of the Old World and what remains of its documentation to discern what life was like in those days.
It is with great excitement and curiosity that I submit this document to our archives, describing my most recent discovery from the Dark Ages. It focuses on a peculiar religion that seemed to grow over time from pre-history, to become THE religion of the 21st century, leading up to – and perhaps contributing to – the collapse of society and the beginning of the darkness.
The Dark Ages were ruled by clever, selfish individuals, who misinformed their masses to manipulate them with fear and anger, hatred and greed. Ignorance was the highlight of the beginning of the 21st Century, when those who were in power wanted to remain there, by utilizing innocent words and ideas like “conservative” notions and “traditional” ideas to keep people trapped where they wanted them. What began with a decay of the public education system and corruption of the mass media became an all-out war against Science and Progress. The powers-that-be brought civilization to its knees with their influence. And all their power came from this one symbol, of this one idea, this religion that ruled them all.
To fully understand this religion you must first open your mind to the idea of a new form of worship, different from that of the better-remembered spiritual beliefs. This 21st century religion was of a very different style and form, manifesting itself in strange, new ways like no religion to come before it.
What little I can discern about this new religion comes most of all from the symbol I noticed in a great many documents. This symbol represents the idea that is central to this religion, and can be found in articles regarding virtually every aspect of the ancient society of man. This new idol of worship was even influencing the other religions during its own rise to power.
Living in that old, primitive society, one could not go through a day, much less a life without having to think about this entity. It affected one's health, ones class and status, power and happiness. This icon shaped nations and communities, defined people's lives, sometimes granting them unimaginable power, other times ruining them.
I greatly enjoy my time working in the fields, contributing to the collective. But I find greater pleasure in my free time when I can study subjects that interest me. I am fascinated by the Old World's system of work. It appears, from other, more professional studies, that in the Dark Ages, and before, people would strive to work at different occupations in order to earn a better living.
Today we share everything, and no one goes wanting. But in those days, based on how much favor one managed to incur with their all-encompassing 'God,' you could have all the material possessions available to be taken, or you could be detained in what was called a 'prison.' A family might idle on a beach in perpetual holiday, or toil until their premature deaths simply in order to keep themselves fed and sheltered. It was all up to this religion everyone believed in.
Based on some documents containing the religion's symbol, I have determined that there were even 'priests' of this religion. Huge hierarchies of devotees whose whole lives were dedicated to the growth, gospel and control of this religious powerhouse. These priests organized themselves into many factions, separated into competing sects, and they built churches and temples to worship in, tall, soaring towers that competed to stretch higher into the heavens.
Some people tried to go through life without worshiping this godhead, and most of them suffered for it. Others fought and killed one another for the idol and usually it was the masters of these warriors who accumulated the favor of their god.
Even as religious fanatics of other spiritual beliefs killed one other and themselves for their honour of their gods, they all had this one, 'other religion' in common.
This wildly powerful belief took on many names, and its symbol changed depending on where you lived in the world. But it all meant the same thing. Everyone knew what it was and feared the power it held. This religion was the most real, life-changing belief known to man. This 'God' touched everyone's lives every single day.
Though in reality it was all based on an abstract idea, a value given to people, places and things, infused in special metal objects and scraps of paper. Those papers, those objects all defined the entire world in that old society, because people let them. It was all in their heads. Every single person, buying into the belief, allowing themselves to be part of the same cult, the same imaginary spiritual conspiracy.
They had temples they called “offices,” sects known as “businesses,” high-ranking priests with titles like “executives,” and “bosses.” Collecting talismans called “dollars,” and “coins,” people tried to gain favor with the higher power. But after the Period of Reconstruction it was all forgotten. Or nearly.
There are just a few scraps of the Old World left for us to study, so we can still try and understand how those simple-minded, selfish, pitiful people could allow mere idea – and an ugly, greedy, unjust idea at that – rule their entire lives, their whole world. The symbol that they used to represent their god, their religion, at least in one great Empire of the Old World was this: $