Date: 1,995,260 A.D. (Gregorian), P.W. 21,417 (Shango), N.A. 2151 (Qareen)
Pretence to Revolution?
As a new political movement arises in the quieter quarters of the galaxy, Peri6/946,788 investigates and gives his opinion on the new movement.
My invitation was a somewhat cryptic one; sent out on uniband, it asked all who could to either tune into or turn up in person to what was being described as “the creation of a new platform and a new politics.” And as it turned out, it was quite exciting: if this movement succeeds, the Qareen Confederacy will bear witness to its first economic reforms in centuries.
As we all know, the Confederacy all agreed to a complete post-scarcity settlement in the Treaty of the Confederacy in DNA 46, around one year before the Intersection Wars. Knowing that the Wars would soon occur, it was a necessary step at the time – the capability was there, and there was no need to mess around when the galaxy’s biggest conflict in thousands of years, and possibly ever, was on the verge of erupting.
Yet now, on p334,102, those measures enacted all that time ago are being questioned. Ios8/p102,355, leader of the Pangalactic Limits Campaign, argues that the time has come for the Confederacy to look backwards in order to advance.
“The problem with all Qareen, right now,” Ios8 argued as I spoke with him, “is that they live too easily. Where’s the struggle, we might ask, where is the aspiration?”
He may well have a point. Technological progress, new political ideas, the vitality of an ever-advancing civilisation, seem stagnant in the Confederacy, which arguably seems content right now to sit in its current, sub-Dharan semi-hegemony over one of this galactic pair we reside in.
Before our brief talk, Ios8’s public meeting to convene the first followers among the P.L.C. – an impressive gathering of some two hundred, more of whom have signed up since – went smoothly. With an impassioned argument, Ios8 did not shy away from criticising the status quo, and calling attention to historical fact. His audience was enthusiastic, and the word is spreading; apparently, within 0.01 of a year, some five hundred followers on p334,102 have signed up to the movement.
Five hundred may seem to be a tiny number amidst a civilisation of millions of trillions across Spaceplanes, planets and ships galore, but it is a start, and the movement already has its first off-planet follower.
The P.L.C. might well be dismissed as a reactionary group bent on taking the Qareen as a whole back into an undesired past, but this seems not to be the case. At the same meeting, Ios8 and his followers debated extensively a Charter of Beliefs, some of which included a desire to wind down the increased centralisation that has indeed been the norm since the Intersection Wars. “We’re pretty much a Federation, if not a completely unified state,” one follower told me, although I suspect this might be going too far.
Even so, their arguments have weight. Critics have been dismissive to the P.L.C., but their arguments have thus far been weak. Pinne7 of the 123,456 Network accuses the movement of “regressive, backward thinking”, which any decent analysis should refute. “An ignorant but thankfully tiny force, thinking back to an imaginary time that doubtless never existed,” argues Alak1 of Network Zenana.
This knee-jerk reaction is common amongst many pundits, but the P.L.C. are unfazed. “We won’t necessarily achieve all we aim to, possibly ever,” Ios8 admitted, “but all we’ve got to do is get enough followers, into the thousands or even the millions. Once we’re big enough, we’ll be sending a message to those at the heart of the Confederacy, that it’s time for change. That this whole galaxy needs to be shaken out of its complacency.”
And with the P.L.C. Charter, a sure method has arrived. With some ninety articles, it’s an extensive piece – this movement has emerged fully-formed. It is, quite simply, disappointing to see a new movement, the most radical in centuries, dismissed by journalists who often themselves pose as outside the establishment or mainstream. The P.L.C. are not yet a revolution, but they could easily become one. The P.L.C. isn’t about ignorance; it’s about rationality and aspiration, about driving not just their society, but all Qareen towards an even better future.
It seems remarkable that, in today’s society, trillions have accepted the by-and-large stasis that occurs on the grounds that things are ‘good enough’. To which it must be asked: is the Confederacy, across millions of Spaceplanes and planets, merely settling? Isn’t there more, beyond this? Don’t we have a Dharan hegemony to confront, and their technology to emulate?
So, for the P.L.C., I wish them the best of luck. There’s a whole galaxy of inertia to overcome, out there, but if they can, the result will be spectacular.
>123,456 Text and Statics Network
In Defence of Reverse Gear
Karank9/p334,102, the second-in-command of the Pangalactic Limits Campaign, argues his case, on why the P.L.C. represent the future, not the past, and why reports of fascist tendencies have been greatly exaggerated.
“The rise of a New Galactic Order,” trumpeted the GCNT recently, snidely dismissing a movement that they had previously supported. It seems especially odd that they would abandon the movement now, as it stands to gain its billionth member, and now has some 1,000 Spaceplanes and 50,000 planets with openly declared followers. But it should not be a surprise; having, in some quarters, embraced the P.L.C., the mainstream media coalitions have decided, seemingly unanimously, to back down to the face of easy slurs on the Campaign.
