some days are better than none
By Timothy Bearly
"Under capitalism man exploits man.
Under communism its just the opposite"
-John Kenneth Galbraith
In a pond located on the estate of—well to do—biologist Sir Adams, there lived a small community of anthropomorphic froglings. This pond was certainly no puddle. It was a lavish freshwater paradise, with an extensive rock garden and a ten foot waterfall. The sheer size and superfluous amenities of this microcosmic utopia were greatly enjoyed by all of the inhabitants, who were oblivious to the existence of Sir Adams and the fact that everything was bought and paid for by him. Originally Sir Adams' pond was heaven on earth for the froglings. They had ample time to lay out in the sun on their lily pads and pursue social, cultural and athletic hobbies. Life was good for these frogs of leisure. But that was many years ago, before employer-worker—master-slave—relationships had been established. Back when the population was low, back before every cubic centimeter of the pond was spoken for. Newcomers used to arrive, choose a nice location under a branch or rock, and subsequently build a modest home and raise a family. There was no payment that needed to be made to anybody. Yeah, it was a good time to be a frog living in Sir Adams' pond. But word quickly spread and soon there was a mass influx of frogs from local swamps who came in search of a better life. Things went from bad to worse when a few shrewd frogs decided that they would simply claim all available pond space for themselves and charge a fee for the new immigrants to live there. Ipso facto government was founded, ergo a new system was designed, a caste system, a system in which the propertied class became the masters, and the propertyless became vassals. The cunning and lackadaisical propertied frogs found it easy to exploit the new immigrants, who were so eager to get out of the swamps they unwittingly signed the contracts entailing their own indentured servitude. As the centuries passed there was no longer any vestige of what the pond used to be. Free trade gave way to voracious commercialism, democracy gave way to plutocracy, and one percent of the frogs owned ninety nine percent of the pond. Indeed it was no longer a good time to be a frog living in Sir Adams' pond, unless of course you were a noblefrog. The noblefrogs lived the good life, and at the expense of the workingfrogs they lived in ostentatious 2000 cc citadels. There—in their luxurious chateaus—they would hold banquets, feast on fine wine and escargot, and debauch their chamber maids. The noblefrogs had only one hang up, they had only one fear. It was the fear that one day the proletarians will become aware of their oppression. They dreaded the day in which the workingfrogs would rise up and—like the lechriodus—"eat the rich". Consequently the affluent noblefrogs spent an enormous amount of time, energy and resources on propaganda. They controlled the media outlets so it was easy for them to fabricate stories about how, without the noblefrogs, the waterfall would cease to function and the pond would stagnate, causing the community to be inundated with algae. In addition to fear tactics they would also attempt to divide and conquer, because the worst thing that could happen would be the organization of the workingfrogs. They made a concerted effort to focus the anger of their subjects on each other and/or external enemies at the swamplands. Another useful myth that they created was the belief that those who posses a larger amount pond-space only do so because of merit, and if the little tadpoles work hard, maybe one day they too will become members of the propertied class, maybe one day they too will be allowed to vote. But it was obvious to any thinking amphibian, that this was a wart faced lie. It was tantamount to hearing a prince say to his slave "if you work hard, maybe one day you too can become prince". Yeah, it was patently clear that the propertied frogs were not working or creating anything of significance, other than the self made fallacy. The ones doing all of the work were the ones held in hock to the noblefrogs. There was a rigid dichotomy at the pond, a massive chasm between the haves and have nots. But a cataclysmic event would forever change life at the pond. Unbeknownst to the froglings, Sir Adams was offered a job at a prestigious university in another country, and therefore he was selling his home.
On July 14th, it seemed to be an ordinary late evening at the pond, when suddenly the waterfall stopped flowing. The 10,000 gph pump, the filtration system, and the ph monitor had all been disconnected by the new owners, who had just received their 500 dollar electric bill. At first the noblefrogs—knowing that this could potentially be the impetus for revolution—lied to the public. "Everything is fine, fellow froglings, we are just doing routine maintenance on the waterfall and it will be up and running shortly". But as the weeks passed, the waterfall remained out of commission, and the more intelligent workingfrogs grew suspicious. They began to question. They began to wonder if the noblefrogs really had any control over the waterfall. They began to doubt that the noblefrogs were the ones filtering the water and monitoring the ph. Eventually some of the workingfrogs began distributing pamphlets with headlines reading; "Workingfrogs, you have been duped!" "Rise up against these tyrannical bullfrogs!" Malcontented froglings began fanning the flames of dissent, as it became more and more obvious that the noblefrogs had socially constructed a false reality. An inverted fallacy, in which they —the noblefrogs—pretended to be the producers of wealth and pioneers of new concepts. But, as a matter of fact, they had merely deceived the citizens of Sir Adams' pond, and for centuries the froglings had erroneously believed that without the noblefrogs, the pond would cease to function. The Great Anuran Revolution took place just six months after the waterfall mysteriously stopped flowing. Frogs of all different colors, shapes, and sizes finally rose up against the noblefrogs that had swindled them for so many years. Many of the noblefrogs—knowing they didn't stand a chance—hastily hopped back to the swamps whence their ancestors came. Those that didn't make it out of the pond in time would soon become frog soup for the angry crowd. The workingfrogs immediately organized kangaroo trials which resulted in the enslavement, imprisonment, and execution of over a hundred noblefrogs. The ones that were fortunate enough to not be executed died within months, due to starvation and excessive physical exertion at the labor camps. The day that the noblefrogs had dreaded for centuries had finally arrived. After the storming of city hall, the workingfrogs drafted a new document they called the 5 Frogling Precepts. Precept 1. Exploitation No frog shall be allowed to employ (enslave) another frog. Precept 2. Property "Property is theft" and therefore no frog shall be allowed to own, buy, sell, or rent property. Precept 3. Commerce We froglings perceive commerce to be vicious and cruel, and for this reason no frogs shall engage in trade. Precept 4. Free speech The froglings right to free speech shall not be infringed, unless it is to be deemed hateful, disruptive, anti-communist, racist, abhorrent, fascist, or argumentative. Precept 5. Equality No frog shall surpass his peers with regard to income or possessions. If a frogling does or shows any desire to do so, he will be subsequently be immersed in sodium chloride. It appeared that the workingfrogs were becoming just as tyrannical as the noblefrogs that preceded them. And unfortunately the mass movement of the workingfrogs had metamorphosed into an archetypical mob mentality. They became increasingly nefarious with every vociferating chant. "Death to the noblefrogs!" "Dissect the the enemies of the Anuran revolution!" But it was hard to blame the workingfrogs—with their ambivalence and thought-asphyxiating mental unity. After all, this was the unconscious and predictable effect of the self-absorbed causation that was made possible by the noblefrogs. This was the pendulum swinging back to the other side, the inevitable backlash. This was despotic free trade giving way to intemperate democracy. Notwithstanding, this was also a substantiation of the fact that the powerless, once given power, will not conduct themselves as magnanimously as some contend that they would. Under capitalism the workingfrogs were oppressed. Now under communism, all of the froglings were suppressed. It had been a mere paradigm shift of maltreatment. And whether the form of government was democratic or autocratic, it seemed that the plight of the frogs in Sir Adams' pond would never cease. This is because the desire to dominate others was deeply ingrained in the genome of all of the froglings.
END OF BOOK ONE
P.S. For book two observe modern homo sapiens.
Timothy Bearly lives in northern idaho where he likes to fish and spend time with his family. He is apolitical, amoral, asocial and generally writes about the things that make him livid. He has most recently been published in Underground Voices, Horror sleaze and thrash, and The American dissident.
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