For the longest time I thought the main fight was between the franchisors and the franchisees. The more I looked into it, the more this bad guy :: good guy idea stopped explaining the behavior I was seeing.
And then I started to go over some authors that I had, as a young man, been unable to understand. One of them was Northrop Frye who wrote Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake in 1947.
His interpretations of Blake’s ideas have stood up well and their insights about tyranny were interesting to me. Blake believed the following about tyranny:
1. Tyranny is seldom (in the long run, never) imposed on people from without; it is a projection of their own pusillanimity [the victim’s passivity, small mindedness, lack of imagination] p.57
2. Tyranny is the co-operation of parasite and host; no tyrant maintains itself by force, but by trading on his victim’s fears. So although “A tyrant is the the worst disease, and the cause of all others,” the tyrant can at any rate be seen, and the imagination can handle anything that can be seen.
3. Tyranny requires a priesthood and a god first, and these make it permanent. p.60
4. …the real war in society is the “Mental Fight” between the visionaries [prophets] and the champions of tyranny. The latter are not the tyrants themselves but visonary renegades: poets like Virgil who write for Caesar; philosophers who “teach doubt & Experiment”…[the Apologists of tyranny] p.68
5. The source of all tyranny is the mental passivity induced by abstract reasoning the the victim’s mind, and until he has got rid of all rulers will be compelled to be tyrants. p.130
There are no Bystanders: The tyrant and the tyrant’s apologists prey on the victim’s fears. The victim builds the fears up and assists in forging his own chains.
- The franchisor and his priests [franchise bar] trade on the franchisee’s fears.
The “victim” franchisee responds by wanting revenge for his “wrong”.
For those who live under the curse of the law…retribution is not only bad in itself but a waste of time. Wars, penal codes and persecutions never become positive acts: and while the will always exist as long as the world is fallen, they are never more than the endless working-out of a decimal proved millenniums ago to be recurring. p.69
The Curse of the Law:“…the endless working-out of a decimal proved milleniums ago to be recurring.” If that isn’t the best description I’ve ever seen of the wasted time and money in a legal approach to franchising problems.
- renunciate all forms of punishment (do not sue or push for laws),
- separate the acts from the actor, and
- release your imagination. p.69
Go ahead, it’s your funeral: Seek revenge. An eye for an eye. Pound of flesh. Try to have them feel as much shame as you do. [Should a cat feel guilt in successfully hunting a bird?]
My experience is this approach just ends up in bitterness and pain.
I’ll cover Blake’s idea of the Visionary role in another posting.