Two years had passed since the advent of the second Great Depression. Millions of people were languishing around, moving from here to there in search of scraps of food, water, shelter, but most of all a job. Survival was the singular goal in a land that had segregated its citizen workers into a new voiceless peasantry. The eastern government that once controlled a great nation was laying prostate from decades of ultra-capitalist malfeasance, ignorance, arrogance, and decadent self-serving greed.
Shells of empty buildings lined litter strewn dark streets in cities once vibrant with activity. It had all happened so fast, the slide into oblivion that vaporized millions of jobs leaving upwards of seventy percent of the disregarded majority unemployed. The government that perpetuated this disaster had abandoned the majority of its citizens in favor of sucking on the tits of corrupt lobbyists. It had been a government of body-snatched representatives who'd become mesmerized with all the globalization dollars that were stuffed in their pockets. Not millions of dollars but billions were stolen from the paychecks of laborers or saved by shutting down businesses in favor of cheaper worker slaves forced to live in Stone Age conditions.
What started as a shift of business activity from higher wage to lower wage countries culminated in the business elite forced slide of all wages for all workers regardless of where they resided. This meant the businesses who were working hand in hand with their bought out governments no longer had to setup shop in distant lands they could force their subsistence wage rates on local laborers. Irrespective of the position, the differential between higher skilled and lower skilled workers flattened under the crushing boot of business and political power. The race to the bottom was almost complete only a few more paces remained until every global citizen would be transformed into a labor slave just barely existing on the income 'fumes' of an economy reaching 'absolute zero'.
Tyranny wasn't some easily identifiable condition - absolutely not - it slowly crawled up from the dirty grease of acceptance one indifferent person at a time until it covered all in its intolerable slippery laws. Such laws weren't geared towards the betterment of society but instead had some nefarious rational. They originated from minds contorted by pleasure-induced desires sustained by ever-larger quantities of money. One sniff from the plate of desire could move a mere mortal closer to the taste. After a few tastes fulfillment became an all-consuming passion. Any path towards gaining access to this pleasure was considered reasonable even if it meant throwing out an entire lifetime of morality. If power could burn a path to those desires, it was acquired. Maintaining power assured a constant stream of wealth that was used to perpetually satisfy this pleasure and any others that may arise from an increasingly decadent lifestyle.
But this unlimited pleasure enjoyed by those who held a special pass to the kingdom of power had to be sustained on the ruins of a dysfunctional economic system that had ground down capital and workers to a nub. Very little remained to be hauled off by the elite to their 'castles' at least if they were to keep up the semblance of being reasonable employers who paid their employees for a day's work; even if only at subsistence wages. Those in the dank halls of corrupt power understood what the final injustice would entail when the whispering lobbyists began explaining the next phase of their business masters plan.
After another two years of decline the old nation begin to wipe the sleep from its eyes and took a startled look around probably for the first time. What its citizen's saw wasn't freedom, only freedom for some, the some who happened to have power; the some who happened to play by the decades old rules of anything goes unfettered ultra-capitalist income pillage.
Those who'd aligned themselves with the interests of assisting in the income rape of a global community professed their allegiance to this new faith. A faith based upon tearing down one's brother or sister in order to squeeze an extra drop of income from their blood. In the eyes of the believers all actions were justified.
Distorted media reports had always been employed to stop the spread of ideas, beliefs, or passions that were contrary to the ultra-capitalist faith. In large countries where communication between individuals was kept to a minimum it had always been difficult to build up a grass roots ground swell of discontent. Now with the extra effort expended by the keepers of the newly emerging totalitarian economic system it was becoming almost impossible.
Prior to the economic collapse a few media outlets still remained true to the now dead belief that journalists should be unbiased in their reporting of the news, all the news, even news that reflected badly upon the central tenets of existing society. A curtain had fallen or more aptly an iron gate had descended. No real news emerged from behind the intellectual prison bars. These bars kept the truth, facts, and any theories that could potentially disrupt this carefully regulated society from circulating freely among the population.
With an army of 'experts', media parrots, bought out politicians, and ultra-capitalist priests endlessly on the prowl to pounce upon any citizen voice of discontent it became an exercise in futility to express dissatisfaction. Why bother to attempt to rally you're fellow citizens when they were smothered in the sweet honey of the dream world concocted by the government propaganda machine - gaining any traction in this sticky illusion was practically impossible.
Ridicule was the favorite weapon wielded against those who dared to cross the boundary of safe thought outlined by the media parrots. A phalanx of experts from the elite intelligentsia would descend upon the malcontent from their heights armed with the latest approved distortions of reality. Speaking at prestigious events they'd divulge revelations, and theories based in the stagnant dung of prestige. The pontificating would take place over many days, weeks, or months until the rebel voice of discontent; reporter of reality or other conveyor of positive change was discredited. Intellectually sound, insightfully profound ideas never made it from the musty cellars of accepted thought - they were shoved under the boards until they suffocated. But this type of societal control can only be exercised for so long. After a while people begin to smell a skunk even though they may not see it crossing their path.
