Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 26: Youthcrime
Part 1: Dissent Is Treason
Part 1: Dissent Is Treason
Hypocrisy has its own elegant symmetry.
11 november 2014.
Bangor Jail. Every youth and every non-member of the Party are rounded up by COPCO, Dictel, and the Military and unceremoniously crowded in the increasingly massive Bangor Jail complex. “What did we do?” wails Polly.
“We’re guilty of ‘whippersnappery,’” Shira says.
“And what is that?”
“‘Whippersnapper’ is the evil word old people use to mean ‘worthless youngling.’ The heinous alleged crime is like Driving While Black.”
“Silence, infidel!” shrieks the guard, a Party militant. “You fools refuse to surrender your worthless selves to Jesus America! He is all that exists! He created the universe, including y’all, but in your selfishness y’all refuse to believe it! Believe in Jesus America and y’all will be saved! Or else!”
Sparks pats Shira on the back. “Darling, America is a religion, not a nation. All the Beckets have been screaming this in your face for years, especially the mad Doctor. So though they say they’re teaching you a lesson, they really want you out of their hair so they can do their holy American thing without rational people laughing at ’em.”
“Thanks, Jim.” Shira kisses him on the cheek. “What I was getting at when our Party overseer so fervently interrupted us is the fact that the entire Party leadership is not just rich, white, and male, but old. Angry old rich men like the Becket and Koch brothers. They resent our youth. It reminds ’em of their mortality.”
The guard screams, “Shut up! Stop blaspheming the Chosen Ones of Our Nation! You are nothing but undeserving moochers! Without the men God blessed with wealth, you would still be swinging out of trees! They created you! You are nothing without them! You think you’re so strong together? You’re weak! The only ones who are strong are the ones who stand alone!”
Shira smiles contemptuously at him and sashays over to the cell door. “Do you know why I always win against your kind? You rugged individualists are all the same. This is not unintentional; the Holy Prophet Ayn Rand herself said that difference is an illusion and all rational men are the same in essence. You even use the same strategy, the same old technocratic one. You look at me and underestimate me at once; then I do the thing you least expect. I knock you off balance, and then I win.”
“What do you think you are?!”
“Why, I am an independent woman of business. All you people do is government.”
In the warden’s office, the warden’s assistant tells him, “Watch out for this one. She’s got family connections.”
“What kind?” asks the warden.
“The records say here she’s the great-granddaughter of Doc Wilder himself.”
“He was a troublemaker and a half.”
Shira says, “But he made a fortune making trouble. My mama taught me, don’t rely on your old man’s fortune, but make your own way. That way, you don’t become a welfare parasite like most of the rich people I know.”
“Hmph! You think we’re parasites, don’t you. You don’t get it. America is God, and He rewards us for worshipping Him with the blessings of wealth and punishes those—”
“Like I said. Worship the State, and it rewards you with corporate welfare. That’s exactly the way things work in Russia, China, and any number of crony capitalist tinpot dictatorships in Africa and Latin America. And I thought we had a free market. Sure shows me.”
The assistant warden says, “She thinks our Revolution’s gonna fail.”
“It already has. It did the moment you replaced American freedom with Chinese Corporatism. Your decisions made a lot of overseas investors rich, you know.”
The warden demands, “Are you trying to make the Revolution fail? Are you working against us?”
“No, I’m betting money against you. I’m selling you short. Your Party’s already done the rest. All I need to do now is sit back, watch you fail, and cash in. Simple as that.”
“What do you think you are?!”
“I happen to be an Enterpriser. Unlike you Corporates, I produce things people buy. I don’t do weapons or dodgy investments or other economy-destroying stuff. I give the people what they want, and they gladly pay me for it. I make my money honestly.”
“You and your worthless friends will only be making money for us once we get you convicted of insubordination. How do you like them apples?”
“The more labor you conscript, the fewer consumers you got—”
“We don’t need consumers anymore.”
“In other words, you people found the perpetual motion machine that creates infinite wealth for the politically connected, *ahem* I mean you deserving and chosen ones. Namely, corporate welfare through higher taxes on the general public, leading to more crushing debt burdens — in other words, corruption. And then what happens when your big Ponzi scheme collapses? That’s all your Revolution is, a pyramid scheme based on total world domination and screwing the people. That’s why your Corporatism has no more future than Communism. Which was really monopoly Corporatism. Don’t understand me? Then you need to get a new brain.”
“We’ll be glad to refer you to our more, mmm, efficient interrogators.”
“And I’ll be happy to refer you to my lawyer. You and your bosses better hope your balance sheet’s able to afford the damages, ’cuz I have my doubts.”
Back in the cell, Belle Shockley cries for her mother while her second cousin Lucie holds her tight and kisses her to try to comfort her. Shira’s cellmates discuss their predicament. Shira says, “This is what they’re punishing us for. Not being antisocial enough to stab each other in the back for the sake of personal advancement.”
