“The members of the great criminal gangs have mutual relations that are strongly marked with communism. If they represent a survival from a prior age, we can also consider them as the precursors of a better age in the future. In all cities they know where to address themselves so they’ll be received and hidden. Up to a certain point they show themselves to be generous and prodigal towards those of their milieu. If they consider the rich as their natural enemies, as a legitimate prey – a point of view quite difficult to contradict – a large number of them are animated by the spirit of Robin Hood; when it comes to the poor many thieves show themselves to have a good heart.” – Edward Carpenter, Civilization, its Cause and Cure
“The difference between the student radicals and the Hells Angels is that the students are rebelling against the past, while the Angels are fighting the future.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
She walks through crumbling streets and decaying buildings, neon lights reflected in dirty puddles made dark by ash. Thunder rumbles in the distance, and the smell of yet another wildfire runs across her nose. The street fills with a shadow and she ducks into a doorway. Above her a drone projects ads onto the dim and dirty clouds.
“＼(◎o◎)／！マブダチ! Sell plasma & organs for BTC/$$$! Contact Versa Labs today! (*^▽^*)”
“Service. Trust. Belonging. Don’t you want a life off-world? Indentured Employment Awaits… scan this ad for immediate referral…”
“PACIFICATION OFFICERS ON CANAL STREET. RECORDING IS A CRIME. OBSTRUCTION IS A CRIME. LETHAL FORCE WILL BE INITIATED.”
The last projection summons up a hail of gunfire from some distant location. The drone goes down and she can hear cheers.
She waits though she doesn’t know why. She’s safe. The cops don’t come out here, the few businesses all know who runs these streets. The drone is just an adtek, and though it can record conversations it’s highly unlikely to do so. The sheer fact it came out here must mean it was wildly off course. Magnetic wave? Solar storm? Perhaps it was piloted? She thinks for a minute perhaps the air feels different, but her AppleBR locket faithfully reads the air is just as dirty here as anywhere else. What’s different? What’s changed?
As she continues on she begins to notice the posters. Recruitment, statements of importance, warnings to enemies to leave or face the consequences. Homemade solar panels and ragtag assortments of Oniwire spread out like spider webs. She knows they put them up, because the Safe Zones have to have special permission to mess with the network. All at a cost. Here she’s not so sure if they pay anything…
A few eyes stare out at her, surprisingly calm. They’re well fed and for a moment she’s embarrassed of her sullen cheeks. They know why she’s here. The checkpoints she passed earlier told her they’d alert the territory so she could pass by freely. She’d proven she was clear after a month-long investigation. Now here she was, ready to join the revolution.
Ready to fight. Ready to live. Ready to escape the endless nothingness promised to her by the crumbling governments of the orbiting stations where Google, Tesla, and Amazon all lived. She was free, finally, and she would make the world pay dearly for her slavery.
She sees a familiar face, the contact she’d run into at King Bao. An elfen little thing with green hair, tall boots, and a rifle slung around her back that looked as natural as the bangs hanging across her face. A far cry from the little mouse she’d first noticed singing “sunglasses at nite” on top of a bar counter.
A flag hangs above the doorway she stands in… what is it?
Is there a swastika on it? Red and black triangles? The skull and crossbones of an Egoist Union?
Are the people there all white? Multiracial? Do nooses hang from lampposts or do fruit trees grow over prisons? Is the territory an ethno-enclave, a node in an international union, or the nearest front in a riot that runs across continents? Do the people worship the God of No God or do full moons bring chants and sacrifice, ancient beings summoned from depths and dimensions we can barely fathom?
The conditions for all those things to be possible are on their way. They are manifesting as we speak. Which possibility becomes reality will be decided by who wins.
Because we are in a very special time.
And it is either the greatest of gifts or the bleakest of curses.
It’s All Over But the Crying
The American government knows it’s on its last legs. From deeming the dystopian cities of the future “ungovernable” to the super rich buying bunkers and private armies everybody seems very aware that all is not well in “the land of the free.”
Everyone outside a small fetish scene consisting of Rachel Maddow and blue donkeys is well aware there never was a recovery after the Great Recession. 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the “alternative work category” and defined as “generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits.” Over 60% was due to the rise of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment. Our economy has been completely restructured, as if by design, resulting in a captive population living on the edge and willing to undergo any hardship to stay alive.
This new serf-dom is still too little too late. We have reached a tipping point where technology is now destroying more jobs than it creates.
“In fact, some 47% of present jobs in the US could be computerized in the next 10 to 20 years, according to an Oxford University study published in 2013.
‘When people no longer receive the money from wages they need to support their families, it is hard to know what they will do, but in the past and in other countries this has been thought of as a situation ripe for a revolution,’ Wallach said.
Wallach would later add that this “dire response” can be avoided through “welfare reforms or job subsidies” and “redistributing some of the capital growth.”
Which of course is exactly the OPPOSITE of what the US is doing.
Trump’s tax plan is not yet law, but only has one more vote in both the House and Senate on what’s called “the conference report.” Since the House and Senate passed different versions of it, Republicans have to merge them into one version which is then voted on by both.
We aren’t sure what the final thing will look like, but if it bares any resemblance to what it does now the American people are FUCKED.
It has massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, along with $1 trillion ADDED to the deficit which will force deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security in the not too distant future.
But perhaps most shocking of all is the total elimination of the estate tax, better known as the tax on inheritances. With its absence the United States would become the most heavily armed enclave for the wealthy in the world, a mountain-dew soaked version of Brazil where the majority live in absolute poverty while the upper crust hide trillions in houses, land, and shell corporations.
Essentially every dollar that goes up to the bourgeoisie will never be coming back down again.
If revolution was a mere possibility before it’s practically guaranteed now. The only question is whose revolution will it be?