Contemporary Fiction Speculative

Excerpt from the Watchman’s Review. Translated and reviewed by Adolf Huffenslafenmaker: Circa 1936, Berlin Germany.

“Because I said so. That is what I told her.”

“Is that what you really said? Do you believe that works?”

It is the implied power that troubles me. Not that I am influenced by power, no more than anyone else I believe. I believe that there are those who command attention, allegiance, anything, and everything it takes, to remind us that without their superior abilities, we would be nothing.

Then there is that age old lesson about being under their roof, protection, security, that gives them the authority to tell you how to live. Because they are providing for your wellbeing, you are indebted to them for their generosity. Which I might add, is not a gesture of kindness, but an inherited obligation. A duty, if you will, that is mandated by law. So, if you believe that being in the care of parents or guardians is essential to meeting their responsibility, and in return requires your obedience, you would be wrong.

Being under the care of someone does not give them the right to demand anything.  Acceptance of the rules introduced, is a choice. Demanding adherence to laws is necessary, for the systems of our society, country, and the world to operate in a manner that is beneficial to all. But, because you see the value in rules, laws, does not mean you have abandoned your right to self-determination. The right to say no. If progress is to be made amongst ourselves, we must learn to accept the fact that there is more than one way to do something., more than one belief system to adhere too. 

The sheer number of possibilities is daunting. There are no two snowflakes claimed to be alike, or I believe, a situation that could encompass every possibility in a person’s life. When I hear that someone has the one and only right answer, I find myself examining the declaration, not the person delivering it. I’ve seen the discrepancies in their judgement.  I realize they have convinced themselves and others, that theirs is the only correct way to proceed despite evidence to the contrary.

Perhaps the need to exert a form of control is inherent in us all. When we order a meal we are often asked how we would like it cooked, what seasonings we prefer. The intent is to give us what we pay for. But that is entirely different from imposing rules on others because we can, because we have the leverage. In most instances we do not consider how or why someone did something we found objectionable. We are disturbed by the fact they did not adhere to our rules. When challenged, the notion of consideration is discarded, as it interferes with their ability to rule definitively.

Charles Wagon was just such a person. He was unapproachable, obstinate in his beliefs, and yet showed no interest in becoming someone other than the person he was. When questioned, he would maintain the composure of a pit bull, snarling inwardly, waiting for his chance to attack. Being in charge gives one the financial armlock on a person’s contributions to duty, as it leverages the dichotomy between financial security and sanity, or minimally going along, so as not to upset the proverbial apple cart.

Agnew, a one-time former Vice President of these United States, operated from his earliest years in politics, what I believed to be a reverse Ponzi scheme.  Rather than the pyramids peak being the goal and obvious conclusion of trickledown economics, Agnew inverted the scheme to incorporate persuasive contributions to his political needs by using his position to line his own pockets. He was caught, forced to resign, and eventually ended up in prison. But did this nationally televised embarrassment deter further scurrilous activity? No! It seemed to only heighten its use.

Chuck, as his associates were asked to call him, believed not only in adhering to the eleventh commandment, “thou shalt do what I say,” but also, “pretend that I never said it.” Chuck is just one example of many I have met over the years of attempting to survive, that have invigorated my need to question authority. Not because of its purpose. If we all led, we would go in so many different directions we would become redundant before we began.  Our inability to incorporate ideas to achieve a specific goal, with the least amount of obstinacy, and an increased amount of productivity and creativity, is only possible when we infuse co-operation into our systems. 

“Because I said so,” has become the rallying cry of those who have a vision that is inclusive, only in that it refuses to listen to amendments to their vision, because it poses a threat to the ego and arrogance of the one proposing the path to a satisfactory conclusion.

We are, and have been trained, as individuals, communities, societies, to go along, to get along. I must admit it is the easiest way to survive, if you can allow yourself to be content with the person you’ve become. When you allow others to become your guiding example of morality, ethics, civility, even faith, you have given up the very thing that makes progress inclusive, available to everyone. To seal yourself away from various ideas because of who proposed them, is to limit your ability to express your own idealism, which often becomes the basis for fabricated fact.

The definitiveness of the words, “Because I said so,” should leave us questioning what and by whose authority they have been proclaimed, “God like.” When we consider the mistakes humankind has made in the name of progress or defense, we must realize we continue to deny the basic truths that stem from our decisions. Most of the time they have proven to be flawed, resulting in chaos and death, the result of power imposed on those with little or none of it. Wars are not fought on humanitarian grounds, as that is an oxymoron of unprincipled design. We fight wars to flaunt power. It is rare the powerful suffer anything but exaggerated bank accounts despite the fact they are the willful instigators.

I would suggest that the next time someone proclaims that you do something because, they said so, you ask the question, “And you are? And I’m supposed to do what, and why?” If the answer is not, “God or your mother,” I suggest you ignore their insistence and think logically. It tends to heal all wounds inflicted by the arrogant.

May 17, 2021 23:17

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