A Chess Board Analogy

They say too much idle time is the Devil’s workshop. Last week while using some power tools I imagined that the world’s political power dymanic was analogous to a chessboard, with its pieces and moves. I’m aware that chess has been used as a metaphor for any number of systems and functions. So I’m sure someone has been here before me. Regardless, I lay down before you my chessboard analogy, which I enjoy calling ‘Just Like Bobby Fischer Say’.

People before me have likened the power dynamic of players on the world stage to that of a game of 3 dimensional chess. It is an easy metaphor to visualize I suppose. While I’m not well versed in 3 dimensional chess I do have a layman’s understanding of the basics of the chess we non-Vulcans play. I must interject here that I am a poor chess player. I can barely see the current move much less several moves ahead. Anyway, here is my chessboard analogy, submitted for your approval.

This is obviously my own imagining and is in no way meant to imply any great profundity. I’m not sure why I always include a caveat with my posts. Perhaps it is because I have trouble accepting criticism and must attempt to divert it. Or perhaps it is because there really are legitimate alternatives. This particular post is narrow in scope but says enough to blog it up. Besides, I need something to post.

I have tried to present the pieces in the order of the heirarchy pyramid of their relative power. I thought a bit about the relationship between the King and Queen. To me it is somewhat a chicken and egg proposition. I eventually settled on the idea that to protect the power is in reality the most important power.

Corporations and government are the queens. They are the power that dominates the board and protects the king, who is almost invisible until it falls. The queen is easily the most versatile piece on the board. Her power is not only visible but surrepticious. She is her team’s General. I like the idea of the General being a woman. A queen who plays well uses her power in offensive and defensive ways, both stealthy and aggressive. It is the king who gives the queen her power and she protects him at all costs, to her dying breath.

The plutocratic oligarchs are the kings. They don’t move very much or very far. They hold and assign all power and give the queen her marching orders. They are the most sought after and the most protected. They are nearly invisible on the board until they are threatened. They are like matadors, avoiding catastrophe with the slightest of movements. The entire game is played to overcome them. The king who outsmarts the other wins everything. .

I could go here into a discussion about the gender of the monarch. But chess was created well over a millennia before gender equity became significant so I’m sticking to its rigid interpretations. I’m happy to accept criticism.

Religion is the aptly named bishop. It is primarily an offensive weapon that has an underlying prominence on the board because of its angular attack. It must be accounted for at all times as it can lull the queen and king to sleep and strike swiftly and surely. The queen often uses religion as a flanking maneuver that forces the king to relinquish control of a large part of the board.

The military and police are not separate pieces but together are the knights, who are versatile attacking and defending machines. They can attack suddenly from unexpected places. They can often get quite close to the king without being opposed and can make the queen weaken her defenses in a strategic way. Defensively they can snuff out an opponent’s best planned attack. They do this by making counter attacks with their uneven movement, often effective even when taken into consideration by the offense.

The rook is the media, who has the power to attack the king directly, from near and far, and with surprise. It forces the queen to make certain the king moves with caution. It’s power is perhaps greater than is perceived but it can entice the queen to make difficult decisions. The queen must use a portion of her troops to encircle the king with protection at all times. The rook can be held in check, just don’t ignore it. It is the most vulnerable piece on the board next to the pawns.

The pawns are the people. There are many more pawns on the board than any other piece but they are also the most limited in movement and power. They open the game with a relatively small move, but one which for both them and game is significant. It is the pawn’s only double move. And it points the King toward his strategic options. Pawns are sacrificial both on offense and defense. They can only move forward but can sometimes slip ahead at an angle and capture another piece, when their opponents are under multiple attacks. It is a movement similar to the way a bishop attacks. I do find it interesting that the pawn and king can both only move one square at a time.

Pawns are the chess piece most often used as a metaphor in real life. In the game they can gain great power but they must move wisely, stealthily, and with unity. They have to have a plan. It is possible to overwhelm one of the other side’s powerful pieces with numbers, or distract them while a single piece races to regain its rightful power. It can’t crown itself a king, yet can still gain any power up to and including a queen. However, it needs no small amount of luck to do this.

The machinations of the powerful pieces are of primary importance in the game. The people have little say, save for giving the king his means to defeat them. But the people can gain enough power to perhaps bring power to bear to defeat the king. It is difficult but not so rare as to give up without trying.

While it is true that in the event an elevated pawn, the people’s champion, assists in defeating the other king, the board is still ruled by a king. That king should be made aware that it was the people’s power which won the day. In that circumstance we have as much or more leverage as did the British people who forced King John to give his people the right to equal protection under the law.

Of course, this was accomplished by economic pressure from wealthy influences. But it gave the people protection from unscrupulous entities and eventually a representative government. That would actually be a good start for us. We will work on the rest of our agenda next.

We can force our current authoritarian leader to sign a new Magna Carta, just a short 700 years later.

I’ve Had It Up To (Even Higher) Here

Ok, here it is. I have claimed before to have given you both barrels. But this comes from an even deeper place inside me. This is the gatling gun of my consciousness. I may not be able to say much for awhile, after these words. I may need to process things for a time.

