Pen To Paper: 'The Will Of The Many' - A Tale Of Societal Hierarchy And Power Dynamics

Pen To Paper: 'The Will Of The Many' - A Tale Of Societal Hierarchy And Power Dynamics

Read up on how people cede part of their “will” to their overlords, who gain superhuman-like strength from it. We follow the character of Vis, who is an orphan from a distant kingdom who has ended up in ‘will’ using a republic that is heavily inspired by the Romans from our world.

Mohammad Ismail PalekarUpdated: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 05:11 PM IST
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‘The Will of the Many’ is a book written by James Islington which explores a world where its basis of functioning in all socio-economic aspects is built on the oppression of the many.

People cede part of their “will” to their overlords who gain superhuman-like strength from it. We follow the character of Vis who is an orphan from a distant kingdom who has ended up in ‘will’ using republic which is heavily inspired by the Romans from our world.

In this world, will is bartered like a valuable commodity and society praises users of it. The societal impact of this is fascinating. Society is divided into two halves, people who give will and the ones who receive it creating a social hierarchy.

What I find interesting is the comparison of this to economic models like Capitalism or Communism but that's quite tricky since the underlying economic principles aren’t the same. In Capitalism, there are three factors of production. Land, labour and capital. Prices are determined by the relationship of supply and demand.

Communism is a rejection of capitalism. It realises the cycle of profit seeking ventures by capital owners who adhere to market principles and not to human beings, leads to only greed and human suffering. Communists believe the key component of labour should be entitled to the means of production, land and capital which in theory would create a completely classless society where everyone is equally wealthy.

The system of will is interesting because it doesn’t exactly fit in either model. At first glance, since people choose to cede their will to produce goods, It theoretically makes them the “owners” of the means of production.

The key difference arises when we realise that yes the will can be ceded willingly but the use of it cannot be regulated. The benefactors of this hierarchy do not act sympathetically to those who brought them to their position, but continue to further their own goals.

Even though this is fiction, it can serve as an analogy to our world. This shows a worrying trend in our society. Contributions like taxes and time, are they being used effectively?

The digression of constitutional values seen in society where the judiciary is afraid of confronting the executive, Are they blind to the bulldozers roaming around razing buildings punitively?

What would happen to a society where people feel disenfranchised from the system?

The book tells this tale perfectly. Vis, is the one to finally come and break the system of oppression and establish equality and equanimity of resources and opportunities. We have seen this parable play out in our history quite often whether it be our freedom fighters or social leaders and now it is imminent to happen again. The question now is whether it will happen as peacefully as before or will a path of blood and destruction be led in its wake?

(This review is part of the winning reviews published in the Pen to Paper contest hosted by The Free Press Journal annually . This exclusive contest is open to teenagers only)

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