Gradually, the quiet, shuffling, chain rattlers started searching for ways to break free from their labor bondage. In the open, in many different forums an individual here or there would speak out against the privilege extended the financially powerful. Unexpectedly, citizens across all walks of life started voicing their hostility towards a society that made it a virtue to leave your neighbor in destitution just so you could drive a Rolls Royce or fly to the Riviera in your private jet.
Questions finally arose in the otherwise stale air of societal dogma that had lowered intellectual discourse to the level of mantra chanting. No longer were people content to accept the mere bones that were thrown their way but instead demanded more than a subservient position. They demanded unperturbed equality in an economic system that currently permitted absolute self-determination only for those with the money and power to exercise this segregated right.
The people, the majority, were agitated; they were determined to take back their government - their lives, from those who desired a return to an era of medieval aristocracy. Gradually building from offhanded remarks made between workers, Internet remarks posted on many different forums, hardcopy written material distributed to those without the means or desire to use the web - all was culminating towards an explosive eruption of rage.
The government attempted to control, disrupt, and eventually stop the outflow of insightful written and verbal protest but the old laws guaranteeing a semblance of freedom of speech for all citizens made outright censuring impossible. So they resorted to a 'backdoor' tactic suggested by a group of business lawyers. They'd expand the boundaries of the defamation laws to include any criticizing of public persons, the government, and of course businesses. No longer would it be permissible to have an opinion that deviated from that held by a majority of businesses, government agencies, and those 'withering' members of the intelligentsia. All members of the 'community' of citizens would henceforth be required to tailor their spoken, written, and visual information to conform to the easily manipulated majority opinions continually pontificated by squawking media parrots. Those violating this 'accepted norm' could be sued and if it was found that they'd crossed the many lines drawn up by the many bought out government entities they might even be incarcerated for up to twenty years.
This crackdown on an overly vocal citizenry had the opposite effect than that intended by the government. Citizens not only continued to voice their discontent with the corrupt government acting solely in the interests of their business masters but they intensified their actions to the point that court dockets overflowed with thousands then millions of these "vocal malcontents". The well-constructed, finely manipulated society that the business elite constructed was on the verge of falling into anarchy.
Sparks of savage protest began rocking the remaining peaceful membrane of acquiescence. These actions began to forcefully push back a government surrogate acting on behalf of the powerful. It was the same government that was intent upon stuffing the general citizenry in a ditch of unmitigated life sucking servitude. Hands shot up high with fists tight in a sign of defiance. Hundreds of thousands rioted, all their pent up frustration burst out in an uncontrolled rage. Entire cities were overrun with angry citizens demanding more than mere promises. They demanded labor rights, wages that covered more than the bare necessities, and a truly representative government free from lobbyist vermin.
Common people who'd never voiced an opinion became the forerunners of a citizen army that tore at the purse strings of the powerful. They're demands were more basic than their more organized unionized citizens - equity, equality, term limits for all elected representatives of the people, the outlawing of all forms of lobbying, and a real representative government answerable to the people not business organizations.
Most citizens had stood by while their lives were torched by the government/business stranglehold that had forced their backs up against the wall. But this past of passivity was over because everyone realized that there would be no future for his or her children, no promising horizon of opportunity unless they took action now. These patriots of uncommon courage understood that even if they affect meaningful changes in a society cemented to the wishes of a few sociopaths it would be their children who'd reap the benefits. The short term future would either become bleaker under a repressive government that had thrown out the last spec of freedom or hard like a long day's work in a quarry. Either way there'd be no immediate relief if any from the clutches of poverty.
Those who had wanted to have their children attend a university but were now wondering where the day's dinner would come from exploded. Millions expressed their rage at the stilted system that reserved the best universities and schools for those with money. An inferior education was dished out like slop for the majority of citizens who could no longer pay the double digit increases in tuition and taxes charged by this lower tier of the educational system - for many a university education for their children had been beyond their means to pay for a very long time.
An evolving lower caste of working citizens, poor, unemployed, homeless, and the powerless not in the good graces of the powerful in the political and business circles lashed out at those who enforced the status quo - the government operatives, county administrators, mayors; anyone who upheld the degenerating society. The representatives of the corrupt society could find no safe haven; they were constantly badgered, and tormented by those who they were supposed to represent. Simply pleading with the citizen mobs that were determined to bring a modicum of justice to their lives was a useless act in futility. The people were demanding action because they'd already heard far too many words.
This was a signal that they finally realized that good government insured life, liberty, and happiness. For any government that allowed an entire society to be swallowed up by a gluttonous greedy few was nothing more than a large organized crime family. If a government's existence was derived from its constituents then this government had absolutely lost its mandate to rule. It no longer reflected the will of the people but only the ambitions of an insignificant sneaky few conniving leaches - the halls of power overflowing with legislators acting in the best interests of the people and their country had become vacant.