Macdonough's Song

Macdonough's Song

Few realize that Rudyard Kipling also wrote a couple of science fiction stories – *With the Night Mail*and As Easy as ABC. Both feature a international organization – the Aerial Board of Control – that managed all airship traffic and supressed nationalist tendencies. The second of the stories, As Easy as A. B. C. in particular deals with a a Board of Control ship supressing a democratic revolt in Chicago.

It’s interesting on several fronts. Namely – this is presented as a supposedly a utopian setting. People live longer, the economy is stable, etc. yet people yearn for more. The system is breaking down, and even the rulers are disillusioned with the world they wrought. The rebels have a vitality that, even as the A.B.C. stamps them out, the world society lacks.

To me though, the strongest argument that internationalism wasn’t Kipling’s ideal, even if he supposed it would come about, was the song that – within the context of the stories – was banned.

Many people think of “If” when they think of Kipling. Others “Gods of the Copybook Headings”. Among my Cherished favorites are “The ‘Eathen”, and “Sons of Martha”, and many more besides.

My favorite is “MacDonough’s Song.”

Macdonough's Song*"As easy as A B C"--A Diversity of Creatures" * Whether the State can loose and bind In Heaven as well as on Earth: If it be wiser to kill mankind Before or after the birth-- These are matters of high concern Where State-kept schoolmen are; But Holy State (we have lived to learn) Endeth in Holy War. Whether The People be led by The Lord, Or lured by the loudest throat: If it be quicker to die by the sword Or cheaper to die by vote-- These are things we have dealt with once, (And they will not rise from their grave) For Holy People, however it runs, Endeth in wholly Slave. Whatsoever, for any cause, Seeketh to take or give Power above or beyond the Laws, Suffer it not to live! Holy State or Holy King-- Or Holy People's Will-- Have no truck with the senseless thing. Order the guns and kill! Saying --after--me:-- Once there was The People--Terror gave it birth; Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, 0 ye slain! Once there was The People--it shall never be again! * ---Rudyard Kipling*

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.