Pyrite

Pyrite

The genius of a fool is self-evident to half of his kind.

To all others, his genius is the apparent prattling of a fool.

To all those who follow, their fool’s wisdom is genuine wealth.

To all others, it is Fool’s Gold.

Sometimes the genius of the exalted fool is pyrite. For the other set of fools, it is citrine peddled as sapphire.

Yet, regardless of its worthlessness, when a new set of fools come to rule (as they always do), their faux gold or gems magically transform into the most precious of all metals or stones.

Sometimes the one peddling Fool’s Gold is simply a craftier fool than most of his kind, selling the worthless ware to his marks at a premium.

When the fools realize they’ve been duped into a worthless investment, it is never their seller who’s to blame, for they are far too smart to be so easily duped by a charlatan.

Rather, it is the fault of a society devoid of morals and an economy devoid of ethics that fail to find the worth in their worthless investment. That is the peddler’s story. That is the wisdom the peddler of Fool’s Gold imparts. That, too, is what he sells at a premium, included in the cost of his otherwise worthless metal.

Selling them his story is the true genius of their exalted fool.

In his genius, he knows his tales and characters cannot be too complex or sophisticated, otherwise he loses his audience to simpler tales.

His genius is understanding our need of simple stories. His genius is convincing us that his story is the real one. He understands how we lust for villains to our heroism. We need grandiose narratives of good and evil to fit ourselves into. For, without stories in which we are characters, we are nothing but lost, wandering souls.

These tall tales are the exalted fool’s magnificent con. Convincing us is his genius.

Of course, all their junk metals and gems remain worthless until the new set of fools seizes control, assigning whatever value they wish to their otherwise worthless metal. Consequently, with the rise in value of that which is worthless, the value of any truly precious metal and gem plummets. Gold, silver and platinum fall to a fraction of the price of Fool’s Gold. Diamonds and sapphires become as worthless as amethyst or colored glass once were. Since nobody wants them, they can be acquired for a a steal. But what’s the point when nobody else wants them? What’s the point in investing anything in diamonds or platinum when they’re worthless?

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