NRA: The Antichrist’s evil plan of evilness

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 125-128

“Now, let us get down to business,” the Antichrist says.

Rayford pulled up the top two sheets on his clipboard and began to take notes, as Carpathia outlined immediate plans.

At last. The Rapture occurred more than a year and a half ago and Nicolae Carpathia, the Antichrist, seized power soon afterwards, ruling over the entire world (except Israel) as a global dictator with unchecked power and no one to stand in his way as he set about demonstrating his wickedness as the all-time epitome of evil.

Well, that’s what it said on the package anyway. The actual Antichrist here in our story hasn’t done a whole lot during his first 500 days on the throne.

Does TurboTax come with the new GNP-EZ form?

I don’t mean to diminish his accomplishments. He’s built a brand new global capital — and entire city — in the middle of a desert. And he’s consolidated the entire globe under one world government, one world religion, one world currency and one world language. That’s all quite impressive — probably even impossible. But we still haven’t seen anything much like a plan. Nicolae has been putting all his pieces in place, but nothing we’ve seen suggests he has any idea what to do with them.

It seems like he’s just drifting along — an evil mastermind without an evil master plan. The sudden burst of arbitrary mass-murder in the early part of this book shows a newfound enthusiasm for the evil part of that equation, but there still hasn’t been any sign of the plan part.

But now Nicolae promises to “get down to business.” Now, at last, he’s ready to outline his evil scheme of evilness:

“We must act swiftly,” he was saying, “while the people are most vulnerable and open. They will look to the Global Community for help and aid, and we will give it to them.”

That is, I suppose, a plan. But now I’m confused about the evil part. Providing help and aid to vulnerable people makes the Antichrist’s OWG seem kind of like the International Red Cross, and most of us don’t usually think of the Red Cross as a global supervillain and/or the embodiment of Satan.

“However …”

Aha, there’s a catch. Excellent. Maybe Nicolae will reveal that this help and aid is conditional. He will rebuild their shattered cities, feeding and sheltering the millions of nuclear refugees, but in exchange for this assistance he will demand that the afflicted sacrifice their children.

Hold on, no, wait. Scratch that. There are no children anymore in the world of this novel. I keep forgetting.

That’s an important point to keep in mind, too, when we’re evaluating Nicolae’s work as an Antichrist. It puts him at a rather large disadvantage in the monstrous evil department. Sure, he’s still able to do things like bomb a hospital, killing Bruce Barnes and hundreds of other sick people, but that would have been so much more evil if the pediatric ward hadn’t already been empty. This whole world-without-children thing really does handicap Nicolae’s ability to do the sort of thing we’d expect from an epitome of evil. He’s supposed to surpass all the monsters of history, but it’s hard to compete with guys like Genghis Khan or Joshua when there are no children available to put to the sword.

So, OK, demanding that his subjects sacrifice their children is out, but he could still maybe require some kind of Shirley-Jackson “The Lottery” situation, where, say, food and shelter from the Global Community only goes to cities who offer a random 1 percent of their residents as a human sacrifice.

But no. Nicolae doesn’t have anything that evil in mind. What he intends to do, instead, is to rebuild all the cities he just finished nuking, ensuring that everyone is housed, fed and spared from hardship. But in return he will levy taxes to pay for it.

“However, they will give it to us first. We had an enormous storehouse of income before the rebuilding of Babylon. We will need much more to effect our plan of raising the level of Third World countries so that the entire globe is on equal footing.”

That oxymoronic phrase “storehouse of income” gives a hint of Nicolae’s shaky grasp on economics — a subject about which he and the authors are deeply confused.

The authors also tip their hand here when you consider what they have just provided. This is intended to be a threat — a wicked threat of dire immorality. The Antichrist is the worst person in the history of the world and here he threatens to do the worst thing he can imagine doing. And that, in the authors’ words, is “raising the level of Third World countries.”

What does “countries” even mean in the context of a one-world government? Weren’t all countries abolished and absorbed into the monolithic “Global Community” ruled over by the global potentate?

Yes. And no. Both. And neither.

Every time I think I have a firm grasp on this, the authors turn around and contradict themselves. Chapter after chapter, book after book, they provide occasional conclusive statements definitively stating that Nicolae is the head of a single government over the entire world. And then two pages later they introduce some local political leader or official — an American president or a Chicago police officer who shouldn’t exist in this world, but does.

This section flips back and forth on this point so much that I wound up almost as confused as Nicolae seems to be.

Later in this speech, Nicolae refers to the now-deceased “President Fitzhugh,” whose rebellion he says, “confirmed my earlier decision to virtually strip him of executive power.” That doesn’t clear up my questions about whether this OWG is really a OWG. Nor does the bit a few pages from now in which Nicolae says:

“I will soon be appointing leaders to replace the three ambassadors to the regions that turned against us. That will bring the Global Community administration back to its full complement of ten regions. While you are now known as ambassadors to the Global Community, forthwith I will begin referring to you as sovereign heads of your own kingdoms. You will each continue to report directly to me.”

So, forthwith, he’s going to replace the current structure with an exact replica in which the ambassadors will continue to be “sovereign” and “kings” except not, as they will also be reporting directly to the potentate. Got it? If so, could you explain it to me? Because I’m lost here.

The one thing that’s clear here is that these ambassadors are terrified of Nicolae. Because if they weren’t completely intimidated and paralyzed with fear of the potentate, they would be laughing at him, or at least asking questions about his very strange plan for diabolical taxation.

And it turns out this is the core, the skeleton, the foundation for all of the Antichrist’s evil master plan: taxes.

In theory, you could make that work. You could impose unbearably harsh taxes, following the example of Joseph in the book of Genesis, burying the people under such a heavy burden of taxes that eventually all of their property, their vocations, their bodies were the possession of the central government and the entire world was enslaved by the potentate.

That sort of thing would certainly seem to qualify as wicked (although, inexplicably, Joseph is rarely criticized for enslaving an entire nation), but it still seems a bit too abstract and detached. The Antichrist should be beastly, after all — ruling with an iron fist and an iron boot and not just with an iron spreadsheet.

Even the worst-case scenario for oppressive taxation only gets you something like North Korea. The Antichrist is supposed to be worse than North Korea. Plus, even North Korea doesn’t lean entirely on oppressive taxation for its evilness. They mix in a big dose of secret police, perpetual re-education and an absurd, Kafka-esque cult of personality.

It just doesn’t seem likely that Nicolae is going to succeed as an undisputed Antichrist if his evil master plan is going to lean so heavily on the evils of taxation.

The bigger problem, though, is that Nicolae’s tax plan just doesn’t make sense. Here he is outlining the first piece of it:

“You all have been doing a wonderful job of moving to the one-world currency. We are close to a cashless society, which can only help the Global Community administration. Upon your return to your respective areas, I would like you to announce, simultaneously, the initiation of a ten-cent tax on all electronic money transfers. When we get to the totally cashless system, you can imagine that every transaction will be electronic. I estimate that this will generate more than one and a half trillion dollars annually.”

So now we know that the one-world currency is, in fact, US dollars. Convenient. Almost as convenient as Nicolae’s decision to make English the one-world language. Those two factors should help make the Great Tribulation a little less tribulation-y for residents of the former United States.

This business about a cashless, one-world currency is of course meant to set the table for the whole Mark of the Beast system to come. This bit of premillennial dispensationalist “Bible prophecy” has entered popular culture to the extent that most people in our world (but no one in the world of the novel) are familiar with the idea taken from Revelation 13:

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

That passage is why “prophecy” obsessed fundies freaked out over the introduction of bar codes, and credit cards, and PayPal. This is why America will never have a national ID card. And why you have to carry your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance as three separate documents instead of those latter two just coming up when your license is scanned or swiped.

Anyway, you get the idea here of what Nicolae Carpathia is supposed to be steering toward. He wants a global system in which nothing can be bought or sold without his say-so.

Unfortunately, his bungled version of a financial transaction tax will likely make sure that never happens.

Consider the proposed Robin Hood Tax (which will probably never happen, but which I think is an interesting idea and could be an effective way of limiting speculation and shifting our economy away from our present imbalance toward the FIRE, or finance insurance real estate, sector). That’s a financial transaction tax of about 0.05 percent — or 1/20 of 1 percent. Nicolae’s tax doesn’t charge a percentage, but instead charges a flat 10 cents for every transaction. Under Nicolae’s tax, the cost doesn’t increase for a larger transaction, but it increases a great deal when you make a greater number of transactions. In other words, the Antichrist has just created a worldwide incentive for every business, investor and consumer to make fewer, less frequent financial transactions.*

So now everyone from investment banks to the coffee shop on the corner starts billing differently. You don’t pay for your cup of coffee every day anymore, you pay a monthly coffee bill. Transactions get bundled, pay periods get larger and longer. Everyone, everywhere starts running a tab for everything.

That, in turn, creates a cash-flow problem. Running a tab essentially means paying with IOUs instead of cash. So now everyone is piling up IOUs, but they’re short on cash. The obvious next step is to make IOUs transferable. There’s a well-established model for just exactly that, for a system of universally exchangeable IOUs. It’s called currency.

Nicolae’s flat-rate transaction tax would almost certainly undo everything he’s done to create a single global currency. It would encourage the rapid creation of a black-market currency system (which would likely make use of all the former national currencies he tried to abolish). Once he gets around to requiring everyone to take the Mark of the Beast, this black-market currency system will already be well-established and the Mark isn’t going to make much difference one way or another buying-and-selling-wise.

That black-market currency will also get a big boost from another piece of Nicolae’s odd tax plan:

“You knew the time would come for a tax to the Global Community on each area’s Gross National Product. That time has come. While the insurrectionists from Egypt, Great Britain, and North America have been devastated militarily, they must also be disciplined with a 50 percent tax on their GNP. The rest of you will pay 30 percent.

“Now do not give me those looks, gentlemen. You understand that everything you pay in will be returned to you in multiplied benefits. We are building a new global community. Pain is part of the process. …”

He misunderstands the looks he’s getting from the ambassadors. They’re not reacting to the “pain” of this proposed 30-percent “tax on their GNP,” they’re just trying to figure out what such a thing could possibly mean.

First off, there’s no longer any such thing as GNP under the OWG. It only makes sense to speak of “gross national product” if there are nations.

But nevermind that, the bigger question is how is such a tax “on GNP/GRP” supposed to be calculated and collected? I suppose since GNP is meant to total the price of all goods and services produced within a nation, then a 30-percent tax on GNP just means that nation would have to collect a 30 percent tax on everything in order to pay its national bill at the end of the year. In 2011, the U.S. GNP was about $15.23 trillion. So if the U.S. had owed a 30-percent “tax on GNP” to some global federation, would it have had to write a check for $4.57 trillion on Jan. 1, 2012, or could it just have $176 billion withheld from its national paycheck every two weeks?

Let’s just pretend for the sake of argument that there were some way to make sense of this idea of a “tax on GNP/GRP.” What this means is that most of the world will suddenly owe a 30-percent tax on every good and service that’s on the books. (The war-ravaged regions will owe an even higher tax, because that makes sense.)

The key words in that paragraph are “on the books.” This is yet another huge push in the direction of an off-the-books black-market currency. Anything that can be done off the books or under the table will be. Nicolae’s dream of one-world currency and a cashless society will be replaced by a cash-only, underground, under-the-table economy that avoids his OWC whenever possible.

But we’ve only scratched the surface so far of Nicolae Carpathia’s economic dreams. Next week we’ll look at more of his evil master plan, including his bewildering ideas for making sure that his one-world government is no longer dependent on foreign oil. (Yes, really.)

– – – – – – – – – – – –

* Nicolae’s estimate of $1.5 trillion in revenue works out to something like 10 transactions a day for every person, assuming a post-Rapture population of around 4 billion people. But that doesn’t count corporations, retailers, stock exchanges, investors, casinos, etc. Factor all those in and that $1.5 trillion figure looks really low.

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  • hidden_urchin

    ” But we still haven’t seen anything much like a plan.”

