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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 06:13 AM
Original message
A capitalist 1984 (corporations ruling the world)...
...some of you might remember Freedom is Slavery, my idea for a novel of a world, ruled by corporate monopolies, where the situation of the 80-something percent of the population that's lower class makes downtown Detroit look pleasant. Since I presented this idea back in January, I got stuck at the 10,000 word mark because I just couldn't connect that part to what happens almost immediately after. On the other hand, I'm thinking of either rewriting a major portion of what I've done so far or changing a small part toward the end of what I've written and forcing myself to continue.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know, the idea of Freedom is Slavery is that toward the end of the 21st century, the world is firmly under the grasp of 15 privately-held monopolies collectively called the Cartel, as well as this of a tiny ruling class that represents the top 0.25% people. The bottom 99.75%, divided into lower and middle classes (solely by income - none has any power) of about 85% and 15% respectively, are virtually property. Freedom of enterprise ends when you try to compete against the Cartel, whose control of the market and more importantly, raw materials, easily beats this of Standard Oil at its height. Nonetheless, the Cartel uses the rhetoric of freedom, liberty, peace, and choice, just like communist nations talked about how they belonged to the people and the workers even though they only belonged to the communist party. The actual story is about a programmer, David Gilliam, who stumbles upon a plan to dehydrate most of the middle class, about how the Cartel stages a work accident, a (privately-owned) police inspection, and a plane crash in order to eliminate him for knowing too much, and about how he finally emerges as a revolutionary leader who needs to juggle his way between corporatism and just-as-bad communism.

I'm saying this because I would like to hear any suggestions from DU's members. More specifically:

- Should the Cartel be liberal or conservative on personal issues such as sex and abortion?
- Should air be private or still public?
- Should there be any libertarian think-tanks (Ayn Rand Institute, Cato, whatever) providing ideological justification for the Cartel?
- Should there still be any art?
- What length should be the usual workweek - 60 hours? 70? 80? Anything else?
- Is it important to have all 15 Cartel corporations identified in name and industry (i.e. software, construction, automobiles, etc.)? If so, then what should they be?
- Should the police/army be private (i.e. one corporation), or jointly owned by all 15 corporations?
- Should there finally be a revolution against the Cartel? If so, then what should it create - a democracy? a communist tyranny? a second Cartel?
- Should the Cartel use 1984 and Animal Farm as anti-communist propaganda?
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soupkitchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. The questions that have to be answered are
Edited on Fri Jul-11-03 04:28 PM by soupkitchen
Are the police going to be wearing Nike or Addidas logos?
Is this novel going to be set before or after the great World War between Coke and Pepsi drinkers?
Actually, I think your idea is ripe with possibilities.
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. As opposed to Jennifer Government...
...I don't think that corporatism invites a war between corporations. Rather, I predict that it will create mergers, takeovers, and consolidation, as cartellization as opposed to price warfare is almost always in all corporations' best interest. That, I think, is the main difference between my idea and Jennifer Government, in which corporations fight one another instead of cooperate against the common enemy (the people).
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soupkitchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Well,
What you're saying is that there will be one corporation, the elite being the corporate stockholders. Socialism for the rich.
To think that there will be a series of corporations working together is deny the human instincts that drove men to form corporations in the first place: the need to dominate others. Or as Bruce Springsteen put it, "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, king ain't satisfied till he owns everything."
As long as you have two corporate entities they're going to compete with each other. That's what they do. That's their raison d'etre. They aren't here to do God's work, they're here to do corporate work. Which is naturally expansionist. It's about lying and cheating and destroying and justifying such behavior by pointing to profits
But this natural instinct of corporations to dominate, to dominate each other, also provides you a pretext for empowering the proles to revolt. Simply, one of the corporations helps them thinking that is the way to destroy the other corporation.
What that coporation doesn't realize is that the other corporation is empowering the underclass also. So the underclass end up with twice as many weapons as either corporation thinks they have.
Anyway, I'm just having fun.
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Try Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
1984 was a take on the totalitarian Communist regimes. Brave New World is the dystopia of Capitalism run amok. I think our future looks more like Huxley.
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mrfrapp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. 1984 vs Brave New World
1984 was a take on totalitarian regimes in general not just those of a Communist flavour. This of course includes fascism, which is, according to Mussolini, "the merging of corporation and state". (The quote in full reads, "Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power"). I've always read 1984 therefore as a critique of how capitalism might be subverted and bastardised in the same way communism was in the Soviet Union.

