"Don't worry, the empire will see to it that your are protected," said the servant. "Unlike society out there, the empire protects its assets."
The rider shrugged his shoulders.
"I see, you have much to learn," said the servant. "The biggest asset that a society has is its people. If it wasn't for human beings and their remarkable productive qualities, the Earth would be an empty wilderness without song, laughter, dancing, literature, beautiful creations, rich fields filled with food. That's what the human society is, but our ambassadors that we send into the field teach society to forget what they are. Every town crier works for us. Our town criers give them greed, hate, fear, violence, and with these we take their bread away and their humanity with it. How else can we make them dependent on our good graces? Society doesn't need us. We are their worst enemy. But we convinced them to lay down their humanity and love us instead. They are trashing their greatest asset, themselves, and in their poverty they give power to us, over them. That is why we inspire them to go to war. That is how we protect the empire. So, you are safe my friend. Whoever attacks you attacks the empire. We instilled so much fear into them that they won't do this. We also have other ambassadors that assure that you are welcome. You might call them pimps."
"I don't understand," said the rider. "Pimps are people that recrute prostitutes, and control them."
"Precisely," said the servant. "The game of the pimps is slightly different than what you might think. They go to a king bearing gifts to gain an audience. Then, very quietly, they will point out to the king that they have even more to offer. They reach into their right-side pocket and bring out a hand full of gold coins. They tell the king that he might have sacks full of these, for a few small concessions. And then the reach into the left pocket and bring out a knife that has the king's name written on it. They also tell the king that the choice is his. Of course, they rarely do it quite as bluntly. It's done gradually. Especially the fear is built up gradually with a few examples being presented. But in essence that is how the process works. Usually the kings realize that they have no choice. They say yes to our pimps. They realize that they are allowed to live that way. They think they will live richer too and more secure, while the empire gets priority access to all the physical riches that the kingdom has. The kings, as hired prostitutes, always give the empire what it wants. Of course, if the pimps don't succeed, we sent in the jackals, the black tigers that rarely miss their prey in the night. The next king, in this case, turns out to be far more understanding. In such cases were the jackals don't succeed, we send in the big assassins, meaning war. We get one of our prostitute kings to wage a war on the rebel king and turn his kingdom to rubble and ashes, and simply take over what's left. But we always succeed."
The rider shook his head. "And where do you get the gold from that your pimps throw around?"
"Gold is not a problem," said the servant. "Our pimps have hired countless donors. We allow them to loot our prostitute kingdoms on the condition that a major share flows back to us. The donors want to live too, as you can probably understand. And so, they prostitute themselves and get 'paid' well for their services by the kingdoms that they rape."
The rider shook his head again.
"That's how the imperial process works," said the servant. "That is how it has worked for thousands of years, and will continue on forever and ever. It works the same way at every level, all they way to the top."
"Then the empire is nothing more than one giant heap of conspiracies and corruption," said the rider.
"Welcome to the heap," said the servant. "You've been hired. There's no going back now."
"There is only one thing wrong," said the rider. "The heap is empty. It doesn't produce anything. It is maintained by raping and stealing, and by killing the humanity that produces all that is of value. The imperial heap is like a thousand pound flea clinging to the back of a ten pound dog. When the dog dies, the flea looses its nourishment and dies with it."
The servant just laughed. "Don't you know anything?" he said. "Don't you know that the earth is massively over-populated. We are looting it slowly to death for its own good. Mother Earth can support only so many. The rest are a burden and must go. They are eating more than Mother can provide."
"You don't really believe this crap, do you?" the rider countered. "Mankind doesn't live of the good graces of the Earth. Mankind lives of what it creates. It's the human genius that created agriculture and everything else that we need for living. We human beings turned the Earth into a fruitful field, brimming with the highest form of life in the Universe. We replenish the Earth by enriching the biosphere. We have an infinite potential as human beings with a bright future that no one can yet fully imagine."
"That future that you speak of would have no place for the empire, that's why the empire won't allow it. That is why nine-tenth of mankind will have to die. But that's all irrelevant, Mr. Viceroy. The truth is irrelevant. What you or I think is irrelevant. But don't worry, you will learn to say your lines that the empire has hired you to say, and you will utter them with absolute conviction, because if you don't the jackal might show up on your door. That's how it works."
"And what would those lines be?" the rider asked. His face torn with anguish.
