I Should Be Your Emperor
A few months ago, a Facebook friend brought this article to my attention. It provides a convenient justification for my imperial ambitions:
… almost everyone in the New World must be descended from English royalty—even people of predominantly African or Native American ancestry, because of the long history of intermarriage in the Americas. Similarly, everyone of European ancestry must descend from Muhammad. The line of descent for which records exist is through the daughter of the Emir of Seville, who is reported to have converted from Islam to Catholicism in about 1200. But many other, unrecorded descents must also exist.
Because people are always migrating from continent to continent, networks of descent quickly interconnect. This means that the most recent common ancestor of all six billion people on earth today probably lived just a couple of thousand years ago. And not long before that the majority of the people on the planet were the direct ancestors of everyone alive today. Confucius, Nefertiti, and just about any other ancient historical figure who was even moderately prolific must today be counted among everyone’s ancestors.
I have to think that if every European must be considered a descendant of Mohammad, then the same rule should hold for people from Iran—including Persian Jews like me. In addition, while I may not be a descendant of Charlemagne, I am one of Nefertiti, thus enabling me to lay claim to royal power. My Confucian ancestry can doubtless be used to formulate philosophical justifications for my rule, while the presence of both Mohammad in my family tree and a Jewish background stretching back several millennia will help conjure up theological legitimacy for the future Pejmanesque dynasty.
Sure, everyone else can make the same ancestral claims that I am making and as the movie tells us, if everyone is special, then no one is. But I don’t intend to let that stop me from placing a crown on my head, taxing the serfs, and making the pluralis maiestatis part and parcel of my speech from now on.