Monopolies Through Complexity

The Shang Dynasty’s monopoly on divination, which they attained through adding procedural complexity, first made me think of the Roman Catholic Church’s hold on power through keeping the bible and services in Latin, so that non-Latin speakers would have to use them as their translator in godly communications.

But, then I realised it’s similar to the behaviour of anyone who jumps on some disruptive technology first, then tries to make what should be a temporary advantage, permanent. These monopolies are usually broken up when someone comes along and makes the technology widely…