The ABCs of Extortion

A.

Thucydides–that Greek

telling his story, human

doings with nary

a nod to the gods–said

 

the powerful extort

what they can;

 

the weak pay

what they must.

 

True enough to

make a bon mot.

 

The powerful

take,

the weak

give.

 

Person to person;

city to state; and

the empires

the worse for it.

 

B.

Nothing golden

in that rule. More

murder and steel,

more grab and run.

 

More of that little

story, David and his

giant, how the wry

win, by god, by

 

ignoring rules.

 

C.

Kant–that German

naming his absolutes

with nary a nod to gods–

 

said what I do

I must do

as if I give

that freedom to

 

everyone.

 

No treating others

as means

to an end

but the end

themselves.

 

And we’re golden.

 

(Buy that, David?

Buy that, Goliath?)


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