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Interviews

The Romantic Struggle; Ten Short Stories and Two Short Novels


Hardcastle:
The Romantic Struggle has been described as, “Social commentary – at times firebrand social commentary – within entertaining storytelling.” That sounds intriguing. But it’s not all social commentary, is it?


Hathaway:
Yes, that’s right. One of the short novellas, which is the title story, The Romantic Struggle, is provocative social commentary. But the full title is, The Romantic Struggle; Ten Short Stories and Two Short Novels. The other stories are sometimes just fun and entertaining.

Hardcastle:
I presume The Romantic Struggle – the title story – is your favorite story. Am I correct?


Hathaway:
Well, it’s one of my favorites. It is, perhaps, the most important story because of its timeliness. Hard to say which one is my favorite. Might be “The Dream of Christopher Perkins”. I think people will find it to be a very pleasant and enteratining read. It’s also serious social commentary within the setting of a fanciful world – realism framed by storytelling.

Hardcastle:
By the way, the book has a beautiful cover. It’s an oil painting titled, Wanderer In a Sea of Fog. Is that right?


Hathaway:
That’s right. The original is in Hamburg, Germany and was painted by Casper David Frederic in, if I remember correctly, 1818. It’s an image of a man who is standing on a rocky mountain peak looking out above a sea of fog.

Hardcastle:
There was a special reason for this painting being selected for the cover, wasn’t there?


Hathaway:
Yes, there was. Wanderer in a Sea of Fog symbolizes the Romantic Movement which began in the Eighteenth Century and inspired me to come up with the philosophy of Rational Romanticism which I present between the lines, so to speak, in The Romantic Struggle.

The painting also suggests that, like the mountain climber in the painting, we can stand above the ambiguity of the lies told by the media moguls – that we can stand above those lies and deceptions and see the truth with some clarity.

Hardcastle:
You gave it the title, The Romantic Struggle. Tell us about that title?


Hathaway:
It’s a way of thinking that is romantically passionate about nationalism and love of country. But at the same time, it is based upon dealing with the ice cold facts, thus the rationalism. Romanticism and rationalism are not mutually exclusive. We can possess both.

Hardcastle:
There are several well-written stories in this book that have nothing to do with politics or social commentary. There is a murder mystery and suspense thriller titled, “Tempest of the Aquatania”. There is a short novella titled, “Ian Andersen and the Sarcophagus Heart”, which takes place in 1816 England and is about a young man’s passionate fight for love and a place in the world. There’s a short story called “Miss Ann Thrope” which is a clever play on the word misanthrope. And then there is the story which might be your favorite, “The Dream of Christopher Perkins”. These stories might make excellent movies. In fact, it’s like they were made for the big screen. Has your agent talked with anyone about movie rights?


Hathaway:
Yes, there’s some talk going on.

Hardcastle:
Will we see anything soon?


Hathaway:
Nothing soon. Maybe later.

Hardcastle:
In one of the short stories titled, “The Man Who Came From The Sun”, the protagonists, whose name is Thyr, is talking with a United States Congressman. He sets the congressman straight on a few basic ideas about the United States. Tell us about that conversation.


Hathaway:
I think I know the part you’re talking about. The congressman starts to lecture Thyr on the idea that America is a democracy. But Thyr informs the congressman that, according to Article IV, section 4 of the constitution, the United States is a republic and the word democracy is never mentioned in any of the founding documents. Not once is the word democracy mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States or in the Articles of Confederation. Not one time!

Hardcastle:
That’s amazing. I’m guessing that many of your readers will be surprised by that. Now, back to the title story, The Romantic Struggle. Did you write it as a call for revolution?


Hathaway:
For an armed revolution? Ha! Absolutely not! One must deal with the ice cold facts. An armed revolution would almost certainly be expertly infiltrated and lost. It may involve lack of water, starvation, disease and mayhem. Remember, The Romantic Struggle is fiction and social commentary. The story takes place in a fictional country, The Republic of Sovereign States, in which the citizens have been enslaved. Their enslavement is also their divine license to lead an armed revolt.

Having said that, we need a revolution but not an armed or violent revolution. I wouldn’t want that. We must have a lawful revolution. Not with guns and all that nonsense. And, definitely not a revolution against the United States Government but against the leadership – whether conservative or liberal – who illegally occupy our government. All this must be pursued reasonably and lawfully. So, I feel that to overthrow the United States Government would be perfect madness; after all, when I served in the army, I took an oath to defend the United States with my life. The idea [is] to restore the government under the auspices of the Constitution – this would return us to law and order – this would return us to peace and safety and unrivalled prosperity.

Hardcastle:
The protagonist of The Romantic Struggle is a young man named Justin. What is Justin like? What makes Justin tick?


Hathaway:
Justin is a poet soldier. He writes poems but a few hours later engages a rogue army in combat. His men love him and are willing to die for him. He defends all women and children. He protects the sick and elderly. He’s everything that a soldier should be. He denounces hate. He expects his followers to do denounce hate. He even denounces the inciting of violence. But in the story he must use armed resistance because his survival and the survival of innocent and defenseless people is being threatened.

Hardcastle:
In this short novella, The Romantic Struggle, the government has become an overt and cruel dictatorship which forbids choosing with whom you may fall in love. Not only is the government choosing whom you will marry, but marrying someone of your own race is outlawed. Tell us about that.


