Challenge #00069: Power Struggle

Privilege, the halls of power and what drives those who wield it to deign it that way.

“Right,” said Bu'zaw, Earth’s new administrative assistant. “I’m trying to understand this. I am. Let me see if I have this straight.”

“Go on,” prompted Britanian Ambassador Winthrop.

“A relatively small percentage of the overall population have power over the larger percentage by means of building upon centuries of conquering and exploitation.”

“In essence, yes,” the Britanian admitted. “By and large, they were just lucky to have the biggest guns at the time. Having established power, they institutionalized the concept that they should remain in power by casting themselves as savior-figures.”

“And then made themselves the beauty ideal by dominating media, and kept the original populations in control by economic exploitation, yes?”


“And now that we’ve come in with the bigger guns and the mightier force and are actually trying to make things more equitable for everyone… they object?”


“Why? This is more or less their own established methods for doing things.”

“Yes, but they don’t like it when it happens to them.”

“Ah. And the only way to placate them is…?”

“Letting them continue in their delusion that they can do what they want.”

“But… that’s…” Bu'zaw flailed for a suitable Terran metaphor. “That’s defecating on their own table!”

“Almost,” said the ambassador diplomatically. “The phrase is, ‘you don’t crap where you eat’. Close, as we say, but no cigar.”

“I wouldn’t want one,” muttered Bu'zaw. “How did they remain in power for so long?”

“By being vehemently and vocally opposed to change,” said Winthrop. “They constantly used the threat that change would destroy the world as they know it.”

“And nobody noticed that the world as they know it isn’t very nice?”

“They did, but they weren’t allowed to say much.”

“Because those in power like to keep it that way?” Bu'zaw guessed.

“Spot on, sir.”

“I’m almost tempted to ship them all off to their own planet and see what the wreckage looks like.”

Winthrop cleared his throat. “We already have two Greater Deregulations.” He checked to make sure the metaphorical penny had dropped. “One would think that would be wreckage enough.”

“We could pick one and ship them there. Pop them into their own sewer, as it were…”

“They refuse to leave,” said Winthrop. “Allegedly because they love their planet so much.”

Bu'zaw winced. “I think some of my neurons imploded from the dichotomy.”

“Best not to think about it too hard,” said Winthrop. “It’s what they do.”

Bu'zaw rolled his eyes at the universe and large and sighed, “Humans…” He was starting to believe that his appointment as administrative assistant to the planet Terra had actually been a punishment detail. He’d have to find out who he had offended and obsequiously -and profusely- apologize.

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