Family values

“Send him in”.

The Agent from the Family History’s Department entered carrying a thick blue folder. The Controller gestured for him to sit.


“We identified the matriarch at the end of the 19th century. Peasant woman with a very high IQ and robust health. In order to prevent her raising herself we arranged for a marriage with a middle class ne’r do well. Not obvious mental aberrations and unable to hold down a job or take any kind of responsibility. However the matriarch proved adaptive. With two children to support she worked at everything she could turn her hand to and became adaptive, wasting no resources and extracting maximum value from everything, habits of care and economy she instilled in her sons. Despite all our best efforts at sabotage and creating losses she just became hyper-careful anticipating anything that could go wrong and acting to prevent it. She even coined a phrase ” The only way to make sure that nothing bad happens is to make sure that it can’t happen”.

The Agent shook his head in frustration. ” She was scrupulously honest. We couldn’t get her to steal. And scrupulously moral. We couldn’t get her to engage in prostitution. She worked her way out of her difficulties and trained her children to do the same. Her children inherited her intelligence, work ethic, innovativeness and upward striving. They also had very amiable personalities”.

“Everything needed to be a success”, the Controller commented.

“Her children as adults…”

The Controller interrupted. “I take it you are going to tell me her children and marriage partners followed suit along with their children?”

The Agent nodded.

“Then we have a family whose characteristics if they work together is an effective unit for social progression, helping and protecting each other while they advance their careers”.

The Agent nodded again.

“Then we must disrupt this family. Prevent them from working together. Identify a relative who can be used to create division and atomise the relatives”.

“What if the family overcomes the disruption and coheres?”

The Controller smiled.

“Then they will have formed close bonds with each other and everyone becomes a potential hostage. Heads we win. Tails we win. Go to it”.


Copyright 2015