R J Higginson
The President of the Toy Factory had been studying ancient languages. One of his Workers muttered, "It's all Greek to me."
He was particularly interested in two words. One was not quite as crass as it sounded. It could be translated as "rule".
The other sounded like a common term for the manifestation of the feelings of the people of a neighbouring Country. It could be translated as "mob", though that was not what the President had in mind. He preferred the phrase, "Of the people, for the people, by the people." He was The People that the People had chosen, so he chose the Toys for the People.
"Listen to The People? When they chose us to make Toys for them, we told them what sort of Toys we would make. Well, not every Toy. After all, we didn't want to start panic, did we?"
As for the way the Toys were to be paid for, before he had been chosen, the President had said that he would do the same as the leader of the other Group of Workers. The People thought he would charge the same. But what the President actually said was that he would spend the same.
Small price increases were sneaked in. A penny here, a penny there. Not so much that anyone would notice, but enough to produce a surplus of money at the Toy Factory
No-one noticed? Well not quite. Some did, and tried to tell the President how unhappy they were.
There were those who produced food for the People. When the Workers on the Other Side ran the Toy Factory, they had about as much money as everyone else. But since this President had taken over, they had less and less. Now they could not afford to sell the food they produced. It cost more to take it to the market than they got for the food when they sold it.
Carriers brought food from other Countries, because the People did not like the food that was grown nearby. The Carriers were unhappy because the Treasurer of the Toy Factory had charged more for the fuel they needed. Carriers from another country where the fuel cost less came and did their job and the Carriers had nothing to do. They did not get paid. They tried to complain to the President.
The President did not listen. "There's nothing we can do. It is the fault of the people from other countries. We must have the same sort of money that they have, because it is worthless, then their fuel won't be cheaper than ours."
After finding that no-one would listen to them, the Carriers gave up trying to tell the President. "The People might listen to us," they said. So a few of them went to where the fuel was made. They held up banners and said how wrong it was that the President made so much money for the Toy Factory while they could not afford the food the Growers could not afford to sell.
Other People listened and stopped carrying fuel. They used to work for the fuel makers to take fuel to where the People could buy it. But the makers sacked them a few years ago. They must work for themselves but do the same job because that would be cheaper for the Makers and so better for the People.
Some people ran out of fuel because others had bought every last drop in case they ran out. Other people thought that there would be no more bread and milk, so they filled their houses with as much as they could find.
Then the President said that he always listened. But this was not his fault that three quarters of the money people paid for fuel was taken by the Toy Factory, when he had reduced it from the two thirds that it had been. The cost of the raw materials had trebled. (What a good job that the Country produced its own raw materials.) That was why fuel cost half as much again as it had when the Other Group of Workers ran the Toy Factory. The extra share of the price which the Toy Factory took? This was not the Presidents fault either. There was an agreement with Toy Factories in other countries that Toy Factories could have more. That was to make the price the same everywhere. It was not true that fuel in the Country cost more than elsewhere.
The President, who had always been listening, thundered. "We are not going to be intimidated by a bunch of thugs. We do not support Mob Rule!"
The "bunch of thugs" were not in the business of hurting the People. They only wanted the President to listen to them. They went home and left the President to try and sort out the mess.
The Leader of the Workers on the Other Side of the Toy Factory blamed the President because he never listened to the People.
The President said he always listened to the People, which was why he did nothing about what they said. He would continue to do nothing, to show how much he listened.
He had Democratic Legitimacy. He was Chosen by the People to rule the People for the People. He knew what was best for them. He did not need to listen to the People because one night they chose him to run the Toy Factory. If they did not like it, they could have their say in another two years when the People have the chance to choose the Workers and choose someone else to run the Toy Factory."
Another student of ancient languages found the word "Panto-Krator", usually translated "The Almighty." I did not find out if the President thought Panto-Krator might be a nice name for himself. Just as he was muttering it was all Greek to him, I woke up. It had been just another dream. Or had it?
R J Higginson
19 September 2000 copyright.
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