What brought up this subject was a comment I stumbled upon this morning, in a Wikipedia article about the origins of banking:
Wealth was deposited and kept in temples; in treasuries, where safety was afforded by the will of the gods.
I’ve actually studied ancient Mesopotamia, and I don’t for a minute believe that the guys who looted their local farmers believed it was protected by the gods. If they did, they wouldn’t have kept it in the most secure building in their kingdom, surrounded by thick walls and isolated from approach!
That line – that five thousand year old line – was created for the suckers, the people who gave the thugs their money but wanted to feel noble about it. And it’s still working! The ruler is automatically afforded every benefit of the doubt, at all times and in all ways.