|C O M B A T|
|the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones ™|
|ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 01 Number 03 Summer ©Jul 2003|
Free men aren't conditioned. Free men are free because they are ornery and cussed and prefer to arrive at their own prejudices in their own way ... not have them spoon-fed by a self-appointed mind-tinkerer. We haven't fought, our brethren haven't bled and died just to change bosses, no matter how sweet their motives.
by Robert A. Heinlein
Although when looking back, it seems reasonable and inevitable, it must be understood that it was not intentional. Nothing was planned in advance. There was no conspiracy. It was as spontaneous as an avalanche triggered by the final snowflake. It was as abrupt as a collapse tripped by the last straw. It was a shattering crash set-off by a decisive event.
The precise precipitating event for each of us was necessarily different, given the disperse populace and the extensive range of effect, but for most of us it was tax reform. The subject had been bandied for decades, and no matter what the pundits said or who the voters sent to their legislatures, the situation kept getting worse. Some rabble-rousers sought confrontation by making elections coincident with the due date for filing taxes, but that was a tangent diverting the main issue of earnings, of ownership, of personal property. Some moguls shrewdly asserted that monetary value was not the main issue but was the only issue, yet they were often the biggest promoters of government expansion ... and every swollen government program runs on multiplied tax money! The Big G finally stopped chiseling and laid claim to everything! The new Simplified Tax Form candidly asked: "How much money did you make?", and then frankly directed: "Send it in." ... closing with an admonition to: "Apply for government assistance at your nearest state or federal agency."! Proponents explained how unfair individuality had been, and that everyone would truly be taken care of under the new system ... citizens can always trust the Big G! ... can't they?!
In retrospect, it's actually amazing how tolerant most people are about most things. If the Golden Rule pertained, there would be much more payback going around the social cycle; but there is actually much more forgiveness. Unfortunately, bad people interpret acquiescence as weakness; so when their dirty deeds go unpunished they empower themselves, and extend their ambitions. This incrementalism changed America in one generation from a God-fearing and industrious people into a nation that endorsed immorality and indolence.
It was already commonplace to mandate politically-correct buzzword shibboleths and unconditional forgiveness of diversity. Schools, courts, and other institutions had already redefined themselves as social reformation and re-education agencies charged with revisionistic indoctrination. It had become normal for sex and drugs to suddenly transmute an immature childhood into a supramature adulthood. Professional socialization regularly curtailed amateur family rearing. Music had become noise, movies were irredeemably lewd, and reportage was a license to deceive. Sensational crimes and violent episodes typically dominated home entertainment. In the public's best interest, unhealthy foods required a medical prescription and treatment disclaimer. Legal alcohol, tobacco, and firearms became representative of anti-social personalities; while illegal alcohol, tobacco, and firearms became exemplars of Constitutionally protected alternative lifestyles. After being judicially vouched in several test cases, familicide was legislated into just another form of legal late-term abortion. Euthanasia had become part of the small print of every insurance form; just as organ donation was included in every government form. And, since Eminent Domain had turned ownership of all gambling and prostitution establishments over to the reign for the people, all of the former wise guys now earned public pensions at their old jobs. For the best of reasons, each small encroachment proceeded toward a demonic dystopia by voluntary resignations. Nobody was blameworthy, because people were disassociated from their acts.
The folks who didn't know, for whatever illegitimate reason, that the world was in crisis, that the universe had malfunctioned, that life was a time-bomb, were going about their silly little lives, doing the same trivial things they've always done. Those knowledgeable persons, attuned to global angst, aware of impinging galactic impulses, and sensitive to our historic predicament, were maniacally frolicking through every conceivable indulgence. The ostensible solution alleged by one faction was more restrictions, more controls, more punishments; and a contrary faction proposed more latitude , more benefits, more privileges as a viable resolution. Given such an impasse, the rationalization seemed to be that there's nothing anyone can do to avert calamity, so let's enjoy what we can while we can!
This was not a bad science-fiction plot about the sky falling on Chicken Little, because it was manifest reality in modern America. To paraphrase from fiction: when everything has been considered, whatever remains after all the possibilities have been exhausted, however seemingly impossible, must be the solution. Since progressive egocentrism has deliberately displaced all of the accumulated wisdom and spirituality from mankind's extensive history, the intrepid solution to our dilemma, however distasteful, must be its logical conclusion: the indisputability of pure reason, of valid logic, of applied science. The time had come for a clean sweep of the same old trash with a new broom!
People were confronted with either actual or metaphoric suicide, with either tangible or indirect genocide, with either ethnic cleansing or adversarial sterilization; so the decision to act obtained. The option for ordinary people was no longer between starvation and capitulation. Unlike the 1381 Peasants' Revolt, when the serfs cooperated in their own capitulation; this spontaneous uprising was more akin to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, which resulted in factional purges before any consolidation could preserve the best of the old or promote the best of the new. Having reached their societal breaking point, or having been driven to their political gag reflex, people sought to assuage their frustrations and appease their hostility. There was a short, sharp, savage war precipitated by freedom of choice. It was a free will exercise in extirpating the opposition. It was almost too effective.
