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Getting a good and effective translation of the mantra is hard. So I understand it very well when you said that you worked on that thing for a very long time.
You hit on it perfectly. In fact, the only shortcoming is the extent of the understatement you cannot help.
I was raised as a child among the Masturbation Generation. I was taught endlessly that “Power comes from the battle of a GUN!” and that the only people who determine history are the Tough Guys Who Give the Ultimate Sacrifice at the Front. Then, as I STUDIED history, one truth almost knocked me over:
No war hero has ever made the slightest difference in world history!
By the time the chest-thumpers of today dropped their rifles on Omaha Beach, the outcome of World War II had been determined in a propaganda and diplomatic war waged a decade before.
That’s the way I worked in the Cold War.
By Normandy, the future had been determined by people in coats and ties, most of whom never heard a shot fired and most of whom had never done a day of any other kind of work in their entire lives.
While Americans were following the Invasion on their maps in the US, the coats and ties were deep into formulating the post-War world. When I got invitations to Reagan’s inauguration, which I had been instrumental in causing, I gave the tickets away. I left watching History In The Making to others, while I went back to my typewriter and telephone and made it.
That job, the Reagan win. was DONE. I left the torchlight paraders fighting each other for credit.
Did the suits who made the history ten years before Normandy CLAIM credit? Of course not. The Masturbation Generation says IT saved the world, and the pros want them to believe that. That Generation became the cadre that fought for whites to doom themselves because they had destroyed Hitler’s Racism.
At least the media persuaded them that that was what it was all about.
Most of those who determined the War before half the American soldiers dropped their weapons at Omaha Beach were doing complicated, NOT SECRET things that BECAME secret a decade later. Most of the goofballs who call themselves The Greatest Generation would have switched sides in politics today if they realized how they were manipulated.
It was right there in the record, but they were going to read it. They didn’t want anybdy to show them they were idiots. They wanted the John Birch Society and the Jewish Conspiratorialists to tell them Dark and Ingenious Forces had betrayed them. Thery did NOT want to realize they were the mindless dolts they were.
Even if the REAL “secrets” were exposed, most of the goofballs wouldn’t understand them. To man my age who has exercised POWER, the old clown screaming that Mao, Hitler, Lenin or Al Jolsen said that “Power comes from the barrel of a gun!!!” is as embarrassing as a man the same age who keep shouting about the Easter Bunny being real.
I can explain the fact that the Mantra is the product of FIFTY YEARS of constantly trying and rewriting with the following quote from music teachers:
“When a musician just sits down and plays wonderfully without the slightest sign that it is difficult, there is blood on the keys.”:
He has worked for YEARS to make it look easy.
Writers have the same saying. Montaigne said in his Essays, “If I had had more time, I would have written LESS.” Even in his day, hundreds of years back, writers knew that routinely.
Anybody can write an hour-long speech. But Ashbrook discovered to his delight that I could write one minute speech, which can be dropped right into the Congressional Record, at the beginning of proceedings, without costing the Member any of his precious Floor Time. A lot of the one-minute speeches took longer than the long ones.
And the one-minute speeches were read FIRST.
Which is what fools people about the Mantra. It cost me as much time and WORK as writing and re-writing one of my books. THAT is the sort of knowledge that gave me REAL POWER. That is the sort of WORK that pays in terms of actual power.