[“Lessons” are temporary posts. These early drafts come down after a few days. Any surviving or revised remnants and expanded passages may be found at The Vassals Handbook page – also subject to revision.]
Lesson six – vassals at arms
Cannibalism as a saving economic stratagem? I exaggerate, I suppose. I’m the master PR guy, Stan D. Garde. They throw so much stuff at me. I’m responsible for everything all the time – the colonial wars in western Asia and the intricacies of each; the IEE’s waning influence in South America; the leaderless European Union; the many horns of Africa; constant upheaval and unrest in India; natural and unnatural disasters in Southeast Asia; the churning rise of China. Cannibalism? Let’s set that notion aside for awhile, its economic advantages notwithstanding, whatever its popular difficulty or promise.
The economy and the military, this is my concern, how to resurrect the one and how to strengthen the other. Through military strength comes economic might – the IEE and I see no way around that proposition – base reality. The only question – which way the IEE? Should it power up its colonial forces, all the better to occupy and instill profitable fear. Or should the military continue to power up for the big picture, for super global warfare, by expanding its huge fleets of planes, tanks, ships, missiles, and by further militarizing space?
The difficulty of my job is that the rulers are split – between the leaders of the occupying forces on the ground, on the one hand over fist and on the other hand over fist, the generals, lobbyists, lobbyist generals, and strategists beyond. I repeat: the occupying forces throughout Greater Oila wish for more pacifying resources, the better to conquer the Oilan vassals. Meanwhile, higher up brass and financiers press for bigger fleets and space based might.
But what if we figured out a way to wed the economic stimulus needed to revive the bankrupt banks with military power and spending? Why not give all the money to the military to run the world like one giant boot camp, or if that appears too extreme, make the world an endless string of military bases and installations – each vassal den an armed outpost, each inhabitant of earth a foot soldier, an IEE enlistee. Might this not be a solution more practical, more popular, more elegant than cannibalism? Militarize the IEE more fully, militarize earth. Totally.
It’s coming, no doubt. In fact, it’s largely here. The main economic stimulus will come as it always does each budget year, and with every invasion and occupation or threat of such, in the form of the military budget. The military, its weaponry, its war preparation, its attacks and operations always command most of the tax dollars as befits any peace-loving estate.
The blow to the rest of the economy, that is the soft economy, is huge and necessary since the nonmilitary economy that is the soft economy merely aids vassals’ domestic needs and wishes, the mundane irritants, too well known – food, shelter, fuel, education, transportation, electricity, health care, clean and water, and other trifles.
How to sustain the IEE’s endless string of homeland and overseas military bases? How to pay for an infinite militarization of space? How to fund permanent occupation and co-opting of Greater Oila? How to pay for pacification of far flung lands, of recalcitrant vassals everywhere across the globe? How to control those who dare to reject incorporation into the ruling estates of Earth?
Globalization – that misnomer – actually means to diversify, to interrelate with all the ends of earth, not that the IEE wants any part of such impossible utopian indulgence. Instead, the great estates wish to Consolidate absolutely, to bring the very ends of earth, like the four corners of a quilt, into one firm grasp. That is what Globalize means to the IEE.
Are we clear? Are we clever? See the clout? Globalization is Newspeak for Consolidation, for Regimentation. Heil! Saint Orwell!
While Capitalism remains an ideal dream, never to be realized, and Vassalism is the current great reality, I wonder if Militarism might be easier at the end of the day for vassals to wrap their worn minds around? The military sings such a catchy tune, really gets vassals to rally around the flag, absolutely compels them to salute their betters. Is a soldier not an ideal figure for all humanity? More ideal than a vassal could ever hope to be?
Boot camp provides for all, for both soft and hard aspects of economic life – and with absolute efficiency. To the barracks! – a proper rallying cry, seems to me, one fit for the vast majority of all vassals – the barracks world, gun on shoulder, life in a locker, absolute obedience to the myriad commandants appointed by a sole elected (or not) official for all the IEE, the Dear Leader, the IEE Idol, the CEO Commander in Chief, the one true President of the Incorporated Estates of Earth. While boot camp of the body may not work for all, boot camp of the mind seems an absolute must. Not that all vassals are equal. Let alone soldiers. The salute must never die.
Lesson seven – the demise of the vassals
Military bases and incorporated estates aside, when all else fails, as it usually does, one can readily entertain the vassals to death, or at least into quiescence. Vassals can be flattered into stupidity and baited into irrelevancy. Much as I love the vassals, and am tied to them, the vassals are a sorry breed, it must be said – if only in this first draft, pre-editor, pre-audience-appropriate spin and trim.
In fact most years it’s all we better vassals can do to keep the majority alive, to keep them from killing each other off with their own stupidity. I do love vassals, don’t get me wrong. They are wretched, but they are us. The IEE could not make it without them. And yet, to leave everything up to the vassals, or to leave anything to their whims, shudder to think, just look at the polls – they would end the wars of prosperity or never start them in the first place; they would provide free health care to everyone; and in ways too noxious to elaborate, they would actually try to spread the wealth!
That’s not reality. That’s not survivable, not on or off the estates. That’s begging for the total collapse of civilization as we know it, love it, and feed from it. You have the word of Stan D. Garde on that one.