Last time, I wanted to make it clear that Dictel Corporation is the villain of Bad Company and the rest of the Dictel trilogy. However, I'd forgotten one thing: the nature of the beast. I'd written about this subject a lot during NaNoEdMo on the EdMo forums, but I never wrote any entries here in Spanner's World about it in March. So I'm making it clear right now that Dictel is no ordinary institutional menace. Or rather, institutional menaces are more than just institutions. They are collective vampires.
When a business grows beyond a certain critical mass of size and managerial bloat, it tends to lose its competitiveness and turns to the government to beg it for an unfair advantage against its nimbler competitors. If it succeeds in doing so, it starts feeding vampirically on the taxpayers through the coercive power of government. It ceases to be a free-market entity and becomes a state-capitalist one. A monopoly or cartel tends to work the same way, since it pays protection money (i.e., bribes) to the government in exchange for a ban on competition. Some companies are vampiric by design: these are called government contractors, state-capitalist entities intended to avoid all exposure to the destructive forces of the free market.
Governments, of course, are vampiric by their very nature. After all, the basis for their existence is the extortion of money (called "taxes") from all its subjects using the coercive power of the police and military. Anyone who does not pay taxes is harshly punished. The money thus extorted goes to pay for the rulers who impose their domination over us puny humans. A government, basically, is a mafia which has gained the monopoly on the initiation of force.
Religious and ideological institutions are collective vampires created by mind viruses. Their purpose, of course, is to ensure the virus' supremacy at the expense of all other memes it cannot assimilate. The most extreme of such entities are the cults and terrorist gangs. Without the mind virus, all you have left is a simple, nihilistic criminal gang.
Now consider the US government. It's the most bloated and insatiable collective vampire of all. It wants to devour the whole world, if not the entire universe. In its insatiability, it resembles the Borg in the later Star Trek TV shows and movies, though it doesn't have the Borg's collectivism. Basically it's an empire in dinosaur mode, growing so extremely large and unwieldy so fast that it's bound to collapse underneath its own weight — just like its now dead symbiotic enemy, the old Soviet Union. The US government's monomaniacal devotion to military Keynesianism and total world domination at the expense of all political and economic reason is driving the country into bankruptcy and collapse. This shambling corpse is sucking the nation dry and wrecking much of the rest of the world. After reading Chalmers Johnson's Nemesis, I now realize what the last book in my trilogy, Points of Authority, is about: the fall of the Third American Republic, and the struggle (in what may even blow up into a civil war) to save either the empire or the nation.
And now Dictel. It's typical among defense contractors in that it has an insatiable and always escalating appetite for taxpayer money. It's one of those parasites on the vampiric body of the government that makes it even more vampiric than it already was. That makes these state-capitalist corporations doubly vampiric. Now, Dictel also has an insatiable appetite for other corporations, which it devours greedily. In Bad Company, the power-mad Colonel Tom Becket decides to go further: the parasite decides to devour the host. Dictel attempts to overthrow the US government in order to save the empire from its seemingly inevitable doom at the hands of the nation once John McCain, the champion of the military-industrial complex, loses the election (he's so identified with the unpopular economy-destroying Middle Eastern colonial wars that people will soon get annoyed with him and elect fresh face Barack Obama, thus ending the long-running Nixon-Reagan dynasty in its 30th year). If McCain does lose, the military-industrial complex and its bought and paid-for political legions will not be happy. Obama will be elected by people who hope he will end the war and shrink the empire. Bad Company is based on the premise that the military-industrial complex will do anything to prevent him from impacting its parasitic state-capitalist business, up to and including a coup d'état. It will even go so far as to declare war against the people, which it and its neoconservative political enablers will proclaim traitors against the Nation (read: the Empire and the military-industrial complex) who stabbed it in the back. Colonel Becket is the loudest of these voices of hate. And he acts on his words by attacking the American government in order to save the empire by destroying the nation.
Yes, Dictel is a vampire. All my stuff about "Dragonites" like the Beckets being hereditary vampires of some kind will look silly once the real vampires come on stage. The collective vampires of the Dictel Trilogy, like the assimilants of Spanner, are old-fashioned vampires, creatures of pure appetite, murder, and horror, which greatly resemble H.P. Lovecraft's gods — but since these vampires are institutions, their bodies are made up of groups of people, along with electronic devices (computers, phones, etc.) and networks, vehicles (cars, airplanes), etc. They generally have their own contracted services, including even private armies, contracted out to other institutions — and so their bodies are covered with parasites, vampires that feed on other vampires.
If the Dictel trilogy starts to look anti-corporate, you're close. I'm not against the free market or even globalization, but I'm definitely against state capitalism. Didn't it already fail in the old Communist and Fascist countries? It'll continue to fail. But in the meantime, the collective vampires keep their fangs sunk in our pocketbooks and even our souls, bleeding us dry until the day comes when we can no longer take it. If the people are strong enough, there will be revolution. I can guarantee you that.
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