Brave New World is more obviously a critique of capitalism of course,
but I don't think those themes are in our future. They're here right now and have been for some time.


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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. good point
I read BNW again last year, and you are right, it's not our future, it pretty much our present. Scary.
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Yaoi_Huntress_Earth Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Cool idea
I like it so far. As for your questions...

1) I'm thinking along the lines of mixed messages, like we have now a days with sex. The Cartel could absolutely forbid knowledge of birth control and sexual responcibility in schools (in the name of morality) and then bombard people with sexy images in their adds. Make them feel honry with out any protection and ta-dah more future workers.

2) The safer and better airlines could be private, but there'd be some cruddy ones for the middle class to use.

3)Go ahead with the think-tanks. It'll help keep them in power.

4) Yes, but only the most watered-down and "family friendly" art that meets the Cartel's approval through some "morality" think-tank group.

5) Go with the 1984/Animal Farm propaganda. It'll make great fun with disutopian fans.

6) As for what the revolution brings, about leaving it up to the reader?

7) How about labeling the Cartel that are the most important to the story?

8) The police and army, I'd go with one corp.

9) As for the the work week, I'm not so sure. But, I could see them slowly bringing the conditions back to early 1900's standards. They could just claim all those comforts were communistic.

Anyway, I wish you luck.
Love,
Yaoi Huntress Earth
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Thanks for the input
As for point number 2, I wasn't talking about airlines but about air for breathing. I read once that Native Americans regarded land as something to be shared by all and thought that privatizing land was as absurd as privatizing air. So, I thought, why not go with privatizing air, in the spirit of capitalism?

All good points, anyway :).
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DrGonzoLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. OK
- Should the Cartel be liberal or conservative on personal issues such as sex and abortion?

It depends - is there a dollar to be made? With sex and abortion, I would think so; abortion is a service to be provided, and condoms/birth control/whatever can be sold. Besides, by leaving things like that up to the consumer, they can create the illusion that the consumer is free.

- Should air be private or still public?

By air - you mean the stuff we breathe or the airwaves? If by oxygen, yeah, it should probably be free, as the mechanism to monitor it would be more expenisve than the income.

- Should there be any libertarian think-tanks (Ayn Rand Institute, Cato, whatever) providing ideological justification for the Cartel?

If there are only fifteen companies, then who needs an outside entity to justify them? No one has any choice anymore. Might as well just have these companies release a steady stream of propaganda to everyone, telling them that the system is OK and everyone is fine.

- Should there still be any art?

There will be some corporate-approved art, after all, the wealthy want baubles to put up in their mansions, and corporate honchos want expensive sculptures for their buildings. It's similar to the Middle Ages when the Church built huge, magnificent cathedrals in order to cow the peasants their into obedience.

- What length should be the usual workweek - 60 hours? 70? 80? Anything else?

70 hours for most people, no overtime, no paid vacation or holidays, can be fired for any reason...et cetera.

- Is it important to have all 15 Cartel corporations identified in name and industry (i.e. software, construction, automobiles, etc.)? If so, then what should they be?

Don't use real company names - you would find so many lawsuits in your mailbox that you would faint from shock. But, having a monopoly in each major industry is a good idea (reduce choice, enforce power). I would even go so far as to have them compete in minor matters, like laundromats or something, to give people the illusion of capitalist competition.

