War is Peace — Ignorance is Strength

Ian Beckett MSc
2 min readAug 19, 2020
canal graffity vienna © ian beckett

“A Tale of Two Cities” Charles Dickens writes the famous quote -

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Written in 1859, the devices of anaphora and paradox are used when describe a time of controversies and contradictions between the two cities of Paris and London from 1775 to 1792.

Current behaviour and abuse of power by our tyrannical leaders has not changed in the intervening 250 years with the exception that communication is faster and accountability for actions somewhat swifter — hopefully.

Five years pass in Dickens’ tale before the quote in Chapter 2 of Book 2 -

“Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend,” observed the Marquis, “will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof,” looking up to it, “shuts out the sky.

Six pages later Gaspard stabs the Marquis and kills him in his sleep, in an example of typical Dickensian justice.

Tyranny and abuse of power has always been with us — but always passes. Even in America whose passports permitted its citizens visa free travel to 184 countries in 2019, now after Donald Trump has build a medical wall around the country with COVID-19 incompetence only permits free travel to 9 countries and with restrictions 23 others including Ireland.

The irony is that this “wall” keeps Americans in, rather than excludeing illegal immigrants is Pythonesque.

This lack of leadership will have consequences and the freedoms lost will eventually be reclaimed by citizens as we have seen in democratic or velvet revolutions everywhere.

Leaders of organisations suffer the same fate — organisations only thrive when their people thrive, and leading is not abusing people for personal or corporate gain — that simply accelerates the leaders demise.

Ignorance is not strength and war is not peace — any leader of country or corporation that believes this will be removed when their people or shareholders revolt.

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Ian Beckett MSc

Ian is a digital transformation expert who has saved companies over $250m by integrating technologies and diverse global teams effectively— he is a CEO and poet