What Happens When Fear Wins
A dystopian warning from the future
What Happens When Fear Wins
By Andrew Butler / filmsforaction.org

Ever since Trump was elected the question on everyone's lips has been, "Who’s next?"

The border between the US and Mexico is effectively closed to people, although it’s still open for business. Muslims, no matter their nationality, are no longer eligible for visas upon entry to the United States. Instead there is a long and arduous procedure before traveling, involving multiple application forms, interviews, biometric data collection and the signing of an agreement to allow all your communications to be monitored by the Department of Homeland Security. Instances of non-muslims being denied entry because they "look kinda Muslamic" - as one immigration official was caught saying - are on the increase. Anyone whose melanin levels tend toward browner have found themselves on a watchlist. Caucasians going on holiday have started taking photographs of themselves pre-trip in case they get a bit too much of a tan while they’re away. Orange, however, is still considered a safe complexion.

Across the pond Fortress Europe has gone from high alert to batshit crazy. After the UK’s exit from the EU, they began building what is now colloquially known as the 'Iron Ring’, reinstating checkpoints and border crossings across the continent. The cross-cultural communities that were forged during what are now considered the halcyon days of Schengen are now divided by steel fencing, razor wire and armed guards. There is a greyness that has descended on those communities; once you’ve experienced freedom unencumbered by such segregation no amount of "It’s for your own protection" will convince you that this is a good thing. Nobody seems to know how this happened - there was no vote in Parliament, either nationally or at a European level - one day the fences just started going up and once there was one they spread like a bushfire in a drought.

Under the guise of "security", personal freedoms are all but gone. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly over the years freedom of movement, speech, political and cultural association have been eroded. It’s now a crime under anti-terror laws to hold a socialist or anarchist meeting or publish materials that are deemed to be anti-state or anti-corporate (which is why this document has been encrypted). As personal freedoms dwindled, so the freedom to move goods and capital increased. Regional trade agreements, such as TTIP (between the EU and US) and TPP (between Pacific states) started the process whereby corporations had more legal power than nations or citizens in those regions. Now the Transnational Integrated Global Agreement (TiGA) has brought the whole world under one legal framework - the rule of capital.

The United Nations is now entirely funded by its corporate sponsors. The process began when their various annual meetings started to accept and attract ever increasing levels of money from business interests. People raised concerns when climate change meetings were sponsored by the likes of EDF energy, Air France and Santander bank. Before long the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation was directly funded by Monsanto, Cargill and a host of other big agri businesses. Seed-saving is now illegal in all territories and only approved seed by a dozen corporations may be grown anywhere in the world. Laws against foraging for wild food are widespread but difficult to enforce, so companies are developing ways to patent and track all genetic material which can then be scanned for during routine home checks.

Oh, I haven’t explained the home checks yet. Under TiGA it is the responsibility of all governments to ensure that intellectual property rights and patents held by corporations are rigorously enforced. Much of the enforcement is done electronically and en-mass, and when the Pentagon instituted their social media data mining programme in 2016 they found a way of mapping people’s behavior and belief patterns - to not only monitor their current activities, but also anticipate what they might do in the future. This lead to increased monitoring of those deemed most likely to be violating corporate property law and bumped them to the top of the list for what were called "random house checks". Although at the time people could only be prosecuted if solid evidence was found, it was the precursor of the joint pre-crime division of the NSA/FBI, under which people can now be imprisoned for crimes they are likely to commit based on their social profile.

In the United States the prison population was already the highest in the world when Trump came to power. Those numbers have now spiraled upwards so that 1 in 4 Americans are incarcerated. Of course most are not in "prison", they are in the Debt Repayment (DR) facilities, working without a wage for the corporations that they are indebted to. Some of these are financial institutions, but most are not. When the Debt Reduction Act (another example of a law that does the exact opposite of what its name suggests) came into force it meant that any corporation could buy any individual's debt and then force them to pay it back through working for them until the full amount plus interest was paid back. Sleeping in barracks, debtors work ten hours a day for the duration of their repayment, with one day off every two weeks and one weekend home visit every six months. For the duration of their repayment they are the legal property of the corporation who owns their debt, although they can only be made to do work in the sector in which that corporation operates. Most of the goods manufactured, food produced and accounting and admin work done in the US is done by people in DR. The model is quickly being adopted by other countries.

Even though the majority of people had seen their hard-fought-for rights eroded, and were worse off now than they were before the Corporatocracy, they continued to do as they were told; such was the power of those who wielded the stick. They had deliberately manipulated people from the day they were born; to obey, to value possessions over people, to live in fear of the "other", of "them". Even when it came to light that the biggest terror of all - the "terrorists" - were in fact funded, trained and allowed to flourish by the very authority figures who were pretending to fight a "war on terror", the people were by then too afraid to stand up and challenge them. Those who now wield supreme executive power had sowed chaos in order to reap control.

Of course, it didn’t have to be this way.

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What Happens When Fear Wins