The servant pointed to a small booklet in the pocket of his new garment. "There is your songbook, milord."
The servant left after he said this.
The rider took his garment and the parchment with his new title and rode off.
Ross laid the storybook down. He suggested that the ending of the story implies that society will collapse into the dream-mythology of a passive peace that will be worse than death, a kind of endless slavery with the worst suppression of freedom, the suppression of the freedom to think and to search for the truth. "The end-result is passive living," said Ross. "Isn't that worse than death? It's desolation. It's emptiness."
"The implementation of what you earlier called an 'active peace' might also be called 'active living,'" said Sylvia.
"It might not be as difficult as it may seem to achieve this active living, and an active peace," said Ross to me. "People are beginning to get the idea that their passive living leaves the scene open for the ruling empire to destroy society. The age of passive living is coming to an end. The signs are still weak, but there are signs that society is beginning to resist the empire. In the past the empire dictated its terms and the world fell in line. For example the American enforcers were able to go the Saudi Arabia and say to the King, 'we keep you alive and make you rich, but you have to play the game our way. You have to channel your oil money into our imperial companies that will build a few things for you, and of course you have to sell your oil for dollars. And so, the imperials got all the oil producers in the world to sell their oil exclusively for dollars. Consequently all the nations in the world were obliged to by dollars and keep dollar reserves in order to buy oil, which allowed the Feds to print dollars like crazy and flood the world with dollars. But the process isn't working anymore. When the imperials wanted to dictate their terms to Iraq, the Iraqi President said no. He said that he needed to look after the Iraqi people first. So they send in the jackals to assassinate the man. But that didn't work, because the President had been an imperial assassin himself. He knew how the jackals play their game. He was able to protect himself by eliminating the would be assassins. So, the imperials opted for war and gave America the order to wipe the country out. But that failed too. Our first attempt in 1991 failed. We got out when victory seemed impossible. We tried it again later on with a massive bombing campaign, which backfired too. It created us quite a few enemies. But the imperials never give up. Consequently America was ordered to invade Iraq and steal the country by force. That's why we did the 911 thing on us, so that we could cry wolf. But we couldn't invade Iraq right away. That would have been too obvious. We invaded Afghanistan instead as a diversion. The Taliban that we had created as a weapon against the Soviets didn't want to be dictated anymore. They had stopped the flow of opium coming out of Afghanistan. So we went after the Taliban. But the Taliban too, were but a diversion. The real goal was to use Afghanistan as a staging base for destabilizing Central Asia. It's the key to central Asia. The empire knew that Afghanistan couldn't be occupied. No empire in history has ever succeeded. But it served to legitimize the so-called war on terror. It's an old imperial trick to stage terror with a false flag operation and then used the terror to stage war for imperial goals. That's how Iraq was destroyed for a third time in a row. But the invasion failed. The Iraqi are fighting back. That war is lost. Nothing that imperials can do will give them control of the country and its resources. Sure, they tried the old trick that the Venetian Empire had used in the 16th Century to destroy the Renaissance by staging a religious war that over the space of a hundred years tore Europe to shreds. But even that doesn't work in Iraq. People are getting wise to what the civil war is for. Likewise people getting the idea, slowly as it may be, that the threatened war against Iran and North Korea is really a war targeting Russia, China, and India, the historic 'enemy' of the empire. These nations have always refused to dance to the imperial tune. Consequently, they're set up to be destroyed with radioactive pollution from the millions of dirty uranium bombs that are already pre-positioned. But that plan will fail too. The American institutions won't carry out the orders for blowing up the world, and America with it, which is another archenemy of the imperials. Also China won't allow it. The Chinese have built their brand new ICBM system for that, to take out America to stop the DU bombing campaign. And so, bit by bit, the imperial game is beginning to fail on every vital front. Even the imperial's private world-financial empire is disintegrating. The hole world has been looted by it to the bone, and there is nothing much left that can be looted. The entire imperial financial system, that has become in effect the world system, is so hollow today and fragile that the slightest tremors can bring it down. We hear more calls being raised today than ever before, to put the failing mess through bankruptcy reorganization and to let everything go down the toilette that isn't needed to keep the populations alive and to keep industries operating, transportation functioning, food flowing, and so on. The world is moving in that direction towards a fundamental change, and that means shutting the empires down. Our humanity is reasserting itself. And that, my friends, is what I mean with 'active' living and creating an 'active' peace."
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