    So Nicky is a Cylon, then.

  • billman

     I’m a Cylon.

    /Robot Chicken

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    Haven’t you heard?  We’re all frackin’ Cylons.  http://youtu.be/m8Q2EsB63rg

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    My first thought, too.  “…And they have a plan.”  It never said the plan was a good one.  (And if you watch The Plan, it turns out that One/Cavil/John was essentially improvising the whole time, and getting progressively more frustrated that the others kept botching his attempts to cripple the fleet.)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    That is, I suppose, a plan. But now I’m confused about the evil part. Providing help and aid to vulnerable people makes the Antichrist’s OWG seem kind of like the International Red Cross, and most of us don’t usually think of the Red Cross as a global supervillain and/or the embodiment of Satan.

    Dr. McNinja would beg to differ.  

  • Carstonio

    For me, the thread title brought to mind the Big Cheese from Monty Python’s Secret Service Dentists sketch. Nicolae would probably never shoot his pet rabbit.

    Taxes as the ultimate evil? Are these books ghostwritten by Grover Norquist?

    My theory about the constant contradiction about the existence of nations? LaHaye and Jenkins are not just bad writers but also bad collaborators, not even reading each other’s contributions to make them jell. Maybe if we asked them whether nations exist under Nicolae, one would say yes and the other would say no.

  • Tricksterson

    All I cn figure is that the Regions function like states and each country within each Region is like a lesser state, maybe like a county?

  • hapax

    Mr. Clark, I think your comprehension problems would be much simpler if you were just a neo-Platonist.

    After all, we believe that Jesus the Christ was the human incarnation of the Logos, the expression of DivineWisdom.

    It follows, therefore, that the ANTI-Christ must be really, really, stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    So, an “American Dad” version of the Anti-Christ?

    “You were the son of a carpenter!  I’m not handy at all!”

  • stly92

    I’m sure there’s a nice take down in there of how utterly unreal evangelical prophecy expectations are and how badly our authors mangle taxation, but I couldn’t get past this core idea:

    Nicolae’s big evil plan was to make rich people give many to poor people. Um… isn’t that Robin Hood’s plan, and he’s generally considered a folk hero? And wasn’t that an important plank in Jesus’ plan too, and he’s also generally considered a folk hero?

    Yeah, this portrait of the antichrist being culled from the Bible my achin’ ass.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Yes, but taking money from the people who deserve it and giving it to those who (the “deservers”) think don’t is SOSHULIZM!

    And we know Jesus hates Soshulizm! 

    After all, it’s not like the early church collected everything from it’s members and passed it back…Wait. 

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    It’s not SOSHULIZM when it’s done in the name of Jesus.
    (Except when it is).

  • fraser

     Since he emphasizes Third World nations, I wonder if the point is “Look! The Antichrist will take the money from America, the greatest country in the world, and give it to non-American people!” But even then, it doesn’t make much sense as an evil deed.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Actually, this whole scenario makes me think of the Disney-cartoon version of Robin Hood, in which the Sheriff of Nottingham goes door-to-door, stealing children’s birthday presents as “taxes.”  Hell, when the peasants make up a snarky song about him, Prince John just rants: “Double the taxes!  No, TRIPLE the taxes!”

    Very simplistic and silly, but gives kids a decent general idea of the problem.  And Prince John and the Sheriff have a perfectly understandable motive: they want to be rich.

    This is…not quite perfectly understandable.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

     Ah, but the Church never took out of the taxpayer’s pocket (before Constantine). I am confident L&J support some kind of Church use of taxpayer money, though-this makes them hypocrites.

  • Carstonio

    Also, this business about taxes suggests that we’re in for even more political straw-manning.  Nicolae might appoint a sensible-shoes-wearing female bureaucrat to oversee the brainwashing of the world’s women, so they end up hating men, motherhood and families. He might then say that the blacks in the former US worked enough during slavery and would receive guaranteed lifetime incomes as compensation.

    But what’s this business about making English the official world language? That doesn’t pander to the fears of the readers – maybe French or Arabic instead.

  • Baby_Raptor

    No, it subtly reinforces the American True Christian view that America is God’s second favouritest country, and we’re all-important. 

  • Carstonio

    That’s the same attitude I was lampooning. I would amend your point to say that the American
    True Christian view is that Americanwhites are God’s other chosen people.

  • Jenny Islander

     American whites of northern European ancestry.  If your last name has one of those suspiciously Mediterranean Zs in it or your hair is just a leeeeetle too dark, you’re a brown person in disguise.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    One caveat: Your hair is allowed to be dark so long as your skin is white enough, and with the correct (non-olive) undertones. I know this from experience, as I have very dark hair and very light pink skin (with blue undertones). Everyone thinks my ancestry is either English (wrong) or Scandinavian (right). 

  • fredgiblet

    Making the official language something other than English would mean that at some point they’d have to write something that wasn’t in English, and that would be a pain.  As it stands everyone speaks English unless the authors decide that they shouldn’t for some reason 

  • christopher_y

    But what’s this business about making English the official world language?

    Help! The end times are upon us!

  • Tricksterson

    These guys are so insular I sometimes wonder if they’re really aware that there are other cultures, languages etc.  Okay, that wasn’t entirely serious, on a concious level I’m sure they know, say france exists and that they have a different language, a distinct cuisine etc.  But on a subconcious level I don’t think they really believe it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Back in the “privilege means never having to think of this” thread, I had an analogy about being a Yeti that nobody ever noticed was a Yeti.

    There’s a way one treats things that actually exist and a way one treats things that are fictional.  You have to observe things that actually exist, and change your understanding to meet the evidence at hand.  But, with fictional things, your understanding is right and you can change the fiction to meet your understanding.  (That’s how stories can be retold in new lights, with new morals, or even to completely contradict the original stories.)

    The far right, it seems to me, has failed to comprehend this difference.  This is how we know that children aren’t allowed to pray in schools.  Why, it’s because Christians are oppressed, therefore the reality is that they’re not allowed to pray in schools.  It can’t possibly be that looking at the reality before developing your worldview can have any, you know, value.

    It’s not that they don’t believe other cultures, languages, etc exist, it’s that they don’t believe anything needs to be examined in order to be understood.  That’s how LB becomes a best-selling, highly rated series in the first place.  Their understanding of good isn’t truth as it reflects reality but truth as it reflects their preconceptions back upon themselves.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Agreed, with one exception: It’s not necessarily that some people think they understand other cultures, so much as they believe that there’s no reason to understand other cultures. It’s the root of all the kvetching about “multiculturalism” you get from cultural conservatives. We know our culture is the best, so why even bother studying any others?

    It’s based on this idea that studying other cultures (or languages!) will somehow make you hate America. It’s utter nonsense, of course – I didn’t have any real understanding or appreciation of American culture until I left the country and immersed myself in the new one. How can you fully grasp your own culture – one which is so “normal” that you don’t notice it – without a point of reference? I maintain that you can’t.

  • Lori

    It’s based on this idea that studying other cultures (or languages!) will somehow make you hate America.  

    Which tells you all you need to know about how much they actually love America.

    The utter lack of actual patriotism the lies about a millimeter beneath the surface of the whole culture of super patriotism has always turned my stomach. Few things piss me off more than having my loyalty questioned by people who would have been Tories in 1776, or my love for my home derided by the kind of people who think that knowing the truth about the US and/or other countries will obviously and inevitably lead to being anti-American. Seriously, there is not enough STFU in the world.

  • arcseconds

    I was going to say earlier in reply to vsm’s comment that it’s often seemed to me that the stereotypical arrogant American behaviour is actually a mask for a deep-seated insecurity, and when they pronounce “America is the best country in the world!”, what they are really doing is seeking validation and approval.

    There are other things that are easier to understand in terms of a kind of cultural insecurity, too.

    If you ever encounter thorough-going assumptions of cultural superiority, it’s quite a different feeling.  There’s less of an expectation or hope that you’re going to agree, and more of a “of course you don’t understand this.  you’re a barbarian!” attitude.

  • Lori

    I agree. I just find that kind of insecurity annoying as shit, especially when it’s combined with the kind of judgmental attitude towards other Americans that so often goes with it. It’s on my list of things that just rub me all the wrong way. 

    If you believe that A) you can only have positive feelings about the US if it’s the bestest place in the whole wide world and B) the US is not actually the bestest place in the world, then you’ve clearly got a problem on your hands, but it’s your problem. Don’t involve me in it. I think the first half of that idea is ridiculous and therefore the 2nd half is basically irrelevant, so I’m never going to willingly accept having it used to judge my feelings about my country.

    IOW, Fox Nation needs to stow it. I know they won’t. I know why they won’t. I know that there is something rather pitiable driving the whole thing. I don’t care, it still pisses me off.

  • SkyknightXi

     I suppose there’s the question of what they DO love. There must be something that the hyper-patriots love in their heart of hearts besides personal glory…

  • Dantesque17

    This guy is the Antichrist.  Everything and everybody (except Israel, for some reason) is under his absolute control.  Why does he need all this money?  What can he do with unlimited funds that he can’t already do with unlimited power and resources? 

  • MB

    Probably he wants to spend it on free universal medical care.

  • Tricksterson

    THAT MONSTER!!!!

  • ohiolibrarian

    But, but taxes are the evilest, evil ever!
    /snark

  • ohiolibrarian

    And why is it that Republicans actually LOVE taxes. As long as they aren’t income  or  estate taxes (aka taxes that fall more heavily on the rich). Taxes that fall heavily on the poor, such as sales taxes and the ‘flat’ tax, are fine. Fees are fine. Spending money you don’t have on wars and programs and tax cuts is fine. (Who did they think was going to pay for that stuff anyway?)

    Every time somebody tells me I’m getting my taxes cut, I know I’ll have less at the end of it–less money, fewer services. So it has gone for the last 30 years.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I suspect that once the GOP has crushed the social safety net and any sort of program that could possibly benefit anyone who isn’t super-rich, and it turns out that even if you COMPLETELY eliminate EVERYTHING they don’t like — close all the public schools, shut down all the roads, oil dereks in ever national park — it *still does not fix the debt*, they’ll just about-face on income tax and estate tax. Because it’s not *really* about the taxes; it’s about keeping revenue down in order to justify killing the programs they want to die.

    (Except for the republicans for whom it is exactly the opposite, and killing social programs doesn’t matter a damned bit to them, they just want their money)

  • AnonymousSam

    It says something of the authors that that the most evil plan the Antichrist can come up with amounts to “raise taxes and give money to poorer people so that all nations are on equal economic footing.”

  • Becca Stareyes

    Next week we’ll look at more of his evil master plan, including his bewildering ideas for making sure that his one-world government is no longer dependent on foreign oil. (Yes, really.)

    Well, there goes the Titan hydrocarbon trade.  The Saturnians are going to be *pissed*.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What’s very revealing is that L&J don’t understand even basic evil mastermind tropes.

    1. Your evil mastermind is not going to give a hoot about anyone except him/her and associated minions. As such, taxes levied on the entire world would be siphoned off to benefit said evil mastermind with the dribblings left over to run the continental subunits. Nicolae should be cackling about how he will build palaces to make Saddam Hussein’s or Muammar Gaddhafi’s opulent residences look like hovels. Nicolae should be cackling about how he will use the incredible wealth the entire world can generate to reward and punish, to cement a power structure in the world accountable to him alone.

    2. Your evil mastermind, if not interested in plundering the world’s economic resources, is going to for sure want power. As such, gleefully bumping off anyone who gets in the way is standard practice.  Nicolae should be busy arranging covert assassinations, by poisoning, “accidents”, executions, all just carefully arranged to let people who know better that they are all to remove opposition to Nicolae.

    and so on.

    But no, L&J have decided that the true evil of Nicolae lies in bureaucratic minutiae of taxation. and clumsily enacted at that. Who on God’s green Earth would levy a flat tax like that on anything? That just invites purposely grossing-up all purchases and then only paying the 10 cents on the final shot.

