One possible future?

Setting: Washington DC
Year: 2035

A man is standing over a small glass terrarium, watching some insects scuttle about. Standing about 10 feet away is a young woman.

Man: I just wish mankind could be more like these creatures here.

Woman: What, cockroaches?

Man: Well, not cockroaches necessarily, I mean insects in general. Insects are so much more socially evolved than we are. Look at the ant, the termite. Each exists solely for the benefit of the collective without giving a thought to their own self-interests.

Woman: Dad, they’re bugs. They can’t think.

Man: Then someone must do the thinking for them. That’s why people like us exist. Those of us trained in social thinking must be the ones to organize society properly.

Woman: Yeah, Dad, whatever. Anyway, I’m flying to Texas tomorrow for the wedding I told you about earlier.

Man: You absolutely are not! I forbid you to go to that dreadful place!

Woman: I’m 26 years old, you can’t forbid me to do anything. I’m leaving first thing in the morning.

Man: As president, I absolutely CAN forbid it! I’ll revoke your passport so you can’t leave. Or else revoke it after you get there so you can’t come back.

Woman: Given what a shithole this country has become, that might not be such a bad idea.

Man: Don’t you speak to me like that! The only problem in this country is lack of patriotism. People won’t put their country before themselves.

Woman: You mean, they won’t put your government before themselves.

Man: Country, government, they’re the same thing.

Woman: Not in Texas.

Man (losing temper): Then, goddammit, just fucking MOVE there, then! See if I care! See how you like it with no government run health care!

Woman: And a 5% sales tax, no income tax, and a 10 cent a gallon gas tax on gas that itself is a dollar a gallon. Remember dollar a gallon gas? Up here it hasn’t dropped below ten dollars a gallon in over a decade.

Man (Sternly): That’s because we have bigger priorities, like fighting climate change.

Woman: The climate hasn’t changed in decades.

Man: See? That proves our policies are working.

Woman: Working at making the economy a wreck. What was last month’s unemployment figure?

Man: About 8%.

Woman: No, I mean the REAL unemployment figure.

Man (turns red): That’s what the Ministry of Labor reports.

Woman: Yeah, the “Official” report that goes out to the press. The real figure (and I have my sources, too) is more like 23%. At this rate, it’s just a question of who will crash first, this country or Europe.

Man (looks anguished): Please don’t mention Europe!

Woman: Okay, okay. And believe me, I won’t be flying THERE any time soon! It’s not as if I’m going to wear a damned burqa just to walk down the street.

Man: I can’t believe it, but Progressivism has failed there. In Europe, the very birthplace of Progressivism! The home of Marx and Engels, after all, who showed us how to build a perfect society, a society devoted to fairness above all else!

Woman: Fairness sucks. It’s boring. Maybe it works for those damn insects you admire so much, but sure not for anyone who has something on the ball.

Man: You border on blasphemy, young lady!

Woman: I thought you didn’t believe in religion.

Man: I meant it as a figure of speech.

Woman: Whatever. And I’m taking your advice. Not only am I going to Texas for the wedding, but I probably won’t be coming back. Hell, I’ll be wanting to get married myself pretty soon, and at least down there they’ve got plenty of REAL men!

Man: There’s plenty of men here.

Woman: I said MEN, Daddy, not the spineless creatures that exist in this town. Most of them are bureaucrats and most of the rest are either politicians or lobbyists.

Man (irritated): These are some of the smartest men in the country! And if that’s not good enough, I could get you a high placed job at Harvard, where you could be among the intellectual elite.

Woman: Meaning a bunch of high IQ dorks and dweebs. No thanks. That’s why I dropped out of there after just one year.

Man: There’s nothing more important than an intellectual. Who else is to lead in creating our new society? Who else is fit to rule?

Woman: Maybe I’m more interested in someone who doesn’t WANT to rule. Or be ruled, for that matter.

Man: People HAVE to be ruled, for the sake of the Greater Social Good. If people stopped thinking about their own selfish lives and put the needs of Society first, this would be a much better planet for all of us.

Woman (rolling eyes): People aren’t insects, Dad, they aren’t ants. And they’re not farm animals, either, to be herded about at will in conformance to some idiot’s idea of a social theory.

Man: And I suppose you are going to tell me that what men really want is to be free? Sorry, but those of us who are enlightened know better. Freedom is dangerous. Freedom is unpredictable. It leads to trouble, to social inequality because someone always wants to be better than someone else, to have more money, more possessions, etc. Freedom leads to competition and thus social instability. A truly progressive society would find a way to eliminate all these things. Replace freedom with security. Have the government provide the people with all their needs, food, housing, health care and retirement, and they will be content and forget about this “Freedom” foolishness.

Woman: Well, the people in Texas feel differently, and Texas is where I’m heading. Your “Perfect” society has sucked all the risk out of life, and with it all the fun and excitement. Maybe some people want to have all their needs met and live like dairy cows with their heads in a feed trough, but the people I want to live with don’t. Good luck with your little social experiment, but I’m leaving and don’t expect to be coming back soon, if ever.

Woman turns around and heads out the door. Man goes back to observing his insects.

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