- Should the police/army be private (i.e. one corporation), or jointly owned by all 15 corporations?

I would have each company have their own police forces and army.

- Should there finally be a revolution against the Cartel? If so, then what should it create - a democracy? a communist tyranny? a second Cartel?

If you mean in one book, no. A revolution like that would take years, if not generations. Besides, think of the factions involved in the overthrow; I imagine it would like the leftist forces in the Spanish Civil War (read Orwell's Homage to Catalonia).

- Should the Cartel use 1984 and Animal Farm as anti-communist propaganda?

Might as well, that's how they're used anyway.
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Okay...
1. I'm not sure about contraception. In the USSR, there was very little contraception, but easily-available abortion. This way, the government could outlaw abortion any time if birth rates were too low. Some abortion can be available, but price controls can be used to keep birth rates at exactly where the Cartel needs them.

2. Yes, I meant oxygen. The monitoring idea sounds pretty clever to me; with the density and pollution in cities, people are going to need monitoring pretty badly.

3. I'd think that the media monopoly could release the constant propaganda...

4. Corporate-approved art... The Ayn Rand Institute used the Machiavellian argument that freedom of speech didn't mean that universities couldn't fire dissident professors in support of doing just that, so the Cartel can do the same to art.

5. Okay, regarding the workweek.

6. As for real company names, I know that Max Barry used them in both of his novels, Syrup and Jennifer Government, and hasn't gotten any lawsuits so far.

7. I'm still undecided about police, to be honest.

8. You're right about the time revolutions take; to make matters worse, I usually write about short periods of time - four days, one week, maybe even two weeks - but definitely not years.

9. True. As a Catch-22, both books might have several anti-capitalist parts (e.g. Goldstein's book) censored to prevent socialist sentiments from spreading among the masses.
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Bok_Tukalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. My Suggestions
<<- Should the Cartel be liberal or conservative on personal issues such as sex and abortion?>>

Libertarian (whether that's liberal or conservative is anybody's guess). Permissive in the extreme.

<<- Should air be private or still public?>>

Everything is private. Nothing is held by the public.

<<- Should there be any libertarian think-tanks (Ayn Rand Institute, Cato, whatever) providing ideological justification for the Cartel?>>

Yes. It's called the Media.

<<- Should there still be any art?>>

Yes. Mostly pornographic.

<<- What length should be the usual workweek - 60 hours? 70? 80? Anything else?>>

20 hours a week or rotating (work 6 months unemployed 6 months) with a constant state of fear of losing the paltry hours you have.

<<- Is it important to have all 15 Cartel corporations identified in name and industry (i.e. software, construction, automobiles, etc.)? If so, then what should they be?>>

Absolutely. Each should be an almost cult like group with readily identifiable icons.

<<- Should the police/army be private (i.e. one corporation), or jointly owned by all 15 corporations?>>

Unless you want conflict between the members of the cartel, it would have to be one independent private police force/army with other members vying for their services.

<<- Should there finally be a revolution against the Cartel? If so, then what should it create - a democracy? a communist tyranny? a second Cartel?>>

A theocracy (from the ashes of the "religion" company in the Cartel).

<<- Should the Cartel use 1984 and Animal Farm as anti-communist propaganda?>>

No way.
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Interrobang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. If you've ever noticed...
A lot of the real uber-capitalists are what you might describe as "socially liberal"; ie. they allow sex, abortion, feminism, etc., but they're legally and fiscally right-wing. That's what I see in the future, anyway. They don't so much care what the proles do with themselves for fun, just so long as nothing gets in the way of their profits.

One tactic you might want to take in describing your world is not to bog your readers down in endless, endless detail. Concentrate your energies into fleshing out, for instance, ONE corporation, and don't bother too much about the details of the others. If you do it right, with a sort of smoke-and-mirrors misdirection ethos, you'll wind up creating a better world without telling a 200 page story in 700 pages, or something. The best way of doing this is passim references.