The initial targets were, perforce, tax bureaus and treasuries ... but when these were quickly overwhelmed, the mobs instantly went on to search-out every governmental agent and bureaucrat barricaded behind officious desks and acquisitive filing cabinets! When ordered to intervene, the under-paid military abstained from the fray; protecting the nation against international adventurism and guarding the people's right to choose its form of government. The opposition got its first inkling of disaster when the professional protestors, their allied agitators and assorted opportunists, all of whom would have normally commanded center-stage in the disingenuous morality play enacted before the complicit media, were mercilessly massacred in the deadly crossfire! Journalists were compelled to eat their words until they choked to death, while the notorious talking heads were fiercely decapitated from their gratuitous torsos! A funeral pyre comprising statutes and codes, minutes and regulations, decisions and decrees toasted every legislator and page, lawyer and judge, recorder and clerk into purgatory! The ineffectual but disputatious representatives on ubiquitous school boards, zoning commissions, and community councils were finally held ultimately accountable for their incompetent decisions. Regardless of one's definition, all sexual deviants, moral degenerates, and other social misfits became immediate and popular targets for elimination. Prisons were utterly emptied of recidivistic criminals, and left vacant for future demolition. Social workers were thrown to their clients in a sadistic replay of the Roman games held in proletarian colosseums. In a revival of duels to the death, liberal teachers were paired with conservative mechanics, and left-wing preachers were coupled with right-wing police. Every town hall and county courthouse became an ossuary for dynastic (un-)civil servants. As with every reactionary purge, the slaughter became more indiscriminate, and the proverbial armageddon began to resemble a cataclysmic annihilation.
This was not a Neo-Puritan putsch; but a genuine human liberation movement, violently throwing-off an insusceptible and burdensome government. It had been hard to stumble toward a goal, or to even see the future with a freeloader riding on everyone's back! Unlike the doctrinaire predictions of class warfare between the stratified have's and have-not's, the revolutionary rabble didn't target endogamous old liners or impudent parvenus more than any other caste. Although every rebel in history has sought to extend the mantle of insurgency so as to resolve their private vendettas, this revolution was less interested in punishing misdoers and wrongdoers than in expunging as many prevaricators and knaves, wastrels and trucklers, charlatans and fourflushers, scoundrels and blackguards, stooges and backscratchers, lickspittles and bootlickers, goldbrickers and deadbeats as possible from the body politic. Except where feminist successors of the Lollard and Shaker movements were reinforcing the glass ceilings and sealed corridors of unmerited privilege against the will of the people, no superwoman or goodwife, dragon lady or bluestocking, sylph or doyenne, virtuosa or demimondaine was selected solely on the basis of her sex. Racial, ethnic, and religious groups were surprised by not being targeted, but bravely charging into the bureaucratic ramparts and governmental labyrinths was an equal opportunity insurrection! ... if you believed in the often disparaged American Dream, then you were a patriotic defender against oppression and discrimination!
When moderate strategists, who advocated not throwing the baby out with the bath water, began to criticize the scorched earth tactics employed by radicals, accusations of reactionary crypto-ecologists and other ad hominems were bandied in an all too familiar round of ripostes. It was reminiscent of the same old cycle of charge and countercharge that had never resolved anything. This echo was so stunning that its reverberation temporarily interrupted the mayhem. The bullets stopped flying long enough for the berserkers to realize that we had devolved from democracy to ochlocracy without attaining our objectives. This schismatic hiatus interrupted the purge, and allowed the rebels to rediscover their love of mercy ... we already knew that relentless justice was not a virtue, and that extremism wasn't a particularly desirable trait either. The consensus seemed to be that sanitizing subversives and other traitors was itself anti-revolutionary. We also realized that there could be no armistice without either a declaration of war or a surviving adversary to negotiate it, so a small group of respected delegates were commissioned to form a bye-electoral board to supervise the re-establishment of our popular government. The Constitution would immediately acquire two new amendments: the abatement of bureaucracy, and the debarment of perennial politicians.
Renovation was not the only task confronting these delegates. This upheaval had spawned a spiritual resurgence, not unlike the renaissance that followed the closing of the medieval era by the Black Death, only this time the movement was mystical and technological. This enlightenment was inaugurated by the voluntary decision to accept libertarian monitoring in place of inconsistent or venal enforcement. This decision affirmed our humanity by acknowledging our own fallibility and offering an equitable alternative to recurrent discord. Having just concluded a savage civil war, we were not prey to sociopolitical blandishments or pseudo-religious promises of paradise. We wanted as much freedom as anyone else, and as much security as everyone else, so the potential harmony would be purchased at the cost of tolerance and inhibition. This agnostic ideal, which some called the great cloud of unknowing, was contingent upon a guaranteed trust. Any who would not participate would be shunned, since they would be unpredictable ... their inculcation might or might not be effective in every case of comportment or restraint. With universal compliance, we could eliminate the additional expenses entailed by extroversive policing.