Hathaway:
Right, the law is USPC1458. It forbids the marriage of two people of the same race. The government claims that USPC1458 is to promote diversity but, of course, its true intent is to destroy diversity. Because when diversity is destroyed so is diverse thinking. The destruction of diverse thinking is the object. It is similar to today as so many people talk about celebrating diversity. But the movement to celebrate diversity has probably done more to destroy diversity than promote it.

Hardcastle:
Justin has a dream after reading a passage from Politics by Aristotle. I’m going to read the passage he read:

“The story is that Periander, when the herald was sent to ask counsel of him, said nothing, but only cut off the tallest ears of corn til he had brought the field to a level. The herald did not know the meaning of the action, but came and reported what he had seen to Thrasybulus, who understood that he was to cut off the principal men of the state; and this is a policy not only expedient to tyrants or in a practice confined to them, but equally necessary in oligarchies and democracies. Ostracism is a measure of the same kind, which acts by disabling and banishing the most prominent citizens. Great powers do the same to whole cities and nations…”

This is a direct quote of Aristotle, one of the most revered thinkers of all time, talking about the way democracies operate. Now, it sounds like Aristotle was not too keen on democracy. Do you think Aristotle was against democracy?


Hathaway:
Aristotle said that the best from of government is a monarchy. The second best form of government is an aristocracy. The third best government is a constitutional government.

OK. So we have monarchy as the best – aristocracy as the next best – and constitutional comes in third.

Now, he said that the perversion of a monarchy is a dictatorship. The perversion of an aristocracy is an oligarchy. And the perversion of a constitutional government is democracy! So, in Aristotle’s thinking, not only does democracy come in at last place – it’s the worst of the three perversions.

Hardcastle:
Then are you against democracy?


Hathaway:
No. I think democracy is good. The Founding Fathers used limited democracy as means to balance the constitutional aristocracy.

But, now everyone can vote. And to my knowledge, we are the only society in history in which everyone can vote. From the ancient Greeks, where we first know of democracy, to present times, we are the only ones who allow everyone to vote. I refer to this experiment as hyper-democracy. I’m unaware of this ever happening before in all of human history. It’s a unique experiment. And, it’s only been exercised a very, very short time – since around 1965.

So far it’s operating as an illusion of the people being in charge – because, we know that, today, the people are definitely not in charge of our country.

Hardcastle:
Justin, the protagonist of The Romantic Struggle, writes a new constitution that operates without national congressmen and senators. Maybe that’s a good idea. Is that something you think would work here in the United States?


Hathaway:
I think it would. That is … well, I feel that there are only two or three politicians who are doing their job. But the rest of the politicians cause our problems to geometricize. Most of them are there – not to represent the people to Washington, D.C. Most of them are there as representatives and agents of the central government. So, they are not representing us to Washington. They are representing the central government to us and forcing it upon us against our will. So, if we look at the last 50 years, we may have been better off without national congressman and senators. We may have been better off letting the responsibilities fall upon our state representatives. It’s a big change. But I feel this arrangement would create less havoc and definitely more state and individual sovereignty.

Hardcastle:
How has writing this book affected your life?


Hathaway:
It has allowed me to say many things that I feel the American people want to say but lack the voice. And it has allowed me to say things that the people of America are longing to hear. And that has been personally liberating.

Hardcastle:
What would you say is the central message of The Romantic Struggle?


Hathaway: It is a call for hope, culture and reason.

It is a call for hope for the future.

It is a call to culture in that – should we expect to remain free and not wind up in bread lines or concentration camps – we must possess enough romantic passion to love our culture.

It is a call to reason that compels us to deal with pure factuality and animal instinct without forsaking benevolence and dignity.

The message of The Romantic Struggle is to think about our country. Are we becoming a dictatorship? Will political correctness eventually destroy diversity? Will we lose all our freedoms and be bullied by a rogue government and rogue military?

The message is to be like Justin, the hero of the story. To never assume someone else will handle the desperate problems we are facing in this country.

I hope it is provocative enough to inspire people to, at least, read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

But most of all it is a call for hope, culture and reason.

Hardcastle:
What is the most important thing that readers will receive from this book?


Hathaway:
First, I feel it will be an entertaining read. Secondly, I feel it will inspire courage and bravery in these uncertain times. But most of all, I feel that it will cause people to think. If it inspires people to think, then I’ve hit the mark.

Hardcastle:
Do you see The Romantic Struggle as an answer to America’s problems?


Hathaway:
Yes, I feel that it will be helpful. I think it is dramatic enough to wake us up. There may even be some solutions in The Romantic Struggle that we can implement in our country.

Hardcastle:
There must have been some great inspiration that caused you to write this book. Was there such an inspiration?


Hathaway:
I suppose there were several inspirations: The principle inspirations were Aristotle, the Romantic Movement of the Eighteenth Century and our present conundrum here in America. The man on the street may not put all those together. But he understands that we have a serious problem here in this country – that’s for sure. And if given the chance, he will clearly understand Aristotle, just as well. For in this unique moment in history, Aristotle is an exercise in reality. Both were uniquely inspirational for our times.

Hardcastle:
What else would you like to tell us about The Romantic Struggle?


Hathaway:
The Romantic Struggle is just the title story. It includes ten short stories and two short novellas. So, if you love a good story – if you love reading a good story – I think you’ll enjoy this book.
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