Man has been in turmoil for the past few years (well, maybe not man but a few folks) for the sole reason that the Mayan calendar abruptly ends on 12/12/2012 and we all know how advanced the Mayan civilization was. Notice I use the word ‘was’ as I’ve yet to find the Mayans listed as members of the United Nations nor have I found evidence of their having entered into a single trade agreement with any existing nation. Having purged myself of all sarcasm and on a serious note, there is a simple explanation as to why the Mayan Calendar ends when it does which has absolutely nothing to do with the end of life as we know it.
For hundreds of years the Mayan civilization was ruled by a particular royal family with each succeeding ‘King’ chosen from the descendents of the previous one. This pattern held true for centuries except in the case of revolt, political dissension, or assassination. The Mayans were perfectly happy with this form of government for a considerable length of time however, as their society advanced they reached the point where the right to rule based entirely on parentage no longer satisfied. Certain Mayan groups began to openly call for free elections. After their execution it was determined that a different, more subtle approach was need and as a result, the concept of the ‘grassroots’ movement was born. The pro-election Mayans had correctly surmised that by creating a populist notion that only free elections could advance the Mayan culture they could achieve their goal.
For the next eight years the Mayan free election leaders cast about, seeking that one individual capable of leading the crusade and changing the status quo. Their first selection was an impressive, upper class warrior named Zjah’n Qari, a holder of several prestigious offices under the current King and a reported hero of the Veeht’nahm Wars. The Mayan’s attempt to insert Qari as their leader failed miserable for two reasons; the people disliked his haughty airs and it was discovered he was only responsible for sharpening and feathering arrows during the war. In fact, he had never been in combat. The rejection of their first candidate came as quite a blow.
The second Mayan choice for leader of the proposed elective government fared no better. Early in his campaign it was revealed he’d fathered children by the wives of others and he had also accepted a bribe of twenty pigs from the breadfruit pickers in exchange for his promise to reduce daily work hours and institute a day of rest. Though he was a dashing young man whom the people were drawn to he was forced to withdraw from the contest.
The Mayan’s final choice of a potential leader, a young man named Byrr’Ak, seemed to surpass their wildest expectations. He was an incredible speaker when reading from prepared stone tablets and possessed an aura of salvation which the people found appealing. Even though Byrr’Ak was an Incan and not a Mayan, the common people didn’t seem to care. The slogans he espoused where catching and the people were ready for change, any change. Ultimately, the ruling family was overthrown and Byrr’Ak was installed as the leader of the Mayans by popular vote. Almost immediately the people began to realize they may have made a grave mistake. Their new leader began to talk of taxing the people in order to pay for his unpopular programs. His policies were creating havoc in numerous industries from stonecutting to basket weaving. Byrr’Ak began to regulate every facet of Mayan life refusing to accept either advice or criticism. All critics were vilified as racists, that their complaints were rooted in the fact that Byrr’Ak was an Incan and not a Mayan. The common people just didn’t understand that his efforts were for their own good, they were just too uneducated to realize it. Within the first year things had gotten so bad merchants were laying off life-long employees, selling their slaves and moving away to find work in order to support their families.
As time past, Byrr’Ak appointed more and more of his Incan friends to positions in his new government until the Mayan people no longer recognized their own society. The scribes and the town-criers were all in support of this new young leader and served as censors of any damaging news regarding Byrr’Ak’s failures as elected leader. Things finally progressed to the point that certain appointees and other members of the newly elected government began to refuse to back this radical Incan and in some cases actually refused to perform their duties. The largest and most important group effected were the Astrologers. Byrr’Ak demanded a re-write of the future placing him as the savior of Mayan society. He also demanded alteration of past events as well as current events if they placed him in a bad light. His demands for cover-up and deception finally reached the point where the Astrologers refused to comply. They closed their observatories, took their charts and instruments, and left, never to return.
The loss of the Astrologers resulted in the complete breakdown of Mayan society. No one now knew when to plant or when to harvest. Monthly human sacrificing was canceled as no one could determine whether the stars were properly aligned or not. No one could say for certain if the gods were please or even if the gods were still there. Worst of all, the people were unsure of their future. Without the Astrologers they no longer had access to the most accurate calendar the world had ever known. The Mayan Calendar was to forever reflect that final calculated date of December 12, 2012. With no long range future the people lost all hope and were transformed into sheep without desire to excel or reason to do so. Eventually the Mayan civilization collapsed under the weight of its own apathy.
As you can see, December 12, 2012 was not a Mayan prediction of the end of the world. It was simply the last calculated date in the Mayan Calendar before the Astrologers walked off the job in disgust at their own government and unqualified leadership. If we today learn nothing else from history we should at least understand; you never choose an Incan when you have a qualified Mayan on hand.