With a scratch, the ink was laid into the paper.
The author leaned back, reflecting on the possibilities.
He would write a manifesto, a screed, a call to arms.
First, he had to begin by stating the problem:
“We are an ancient people. Our traditions and cultures have survived for thousands of years. Today, we find ourselves at the brink of annihilation.”
So far he was just stating the obvious and the true. But he needed to excite his readers.
“Many would say our predicament is no fault of our own. Our enemies hunt us and display our bodies aloft as trophies. And every day, they grow stronger. But while they sin against us, our predicament is indeed our responsibility. Because while we have resisted them, we have done so half-heartedly – bound by the chains of convention. We must recognize that in times such these, resistance of any sort lays within the bounds, not only of moral possibility, but of moral obligation.”
The author pondered. It was time to divide the enemy.
“It is true that our enemies hunt us. But our true enemies are only a fraction of those pushing against us. Our true enemies are only their rulers: poolers of wealth and creators of serfs, they crush and oppress their own people as surely as they do ours.”
Another pause as the author considered.
“Our kind wants only to trade. When we take without trade, it is through necessity alone. We mean no ill to anyone. But our way if life is being undermined. Our regions are being colonized by those not native to them. Our culture is under threat from marauders who would steal our ancestral treasures in the dead of the night. They may be condemned, but our sporadic acts of resistance are natural outpourings of our pride being daily trod underfoot and of our way of life being eaten away by the unrelenting cultural, social and ultimately physical advance of our enemies. Sadly, our sporadic acts of resistance do nothing to stem this tide. It would seem that our path is set, our future determined, our fate sealed.”
And now, the author would provide hope.
“But it need not be so. We can coordinate and fight against our oppressors. By throwing off the chains of conscience, we can slaughter our enemies indiscriminately. With that, they will be stopped. Indeed, with every act of resistance, we will free two souls – the oppressor from his sins, and the victim from the mental prison of his oppression.”
The author took in a long breath and then charged forward.
“Fear will our enemies’ ever-present companion. And when his slaves rises up against him, we will be there as brothers, ready to join the battle against our common enemy. Together, we can cast off the colonizer’s heavy hand. We are the vanguard of freedom, stealing the wealth of our enemies of equality. Rather than facing a certain defeat, we now require only the power of the masses to secure our final victory.”
Now, for a dramatic ending.
“That power shall be ours. As surely as the sun rises, the oppressed of the world will throw off their chains and join us. They will regain the pride of men, they will be free, and a new era will await them.”
The author reviewed his work. When he was satisfied, he handed it to his niece for review. “What do you think?” he asked.
She read it slowly and carefully, and then looked up at her uncle.
“None of it is really true,” she said.
“Perhaps,” said her uncle, “But perception is more important than reality.”
“Do you think it will work?” she asked.
“I believe it will.” he answered, “It will strengthen our backbone, weaken our enemies and split them from one another.”
His niece shook her head. “Nobody will believe any of this.”
“And why not?” asked her uncle.
“Uncle,” said his niece patiently, as if she considered her uncle delusional, “It’s the year 800 and we’re dragons.”