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carla zeus

Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:05:40
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After helplessly watching the decline of population for many decades, perhaps centuries, the World Government decided to take the obvious step, which, moreover, was sanctioned by scripture. For it was part of the sacred canon that some day, when there was great need of workers, the sleepers must be wakened. The rulers now declared that the time had come. In panic and without proper preparation it ordered the physiologists to thaw out the whole refrigerated multitude. The process was a delicate one, and the instructions left by an earlier and brighter generation were at first badly bungled. Millions were killed, or woke up to a brief period of misery and bewilderment, speedily followed by death. Millions more survived only for a life of permanent invalidism or insanity. The majority, however, though seriously damaged by their rough awakening, were fit for active life of a sort. But they had slept through much history. Their minds had been formed by a world long vanished. Their speech and thought were often so archaic that modern individuals could not understand them. Their limbs, and their minds too, moved at first with painful sluggishness. Their procreative impulses were apparently quenched. Moreover they gradually discovered that their new world was even less propitious than the old one. Some of them, when they had entirely thrown off the miasma of their age-long sleep and had painfully adjusted themselves to the new environment, proved to be rather more quick-witted than their normal neighbours in the new world. And, as they had not been brought up to accept the recent and more extravagant prejudices of the new world, they were generally very critical of the modern customs and institutions. In fact they soon became a grave nuisance to the authorities. The Government hastened to order that all the ‘reawakened’ should at once be fitted with radio control. This obvious precaution had been delayed less through fear of putting them to too great a strain before they had recovered from the effects of refrigeration, than out of an amazingly stupid reluctance to raise them to the rank of citizens. Millions were now subjected to the operation. Half of these died under the anaesthetic. Millions more put up a desperate resistance and had to be destroyed. Here and there, where there was a large concentration of the ‘reawakened’, they were able to seize power and set up a rebel state. The spectacle of human beings resisting authority was utterly bewildering to the robot citizens of the world-state. In many minds there arose an agonizing conflict between the orthodox radio-generated will and a shocking impulse to rebel. This would probably not have occurred had not the technique of radio-control seriously degenerated, owing to the general decline of intelligence. Many of the unfortunate sub-humans (for men were no longer human) went mad or died under the stress of this conflict. Some succeeded in resisting the control and joined the rebels. It almost appeared that an era of new hope was to begin for the human race. Unfortunately the ‘reawakened’ could not stand the strain. While their cause prospered, all was well with them, but every passing misfortune was accompanied by a great crop of suicides. So little heart had they for life. One by one the rebel centres collapsed, till none was left.

The poob housed the village sports trophies, historical relics, and art treasures. It contained also, normally behind curtains, but displayed on great occasions, the village ‘ark’. This was at once a safe where valuable documents were preserved, a mascot, a sacred symbol, and a shrine. The ark was a great carved chest, often surmounted by a symbolic statue or picture. Sometimes it was the work of local craftsmen, sometimes it was a much treasured import from the near-by city or some foreign land. These objects varied greatly in aesthetic value and in symbolic power. A few were visited by pilgrims from every part of the planet. Others, though dear and sacred to the hearts of their own villagers, drew no attention from elsewhere. These symbols sometimes represented in a stylized manner incidents of special significance in the life of the village or the nation or mankind. Sometimes they symbolized love or reason or family, or the unity of the human race, or man’s relation to the cosmos. On any solemn occasion, such as a marriage or one of the regular ‘days of contemplation’, the ark would be unveiled, and the assembled villagers would sit in silence for a few minutes before it. Music would follow, choral or instrumental, and then the brief and simple ceremony would be performed by the village headman or some specially deputed villager or stranger, either with some well-established form of words or impromptu, or perhaps with silent gesture. When the ceremony was over the ark would be once more veiled, and the villagers would drink or feed together.

Another curious aspect of this degenerate culture was that, along with ‘the unconscious’, reason was deified; and this in spite of the bitter condemnation of the exercise of free intelligence. But sacred reason was nothing whatever like ordinary human reasoning. It was the occult rationality of the universe, forever inaccessible to man. Everything, it was said, had in the divine view its reason. Everything followed necessarily from the divine reason. In the human sphere free intelligence was an impious attempt to probe the divine reason. The true scope for man’s own divine spark of reason was not in the free exercise of intelligence but in the pious and unquestioning study of the metaphysical arguments of the inspired scriptures.

With the fall of America the human race had succeeded for the first time in establishing the political unity of the whole planet. The imperial Chinese government now assumed the title ‘The Celestial Government of the World’, and ordered celebrations in every town and every household of the planet. Everywhere desperate efforts were made to produce tolerable specimens of the ancient Chinese dragon flag, which had been revived by the second empire and was henceforth to be the dreaded emblem of the world-government. Everywhere, even on the blood-stained Russian plains, this emblem, or some crude approximation to it, was now anxiously flaunted. It was affirmed that at last the green Chinese dragon had devoured the red orb that had for so long hung tantalizingly before him in the golden sky. The red orb was no longer interpreted as the sun of Japan but as the red world of Russian imperialism. It was added in a whisper that, with luck the dragon might soon die of indigestion.

iv. The Population Problem


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