Review of How to Surround Yourself with Idiots and Bring About the Fall of a Vast Galactic Empire: A Memoir By Darth Vader

Hailed by many as evidence that Lord Vader, a man widely known as the enforcer and the right hand of the Emperor, was in fact an undercover agent of the Rebel Alliance, “How to Surround Yourself with Idiots and Bring About the Fall of a Vast Galactic Empire” speaks not in support of the publisher’s claims, so much as to undermine any such claims. It must be remembered that the working title of this piece was: “My Personal Empire.” The posthumous renaming of the work smacks of a purely profit-driven agenda. It is an insult to those brave sentients of the Rebel Alliance who fought for the lives and liberties of galactic citizens everywhere.

Young adult YA science fiction, post apocalyptic america, gripping, gritty, urban fantasy, religion and human rights, hero and anti-hero, telekinesis, talent, psychic powers, super hero tropes, hate crime, tragedy and healing, social violence, suicide, teen suicide, Identity, despair, protests, riots, rebellion, rage, revenge, vengeance, the fall of civilization, dystopian, dangerous fake news, lies, liars and power mongers, totalitarian, psychological novels, sociological novels, lgbt, gay rights, equal rights for all, social groups, special interest groups, unity and 4140, hope, NA, New Adult, modern old school social sci-fiExcerpt: “It’s simple, really. Kill them. When someone displeases you, choke them immediately and do so in the presence of their coworkers. Make them suffer. Make them an example. It is not enough to have power, you must use it. You must show it. Those of you who have fully embraced the dark side, as I strongly recommended in chapter four, but have not yet mastered the force have no excuse. You could use a neck tie, or a belt, for example. What are you waiting for? Surely, someone has displeased you!”

So begins chapter six of this insulting work. The publishers claim that “How to Surround Yourself with Idiots” was compiled from the unpublished works found among the personal effects of Darth Vader, and serves as proof that the Darth was in-fact an undercover operative for the Rebel Alliance. This fallacy is belied by the tone of the work. From chapter to chapter, “How to Surround Yourself with Idiots” reads like an inexpensive self-help manual found on the galactic-web. I cannot help but wonder if the author’s intent was to publish a personal manifesto, one that unintentionally serves as an expose on his own, and the former-emperor’s mental illness, that of megalomania. Without any other supporting documentation, I am forced to conclude that any claims of such noble heroism on the part of Lord Vader cannot be taken seriously.

Consider this from the preamble:

“You do not need a team of skilled professionals to succeed in your goals. Success is archived only through stalwart dominance, the accrual of power and an unrelenting willingness to serve yourself at the cost of any and all others. Divide and conquer. That is the path to success! That is the mandate of Personal Empire!”

In all fairness, like it’s predecessors, “Twelve Signs You May Be Evil,” and “Liberate Your True Inner-self,” “How to Surround Yourself with Idiots” serves as a glimpse into the workings of the mind of those who promote self-centrist ideologies. Such individuals promote the baser instincts of sentient beings over that of the more socially-centrist ideologies that we might more reasonably expect to be supported by public servants. There is an argument, to be sure, that by classifying the most base of sentient impulses as ideology, we risk elevating what is most shamefully without merit, to a status deserving of rational consideration and discussion, and yet, such a man as this rose to a significant power and influence over a population as diverse as any in history. How does such a thing happen?

Of a certainty, the offices and conference rooms of Lord Vader were the very definition of a hostile work-place environment. As the title implies, this gives some vague credence to the publisher’s claims. Who but an idiot would come to accept the threat of execution by one’s employer as an acceptable risk of employment? Who but those blinded by their own hubris, would believe themselves exempt from becoming the next arbitrary example? The author asserts that: “If dispatching a single life to set an example is a powerful way to send a message and keep the unruly in line, can you imagine how useful doing so repetitively and without warning can be?” This seems to suggest the arbitrary nature of such executions, and according to some, stands in support of the publisher’s claims. I, for one, remain dubious. Despite the insistence of certain news organizations to the contrary, there are in fact arguments without merit, and this travesty, this fiasco in the guise of a debate-worthy subject is proof of that fact. One need only read any single statement from the text for that fact to become self-evident. Do so at your own peril.

While we must remain grateful that some aspect of the liberty afforded by the Republic was preserved by the efforts of the Rebel Alliance, to allow the publisher to lay claim to those efforts on behalf of the perpetrator of so many numerous crimes against every sentient species everywhere, and to elevate what is clearly no more than the demented manifesto of a man driven mad by grief to the status of “Unsung Hero of the Republic” is an offense that I personally cannot tolerate. I will not participate in such a farce.

The moment the role of any government is turned to predominantly serve the interests of the select few, such men as this abandon their shame and step from the shadows. History will always wonder how it can happen again and again in a society as enlightened and advanced as our own. Naysayers of the quasi-religious dogma of the Jedi aside, the dark side does exist, and only those souls made callous by self-serving base instinct, and those further incited by the preaching of falsehood masquerading as truth, rise in support of such leaders.

Jonah Bergan is the author of “Heathens” a young adult post apocalyptic social science fiction novel.

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