2084: American Apocalypse Excerpts

Excerpt 1: “Right, left, up, down…it was always an illusion.  The proles madly aligned themselves with one political faction or another, chanting their vapid slogans, carrying their insipid signs, waving their puny fists, genuflecting to their inane dogmas, and casting their worthless votes for the Manchurian candidates that we chose.  But each side was just a different face of the same coin – a coin that the Syndicate holds in its own pocket.”

Excerpt 2: “Lincoln famously declared that all the armies of Europe and Asia could never take a drink from the Ohio River or blaze a trail on the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The only enemy that could defeat us was ourselves.  Our nation would live forever, if it didn’t die by suicide.  He was right.  We’ve lost the magic elixir that was our bond.  We’re no longer the “United” States.  We’re estranged tribes killing each other.  We’re a nation cutting its own throat.”

Excerpt 3:  “Humans aren’t the fastest animals in the forest.  We don’t have big fangs or sharp claws.  We don’t have armored shells, deadly venom, clever camouflage, pointy horns, or protective quills.  We aren’t monstrous creatures of brawn and muscle.  Alone, we’re rather defenseless.  The prospect of survival increases dramatically when parents care for their young, friends watch each other’s backs, and tribemates freely exchange their talents.  There’s nothing more natural — or more necessary – than for humans to band together in family and tribe.  We’re communal beings.”

Excerpt 4: “Cammy wrapped her arms across her chest and sank back to the floor, frightened by the lecher’s ogling.  She suddenly felt like a mere object, a dehumanized plaything of mysterious others.  It was as if she had been living in a snow globe her whole life, and for the first time was getting a glimpse of the giant alien world that existed outside their ranch in Kansas.  It was populated by vile creatures who seemed eager to flip her snow globe upside down and shake it for their perverse amusement.”

Excerpt 5: “That’s entirely up to you.  As Chesterton told us, life glitters like a diamond, but is as fragile as glass.  Glitter or break.  It’s your choice.  It’s the only real freedom we have.”

Excerpt 6: “Everything you wish for is possible, my dear.  If you want to be respected, respect yourself.  If you want to be loved, love.  If you want to be praised, be praiseworthy.  If you want to be wise, observe.  If you want to be brave, dare.  If you want to be happy, embrace the joy that abounds in existence.  Living isn’t a passive state of being.  It’s an active state of doing.  It requires saying ‘I will’, not ‘I can’t’.”

Excerpt 7: “Dark Moon’s children were always miraculous to her.  As she laid in her husband’s arms, she reminisced about the magical day when Cammy was born.  When she first held her wet and wriggling baby girl, she marveled at her ability to create new life.  Somehow, her maternal body had organized random bits of matter into a new person.  It was more than new flesh and blood that she brought into the world.  It was a person so pure of soul, so naïve to the harshness of reality, so unconditioned by the irrational imprint of history, that she was reluctant to let go of their first naked hug.  She was certain that it would be the little girl’s last moment in a state of perfect innocence.”

Excerpt 8: “Millions of adults are now perpetual children who are incapable of caring for themselves.  They’ve become addicted to short-term gratification.  They know games, but not work.  They know hedonism, but not investment.  They know fun, but not happiness.  They know victimhood, but not success.  They know slogans, but not truth.  They know pop culture, but not morality.  They know fantasy, but not cause and effect.”

Excerpt 9: “And so he fled through the mental escape hatch to his mother, ignoring the unthinkable possibility that she might already be dead.  He fled to a Christmas morning in the past, where candied applies beckoned on the table, a fire crackled in the hearth, homemade presents teased underneath a crudely decorated pine tree , and unbeknownst to him, his mother bravely hid her exhaustion.  He fled to other immortal moments measured only in joy, crafted by the tears and toil-worn fingers of a miraculous person whose only mission on earth seemed to be his happiness.  He fled to those sacred memories where her angelic voice cried out “dinner!” and all the cares of the world vanished.   He fled to the glory of her lavender scent and the radiance of her infinite smile.  He fled to her calming assurance that he was safe and loved for all eternity.”

Excerpt 10: “The Elites are committing the ultimate treason – they’re attacking us, rather than defending us.  We’re resorting to the most basic political right, which is the right to revolt against abusive leaders.  The weapons necessary to enforce this inalienable right are the only antidotes to a world teeming with tyrants.  As George Orwell put it, “That rifle on the wall of the laborer’s cottage or working-class flat is the symbol of democracy.”

Excerpt 11: “We owe an immeasurable debt to those who take up arms to defend us.  When we lay our heads on pillows at night, it’s because there’s a soldier somewhere laying his head on a cold, damp rock.  When we sit beside our warm hearths in the evening, it’s because there’s a soldier somewhere bivouacking on a wind-swept plain.  When we hug our loved ones, it’s because there’s a soldier somewhere hugging his rifle and fighting the loneliness in his own heart.  When we enjoy the freedom to relax or play a game, there’s a soldier somewhere whose every sense is focused on an unseen enemy seeking to kill him.  When we relish the sound of laughter with friends, it’s because there’s a soldier somewhere hearing the sudden snap of a twig in the darkness and wondering if it’s the last sound he’ll ever hear.”

Excerpt 12: “Mythology and power are the yin and yang of human subjugation.  Power can’t be sustained without mythology, and myths can’t be sustained without force.  The aristocracy uses power and mythology to skew the historical, social, moral, and cultural tide in its favor.  Those in power write the history, which is then used to craft moral justification for their rise to power.  Oceania’s Ministry of Truth has always existed, in some form or another.  Today it’s called Google.”

