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The Seventeenth Plan Was A Flop

from Null Times in Zér0ville (2021) by FLAtRich-Rich La Bonté

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Music by Rich La Bonté (BMI). Copyright © 2021 Rich La Bonté. All Rights Reserved.

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...I look upon the history of men, which I have learned from the books, and I wonder. It was a long story, and the spirit which moved it was the spirit of man's freedom. But what is freedom? Freedom from what? There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. That and nothing else.

At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of the freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.

But then he gave up all he had won, and fell lower than his savage beginning.

What brought it to pass? What disaster took their reason away from men? What whip lashed them to their knees in shame and submission? The worship of the word "We."

When men accepted that worship, the structure of centuries collapsed about them, the structure whose every beam had come from the thought of some one man, each in his day down the ages, from the depth of some one spirit, such spirit as existed but for its own sake. Those men who survived, those eager to obey, eager to live for one another, since they had nothing else to vindicate them - those men could neither carry on, nor preserve what they had received. Thus did all thought, all science, all wisdom perish on earth. Thus did men - men with nothing to offer save their great number - lose the steel towers, the flying ships, the power wires, all the things they had not created and could never keep. Perhaps, later, some men had been born with the mind and the courage to recover these things which were lost; perhaps these men came before the Councils of Scholars. They were answered as I have been answered - and for the same reasons.

But I still wonder how it was possible, in those graceless years of transition, long ago, that men did not see whither they were going, and went on, in blindness and cowardice, to their fate.

I wonder, for it is hard for me to conceive how men who knew the word "I" could give it up and not know what they lost. But such has been the story, for I have lived in the City of the damned, and I know what horror men permitted to be brought upon them.

Perhaps, in those days, there were a few among men, a few of clear sight and clean soul, who refused to surrender that word. What agony must have been theirs before that which they saw coming and could not stop! Perhaps they cried out in protest and in warning. But men paid no heed to their warning. And they, these few, fought a hopeless battle, and they perished with their banners smeared by their own blood. And they chose to perish, for they knew.

To them, I send my salute across the centuries, and my pity... from Anthem by Ayn Rand (1938 PD)

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from Null Times in Zér0ville (2021), released October 2, 2021
All instruments by Rich La Bonté. Electronic music composed, programmed and edited by Rich La Bonté.

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FLAtRich-Rich La Bonté New Jersey

Rich La Bonté (1946) - American musician. 9 Bandcamp LPs. Released the seminal electronic Mayan Canals LP and co-wrote Kim Fowley's Son of Frankenstein (1980s). Lead singer of the upstate New York band the huns (1965-66). Played bass and sang in the original NY and LA casts of Godspell (1971-4). Mozart in "Mozart In Love" (Dir: Mark Rappaport 1975). More info - free MP3s & stuff on his website! ... more

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