What can we learn from the tale of the Zods and the Wachovians?

Myths and fables can sometimes help us to see current events more clearly.  Since they involve fictional characters and places, we can look at the events described more objectively.  Whatever the outcome of the tale, we will not be personally affected.

So, for purposes of creating a little distance from our own problems, let’s imagine another planet in another solar system.  The planet is quite similar to our own and its inhabitants are, by a great coincidence, just like humans.

The planet is called Terra, and the Terrarians are divided-up into different races, cultures, and civilizations.  The Terrarians have a long and complex history—so complex that I’ve decided to concentrate on just one aspect of that history:  the centuries-long conflict between the civilization of the Zods and the civilization of the Wachovians.  The conflict arose from different religious visions.  The Zods believed that their God had commanded them to subdue the whole planet of Terra to him, while the Wachovians believed that their God had commanded them to convert the whole of Terra to him.

After some 1300 hundred years of conflict, the power of the Zods had been considerably reduced.  The Zods were no longer a great power, and much of Terra was now controlled either directly or indirectly by the Wachovians.

For many decades thereafter the Zods were largely ignored by the Wachovians.  The Wachovians had other things to worry about, and other battles to fight.

Then, very recently in Terrarian history, the Zods once again became a force to be reckoned with.  In one country, the Zods overthrew an emperor who ruled in the Wachovian-style, and replaced him with a Zodian high priest.

Inspired by this successful revolution, a number of Zodian countries overthrew their rulers and replaced them with devout Zodians.  Moreover, they rewrote their constitutions to better reflect the religion of Zod.

By now, you undoubtedly know who the Zods and the Wachovians are meant to represent.  But try to forget that for the moment.  Just think of them as Zods and Wachovians.  Try to look at their respective situations objectively.  After all, they live in a galaxy far away and—for the moment at least—they have no way of influencing events on Earth.

Many of the Zods, as I have mentioned, had undergone a religious revival, and a mere twenty years ago (the Terra calendar conveniently coincides with the Earth calendar) a small group of these revivalists managed to attack two major cities in the Wachovian nation of Amusa.  In one city, the headquarters of the Amusan military was badly damaged, and in the other city two iconic buildings which represented the economic strength of the Amusans were leveled to the ground.  Nearly 3,000 Amusan citizens were killed in the attacks.

Now, here’s where the story takes an interesting turn.  In years past, the Wachovians would have understood that such an attack would have been religiously motivated.  The assault on the Wachovians was, after all, quite consistent with Zodian beliefs about unbelievers.  In the past, the Zods had launched numerous wars of conquest against the Wachovian “infidels.”

This time, however, was different.  The Wachovians had grown lax about their own religion and many had come to the conclusion that true religion required nothing more than being sensitive to the feelings of others.  As they saw it, the only really bad sin was to be offensive.  And it would have been terribly offensive to suggest that the Zodian religion was an aggressive religion.

So, it soon became the common wisdom that the attack on Amusa had nothing to do with Zod.  On the contrary, the attack was said to be the work of a tiny minority of extremists who had misunderstood and perverted the religion of Zod. Moreover, the President of the Amusans was quick to reassure citizens that the word “Zod” meant “brotherhood.”

Brotherhood? Yes, how could it be otherwise?  By now, most of the Wachovians had convinced themselves that all religions were the same.  The Wachovian religion was all about brotherhood, so the same must be true of the Zodian faith.  The Zods, they told themselves, are “just like us” and “they want the same things that we want.”  The general feeling among the Wachovians was that the “great religion” of the Zods had been given a bad name by a tiny minority of misunderstanders.

Given their past history of conflict with the Zods, one might have expected that, after the surprise attack, the Wachovians would have subjected Zodians living in Amusa to increased surveillance.  But instead of increased scrutiny, Zodians were subjected to increased welcoming and acceptance.  Within a relatively short time, the admittedly small population of Zodians living in Amusa, doubled.  Moreover, Amusans who failed to master the requisite amount of welcoming were accused of “Zodophobia.” Those who suggested that Zodian immigration should be restricted were reminded, “that’s not who we are.”

Meanwhile, the number of the “tiny minority of misunderstanders” kept increasing.  In light of the many violent extremist attacks that were now occurring all over the planet of Terra, it became increasingly difficult to credit the notion that the extremists were only a “handful.”  Yet, despite the escalating attacks, the Wachovians stuck to the pleasant narrative they had concocted about the Zods.

The actual behavior of the Zods didn’t seem to matter.  What mattered to the Wachovians was the conviction that they were more sophisticated, more tolerant, and more awake than others. 

The Wachovians were so full of themselves that they failed to notice that the balance of power had begun to tip in favor of the Zods.  For one thing, the Wachovian birth rate was quite low, while the Zodian birthrate was well above average.  In the continent of Euphoria, the birthplace of Wachovian civilization, this disparity was especially pronounced.  Indeed, some of the Zodian leaders openly bragged that they were winning the “war of the wombs”—the demographic war with the Wachovians.

Instead of taking this as a cause for alarm, the Euphorian leaders, who were every bit as “awakened” as their Amusan counterparts, took it as an opportunity to bring more migrants from Zodian countries into Euphoria.  The Zodians, they insisted, would quickly assimilate to Euphorian ways–they would enrich the culture and they would resupply the dwindling labor force.

But, by-and-large, the Zodians did not assimilate, and as their numbers increased, so did the crime rate.  In addition, Zodian terrorists launched devastating attacks in numerous Euphorian cities.  In one such attack, over a thousand civilians were killed.

Nevertheless, Euphorian elites called for even more Zodian migrants to come to their already crowded towns and cities.  One of the loudest voices in favor of increased migration was that of the chief prelate of the Wachovian faith.  He criticized the Euphorian people for being selfish and for not doing enough to help the Zodians.  The borders, he said, should be opened even wider.

The Zodians, for their part, seemed to think that any country in which they set foot, belonged to them.  In the large continent to the south of Euphoria, the Zods destroyed entire villages on a daily basis, and had already displaced or murdered hundreds of thousands of non-Zods.

But the Wachovian media in Euphoria and Amusa rarely reported on these events.  It would have been offensive to the Zods.  And, above all, the media people feared that they might be labelled as “Zodophobes.”

After a while, the media people decided it would be better not to take notice of Zodian misbehavior.  Thus, when one Zodian nation broke its promise not to develop supertonic terrestrial weapons, it was not widely reported.  Nor was it widely reported that several of the more extremist Zodian nations had formed close alliances with Redstar, the most populous nation on Terra and also one of the most powerful.  Redstar possessed a large number of the highly destructive supertonic terrestrial weapons, and it was rumored that it would be quite happy to sell some to the Zods.

Meanwhile, as Redstar and the Zods built up their armies, the Amusan army, formerly the most powerful in the world, decided that what the country needed was not a more powerful army, but a more sensitive one.  Old-school officers who thought that war was about fighting enemies were purged from the military and replaced by officers who were mostly interested in fighting for their right to become the opposite sex, along with their right to be entertained by drag queens.

How does the story end?  Well, it’s better that you don’t trouble yourself with that.  Fortunately, the story of the Zods and the Wachovians is just a fable. So perhaps there is no lesson in it for us. It strains credulity to believe that the Wachovians could be so naïve. It’s simply inconceivable that any real civilization could become so self-deluded…  or is it?

This article originally appeared in the December 30, 2021 edition of FrontPage.

Picture credit: Pixabay