The ABCs of Extortion


Thucydides–that Greek

telling his story, human 

doings with nary 

a nod to the gods–said 


the powerful extort 

what they can; 


the weak pay 

what they must.


True enough to 

make a bon mot.


The powerful 


the weak 



Person to person; 

city to state; and 

the empires

the worse for it. 



Nothing golden 

in that rule. More

murder and steel, 

more grab and run.


More of that little 

story, David and his

giant, how the wry 

win, by god, by 


ignoring rules. 



Kant–that German

naming his absolutes 

with nary a nod to gods–


said what I do 

I must do 

as if I give

that freedom to




No treating others

as means 

to an end

but the end 



And we’re golden.


(Buy that, David?

Buy that, Goliath?)



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