Some stuff you might like to read as source/inspirational material are:

Non-fiction source material:

_When Corporations Rule The World_, D. Korten
_Water_, M. de Villiers
_All You Can Eat_, L. McQuaig
_Rolling Back the 20th Century_, W. Greider, the Nation (magazine article)

Fiction for world-building tips:

_Norstrillia_, Cordwainer Smith, also "The Dead Lady of Clown Town," "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard," "The Game of Rat and Dragon," etc.
_He, She, and It_, Marge Piercy
_Other Americas_, Norman Spinrad
_Neuromancer_, William Gibson
_A Good Old Fashioned Future_, _Globalhead_, Bruce Sterling
_The Silicon Dagger_, Jack Williamson

Historical Background for Inference and Context:

_The Jungle_, Upton Sinclair
_Jennie Gerhardt_, Theodore Dreiser
_McTeague_, Frank Norris

Seems to me, though, that you're retreading over some already well-trodden ground. Good luck; hope you can come up with something original. :)
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I'll try and check that reading list...
...as for the corporations, I never even tried to focus on more than two (the software and the construction firms). Anyway, what exactly do you mean by smoke-and-mirrors misdirection ethos? More precisely, how exactly do you think I should implement that in FiS?
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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. Interesting
What an interesting idea. You don't say how the middle class is to be dehydrated (and I have to wonder, doesn't the cartel need their labor?). Regardless, there is a small but emerging trend to allow private corporations to own aquifers. Maybe the cartel has so polluted public water supplies that it now is in a position to use its privately owned water as weapon...

- Should the Cartel be liberal or conservative on personal issues such as sex and abortion?

In your future world, what best advances their intertests? Do they need more workers (and therefore would push an agenda that would increase birthrates) or is the population putting a strain on their resources? Thier "morality" can be predicted by thier objectives.

- Should air be private or still public?

For travel or for breathing? See the water scenario above.

- Should there be any libertarian think-tanks (Ayn Rand Institute, Cato, whatever) providing ideological justification for the Cartel?

Again, what meets their goals? Do they want a society free from almost all government; or are they better served by some other political philosophy?

- Should there still be any art?

Only as it serves the interests of the cartel.

- What length should be the usual workweek - 60 hours? 70? 80? Anything else?

What serves the cartel. I can imagine a scenario where maybe a 10-hour week is in order, or maybe a total welfare state.

- Is it important to have all 15 Cartel corporations identified in name and industry (i.e. software, construction, automobiles, etc.)? If so, then what should they be?

- Digestibles (food)
- ingestibles (alcohol, drugs)
- physiological necessities (air and water)
- command and control (software, finance, etc.)
- security (police, militray, survielence, etc.)
- Housing and storage (homes, apartments, reservations, jails)
- Transportation/logistics/distribution

More I'm sure, but just a few ideas.

- Should there finally be a revolution against the Cartel? If so, then what should it create - a democracy? a communist tyranny? a second Cartel?

Democracy, of course.

- Should the Cartel use 1984 and Animal Farm as anti-communist propaganda?

What is a threat to them? Communism or democracy.

I always enjoy these kinds of stories when they are grounded in some sort of plausable relaity. You might pick up a copy of "When Corporations Rule the World" (nonfiction) and see how this is already unfolding.
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cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Cartels and Brands
The Brands are their real gold, their ticket to mindshare which they value above productivity.

"- Is it important to have all 15 Cartel corporations identified in name and industry (i.e. software, construction, automobiles, etc.)? If so, then what should they be?

"- Digestibles (food)
"- ingestibles (alcohol, drugs)..."


I think it should be opposite! In the sense that conglomerates will be ultra-diversified and contain hundreds of Brands that (because of subcontracting) are all very homogenous except for appearance. Each conglomerate will have several petrol brands, food, drugs, more drugs, content/infotainment/software, transportation, etc.

