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August 12th, 2006

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY SIMILAR

"But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is".

Thomas Paine, Common Sense (January 1776)

"An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates his duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."
Thomas Paine







ARTHUR: Old woman!
DENNIS: Man!
ARTHUR: Man. Sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
DENNIS: I'm thirty-seven.
ARTHUR: I-- what?
DENNIS: I'm thirty-seven. I'm not old.
ARTHUR: Well, I can't just call you 'Man'.
DENNIS: Well, you could say 'Dennis'.
ARTHUR: Well, I didn't know you were called 'Dennis'.
DENNIS: Well, you didn't bother to find out, did you?
ARTHUR: I did say 'sorry' about the 'old woman', but from the behind you
looked--
DENNIS: What I object to is that you automatically treat me like an
inferior!
ARTHUR: Well, I am King!
DENNIS: Oh, King, eh, very nice. And how d'you get that, eh? By exploiting
the workers! By 'anging on to outdated imperialist dogma which
perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society. If
there's ever going to be any progress with the--
WOMAN: Dennis, there's some lovely filth down here. Oh! How d'you do?
ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady? I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Who's
castle is that?
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. We are all Britons, and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous
collective.
DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship: a self-
perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
WOMAN: Oh, there you go bringing class into it again.
DENNIS: That's what it's all about. If only people would hear of--
ARTHUR: Please! Please, good people. I am in haste. Who lives in that
castle?
WOMAN: No one lives there.
ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don't have a lord.
ARTHUR: What?
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in
turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week,...
ARTHUR: Yes.
DENNIS: ...but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a
special bi-weekly meeting...
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: ...by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,...
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: ...but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh? Who does he think he is? Heh.
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, how did you become King, then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,...
[angels sing]
...her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
[singing stops]
That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no
basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from
a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just
'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up, will you? Shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help!
I'm being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give-away. Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh?
That's what I'm on about. Did you see him repressing me? You saw it,
didn't you?


If you're not a bloody peasant, why on Earth do you think a path of individual development through progressive initiation requires a 'king' an autocrat and similar medievalist nonsense. At my initiation, I was taught to oppose superstition, tyranny and oppression. Seems to me, that's what I'm doing.

"I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it."
Thomas Paine

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