Saturday, April 02, 2022

The Conqueror's Catechism (Part 6 The Heavy Mantle)

Part 6 of The Conqueror's Catechism (see previously)

VI. The Heavy Mantle

And for the putative opposition, the remedy is character assassination
At first. And then, if necessary, one can proceed to physical liquidation
A penchant for frequent reorganization to keep competitors on their toes
Call them sellouts and traitors, it's not really a trial, it's a show

All is left to the man of the people
   who wears the heavy mantle of populism
And accuses all others as petty bourgeois refuseniks, prone to vandalism
Shirtless perhaps, or with his sleeves stylishly rolled up,
   behold a man of action
Servant of the downtrodden and the common man,
   enamored of mass mobilization

Regimes, for their continued survival,
   require some amount of indoctrination
A few true believers will argue the total sagacity, the rhetoric of delusion
Chairman Mao had his Red book,
   Lenin had What Is To Be Done at the outset
Even Stalin, no wordsmith he, had his impenetrable doctrinal texts

Hitler, though, had a way with the furious speech,
   and even the dismal pen
No wonder Prince sang of 1999,
   we all needed the twentieth century to end
There is only a matter of degree between the rogue authoritarian
And the pinnacle of infamy in human history, the totalitarian

A roll call of emperors, dictators, and plain vandals have come and gone
Ask yourself where your present tormentors would stand in the pantheon
The enduring legacies of conquerors are often promoted
Indeed, the massive genetic imprint has long been noted
Of the famed Mongol emperors, scions of Genghis Khan
Awesome, none dared called them to their face barbarian
For fear of the dire repercussions of that insult
Nay, the great leader deserves a personality cult

Modernity imposes a triage
   on those who might reach the upper echelon
Dwindling numbers attend the closing ceremony
   of an era hopefully bygone
Of fierce warriors, even female like Boudica,
   or more like Attila the Hun
Nay, the Ming Dynasty is so called
  for being the last to rule over the Han

Los Conquistadores, El Supremo, with the martial outlook,
If all goes well, you can be known as He of the Little Green Book
In time, you can print the pamphlets
   to be shared of your empty aphorisms
I'll simply suggest the title, Dear Reader,
  The Conqueror's Catechism

talking drums 1984-06-25 why Ghana is not stable - Nigerian journalist's trial Rotimi

Conqueror's Catechism, a playist

A soundtrack for this note bookended by the cool ruler himself, Gregory Isaacs, and heavy on the reggae angle of things. (spotify version)

The Conqueror's Catechism

A few articles of faith
  1. To Loot Without End
  2. Droit de Seigneur
  3. The Dictator Dictates
  4. An Iron Fist
  5. The Ruler's Rules
  6. The Heavy Mantle
This piece went far beyond a haiku to become positively Talmudic in scope, hence the experiment in splitting it and dispensing over a week. Or you can wait for the book to put it all together... Do let me know how it went down.

I nominate this internal displacement for the Things Fall Apart series under the banner of Fallen Angels.

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Writing log: Concept: May 1, 2006; April 6, 2021

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