    A Tobin tax would be far more sensible.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    The trick is in figuring out what Nicolae plans to do with all that money. He already has all the world’s weapons, and presumably the world’s natural resources as well. We can deduce that he controls the world’s industrial base and communications infrastructure. The only thing left is his employees, and since we’re talking about the government of every (former) nation on earth as well as the OWG guys, that’s a lot of people. I’d guess that the potentates were paying salaries, but the dialogue in this chapter suggests that all the money flows from Nicolae.

    That’s really not as villainous as it could be. Any tyrant worth his salt would have slaves and/or worshipers doing the heavy lifting for free, and either would make sense here. But really, I think this is missing the point.

    Nicolae refers to his heavy taxes on the recently nuked nations as “discipline.” That’s important. The intention of the taxes might not be to accrue wealth, but as a form of punishment. It’s a silly concept, but there are some fringe types who believe that liberals want to tax people they don’t like out of spite. What with LaHaye being an old Bircher, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’d entertained that thought at some point.

  • Dmoore970

    I’m not even sure it is limited to fringe types these days.  Every time I hear about raising taxes on the rich, the standard Republican answer is to ask why the rich are being “punished” or even”demonized.”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

     It’s really not that silly a concept for an empire, especially one with a territorial core it wants to keep richer than the periphery.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I suspect that much of this is predicated on the assumption that the target readership will equate taxes and wealth redistribution with “bad things”, therefor Nicky Cascade must be a very evil man for proposing it.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/macrophotographer Kurt Story

    Good luck collecting “50 percent tax on their GNP” on areas where Nicky has dropped 100 MT nukes–as if there would be any viable economy at all.  An unintentionally hilarious book.

  • Dmoore970

    As a number of people here have pointed out, the ultimate irony is that in true Communist countries, there is no tax at all, because when the government owns everything, it has no need for taxes.  It is my understanding that they are just starting to introduce taxes in Cuba, and people are really confused by the concept.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The typical taxation system in an Eastern bloc economy involved minor use of customs duties and income taxes but the major source of non-corporate tax revenue was a peculiarity of the Communist economic structure: The “turnover tax”, which functioned a bit like  a VAT and could be used to influence prices in a crude kind of way.

    For all intents and purposes the part of the profit from a state-owned enterprise due to the government could be considered like a corporate income tax.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    As long as we’re discussing the messed up setting of L.B., here’s a thought: What effect might the elimination of languages, religions and natural borders have on world culture? It’s not like culture is a discrete little thing. Is the world just one big melting pot now, or do different regions still follow old customs – and if so, how can that be given that those customs are tied up in language and religion?

    Or have those things even really been phased out? Yes, English is the official world language now, but do people in non-Anglophone regions speak it exclusively? If they use English with the government but their native languages with family and neighbors (which happens in a lot of places with an “official language” and a linguistically diverse population), what effect might that have on the OWG? And ditto religion – who’s to say that there aren’t hundreds of new Santeria-style syncretic religions now?

  • Makabit

    It’s hard to tell about the phase-out. They can’t have gotten the whole world speaking English in a year and a half. Most people can’t learn English worth a damn in a year and a half, and even if they can, who will teach them? And will they teach them well? (I’ve dealt with many a student who had excellent grades in English class in China, but when it came to actually doing stuff in English…) It can’t have gotten much past ‘all the government paperwork is in English’, if that.

    In general, the OWG concept just needs a lot more fleshing out. If I had to guess, I would guess something like this: Morocco, say, has official OWG offices in every major city, doing business in English, but not actually imposing any law that really applies to your average Moroccan on the street. People still speak Arabic or Tamazight on the street. People in the mountains have never the hell heard of the OWG.

    The One World Religion is even harder to visualize. It’s not clear what the hell it is, but imagining it being accepted as a replacement for their religion by, well, anyone who currently HAS a religion is difficult–some groups would fight it harder and more violently than others–and those who don’t have a religion would, well, probably not suddenly decide they need one. 

    All of this could make for grand world-building, but, alas, in this series…it doesn’t.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    I’ve dealt with many a student who had excellent grades in English class in China, but when it came to actually doing stuff in English…

    Oh, I could tell you so many stories as to why that happens, but I’ll stick to the topic.

    This “Mystery” One World Religion doesn’t make a lot of sense, but what little context is there suggests that it’s some sort of civic, cult-of-personality thing. According to the story, everyone gave up their own faith and took the new one pretty easily – except Christians, of course (presumably post-Event converts). This clearly reflects some belief of LaHaye’s, though I’m not sure if it’s a belief that that all those religions are basically the same (being false and all) or that their adherents are all followers. It may be something inherent to evangelicalism, as Jenkins did the same in his own series.

    Anyway, I was just wondering how many of these followers actually gave up their old faiths. There’s apparently a sizable network of underground churches – who’s to say that this isn’t true for other religions as well? How many people pay lip service to the new order while secretly following their own consciences?

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    According to the story, everyone gave up their own faith and took the new one pretty easily – except Christians, of course (presumably post-Event converts). This clearly reflects some belief of LaHaye’s, though I’m not sure if it’s a belief that that all those religions are basically the same (being false and all) or that their adherents are all followers. It may be something inherent to evangelicalism, as Jenkins did the same in his own series.

    Yeah, in the LB series and the Underground Zealot series, it seems to be a given that all other religions are just faking it and/or that the silly non-RTC religions don’t provide people with anything “real,” so they just drop them when it’s convenient.

    In Soon, it is vaguely stated that a devastating (though you wouldn’t know it from subsequent events) war left everyone so shattered and battle-weary that the “anti-religious” could take over and institute worldwide atheism.  Because that’s how it works.

    And later in the LB series, Tsion ben-Jewishguy maintains that anyone not an RTC just loves sinning too much.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    He SAYS THAT? Oh lord, the sheer assitude dripping off this series is too much. (>_<)

    Putting words like that in Tsion's mouth can only be so L&J can massage the egos of their readers, who want to believe that they're morally superior to those sinners.

    Ugh.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    From Tsion ben-Jewishguy’s message “on the most popular Web site in history”:

    Our hope is in the promise that “the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

    We often wonder, when the truth is now so clear, why not everyone comes to Christ.  It is because of that very deception!  People did not, as Paul says above, “receive the love of the truth.” He says it is “for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  Can you imagine it?  There are people who know the truth, know their futures are doomed, and yet still they take pleasure in sin!  A warning, if you are one of those: Due to you rebellion, God may have already hardened your heart so that you could not change your mind if you wanted to.

    -Desecration, pp. 101 and 103

    So,  Nicky is the great deceiver, but it’s your own fault you were deceived.

    Also, free will (and the cake) is a lie.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    it’s your own fault you were deceived.

    Also, free will… is a lie.

    Wait, but how — what — how does that — WHAT.

    How can anything be one’s own fault if free will is a lie?! 

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     The characters of Buck, Bruce, Cam, and Tsion each represent a different aspect of the authors’ personalities. They represent their ego, ego, ego and ego, respectively.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Just checked out the Soon book on Amazon. Oooooh boy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Just checked out the Soon book on Amazon. Oooooh boy.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Shameless plug for my own blog: I did the whole book.  (And will probably do the sequel after I’m done with my current book.)

    http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/soon-the-story-so-far/

    Just in case anyone is interested in what Jerry Jenkins thinks a world run by atheists would be like. 

    Spoilers: no wars for thirty years, and an almost complete elimination of cancer and homelessness.  But no Jesus, so the place is still eeeevil.

  • AnonymousSam

    Spoiler: You are awesome.

  • kadh2000

     I’m enjoying reading it.  It’s fun to get the whole thing in one sitting. 

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Makabit, re Nicky’s One World Religion – If we pretend for a moment that any of this has any kind of plausibility to it, Nicky probably doesn’t want anybody to accept his made-up religion. No, the OWR is just a pretext to let the OWG harass, imprison, torture, execute, and kinda inconvenience anybody who doesn’t play along. And it would work superbly for that purpose, whether you want to pester antireligious or devoutly religious people. (Sorry if, as is probable, somebody else has already said this.)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    It’s hard to tell about the phase-out. They can’t have gotten the whole
    world speaking English in a year and a half. Most people can’t learn
    English worth a damn in a year and a half, and even if they can, who
    will teach them? And will they teach them well? (I’ve dealt with many a
    student who had excellent grades in English class in China, but when it
    came to actually doing stuff in English…) It can’t have gotten much
    past ‘all the government paperwork is in English’, if that.

    Also, if this is anything like reality (and this is nothing like reality), historically speaking, when a multilingual region decides to make English its One Official Language, they immediately cut all ESL courses and defund all multilingual resources.

    Admittedly, this is because in the real world, “English as official language” is something that only ever gets implemented by racists as a way to disenfranchise minorities, whereas here it’s just a plot contrivance, so things might be different. Maybe Nicolae just mind-whammies eveyrone into speaking english by saying every word in the english language at them in alphabetical order.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Another thing that occurred to me – given that the story is set in a fantastic “future” world, why not have Nicky or one of his subordinates whip up some kind of universal translator? It’s not exactly “one language,” but this way you could play it off as one of the antichrist’s false miracles. Plus, it sets a hook for some future intrigue – imagine if Nicky had designed his miracle translator to selectively edit certain subversive ideas, George Orwell style. Upon discovering this, our “heroes” obviously couldn’t use it anymore, leading to more complications when they get stranded in unfamiliar regions later on.

  • http://twitter.com/count_01 Jared James

     In a real science fiction story, by a real writer, that could be a plausible, even interesting plot device. Let’s not interpose actual writing talent or skill into our speculation about Ellenjay; it can only end in disappointment.

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s not quite a future world. It’s more “twenty minutes into the future” — except that LeHaye and Jenkins are suffering jet lag from the 1950’s, so their idea of miraculous technology is their own distracted ruminations about *gasp* telephones without wires.

    Never mind that in a few short years after the books were written, we now have telephones without wires which can also act as universal translators.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Keep in mind, they don’t think they’re writing “science fiction”, they think they’re writing history that just happens not to have happened yet.

  • AnonymousSam

    Right, so I’ve said. Just pointing out that L&J thought they were engaging in cutting-edge, up-to-date world building when the books were written, despite clearly lagging behind even by 90’s era standards and demonstrating clear ignorance of tech that was available then, much less now.

    It’s funny, as a writer, I’ve always preferred to err on the side of exuberance and make the technology available in a “twenty minutes into the future” setting a little too good, rather than pretend it’ll remain static while I write.

    Heck, the other day, I caught an article about potential applications of wireless charging being applied to highways, so that electric cars could recharge their batteries even while in motion.

    L&J act like a laptop is a phenomenal piece of technology, the inner workings mysterious and potentially sinister. I can’t help but feel like people suffering technology lag should not  be writing books about the modern world, much less “modern +20.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    Heck, the other day, I caught an article about potential applications of wireless charging being applied to highways, so that electric cars could recharge their batteries even while in motion.

    That sounds incredibly cool and potentially relevant to a game setting I’m working on. Don’t suppose you have a link handy for that article?

  • AnonymousSam

    I couldn’t find the original link, but I found this one: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120312-wireless-highway-to-charge-cars

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    Very nifty. Thanks.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Heck, the other day, I caught an article about potential applications of wireless charging being applied to highways, so that electric cars could recharge their batteries even while in motion.

    Wait… This is really just someone’s plan to make a life-size slot-car track, isn’t it?

  • AnonymousSam

    Nah, we’ve moved past that. This is the practical application. The evil scientific plots will be for a life-size version of quantum levitation race cars.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqmdv5iyIOY

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Never mind that in a few short years after the books were written, we now have telephones without wires which can also act as universal translators.

    Spoken like someone who’s never used machine translation in a real-world situation.

  • AnonymousSam

    I didn’t say they offered reliable translation. XD

    They’re slowly getting better though. Google Translate is a lot better than Babelfish used to be (still is? I thought it closed, but now it looks like it’s a combination of human translator services and machine translations).

