I was reading some medieval history about the relationship between the Holy Roman emperor and the Church and how the church meddled in the affairs of monarchs, to the extent they literally dictated who they could and couldn’t marry (exhorting a huge price increasing the church power in order to allow marriages).
When, it occurred to me, that that was very much the relationship that had developed in the 20th century between press/media and our politicians.
To explain the analogy … who was it in the medieval period who broadcast the “news”? There wasn’t TV or radio, or newspapers. Where did people go where they might get the latest “news”. The answer of course, was the church, where each week, they no doubt got a condensed version of what the Church considered was the “news” the populace SHOULD hear. Of course, the church put its own moral and POLITICAL views into that news, and they ensured their own financial interests and the continuation of power.
That is no doubt why such things and being “excommunicated” were so effective. The Kings themselves wouldn’t care a damn was some poxy hypocritical pope said, but the church through the power of medieval “media” could distort the public view of their leaders.
And this also explains why the ready availability of printed material was so damaginging. Because the church only had power over monarchs as long as it remained the main source of authority on “news” and “information”. As long as its view was unquestionned by any other authority. And so, as soon as other sources came along, it lost its power.
This I think, is a far better explanation of the loss of power of the Catholic church. Yes, the bible was printed in forms that were readily available to the middle classes, so that they could read it for themselves and decide for themselves what the basis of Christianity should be (hence the split in churches). But I think a far greater problem for the church is that it lost its monopoly on being the authority on “politicall news” – meaning in very simple terms, how ordinary people should view the politics of their day. This is very much akin to what has happened to the press/media today. So, whilst the climate cult is clearly a religious innovation created by the internet, the main changes have been things like the rise of anti-media politicians like Trump and the success of Brexit (against the wishes of almost all the UK media).