Thursday, 17 February 2011

A Free For All And The Desire For Power

    After the human chess match of the episode Checkmate, No.14-the chess champion and rumoured ex-Count, informs No.6 that the human chess matches are the only way to satisfy the desire for power. In fact it is the only opportunity one gets in the village. Well for No.6 there was the suggestion, on the day of his arrival in the village, that he might attain a position of authority. Indeed, during the elections of Free For All No.6 was not only given the opportunity to 'run for public Office,' but was duly elected by the good citizens of the community to the position as the new No.2, Chairman of the village. But for all his endeavour, all No.6 received for his trouble, was a sound beating from the two motor mechanics in the Rover cave. They had been given the chance to get their own back on No.6, for his treatment towards them aboard the jet boat, having dunked them both in the water, when No.6 was attempting to escape earlier in the episode.
    At least No.6's motivations for 'running for Office' were not completely selfish, if not genuine. No.6 has a very large ego, an ego that has to be fed from time to time. But in this case his ego took a beating, as well as his physical one. One might think that having attained a position of power, that No.6 might endeavour to bring the system down from within. But no. Instead No.6 tries to organise a mass breakout. But this is known by No.2 and the village Administration, which probably means they already know the outcome of No.6's attempt, and that is why he is allowed to go as far as he could.
   "We want Number two, Number two, Number two. We want Number Two, Number Two, Number Two, Number Two" chant the gathered crowed outside the Town Hall. Then all remain quiet as the new Number Two is brought out before them, standing on the steps of the Town Hall, Number Two's arm is raised in salute. But judging by the look on some of the faces in the crowd, it would seem that they treat this new No.2 with some suspicion.
    Then once the new Number Two is ensconced in his new sanctum, power sudenly goes to Number Six's head, and his voice is heard booming out over the village public address system "This is our chance....this is our chance, take it now. I have command, I will imobilise all electronic controls....Listen to me....You are free to go....You are free to go...I am in command, obey me and be free... you are free to go, free to go, free to go!" But the people don't appear to want to be free. In fact the people outside in the village ignore No.6's pleas for them to go and be free.
   It has all been for nothing, but as No.6 once said "Everyone votes for a dictator," and so it turned out to be. No.6, having gained power, he tried to force his will on the people. He wanted the people to breakout of the village and be free. But the people rejected No.6's form of freedom, and even if some of the citizens gained their freedom, what would they do with it? Because do not forget, that not everyone in the village is a prisoner, some citizens are actually born of the village, and have known nothing but the village. So what would their kind do in the outside world?
    At least No.6's desire for power, and to be free has been worked out of his system. He has also learned a lesson, that the village democratic system is flawed, inflexible, manipulative, and no matter how many elections are held, nothing changes in the village. Things will always remain the same. The village Administration is totalitarian, and absolute!
    Free For All simply shows how easily No.6 is manipulated. He was manipulated into 'running for Public Office' by the incumbant No.2, because he knew that No.6 would not be able to resist such an opportunity. As for power going to No.6's head, he never really had any power, just the desire to be a free man, and he thought the only way he could attain this desire was to organise a mass breakout, and so he could escape in the confusion. But of course No.6 never really was the new No.2 either, although it could be argued that he was, if for so short a time, because the elections were 'rigged,' and that the new No.2 was already in the village, as in another persona as No.58. So that if No.6 had been elected as the new No.2, No.58 would then become the newer No.2! But then, the way that No.58 simply steps into the deck shoes of No.2, just goes to show that there are no such free electons in the village. And that can only mean that No.6 was never really elected in the first place.
I'm Piet Hein

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