  • P J Evans

     Well, it didn’t say they weregood translators. *g*

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I think that is actually because L&J believe EVERYBODY ALREADY speaks English, and that if they try to converse with you in their “own” language, well that is because they are just being a pain in the ass, and they couldn’t resist putting in place a rule that they really really really want, and that’s for everyone else to stop this unholy charade, AND JUST SPEAK ENGLISH!!  I feel this belief is tied in with their American Superiority Complexes.

  • Lori

    I think that is actually because L&J believe EVERYBODY ALREADY
    speaks English, and that if they try to converse with you in their “own”
    language, well that is because they are just being a pain in the ass  

    I don’t think they exactly believe that everyone already speaks English. I think they believe English is the system default so to speak and people speak other languages because their training has overridden the default (which was clearly done simply to be a defiant PITA).

    To be fair, if you take out the defiant PITA aspect, this is actually a really common attitude for people to subconsciously have toward their native tongue. You see it when people try to learn a foreign language, at least as adults. No matter which languages are involved there is a powerful tendency to try to treat New Language as fundamentally a translation of Native Language, not as a separate thing with it’s own rules and logic. Getting past that is one of the biggest challenges to developing anything like fluency.

  • Makabit

    As someone who has been subject to tourists trying to buy stuff, I can affirm this. Note: speaking to me loudly and slowly in simple language may get you somewhere in French or Spanish or even German. In Japanese, it will get nowhere. You can talk as slowly as you want. I still don’t know any words. 

  • arcseconds

    In a footnote,  Wittgenstein quotes a French politician (which he doesn’t name) as saying ‘French has the unique property of being the only language in which words appear in exactly the same order as one thinks them’.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     That’s because Wittgenstein didn’t speak Klingon.

  • arcseconds

    Should maybe point out that Wittgenstein wasn’t quoting this guy with approval.

    Wittgenstein’s native language was German, but he could speak English well enough to scrap with Bertrand Russell, and he had some Latin and I guess French, too.  Moreover, he was pretty much one of the founders of modern formal logic, and familiar with the idea that logical structure doesn’t necessarily follow linguistic structure, and in his later work he promotes a certain kind of linguistic relativism.  His later devotees have drawn on his work to critique severely the ‘Language of Thought’ hypothesis.

    He’s the last person to be thinking that everyone secretly thinks in French.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It did sound kinda weird for Wittgenstein. Leaving aside his actual philosophy, I don’t think I’ve ever read any german philosopher who would quote a frenchman with approval. (I guess you might be able to get Nietzsche to say something nice about Sade, but he’d probably follow it up with something backhandedly unpleasant about the French)

  • Lori

    Does it actually count as saying something nice? That fact that Wittgenstein quoted it doesn’t mean he agreed with it. I just assumed that Wittgenstein was quoting it in the context of an observation about French language snobbery or some such.

  • arcseconds

    The context for Wittgenstein’s mentioning the french politician is discussing the situation where you feel as though you know what you want to say, but can’t find the words. 

  • Lori

    And people say Americans are the only ones who think that way.

  • vsm

    The French can be just as obnoxious in their linguistic supremacism as any American, while speaking a language with at least a billion fewer speakers than English. It’s almost admirable.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I took four years of French in high school, and used to be able to think in French as easily as in English (so long as I wasn’t thinking about science or something else for which I did not have the French vocabulary.) When I was thinking in French, my word order made sense in French, but translate it directly into English and the clauses would be all messed up. And vice versa. Different languages = different ways of thinking about the world.

  • christopher_y

    ‘I am not like the lady of the court of Versailles who says “It’s a shame that the whole tower of Babel enterprise has produced confusion of the languages. Except for that, everyone in the world would speak French.”‘ – Voltaire (translated from the French)

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    You see it when people try to learn a foreign language, at least as adults.

    You see it in programming languages too. I once had to “fix” code written in RPG (not the game, the language) by someone who thought in Cobol. Not fun. (Less fun: my bosses couldn’t understand why I’d toss 200 lines of code and replace it with 10 – no exaggeration, RPG is really that terse when done right. “Wouldn’t it just be faster to fix what’s there?” No.)

    And there’s this example of how some people think language works:
    http://notalwaysworking.com/stupid-in-any-language-part-2/28747

  • arcseconds

    I can also remember having a rather frustrating discussion with a friend of mine (who’s in other respects pretty smart and reasonably open to other points of view) who just couldn’t understand that there’s not a 1:1 correspondence to words in English to words in another language where the meaning is entirely preserved.

    So he basically thought that translation was just a giant search and replace routine, maybe followed up by a few tree operations to sort out the grammar.

  • Lori

     

    I can also remember having a rather frustrating discussion with a friend
    of mine (who’s in other respects pretty smart and reasonably open to
    other points of view) who just couldn’t understand that there’s not a
    1:1 correspondence to words in English to words in another language
    where the meaning is entirely preserved.

    So he basically thought that translation was just a giant search and
    replace routine, maybe followed up by a few tree operations to sort out
    the grammar.   

    One one hand, this is clearly ridiculous. On the other hand, I have some sympathy for your friend’s inability to grasp this, as basic as it is. Language shapes how we think & how we see the world. It doesn’t simply describe our reality, in a very real way it creates it. It can be very difficult and sort of disorienting to really grasp that.

  • arcseconds

    Dammit, you were supposed to have sympathy with me, not with my friend! There’s no justice…

    Seriously, though, I really mentioned this because I think it’s a common attitude for people to take to foreign languages if they’re monolingual or nigh-monolingual, especially if they’ve not tried seriously to learn another language (although i take your point that this attitude may remain as a kind of background assumption even if one has made a reasonable attempt).

    And I think this kind of thinking is behind the ‘everyone really is a Christian deep down’ kind of view.

    What I think is more problematic than not understanding that it’s not like that, is the resistance to even thinking there’s something one doesn’t understand about it.  It’s very rare to find an attitude like “well, I don’t really understand what she’s going on about, but Lori surely knows more than me about this, so maybe I shouldn’t just keep on insisting my naive view must be the correct one”.

    (I wouldn’t excuse myself on this score, either)

  • Lori

     

    Dammit, you were supposed to have sympathy with me, not with my friend!   

    Oh, I do have sympathy with you. I should have made that clear. Having those kinds of “bang your head against the wall” conversations, especially with people who ought to know better, is very frustrating. I feel your pain.

  • vsm

    You should tell your friend to do an image search for 青い空 (aoi sora) and 青いりんご (aoi ringo) and then ask them to translate aoi with the same word in both phrases. It’s a fun exercise.

    The explanation is, of course, that terra (zvqbev) orvat n qvfgvapg pbybe, engure guna n uhr bs oyhr (nb), vf n erprag qrirybczrag va Wncna. Gur byq jnl bs vagrecergvat gur pbybef fgvyy fheivirf va fbzr pbagrkgf, yvxr nccyrf urer.

  • AnonymousSam

    A lot of wonderful word play simply doesn’t translate thanks to things like that. I’m fond of the anime Black Butler’s use of word play in the titular character’s catch phrase:

    Watashi wa aku made shitsuji desu kara.
    Watashi wa akuma de shitsuji desu kara.

    Depending on whether you read it as “aku made” or “akuma de”, the meaning of the phrase changes from “I am a butler to the end” to “I am a demon and a butler.”

    It’s has significant meaning. Sadly, there’s absolutely no possible way to do a straight word-by-word translation and keep this hidden word play.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Si sapis sis apis!

  • AnonymousSam

    Tempting as it is to spam the Hanyu Pinyin form of this, I’ll just link to the ultimate wordplay-that-doesn’t-translate poem:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-Eating_Poet_in_the_Stone_Den

  • The_L1985

     There’s an ancient Greek riddle mentioned in Plato’s Republic, which relies equally on untranslatable wordplay.

  • vsm

    I think my favorite example of this is in Trigun, which is what I think
    Worthless Beast referred to earlier. There’s a significant plot point
    that relies on Japanese having a subject-object-verb word order, rather than the subject verb-object order found in English. The hero’s teacher is telling him to do something, only for him to miss the last word. Thus he knows he should do something to a specific person, but never got to hear what and has to figure it out for himself. The English translator used an ambiguous verb instead, which was clever but still ended up losing something.

  • Worthless Beast

    Yes.  The sacrement in “Vashism” will be donuts and beer. 

  • Jenny Islander

    Perhaps “I serve my master well.”

  • AnonymousSam

    The English translation went with “I am simply one hell of a butler.” I like that one too, though. Ambiguity is where devils play, filling in the details…

  • fraser

    I’d probably pay up the One World Language as a direct shot against God–he changed humanity’s tongues to keep us from speaking in one language but now the Great Carpathia has confounded him!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Prost/100002434484052 Tony Prost

     “And ditto religion – who’s to say that there aren’t hundreds of new Santeria-style syncretic religions now?”

    That’s a good point.  People aren’t going to change their religion just because all the priests are raptured or executed. Nicky Splash Mountain should be setting off Inquisitors for the One
    World Religion (whateer the hell it is called), and burning heretics at the stake! That would be drama!

  • Tricksterson

    Possible with the languages but not the religions because RTCs in general and L&J in particular seem to believe that, Christianity and Judaism aside, all other religions are already really one, they’re just pretending otherwise.

  • Dantesque17

    You know that point in any Legend of Zelda game, where Link has bought every item and every upgrade available so that there is literally nothing of value that he can buy with all the money in his wallet?  In this story, Carpathia passed that point years ago, yet his evil plan is to get even more money.  **palm hits face**

  • Worthless Beast

    I’ve just finished playing Phantom Hourglass.  Wow, did that game play that up to eleven! I suppose it’s so you can have moolah to play mini games with.  I rather liked the glut of money in Twilight Princess because I found the money-sucking Magic Armor fun to play around with.  

    Then there is Wind Waker … yes… Carpathia is Tingle?

    (I’m sorry. You mentioned LoZ – and I’m a hardcore fangirl).

  • Vermic

    THRILL as the harbinger of Satan unveils the chilling details of his two-part tax policy and zzzzzzzzzz

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Prost/100002434484052 Tony Prost

     Too bad Nicky Splash Mountain isn’t around today! I bet he could solve the sequester just like *that* !!!

  • GDwarf

    But…GNP isn’t a thing that you can know at any time. It can take a significant period of time for such a calculation to be done, and estimates of such things are notoriously inaccurate.

    As for the countries problem, I think the authors just keep making mental slipups there. It shows how unreal all of this actually is to them, though, even they find the idea of a world without any countries but Israel to be unreal and hard to believe in.

  • Flying Squid with Goggles

    This is (yet another) place where L.B. could learn from Doctor Who (spoilers ahead if you’re a several years behind in the series!)

    When The Master takes over the Earth, he enslaves the population to build a fleet of spaceships to conquer the galaxy/universe. Nicolae Generic Tall Geological Object has one goal – he knows there’s a showdown with God coming. Probably not much Nicky GTGO can do, but you’d think he might have building massive military capability as a goal instead of some vague thing about taxing and raising the living standards of poor areas.

    But that brings back the folly of thinking the Antichrist would somehow be a pacifist. Or a war-loving pacifist. Or a war-loving non-nuke-but-nuke-like-dropping pacifist. I give up.

  • WalterC

    I think Nicolae Carpathia’s one-world government actually makes sense. Carpathia rules the world, but because his personal staff is so small (a botanist, a former newspaper editor, and a flight attendant, and now that Leon guy…) he delegates the responsibilities of ruling each of the 10 districts to his ambassadors or sub-potentates. These ambassadors have absolute power over their territories but are still subordinate to Carpathia. Carpathia’s own role is to set the general policies and leave the day-to-day minutiae of implementation to the ambassadors; for example, if he wants 50% of the wealth of North America, he issues that order, and it’s up to the ambassador to set up the taxation strategy to come up with the money.

    (It’s never really explained why Carpathia, as global ruler, doesn’t just expropriate assets directly instead of what he does now, which is essentially tax his own subjects in order to buy supplies and hire labor — presumably from his own subjects — in order to help his subjects.

