Imagine, if you can, a society founded on a series of unjust lies.
A society founded upon a series of propositions which, like a virus, have no place in a healthy society; which, like a cancer, grow out of systems that would otherwise be necessary for health; which like both, exist only to propagate themselves until the system is consumed.
Can you imagine it?

As a novelist, I might be able to manage such a thought experiment.

Let’s see … what would it look like?
Imagine a fictional city. Let’s call it something random, like, oh …


Randopolis, in the land of Galtopia.
Let’s say Randopolis was the sort of place built on the sort of foundational lies I’ve just described.

Imagine they believed the lie, that some people had value and some didn’t.

Imagine they believed the lie, which attributed worth to wealth.
Imagine they believed the lie, that for anyone without wealth to receive any value equaled theft.

Imagine they believed the lie, that violence redeems.
Now imagine that these people believed these lies to such an entrenched state that when they founded their city they owned other human beings as property.
Imagine a city like Randopolis, that had captured the natural human systems of society; had harnessed the mechanisms by which humans provide value to one another, and subverted it to unnatural ends, to instead deliver harm and theft to many for the enrichment of themselves.
To assist our world-building efforts, we might give this subversion a name, like *injustice.*
Imagine the more powerful members of Randopolis decided to optimize for injustice—to purposefully engineer the mechanisms by which cities decide things.
So that when the city decided things, certain types of people were much more likely to be included in making those decisions, and all others were much less likely, so that the concept “the city decides” inevitably meant only a select type of people.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the favored people who resembled the historical Owners: mostly older, mostly whiter, mostly wealthy, mostly male.
Imagine that this happened to such an extent that it became an assumed thing, to the point that whiteness and wealth and age and maleness became the default assumption for decision-making in Randopolis, even an automatic and invisible assumption, a comforting thing.
So, anything breaking this mold was seen as a break from precedent, a special case, a risk—identity politics. In fact, for the first let’s-say 150 years of Randopolis’ let’s-say 250 year history, this restriction was not just an assumed preference, but codified as law.
Imagine the underlying configuration of such a foundation.

Imagine the ongoing inheritance of such a configuration.
Imagine now that because Randopolis had decided, over the course of generations, to optimize for injustice, it so happened that no matter what sorts of remedies they put in place to configure against these unjust effects, the unjust effects would inevitably come through.
The unjust effects would come through at a level deeper than conscious intent, because the deeper intentions of Randopolis had never changed—the deeper intentions, the ones that matter, because they reflect what actually happens.
The effects of Randopolis’ founding lies always told the tale, not because those making the decisions always consciously believed those who the system robbed deserved to receive less (though they often did believe that).
The effects of Randopolis’ founding lies always told the tale, not because those making the decisions always consciously decided they’d rather keep more for themselves (though often they did so decide).
The effects of Randopolis’ founding lies always told the tale, because the deepest intentions of Randopolis had become, with the momentum held by all human intention, inseparable from reality in ways that were invisible and inextricable.
Imagine if for decades, people who had been stolen from in this way inherited that loss.
Imagine they were systemically and not-so-secretly considered, simply by their existence, to be considered not victims of theft, but to be loss of value itself, to the point that houses were perceived to lose value simply by having such a person live in proximity to it.
Imagine if that perception became so powerful that people treated it as reality.
Imagine that those who had inherited all the stolen value used the fear of loss of value to remove all their stolen wealth elsewhere, to avoid sharing it with those they perceived as representing that loss—and so more value was withdrawn.
Imagine that when this withdrawal applied to certain functions that are essential to a sustainable society—like, for example, schools—it was framed as *choice,* and notice how the framing conveys an assumption about who is permitted to choose.
Imagine if the people who were perceived as loss of value had once upon a time been the slaves that had built the older foundational roads, whose value the rest all inherited.
Imagine if they were allowed to be perceived as loss of value because their ancestors had once been property, and, having repatriated their selves back to themselves, had stopped being property.
Imagine that by no longer being property their former owners decided their very bodies represented not freedom for the freed, but theft from the owners.
Imagine if, in Randopolis, when people talked about the manumission of enslaved people, they said things like “we freed the slaves,” as if freedom itself were a gift that had been bestowed by Owners to Owned, rather than a natural right unnaturally stolen and rightfully returned.
But let’s go back further. Let’s imagine that this example of theft of value and displacement wasn’t just a single event, but a cycle. A foundational pattern. An intrinsic cultural methodology, to be found, once one had eyes to see it, everywhere; quite literally, everywhere.
Imagine if the land upon which the houses and streets of Randopolis had been built by enslaved people had been stolen from somebody else entirely, and the people who lived there previously—those who survived the theft, anyway—had been send off to live elsewhere.
Imagine if that value, which had once belonged entirely to them, no longer did, and, it seems, never would again?

