This morning I was sitting in my private transporter, one of the few places where I felt was sufficiently private for me to write my thoughts down in preparation for this week’s meeting. I have long gotten past the frustration of having to constantly fret about what I say in a private conversation even though I am a top level government official in the Earth Union Worker’s Republic. Nowadays it’s just a fact of life. The shadow state is always watching me. They need me; they lack my talent for organisation and strategic planning. They hate me for it. They would have killed me if any of them could do the work I can do. That’s what life is like for everyone on Earth. We are born with a death sentence temporarily suspended so long as we’re useful to the state.
I am a minister in the government, an Alpha double plus class citizen, but I’m no less a slave than the lowest delta class scraping a sewer pipe clean. We’re all slaves in a system of total centralisation of power to one man, and that one man himself is a slave to his vices. However, if you turn on the Global News Network you would think the chairman of the party was God’s own son come to lead humanity to the chosen land. An old Earth philosopher once wrote that a prince can rule through love or fear. But the chairman wants everyone to fear and love him in equal measure. As I look back over my career in politics I have unwittingly been serving his interests. All I wanted to do was to reduce the poverty and homelessness on Earth as much as was humanly possible, but what did they used to say in old times? The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
The truth is that I’m a slave but without the dignity of having chains. I bind myself to serving evil; I am my own jailer telling myself I have no choice but to obey authority built on violence.
That will all start to change over the next few days. I will see to it that the work I have done will have been for the greater good and not for the good of one sociopathic monster at the heart of the shadow state. Today though I need to focus on my speech for the meeting:
It all started a couple of years ago; As the minister for housing and infrastructure it was my job to provide a solution for the billions of people living in slums across the Earth. The solution had to address key party ideas about how the population should live. The Revolutionary Workers Union had built its popular support on ending economic inequality. Why was most of the world living in slums and the rest in comfort? Explaining the difference in living standards by appealing to genetic differences in intelligence and personality was politically suicidal. Instead, the economic playing field had to be levelled and it had to be done swiftly and decisively.
I spent months thinking about how this could be achieved and decided that the only way that it could be done was by completely dominating the environment: Building a city that was completely artificial and isolated from the outside world. A domed shaped city with air, water, and food all produced, filtered, and recycled inside. Even the power supply was internal. With every living apartment standardised it would be impossible for some to have more than others. Everyone would eat the same food, drink the same water, and breathe the same air. A socialist dream come true at last: real equality and sustainability for all for all time.
I told the party chairman of my proposal and he was very enthusiastic about it, but he suggested that the water, food, and electricity should all be supplied from outside the domes from specialised buildings. That should have been my first warning that something was rotten in the new global government. I didn’t care at the time. I got straight to work solving all the logistical and engineering challenges in the way of building a domed city that could house over a million people.
For ten years I struggled with inadequate funds, personnel, and equipment. Every time I asked why there wasn’t enough funds and talent to work on my teams I was told that the Earth was just too poor after years of crony capitalism and exploitation. I knew in the back of my mind that couldn’t be true; especially about the lack of scientists and engineers, because even on a planet with 12 billion poor people, we still had tens of millions of engineers alone. Occasionally I did ask myself “where have all the engineers gone? Surely they all didn’t emigrate to the 500 or so colony worlds in the galaxy?” Yet I was always so focused on my work that I didn’t take the time to look into.
That was until two years ago. The first of our Mark VIII habitation domes was fully inhabited. We had tried 24 different approaches to constructing domed cities but the Mark VIII was by far the best design in terms of scale and organisation. 1.6 million people housed, fed, and protected all in a single building completely isolated from the outside world except for the transport tubes which would eventually be simply connected to other domed cities. I was visiting for a press conference announcing the construction of 380 new Mark VIII domes had been approved on a global scale: A great step forward in eliminating poverty for humanity. I delivered a fiery speech about how I would house 600 million people in domed cities within two years.
Well twelve months into that great leap forward, although I had assigned 380 dome construction supervisors to each of the projects, and work had progressed on every project, I was working fifteen hours a day just trying to get the material, labour, and equipment flowing to the worksites. It didn’t make sense. The planet was supposed to have an unemployment rate over 30% yet I was facing labour and resource shortages everywhere on a global scale. The more I looked into it the more I discovered great factories, steelworks, and labour camps by the tens of thousands across the globe doing something top secret.
I asked everyone in the cabinet who was requisitioning so much material and man power when we desperately needed improved food and shelter for our population? No one knew and even the chairman was just avoiding the topic whenever I brought it up with him. I spoke to the agricultural minister privately about this thinking he was the only other minister likely to be needed so many resources, however, he told me that he had simply assumed that I was the one requisitioning so many resources because he himself was facing the same shortages in maintaining his workforce for feeding the population. Apparently food rationing had actually decreased over the past 5 years but the chairman had simply told him to put chemicals into the food to trick people into feeling full when they were in fact starving.
I was going to meet the chairman again to confront him when the treasurer insisted I join him on a fishing cruise. While out on the open ocean he confided in me in a place where no one could listen in on our conversation. The treasurer warned me to stop nosing around into the secret factories and work camps; for my own safety, because the chairman was secretly allocating a full 40% of the Earth’s GDP towards the military and if I valued my life, not simply my career, I needed to stop being a nuisance to him.
Well I stopped being a nuisance after that, at least officially, covertly I started working 20 hours a day and started a new work project I privately called, “liberate Earth from the Earth Worker’s Union Republic”, and in just one week from now, we will be ready to challenge the Machiavellian ambitions of the party chairman.