Power and Free Speech
Two conjoined twins, Mohamed and Kristina, often argue, but share a beating heart.
On this occasion, they are arguing about who gets to eat the one candy bar they have left.
Their evil stepfather Josef snaps it in half and offers one piece to each of them.
Just as they are about to enjoy their share, Mohamed notices that Kristina’s piece is a little larger than his, and complains bitterly to Josef, who takes the larger piece from her and bites a little off, then returns it.
However, he has bitten too much off, and now Kristina is upset because her piece is fractionally smaller.
With his own motives, Josef now takes Mohamed’s candy and bites a little off that.
Mohamed is now even more upset and kicks up a real fuss when he sees Kristina has an inch of candy but now he only has a centimeter.
So, Josef finishes Kristina’s candy. She howls in anger and rage, while Mohamed smiles, somewhat confused, but happy he has finally got one over on his sister even though her distress affects his shared body similarly.
Josef says “Don’t worry Kristina, I’ll make it fair,” and snatches the last centimeter of candy from Mohamed’s tongue, instantly swallowing it, licking his lips and letting out an evil laugh.
Josef leaves the room, locks the door, and with no candy or any other food, the two sides of the same innocent, confused beating heart share a terrifying fate.
Who are Kristina, Mohamed and Josef?
Kristina and Mohamed represent; in no particular order; the political left and right, Islam and Christianity, atheism and theism, Leave and Remain, men and women, and any other groups often at each other’s throats.
Josef, that sinister invisible presence all around us, represents power. He is the government, he is corporate control, he is banking, he is The Mail, The Guardian, The Sun, The Independent, CNN, Fox, Sky, BBC etc.
The expert manipulator, always happy to help step in and help one or the other side; he has no loyalty whatsoever to either left or right.
He turns men and women against each other and against their brothers and sisters, for his own ends.
He makes up or exaggerates any idea if it makes one party more suspicious of the other than they are of him.
He pretends to care for us, but only cares for control.
The Candy Bar?
You guessed it. It is our freedom. Freedom to make mistakes. Freedom to consider ideas, to follow or deviate from our parents’ or peers’ advised paths, to criticize, to agree or disagree, to live, breathe, share and be.
Careful What You Wish For
In any political conflict between two parties, there is a third invisible presence: Power.
It has been there since the dawn of humanity, always easily able to twist any popular victory to ensure that it is the only party that really benefits in the long run.
If you ask the powerful to come to your rescue because you are offended, it won’t only erode your political enemies’ freedom. It will erode your own too, eventually if not immediately.
There will always be left and right, and many other opposing groups struggling to come to terms with one another’s views, but underneath, we are all one, yet fragmenting more and more.
Don’t let power break us, and consume all our freedom and shared humanity.
Judge yourself, not others, and don’t fall for power’s attempts to turn us all against one another.
We are failing spectacularly, right as we enter the most surveillance dominated dystopia imaginable, in which all our worst nightmares can be realised.
We all share Mohamed and Kristina’s one beating heart; one common humanity; but we must compromise to live together in peace, without seeking help from the powerful to resolve our differences.