November 1, 2008
So a few weeks ago, I took a grammar test for my Spanish class. At the end of the test, the professor asked us a bonus question. Here it is....
Question: If you knew that you were going to live under a totalitarian dictatorship for the next 25 years, what 3 books and 1 movie would you bring? You are NOT allowed any religious material.
Hmmm....I would have brought religious material...(maybe I could just smuggle it in anyways)...If I knew that I would be under a dictatorship for 25 years, I wouldn't bring along some cute fiction novel, to pass the time. Instead, I would prepare to fight back. Even if they did confiscate my religious material, I would still have the power of prayer. And that is stronger than any book. But, if I had to bring non-religous books, here is what I would have brought...
Book #1 The Art of War by Sun Tzu
True, this is a military strategy book written hundreds of years ago, but I think that many principles are applicable. These strategies could be used to wage a campaign of resistance against the regime. It would be like the "Rebels" vs "The Empire" in the movie Star Wars.
The Art of War Chapter 3 Quote "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle"
Book #2 A Dictionary
Now, you're probably wondering why I would bring along a dictionary? It is so that the next generation is not illiterate. What good would it do to create resistance leaflets, if no one could read them? If no written records are brought, people may lose their language, or have to rely solely on dictator propaganda. I think that having a dictionary would allow the resistance to educate the next generation, and fight against ignorance and indoctrination.
Book #3 National Geographic Atlas
In a military strategy case, I think it would be helpful to have a map of the enemy terrain. You would also know where natural defenses (such as rivers, or high ground) are located-- so that you know where to build fortifications, where to retreat when necessary, and where to locate raw materials. You could also learn about other countries and people that may be sympathetic to your cause. If a dictator ruled and never told you about the "outside" world (since they would control the media) you may start to believe it, and feel isolated in your cause for resistance.
First of all, this movie would entertain the kids. It would probably not draw attention from the authorities. It does carry a subliminal message to "Remember Who You Are". It's that idea that helps Simba overthrow his evil uncle Scar. Likewise, the people could rise up and over throw the dictator.
So this question was asked by my Spanish teacher as a bonus for an exam question...I hope it never comes true for me.