eng
competition

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If I were a despot

created Apr 14th, 14:17 by stoicalom


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331 words
8 completed
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If I were a despot, even though I knew my territory was crammed with fanatical revolutionaries, I would not repress freedom of speech. Indeed, I would encourage It. I do not mean that I would do it simply out of difference to the principle of free speech but as a safe policy in order to keep myself in power I would have little forums specially constructed in public places, where any man could go and say what he wanted. Special policemen would be detailed to show the audience to their place, to assist the speakers in any way and even to leave the applause. The lank-haired young men who denounced me as a tyrant would do so on my specially constructed platforms, before the courteous smiling officers of my forces. When they had become thirsty denouncing the government, they would find at their elbow a glass of distilled water placed there for their convenience by that very government. But I would go further than that. I would have a certain number of officials from my Department of Education bland, polite, faintly superior persons (specially imported from Oxford, if necessary), told off for the duty of attending, such meetings and helping the speakers by giving them a criticism of their manner and style. Any revolutionary orator able to pass a fairly elementary examination would be coached free of charge by my Education Department so that a man at a very climax of his speech, when he was prophesying disaster to the bloated tyrant, might often find himself looking into the face of his old tutor from the State Department, nodding approval from the front row. No main would be punished for his political opinions, or rather, for openly expressing those opinions, but an orator who persistently mixed his metaphors or never tried to furnish up his rhetorical finery from one year's end to the order might be told to report at one of the Educational officers, where he might be gently chided.

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