Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 2, chapter 5
Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.
When Rae woke up the next morning, she was less sure of herself.
Her emotions hadn’t changed. She was still angry, angry at Will Anton, angry about all the ways she had been lied to. But her initial red-hot flush of certainty had faded into a fog of guilt and self-doubt. When she thought back on the night before, she was embarrassed at her outburst. She couldn’t help the feeling that she had overreacted.
Besides, she had wrestled with the problem in the dark and quiet hours of the night, and she couldn’t think of a better alternative. The Pacific Republic and the United States were in equilibrium, for the moment, but she could see that it was an unstable and temporary peace.
The Pacific Republic can’t stay hidden forever. There are enough people in the United States government who know about it. If we keep growing, it will be impossible for the U.S. to ignore our existence. And as conditions get worse, they’ll get more desperate. It won’t be long before they start thinking of the Pacific Republic as a big cache of resources they can loot – just like a forest to be clearcut for timber or an Arctic wilderness to be drilled for oil. Short-term resource extraction, that’s the name of the capitalist game. One more quarter of profits on the balance sheet, one more year to keep society from collapsing, and who cares what happens the year after next?