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Thread: Musings on Maiz, the Aztecs, and the modern world

  1. #1
    Master political analyst Dittohead not!'s Avatar
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    Musings on Maiz, the Aztecs, and the modern world

    We all have heard how Cortez and his men had no difficulty defeating the Aztecs. Archeologists have uncovered a possible reason for their weakness. This is a summary of an NPR podcast I was listening to while on the torture devices at the local gym:

    It seems the maiz crop had been less than normal due to a heat wave. Once the temperature gets over 32 degrees (C, since this was a British programme) the maiz crop doesn't do so well.

    The mighty king of the Aztecs got his power from the maiz god, and so, when the maiz crop started downhill and food became scarce, he had to do something to increase his political clout.

    He decided to make war on neighboring tribes, not to get more food or resources, as they didn't have much worth taking anyway, but simply to increase his power and the people's dependence on the government to protect them.

    Now, this solidified his power, but also weakened the empire. It seems going to war when resources are scarce may not be the best strategy in the long term.

    Could there be any possible similarities between that Aztec god of maiz and his emperor, and events in the world today I wonder.

    The world has changed a lot since the days of Hernan Cortez, but human beings haven't evolved all that much in just a few hundred years. Surely, there must be some lesson here than would apply to the modern world.
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    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Expanding entitlement spending when you don't have the resources to fund it will weaken your nation and lead to it's collapse.

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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    Expanding entitlement spending when you don't have the resources to fund it will weaken your nation and lead to it's collapse.
    What about expanding military spending when you don't have the resources? Does that have a different result?

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    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Nice fish. Just read 1493, you should pick it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    We all have heard how Cortez and his men had no difficulty defeating the Aztecs. Archeologists have uncovered a possible reason for their weakness. This is a summary of an NPR podcast I was listening to while on the torture devices at the local gym:

    It seems the maiz crop had been less than normal due to a heat wave. Once the temperature gets over 32 degrees (C, since this was a British programme) the maiz crop doesn't do so well.

    The mighty king of the Aztecs got his power from the maiz god, and so, when the maiz crop started downhill and food became scarce, he had to do something to increase his political clout.

    He decided to make war on neighboring tribes, not to get more food or resources, as they didn't have much worth taking anyway, but simply to increase his power and the people's dependence on the government to protect them.

    Now, this solidified his power, but also weakened the empire. It seems going to war when resources are scarce may not be the best strategy in the long term.

    Could there be any possible similarities between that Aztec god of maiz and his emperor, and events in the world today I wonder.

    The world has changed a lot since the days of Hernan Cortez, but human beings haven't evolved all that much in just a few hundred years. Surely, there must be some lesson here than would apply to the modern world.
    Mr. Dittohead Not,

    Always interesting to look at historical events from a wider view.

    Did you happen to catch the PBS special on the crucifixion of Jesus. It looked at it from the overall political viewpoint. Tiberius was Roman Emperor at the time, but he had no interest in ruling, so he left the administration of the Empire to his Prefect, Lucius Sejanus, who had his own designs on becoming Emperor. He appointed Pontius Pilate to be the governor of Judea, largely at the behest of Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, who wanted to become King of all Judea. Herod was tolerant of Jesus because he was a lesser revolutionary that John the Baptist who was fuming open rebellion against the Jewish Priesthood, Herod, and Rome.

    Anyway, it goes into a lot more detail into the political intrigue that lead up to the death of Jesus. A good watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    Nice fish. Just read 1493, you should pick it up.
    Mr. God,

    The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz, Cortez's aide, is also a good one.

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    My Kingdom for a covfefe Panzareta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    We all have heard how Cortez and his men had no difficulty defeating the Aztecs. Archeologists have uncovered a possible reason for their weakness. This is a summary of an NPR podcast I was listening to while on the torture devices at the local gym:

    It seems the maiz crop had been less than normal due to a heat wave. Once the temperature gets over 32 degrees (C, since this was a British programme) the maiz crop doesn't do so well.

    The mighty king of the Aztecs got his power from the maiz god, and so, when the maiz crop started downhill and food became scarce, he had to do something to increase his political clout.

    He decided to make war on neighboring tribes, not to get more food or resources, as they didn't have much worth taking anyway, but simply to increase his power and the people's dependence on the government to protect them.

    Now, this solidified his power, but also weakened the empire. It seems going to war when resources are scarce may not be the best strategy in the long term.

    Could there be any possible similarities between that Aztec god of maiz and his emperor, and events in the world today I wonder.

    The world has changed a lot since the days of Hernan Cortez, but human beings haven't evolved all that much in just a few hundred years. Surely, there must be some lesson here than would apply to the modern world.
    I think Aztec lack of immunity probably had something to do with it too.

  8. #8
    Master political analyst Dittohead not!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzareta View Post
    I think Aztec lack of immunity probably had something to do with it too.
    No doubt in the long term it did. In the short term, not so much.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Claudius the God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kallie Knoetze View Post
    Mr. God,

    The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz, Cortez's aide, is also a good one.
    I have a book that was written by researching the notes of one of the padres that went with Cortez, forgot his name. The second volume is similar about Pizarro. It's a spectacular account of two of the biggest jerks in history who were also two of the bravest sobs ever. 1493 is not really about the conquest, it is about the aftermath of colonization and goes into depth on corn, tomatoes, silver, potatos, earthworms, etc. It is a really good read, I bet you will enjoy it.
    Thanks from Kallie Knoetze

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius the God View Post
    I have a book that was written by researching the notes of one of the padres that went with Cortez, forgot his name. The second volume is similar about Pizarro. It's a spectacular account of two of the biggest jerks in history who were also two of the bravest sobs ever. 1493 is not really about the conquest, it is about the aftermath of colonization and goes into depth on corn, tomatoes, silver, potatos, earthworms, etc. It is a really good read, I bet you will enjoy it.
    Mr. God,

    I'll look for that one.

    As I get older, I've become more fond of reading the history behind the history type of book.

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