    But what’s this business about making English the official world
    language? That doesn’t pander to the fears of the readers – maybe French
    or Arabic instead.

    It’s not supposed to be scary. It just reflects the fact that the authors and the majority of readers can speak English but not necessarily French or Arabic; these books would not sell well if you had to be bilingual to understand them (understanding enough English for the narrative and enough French/Arabic/something else to understand the One World Language of the Global Community characters’ dialogue). Besides, you’ve seen how poorly Jenkins renders non-native English speakers or people with non-English accents, you’ll see that this is a blessing.

  • Carstonio

    Ellanjay wouldn’t have to have passages in French or Arabic. One of the Star Trek novels had McCoy testifying in Vulcan but his testimony shown in English for the reader. Another device might be Buck and Chloe fearful for not understanding what Nicolae’s goons are saying to them.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Indeed, this is called a “translation convention” and it’s fairly common in literature. There are plenty of ways to do it, the simplest being to use some symbol to indicate a non-English passage (comics and graphic novels typically use angle brackets). For that matter, I’ve seen some stories where it’s just presumed that the characters are speaking another language unless otherwise indicated.

  • The_L1985

    I’ve seen some stories where it’s just presumed that the characters are speaking another language unless otherwise indicated.

     A pretty good example of this is in Susan Palwick’s The Necessary Beggar, in which a bunch of people from another world suddenly find themselves in a refugee camp in the U.S.  Not only is their other-world language treated as the default (and presented to the reader in English), but English is very successfully portrayed as foreign and incomprehensible to them.  Basically when the Americans are attempting to communicate with the foreigners at the beginning of the book, Palwick substitutes other English words that sound similar to the actual English words they’d use, but mean such different things that the English parts of the dialog are essentially gibberish (at least until the POV characters learn English themselves).

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     But rendering something in english when it was said in another language would be lying! And lies make baby jesus cry, unless they’re lies about fetal or female biology told to drum up support for an abortion ban!

  • fraser

    Calling them “kings” in this context presumably represents flattery (“Yes, you are absolute monarchs, even though you do everything I say.”). I’m sure a lot of people being told they were a king and having the trappings wouldn’t question whether they fitted the conventional definition of a monarch. Alternatively, it could be another sign of Nicky’s antiChristology–instead of kings ruling by divine right, they know rule by undivine right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Prost/100002434484052 Tony Prost

     “his ambassadors or sub-potentates”    im-potentates?

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Okay, if I was the anti-christ, running the world, with a specific goal of creating the kind of starvation, disease, war, and general death that is alluded to in Revelations, would I use taxation to do so?

    Why?  Yes, Yes I would.  I’d remove all income based taxes and find a way to tax spending.  Done.  Sales tax on everything.  Flat sales tax and only a sales tax.

    Okay, sure, you’re going to have this black market of… everything.  I don’t need to stop the black market.  It’s not that I need to have personal control.  My ends are the evil in general, not that I necessarily get the credit for it.  So, let the black market go.  Let people trade bread on the black market.  One of the things about the black market isn’t that its fair.

    So, go ahead, let things go on the black market, especially food and medicine.  Let the wealthy, in planning for emergencies, use the black market to create stores of food and medicine, regardless of how that drives the price up for the honest and the poor.

    This GRP (Gross Regional Product) tax… don’t even reference the Gross Regional Product.  Just make it a tax on every purchace, along with a 10ct tax on every time money is lent, borrowed, gifted, etc.

    This allows the money to concentrait in the hands of a wealthy few, with prices going up to match the spending party of those wealthy few.

    So, we’ve got the famine due to increasingly expensive food and medicine, thanks to a black market that funnels things to the wealthy.  That takes care of the famine and the pestilence.  We’ve still got that one horseman called War to work with.  Thankfully, the income disparity will create an increased competition for existing resources, perhaps even class warfair.  The black markets will foster organized crime and we’ll have mob wars.  Death?  He comes along with the other three.

    Really, that’s a self-managing evil, something to be done to create suffering for its own sake… which is the real problem, its own sake.

    Evil, in L&J’s worldview, doesn’t hurt or wound God or Jesus, certainly doesn’t pose them a threat.  More or less, it just kinda irks them.  So, all this evil is just for its own sake and achieving nothing else.

    It makes Satan seem less evil and more… like he’s holding a grudge.  I mean, it could make Satan into God’s psycho ex-angelfriend, but that makes all of this less evil and more… pathetic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Okay, if I was the anti-christ, running the world, with a specific goal of creating the kind of starvation, disease, war, and general death that is alluded to in Revelations….

    Ah, but you have the roles reversed there. All that that you mentioned, that’s L&J’s God’s work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    You see, that’s what poses the biggest problem for an antichrist in L&J’s apocalypse.  How do I be more evil than God?

    Well, considering the definition of good v evil that they’re working with, which is distressingly common throughout Christendom, that good is defined by God liking somehting and evil is defined by God disliking something.

    So, I go back to something I’ve said before and something Chris the Cynic is expressing very well in his Nick Andes stories.  The most absolutely evil thing thing that the antichrist could do would be to be a nice guy that genuinely wants to help people.

  • Tricksterson

    Yes, keep inn mind that the reason why Nicky can’t demand children for Satanic sacrifice or for hostages is because God already killed them all!

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    So, Nicky’s kind of in the same position as Bender in the episode where the Futurama crew found an alternate universe.

    “Somewhere there’s a more evil Bender than me!  I do my best, damnit!”

  • SkyknightXi

     Just remember that LaHaye would swear up and down that they WEREN’T killed. They were raptured, essentially teleported to Heaven, and so didn’t go through the degradation and pain that actual, sin-summoned death inherently contains. That their parents and friends are every bit as bereft is immaterial. No suffering was visited upon the innocent, so where, LaHaye would ask, is the evil? Those left behind were necessarily sinners, so they deserved bereavement, so THAT wasn’t evil, either.

    Come to think of it…That whole bit about an age after which you ARE held accountable for your sins, and the Sinner’s [s]Spell[/s]Prayer, makes me wonder if you could interpret the age of accountability as God telling those past it that they’re in trouble because they were too foolish to QUICKLY swear absolute fealty to God…

  • Tybult

    And he’s consolidated the entire globe under one world government, one
    world religion, one world currency and one world language. That’s all
    quite impressive

    Well, not really – this is a globe populated by people who are impressed by hearing their country’s name in their own language, by people who attack the same place with fighter jets and nuclear missiles at the same time.
    It’s like living in a world populated solely by factory-bred turkeys – you don’t have to work too hard to get to the top of the heap.

    I would like you to announce, simultaneously, the initiation of a ten-cent tax on all electronic money transfers.

    “You, young Skywalker, are about to witness the might of my fully armed and operational Ten Cent Tax.”

  • Turcano

    Another thing that L&J overlook is that fact that for most of the countries in the world worth living in, this is actually a tax cut.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Another thing that L&J overlook is that fact that for most of the
    countries in the world worth living in, this is actually a tax cut.

    Don’t you know, the US has the highest taxes in the world? Don’t listen to those furriners telling you othwerwise, how would THEY know, their money all looks like monopoly money.

    (Seriously, my dad is always telling me stories about coworkers he’s tried and failed to disabuse of the notion that taxes in the US are both the highest in the world and the highest they have ever been)

  • Lori

    (Seriously, my dad is always telling me stories about coworkers he’s
    tried and failed to disabuse of the notion that taxes in the US are both
    the highest in the world and the highest they have ever been)  

    This is one of the things that makes me the most infuriated about my father’s political beliefs. He was a tax paying adult during many, many years when the tax rate here in the US was far higher than it is now. He knows this. He was there. And yet, he will swear up and down that taxes are the highest they’ve ever been and they’re a crushing burden and blah, blah, Fox News BS, blah.

  • http://twitter.com/WayofCats WayofCats

    One thing about European/Canadian style taxes; it looks like they take a lot out, but what is left does not have to cover health care, student loans, child minding and all the myriad stuff we are supposed to pony up for.

    I’ll bet if we compared actual spending money; it would look really GOOD.

  • Angelique Blackthorne

    “Now, let us get down to business,” the Antichrist says.

    “…to defeat the Huns! Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?”

    This scene would be hilariously more entertaining, if no less comprehensible, if it were done as a Disney song number.

  • AnonymousSam

    I have concluded that “Walt Disney Presents: ______, the Animated Feature” is a recipe for something watchable regardless of what it is, so long as _______ is something that can’t possibly be quashed down into PG-13 substance.

    I’m still holding out for Walt Disney Presents Fifty Shades of Gray, the Animated Feature. I’d totally go see it.

  • Ken

     I’ve always wanted to see Walk Disney’s Bluebeard.  I can just picture the big chorus number, with Bluebeard’s former wives’ heads lined up on the shelf, singing…

  • Tricksterson

    I would love a Left Behind Musical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    yes Yes YES YYEESSS!!!!!!!

  • AnotherKate

    I’m picturing Mel Brooks as Hitler in the Naughty Nazis number from To Be or Not To Be: “A little slice of Turkey! A little spot of Greece!” Etc.

  • flat

    Hey Nicky, Holo the wise called: if you would stop trying to use economics in your evil plan.

  • AnonymousSam

    What’s hilarious is the thought that LeHaye and Jenkins would probably be incapable of comprehending the idea that an anime revolving around a fox woman who is worshiped as a harvest deity and parades about in the nude (at least for multiple scenes and every picture of art related to the series ever) would be about economics and not turn out to be about a soul-devouring antichrist creature like what they wish they could portray here.

    They’d probably only get so far as “fox woman” before their heads asplode and they automatically conclude EVIL.

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

     Heh. Now try to imagine their reaction to Maoyuu, which is about a Hero who joins up with the Demon Queen he’s supposed to kill in order to reshape the world economy and make war less likely. Potatoes aren’t evil this time around, but overreliance on this new miracle crop has to have consequences later.

    The series has a slightly Dragon Quest look to it and no one has a proper name, just a description of what they do.

  • arcseconds

    Am I missing something here?

    GDP is the sum of the market value of all final goods and services produced by a country.

    So couldn’t a 30% GDP tax be implemented as a 30% GST/VAT-style sales tax?

    It might not be exactly equivalent, as I suppose goods produced but not sold count towards GDP, but it should be pretty close.

     30% seems high, but many countries in the real works have VAT at 20% or more, including places like Germany and the UK and Belgium and so forth.  These places aren’t famous for their burgeoning black markets (or at least, not to me…).   They’re far from the worst places as far as economic inequality goes, either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    “Next week we’ll look at more of his evil master plan, including his bewildering ideas for making sure that his one-world government is no longer dependent on foreign oil. (Yes, really.)”

    *raises finger and opens mouth, stops, and lowers/closes it again*Actually, nevermind. I want to see where they’re going with this.

  • Turcano

    I would also like to know how dependence on foreign oil is a problem when “foreign” is no longer a thing that exists in this context.

  • reynard61

    “Aha, there’s a catch. Excellent. Maybe Nicolae will reveal that this help and aid is conditional. He will rebuild their shattered cities, feeding and sheltering the millions of nuclear refugees, but in exchange for this assistance he will demand that the afflicted sacrifice their children.

    “Hold on, no, wait. Scratch that. There are no children anymore in the world of this novel. I keep forgetting.

    “That’s an important point to keep in mind, too, when we’re evaluating Nicolae’s work as an Antichrist. It puts him at a rather large disadvantage in the monstrous evil department. Sure, he’s still able to do things like bomb a hospital, killing Bruce Barnes and hundreds of other sick people, but that would have been so much more evil if the pediatric ward hadn’t already been empty. This whole world-without-children thing really does handicap Nicolae’s ability to do the sort of thing we’d expect from an epitome of evil. He’s supposed to surpass all the monsters of history, but it’s hard to compete with guys like Genghis Khan or Joshua when there are no children available to put to the sword.”

    Yeah; it’s kinda hard to kick puppies when there aren’t any puppies to kick.

