Short Story: Greed v. Need

As with the watering of the liberty tree with patriot blood, so too must there often at times be the tempering of hatred and power with revolution. The cycle is never to end. It is not meant to; not while human beings remain human beings. Perhaps one day, we will change. Then, so too will the cycle. Alas, that day may never come. More to the point, it isn’t here now. Most assuredly, it wasn’t here then. Many were though. Many more whom are not now. Those survivors’ stories are numerous, their differences few, though all that’s known for certain is what is seen in hindsight.

Like many things, it began with the collision of unstoppable forces and immovable objects. In this case, that was the unyielding need of many and the stubborn greed of few. Looking back through history, one may trace a similar lineage of anguish to such sources. Be they crusaders wielding blades for clergy; soldiers, guns for senatorial business interests; or any and everything between, an unbroken thread of Greed v. need is visible throughout history.

Where we were, and where we are now, are matters best explained thus: reality is finite. It is a tapestry of interwoven intricacies formed of human thought and action, the bonds and forces that concocted them, whether sentient or incidental.

In other words, existence was and is a complexity not easily broken down. Immense as it is, astounding as it is, it is complex. It can be quantified, but requires the information for billions of variables to do so. Rather than belabor further explanations, we achieve “reality is finite,” thus explaining where we are and where we’ve come from.

But how relevant is a finite reality? How is it related to Greed v. Need? How does it really explain the madness that’s taken place? What in the cacklingly hellish madness am I on about?

The truth, and only the truth. Greed v. Need was the pendulum. Again. A pivot; upon which our world teetered. The madness, so to speak, was beyond the edge. Beyond the edge, where we are now.

Take the unstoppable force of need, accelerated at the speed of desperation, and place the immovable object of greed in its way. What you end up with is not much left of either. Not much whole. Dust and debris, yes, but nothing intact.

How else could we have expected things to go? We had a country– an amorphous set of invisible, phantom barriers– filled with people starving, homeless, penniless. Then, with the kind of smug idiocy as the smart man whom believes he knows all, and thus makes a fool of himself when speaking wanton ignorance, we willingly gave power to those whom saw us as lazy, useless, and wasteful. In truth of course, it was the dullards whom believed that which eventually made us that way.

Irony is delicious that way.

So hatred, as there most certainly was hatred toward us, once more fueled lust for power. And that power grew, strangling what life remained in the people, us– who were downtrodden, dying, starving. In effect, we were kicked and beaten animals. It was only a matter of time before we turned on those doing the kicking and beating. And like animals cornered and frightened, we did strike back, eventually. Just as the hand that feeds and beats is as likely to be bit as the hand that beats alone, it felt our bite.

We were Need. They were Greed. Were we to find some other moniker for them, perhaps we’d term them the elite. Or, were we further back in history, we might name them the aristocracy. In no event however, would so foul a rose as they be less foul for our terminology. And Greed certainly was foul, if little else. Greed stole. Greed cheated. Greed abused. Greed did anything and everything it could to ensure its power was absolute, unchallenged.

Alas, for their sake, they saw not what the reality was. Greed was an entity of individuals, people, raving and slavering as beasts that frothed in thought of everything for themselves. They snatched power in bills and laws at a time. Stole homes, jobs, money. Cheated and abused trust, hope. In the end, Need had little recourse but to lash out; but to bite the hand that fed and beat.

When that day came, there was little Greed could do. Greed had taken all from Need that could be taken and trod upon them too long. Need had no dignity. No hope. Nothing to lose at striking back.

And when they did, the world burned. The global wars threatening to ravage the various phantom borders imploded. Need took what they could, turned greed against Greed. The result was a finite reality we cannot possibly explain in anyway unexplained before. For Greed v. Need is a cycle, and we are but humans ever-bound to repeat forgotten mistakes.

Irony too, is a weakness of our species. For those of greatest need were inevitably those that struck back hardest and took the most back. Thus, as usual, they ensured that the cycle of Greed v. need would continue at least once more, someday. No doubt, in the end, they too will be overtaken, overthrown, deposed as the then-current incarnation of Greed. Only time may tell for certain, but Need becomes Greed after need is fulfilled and want appears. Those most sated are doubtless least in need and most wanting now.

As we remain human, so to is the cycle bound to repeat until some master of genetics or eugenics can finally put to rest the notion of humans as anything beyond wild animals with fantastic loincloths and unnecessary shoe addictions.

Only then could he or she, as father or mother of the post-human revolution, finally lay to rest the witless and sadistic species homosapiens. Only then, could they instead selectively breed and form a new species bearing all of Humanity’s assets and none of its detriments.

Then, and only then, might the cycles of old be forever broken and new ones formed. Formed, perhaps, from the influence of species long-lived alongside us in peace, and despite our best attempts to extort from them the same mistrust, anger, and outlashing as us from ourselves.

Future mother or father, might I suggest an animal to draw from? If so, I suggest the Cornish Hen.

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