The 9-12 Project of Central PA

"You Are NOT Alone!"

The Curse of the Magic Sword
A Metaphor
How to recognize the force that is destroying us.
by Peter B. Trippett
August, 2012

I enjoy tales of fantasy and adventure as much as anybody – wizards, dragons, and magic swords make for great stories. But, magic isn't real, is it? There are no spells or curses in real life... are there?

Well, it so happens there are. For you see, there is a Sword – a Magic Sword of great power. I have unknowingly believed in it for most of my life, and I am willing to bet you have, as well. Read on, and you shall see!

~~~~~

Forged from man's intellect in the dark recesses of history, The Sword was created for One True Purpose – to protect humanity's Most Precious Jewel. When used for that Purpose, its power is unequaled. All of mankind benefits from the wealth of that Jewel, and for as long as The Sword stands guard, the Jewel is safe, and we all flourish.

But, like many of the great magics in the legends, this Sword also bears a curse. A terrible curse! And, the Curse is invoked when the Sword is used for Other Purposes – any purpose other than the protection of that Most Precious Jewel!

So great is the power of the Sword, so effective at achieving its One True Purpose, that men become convinced that this power can serve other purposes as well. Most of us have come to believe that it can right any wrong, cure any ill, solve any problem. It has even been used in attempts to alter the flow of time, or to redefine universal mathematical constants. So, throughout history, men have taken up this Sword, and turned it to purposes other than the One True Purpose for which it was forged.

Some have taken up the Sword for their own purposes – to gain wealth or power. Some have wielded it with the best of intentions to help their fellow man. But, whatever their intentions, good or evil, each of them has invoked the Curse!

The power of the Curse has started wars. It has brought down famine, poverty, slavery and despotism upon the people, and it has collapsed civilizations. But, the workings of the Curse are subtle. If they were obvious people would notice and stop it. So it works its terrible magic slowly, silently, invisibly.

~~~~~

I write this story to call attention to this Curse, hoping that the more people who are aware of it, who are able to observe the Curse at work, the more likely we all will be to avoid its devastating outcome!

~~~~~

The first victim of the Curse of the Sword is the Precious Jewel it was forged to protect. Each use of the Sword for Other Purposes slices another tiny piece out of that Jewel. Often that piece is so small it is unnoticeable. And if we do notice it we might say, “Well, we didn't need that little piece anyway.” And if anyone does complain, if he says that he wanted that piece of the Jewel, he is told to be silent, and that his loss is for the greater good!

But, each piece of the Jewel lost diminishes us all. Like the wind and sand and rain eroding a mountain over time we will one day find that the Jewel is gone.  And on that day, we will learn what a terrible loss it has been.

But there is more!

Each slice of the Cursed Sword divides us and each division further empowers the Curse. We see these divisions all around us and we label them: liberal, conservative, wealthy, poor, labor, businessman, consumer, male, female, patient, doctor, homosexual, heterosexual, religious, atheist, black, white, student, teacher, disabled, elderly, young... all labels that make it easy to forget that we are all really just individuals.

The Curse of the Sword is vigilant, ever-ready to divide us into factions, thereby creating opportunities for the next abuse of the Sword. Each faction cheers when the Sword is turned against others, those they don't approve of, or don't agree with. But when the Sword is later turned back against them they scream in agony. And somehow they fail to recognize it as the same unjust power they previously cheered.

Each misuse of the Sword causes unintended consequences or collateral damage. It often appears to solve a problem in one place, and those wielding it point to that place and proclaim victory. But they remain blind to the harm caused in more obscure places, at future times, or to less prominent victims.

The victims of the Curse are easy to ignore, too spread out to be noticed, or too far removed from our own lives to be of consequence. If those victims are noticed the wielders of the Sword are quick to point the finger of blame elsewhere, and claim that the problems faced by those victims justify the next use of the Sword. If the victims object they are labeled criminals or malcontents, deserving of their mistreatment.

Master of deception, the Curse wears the mask of Justice when it is dispensing injustice. It convinces us that we can give our consent against our will or without our knowledge; that we can cure poverty with debt; that a man who has done no harm can become a criminal through inaction; that being forced to work on behalf of others is not slavery; that a need equals a right; and that charity can be accomplished through armed robbery. Most of us know very well the proverb: “Power Corrupts”. But when the power of this Curse corrupts we fail to see it happening before our very eyes!

We erect temples to The Sword, and the Priests and Acolytes of those temples preach that The Sword is the highest power, responsible for building our civilization, and is to be held above all else – forgetting or ignoring the Precious Jewel it was forged to protect.

The terrible Curse of the Sword has been defeated only a few times throughout history. But often those victors did not recognize the danger, or did not understand the Curse. So, they took up the Sword, and were themselves corrupted by it's Curse.

The last time in our own Country's history that the Sword was defeated the victors were men who did recognize the threat, and who understood the Sword's One True Purpose. They stated that henceforth, those who wield the Sword are to be our servants, not our masters. They constructed a prison for the Sword, made from parchment and ink and principles. They hoped their prison would hold the Curse back forever, but feared it would not.

To the extent that the Sword has been contained within its prison and wielded only for its One True Purpose, the value of our Most Precious Jewel has enriched us. We have thrived, rising in stature in little more than a century above all other countries: economically, technologically, and culturally. And the value of our Most Precious Jewel spread beyond our borders, pulling other countries up along with us, even those who once opposed us in war!

But, alas, the fears of our founders have come to fruition.  For once again The Sword has been turned to Other Purposes. It happened slowly at first.  But due to the subtle workings of the curse it is now accelerating out of control.

The Curse of The Sword now moves amongst us, eroding our Most Precious Jewel, stealing our wealth, dividing us into factions, holding our comfort as hostage to our obedience, teaching us and our children to accept the chains of tyranny, deceiving us that our participation in Democracy is what makes us free.