    (Warning: TV Tropes link. Kiss a couple of hours good-bye…)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O2DIEGJWN5XMY3JUSP7KAGKNPU Kevin

    So, in a nutshell, Ellenjay’s image of pure, darkest cosmic evil is not Adolf Hitler, it’s Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

    Maybe that’s why it’s OK to be the Antichrist’s henchman?  Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Patton worked for FDR, and they’re cool* despite FDR being the incarnation of all wickedness.  So Ray-gun and Camshaft are all right, Jack.

    I find it a bit curious that Ellenjay are tooting so hard on their Republican political dogwhistles in the context of the fulfillment of their “Biblical” prophecies.  I know that if I was writing a story about the aftermath of some apocalypse (zombies, the Yellowstone supervolcano, asteroids, alien invasion, whatever), I wouldn’t have my characters peeking out of the ruins to see if the rubble had stopped bouncing, then saying to each other, “And this is why we should have adopted a real single-payer national health care plan instead of Obamacare!”

    Apocalypse is the situation where the politics of the day doesn’t matter anymore.  I guess I can understand Ellenjay doing this, if they don’t really believe this stuff and they’re just milking their audience for a whole lot of quick bucks.  What I don’t quite get is the audience members themselves.  This is supposed to be the Apocalypse!  The grand consummation of the entire arc of Biblical history, the revelation of God’s Big Plan.  If you’re an RTC, shouldn’t all that stuff be kinda more important than tax policy?

    I’m trying to imagine how I would have written this story back when I was an evangelical/fundy type.  I’m pretty sure I would have done something like run with the idea that blatantly supernatural magic/miracles are an actual thing all of a sudden.  So, the Antichrist would be more “evil sorcerer” than “social-democratic European politician,” and his minions would be developing and wielding magical powers now that demons had been set free to run amok.  Nobody would be thinking about tax policy, or whether people say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” in December.  Maybe because in my formative years the big scare for RTC’s was “OMG!  New Age Movement!” instead of “OMG!  Communism and the European Common Market!”  I can’t say I would have been able to do it nearly as well as Chris the Cynic does it in “A World Without God,” but that would have been the kind of thing I’d have been aiming for. 

    Plus, I have a hard time imagining the Antichrist as just another guy in a suit making policy proposals, with his dark heart set on…turning the world into Sweden?  How is that not anticlimactic even for RTC’s?  BTW, has Nicky even used his mind-whammy ability since that one time in Left Behind?  The Mule from Asimov’s Second Foundation–now there was a guy who knew how to use a mind-whammy!  Nicky Olympus Mons** is just Tony Blair with a vaguely Eastern European*** accent.  What a disappointment.

    My mind just continues to boggle.  If they can’t make Nicky Worse Than Hitler, couldn’t they at least try to make him Worse Than Ming the Merciless?  Like, have him spend the money to build a space battlecruiser with a great big Death Ray of Death in preparation for the Battle of Armageddon?

    [I usually post as “KevinC” but now I’m logged in via Yahoo, hence the slightly different username]

    *To the Republican brain.
    **That “foreign oil” has to come from somewhere, right?
    ***Because Ellenjay are probably pretty sure Romania is in Eastern Europe.  Unless it’s that country just south of Paraguay.

  • arcseconds

    I think you’re missing why people find these books attractive.

    They’re not after Mad Max × Star Wars because they want high drama and sci-fi and gloriously dramatic portrayals of evil.

    They like them because their prejudices are massaged and vindicated

    (at least, that’s my theory. I’ve never met anyone who’s read the damn things.  But I think it works in terms of what’s on the page.  It’s terrible as post-apocalyptic sci fi, or James Bond.  We don’t get consistently dramatic evil.  But what we do get consistently is playing out all the ultraconservative American protestant canards, including the weird mix of antisemitism and judaophilia, glorification of middle class men in coöperating with what they understand to be evil but not liking it, dammit, everyone not saved is stupid, the UN and taxes are works of the devil, &c. &c. )

    EDIT: so the dogwhistles are what the books are all about, basically.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O2DIEGJWN5XMY3JUSP7KAGKNPU Kevin

     Yeah, I can understand that in a story like Soon, where the setting is some future Atheistopia, but not the Post-Rapture Apocalypse.  It just seems to me that in the PRA, even the wingers would be expecting a little more than “Yay, Republicans!”  I think you’re right, it’s just weird to me that the RTC’s have so completely subordinated their eschatology to their present-day politics–not to mention their blatant materialism.  “What’s this?  Jesus has returned?  Huh.  What’s that gonna do for my stock portfolio and my cell phone reception?  And he is gonna repeal Obamacare, right?”

  • arcseconds

     I’m not sure I’d put it down to materialism exactly.

    You can’t systematically think through things independently in general ways and remain an RTC (or at least, not a happy one).  If you’re going to think through things systematically, it has to be in highly circumscribed ways — like, you can work on your own End Times timeline, but you can’t start doing source criticism on Genesis or thinking too hard as to which animals lay eggs and why.

    So you’re not going to be looking for world-building, I think.  That kind of thinking is an alien (and likely dangerous) concept.

    You’re also just going to have to accept things largely as a package.  Remember that tax is part of the general ‘the antichrist takes over and persecutes we RTCs until Jesus comes back and then you’ll all be sorry’ package, too.  If you start thinking ‘well, if there’s a nuclear war and famine and the Antichrist owns everything, then there can’t really even be taxes and they certainly would seem to be the least of our worries’, then it might start seeming like taxes aren’t actually all that important… perhaps they’re not actually the greatest evil …. maybe they aren’t connected with the Antichrist and the secularist muslim communists at all…. maybe they’re actually connected in some way with civil society..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O2DIEGJWN5XMY3JUSP7KAGKNPU Kevin

     The weird materialism of these books is in the way the characters all still act as if money, status, high-end Range Rovers, super-expensive “mega-laptops,” and fancy cell phones–not to mention policies like progressive taxation–matter in this context.  One of the earlier NRA posts (I don’t remember the title offhand, but it was about the first few pages) shows our hack authors getting their sexism across by portraying Chloe wigging out about the nuclear attack on New York (IIRC) because, “What about our home!”  I.e., the little woman freaking out about her little domestic concerns and needing her man to calm her down or some such rubbish.  But he didn’t do it by reminding her that the Egg Timer of the Cosmos was reading only six years left, and “store not up for yourselves treasure on Earth” etc..  All this stuff just makes my mind go *Boing*-Whaaaa? because if there was any point where The Glories of Capitalism just wouldn’t matter anymore, even to the most conservative/libertarian RTC in the world, it ought to be the point where you know you…actually…don’t…need…to…sweat that stuff anymore, because, Apocalypse.

    Also: If Nicky needs money, why doesn’t he just print it like there’s no tomorrow?  Because, well…there is no tomorrow!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O2DIEGJWN5XMY3JUSP7KAGKNPU Kevin

     Oh yeah, I just remembered the title of that post by Fred: “Squeezing the Stallion.”  BWAHAHAHAHA!  And Buck dismissed Chloe’s worries about her Homely House (read: swanky 5th Ave. apartment) because he had more important things to worry about, like road rage and how awesome the fully-loaded engine of his phallic compensater–er, car is.

  • The_L1985

     That’s one thing about the 1960’s film version of War of the Worlds that really stood out to me.  The fellow who tries to bribe other people to let him on the carts fleeing the city and is basically laughed at and told that money is meaningless now.

    It was at that moment that I got the “Oh crap, the situation is really bad at this point” vibe.  When nobody cares about material things, it’s generally because your very survival is on the line, and literally nothing else is important.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Fred has definitely pointed that out before, yes – that the sheer banality of these books is partly due to L&J not giving a damn about wordbuilding, but instead wanting to give their PMD readers a vicarious happy dance in which they gleefully give the finger to the un-saved.

  • AnonymousSam

    *Whistles* My characters peeked out of the ruins and said “This is because of those premillennial dispensationalists!”

    Well, not really, but the narrative does blame them for making it happen.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O2DIEGJWN5XMY3JUSP7KAGKNPU Kevin

    I would be interested to know what people think the secret of Left Behind‘s success is.  I know there are plenty of other writers of RTC fiction out there.  Surely they can’t all be worse than Ellenjay, but they’re also not all sitting on the royalties from 60 million sales, either.  Ellenjay make it look like it ought to be easy to make huge pots of money as a writer, if you just throw some story together in which the characters raise a fist and say “Jesus, man!”* to each other once in awhile.  But, the world doesn’t quite work like that.  Hence, the mystery.

    *This comes from an RTC movie reviewed at Heathen Critique, where this gesture is employed in a way just begging for parody.

  • arcseconds

     There was some comments along these lines in the comments for the last or last-but-one post, which I don’t have time to go find right this moment.

    someone quite wisely pointed out that RTCs don’t actually have a lot of griping fiction on their ‘cleared for guilt-free reading’ list, and specifically not a lot of sci-fi apocalyptic action-adventure.

    Other than that, it may well just come down to the Matthew Effect

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O2DIEGJWN5XMY3JUSP7KAGKNPU Kevin

     True, but it seems to me that the Law of Supply and Demand would abhor such a vacuum.  Surely there’d have to be at least a couple hundred thousand RTC’s who would read the LB books and think, “HOLY CRAP, I could write better than this in my sleep!” and be right.  Because, how hard could it be to write better than this in one’s sleep? 

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    You have to remember that none of those RTCs thought that the books were bad. I can’t tell you how many evangelical kids tried to pitch me on these things in high school.

    But aside from that, a lot of people were inspired to write as a result of these books. As an aficionado of bad self-published literature, I can tell you that more books exist, and most of them are far, far worse than LB. They’re inferior knock-offs, usually mixed with the author’s own personal interests. I believe I mentioned one such book in a previous thread that was basically Left Behind meets Twilight, but somehow less than the sum of its parts. It appeared to be fairly popular, at least by self-pub standards, and it had a high rating.

    Some people just have really low standards.

  • Jenny Islander

    Sometimes it’s desperation to see something, anything in print that tells the story one wants.  Back when I was in X-Files fandom, I was desperate for stories about Mulder not continually having the football of life snatched away just when he was off balance for the kick.  So I read, reread, bookmarked, and enthusiastically recced a long series in which he and Scully had a funny lightbulb moment about their relationship, adjusted their work situation to allow for a romance, set up housekeeping together, eventually got married, and fought the series villains together instead of him charging off and her trailing exasperatedly behind.  The plots were excellent–mostly because the writer ditched Chris Carter’s fan dance much sooner than he did, so she had fewer plot elements to deal with when resolving the major series arcs.  The writer had a gift for description and dialogue, as well as funny moments that were somehow very Mulder and Scully.  And although the stories were definitely lighter and sweeter, they weren’t character-coddling exercises; bad things did happen to good people.

    I went back to it years later and realized that I had been so overjoyed to see Mulder get some happiness for once that I had completely……………overlooked…………the annoying way the author wrote without punctuation except supersized ellipses………….no commas………no quotation marks…………….she even forgot to capitalize………..not to mention her failure to start new paragraphs………………………

  • Bificommander

    Oh sweet Djesus, LaHaye and Jenkins seriously went there? The plan of the most evil man in history is ‘ raising the level of Third World countries’? “And when the whole world is on equal footing, America will NO LONGER BE EXCEPTIONAL MUHAHAHAHAHA!”

    There are times I wish I wasn’t an atheist, and actually believed that LaHaye would come face to face with his lord and savior, so I could properly picture his changing facial expression as Jesus reminded him of that little story of the goats and sheep, and the whole bit about refusing to help the poor is the same as refusing to help him.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Wait, isn’t that just the bad guy’s plot from ‘The Incredibles’?

  • Bificommander

     Yeah, I thought of that too. As cool as Pixar films are, they have some odd moral lessons. Finding Nemo had ‘adults are too cautious, children should just do as they want, and then both them and the adults will be happier’. And The Incredibles didn’t do anything special with the visuals and audio as the villain explained that his plan would involve unleashing a death-dealing robot on a city, but the villain was shot in shadow with a deep, evil voice as he explained his motive ‘And when everyone is Super, no one is‘ as if that was the part that we should’ve instinctively found horryfying. Well, I guess it is for Fox News viewers, and that’s a cool portion of your potential US audience right there.