They should all have a piece of all the industries and services that Liberals consider essential, esp. the ones that are normally state-run.
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Total Welfare State...
...is about the last thing the Cartel wants. It needs workers in order to fuel itself, and a long workweek is much cheaper and more efficient than bread and circuses.
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cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
15. My take
+ The Cartel could be liberal in name, conservative in nature. Women would be widely victimized, and wear shoulder-pads (and present other masculine traits) to prove their virginity or somesuch. This is the opposite of the red sash.

+ Oxygen could become scarce (the evironmental effect of a badly-conceived hydrogen economy based on fossil fuel). You would need to spend your working/sleeping/leisure time near oxygen dispensers which are supplied by a cartel-member brand.

+ Libertarian think-tanks were either outlawed (betrayed), or taken over by conservatives. Libertarianism was bad for 'homeland security', so now we have a Libertarianism that promotes fear of some (international group) and manufactures from any vagueness or misunderstanding the pretexts for invasion and siezing of resources of dark-skinned nations.

+ Creativity/art in exaltation of the Brands is rampant. Yet few people have ever met such artists. Independant artists have their 'independant' status to attest for their 'talenlentless nothingness'; Their work does not have the polish or bluster of the Brands, and their incompetence (lack of resources) leads constantly to blashphemous incursions on Brands' intellectual property. The IP-wars are like the drug wars of today, and keep the prisons full; The famous cases are usually non-Brand, political and treated with pity.

+ Officially the workweek is 40 hrs. However, everyone is a contactor on paper, and works 60+ hours a week from home. Work has an isolating /alienating quality to it, and productivity is low because of the intense distraction coming from the many communication devices (constant advertising for the sake of the Brands' mindshare - it is presented as art). The dittoheads gush about how much vibrancy this brings to their lives. The comm. devices rarely work across Brands, so you can't communicate or organize effectively with most of your neighbors or "co-workers". Only corporations with immense resources can make these work together effectively (and this is on purpose).

+ Tech. innovation has been reduced to and celebrated as fashion. Truly revolutionary/unplanned innovations are "really" an attempt by the talentless nothings to steal money or property. When things get really out of hand, the courts interpret junk patents very broadly against the innovators and the media becomes 'shocked' that these straglers would steal so blatantly.

+ You may want to have 6 conglomerates, with many, many Brands each. Don't name them all if you have 15. Corporations/conglomerates are rarely discussed; only Brands.

+ Police are an old-fashioned idea, and there are some still around to protect social servants (people appointed by the Shares College to govern over the community of Brands.. i.e. the civil servants and politicians). Their public image is dubious, similar to clandestine thugs, what with their incestuous client/protector/commander situations (they all reside in the same community!). Everyone else can address security issues through their HR dept. (which is outsourced and coordinated in another country).

+ You may want to show what a thwarted revolution would be like. Show how this structure could become a point of no return, a sort of plutocratic singularity.

+ 1984 and Animal Farm would be exalted at first, but after they inspire a civic self-determination movement, the consumers of the far future really don't know them expect by their revised synopsis; The media have otherwise drowned them out and they are forever "on backorder".

+ A Memory Hole should exist as a commoditized product; something which proliferated via a desire to escape persecution in the IP wars. In the early days, this was done with encrypted storage, and there are rumors of a citizens (rebel) underground that possess and can read these repositories, and that have ways to detect and disable RFID tags.

+ Demonstrate economic violence. People are disappeared through money or credit status, and criminals get the opposite treatment of 1984: They expect to pay fines or go to jail or become indentured, but in reality their lives are shortened in prison or the famous ones are killed by 'random' violence.

