Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
I’m always looking for the magic bullet, people. I’m always looking for the easy answer, the panacea, the talismanic formula, the miracle cure. For you, my people. For you. To ease the burdens with which the Pharaohs of capital have saddled you. To end their herding of poor people into prisons and their control of the powerless and dissident with violence. To end their destruction of community institutions which they replace with franchises to channel what community resources might remain into the transnational pockets of the ruling class. To rescue the planet from being sucked dry of what it needs to sustain life by the vampires of endless economic growth.
All of the societal remedies being floated these days miss the mark. Getting rid of the filibuster is a band aid, as are term limits, and any of the other tweaks to so-called democracy. Getting rid of the Electoral College would be great, and not just because they don’t have a football team, but it would still not be nearly enough to stop those who weaponize capitalism from bending elections to their desires. An intelligence test for public service might prevent a Donald Trump from rising to control, but there are plenty of people who could pass such a test and still be terrible leaders.
Getting rid of capitalism sounds great, but the power vacuum risks being filled by some other type of cruel opportunist, and where it isn’t so filled, the general global environment of cruel opportunism often forces otherwise beneficent leadership to adopt malignant policies in reaction to malignant pressures. Replacing all leadership with women is no answer, because Margaret Thatcher. Replacing all leadership with the gender, ethnicity, or physically-shaped people of your choice will not work because Margaret Thatcher. Margaret Thatcher ruined it for everyone, basically.
We need a dictatorship of the fair, honest, wise, and kind. They are the only demographic guaranteed to rule with fairness, honesty, wisdom, and kindness. And dictatorship is the only way they’d have the power they’d need to enforce their fair, honest, wise, kind policies. I can already envision them abolishing the police and the prison system and replacing them with trained cadres of peacemakers, conflict resolvers, and restorative justice practitioners. They could curtail private property rights that allow land to be misused to satisfy reckless greed and shallow ambition. They could empower those slaving under the yoke of BS jobs and the BS owners and functionaries, private and public, they sustain. They could dictate policies that nurture the land, seas, rivers, and air rather than exhaust and poison them. They could end the vicious cycle of weapons manufacture, the arms trade, and war. And they would have the power to force people to comply with their fair, honest, wise, and kind edicts under threat of re- education, sequestration from the decent citizenry, or extermination.
The problem seems to be, as I’ve explored this possibility so far, that fair, honest, wise, and kind people refuse to rule as a dictatorship. And I understand that dictatorship has gotten a bad reputation over the last five millennia. But let’s not throw the baby of revolutionary change out with five thousand years of dirty bathwater! Is that wise? I ask you, wise people, is it wise to throw out the baby of revolutionary change with five thousand years of dirty bathwater?
And is it kind to shave the human condition with anything other than Occam’s Razor? Is it kind to use the Rube Goldbergian, jury-rigged, chimeric jalopy of even a democratic socialist republic to shave the grotesque accumulation of hirsute growth upon the tender visage of a humanity crying out for rescue from certain doom? Is that kind? Is that a kindness?
And is it fair to allow the rapists of the planet to continue their violations while those who would behave with responsible humility are shafted?
And is it honest to say there’s any other way to save humanity from itself?
No, fair, honest, wise, and kind people. In refusing to rule fairly, honestly, wisely, and kindly in an absolute fashion—in refusing to think outside the boxes of your own prejudice, indoctrinated by five thousand years of propaganda— you are not being fair, honest, wise, or kind. Which, of course, disqualifies you from ruling absolutely as fair, honest, wise, and kind absolute rulers.
So, I guess you got lucky this time.
I don’t begrudge you your luck, but I will say this: the oppression and persecution of the unlucky by the lucky has to stop. We must stop the fair, honest, wise, and kind people from tyrannizing us with their luck. For the good of the planet, we must stop the fair, honest, wise, and kind people from tyrannizing us. For the good of the future, we must stop the fair, honest, wise, and kind people from ruthlessly exercising their will. For the children, for the kittens, for those making cool needlepoint, collages, puppets, and decorative pottery, we must stop the fair, honest, wise, and kind people from kicking and punching us with their iron boots and boxing gloves.
Down with the tyranny of the fair, honest, wise, and kind! They’re acting with the caprice and selfishness of dictators! We shall not let this bullying continue. By refusing their solemn duty to rule as a dictatorial junta, those among humanity who are fair, honest, wise, and kind are cruelly wielding a unilateral, monolithic fiat. This dictatorship of the fair, honest, wise, and kind will not stand!
Hoist with their own petard, as the bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon used to say whenever someone’s machinations backfired. Hoist with their own petard, he used to say, swilling his ale in the public house with Ben Jonson and the other bards at their bard-meetings. He was chairman of the bards.
Any way you look at it, despite our failure to enlist the help of the fair, honest, wise, and kind, we’ve at least managed to avoid being dictated to by them. A good, solid day’s work, my people. You have stood your ground. What you lost in a solution you’ve gained by refusing to submit to it.
All power to the people, someday.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!