The suspension of our frenzied abolition ushered in a new humanistic millennium. We already enjoyed the rights and privileges preserved by our ancestors, and we were now determined to protect our security from foreign and domestic depredations. This spate of bloodletting profoundly demonstrated that people will be people, and there isn't much that's humane that can be done about it. Although people will die protecting their home or kill in defense of their country, most people, aside from the fanatical fringe, will not mortally invest themselves into their jobs. There is a better way to attain peace and salubrity. We precautioned our social engineers not to squander our finer culture and superior environment on the fun and games of personal indulgence. Before the revolt, we had been expertly advised that making a better tomorrow would involve sacrificing most of today's conveniences and yesterday's luxuries. The more attention that's paid to the problems associated with eventual achievement, the more those problems seem to increase in kind and complexity. Social theorists had once confidently predicted a paradise emerging just beyond the next obstacle or over the next horizon, but modern extravagance would cause people to actually lose their privileged status as masters of all they survey. Once started, entropy could impel a catastrophic decline, from which humanity might never recover!
Independent entrepreneurs are researching the potential of genetic manipulations, but that refinement is not yet a necessary or even desirable final solution. The ethical predicaments associated with eugenics, and complicated by insufficient knowledge, will be resolved politically, if our cultural crises do not render the matter moot. It seems that all social problems eventually become political issues, which are inevitably resolved in the courts or on the battlefield. The alternative, borne out of the crucible of vehement reaction, as an immodest proposal, is to implant a cerebro-cybernetic circuit chip directly into the brain of every newborn child ... and to retrofit all adult volunteers. As with other routine treatments of new borns, the implantation of the programmed cerebro-cybernetic circuit chip, widely known as C4, would become commonplace. The C4 would automatically activate with the child's first rational thought, and would initiate symbiotic linkages to enhance personhood. Encoding would not only augment learning with conditioning, but would stimulate vital functions on a diverse regimen. With C4, children will be more compliant and tractable, adolescents will be less defiant and awkward, and the collocated transponder guarantees they will never get lost!
With the onset of majority, and its concomitant social responsibilities, the C4 becomes fully functional; offering the user an array of truly valuable features. With an integral privacy protection feature that prevents unauthorized access to each individual's personal information, the C4 chip automatically registers the adult for voting, census, and transportation. It informs the workplace of unexpected tardiness or illness. It retains all records, catalogues all preferences, and schedules a suitable variety of enticing options. It even has a built-in mathematical coprocessor to automatically calculate tips and taxes. One of the nice things about C4 is that it's hard wired, so it never needs adjustment or replacement. Its essential stability practically guarantees that people will be less unstable. It's a marvelous addition to the basic brain.
The other benefit of C4 is societal ... which is why it's sometimes called a dip chip. After years of individualized developmental accommodation to its host user, the C4 is so sophisticated that if it detects the adult thinking stupidly, it will instantly induce its host body to generate copious and malodorous diarrhea! And, if the C4 detects the adult thinking vindictively, it will cause a dietary deficiency in its host with Dump Syndrome; wherein food cannot nourish the body, regardless of how much is consumed, since it is evacuated too quickly. Knowing that people can adjust to almost anything, from rubber underwear to bulimic flagellation, the prime C4 offers two additional impediments to sociopathy.
If the C4 detects that its adult host is telling a bold lie or uttering a deceptive falsehood, it will instantly cause its host to profusely vomit putrid bile! Regardless of how debased etiquette becomes, projectile puking in public is never going to be condoned by the manners' mavens. Further, if the adult ever commits a felonious crime, the C4 is programmed to immediately destroy itself and its host! ... no civil rights warning, no evidentiary quibbles, no argumentative witnesses, no maneuvering lawyers, no protracted due-process, no speedy trial, no peer judgement, no dehumanizing prison ... simply instantaneous justice! ... utterly and abruptly irrevocable! And it dispenses with the prolonged legalistic debate on parole and appeal, on prejudice and clemency. Some positive unemployment will be created by this implant, because nobody can persistently hide the truth from themselves. The remarkable C4 chip has been engineered to prevent any potential decline in normative values; hence its dip chip appellation.
Of course, this does not mean that eutopia has arrived in a test tube. It probably means that people will be more humble, private, and thoughtful. This means that people can be more relaxed and comfortable with each other when they choose to associate. It also means that people can trust their interactions to be authentic, and supportive of shared standards. People may find that science will enable them to rediscover all the wonderful old values that were once thought irretrievably lost.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
by Abraham Lincoln