Imagine a theft so total as that.
In Randopolis, these were assumptions so rooted in the public consciousness of those who benefitted from it, so buried beneath the soil, they were entirely invisible to their consciences, even as they picked and ate the fruit of those unnatural roots.
Imagine if all of this was, to those who never suffered the consequences of these decisions, but who mainly reaped the benefits, largely invisible, and automatic, and inextricable, and shared, and inherited.
And because injustice inevitably occurred in their society, the citizens of Randopolis began to conclude, that injustice was an inevitable reality, rather than to suspect that they were foundationally unjust.
Imagine all that unnaturally diverted and stolen value. Think of the centuries of theft. Think of the centuries of inheritance—because natural human systems are inherited. As with the benefit, so with the harm.
Imagine a land optimized for injustice, as it slid into complete injustice.
Imagine a land where only a few people held almost all the value and influence the society provided.

Imagine a land where they used that value and influence mostly to try to get the rest.

Imagine a land that had become an *unnatural* human system optimized for injustice.
Imagine a land built on a bad foundation, as it began to collapse.

Imagine Randopolis.


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More from @JuliusGoat

18 Oct
I feel as if this sort of thing is useful if it helps us know that we are dealing with structural power that is indeed very unlikely to bring any consequence to abusive power, *so that we are prepared to demand it*, but not if it just encourages a sort of jaded defeatism.
We need to demand real consequences, and be prepared to deliver real consequences to anybody who tries to block them.

Yes, empowered liberals *will* bring out the same old toxic nonsense about moving forward to heal, and we'd better be ready to go absolutely nuts on them for it.
Donald Trump and his entire administration must go to prison.

If your answer to that is "that's not going to happen" and that's the end of it, you're aligning yourself with nothing happening.

There's no prize for being most cynical, least disappointed, or most unsurprised.
Read 5 tweets
18 Oct

Here’s my situation: There’s a street in front of my house. Perhaps you can relate.

Let me describe this street. It’s rather hard, mostly smooth, mostly flat, made of some sort of composite material, beveled slightly downward at the edges to accommodate rain runoff, pocked here and there with lids covering access points to sewer and water infrastructure.
The street is connected to the houses lining it by a series of umbilicals we homeowners call our “driveways.”
Read 64 tweets
17 Oct
So just from memory: Trump owes $1b, he committed 10s of millions in tax fraud, he deliberately concealed a pandemic from America and now 210,000 are dead and he STILL refuses to address it, and he enjoys the enthusiastic support of his party and normalizing coverage from media.
He told violent white supremacists to "stand by", he braggingly admitted to ordering an extrajudicial hit by federal marshals, he has been funneling campaign cash to his business, and he enjoys the enthusiastic support of his party and normalizing coverage from media.
He's made the AG function as his personal lawyer, he's dismantled the Census, and in order to contest an election he's losing he's installing a far-right religious zealot who wants to ban in vitro fertilization but can't name protections afforded by the 1st amendment.
Read 7 tweets
16 Oct

This is not the proclamation of an expert. This is the confession of a fool.


We know things about ourselves we hate to know, but there’s no going back. There are two questions we have to face, now that we have this knowledge.

The first question is about knowledge and confession.

It’s this: How did we get here?

1. Streets

Question: Who put my street there, in front of my house?

Who put your street there, in front of your house?

Who put my street there?

Have you ever wondered?

Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
news *full of stories of Republican crimes*

wise man: ah, the problem, then...is the news
literally no US media outlets lean left, certainly not CNN, but many of them work overtime to normalize any behavior by Republicans, no matter how shocking or corrupt

Fox is a far-right white supremacist propaganda and disinformation laundering network
There are few things funnier to me than a grown adult in the year of our lord 2020 who still believes that CNN is left-leaning.
Read 4 tweets
15 Oct
It’s best to understand this as the inevitable outcome of our present system, which is designed to consume people for profit.
The attack on our courts and our elections, the refusal to address the pandemic if the effort isn't directly profitable: it's all part of a radical metastasized cancerous ideology that is perfectly willing to kill you for money.

We should desire radical solutions to counter it.
Read 6 tweets

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