There are approximately 135 soldiers in the Vatican city. That would be (also roughly) the Vatican Army's actual headcount today.
On the other hand, China have now about 2,185,000 active soldiers. Russia has 6,850 active nuclear warheads. In other hand, with about 5,137 aircraft, 406 ICBM missiles and 63 military satellites, in addition to a budget of US $ 161 billion, the USAF - United States Air Force, is the largest in the world.
The Vatican City doesn't even have a weather balloon. Maybe a helium balloon on Camerlengo's birthday.
However, a single word from the occupant of Peter's Throne in Vatican City can shake the relations of all these countries, even China - historically opposed to institutional religions in the West.
Of course, religious institutions no longer have the prestige they did in the past century, but that does not mean that they no longer have it.
It turns out that we are not talking about religion, we are talking about power. Religion is an example.
If true human power meant its brute strength and military capabilities, anything desired by the American state would not need to be requested twice to be granted by any country. There would be no discussion.
It is also certain that Russia could threaten any territory in the world, or that China could impose whatever it wanted to achieve what it wanted, through force. It could establish a dictatorship right now, over almost any people. He would manage relatively easily, too.
But to achieve is not to maintain.
Of course, all of these countries do have their direct influence, partly by force too, we cannot deny. The difference is blind devotion and without relevant questioning.
Getting the phone number of a person you are interested in does not guarantee that you will date, marry, have children, whatever.
How long would the army agree to all the Chinese government's demise, without questioning authoritarian orders as soon as its dictatorship was established? For how long and what is the quality of the economic production of a subjugated people? How many bombs would be needed? And if they had to kill to the last, would it be worth running a cemetery?
Strength is a means of power, it is not power.
You see, there are few countries in the world that have not experienced, at some point, some kind of dictatorship or authoritarian regime that used the destructive force for their own maintenance. Rare are those where it has lasted a long time. Nowhere has it lasted 2,000 years like the Catholic Church.
In the beginning people obey. At some point they begin to question. In another, fear becomes rancor and consequently rancor becomes courage.
The only certainty about dictatorships is that they will eventually fall.
Power does not.
It shapes itself, it transforms, it evolves or even regresses, but a fact about narrative webs of power, is that they are invincible by force, but not immune to another one.
Another curiosity is that, generally, the force exists where the power is weak.
As we still observe today, a father who fails to convince his son, leaves him grounded. A country that fails to convince the people, fights them. It sets up censorship devices, restrictions, and the whole book of authoritarianism that you already know well - as I said, few countries have ever faced or face any type of authoritarianism.
The Vatican does not need to raise a single weapon to make millions of people follow their primers, give them money, defend their honor and integrity, and llive lifes more or less in the way the Church dictates.
“Yes, but the Vatican only has 135 soldiers TODAY, it wasn't always like that. There was a time when the greatest army in the world was that of the Church and of the nations subjugated to their misdeeds ”.
During that time, movements of separation, of change, of division, seethed. There were reformists everywhere, new religious strands kept coming from the Roman Catholic Church - most coming from within the church itself.
It is very unlikely that any current monk will decide to write some theses against the Vatican and nail them to the door of some great cathedral. However, every newspaper in the world criticizes Russia, China, or the United States at least once a day.
It is obvious that the Vatican also has criticism. The difference is that the criticisms presented to the countries either force them to change on their own, or imply a series of enormous paths of commotion and demands.
Even the most proud redneck in the United States may end up discouraged with his country at one time or another. He will say that the country is no longer the same and that things need to change - or be the same as before. He may even enter the country's seat of power to demand compliance with the agenda that he believes to be the country's true agenda. He will be able to destroy and kill parts and people of his own country for this, sometimes without protection, without even a shirt - even though he knows that he is facing the country's machine with the third largest army in the world.
Is the agenda more powerful than the country?
A Catholic is unlikely to convert to another religion - and more than that - to another lifestyle and worldview - because of criticism of the Vatican. Even the worst criticisms, such as pedophilia scandals, make the faithful separate people from institutions, but they will never make the most fanatical of Catholics march to the Vatican, invade St. Peter's Basilica and shout slogans while wearing an apostle costume.
Even though he had to face only 135 soldiers.
If strength does not guarantee power, what does? what is power? And more than that, who gives power to power? What guarantees the strength of the institutions, the brands, the beliefs, the values, the traditions, the ideas that take us from one status, lead to another and still guarantee that a huge number of people defending its maintenance?
What is this narrative force that enables the human to act together, and more than that, is it possible to synthesize and create it programmatically and intentionally? Or even artificially? Will robots ever have this power?
The Bible, like the Koran, the Mahabarata, etc., were not created with this intention, and are part of an immense narrative web that is not limited to them. The laws of the church are not only and not always the same laws as the Bible, and everything has been created for centuries, in an almost organic way, and not from a conscious intention.
Examples of intentional creation also exist. The Temple of the People, the tragic sect of Jim Jones, was intended to control a lot of people, but did not know how to create exactly the whole web, the whole power. In the end, like any dictatorship, he had to resort to force. That is, it did not have enough power - and today it no longer exists. I expect.
The biggest forces, the biggest power, it doesn't need a bullet. It happens at the bus stop, in small talk. The biggest imposition is the one that we can't see so much that at the same time we find it absurd not to exist.
Even before civilization, in fact, it was not the physically strongest people who held power: the elders, the council of elders, were the ones who determined the direction of the tribe. The tribes have changed but the concept has not. Who determines the direction of society TODAY - and I say in capital letters because we are in a split moment - are state institutions such as courts and parliaments.
Now answer me, is it a council of elders or not?
A power does not mean an imposition. He does not face resistance when he reaches the goal, if he is faced significantly it is because he is not a power or he has not yet reached the goal of being.
It is not just a matter of "dominating", it is not that. It is about existing only. Nobody argues that money has no objective value. And he hasn't.
Money is not eaten, it is not dressed. In fact, if people start to discredit money, it becomes worthless. If I arrive with Cruzeiro (an old Brazilian currency) notes for someone in Brazil today, what can I buy? Nothing.
But is it still money?
We understood that the Cruezeiro narrative no longer exists. If in an isolated city people have decided that it is still worth and that they do not accept Real (the actual brazilian money), you can get there with a million Reais that it will not be worth anything, because the money has no objective value. If today you go to an brazilian market and the person who attends you says "look, that note of Real is not valid here". You will find it absurd and laugh at that person. But tomorrow he goes to the brazilian pharmacy, and the person answering says the same thing. And it starts happening constantly so on, almost like a Saramago book.
If I arrived in this same isolated city in Brazil with a huge load of frozen and packaged meat, bottles of beer or tons of fruit, even if everyone is using only Cruzeiros, I would be able to exchange these items for other items or for Cruzeiros itself.
Meat, beer and fruit have objective value, we can use, consume, feel.
Things that are not objective exist only because we collectively credit them with value. They have objective values that we believe and understand together - a subjective one that holds true for both you and me. this is the so-called “intersubjective fabric” that exists in society, and that, above all else, is what defines society itself.