This Is the End

RICK BOOKSTABER

Markets, Risk and Human Interaction

February 11, 2018

Amazon Dystopia

The following is a brief, contemporary account of our world, which we call, for obvious reasons, the Amazon Dystopia. I leave it undated -- Kadir. 

The dystopia is most evident in the control of the working class. During work and commuting time all workers are mandated to wear a “health watch”, a wristband that monitors their movement. The wristbands also tell the time and weather. Workers also wear “world view” collars and glasses equipped with biometrics and a 360 degree video display to determine the level of their exertion, and where they are fixing their gaze. The collars can generate electric impulses to encourage workers. If they fail to perform, there is summary dismissal. The government has recently added a worker-terminating explosive charge if workers are found engaging in treasonous behavior – which includes “robust criticism or a marked lack of enthusiasm.”

Cocking and the Rise of the Plutocrats
The elections are determined by majority vote, but the people’s choice becomes the tool of the wealthy once ascending to office. This transformation is known as “cocking”. This is an unfortunate play on the Koch name, but one that is not classified as robust criticism. 

Cocking was first revealed in the Washington Post, which reported that the Koch brothers, a center of corporate political power, presented various incumbents with a check made out to their opponent for $25 million, with the threat that the check would be handed over to the opposition if the incumbent did not act in what the Koch brothers considered to be the best interests of the country. The threat only had to be made good one time, and the story planted for the Washington Post team to uncover, (with a Pulitzer for their efforts), before compliance to the threat became absolute.

The Consolidation of Power: From the One Percent to the One
The cocking grew, and political power became increasingly consolidated with those with the deepest pockets, until it finally has become a plutocracy of one. And having power over the press has helped to correctly frame the new order for the masses. At least the small subset of the masses that is not placated by free, unlimited streaming of videos and music.

From Each According to His Need
A value-added tax is now a primary source of revenue. Essentials such as food, clothing, and school supplies pass through a taxation station, the “fulfillment center”. Its operation is based on extensive records of every citizen, both their biometrics, gazing patterns, queries, social interactions, and of course consumption history, to infer their preferences, to the end of taxing them more highly on their purchases based on the algorithmic determination of how much they need them. This principle is promoted with the slogan, “from each according to his need.” All purchases are made with the certification of the buyer that they will not resell or redistribute, with the delivery chain iron clad from the fulfillment center to the consumer's doorstep to reduce the risk of missteps.

Luxury goods by definition are not needed, and therefore generally are exempt from taxation. 

To Each According to His Abilities
The tax is paid to the agency that is responsible for the building and maintaining of this distribution system. This payment is tax exempt, because it already is a tax. The agency is in private hands because the government has determined to leave to business those things that it can do best, as measured by the profit they can extract. Thus the slogan, “to each according to his abilities.” As has been noted in various recent Washington Post articles, this is the most sure way of adding to the economy, and thus to the wealth of all individuals. 

The Revolt of the Masses
Note by the conveyor of this account: As with any dystopia there is a plucky, fearless group that is fighting back. Led by Kadir and his former-rival-but-now-lover Sabella, a beautiful woman who is good with knives, this group is bringing in others to fight against the tyranny of the plutocracy. 

Note by the second conveyor of this account: They are discovered and killed.  The end. 

1 comment:

  1. It would be funny if it weren't a possibility.

    ReplyDelete