The pen is mightier than the sword. The pen is more volatile, more unassuming, more revered than the sword. Subtly, the pen has long ruled the world, and has done so under the cloak of passivism. What history has revealed to us, though—and what we are witnessing increasingly in the present—is a monopoly of power withheld by the pen, and more specifically, those with the proficiency to use it.
Let the pen serve as a metaphor for knowledge and intellect. Alternatively, let the sword represent savagery, violence, and militarism. For eons, the presumed law of the land placed power at the hands of those who wielded weapons. This presumption is disproven, though, through deeper analysis of the hierarchy of empires throughout history. The Nazi regime, for example, would have suffered the fate of imperialists before them had Hitler and his army merely armed themselves with the gun. Instead, they armed themselves with a near-hypnotic theme of supremacy to preach to the public. This ideology, mind you, was professed by the “pen”—by those with the means to express their ideas—by those with the ability to convey a powerful rhetoric.
The power of the pen is evident in the United States, as well. In the U.S., it is those with the ability and means to speak intelligibly (and I use intelligbly—not intelligently—for good reason) who hold power. In fact, the pen in the United States has become so powerful and influential that it has developed methods of vesting a false sense of power into all who hold the sword. In one example, this false sense of power takes the form of the firearm. The ease with which Americans can obtain guns propagates a false sense of security, control and power. This power, as with every other commodity, is granted, controlled, and judged by legislation—legislation written by legislators—legislation written by legislators with pens. When one must have power granted to him, he ought to question how much power he truly has.
The greatest sign of power is the ability to willingly submit. Those who control the pen—who frame policy as politicians and frame public opinion as journalists—realize the power structure is not peaked by those carrying the sword. From behind the scenes, the pen has molded the past, shapes the present, and will influence the future, all the while using the sword as a tool for manipulation.