Book 8, part 2. The Rites of Love (2006)
From a hired hand to a prince
At the beginning of the present era many countries were already ruled by emperors, pharaohs or tsars. The form of government under which a large state is controlled by one Man is unnatural. It has never brought and will never bring a good, happy life to a single nation on the face of the Earth. This form of government benefits the priests, who manipulate countries through their rulers. It is difficult, after all, to negotiate with all the people at once, a lot easier to deal with just a single individual.1
Only in Rus’ they did not succeed in setting up a single ruler. Everyone there was guided by the tribal elders’ council. These councils were not something that could be corrupted or forced, under threat, into a decision that would lead to the oppression of the people. Who would make such an obscene decision for one’s children?
Several times, through various subterfuges in different places, the priests’ assistants attempted to set up a princely authority, a single ruler over the people. In this particular area, for example, events unfolded as follows.
One day a stranger from afar arrived at the Vedruss kapish- che situated where Suzdal is now. Like the wise-men, itinerant minstrels, and craftsmen, he was offered food and lodging.
The stranger stayed two weeks, but did not engage in any useful activity. The hired hand in charge questioned him:
“What useful contribution, stranger, can you make to our kapishche?”
And the stranger replied:
“None at all, but to you personally I can render an invaluable service. I have heard rumours that the elders are not happy with you. In a year, maybe even half a year, you will be let go. If you take my advice, on the other hand, the elders will be crawling on their knees before you. You can have your pick of girls from any domain to wife, whereas right now there’s not a single one that would live with you. I can make it so that it will be your decisions, and not those of the tribal elders, that will be carried out.”
The hired hand in charge of the kapishche (and part-time janitor) agreed. He listened to the stranger, an agent of the priests. And the stranger proposed:
“When people gather for a fair at the kapishche from all around and stay until the following morning, during the night you will cut your face with a knife, and leave the kapishche along with your trustworthy assistants, so that you can return in the evening with broken-winded horses. During the night I and my assistants (they are already here in the guise of artists and craftsmen), will take the horses away from their tethering-posts, and you will bring them back in the evening, saying you recaptured them from the miscreants.
“In your wounded state you will ask the elders for an armed garrison for their own protection. They will agree. You will take my companions into your garrison: they will all meekly obey your command.”
The hired hand agreed to the criminal act. He did everything according to the stranger’s proposal.
When the ‘wounded’ man returned toward evening with the herd of stolen horses, he learnt that not only had the
stranger’s henchmen stolen the horses — they had also killed three people, and burnt the smithy and a barn. The ‘wounded’ hired hand appeared before the elders. He told how he and his assistants had given chase to the miscreants, but they were outnumbered, and his assistants were beaten back. And then he began asking the elders for the resources to maintain a strong armed garrison. He asked them to grant him the authority to take decisions on his own in the interests of general security
The elders were taken aback at the hideous crime and agreed to maintain the garrison, only they were unwilling to pull their own sons away from the domains. So it was decided to bring in strangers to form a garrison, and allot them a tribute from each domain. Other kapishches followed their lead and also began to create their own armed garrisons.
Indeed, since they now had power, the hired hands began transforming themselves into princes. They started waging war against each other, justifying this to the elders as a necessary preventative first strike.
The princes supposed they had achieved considerable authority In fact, for centuries now, they have been strictly following the priests’ advice, often without realising it. Such a system of authority came together all by itself. The hired hand remained a hired hand — he merely exchanged masters. The new master was exceptionally cruel to his hired hands.
For thousands of years the priests’ hired hands kept killing each other, conspiring and hatching their schemes, aspiring more and more lustily for power.
You surely know yourself from history how many deaths the path to princely power is strewn with. They even resorted to slaying their fathers and brethren. Pretty much the same thing came about in various countries, and little has changed, even today.
Thus the time of the princes had its start in Russia, too, just as it had in other lands long before. You know the rest of the story, I dare say And the armed garrisons are still around today, still serving somebody’s interests.
The armaments and weaponry may have changed, but the essence is still the same. And the crimes have not abated — they keep multiplying, and keep getting more and more sophisticated.
The elders made a mistake. It is a mistake which, if you form your own political party, you will not want to make again.