The Inkwell’s Half-hour Challenge theme for February is “Fanning the Flames”.
Big feet are best: everyone knows that. Our superior position in the world is justified and proven, both vindicated and vindicating. And amongst us big feet, a few are best placed to foster and develop in the best interests of the greater good. You could call us BFE (for big feet elite).
Little feet are happiest when they’re busy. Their inferior intellects make them unsuitable leadership material. They have their uses of course, and there is no reason why little feet should not be contented and fulfilled, always provided that they know their place and don’t try to mess with the given order of things.
There will always be bad apples. It falls to the BFE to manage them appropriately. Some little feet like to think that they could do a better job of running things than the BFE. It’s laughable really, but they make a lot of noise and generally disrupt things to no-one’s benefit. Amazingly, even some big feet support these agitators. This is a particularly worrying development.
Employment is our trump card. Provided it is managed well, it very quickly gets everything back on an “even keel”. We BFE have it set up so finely, it is almost self-regulating: we are so clever, so accomplished.
In rough numbers, it works like this:
1. In any area showing disobedience or unrest, we steadily close down the means of production, so increasing unemployment and starving the populace into submission. This is a costly exercise in the short term (moving a factory isn’t cheap) but the new site and employees are so grateful that the payback is relatively brief.
2. If the big feet demand a bigger share of the spoils, we import desperate little feet (the more desperate they are, the better). This tactic works two ways: first there is relentless downward pressure on labour costs, and consequential upward pressure on BFE profit. Second, we can stifle any big to little feet co-operation by promoting a blame culture between the two. A little bit of foot-size hatred is great for business.
3. It is important to have all of the major BFE players accessible. We need to be able to move our money very quickly. The best way to do this is to have fully automated stock-market trading in every area, accessible from every other area. It is incredible just how quickly we can “pull the plug” these days.
4. Above all else, there must be minimal area to area co-operation. If little feet start organising across national boundaries, spreading love and co-operation, we’re all sunk! Also, arms sales are a great boost to BFE prowess and profit. So we organise wars. Usually, it’s best if they’re relatively small affairs: just enough to keep the arms factories bumbling along and foster a bit of inter-area hatred (or religious hatred, or nationalistic hatred, or tribal hatred, or foot-size hatred; we’re not fussed really). And it’s important that no BFE is ever threatened, so it’s best to organise the war somewhere far away. It is so easy to find some faction with a grievance (imagined or otherwise), give them a bit of kudos, label them freedom fighters and light the blue touch-paper.
5. Then we fan the flames and rake in the profits.