The article: "The New Totalitarianism: How American Corporations Have Made America Like the Soviet Union" (Alternet)
Back last century, when Soviet Communism ruled a third of the earth, there were some big business types such as Armand Hammer of Occidental Petroleum who developed an infatuation with Communism, while others (a whole lot of them) fell in with the Soviets' Nazi enemies. And then America spent about 30 years or so locked in cold death struggle against the Russian bear. The Cold War imprinted America, big time.
Now this country's sinking into a big-business knockoff of Soviet tyranny. In fact, it's becoming so indistinguishable from China, another Communist former enemy, that I went so far as to rename China's ruling party "Chinese Corporatist Party (Holdings) Limited". America's market choice is getting as restrictive as the official Soviet stores, as the above-linked article points out; conversely, China has the largest shopping malls in the world to go with its ever-growing collection of never-occupied new cities (the biggest mall of all, the South China Mall, is still has only 2 stores).
Congratulations, America! You're now the Union of Corporate Socialist Republics! The only difference between Corporatist America and old Communist Russia is that our all-powerful State is owned by private corporations.
The collapse of this system is what I'm documenting in the five volumes of Chaos Angel Spanner. Henry Becket, Chairman and Secretary General of the Conservative Revolutionary Party of America (as of Chapter 16) backed by his hand-picked Central Committee of Business Leaders and ace political operators, is the antagonist or tragic (super)hero trying to singlehandedly save the collapsing American Empire from certain doom by sheer force of personal will. And yet he follows the failed examples of all the "republican" and "socialist" absolute monarchs he used to fight against as a Cold War superhero. He's trying to save the world through a "People's Republic of Tyranny" by the Great American method of the "Privately Owned Society". The Law of Entropy is laughing in his face all the while.
Prepare for The Great Politics Mess-up, act two. Everything that has gone wrong in the Western world since the 1989 Revolution is because America was totally bummed the Red Menace fell. Everything Dictel Corporation has done since 1989 ruined its business, up to and including pulling off the Conservative Revolution of 2012, has been an attempt to bring back the black-and-white pre-'89 world, when America was righteousness itself battling Absolute Evil. It's revolutionary nostalgia, a militant refusal to look any direction but backward, that fuels the Conservative Revolution. The Germans even have their own East German version called "Ostalgie" (ost [east] + Nostalgie). The Cold War can never end until the surviving Evil Empire follows its symbiotic enemy into the trash can of history.
This is the world our heroines are forced to survive.
Chapter 4 Editing Update
After over two weeks of procrastinating, I finally got around to editing Chapter 4. I finished all the remaining new scenes and did a little editing of existing scenes. I'll have to make one final edit, inserting Shira's redheaded three-years-younger niece Elle and her mother Ruby into the meeting at Mudlark House before I turn to the next phase, removing a full thousand words from the first edit to get the final version under my 15,750-word target representing the 65-page maximum episode script length. After that, I'll make one more scan for typos, and then I'll declare it ready to post. Since Chapter 4 had only five sections in Revisions 2 and 3, I'll probably end up using one of the seven sections of Chapter 5 to make up the difference.
Speaking of Chapter 5: I've already cut down some scenes and added new ones. The biggest addition not yet fully written is the climactic chase for serial-killer fake teacher Mark Bernkastel after Team Bremelo interrupt the assassination mission SPEC Chairman Ross gave him and chase him into gang-ridden Dictel Park across the street from Bangor High. My task for tomorrow is to write out the sequence in full and then retcon the rest of the chapter to lead directly up to it.
Classes at Bangor High start in Chapter 6. Let's start with social studies and history, which SPEC management can't seem to distinguish. What's across the Atlantic in 2014? Used to be a lot of countries there. Now there's only the World Caliphate of Al-Assass, the Islamist empire America's at war against, and the Millennial Messianic Christian Empire of Africa, which America's allied with but is no better at all, merely Christian in its fundamentalism. Part of the African Empire is in the Caribbean, making it contiguous to the Imperial American Homeland itself. Now remember the People's Republic of Fernando Poo from the Illuminatus! trilogy? Some Mexican gangster who claims descent from Becket ancestor Robert Putney Drake conquered Equatorial Guinea from a Colombian gang and renamed it "People's Republic of Fernando Poo" (the namesake island's real name is Bioko) only to find himself under assault by the crusading hordes of mainlanders. The reason this is mentioned in class is because there's not enough gangsters in Latin America to defend it, so he's begging Dictel Corporation to send troops. Figures.