“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ―
Did you ever have an incident—or like in my case, a movie film—that happened way back in your early days, and in all these years, you’re unable to completely erase it from your memory? Well, this film—and this was way back when black and white movies were still in vogue—left one of those indelible impressions on me. I forget most of the details, but I can’t forget the theme of that movie! I’ll call the movie, “The Revolution.” The actual movie could have been produced under a different title, but that title, “The Revolution,” certainly fit the theme I’m talking about, so I’ll use it for my story. Also, as I already mentioned, I forget many details, so I’ll use a lot of license in telling the story—not that it really matters, since it’s all fiction anyway—or is it?
Although this same story has been told, and retold, many times throughout our history, I’ll place my particular story in the meridian of our history—let’s say, some time just after gunpowder, cannons, bombs, pistols and long guns had been invented. The world was once again in a chaotic, violent state, only this time, with the new invention of gunpowder, we were able to kill more people in just one big explosion, and we could now more easily tear flesh from bone than we could with the now outdated sword and spear.
As I said, this fabled country that I speak of, was once again bathed in hate and violence. Horrific wrongs were committed on both sides, when brother turned against brother, and revenge was touted as the only solution to this feud!
This all started when a certain political activist—let’s call him, Adam Justica—decried the injustice that the reigning ruler was brutally imposing on the country’s citizens. At first, his voice was almost alone: most people were to busy scraping together enough money to live on, let alone think about a revolution. But Adam Justica was persistent, and since he was charismatic and had a flare for creating rousing, dramatic speech—rabble rousing, some official government leaders would call it today—wherever he went in the land, he started gathering a following.
“Justice! Justice!” became the rallying mantra as hundreds, then thousands of chanting rebels—rabble? Said the government —took to the streets in protest against the injustices of the day.
At first, the then reigning ruler ignored the small, newly formed upstart group, hoping that, when they got hungry, they’d get tired of their protest marches and go back to their homes. But that wasn’t about to happen!
Soon thousands turned into tens of thousands, finally causing more than a little concern for the reigning ruler, concerns that he could no longer ignore. In a public broadcast, the ruler pronounced the rebels as a rag-tag, illegal bunch of hoodlum outlaws and declared open warfare against them.
But victory—if it could even be considered possible by now—wouldn’t be easy!
Adam Justica’s protesters had grown into an impressive force, and he was quick to see an opportunity here and gain even more notoriety in his fight for justice. He promoted himself to General Adam Justica, armed and organized his rebel protesters with the latest weapons, then marched against the capital. Women and children—at least those who were still able to—fled the city in terror, fearing for their lives.
The battle that followed was fierce and ugly and lasted many days. Thousands on both sides of the camp were brutally slaughtered and by now, hardly a building was left unscarred, or not splattered with the blood of the combatants. Then, on the twelfth day of the battle, it was a smoke-filled morning, General Adam Justica emerged high above the noise and gunfire to plant firmly on the still smouldering debris of what was once the country’s beautiful parliament buildings, to raise his own, newly designed flag and triumphantly shout,
“We have won! Victory is ours! Justice is ours!”
In the coming years the land settled back into a relative normal routine. Guns were turned back into the proverbial plow shears and the citizens became more preoccupied with every day affairs of love, marriage, and going on vacation then they were with justice. New, more modern buildings sprung up out of the heaps of rubble that had, prior to the revolution, been thriving cities, and the story of “The War to End All Wars” was soon downgraded to only stories told in school history books. New parliament buildings, whose structural beauty and design challenged the creativeness of the best architects in the land, were built over the old parliamentary ruins. The sun shone again, the birds sang, heaven seemed to have descended upon the earth!
Justice had been firmly established! The country was at peace!
Then one fateful day in the New People’s Parliament—I believe it was the two hundred and tenth semi-annual session, one of the People’s Representative stood up to address the Assembly.
“Esteemed People’s Representatives,” he began,” many of my constituents have complained that much of their tax money from our area has been illegally removed from our coffers and is being used to pay off the debts and exorbitant living of a neighboring township. I believe that is the same township that you, General Justica, have your residence in. Could we, form a committee –”
“Silence!” General Adam Justica sprang to his feet and in a great, dramatic show of indignation, drew his pistol and shot the offending Representative. “Enough!” he shouted. We’ll have no talk of government unfairness ruining the image of our hard-won battle for justice!” the General fairly screamed his outrage at the remaining People’s Representatives who shrank low into their plush seats, fearing one of them might be targeted next. “Have you forgotten how many of our beloved comrades died and sacrificed much in our fight for justice for all? I’ll have no disgruntled upstart dare to stand and question these rules of justice for all!” He turned his glare onto the limp, dead body of the Representative. “You are a traitor to your country!”
The sound of the general’s gunshots quickly—ever so decisively—vibrated throughout the land, finally settling in on an old, giant, rotting wooden wheel that lay nearly buried in the murky, stinky mire of the cold, sinister depths of a haunted bog near the edge of the country, a bog so disgusting to human consciousness that no sane citizen of the land wanted to talk about.
If one squinted and looked carefully, the single word, “JUSTICE,” had been carved into its rim by some ancient general whose name was now long forgotten, but could still be seen through the wisps of steam rising off the bog.
At first, upon hearing the gunshot, the rotting wheel just gave an almost imperceptible shiver of protest, even a faint whimper could be heard. After several years of anticipated peace, the wheel hoped—oh God, how it hoped—that it could finally rest forever—maybe even die and have its morbid history erased for ever from the consciousness of creation. But that was not its lot! Forced by the laws of an ancient curse placed on it during another civilization’s time, or by gods and generals whose names are now forgotten, it painfully rose out of the steaming, dank bog and started—once again—its relentless roll across the land.
“Justice! Justice! Justice!” it chanted at every agonizing completion of a role!
Will humanity ever find peace and real justice through violent protest? In fact, do we even have an alternative to violence, or are we, ourselves The Wheel I speak of; burdened with an ancient curse placed upon us by some higher, evil force; doomed to cycle forever through times of war, then, out of sheer, sadistic mockery, offered a brief moment of peace only to rise again and make war?
Our Holy Books tell us there is hope. They remind us constantly that we are more! That we’re made of star dust; of royal lineage—the same lineage that the gods and the universe itself is made of. So why do we seem so incapable of shrugging off that evil curse and live like the gods themselves live; in peace, self-empowerment and true justice?
Remember … remember who we really are, and abandon the ancient curse of The Wheel!