My Blog Week: April 18 to April 24
All the Latest from Torsade!
A Word on the Week
Comfort and Convenience
We don’t see how easily we internalize the idea that inequality can be deserved.
Let’s imagine a totalitarian trend in our politics…not challenging, but let’s imagine the dictator of 2040 is a more plausible, glibber populist than the former guy, voted out in 2020. His speech to the public on the Mars Colony question (as with all his speeches) comes across in that vein of: “I’m a frank talker not afraid to say what everyone knows is true.”
“Face it, a utopian society is too ambitious a goal and will never work at the outset. We can hope for the day—why not? The opposing party believes in it… When the Colony can establish some ideal state of equality. But a minority of its residents will have to be, if you like, the serving class. There will be leaders and there will be followers.”
The rate of casualties on the journey itself is fairly high; weather and geological events on Mars don’t function in predictable ways, so accidents are frequent and often appalling. A number of risky jobs need doing just to maintain the artificial environment, gradually to break new ground, and to build new structures. Even unloading supplies from arriving rockets can cost lives.
When the next step in the program is to “encourage” prisoners to accept Mars duties, as reprieves from harsh sentences, many Earthers who wouldn’t go to Mars and take such work for anything, decide this fair, even allow that the prisoners have been given a choice, and can blame themselves if they don’t like the consequences. Only those represented by the opposing party consider that a prisoner’s status is part of a formula for coercion.
What if so many laborers are needed on Mars that displaced persons from around the world begin to be pressured into this bargain?
What if the removing of whole allegedly surplus populations from Earth begins to look just as acceptable as removing those who have “done something” or who “don’t belong”? What if Mars labor recruitment even becomes profitable, so that traffic in false stories menaces almost anyone, but particularly the poor, the mentally ill, the non-white?
It’s not much of a science fiction story, because those discriminations exist today, in the helplessness of migrant farm and factory workers, and immigration center detainees; and have historically existed, in slavery and transportation to penal colonies—and don’t even bother a lot of people.
On Monday, a new Yoharie, in which Jeremiah Hibbler finds his actions, as he explains them to himself, reasonable. On Tuesday, Marjorie Bowen’s The Sword Decides!, Giovanna commanding a royal entertainment. Wednesday, a new Folly, with Falco on the hook, and approaching what he thinks of as his quarry. Thursday and Friday, parts one and two of “The Ad Said”, a short story, about the mundanity of tragedy. Saturday, part forty of Shine! by Mathilde Alanic, with Annie acknowledging, and suffering a crisis of conscience over, her love for Patrice.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: April 18 to April 24
Yoharie: Plumbing (part two)
Marjorie Bowen: The Sword Decides! (part eighteen)
Snares: Fifth Allied Forces
The Ad Said (part one)
The Ad Said (conclusion)
Mathilde Alanic: Shine! (part forty)