Story 19 - God and the Devil.
The miner was about to stand up, but the captain pushed him back down.
"You haven't defeated anything that I have created, Mr. God replied. Love remained. Sure, the upsurge in love during the Renaissance didn't transform the social scene, but it was an upsurge in love nevertheless. People became more aware of my design in those days, than they have ever been before. The whole Renaissance became a celebration of love. That's why you found it so terribly, terribly difficult to kill it.
It wasn't easy, as you claim. You had to roll out the big guns and stoop down to the dirtiest methods, and even then, it took you a hundred years to do it."
"But we won, Mr. God," said Mr. Devil. "Admit it, you were defeated. The philosophers that
my agents hired for an empty promise shoved your precious love so deep into the back closet of the bedrooms of humanity that it was barely known to exist. Whoever even spoke the word in public and suggested that love should rule the state, or business, or the church, was executed for this. My agents called it treason. Your design was defeated, Mr. God, admit it. All the nations butchered each other at will, for decades upon decades. They brought entire cities down, from a hundred-thousand to just a few thousand. Whole villages and towns became totally eradicated. More than half the people of Europe simply killed each other in a thirty years long war, and you why, because I foiled you design and didn't allow them to lock at each
other honestly. What good is your grand design of instant natural love, Mr. God, when it can be so easily blocked? We took the people that you designed for universal love and gouged out their eyes and put a knife in their hand. If that isn't a victory, what is?"
The captain put his hand on the miner's shoulder, lest he be tempted to stand up again and claim victory.
"What's that for?" the miner complained.
"Because you didn't win anything," said the captain and smiled. "Did you forget the Treaty of Westphalia? While you were celebrating victory, my guys were digging up the Renaissance again. They began talking about universal love right in the open, and about universal sovereignty. They shut down your damn wars, and all the nations forgave each other. They even forgave each other their financial war debt, and upheld each other's dignity by recognizing one another as free and sovereign nations. There was no more war, Mr. Devil. And so it will always be. Love, always breaks through, don't you see? Nothing ever changes my design, the design of a perfect humanity. It is indefeatable. You claim victory for one second, and bingo, the tables
turn right back against you."
"But you didn't win either," Mr. Devil replied to Mr. God boisterously. "How long did your precious peace last? Twenty years? Fifty years? Your guys created a shiny facade, but there was still nothing behind that facade. My law still ruled the social scene with iron whips and iron molds. Sure, your guys managed to persuade your people to let love
come out of the closet again, but my rule still stood supreme. Even to the very
day no one is allowed to apply it except in the smallest possible way that I
have graciously authorized. No one dared to exceed that threshold. There was no universal love, no universal touch, no universal kiss, not anything! My agents wouldn't allow
that, and still don't. They own the theology and the power to shape the world. My agents started the French Revolution, and the used it to kill every intellectual person who ever spoke the word of
love aloud. Then we brought in Napoleon who did the same thing all over Europe. We wiped them all out, every single
one of them."
"That wasn't a victory," said Mr. God, the captain. "Your bloody rampage was revenge. My guys had created a new renaissance in North America with the help of a lot of the best and brightest people from Europe.
That is why you killed them. You were scared, Mr. Devil, admit it, and you lost your cool. You didn't want this to happen again what happened in North America, not anywhere else, not ever. You were getting desperate, admit it."