Excerpt 13: “Face the facts.  Political power has nothing to do with your good intentions.  It has everything to do with cunning, deception, and might.  The Syndicate isn’t interested in what is good and moral.  We’re interested in what is useful and necessary.  We genuflect to a god called gold.  We harvest it from the blood and tears of fools, no matter which creed or party they worship.  He who has the gold rules the world.  The rest is just illusion.”

Excerpt 14: “None us are born angels or devils.  People become devils when they start thinking they’re superior to everyone else.  They become devils when they start thinking that they have special missions or knowledge, bequeathed by some god or ideologue, that require the absolute commitment of others.”

Excerpt 15: “The fetid smell of death was everywhere.  Even when bodies had been buried, grave robbers had dug them up to scavenge anything of value.  She retched at the ghoulish remains of the seething, hellish inferno of war.  How was such evil possible by a species that laid claim to morality?  What mesmerizing power hypnotized people into hurling themselves against each other, each knowing the outcome was likely to be their demise?  What psychopathy perverted rational people to mangle each other on such a brutal scale?  She shuddered.  There were no sensible answers to these questions.  But there the carnage was.”

Excerpt 16: “It’s the only path to peace on Earth.  Wouldn’t it be great to find a place where people could freely collaborate?  A place where they could believe and think what they wanted to?  A place where dreamers could write the script for their futures in a world of infinite possibilities?  A place where each person was free to rise above the conditioning of society, the tension between sectarian religions, and the compulsion of bureaucrats?  A place utterly opposed to coercion, where differences were resolved by facts and debate rather than by force or mob rule?  A place where the tribal attachments to race and creed no longer divided us?  A place where secular, religious, and criminal tyranny were consigned to the dustbins of history?  A land where the only path that mattered was the one you blazed yourself?  Wouldn’t a path to such a place be priceless?”

Excerpt 17: “Freedom and bravery are inseparable.  Those who want freedom must be brave enough to defend it against others who are determined to take it away.  And courage is needed to take responsibility for yourself in the uncertainty that comes with a free society.”

Excerpt 18: “We choose to go on living in order to inhale the exuberance of nature, revel in our achievements, bask in the radiance of love with others, and laugh in the face of entropy as long as we can.  The preciousness of life is entirely due to its brevity and fragility.  The looming specter of death magnifies the urgency of our short lives.  It fans the torrid flames of joy and love that crackle as our individual experiences.”

Excerpt 19: “We are each distinct beings, but we need others as the context for our joy.  Love is a burning desire to adore another person, and to be adored in return.  Loving relationships yield a sense of permanence, belonging, and acceptance.  They’re the only antidote to the profound loneliness that comes from scraping out a harsh existence in an entropic world.  That’s why love is the subject of so many of our poems, songs, books, and artworks.  Love is the great treasure of mankind, a gleaming jewel nestled deep inside each of us.  We struggle for those we love.  We share our joy with them.  We collaborate with them.  Love is that effervescent explosion of pure delight that animates our brief lightning flashes of life.  It’s the candle burning in the window when we stagger home after a hard journey.  Love inspires our most unselfish acts and our most heroic deeds.  Our loved ones are the touchstones in our personal stories.  They’re the golden threads in the rich tapestries of our lives.  Our memories would be barren without them.”

Excerpt 20: “You’ll eventually face the daunting moment of your last few breaths, clenching nothing in your desperate fists but the legacy you’re leaving behind.  When you die, the universe tallies your final Karmic scorecard – who you were, or who you were not; what you constructed, or what you destroyed; what joy you spread, or what sorrow you caused; whom you helped, or whom you ruined.  Death is the end of our individual existences, but our lives echo in Karmic ripples for eons, perpetuating the effects of our choices.  These ripples make the world better or worse, affecting everyone you loved, and everyone they will love, and so on.  Choose wisely, son.”

Excerpt 21: “Nothing is free in an entropic world.  What the government gives with one hand, it must first take with the other.  Freedom isn’t the democratic privilege to vote for leaders who will then force some people to give money to others.  Freedom is a complete polity where each sovereign person can choose where they live, where they work, where they shop, where their children go to school, where they worship, who they interact with, and how their earnings get spent.”

Excerpt 22: “Your question cuts to the heart of morality.  A vital essence of morality is to not initiate harm against others.  Thou shalt not kill.  Thou shalt not lie.  Thou shalt not steal.  Once these basic building blocks of morality are in place, higher levels of moral behavior become possible, such as generosity, compassion, and forgiveness.  This view of morality opposes an overreaching government, which initiates force to achieve its ends and harms some people to benefit others.”

Excerpt 23: “He stared at the fading embers, wrestling as all old men do with elusive glories slipping from reach.  Did he have one last blaze of energy left in his old bones?  Could he hold one corner of liberty’s banner aloft in the final death match against fascism?  Or was there nothing left but to fade away as the caretaker of an obscure band of gypsies while the young Eagles of the world soared?  He stared into the embers for hours, even after their red glow had faded into oblivion.  In the darkness, he wept.”

Excerpt 24: “We’re not only imperfect, we’re afraid.  People conceive of gods because we’re drifting along on a giant rock in a lonely and dangerous universe, knowing that entropy is trying to kill us, and desperately hoping it won’t.  It’s natural to hope for the protection, the meaning, and the eternity that an omnipotent deity could offer.  Maybe everything that we yearn to become is what we call God, a reflection of ourselves in the most ideal state.  Let’s embrace that spark of God within us.  Let’s find meaning in loving others, and in being loved in return.  Let’s find happiness and peace in the here and now.  Perhaps we’ll each find God when we can look in the mirror of our soul and smile at what we see.  For me, God is love, and my religion is wisdom and kindness.”