Post by David Johnston Post by David DeLaney
Dave, government should be afraid of its people
I tell you frankly there is no surer path to grinding oppression than a
government that is afraid of its people.
From "The Sewing Circle" by Gorg Huff
David almost popped out with: "Sure, you both work for us." But he
didn't, because it wouldn't help. Instead he asked: "How should we
act? If you were hired by a lord or a merchant, how would they act?"
David listened as Johan talked about how the nobility, and nobility
wannabes, acted toward servants and hired hands in general. There were
a lot of things, and when you put them all together they amounted to
the most calculated, demeaning, rudeness David had ever heard of in
his life. He knew damn well he could never act that way, nor could
anyone in Grantville. Well almost no one.
All of which left David in a real quandary, because he had picked up
something else in that lecture on proper behavior for the upper
classes. Johan didn't just expect him to act that way. Johan wanted
him to act that way. Any other behavior on his part felt like a trap.
David wondered why anyone would treat someone else that way. And when
the answer came to him it was such a surprise that it popped right out
of his mouth. "God. They must be terrified of you."
Johan looked at him like he was a dangerous lunatic. Like he might
pull a shotgun out of his pants pocket and start shooting. David
cracked up. He laughed till he had tears running down his face. Then
he laughed some more. All the while Johan was looking more and more
upset. Finally David got himself more or less under control. And he
apologized. "I'm sorry, Johan, but your face. Looking at me like I was
David was laughing because, for the first time since he had met Johan
he was not afraid of him. He had the key, the approach that would let
Johan live among them, and not be a bomb waiting to go off. He didn't
know why, but he was sure. Six words spoken clearly and honestly. "I
am not afraid of you." David said it clearly, honestly and without the
least trace of fear. "I don't have to trap you into doing something
that would be an excuse to punish you. I don't need to make you weak,
to feel strong, or safe. That's why we act the way we do, Johan! The
way that seems so wrong to you. Because we are not afraid. Not the way
these German lords are, and because we are not afraid of you, you
don't have to be afraid of us.
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.