Sunday, January 11, 2004

Shut Out

It is said, Grasshopper, that success is the best revenge. Whoever said it forgot to mention that it's an uphill battle once you step outside the temple of the Established. You leave behind groups and social structures (rank, pecking order, rules, cliques) that protect themselves from unwanted change. They perpetuate themselves by allying with similar groups, sharing resources and manpower, in a kind of hybridization. He who leaves must fend for himself, in a world where the larger groups have a near-monopoly of the resources, goodwill and manpower one so sorely needs.

To counter this, one can change locations, markets and specializations-- possibly succeeding where the larger groups do not have a physical and metaphorical foothold. But by doing so, one admits that he cannot battle the bigger groups on their own turf. This does nothing for the cause of, ah, "retributive justice." Neither does it add to one's prestige nor the respect accorded to him. And that galls, especially if respect is the point of one's little quest.

But that is how this game is ultimately played, regardless of the setting. That the mountain is high does not mean Mohammed shouldn't climb it.

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