Essay

The Ministry of Fear [Flash Fiction by Jay V. Ruvolo]

I said: He said, “In the next revolution, we will have to shoot all the teachers.”

I paused.

I then said, as I had the space to do so, without hesitation caused by anticipating another speaking in the same space of time within which I went on to add: Why does it seem outrageous to say or to think, let alone believe it possible, that a revolutionary spirit could sweep away any impediment to murdering en-masse any group of a society, even those we reflexively like to imagine have dedicated themselves to the betterment of society, but just might be seen as those most directly responsible for perpetuating the great ills that society suffers. And weren’t  teachers one of the groups in Germany who en masse voted for the Nazis Party in their local elections ensuring that Adolf Hitler would become Chancellor then de facto dictator? Teachers, butlers and women. 

I said, He said, “School teachers? They are the most contemptible perpetuators of the status quo wherever they work, whether it is Franco’s Spain, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany, Pinochet’s Chile . . . everywhere, anywhere. Kill them all if you ever want to change a society–no, wait. It would not be necessary to kill them all if you find them contemptible changeling creatures who can shift alliances as easily as most bureaucrats do, have, will. From Weimar to the Nazis, the bureaucrats did not miss a beat. School teachers have as much to do with manipulating thought as the administrators of propaganda who worked for Goebbels. All of a culture’s received ideas for good or for ill can be traced to the lessons learned in school. It’s not that these received ideas do not have other mediums of transmission; it is just that all the enduring ones, the ones most responsible for supporting and reinforcing the Status Quo can be found in State sponsored pedagogies.”

What else I said I will not record here. Whatever else I could have said, or perhaps should have said–and what is it that I should have said if you are one of the staunch supporters of the Status Quo and all of our most beloved conventionalities? I cannot say succinctly here, nor do I wish to take the time to say it in any form I could muster extemporaneously.

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