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The Deplorable Word

May 11, 2012

“At any moment I was ready to make peace–yes and to spare her life, too, if only she would yield me the throne. But she would not. Her pride has destroyed the whole world. […] She even knew that I had the secret of the Deplorable Word. Did she think–she was always a weakling–that I would not use it? […] She flashed her horrible, wicked eyes upon me and said, ‘Victory.’ ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘Victory, but not yours.’ Then I spoke the Deplorable Word. A moment later, I was the only living thing beneath the sun.”

At the ripe old age of thirteen, I was a budding Republican talking-head. I have since abandoned and repudiated that pursuit, but one of the first political questions I can remember asking continues to bother me today:

What is the point of having power if you don’t use it for anything worthwhile?

What usually happens in best-case scenario American politics is this: A politician runs for office based on an issue or group of issues that are near and dear to him and, hopefully, his constituents as well. After a long and muddy battle, he wins office. Then he promptly breaks most or all of his campaign promises in an effort to stay in office. “So that I can do what I came here to do,” goes the self-delusion. At least it starts out as a self-delusion, but it quickly devolves into expertly-refined, crowd-winning sophistry.

And so they all end up like the self-styled Queen of the Underland, who rules over subjects whom she finds so repulsive that she has to enchant them into subjection, lest they hate her for her true motives and revolt. Why? In an effort to conquer more lands and enchant more people into subjection, of course. Before long, this Queen turns into the Empress of Charn: so blinded by her quest for power that she is willing to kill literally every other person in the world to get it and so self-deluded as to believe it just that she do so.

So, I guess the question is this:

Is all that power really worth it?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. M.A.Hicks permalink
    May 12, 2012 4:10 AM

    It occurs to me that at several points God’s total power over humanity is voiced with the question “Who can ask Him, “What are you doing?”” In the Bible it’s because no one can fathom His power, but another way to fix things so that no one can question you is to ensure that no one is around to do the questioning.

    But notice this: Jadis understood people enough to write the rhyme and leave the hammer and bell. Even without knowing anyone would ever come to Charn again, she knew that if they did, they’d be enticed. She was clever.

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