Whether with Pen or Sword
Freedom of the Press. Freedom of Speech. We call these things freedom, but are we truly free? It was once said that if you want to find out who is in power, all you need do is find out who you’re not allowed to criticize. Of course, you can say it, write it, publish it anyway, but you may lose your job. Your dissertation proposal will not be approved. You will never find a mainstream publisher. In some countries, you may go to jail.
Using your freedoms is then tantamount to social if not professional suicide, or worse; and so, many would-be dissenters and truth-tellers bow down then fall in line. This is not freedom. This is manipulation at best, intellectual tyranny at worst. Why must our language be so tightly controlled? Words are powerful weapons, powder kegs of thought capable of igniting revolution should the right voice at the right time utter the right combination. With spelling, you see, a spell is cast!
Historically, gunpowder and printing blazed across Europe together. This is no coincidence. Both are manifestations of ingenious distance tactics. Why engage sword to chest when you can hurl bombs or leaflets? The one tears at the flesh, the other at the spirit. Both are effective weapons. The Reformation was the first conflict to see flyers and field guns. The French Revolution was the first to see mass distribution of pamphlets and mass-fire artillery. The fire-bombing of words, words, words against Napoleon taught the word weavers something ~ a certain turn of phrase can be used to control the thought processes of the reader.
Writers who challenge the current propaganda are done away with, one way or another, while readers have only illusory choices in what they read. Again, this is not freedom. How, then, does one get at the truth? If the truth is merely that which is expounded by the press for a few weeks until a fluid tale is solidified, one can get at the truth anywhere. If the truth is, in fact, the truth, then finding it is decidedly more problematic. Speaking or printing it? Go ahead and prepare the noose.
Because such seekers and speakers are few and far between, the word-weavers march on, doling out a pre-approved narrative that fits the agenda of the day. The mass of readers and listeners simply believe, brush aside, or even ridicule in a meme or two. Still, no formal challenge is made. No gauntlet is thrown. And so, the accepted narrative stands.
What does this narrative do to the masses? It enslaves them, like trained beasts. When that newspaper hits the sidewalk, when the morning news flickers on, when the internet is bombarded ~ Pavlov may as well ring his bell. The targeted masses salivate; they may even take to the streets and have a protest or two. Manipulated, they may turn on each other. Yet again, this is not freedom. This is performance and the word-weavers have tied us up in their threads as they pull this way and that.
Pull back! Pull them from behind the curtain and tear down the stage! Fight fire with fire, words with words. Be the shield, that hardened point where the spell of the spellers is returned to the source so that its poison can no longer affect those who stand behind you; and that crowd will grow, for the truth finds its own way in the world and just one taste of it creates a life-long addict.
The word-weavers and their pre-approved narratives have never tasted so good. Every ending is a new beginning. As the tales of the word-weavers unravel ~ and unravel they will ~ take those threads and weave anew the fabric of the universe. Turn their words upside down and shake out the truth. One by one, the manipulated masses will sniff it out, but know this: in the beginning, you will not attract the trained dog but the wolf, he or she who was never truly a member of the domesticated pack. This is the freethinker, the barbarian at the gates. As this civilization crumbles, as one word at a time jabs and pricks at their faulty armor, we will break through. Countless dogs will turn on their masters and join us. Together, we will run over the ruins and start the world anew. This, finally, is freedom.