     I know that there’s plenty of children films with left-leaning messages. But there it’s usually of the type if(Right wing plan == true) Bad results = true; i.e. ‘if we hack down all the trees, all the animals will die’ or something. But this one to me seems like if(Bad result==true) Left wing plan=true; The method to achieve it is horrible, but they make it sound like we should be more horrified by the ‘everyone is equal’ part. Which I can only imagine comes from the brain of an Ayn Rand enthousiast who imagines he is a Super(-artist/writer/industrialist) and doesn’t want any substandard performers getting any of his hard-earned praise and money.

    It’s not like they accidentally forgot to phrase this as a Well Intentioned Extremist, a villain who wants something admirable but uses vile methods to accomplish it. With the son Dash’s earlier comments that echo the Villain’s, the idea that everyone gets to be special meaning that no one is special is clearly one of the mental hurdles the father and mother need to overcome, realizing that they are special and super, and that’s how it should be. Dash clearly goes against this being a ‘everyone has something to contribute’ moral, there are supposedly only a few people who contribute something (or at least, much more than others), and the Super-people shouldn’t feel dragged down by the normal losers. Which might just work as a decent moral in a world with people with superpowers. But just like I think Del Turo forgot his audience consists of normal humans in Hellboy 2, so did this film. And the message only serves to stroke the ego of people who are well off.  And, especially since this is a film aimed at children who owe all their current wealth to their parents, that often comes to praising those with rich ancestors.

  • Carstonio

    From my viewing, Finding Nemo was about Marlin learning to let go of his fears instead of projecting them onto his son. I didn’t read this as saying that adults in general are too cautious. Half the characters in the film are telling Marlin to lighten up.

    I don’t really consider The Incredibles a typical Pixar film. The story came from an outsider (Brad Bird), and even putting the Randism aside, the theme and characterization are far different. Perhaps Bird sold the story to Pixar by spinning his ideology in staying-true-to-one’s-self terms.

  • vsm

    I wonder what happened to Brad Bird after the Iron Giant, one of the more liberal children’s films I’ve ever seen. It went as far as suggesting that militarism is bad and that diplomacy, cross-cultural friendships and beatniks are good.

  • Jenny Islander

    I didn’t like the ending of The Incredibles.  We’re presented with spouses who need to work toward a meeting of the minds, the battle in which they work together and triumph, and their happy life afterward involves . . . teaching one of their kids to lie and invalidate the other children’s attempts to excel?  Why not let Dash run around for fun and have him take up a sport that actually would challenge him,  like archery or golf?

  • Carstonio

    That didn’t sit well with me either, and I like your proposed solution. Smallville tackled (ahem) the issue with more depth, with teenaged Clark wanting to play football despite his father’s objections.

    Does the outcome for Dash sound like more of Rand’s objectivism? From what others have written here about her books, I can imagine the outcome being an act of libertarian resignation, where the exceptional person has to live a lie in order to be part of society. I’ve never read Rand’s books.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    I kinda thought that, unless their powers are psychic mindreading or the like, maybe they should be in chess club.  This would be especially true if they’re in training to be, you know, super heroes who will commonly need to be able to outthink villains.

  • AndrewSshi

    There are times I wish I wasn’t an atheist, and actually believed that
    LaHaye would come face to face with his lord and savior, so I could
    properly picture his changing facial expression as Jesus reminded him of
    that little story of the goats and sheep, and the whole bit about
    refusing to help the poor is the same as refusing to help him.

    RTC exegetes are way ahead of you. The passage on the sheep and the goats has nothing do do with social justice, but rather is about looking out for one’s fellow RTCs.

    Srsly
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    RTC exegetes are way ahead of you. The passage on the sheep and the
    goats has nothing do do with social justice, but rather is about looking
    out for one’s fellow RTCs.

    I’m seen them go beyond that and claim that “the nations” refers to “the World,” i.e. everyone except RTCs.

    They seriously claim that the message of the parable is essentially “Everyone else will be judged based on how they treated us.”

  • SkyknightXi

     And that is, for the most part, what happens in Glorious Appearing. The division isn’t how they treated the weak, but how they treated the Jews and RTCs.

  • Will Hennessy

    Let me start by saying how SHOCKED I am that the author’s form of utter terror, horror and evil in the world would be taxes. Seriously, SHOCKED and STUNNED. No, really. Stop laughing. Stop. Stop!

    Ok, kidding aside, the authors’ tirade against taxes brings me back once again to chapter 16 of For Whom the Bell Tolls, in which that socialist pig Hemingway describes the EXACT STRUGGLE we’re going through in this country now, what with rich estate owners not wanting to pay taxes to help the rest of us. Hemingway says that there will be fighting in this country because of this struggle his proxy-characters describe.

    Oh, and he calls the wealthy elite who refuse to pay their fair share “fascists.”

    And people wonder why I continue to assert that if you read Mein Kampf and merely change the word “Germany” to “America” and the word “Jews” to “immigrants,” you end up with the platform of the Tea Party…

    …ugh. I’m going to sleep.

  • Müntzer

    “That, in turn, creates a cash-flow problem.”
    It does not. If there is no cash (electronic currency, remember?) then paying with IOUs is not a problem. The IOUs become the currency. Everybody ‘pays with his good name’ if you will which stays good as long as he has diligently payed his bills.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    So L&J think money has an intrinsic value? Seriously? But that’s the only reason to imagine that a one world government that could take what it wants would level a monetary tax rather than a goods/labour tax. If they ever find themselves in a real post-apocalyptic scenario they’ll probably be shocked that no one wants their dollars.

    Seriously in Nicolae’s political position it would be far more efficient to use an Incan style tax system http://io9.com/5872764/the-greatest-mystery-of-the-inca-empire-was-its-strange-economy Far more evil as well since it’s effectively a form of slavery.

  • Ken

    I still can’t get past the image of Rayford hunched over in the pilot’s seat, scribbling away notes on tax policy because it will help the Tribulation Force do, um, nothing.

    Besides, don’t the Tribbies already know what Nicolae is going to do?  That’s Bruce’s thousands of pages of Bible interpretation, right?  Somewhere in there must be the explanation of how if you paste together Ezekiel 39:12 and Revelation 11:11, it clearly shows that the Antichrist will use a world sales tax to pay for disaster relief and economic development.

  • http://twitter.com/WayofCats WayofCats

    As a refugee from the Baptists (and this was before all the wheels left the road) I can confidently figure that SENSE is the last thing on their minds. What we have here is a failure to communicate. It doesn’t and it won’t and it’s not meant to gel; it’s a paranoid fever dream.

    One of the most exasperating things about the Republican/Evangelical hybrid that has developed from this literally unholy merging is how short the circuit is before it slams into a wall. Taxes are bad because they are taking my money. It doesn’t have anything to do with building a bridge because business is the source of all money. They will build the bridge! Don’t even try to go any further because shut up that’s why.

    Around and around and around. If they come up short on facts, they turn to faith and we are DONE talking. They don’t think. They rationalize, and even that is the shortest distance between two points.

    I was literally taught that thinking too much is how the devil gets a hold. So, you know what? They don’t.

  • Tofu_Killer

    Clearly Nicky is angling for an invitation to respond to the 2014 State of the Union Address.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 220 pages

  • Ethics Gradient

    The point about lack of children is a fairly important one. Those of us without the stamina (or masochism) to read the whole damn books,  can lose sight of the basic premises of the plot. So, as well as all the children disappearing in the Rapture, there are no more pregnancies or births, right? In which case, the world would be in a ‘Children of Men’ scenario, and that would be the overriding concern on humanity – not only did 12 years of children effectively die, but all evidence is that there are never going to be any more. Which means the complete demise of humanity in about 100 years time, with or without Antichrists and returning Djesuses.

  • tatortotcassie

    Um, spoiler here but . . .

    So, as well as all the children disappearing in the Rapture, there are no more pregnancies or births, right?

    Wrong.  There will be at least one child born during the Tribulation.  (Which means either the hero’s sperm is so Awesome and Manly that it can overcome God’s mandate, or L&J’s God is so sadistic that he raptures up all the children and even fetuses from their parents “to save them from suffering the Tribulation”, but then allows children to be conceived and born during the Tribulation . . . so they can suffer through it.) 

  • http://twitter.com/KeroseneBitumen Christina Nordlander

    Oh, people can still get pregnant and have children. (Not sure if nine months have even passed since the Event, but there should at least be a bunch of pregnant women around.)

    Of course, they’d be forgiven for being a bit leery about the prospect of having children, given what’s just happened to their previous ones…

  • EllieMurasaki

    There was an eighteen-month timeskip. And at Nicolae’s funeral, 3.5 years into the Tribulation, there’s a bunch of adorable little 3.5-year-olds and under. Whoever’s PoV it is specifies they can’t be older than that. That they can’t actually be older than three, because (while preemies do happen) pregnancies take nine months and all the pregnancies in progress got Raptured, is ignored.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Poossibly the POV character adds three fourths of a year to everyone’s age to indicate their firm stance that a baby is one year old 365 days after dad said, “Hey, CSI is a rerun tonight, how about we turn in early?”

  • Andrea

    No, new pregnancies and births are possible – Buck and Chloe have a kid later on, for example.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bobby.herrington.1 Boze Herrington

    “He’s supposed to surpass all the monsters of history, but it’s hard to
    compete with guys like Genghis Khan or Joshua when there are no children
    available to put to the sword.”

    This was brilliant. Thank you.

  • Dogfacedboy

    Carpathia and Hitler do seem like kindred spirits when it comes to evil dictators.  From what I remember of my history classes, there were quite a few impassioned speeches during the Third Reich about raising taxes on the wealthy to help raise the level of Third World countries and bringing humanitarian aid to all that need it worldwide.

    Those tax-and-spend liberals and their redistribution of wealth schemes.  So evil.  When will we learn from history?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2RAPF5V3YPOUWAZGAJ2VCQM76Q Alicia

    So, the Antichrist would be more “evil sorcerer” than “social-democratic European politician,” and his minions would be developing and wielding magical powers now that demons had been set free to run amok. 

    To be fair, this does happen later on in the series. When Carpathia replaces the current Enigma Babylon One-World Faith (that’s really what it’s called) with his cult of personality, Carpathianism, he trains an army of “miracle-workers” to spread the religion. Carpathia gives each of them a small fraction of his super power, which they use to cast spells to wow the public and win converts.

    Here’s a scene with one of them, as he manipulates the weather:

    It took only a few minutes for the crowd to gather, and it appeared that an otherwise normal looking guy, whom Mac thought looked like a younger version of Leon Fortunato, grabbed the microphone. He wore white shoes, white slacks, a white shirt, and sounded like a motivational speaker, all peppy and crisp. He said he was the whole show announcer, performer, everything.

    “But I’m not typical. No, folks. People have called me a type of Christ. Well, you be the judge. All I can tell you is that I am not from here. That was not a joke. I am not even from this world. There’s no music today, no dancing girls, just me, a wonder worker. I come under the authority of the risen lord, Nicolae Carpathia, and I have been imbued with power from him.

    “If you are skeptical, let me ask you to look at the sky. I know the sun is still high and hot and bright, but would you agree with me that there are no clouds? None. Not one. Anyone see one anywhere? On the distant horizon? Forming somewhere in the great beyond? Shade your eyes, that’s all right. But do me the favor of removing your sunglasses, those of you who have them. You’re squinting, and that’s all right. Some of you are frowning, but you won’t be in a moment.

    “Would you like a nice cloud? Something to block the sun for just an instant? I can provide one. You’re skeptical, I can tell. Don’t look at me; you’ll miss it. You’ll think it was a trick. But what do you call that?”

    A shadow fell over the crowd. Even the GC gawked at the sky. Abdullah leaned over. Albie bent forward. Mac turned his body between them and looked up. A thick, white cloud blotted out the sun. The people oohed and aahed.

