Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Empire Diaries - part 1

"My friends and I have a dream. We wish to rule the world. Yes, there have been Kings and Princes before us who have aspired to conquer all before them; small men with limited vision, too easily satisfied with trinkets and baubles. We want nothing less than all there is, and all there will ever be. We seek not to toil and slave, but to let others do this for us. We shall be Emperors of this world, while all others are forced to do our bidding.

Not an easy task, you may say, but neither is it an impossible one. We know that this prize will not be won within our lifetime, but our blood will run through all of history in the veins of our children. They, like us, shall be bold and steadfast in their purpose. Never shall they waver. Neither mercy nor compassion shall halt their advance. Neither pity nor remorse shall dog their footsteps to make them turn from their path because, though today may not be theirs, tomorrow will always belong to them.

Yes, my friend, I see the question forming in your eyes. How can we, who number less than the digits on three hands, hope to overcome an enemy who can be counted as grains in a field of corn? I say this to you: Though each grain be tightly bound to the next, and each ear be within whispering distance of six others, who, in turn, can lean and touch six more, the gentlest of breezes can separate stalk from stalk. And should that breeze rise to a wind, then it shall blow across the field and part grain from grain. Then all shall be as dust in the wind.

Thus we shall be. The mildest of summer breezes, gently wafting over growing heads of corn. But we shall build upon this breeze until we are a gale that not one lonely grain, out of touch with its fellows, can withstand. This we must do because if ever the ears reached out to each other and entwined their stalks, then we would be powerless against their interwoven mass. And if each grain should ever realise exactly what it contains within - everything that is and has ever been, the fullness of life itself - then we would be lost, we would be as chaff, blowing in the wind.

So how are we to become this wind of change? We are few amongst many, so we must keep our own counsel and hide in the shadows. We must not let ourselves be seen, but remain forever behind the curtain; allowing the audience to see only the monkeys, dancing on their strings. We must slowly separate grain from grain. Only if we divide our enemy into opposing camps, fighting each other, can we hope for victory.

There are many ways in which we can do this. First, we must move our Empires around so that the enemy thinks we have been defeated and banished into dusty history. Then we will rise from the ashes, under a new name, and continue our march to Imperial Destiny. We will move from these dry, desert lands, to the cooler northern climes where the white skinned peoples abound. There we will build again, using all that we have plundered so far. We will appear to be generous in our gifts to mankind. We will give them many things. But here we shall begin to waft our gentle breeze. Here, in the lands of the white skinned peoples, we will create our first separation. We will make the white skinned peoples believe that they are superior to their darker brothers and sisters whose lands lie behind us. Because of our gifts to them, they will think that they are far more clever than the primitive people living in the deserts and jungles of the south. We will demonise these dark skinned people and call them savages, so as to increase the fear within the minds of the white skinned people; while at the same time, we will endeavour to keep the darker ones in poverty, so they in turn will grow in their resentment of their white brothers and sisters. As long as this situation is maintained, then conflict will remain for hundreds, if not thousands of years. We will be able to plunder the rich resources of the southern lands, and all the time, the fear within the white peoples and the hatred within the darker peoples will spiral into perpetual conflict.

Now, as you can see my friend, we have split the world in half; things will become a little easier now. But we cannot rest upon our laurels, half a world is still too large a foe for us to defeat. So now we must further divide the peoples of the world. As we have advanced the white skinned races of the north and given them a little civilisation, we must be more careful in our approach, lest they begin to think too much. What we must now do is take them a step backwards and begin to play upon their fears. The greatest fear of mankind is that of the unknown. The biggest unknown in life is what happens when life ends and death begins. Much like their ancestors feared the darkness of night until the sun rose up and brought light into the world again; mankind fears the great darkness of death. In the past, all peoples have worshipped the sun, seeing its life giving properties as the seasons roll by and their crops grow to fruition. We shall now take this a step further and tell them that there is nothing to fear after death, that there is an afterlife; a heaven, where all is sweetness and light, and where they will be reunited with their departed loved ones. Who amongst them could resist such a shining vision? With such reassurance dangled before them they will be like wet clay in the hands of our priests. And, of course, should they reject this belief, there will always be the alternative of an eternity of hell, where fiery demons prowl and prod the lost souls with their pitchforks. They will only too gladly seek salvation in the arms of our priests and prophets. We shall give them many gods and make them believe that only their god is the one and only true god. Now we have not only pitted black against white, but god against god. It will be only too easy to persuade people to fight and kill each other in the name of their god. More conflict, more separation; a more confused enemy, lost in internecine struggles.

I see the smugness beginning to slip a little from your smile my friend. Do you still think that our goal is unobtainable? We have much further to go and time marches on but the game is only just beginning. Now that we have divided and confused, it is time to make people believe that they can unite in common cause. Amid such confusion it is easy to persuade people to gather together against a common enemy. Now we can separate things a little further. As "civilisation" grows and large communities begin to build, we can unite and divide at the same time; a clever little trick, don't you think? How can we do this? Well, it isn't as difficult as you may think. We shall persuade them that they should band together in the lands where they live and speak a common tongue. These we shall call countries and each country shall have a little emblem or flag that all from those lands can identify with, and rally behind. We have created conflict between much larger groups than these as I have already told you, so now things will get much, much easier. Not only will we have conflict between black and white, god and god, but also between flag and flag. War will cover the face of the earth while we remain behind the scenes; quietly going about our business. We can even allow countries to become powerful, to the point where they actually believe that Empire is theirs. Such irony does not fail to amuse us. They will fight and die in the name of their little flag, but the glory and the spoils shall be ours.

As grains of corn multiply with each harvest, so shall mankind multiply, until they cover the face of this earth. There is room aplenty for many, should they wish to sow and reap, toil and harvest for their simple needs. But we shall persuade them that they are far better than this; that they can achieve greater glory by building cities whose roof tops stretch to the sky. We shall herd them like cattle into dark, hovel lined streets, under the shadows of their great cathedrals, built to the glory of the gods which we gave them. There they will have no choice but to give up their ploughshares and their open fields with the sky above them; and turn to other ways to feed their miserable kin.

Now shall a new age begin. Mankind shall still have needs, but no longer be able to fulfil them by his previous labours. We shall give him many desires, which we will turn into needs. Man is such a weak being, easily yielding to temptations placed before him. Thus shall we sow the seeds that will grow into what he will come to call trade, and industry. And all the time he will believe that he has trod the path of his natural ascendancy, whereas, he has never really shaken off his yoke of slavery.

I see you still doubt me my friend. Well, we have many plans for this new age, but they are not mine to deliver. I leave that to our children. Perhaps they will be able to report on our progress when their time comes. For now, I bid you farewell. My friends and I have much work to do…"

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