In 1927 Stalin wrought a modern industrial state through Bourgeois sabotage.
It was a nightmare; the courts were arrested and so were the cops, their faces were all pasted on walls in some strange warning collage.
The future belonged to engineers, and the philosopher kings, and the swords of their men. “Bolsheviks must become specialists,” he said, and education was a means and an end. Society was the machine. Humans were cogs which engineers grew, bellowing, “We invite you to a city of blazing furnaces, and fraternal and winding drives, and we humbly extend an invitation to comb these honeyed hives- this is the city we built for you. Come, insects, and live out your lives!”
Like most cities, it is derelict.
It was a model city, organized around a steel mill, poured into frames ashen and strict.
They started fresh, though- picked out the best all over. Took pride in a thing like that, in building the new world in the heart of the old. It was like an American city of steel, all brickwork and cutpurse, flashy and cold.
It was a world of peaches and screams. Young, bright engineers became the heroes of society, and relaxed in the shadow of the industrial palaces they built for technocrats. Meanwhile, the wolves howled and the wind blew across the endless Russian Steppe. Meanwhile, Stalin purged the enemies of the people, the old Bolsheviks who ruled the country as commissars. Meanwhile, history rolled on, and over the bodies and into the dark. Meanwhile, the motherland was saved from the Nazis by the engineers, and Rationality.
Vast reconstruction warped the USSR; it was a towering industrial society, but in the sweep of its ambitions lay the seeds of its downfall. As usual. The quota was coffins, novels and knives- all was planned, and when Stalin died the machinery of terror fled for a time. Not from everywhere, though. As usual.
Socialism completed great things, they say, and opened the path to taking people’s power away. The years of stagnation, or the economic crisis in the 60’s and 70’s, or the extinction of the dinosaurs, or the hair in the hors d’ouevres, or the ten mighty hammers that failed and split, or the four horsemen riding their horses like whores who spit and chomp on the bit; it all didn’t matter.
Because the Dreamers would manipulate terror using the methods of science, free from the chaos and uncertainty that had led to terrible wars in the past. Their tool?
Well, Sam Cohen created the Neutron Bomb.
“It all sounded so damn rational and so damn reasonable. I think the consequences were fairly plain. How to defend from a weapon like that? Young academics who thought science could bring the cold war back under Russia’s control said that the answer was to build a bigger weapon. The biggest one the Dreamers ever built was the public relations industry, which ran on Freud and fear. But that’s aside the point. The point is… well, come to think of it, what is the point?”
"Well, what’s a bigger weapon than fear?"
"Hope and fear chase each other’s tails. It all should have been kept well-balanced, and I’m not talking about some Tony-the-Tiger breakfast. Equilibrium would set them straight; a few drops of love to dilute all the hate," whispers the soldier before she lays a flattered tag upon yet another mangled corpse-in-a-box before its cemented into place, another brick in The Wall.
A Failsafe System would convince the Soviets that the delicate balance of terror could not be upset, they said. And hell, it took all they had- intelligence, resources, courage, shopping malls and Barbie dolls and finely-crafted and highly-polished and well-attended marble dining halls and, above all, a swift Cuban kick into Uncle Sam’s balls. The real danger was the subversion, or the attack on a more stable balance. The soviets had only 4 missiles, not 600. So, why war? The Institute answers with a question to serve their purposes, “Why war? Why fight a war in a wildly irrational fashion? The post-war environment will not be so hostile as to preclude normal and happy lives. Let’s be rational. We war to prevent catastrophe, and protect our foreign interests. We war for peace…and, uh…freedom! Yeah, freedom! Hey Bill, you writing this down?”
“Hey is for horses, Chuck.”
"But you’re a regualr workhorse, ain’t ya, Bill?"
"I am going to slap you, Chuck. Slap you right in the mouth."
They think rationally about nuclear war (The analysts were human beings [they were megalomaniacs]) and they were in full control.
A single, collective wargasm shuddering through the American heartland could’ve been mistaken for the death throes of Democracy, if you washed off some of the blood and looked at it real carefully.
They sought to save democracy from communism by destroying democracy. That’s reasonable. That’s logical. That’s rational.
The cold war was done through fear, though, not rationality. They have made a theology of using science to cause then solve political problems, replacing religion, and these kinds of mysterious forces are the tools of the masters who own and control everything now.
"Are you a tool, too?" the soldier whispers to the coloured kid that hangs in the clear blue sky.
They had a vision of society that would be glorious, and they were apostles of rationality, going out and applying techniques and methods of thinking to bring to bear systematic rational thinking to the air-conditioned desert people in their snow boots sipping hot chocolate with ice cubes.
They were not insoluble, these all-powerful courtiers in an age of reason, and as their power increased so too did their ambitions- they thought their techniques could predict the future.
It’s fairly easy to predict the future with a live nuke up your ass. Fertility control, controlled thermo-nuclear power, man-machine symbiosis, violent consumption, habitat destruction, continued urbanization and complete genetic control… and whatever else you want for the low, low price of your everything.
But science was disillusioned, and people became zealots.
“My fellow Americans-
I ask for your prayers,
and just one more twist.
Another lie, or costly scientific ideal that will cure all the sick. Another guy who can charge to feed the five thousand, or another steel Brit who’ll play all our games, or help make the rules, and not sleep with the public and unions and all those other damned fools.”
Star wars didn’t destroy the Soviet Union.
It was a seductive plan that did it, a Dream- that and a country’s wealth. A country’s health. They needed to devalue the millions, the booming populations, and it became a game- a gimmick. A trick.
Look at the details of The Dream, of The Plan, and what effects these might have- the longhairs and scholars laboriously worked through it, and tried to find a solution but, not being told to do it, fell short of ending the nightmare. Of ending apple pie and baseball on weekends. Because the wholesome, unique methods and thought paths, attainable yet particular, were obliterated by rational flows. Material achievement was key and sensual and reliable, and everyone no longer knows how money behaves. Because they can’t see the plan stained on their hands, or the choices they had, or how they’re affected by the ones that they made. And anything can seem sane in a land of the mad where the brave make their home, and chase their tails and their dreams.
"You’re too late," I whisper to me, when I’m cold and alone.
"No you’re not!" no one screams.