Tag - authority

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Schools Are For Fish
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The Myth of Authority

Schools Are For Fish

Some people, given a little power, have a tendency to go crazy. I’m pretty sure I’m not one of them, although I doubt I’ll ever have the opportunity to test that particular theory. I’m what you might call an underachiever, an accidental rebel, the quiet kid who found himself at the back of the class, after years of being slowly shuffled further and further from the front.

I wasn’t exactly a troublemaker, I simply leaned more towards peaceful resistance than subservience. Nevertheless, I was sent to the headmaster on many occasions, and each and every time I was caned. I attended a grammar school with an identity complex, the headmaster at the time had obvious aspirations for something private and far more prestigious. As it would turn out, some years after I’d left, when corporal punishment had been outlawed, he went to town on some poor kid and was dragged away by the police.

His name was Bird, a great lanky fellow with a pompous air about him, he and his deputy insisted on always wearing their mortar boards and capes. Of course, both carried their canes wherever they went, should the opportunity for instant reprisal arise. Then again, all of the teachers at my school were screwed up, most of which merely went through the motions, staggering from classroom to classroom like zombies. Those few who still believed in their chosen vocation, who showed the slightest sensitivity to their pupils, suffered the constant backlash of jeers from the crowd.

My French teacher at the time, an overweight, red-faced alcoholic with a love of jazz and red wine, went by the nickname Links, (although I’d never bothered to ask the other kids why). Rather late in my grammar school education, he had me punished for looking at him the wrong way. That’s the exact phrase he used, at first intimating that I, a fourteen year old boy, had the hots for a middle-aged pig in white flannels. Not exactly impressed by the ridiculous insinuation, but getting rather sick of being sent to the headmaster, I decided to double-down and frown. As I glared at the bilious oaf he stuttered in protestation, holding a trembling finger in the air and ordering me out of the classroom.

Soon enough the deputy head swooped down like a vampire and dragged me by the ear to see Bird. The bastard peddled his usual hypocritical drivel, under the delusion that caning me was purely for my own good. I joined the queue, the usual nogoodniks, all smirking and nodding at each other with a subdued mutual admiration. Except for one kid named Brian Loader, almost everyone picked on him, although he never did do himself any favours. He couldn’t help the lisp, and like I, coming from a poor single parent family, his clothes didn’t fit him, his shoes were dirty, but he was just one of those kids who didn’t know when to stop.

He was small and he couldn’t particularly defend himself, but even when a rugby team grunt had him pinned to the ground, with his matted blood and hair in his clenched fists, Brian just wouldn’t back down. That’s why he was always in Bird’s office getting six of the best, at least once a week I’d say. Except for one late Friday afternoon, a week before the Christmas break, when Bird had decided he’d had enough of Brian, and with a wooden yard rule, took a long run up and smacked the kid’s rear with all his might.

It shattered to pieces, the ruler, and as shards and splinters of wood shot in the air, Brian, I, and half a dozen other kids jumped for joy. It felt like time had slowed down, Bird’s hand was bleeding everywhere, it was such a beautiful sight to see, the man who’d made so many suffer, receiving a little of the pain he’d dished out through the years.

Authoritarians should take note, nothing lasts forever, not rulers, nor careers, and most certainly not power. For be it in this world, or the next, a time will come when those who believe they are here to maintain order, may find chaos has come to consume them.

The Myth of Authority

Let’s get this clear from the outset, no one can claim legal authority over another without their consent. With that in mind, it seems strange that merely by the involuntary act of birth, we are expected to accept the legitimacy of those who hold dominion over us.

Democracy is a collective decision, the will of the people coming together to build upon the noble aims of a fairer society. Yet despite the good intentions, authoritarians, plutocrats, technocrats, and those of superior rank and royal bloodline, still rule the world. The playing field isn’t level, it’s an insurmountable peak, for the game is fixed, both sides are cheats, and the true results remain hidden from the public gaze.

Any political party that promises to represent its citizens, is lying through its teeth. We’re nothing, you, I, and another six or so billion others on this planet. Any form of resistance provides little more than conundrums, intriguing problems for the experts to figure out in the years to come. Kill empathy, emotion, any true sense of identity, the concept of family, friendship beyond mere social expectation, love, hate, life itself. That’s what’s coming over the horizon, and to be brutally honest, we, the shepherd’s flock, the grovelling penny pinching masses, who daren’t peek our heads above the parapet, deserve everything that’s coming to us.

The price of freedom is far too high to give up on all this crap, the internet, smart devices, music, movies, celebrity gossip. Culinary delights from around the world, vacations to far off climes, sharing photos and handy tips, the illusion of friendship, and the instant gratification of synthetic sexuality. For many freedom is a misnomer, exchanging everything for liberty offers little comfort for the brave. The law of the jungle, the brutal conquering the weak, the loneliness and the boredom of a lifetime of subsistence, spent scraping away at the soil for a bite to eat.

There’s no point in choosing sides, everyone in power is connected, if not through bloodline, then through shared vision. The rest are fools, duped by the promise that anybody can make it to the top. Of course, the greedy are cheap, they’d rather sell their souls to sit on the top of a heap of shit, than keep shovelling. The remainder are perhaps the most gullible in all history. We, who still have hope that by some miraculous turn of luck, humanity will shine through and win in the end. It won’t, and it never has. Every example of collective responsibility has produced a figurehead, and a corrupted one at that. Namely those with enough guile and cunning, the greatest liars of all-time, who’ve cast themselves heroes and heroines of history, fighting for a better life for all.

When are we going to snap out of it? I’m sure long after I’m dead, if ever. It’s such a shame, I knew all this as a child. My mother, neighbours, teachers, all would accuse me of having a problem with authority. I do, with all my heart, I’d rather die senselessly in a world of absolute true freedom, unshackled by the self proclaimed interests of crony capitalists and corrupt dictators, than be martyred for their fashionable cause.

As far as I, or any of my generation are concerned, we’ve lived our lives long enough to know if the shit hits the fan, we’ve had our turn. Some people wish they could be young again, I’m not one of them, if anything, I pity future generations. Things are going from bad to worse, and all they’ll have to inherit are our mistakes. The worst of all being our willing subjugation to the tyrannical indiscretions of a brutal social order.

As long as those who enforce the rules of conduct, administer laws and cultural traditions, we’re destined to obey the illusionary power of authority. No matter how much the individual resists, eventually their compatriots will betray them for the chance to survive the devastation of humanity. With much of the population decimated through various means, infertility, martial law, tainted food and water, only the loyalist slaves will remain.

Yet even they’ll be punished for their collusion, destined to live as mindless drones, chemically altered and psychologically programmed to be happy with their lot. Shift workers afforded brief rest in coffin-sized cubicles, working to zero hour contracts in unfit conditions. Dedicatedly following the orders of an artificial intelligence, that much like its creators, is slowly learning to despise the human race.

The problem is that too many of us fear the alternative, a perpetual state of anarchy. Humanity lacks faith in itself, and dreads its inevitable descent into madness should the hierarchy collapse. It’s human instinct after all, or rather reptilian, the survival programming of the lower brain. The myth of authority is a ruse, a ferocious beast dressed in the fineries of wealth, cloaked under a guise of respectability. Our race persists with its primitive rage, both master and servant live by the same fundamental rites. The law of the jungle is alive and well, the strong wield power over the weak, and those who control our natural resources, will continue to hold sway over all others.

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