+ Demonstrate the qualitative and quantitive effect of corporatism on consumers' lives. The words "people" and "person" have fallen out of use. The "individual" is constantly mentioned, but that is the "consumer". The personal rebellion starts with some rejection of the pervasive consumer identity.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
17. some ideas
- Should the Cartel be liberal or conservative on personal issues such as sex and abortion? (etc.)

different multinational cartel members should have different social views, which could be used to keep the proles divided--perhaps reality TV shows pitting religious dogmatists against socially "enlightened" proponents in fights to the death--combination "big game sports" with cult of personality with broadcast carnage.

Workweek--100 hours for those who work, but most people don't work at all.

Army/police owned by the state, which is owned by the Cartel, but can play the ambiguity to its advantage.

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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
18. answers
Edited on Fri Jul-11-03 06:01 PM by ButterflyBlood
- Should the Cartel be liberal or conservative on personal issues such as sex and abortion?

* Whatever suits them at the time. If they want more population they take actions to increase it, if they want less they take actions to decrease it, neither of which is exclusively liberal or conservative (for example if they wanted to increase population they would drop uptight sex attitudes and abstinence education but also would cut down on abortion and birth control)

- Should air be private or still public?

* If by air travel, private, if by oxygen, public. it's practically impossible to privatize that

- Should there be any libertarian think-tanks (Ayn Rand Institute, Cato, whatever) providing ideological justification for the Cartel?

* Yes, but mostly as front groups.

- Should there still be any art?

* Yes, but only for commercial purposes.

- What length should be the usual workweek - 60 hours? 70? 80? Anything else?

* Varied and depending on many factors

- Is it important to have all 15 Cartel corporations identified in name and industry (i.e. software, construction, automobiles, etc.)? If so, then what should they be?

* I would say so, with each one controlling one section of the economy totally. I also like the idea of something like a person who works for one getting the company logo tattooed on them or something. However the names should be very generic, the automobile company is just called The Automobile Corporation, software is just called The Software Corporation, ect.

- Should the police/army be private (i.e. one corporation), or jointly owned by all 15 corporations?

* Make it one of the corporations. A private, for hire, mercenary force

- Should there finally be a revolution against the Cartel? If so, then what should it create - a democracy? a communist tyranny? a second Cartel?

*I like the idea of one of the corporations trying to break loose, claiming that it will bring freedom, and then creating a second Cartel.

- Should the Cartel use 1984 and Animal Farm as anti-communist propaganda?

At first, but if people start to note the similarities between them and the current system then they "disappear" and the government takes a view on their existance similar to 1984's views on the wars.
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-03 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. It's possible to privatize air, I think
First, it's possible to have one corporation owning all air and allowing people to breathe it in exchange for a flat "air tax." Second, if the air in cities is polluted enough so that, for example, it's unsafe to breathe it for more than 2 hours consecutively, then people might have to buy clean air and shut their apartments so that they can use it without the pollution coming in.

On another note, in FiS the Cartel had completely overthrown the government by 2020 (the novel itself takes place in 2097), so there's no government to disappear people, only the private army/police.

All good ideas, anyway :D.
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
21. Your biggest problem...
...is that at the end of the 21st Century, the world is going to be in complete bedlam. Lack of energy and clean water, ecological and meteorological disaster, and the disruption of "Western Civilization" will make your story pretty much impossible. Many millions, likely billions, will be dying worldwide from famine, pestilence, disease, violence, and weather-related catastrophes. It's going to be mighty ugly.

And that's not even taking into account the big impact from the heavens that the geological record proves we are due for any day now. Or the eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera which is overdue.

For those of you born in the last twenty years: do your grandkids a favor...don't have them.
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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Probably...
...but corporations can reap huge profits off people's basic needs with solar energy just as well as they can with oil. As for the meteor impact, I'm not really sure about it (I've read that the impact is once every 26-30 million years and there was an impact 65 million years ago that killed the dinosaurs, so we have at least 13 million years to go), and anyway we're talking about a scale of millions of years so "about now" means anytime in the next few millennia.
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. You need to check your math...
...in your post first, then go back and bone up on your science.