    “How does he do that?” Abdullah said.

    “He already told you,” Mac said. “Power from Nicolae.”

    “Too quick?” the miracle worker said. “Did the sudden change in temperature chill you, even out here in the desert? Maybe that’s enough shade for the moment, hmm?”

    The cloud disappeared. It didn’t move, fade, or dissipate. It was there, and then it was gone.

    “How about half shade, but still enough of the sun coming through to keep you warm?” It was instantaneous.

    Channelling his inner Emeril, the warlock even calls forth food and water:

    “Magic tricks? You know better. Had trouble getting enough water lately? Or shall we believe the stories coming from inside Petra?Think a spring in there was an act of God? Then what does that make me?”
     
    He pointed into the middle of the crowd, and a spring gushed from the ground, splashing over their heads. “Cool, crisp, and refreshing, no?” he said. “Enjoy! Go ahead!” And they did.

    “Hungry? Tired of the fare in your new home? How about a basket of real bread, warm and chewy and more than enough for all?” He reached behind him and brought out a wicker basket with a linen napkin in it. Five popover sized chunks of bread, warm and golden brown, were piled in it. “Start that around. Here you go. Sure, take one. No, a whole one! Take two if you’d like. There’s more where that came from.”

    The basket passed from hand to hand and everyone took at least one piece, several two, and yet the basket was never depleted.

    “Who am I? Who do you say that I am? I am a disciple of the living lord, Potentate Carpathia. Have I persuaded you that he is all powerful? His patience has run out with you people, however. He would like me to administer the mark of loyalty to you, which I can do without technology. You don’t doubt me anymore, do you?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should
    believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the
    truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

    God is officially the universe’s hugest douchebag ever.

    This is the same sort of crap that Young Earth Creationists peddle, you know.

    “God put those fossils there just to see if your faith is strong enough to know he’s testing you.”

    I would almost venture to say God likes gaslighting his purported audience. Whatever happened to all the fatuous claims that God loves everybody so very very much that God is practically stampeding to the metaphorical front door to receive new followers in the faith?

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The fact that Young Earth Creationists and RTCs usually seem to have parents, especially fathers, who are complete and utter jackasses explains a lot, imo. They’re used to authority figures treating them badly. So of course the biggest authority figure of all would treat them badly.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    “Providing help and aid to vulnerable people makes the Antichrist’s OWG seem kind of like the International Red Cross, and most of us don’t usually think of the Red Cross as a global supervillain and/or the embodiment of Satan.”

    Really?  If you told me that there was a vast group of people who believed The UN The Red Cross was actually a Super Evil NWO One World Antichrist Government that wants to use Agenda 21 relief aid to…make…uh…something….something something?  I would be like “man that is dumb & plausible.”

  • Michael Pullmann

    “My fellow bad guys, I, Nicolae Carpathia, your leader, will speak now about my, Nicolae Carpathia’s, plan. My villainous, villainous plan. Question the plan
    at your peril.”

  • lawrence090469

    So after a brief spasm of violence, the Anti-Christ rolls out his master plan… and it’s cribbed (badly) from John Rawls and Paul Krugman. This is quite instructive about how the authors define the summum malum.

  • Mark Z.

    “I will soon be appointing leaders to replace the three ambassadors to the regions that turned against us. That will bring the Global Community administration back to its full complement of ten regions. While you are now known as ambassadors to the Global Community, forthwith I will begin referring to you as sovereign heads of your own kingdoms. You will each continue to report directly to me.”

    So, forthwith, he’s going to replace the current structure with an exact replica in which the ambassadors will continue to be “sovereign” and “kings” except not, as they will also be reporting directly to the potentate. Got it? If so, could you explain it to me?

    As we all know, Jenkins “wrote” this series, so to speak, from an outline from LaHaye. In the outline, the ten regional rulers are consistently called “kings”, because this whole schema was dreamed up two hundred years ago in Europe and LaHaye is following convention. And Jenkins has gotten tired of having to constantly translate “kings” into “ambassadors”. It slows him down and makes it harder to keep the Book-of-the-Month Club schedule.

    So here Jenkins notifies us that henceforth* he may occasionally refer to them as “kings”, and when he does, that’s not a mistake, because they’re ambassador-kings, see? That is the entire function** of this paragraph: to give Jenkins an excuse for future laziness.

    * Not “forthwith”, as Nicolae says in this passage for some reason.

    ** Well, that and wordcount ballast.

  • kadh2000

     10 Kings report to 1 high King or Emperor or Antichrist or Messiah or dude whose name is clearly compensating for something if you know what I mean.

  • Worthless Beast

    ((At last. The Rapture occurred more than a year and a half ago and Nicolae Carpathia, the Antichrist, seized power soon afterwards, ruling over the entire world (except Israel) as a global dictator with unchecked power and no one to stand in his way as he set about demonstrating his wickedness as the all-time epitome of evil. ))

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been rewatching episodes of “Pinky and the Brain” (hey, I like cartoons), but that line made me think something along the lines of “The Antichrist siezed power, ruling over the entire world! – Except for Cleveland!”  I.E. this is like something one would expect the Brain to do…. succeed except for one corner of the world.   Then again, when he took over the world after sending all humans to Chia Earth, one of his nasty master plans was to draft uncessary laws, then send them through repeals process to clog up the system – however, he did this out of boredom because the Earth was empty, without people to rule.

    Oh, Lord, I just realized books *I used to read* have less substance than a Pinky and the Brain episode.

  • Tricksterson

    I don’t think anyone here will look down on you for likeing cartoons.  For instance we have aty least one, and I suspect more, person who at least semi-seriously seems to worship Luna and Celestia from the My Pretty Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • reynard61

    “For instance we have aty least one, and I suspect more, person who at least semi-seriously seems to worship Luna and Celestia from the My Pretty Pony: Friendship is Magic”

    It’s actually “My *Little* Pony: Friendship is Magic”, but I’m not going to complain.

    Also; it’s not so much the characters themselves that I “worship”, it’s that — to me at least — they represent certain ideals and traits that I aspire to. (Even if I can’t always attain them.) For instance; to me, Celestia represents grace, Nobility, leadership without necessarily being Authoritarian about it (true, she came off as a bit manipulative in the pilot episodes; but she’s certainly no tyrant), having a sense of humor, etc.

    Luna represents, among other things, a redemptive attitude — that one can change if one is willing — and that life can be fun if you’re willing to put some effort into making it so.

    So, yeah; there’s a bit of Flying-Spaghetti-Monster-esque “Screw Christianity and the Pony it rode in on!” attitude in there, but it’s more about the “These are some of the Ideals that I’d like to live up to, and these are how I represent them.”

  • Worthless Beast

    I once proposed to an online friend the idea of creating a religion based upon a favorite character from an anime.  I was all “The law would be ‘love and peace’ and the sacrement would be beer and donuts.”  My friend (agnostic/athiest who had dropped the Catholic church of her upbringing) told me she’d join that religion in a heartbeat.

    Of course, it would be difficult for me to give myself fully to a religion based upon an anime seeing that, agnostic and non-churchgoing as I am about it, I do remain an actual Christian, or “Jesusist” or something like it. Anyway, I do actually believe in stuff, as foolish as it may be.  The character I like, anyway, is one I like because I thought he embodided certain New Testament ideals.   It helps that he does so in a really badass way…

  • The_L1985

    I know a guy who worships Luna, and has for a year or two now.  I’m still not sure what to think of that.

    …On the other hand, buying a Luna or Nightmare Moon toy is a LOT cheaper than buying most deity statues from a New Age store…

  • http://twitter.com/dunesen Philip Pangrac

    You know, if it’s been a year and a half there should be a ton of babies and infants now. It’s not like everyone was made sterile when the Rapture happened.

    But LaHaye and Jenkins had no interest in examining the effects of all the children disappearing, so why would they examine how the world would adapt to children returning?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Since only sinners are left, Ellenjay probably assumed that in the past eighteen months, everyone’s been either having gay sex, using sinful contraception, or getting abortions due to their love of killing babies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Well of course, as Everyone Knows that outside of RTC Xians, that’s the only reason The Only Reason anyone else has sex. esp the last one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    You know, a competent Antichrist could make the scheme – the general, broad-strokes scheme – almost make sense and work. None of the specific details given here, but the general stuff.

    Okay, Nicky’s still acting like the world obeys pre-OWG rules. He controls the official nature of money, there’s nothing to moderate the value of the Global Monopoly Megabucks except his own will. It is, in a sense, the purest fiat currency.

    Hell, he doesn’t even need to levy taxes. Nationalize all the natural/raw resource industries! That’s within his power! Agribusiness, mining, drilling, logging, power generation… Control all the raw materials (better get recycling in there, too), and ultimately a percentage of any first-hand purchase flows back to him.

    But it’s obvious. Painfully so. That kind of absolute control breeds discontent targeted at the monopoly-holder, and if you’ve got a global monopoly on all raw resources… Discontent is good if you want to be maniacally evil, because it lets you put someone in front of the firing squad while you turn to the world and say, “What was that you were saying about the price of bread?”

    But discontent also breeds paranoia. Your own. Not every malcontent is going to be obvious. Being the obvious dictator means you have to do a lot of work policing for internal dissent, assassins, what have you. All the opulence of a world dictator is forever tarnished by the security efforts required to keep you safe in your own bedroom.

    So fake it. Play a shell game with power. Pretend that the OWG is a huge bureaucratic mass and, well, good luck making it shift. That’s easy after a few years because everyone already believes that existing national governments are subject to huge bureaucratic inertia. (Also, don’t take a title like Supreme Potentate. Prime Minister or President or First Steward or something with implications of guidance and stewardship are good, not ones with implications of control.)

    Pretend the Community Credits are pegged against something other than whim – not gold, that’s too limiting, but maybe something with variable potential of production and storage from year to year. (I kind of like Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri’s “energy credit” for this.) Something you can vary the value of at whim while blaming some other factor.

    And taxes? Heck yes! You don’t want obvious control over most resources (except power generation, which you can easily mock up a “legitimate” excuse to control in your rise to, ahem, power), so squeeze the potential people another way. Make taxes slightly to moderately regressive, to help concentrate wealth in the hands of your elites. Provide lots of social services early on but underfund them. Set goals on the services that are just out of reach for their funding, and punish them for underperformance. Gradually phase the social services out while making adjustments to the tax scheme that don’t actually reduce the burden on the truly poor. And wrap it up in rhetoric that leaves people with the quiet nagging sense that if they’re doing poorly, it’s their fault for not trying hard enough. You want a culture that raises self-blame to an art form.

    In short, you don’t want to kill the poor people. You want to kill their souls. And you want to make your fortunate elites complicit in the soul-killing because they can’t imagine a world where they aren’t catered to like princes and princesses. Let someone other than your administrative core be the focus of envy and hate due to conspicuous consumption, while you’re the sober ladies and gentlemen who are constantly struggling to keep the whole world going day to day. (Never mind that your very sober and conservative suits are also very expensive suits, just to start with…)

    But then again, this doesn’t make a very exciting destination for a story. It’s boring minutiae. This is something you have happen in the background, to create the totalitarian dictatorship that the heroes can now struggle against. One where the people will resent the heroes for “making waves.” And it’s also something you can’t really create on a 7 year time span.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    So, just when did the GOP hire you to write their platform?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    They fired me because I didn’t have anything about special punishments for LGBTQ people, brown people, or non-Christians already in the plan.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     Kenneth Raymond – mostly I love your analysis of how to be a genuinely evil overlord while living to a ripe old age. (Well, as ripe as possible in a world that only has seven years left – five and a half by now, amirite?) But “better get recycling in there, too”? That’s dastardly! Everybody – well, everybody in the target audience – just knows that recycling is Teh Evulist Evul. Have you no shame??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    Oh, the recycling bit is just to keep a lock on resources. Can’t let people go and reuse materials, that’d shortcut your monopoly (on certain economic sectors in small ways)!


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