Jennifer says, “They don’t realize that there’s strength in numbers, like the many separate cables that together are strong enough to hold up a bridge.”
“That would be believing in reality, Jen. They don’t believe in reality. They want wishes to be horses.”
Lucie clings to Shira’s arm. “Don’t they even believe in love?”
Leila sighs bitterly and takes Lucie’s hand. “No, Lucie darling, that would be a personal attachment. True Corporates like your father believe that love, friendship, and compassion are obstacles interfering with the only things they value: money, power, and their other ego attachments. So they sneer that love is nothing but sex misspelled. We’re better than that.”
Two pretty boys, twins with long blond hair, nineteen or twenty years old, spot Shira and recognize her. They come up to her. “Say, aren’t you Shira Thomas, the hoverboard racer?”
Shira gasps. “The Harding Twins? Ace and Deuce?”
Polly stumbles over and blurts, “Oh my god, is it really you? You’re even more beautiful than your pictures!”
“I bet you’re in here for alleged youthcrime too. Lemme guess: disturbing the peace? intellectual property infringement? traffic violations?”
“Nah,” says Ace (on Shira’s left), “more like allegedly being too pretty for guys.”
“Those Party people hate it when you’re too good looking,” Deuce adds. “But you girls already know that.”
Leila says, “Only the religious types believe that. Corporates want their beautiful women without brains. Most of us are here for being too smart for our own good.”
Suddenly, once the military parades are over and the Party commissars are satisfied that they have shown the people who’s boss, everyone not officially charged with crimes against property or morality are released, including even Shira. “What happened?” asks Polly.
Shira grins. “My lawyer cousin tells me CPMC, COPCO, and Dictel Corrections were being hit by too many lawsuits, so they decided to cut their losses. But not before they had their big military collective wank for the TV cameras.”
“People aren’t too happy about being held prisoner just for that,” says Ace Harding.
“Clearly the Party are too satisfied with their own authority. They don’t understand human nature, least of all the Corporates with their cult of selfishness.” She whistles to get everybody to stop talking and listen to her, then yells, “Hey, everybody! How about we have a big pizza feed, courtesy of Pizza Mafia! Governor Wally’s paying, so it’s on the house!”
The crowd of former prisoners cheer their approval.
coffee shop. Ariel says, “Do you know why dissent is considered treasonous?” Leila and Rob shake their heads. Belle, Lucie, and Ariel’s daughter Uma are too busy enjoying their BLTs and each other to listen.
“The reason is actually religious,” Shira replies. “Dissident, traitor, terrorist, and other words like that are really synonyms for infidel. They mean merely those who haven’t accepted the United States Federal Government as their personal Lord and Savior. In other words, they’re just duckspeak signifiers for political incorrectness.”
“They kill people for unbelief, you know.”
“Meaning America’s no different from the Caliphate. We fought Communist Russia and became Corporatist. We fight Al-Qaeda and the Caliphate, only to end up under the control of a cult. He who fights monsters, as they say.”
“Do you realize what the Party leadership really believe?”
“I’ve read Ayn Rand, if that’s what you mean.”
“They’re actually Illuminati, as the conspiracy theorists claim. They happen to be paranoid conspiracy theorists themselves. Their religion is not the Rationalism of an Ayn Rand, but the fundamentalist form of Gnosticism called Nicolaitanism. The name signifies ‘victory over the people,’ and the political system they created to secure that victory is what they call ‘synarchy,’ or the rule of an enlightened élite.”
While chewing her sandwich, Leila says, “Synarchy is just the Greek word for junta.”
“So the Party are being hypocritical when they say one who stands alone can stand against everybody else together,” says Shira.
“Is that what they say?” asks Ariel.
“That’s what you learn from Ayn Rand. It’s right there in the Book of America where all the Party faithful can read it.”
“Have you ever heard of Extropy?”
“Oh yeah!” Shira slaps her forehead. “Extropians and other Posthumanists want to turn the rich and powerful into gods who can defeat the entire human race by themselves.”
“They don’t know that there are already gods among us.”
Shira looks at Ariel skeptically. “Explain.”
“Do they realize that gods have become human for the sake of humanity? Or have they in their lust for divine power forgotten this?”
“Hmmm...” A mischievous smirk grows on Shira’s face. “Maybe you ought to introduce me to some of these gods.”
Ariel smiles. “You already know one. You see her in the mirror.”
Shira’s eyes go wide in surprise. Everybody stares at her. “Whether you achieved godhood in ancient times or through the evolution of your soul here on earth,” says Ariel, “if your will is free and you are confident in your power, you can stand alone against them all. Together, we are invincible.”
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 1, 12/13/11.]