Maybe it’s just me, but if I were a man (and I am) and I was white (and I am) and I was interested in keeping my life as good and as full and as blessed by my chosen deity as possible, I might think about the best ways to do that.
If I get to do a whole lot of whatever I want, I’ve got to make sure I get to keep doing that, and I think the best way to do that is to make sure other people keep doing what they’re doing, which is letting me.
The world used to be structured in such a way where I, as a white dude, got to do ANYTHING I wanted, even if it meant to somebody else. No restrictions.
But some of the Somebody Else’s decided they didn’t like me doing anything I wanted to them. They started going on about their right to have a say in what I did to them. They started to restrict what I could do, and I didn’t like that. But more and more of the Somebody Else’s got together and decided they all agreed to restrict me.
I started getting to do a whole lot less of what I wanted, so I really needed to come up with a plan to make the Somebody Else’s believe they were getting what they wanted, while I still got what I wanted. It took a lot of planning and some really, really subtle ways to go about things.
It wasn’t easy. But I wasn’t just going to give up all the good things in my blessed life. But I couldn’t just openly fight back either, there are now far too many of the Somebody Else’s for me to outright aggress them. I have to convince them they’re getting what they want. Since I can’t change their minds about what I was doing to them, I have to change their minds about whether or not it was even me doing it.
Then, the idea came to me like a voice from the heavens.
I can take somebody that most of the Somebody Else’s trust but doesn’t ever speak on their own. I’ll take all the things that I want the Somebody Else’s to do for me and I’ll say that our mutually-believed-in deity said for them to do it.
Maybe it’s just me, but this sounds like an excellent plan.
It just gets better and better too. Because not only do I have a peripheral someone advocating for the stuff I want, but I can use all the deity’s associated documentation. Brilliant! The single most popular book in the world will back up what I’m saying, I just have to find ways to creatively quote it so that it says all the things I need it to.
This plan was perfect, and it’s working like a dream.
Until the Somebody Else’s go and get loud again. Which, for the most part, is manageable. It’s actually pretty easy, I just make sure I focus on what’s different about them, and I make sure that corresponds with whatever I want my deity to say through that most-popular of books. Simple.
If their language, culture, region or skin colour are different, I’m all set. The plan is working beautifully still, and I’ve got everyone convinced that it’s not me doing it, it’s just the will of our unseen deity.
The plan took some big hits though. The Somebody Else’s were suddenly everywhere. In my house, in my bathroom, in my kitchen, in my very bed. This was a real problem. It had been managed for time immemorial but this time the problem was unprecedented in scope. Because I had always had leverage, I’d always had the final say over them when it came to one very fundamental difference between us.
They were the ones responsible for growing and producing life.
I tried, but there was no way I could do it on my own. I needed them for this. And since there were so many of them, easily as many as there are of me, this was a real problem.
Maybe it’s just me, but if I was going to keep getting all the good things I really needed to call upon the words from the most-popular book. I really needed to make them sound like they were straight from the deity. I really needed to keep the Somebody Else’s from thinking too much about this on their own, so I distracted them with other parts of the most-popular book.
I hit them right in their virtues. I made the most-popular book all about being good. Not just regular good, there’s not enough inspiration and pressure and distraction behind that. No, I made it about being better than regular good. A level of good that was nearly unattainable. Something we all were striving for. I even convinced everyone that I was equal to them in this regard. I never believed it, but they did, and that’s all that matters.
And this plan was working. For the most part.
But then the Somebody Else’s really threw a spanner in the works of my plan. They didn’t believe me any more.
Not enough anyway. They tried to tell me that the words I was using from the most-popular book weren’t really about me getting to be the only one to have all the good things. They started reading the most-popular book in ways I had never foreseen, using my words in their surrounding context in the most-popular book instead of in their gloriously sound-bitey ways I’d worked out.
They even pointed out that my behaviour in my daily life didn’t match up with the unattainable good we were all supposedly striving for. All I was doing was just enjoying all the good things in the solitary manner I was accustomed, and the Somebody Else’s started using my words and interpretations against me.
Then the worst thing happened. A whole bunch of the Somebody Else’s stopped believing in the deity with me. Well, they stopped believing enough, anyway. They started believing in their own ways, not in mine.
This was a disaster. Something needed to be done.
I’ve spent centuries making sure that the Somebody Else’s knew they weren’t as good as me, that they didn’t just get the good things that I got. That it was more than the issue of if there was enough for everyone. That I needed to be the only one having all the good things, that was the deal. That’s always been the deal, actually.
I told them in every way I could that still convinced them that it was them, not me. I subtly made laws, changed financial structures, changed entire societal structures. I still did whatever I wanted to the Somebody Else’s, I just had to hide it more. And it was working.
I thought of the most effective ways to get my message across and I was so good at it that after a while it was doing it all by itself. It became bigger than just me. It became a system. A big, beautiful self-sustaining system designed to make sure I get most of all the good things.
Still not perfect, but it was working. They were convinced and all my words and the most-popular book enforced it. But then it started to weaken. The fatal flaw in my plan of convincing the Somebody Else’s that they didn’t get all the good things because they weren’t being good enough was that they started to compare themselves to me.
This was one of the worst possible outcomes.
And I faltered. I was finally forced to irrevocably share some of the good things. Convincing all the Somebody Else’s to give only me the good things wasn’t working like it used to. I’ve been very good at convincing them they were getting some of the good things like I was, but then they all started sharing information every which way, and they stopped being as convinced. I had it all, and I was being forced to share.
The Somebody Else’s had exploited a loophole in my previously-perfect plan. They tried holding me to account.
This was not acceptable.
It was time for me and the other white dudes to really take control. To make a real display of power so that even if the Somebody Else’s got loud and fought back against it, I could just flex my muscle. I could remind them in a heartbeat that no matter how many of them there are, even if all the combined Somebody Else’s outnumbered all the me, I was still the one in control.
The Somebody Else’s needed to know that I still had all the power. I’ve always had it.
Sure, the plan wasn’t working anywhere near as well as it has for so long, but it was still working well-enough.
Plus, the plan was built around us having all the good things because we had all the power and vice versa. This self-sustaining system was built to always support that one very fundamental and important aspect: That I keep all the good things and all the power and it’s still up to me whether or not the Somebody Else’s get any of it at all. One part might fall off a bit, but the other part will prop it all back up.
And don’t let any of the Somebody Else’s fool you. I’ve still got all the power. I still get all the good things. That’s not changing.
Just watch and see what happens when there’s even a hint of threat. I’ll always have the plan. Because I’ll always want to be the only one getting all the good things and doing whatever I want, even if it’s to Somebody Else with no restriction. That’s not changing either.
So yeah. If I were like that, that’s how I’d go about doing things.
But maybe that’s just me.