Conversation with a revolutionary

Come in my friend, sit down, be at ease. Let us rest a little, talk and share my bounty. I am blessed, I do not deserve the life I lead. I never cease to be grateful when granted another day.

Look around at my home, I cannot be sure how long I will be allowed to live like this, how long it will be before events beyond my control invade my comfort and privilege. We plan as though tomorrow is sure to arrive, yet history teaches us that this is far from certain. There are too many unknowns, too many others involved in the decisions that shape what we can be, what we will become.

I do not fear the uncertain future. In the past I have been alone, hungry and cold; it passes or you die, and death is a release. I am in no hurry to end my life, but I recognise that it will happen one day. I feel no dread at the prospect of moving on.

This life that I now lead, how happy it makes me. I wish to absorb every detail, experience every moment, box it up in my memory to feed my dreams if it is taken away. I do not own that which is made pleasurable by the existence of others. I am merely passing through, as are they.

Consider these material possessions, my shelter and creature comforts. They were earned through hard work, but ownership is a transient beast that can never be taken for granted. Always there are those who feel more entitled, who will not tolerate going without that which they believe they deserve. These things are only mine whilst others do not have the means to take them from me.

Of course I value what I have and do not choose to relinquish, but I will not sacrifice what I am to retain that which may be bought or sold. I have been granted so much, I do not fool myself into thinking that I somehow deserve more than others who have not enjoyed my good fortune. I thank God that I have been allowed these pleasures, but seek no credit for being born in a place and time that enabled my life to unfold as it did.

I worry more for my children than for myself, growing into a world of ever increasing selfishness and greed. They will be thrown into debt young, thereby ceding control to the overlords. There are even those who say that war is inevitable, that the powerful will use it to control the masses and consolidate their influence. They do not seem to understand how fleeting such powers are.

I fear for my children’s future but I cannot know how it will unfold. My influence is limited. I have taught them compassion, not to follow where the foolish and wicked try to lead. It is more important that they may live with themselves than in some mythical future promised to them by those who are proven self seeking and untrustworthy.

For now though, I am surrounded by comfort and blessings. Enjoy this with me, drink, bask in my undeserved joy.

I will not fight your battles my friend, will not support your cause. I will give you shelter and food, companionship and conversation, but you are looking to create a utopia that differs little from any other. It is tainted and hollow. Lofty dreams will be corrupted by whomsoever comes to power, it has always been thus.

The plight of individuals matters, not the title of the state. I will not become an aggressor, a suppressor however much you believe in your own righteousness.

Eat, drink, rest while you can. I see no way to turn you around. For all your supposed intelligence you seem blind to the lessons from history, blinkered in the realities you will accept. I do not claim to know better than you. I offer what I can and you are free to dismiss, ignore, reject my words. A wise man listens to all council, considers carefully and critically, then follows his conscience and accepts responsibility for his actions.

My wish is to tread lightly on this world, to minimise the damage I cause. This justice you seek is ephemeral, the price is always the blood of innocents. Could you ever live peacefully with that on your hands?

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