As I most often do I have allowed recent events to simmer in my heart and mind before responding to them. They have commingled there with many events from over many years, yielding a stinging stew, too salty with tears, and too bitter with anger. I have reached that place where I must say exactly what is in my heart and mind. In America we are allowed the freedom to speak. What follows is my truth. I won’t allow my fear to let it embarrass me any more.

About recent terror, domestic and international, and the accompanying ignorant responses of all kinds. This is not meant as revealing the specifics of defeating al-Dawla, or racism in America, or transgender revulsion or any individual issue of justice. Those are conversations that must be held. But this is about the essential battle of our time, the battle that encompasses these things.

It is no longer enough to tweet that the friends and families of victims are in our prayers. It is no longer enough to put a translucent french flag over our Facebook profile pics. Or rainbow flag. Or post clever and inspirational quotes over idyllic scenes of beauty. Or admonish each other to think positive thoughts. It is no longer good enough to say that islamophobia and all other xenophobia is wrong. It is unacceptable to analyze, criticize, and then sign off, unaccompanied by any alternative.

However good those things may be, and most are good and worthwhile things, they are not enough. They let us off the hook by allowing us to feel good about ourselves. We talk a good game but those flimsy actions let us avoid the real work of destroying violence as the preferred way of resolving conflict between humans, and between groups of humans. That’s hard work. Sorry to offend but it’s much harder than posting a tweet. As good as many of those previous things are we need to stand, like at Tiannanmen Square, in front of the tank, instead of in the relative safety of the crowd.

We need to act. All the isms must die. All the boundaries between us must fall. If we must fight this war, this war against the ills fostered through ignorance, of all kinds, in all places, we must fight with the weapons of truth, knowledge, power, and love. Truth is knowledge, knowledge is light, light is power, power is existence, existence is life, life is love, love is wo/man, the mental being. Our culture of violence has a genetic component which makes its cycle of brutality powerful. It can only be fought by extra emotional and extra physical means, in other words, by us, with mental weapons of love. A weapon is simply a tool with a particular destructive purpose. But it remains a tool.

The tools of love work through our minds and bodies, operating together as coordinated by the heart. The battle plan begins mentally, in the mind, worked into a tool, truth into knowledge. It is transformed into a weapon and repurposed, in the heart, through power, as a weapon of creative destruction. The weapon answers only to love, destroying ignorance, creating a vacuum into which the collective body of wo/man can manifest an evolved world, where we can live in accord of thought, word, and deed.

To be honest, wishing for world peace is futile. Universal peace is unattainable, at least since Adam and Eve were banned from the garden. But with inner accord we can act truthfully and reach not a compromise, but a synthesis of action that satisfies everyone, if only to the degree that it is acceptable, without residue of rancor.

I’m tired of holding back on explaining this stuff. I have been ashamed of who I am for years. I have been afraid of who I was as well. I have recoiled from my ego’s dominance over me. But the time needs what I can give, so I surrender to the will of the time and speak, openly, and reveal myself. WAKE UP. I repeat, WAKE UP. Wake up and accelerate your evolution by opening your mind to the winds of truth, which fan the flames of love in our hearts.  Which flames rise to burn away the veil that distorts our sight, and which opens the real world to our eyes, which can then see clearly.

Do not run from what you see. You will recognize those others who see with you. Come together and act, by love, with them, throwing away attachment to ego, throwing away false divisions, throwing away the petty desires of self. If you have eyes to see and ears to hear you will heed this message. There are only two directions, forward though evolution and backward by de-evolution. The way past the wall of ignorance is not though violent revolution but through loving re-evolution. We, the evolving, are remembering who we really are and recognizing who our friends and loved ones are as well.

This is “a” way, not “the” way, but a way thats points us to real change. Not bumper sticker change, not one step forward two steps back change. And not the false feeling of change we get from being funneled into an untenable corner, by the apparent power of the moneyed and greedy, who reign over we, the apparently defeated.

Now I must heed my own words, and act. Act to discover my own ugly weakness and transform it into love and self respect. Act to not only hear, but understand the voices of the oppressed, to hear them speaking the word. And the word was with God and the word was God. And following God, a God of all people, we will destroy ignorance wherever it peeks up from behind the facade. We will create a place for the truth of the downtrodden to blossom, revealing to us what we have known heretofore only in dreams.

This new world is not only possible, it has happened before. We are caught in the process of remembering it and awakening to it. It is easy for us to become impatient. But this new, cleaner world’s fruit will ripen. And its fruit’s taste is sweet.

My need to walk my own talk, or more rightly the fear of it, has undoubtedly been what has kept me from talking about this for so long. And held me from walking in enlightened shoes. Many have said God speaks to them. God has never spoken to me. I have simply heard what God has said to the universe. I can’t listen anymore without doing. Forgive me my faults. Brand me if you will a heretic.

But humor me and listen.

I swear there is value in it.