~~~~~

So, do you believe in this cursed Magic Sword? Do you recognize it now?

The Magic Sword is the force of government – The Law. Our Most Precious Jewel that the Law should protect is our Equal and Individual Rights. When the Law is turned to any Other Purpose, whether that Purpose is malevolent or benign, it eventually and necessarily comes into conflict with somebody's Rights.

In order to continue using the Law for that Purpose, that person's Rights, which the Law should protect, must instead be subjugated to the Law. If that person justly stands up for his rights and defies the Law, he becomes a criminal, and is tried for breaking an unjust law in a court that denies him a jury who has been informed of their powers to protect the rights of their fellow man against such laws.

This contradiction between Rights and the Law creates new problems – collateral damage or unintended consequences. When those problems come to the attention of lawmakers, they are used to justify new laws. This continuing cycle is the mechanism of The Curse!

The Law is Force. The use of Force to solve problems is the last resort of the unimaginative brute. It is like pointing a gun at a sick person, ordering him to get well. If he gets up out of bed and starts walking around, has he really been cured?

If we are to ever flourish as a country again, we must adopt Freedom – true Freedom – as our highest principle. We must understand that true Freedom exists only in the absence of initiated force, whether that force is employed by criminals, by foreign invaders, or by government itself. Not even the will of the majority justifies the violation of even one man's rights! Only those who have violated the rights of others by initiating force, threat, or fraud against them, should be subject to government force.

We must realize that every problem has a solution that can be found in Freedom. The temptation to use the Law to solve problems is great, almost impossible to resist. But, as hard as it may be to find a solution that preserves our Freedom and protects the rights of the individual, it is worth it in the end!

I ask everyone reading this – next time you are watching the news, hearing about the latest legislation wending its way through Congress or the latest issue raised by some candidate – please think carefully about it. What is the cause of the problem? Could it be the application of unjust government force elsewhere, over the past century? What false premises have become generally accepted over that time that would lead one to believe that government is a solution?

And most importantly, think! Use your imagination. Is there a solution that does not involve the use of force? Can you think of a solution that preserves that Precious Jewel, which the Sword of Law should always protect – our Freedom and our Individual Rights?

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