By Christian Marx
“Let me tell you about my youth,” the farrowed brow of the old man beamed with sweat and the rugged complexion of a life well lived. His eyes were tired, yet there lingered a sparkling intelligence within.
The boy who was no more than 15 sat transfixed. The old man was a regular fixture of the slums of the metropolis once known as ‘Melbourne.’ The old man motioned out towards the ruins of the old city. “I remember a time when every man had a job, and was able to support a family of 4 on a labourer’s wage. Everything was manufactured in this country, there were jobs aplenty, and casual work was unheard of.” The boy’s eyes widened with a mixture of shock and awe. “WOOOOOOOOWWWW,” he let out a long sound, with his mouth agape, resembling a large yawn. “How was that even possible?” The boy murmured in incredulity.
His own father had not ever had a full-time job in his 50 years. In fact, employment was now so scarce that only those connected to the political/media apparatus were employed through connections. 95% of the populace were forced to subsist on food scraps, run down soup kitchens and hunting kangaroos and other large game, which now freely roamed the shuttered decaying buildings in the citadel.
The old man continued: “We once had a group called ‘unions.’ These were workers’ collectives who fought for good wages and conditions, against the rapacious capitalists. Unions were the way we worked together in order to secure our full-time jobs. The capitalists destroyed these unions through their media apparatus. Unfortunately, the majority believed the propaganda from these corrupt media puppets.”
The boy had heard of these unions before, but only from the low flying media drones and their 3D holographs. Unions were to be feared and were the reason the majority were poor, according to these media drones.
Nobody trusted the lies of the ‘nepostists’ anymore. They lived behind a gated community, encircled by a 3 metre high wall. By all accounts they lived in opulent decadence, though their numbers were less than 5,000. They maintained their power through automated muscle. Large silver robots standing approximately 15 feet tall constantly surveilling the terrain beyond the gated community. Sometimes the robots randomly killed the poor for sport, and to serve as a warning to would be agitators against this corporate hegemony.
“Tell me more about the old times,” the boys imagination of a better world engulfed him … the old man continued: “Once we had large organic-like structures called trees. They pumped out oxygen and protected us from the harsh rays of the sun. We had an abundance of water, and were free of disease.” The man continued: “We had health care for everybody … this was financed by a small tax on income, which provided a universal system for all.”
The boys eyes widened. He could not imagine such a time when the sick were treated. The field beyond the ruins was littered with the corpses of the poor. They were left to rot. If it wasn’t for the organised groups from the shanty towns, their flesh would decay and the crows would pick at their bleaching bones…
How did all this come to pass? The boy was close to tears … The old man stared deep into the boys eyes. “Humanity turned against those who tried to warn us. The intelligent, the rebels, the educated, the socialists were all rounded up and executed. It was World War 2 all over again … only this time the rich got their media puppets to turn the less-educated and those with no empathy into brutal killing machines …
When did all this begin? The boy asked. The old man continued: ”The beginning of the holocaust had its first origins in the early 21st century. The bloodletting began soon after the great virus of 2020. It was called the ‘coronavirus,’ and it impacted the profits of the very wealthy. They then decided to unleash a final solution. It was called ‘Neoliberalism.’ I was just a young man when this began.” Tears slowly welled up in the usually stoic man’s eyes. This old man of 75 remembered the dystopia. He quietly said to the boy: Sadly history is destined to repeat. Perhaps this is the circle of life …”
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