SCIENCE FICTION AS EXAGGERATED TRUTH

By William Markiewicz

In a Science Fiction story, I don't remember the title or the author, the narrator reports that he is approached by somebody with dreamy eyes and smile, saying, "Thought will win over action." The storyteller looks at the visitor with surprise and asks, "What do you mean?" The other goes away, repeating to himself, "Thought will win over action." "Some nut," thinks the narrator and goes back to work.

Then another, who looks like a bully, says, "Action will overpower thought."

"What is this nutty story?!" asks the narrator.

The bully answers, "You don't agree -- I expected it from you." He punches him and leaves.

It was a bad start to the day but what followed was worse: Fights were starting everywhere, with increasing organization and scope. Very soon the whole planet was inflamed; success switching from one side to the other. The 'action' camp was more dynamic, of course, but they lacked coherent tactics. The 'thought' army was slow, phlegmatic, compensating with better planning. Both achieved the planet's ruin and the narrator, barely surviving in the ruined environment, still debated "Which side was right?"

This story is a parody of what really happens: The supporters of authoritarian governing systems fall imperceptibly into totalitarianism while the advocates of freedom lose their sense of values and fall imperceptibly into chaos. From one extreme to the other, the waves of history continue. Probably it must always be so.

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