Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Divine Fire of Existence

Let there be some kingdom, somewhere in the far and distant lands of which we know so little. Let this kingdom be populated by a people of, on the whole, great personal strength, wit, and courage; and let them then be conquered by an alien force, posessed of superior might, numbers, and will to conquer. Let their heroes, and the heroes among their children, and the heroes among their children's children, rise up against the conquerors, bearing banners of defiance; and let their heroes fail. Let them die, or flee into exile, or simply give up and - disappear - and let the spirits of the country fall with them, such that, four generations from the invasion, they are a broken people, assimilated. Let the occupying forces leave, all but some token policing-force, and let many of the youth go with them, to conquer and oppress other countries as they were oppressed -

assimilated -

How, then, may this kingdom of ours be freed; how may it escape from the boot upon its neck? What hero could accomplish the task, when so many heroes have tried and died trying? Is there anything left to save?

Perhaps not -

So the first action to undertake would be to create something, the kingdom-that-was. History; the study which princes and tyrants neglect to their own downfall. Act subtly; create literary reviews for the upper classes, spread songs and tales for the lower classes. Reinforce a sense of national identity, or create it, if matters are too far gone. Do not spread agitation; do not foment revolution! Not directly, at least. Not yet.

Time must pass. The lessons must sink in. The people of this generation, we already know, are too far gone. Their spirits are shattered. But the people of the next - young, or yet unborn. They can be taught. Not all of them, not perfectly - but perhaps - they can become a tool, a medium, a place from which revolution can spring.


How beautiful a word.

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