It’s not clear when this unjustified backlash started. Certain critics – highly conservative-minded ones at that – have always criticised the movement’s radical nature. And of course, radicalism – however benign – is always the enemy of those too insulated by current society to see its failings.
Certainly, the backlash has emerged in the past couple of years. On .743/2149, the riots on Spaceplane 544 were attributed to the P.L.C.’s demonstration, even though a mere 44 protestors showed up and 51 restraints were imposed. Logically, for at least 7 of the restraints the P.L.C. not to blame, and given that most of them returned from the demo, almost certainly more were the responsibility of local Qareen counter-protests.
The second piece of alleged ‘evidence’ lies in supposed rhetoric spoken during 2150. One thing should be made clear: the P.L.C. is not a racist or xenophobic organisation. What we do oppose, however, is the continued welcoming into our society of members of the Shango Federation. It cannot be stressed enough that the allegedly peaceful Federation were once the organisation that caused unimaginable death and destruction during the Intersection Wars; entire Spaceplanes were destroyed and entire planets, even star systems, were in ruins. Smaller conflicts ever since should have given some clue that the Federation, as a whole, is not interested in truly lasting peace.
No, the P.L.C. is not racist; this is the easy slur thrown at us by pundits pulling dubious quotes from the media networks, as they buzz halfway around the galaxy before the P.L.C. can even respond. What we object to is the degradation of our culture and the abandoning of values that served the Confederacy for thousands of years before the Intersection Wars. We object to the flimsiness of our politicians in acting on this, and their unwillingness to talk, let alone deal, with the problem.
Perhaps the real reason for the fear of a P.L.C. galaxy is that a bold new agenda is being adopted by millions of people each day. Nearly one billion people have listened to and agreed with us over the last six years, and therefore, come the next election in 2155, we will make an impact. Our voice is growing ever louder, and all across the galaxy, people are realising that what we speak of is not reactionary nonsense but the genuine thoughts and feelings that ordinary people – and most critically for the political class, ordinary voters – are thinking.
It’s a smart, intelligent agenda, and the mainstream media find themselves on the wrong side of the argument. For the likes of the GCNT, perhaps oppositional rhetoric isn’t the key; perhaps mere pity is more appropriate.
Knowing No Fear, Knowing No Sanity, and Knowing Nothing
Having argued against the P.L.C. since its inception, Alak1/976,501 argues that the P.L.C. is as misguided and repugnant today as it was six years ago.
Six years ago, I wrote an article that, to be frank, was damning of the P.L.C. and their aims. At the time, they were a miniscule organisation, but I wrote that article in a bid to argue against such ideas and in a bid to warn against the rise of such movements. I stand by that article, even now, and as I look on the last six years, I see no reason to change my mind.
The P.L.C. are a different movement, now, in some ways. Numbering a billion or so members, whose distribution is now measured in parsecs instead of kilometres, and as a result, the nature of such an organisation changes; informal discussions become formal conferences, and home-made mailshots become slick marketing and promotional operations. But just because the money for public relations is there, it does not mean that the politics and policies underneath have changed.
There are very few, if any, individuals in the galaxy nowadays who have lived under the age of scarcity, which means that such a time is now being reduced to a folk memory across large swathes of our civilisation. With this, however, comes a romanticisation of that time, and a deluge of misconceptions, of which there are regrettably also no scarcity of.
“Scarcity”, as we well know, has a mass of negative connotations, and for good reason. Starvation, poverty and a fight for resources will not create a “dynamic society”, and it is insulting and unqareen to suggest as much. Ridiculous notions such as these should be shot down with ease in our society; with the information we have in easily-accessible networks, there should be no excuse for such ignorance. Yet somehow, it persists, it thrives, it grows. It should be worrying, but indeed, plenty of those within our media accuse us, the journalists, politicians and campaigners already in the inner circle, of a sneering superiority, or worse, of outright demeaning ordinary Qareen citizens who have taken to the movement.
Yet it is arguably the P.L.C. itself that demeans. When they claim our society to be “technologically stagnant” – their words, not mine – they implicitly insult billions of scientists who, in dedicated facilities across the galaxy (or even on dedicated planets and Spaceplanes) endeavour to push for ever more understanding, and make those incremental breakthroughs that will one day produce the Dharan level of technological sophistication that the P.L.C. claim to be aiming for. Today’s scientists can devote themselves to nothing but the quest for more knowledge, free from almost all other considerations; apparently, this is not enough.
But this would be nothing if the movement did not engage in some of the lowest rhetoric any party has engaged in for the last two thousand years. The P.L.C. are keen to claim that they are not racist, that no xenophobia is afoot, but it is clear where they stand on the Shango and Bhoot diasporas. “You have to ask if these people are polluting the system with the values of their home society, or diluting our own values by adding theirs”, one member asked recently, and not any standard member of the public, but Ios8 himself, when talking about Bhoot refugees, who number in the hundreds and have worked hard to escape oppression.
Perhaps, in the end, it’s not the time before the Wars that the P.L.C. wish to return to; perhaps it’s the Wars themselves.