October 24, 2012

Days of future past -- part two

It is a strange thing, but almost every culture and religion has a prophecy about a leader who will arise in the east and lead the oppressed people in revolt against the evil controlling the world. The Dear Leader knew that was his destiny. His nation was tiny. It was located in the harsh lands far from the Mediterranean and south of the Black Sea. His people were poor, and the culture of The Republic was changing life in ways he found unacceptable. He blamed The Republic for the lack of wealth. He blamed The Republic for the lack of education. Every speech was filled with demagoguery, and the Dear Leader assured his people he could lead them to the greatness they had know in ancient times if only the evil yoke of oppression was thrown off. He blamed The Republic for stealing the fruits of their labors. And the people listened.

The dear Leader's little country was so far away and of so little consequence The Republic did not even notice his rise to power. Does the elephant pay attention to a gnat? Does the blue whale notice the tiny crab crawling on the ocean floor?

The Republic had problems of its own. Elections were coming and a man of the people was leading a charge to reform.  The main plank of his platform was the granting of citizenship to the growing populace of non-citizens inside the borders. He promised higher taxes. He vowed to take property and money from the wealthiest few and spread the largess to the people. He proposed a cap on wealth, arguing the millionaires could afford it. He said it was a crime in a nation so wealthy that anyone should go hungry. The Reformer shouted that change had to happen for the good of all.

The day finally came for election, and it looked like the reformer was a clear winner. As the vote was counted election irregularities began to appear.  The old-line status-quo candidate was declared the winner. The reformer and his supporters were aghast. The Senate confirmed the results. The people exploded in mass protest.

In the hinterlands far from the Capital, in the farmlands, in the smaller cities and towns, the outrage was palpable. Ordinary citizens took up arms, the tax collectors and governmental functionaries were arrested, beaten and even killed. The Republic was in an uproar.  For the first time in history, the army was sent forth to quell an uprising of the citizens. Hundreds of thousands would die in the process, on both sides. This was a civil war of a different type. It was citizen against non-citizen, liberal reformer against conservative old line thinking. It was neighbor against neighbor.

As the Republic focused on internal problems, the Dear Leader saw his opportunity.

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