The Dictatorship of the Kind Heart
When you think about it, it all makes perfect sense. It all goes back to what is and is not socially acceptable – how we're supposed to be. It's fucking brilliant, when you think of it like I have. Power isn't innate, but granted. In order to be an autocrat, you need to have absolute power handed to you, you need to force people to bequeath you this power that you want. Over history, many ways have been devised to make this happen, but none so insanely, devilishly brilliant as the Dictatorship of the Kind Heart.
Our society has revered altruism forever. True, it often seemed that the selfish achieved more, and in times it had brought about a temporary fashion of following one's self, but underneath it all, altruism was the quality once and ever bringing one adoration, near-worship. It seemed always like such a perfect, flawless trait. Nothing could desecrate it, lower its absolute worthiness. So we have, forever, elevated the quality of selflessness above any other. Bravery, wit, intelligence, strength, charisma, all paled before it. One day, someone came up with a way to capitalize on this quality.
Admiration gives one power, and power that is doubled and tripled by the fact that it is handed over willingly and even eagerly. People will beg a person they admire to hold power over them. The next step, the one that started it all, is so simple it's a wonder no one ever thought of it before. As simple as putting one and one together. Admiration entails power. People admire altruism. Therefore, those who wish to gain power need only to gain admiration, and the simplest road to that is through apparent or genuine altruism.
I couldn't tell you who first made this logical leap, and who took this philosophical notion and translated it to the present situation. What I can tell you, though, is how it all works. Our leaders are all a part of it, every last one. Every politician, every priest, every military officer, every artist of fame owe their status to this one simple notion. In order to get, they give. Dedicating their lives to charity and making no move to gain anything for themselves, they all easily gained the public praise and commendation their deeds undoubtedly deserved. After all, they had each done so much for our world and our people.
Then, once they had gotten the public's seal of approval, they could cautiously pursue a public career, all the while making sure that it never seems like they're doing it because they want to. Oh, no. They'd never have made the move themselves, except everyone around them absolutely insisted. It wasn't their idea, in fact, they're still trying to get out of it. And so forth, I suppose by now you can imagine how the rest of the routine goes. All very sleek and sophisticated. Not only do they get exactly what they want, they have it thrust in their lap, people insist that they take it. As long as they keep up the facade of not being in it for themselves, as long as they invest in helping others and in appearing to care about every plight and problem, the power remains theirs.
Yes, what of opposition? Opposition does, indeed exist. Victory goes to whoever appears to be the kindest, gentlest soul. Of course, whoever doesn't play their game isn't even in the running. Should someone like me get up, speak up against it they would easily be shunted aside to where they are harmless. And this is done not by the position holders themselves, but by the public. Everyone buys into it, you see. They all play the game without even knowing it. They all think it's real, even though I know better. My condemnation comes from being in the opposition, not of a person or movement, but of the whole system. Crying out that it should be abolished gets me labeled selfish, unkind, cruel, heartless and more.
In this way my opposition is rendered meaningless. I can't touch the structure I so want to topple and replace. Because I challenge the validity of the power holders, I'm made myself completely powerless. Maybe you'll ask now why I want to topple the structure of our society. Yes, it is insincere, but you wonder if that matters. Does it make a difference what intent lies behind good deeds, as long as the deeds themselves are done? Does insincerity unmake the good? I can answer that question.
Our public people don't need to appear practical, wise, judicious or anything else, only kind. Therefore, their status would not be threatened by doing something that's kind, but not especially wise. Who gives a fuck if it doesn't help anyone, not really, if it makes them look like bleeding hearts? Building homeless shelters enough so that they are never at full capacity may seem like the right thing to do, but the people who live in those shelters would benefit far more from a program that will help them get off the street permanently, or better yet, one to keep people from losing their homes in the first place. Likewise forgoing bank loans that have gone years unpaid aside from interest is not near as useful as it first seemed when you realize the people who accumulated these debts have no means to prevent themselves from accumulating new ones.
I'm not saying homeless shelters and debt releases shouldn't be employed; I'm saying they're not enough. But it makes people look better to be seen building a soup kitchen then asking the unfortunate what jobs they are qualified for. Ministers would rather have their governments contract out unneeded work to fight unemployment rather than take the longer, harder and not immediately rewarding path of building an economy that can support itself. Compassion is good, but it's not enough, not by any reasonable standard.
Of course, the Dictatorship of the Kind Heart was all too happy to accuse me of having a heart of stone once my threat was made apparent. That's why I could never be out there, making a difference. It's why I'm in the dungeon, waiting for the needle, a publicly condemned criminal. Fucking brilliant, I tell you.