Ooh Baby Compound Me
“You haven’t paid me back for the last round,” another replied.
“Man, you know I’m good for it,” one said.
“Dude, I’ll spot you again. But you owe me, man.” Thus, credit was established.
I’m making this up, but it sounds close doesn’t it? The credit system has been around for ages, the stakes and payments could have been higher or lower in any case. In some cases, it could have been a shiny stone, animal horn, or possibly death. It depends who you owed. If you owed money for your horse’s shoes at the blacksmith, you could probably give back by offering wool from your sheep flock. If you owed the Catholic Church its Sunday, offering you would lose the ability to abolish your sins and in that case, the devil would take possession of your soul. Regardless of the payments due for credit, I can honestly say they were a lot less complicated but I will get into that later.
Now I have to admit this book is not going to deep into research. I’ll let that for the intellectuals and historians. No, this is a bit of mindless meandering and honestly, it is a little more interesting to create a little history than to reveal it. History is of course very subjective to those divulging it. My tactic is the comparison of credit and barter system and fraternal order. At first I thought, well it was a fun idea, but then as I did actually do some reading I found both quite a fit. Credit and fraternities go together like peas in a pod, birds of a feather. You can pick your cliché. They all work.
Brotherhoods of men date back to biblical times with such groups as the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ, Priory of Sion, Knights of Templar, Roman Collegia, Peoples Front of Judea, or the Judean People's Front. I'm not sure which one, but I do know one of which was led by John Cleese. All of which were secret societies of men founded under certain collected ideals. In order for inclusion to any of these mostly likely included rituals, mottos, and secret handshakes.
How about those Druids with their dark hooded frocks and carrying big sticks? They lurk about the stone pillars of Stonehenge making of new rules and regulations for any Druid wannabes. What would they charge new Druid members, a splintered wood coins, lamb’s skull or a peasant’s little finger? Again, I am a little loose with the historical accuracy of the Druids and I do not wish to insult any modern day Druid. I actually did a tiny bit of research of an unreliable source on the internet. What I learned was the Druids were a historical fraternal system prided themselves on intellectual and profound thought, much like today's collegiate fraternities. The Druids were keen on teaching youngsters humanitarian ideals, just like frat brothers with their hot chick car washes in tight, white see-through tee shirts and my old time favorite, "Dunk a hunk." Can you see the correlation between the two? It is a sad comment on today's society of fraternities, that the ancient Druids were more revered and dignified.
Let’s take for example the Knights of the Roundtable a historical brotherhood of men who sat around a round table, gulping ale and snacking on dried cow chips. I would surmise that these were the jocks of the historical fraternity systems as they had the cool uniforms, shiny weapons and the hot chicks. Those knights really had a way with the ladies. Leader of the pack Arthur along with the sexy stud Lance A Lot and party go hardy Galahad. Yeah, they were loads of fun until they lost their mojo to a lady in a lake. What wannabe peasant lad wouldn't want to ride with this crew? All chosen to be to rush had to go through an agonizing initiation by Merlin the Magician. Not so much that it was painful or humiliating, no they had to sit through a magician's act. In this case, I'd beg for the paddle.
Many of these fraternities were founded to unite those with similar trades and skills to work together to unite their crafts and to attract younger men to these trades, thus the idea of apprenticeship was formed. These fraternities became a rite of passage for many young men. Once again, these fraternities were very inclusive and only a select few were allowed to join. But see here is my thought to all this, why not just get together with a bunch of buds and take turns springing for beer while undertaking deep, drunken and intellectual conversations.
I would like to use the Amish as example and their famous barn buildings. Everyone gathers round for a potluck dinner and build a barn. They make a party out of their work. This is brotherhood without dues, fees. True brotherhood is one that doesn't cost a cent. Wow, what a concept. Something for nothing.
The fraternal order that we know of today was founded during colonial times. It is hard not to understand why one would want to be a part of something, which was founded by our founding fathers. It truly raises the statue of fraternal order especially when there is ivy growing on walls. For these fraternities, social standing and money was the requirement to belong. It wasn't so much at the time they discriminated against those of lesser income, only because let's face it; education was available for the elite wealthy few.
Unfortunately, in most societies and even those most respected as our own colonial times, money is just more elite the brilliance. Yes, it is something I personally have come to terms. I will never be accepted truly because of my brilliance, ha.
It is hard for me to believe if these original fraternity brothers anticipated beer bongs and wet willies, but then maybe they sucked ale from the feather in their cap and when beyond drunk and comprehension called it macaroni. I tend to look at this like inbreeding. The more you start breeding fraternities the more stupid they get. In addition, of course like pure, inbred dogs violent natures can become quite a strong, factoring trait. Stupidity and violent nature could be a cause for deaths during fraternity hazing.
Here is the basis for my comparison based on the above. Today's creditors and corporations base marketing schemes on our wants and innermost desire to be like everyone else, so much for individualism. It is something we want to have, and feel we need. It is a ploy for our belonging. I will lay out all the media advertisements that demonstrate how these credit corporations are enhancing our lives just like a big brother in a fraternal order. Nothing is free and there is always a due for our membership. Creditors take it a step further.
The idea of credit in American started when the invention of large appliances and automobiles. You can thank the Industrial Revolution for your credit debt. Just like today, peoples of the early Twentieth Century needed some help in buying refrigerators, washers and dryers. This credit was extended only as a luxury to those who could afford to pay. If you were rich, you were extended credit. If you were poor, you would continue to do your laundry down by the river. You could not afford a car, so you had to walk ten miles up hill to school both ways. It does have some logic. Why would you extend credit to someone who couldn’t pay? However, like most cases the people in need deserve the help not the privileged few.
As time passed, banks and corporations realized the benefit of extorting money from the public. I do say this with sarcasm of course because we are not really being extorted, only partially. It is the legal kind of extortion. You know when you steal half a cent on every dollar. Who would notice, once banks and corporate lenders found out what patsies the American public are and our need for useless products and services. These corporations set the dues and fees for membership to each bank and card services. They set the terms, rules and regulations for us to follow. In a sense of belonging and being part of the heard, we without question accept these terms, rules, regulations, fees, charges and dues without hesitations. We are asking for it.