I consider this a very unlikely scenario, but not impossible. What is the way back from, say, Venezuela? Do they even remember how to be free?
A subtitle of this would be “Teach your children well.” If we we go down for the long count, we can only hope that our grand kids or great grand kids will fight where we didn’t and bring back America.
Something like this was the deep background of the DST world, before the scientific glam. Now, take heart, since I first wrote that under Clinton. And we’re not — knocks on head — there yet.
Keep going. This is a very scary possibility but about as unlikely as the Pie in the Sky one. Take no counsel of your fears.
Someone said the future is a boot stepping on a human face forever. They omitted saying that the past is that too. Heinlein pointed out that misery and poverty is the natural state of the human race and the “good luck” respites come when the individual is given freedom. But they usually don’t last.
It started with Winnie the Flu, and looking around and wondering why everyone else had gone mad. Shockingly even a lot of people who were smart and whom you’d have considered rational and freedom lovers went all in on the side of the lockdown, and swore it was all justified, even though the rules made no sense and most of them had nothing to do with disease.
Not only were the numbers visible to anyone and you didn’t need a mathematical genius to see the virus was nowhere as deadly as advertised — not in a first world country — there was the obvious insanity that the New York City subway continued running through this, New Yorker’s ability to travel was unimpaired, despite being a hot spot, but New Yorkers screamed at everyone wanting to re-open the economy and save us from famine. Or the fact that most large cities had policemen enforcing draconian locked-at-home measures, while the homeless roamed more freely than ever, congregating in empty sidewalks and parking lots and — how strange — still alive and unharmed.
BUT the few people who screamed about this were dismissed as “denialists.” Apparently denialists of the end of the world.
And the government band played on.
And the two weeks turned into a month and a half to three months lockdown, destroying businesses, livelihoods, lives, and disrupting many supply chains including those for food. The fact people were confined in the house, watching TV 24/7 and that TV was non stop doom porn didn’t help. It never occurred to anyone that if TV could dramatize everyone under 80 who died, it was because there were so few of them. Instead people panicked.
Bizarre abilities were attributed to the virus, including of flying 17 feet and hanging suspended in the air for hours. Like the original research that prompted the order on six feet distance, this should have the additional “in laboratory circumstances. And if humans breathed aerosol.” While there’s water vapor in your breath, you don’t BREATH water particles large enough to have the virus in them. And short of a sneeze or something similar you don’t breath 17 feet out. But people believed this. And didn’t realize “virus” is a viral load so small it couldn’t infect anyone.
There were protests, but a lot of states clamped down on them, and as things reopened the protests died down.
And the virus returned in the fall, and the hype and panic started again. In a transparent bid to recrash the fragile rebuilding to win the elections and get power, the media servants of the left party started the “We’re all going to die” drum. And people obeyed.
There was a “temporary” lockdown in November and in the all vote by mail the left party won a stunning victory that might or might not have more votes than logical or plausible.
But people were too scared, some of the virus, some of the already precarious conditions. Too busy trying to find food.
The unlocking in December was trusted-people first. And in the aftermath — because the virus was so bad, you see — strict tracking of every citizen was instituted. Strict social credit too.
Want to keep a blog, or talk on your phone more than peer-to-peer one person at a time? Your social credit has to be perfect.
No one knows how many people died the winter of 20/21 or how many by famine and how many by bullet. Many a hunter in the woods, accidentally uncovers a mass grave, but if he knows what’s good for him, he doesn’t talk, and when the police who track the phone he must carry later ask what he saw, if he knows what’s good for him, he saw nothing. With a few years of staying silent, he might be trusted again.
And he has to be trusted. Everyone does. Otherwise buying necessities is impossible. They’re so scarce anyway. And having a job is a privilege. Receiving your dole if you don’t work is a privilege too.
There are occasional rebellions, attacks on important people. Or at least that’s the rumor. But it’s never reported.
If you manage to kill someone important on camera, you just sealed a death warrant for everyone you know. And the viewers, if they’re smart, will forget.
Periodically, if the rulers sense something particularly unsettled, they might lock down an entire region. It’s always a “virus.”
After 2028 they stopped bothering with the elections. We don’t know why power changes sometimes, only that the new face shows up on TV and nothing changes.
But we’re living. More or less. Most people live. We’re told people abroad aren’t that lucky. of course, no one not cleared has gone abroad in a long time.
Maybe some day someone will rebel in the name of freedom again, but food is so scarce, and even talking of how things used to be will get your ration card pulled.
So, all we can do is dream.