According to your post, we are overdue by a factor of two for the extinction level impact you mention.

Secondly, I wasn't referring to something as large as the asteroid at the KT Boundary. We experience impacts like the one that made the crater in Arizona at intervals far less than a million years apart. Even something on the level of the Tunguska impact (which was tiny on an astronomical scale) would be disastrous when one considers the tensions in a nuclear-tipped world.

Add any sizable asteroid collision to our erratically shifting climate and it certainly complicates matters.

But, even without these extraterrestrial interventions, our present progression is ample to deliver widespread chaos and disaster before the dawn of the 22nd Century. I'm just glad I'll be long gone before the middle of this one.
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jollyreaper Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
23. reply
Well, this is annoying. Redeye, I tried sending you a PM but since I'm a new user, the board software says I don't have enough posts. Grumble-user hostile interface-grumble-won't even let me pick my own unique avatar-grumble.

Anyway, I'm thinking that the world is definately tending more towards Brave New World in that we're already most of the way there. I think that the 1984 take on things was a bit too cinematic, too overt. Real oppression will be a little more subtle. But I think he also made 1984 so exaggerated to serve as a warning. After all, you don't warn people away from something by making it seem benign. I think the scary thing about Brave New World is that so many people were genuinely happy with that society.

I've been playing around with the sort of idea you're talking about myself. Got a comic and a novel that goes with it. The funny thing, I came up with the storyline back when Clinton was in office and nobody had ever heard of Georgie W. The way things have played out in real life are disturbingly close to the future history I came up with. At any rate, if you're interested, check out the links below.

Comic
http://ghost2138.org/issues /

War and Scheiss, the novel
http://ghost2138.org/extras /

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redeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Yeah, I'm interested
The novel looks promising, from the first chapter. I'll look more deeply into it and PM you about it (you can reply to PMs other members send you even if your postcount is 1).
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Must_B_Free Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
25. how is trhis any different than the near future?
isn't this how it almost is now?
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. Hi jollyreaper!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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Astarho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-03 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
28. My thoughts
I have been working on several similar writing projects as well. I would say check out this site:
http://www.conceptualguerilla.com /

I would also advise you to see the 1927 film Metropolis. Parts won't make sence but since over a quarter of the movie is lost, it's amazing it makes any sense at all.
As for your questions:

- Should the Cartel be liberal or conservative on personal issues such as sex and abortion?

Sex would be used for them to control people: i.e. all their advertisements use sex. As for abortion, it would be illegal, since more children means more workers and the workers have to work harder to support them

- Should air be private or still public?

If badly polluted, clean air should be privatized. Also water should be privatized (since they're trying to do that now)

- Should there be any libertarian think-tanks (Ayn Rand Institute, Cato, whatever) providing ideological justification for the Cartel?

If the Cartel controls everything, they don't need any justification

- Should there still be any art?

Art used to glorify the Cartel, and for the rich. Most of the artists are nepotistic children of the ruling class and not very good artists.

- What length should be the usual workweek - 60 hours? 70? 80? Anything else?

at least 70 probably more

- Is it important to have all 15 Cartel corporations identified in name and industry (i.e. software, construction, automobiles, etc.)? If so, then what should they be?

I would sketch them all out, name and industry and even a rough sketch logo design. Even if you don't actually use them in the novel, you have details taken care of if you need to.

- Should the police/army be private (i.e. one corporation), or jointly owned by all 15 corporations?
The enforcers of the Status Quo shoulkd be owned jointly by all of the Cartel.

- Should there finally be a revolution against the Cartel? If so, then what should it create - a democracy? a communist tyranny? a second Cartel?

That's up to you.

- Should the Cartel use 1984 and Animal Farm as anti-communist propaganda?

I don't think the Cartel would want people to be literate enough to read these on their own or think about it for themselves.
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