Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Microstory 1128: Mala Savidge

In the olden days, people were always looking for new ways to charge and pay for things. You have your standard I give you money, you give me product model. You can buy on credit, and pay later, or in installments. You can get a little somethin’ somethin’ for free, but then spend on fleetingly satisfying microtransactions once you’re addicted. You can purchase a regular subscription. You can pay with labor, be it with an employee discount, from a credited survey, or by suffering through advertisements. But through all of this—sometimes even unbeknownst to the people doing it—a complete replacement was being devised. No, this isn’t a negative income tax, or universal basic income. This isn’t the corporate automation tax, or even charitable rehoming programs. This is a world where the commodities are self-improvement, self-fulfillment, brand recognition, and reputation. You’re only trying to get better, get happy, get famous, or get respected. Things are just things. How you feel is all that matters. Well, as it turns out, people have a lot of strong feels about money, and personal possessions. For the most part, society embraced this new way of life when it was introduced, because it was done so gradually, and thoughtfully. There will always be those, nevertheless, who just want to do things differently. Had these hardcore capitalists been born in the late 18th century, they might have become hardcore socialists. They were just radical contrarians, who didn’t like how the world was simply because it’s what they were born into, or because their parents glamorized the way things once were in the good ol’ days. Whatever the reasons, their ideas were virtually meaningless. No matter how hard they tried, these Freemarketeers could not survive in an interplanetary civilization, and maintain their principles. They decided the only way they could be who they wanted was to leave the system, and found a new one. This didn’t quite work out when the ship that was so graciously transporting them to their new planet was sabotaged by their own Freemarketeer leader, and destroyed. They ended up in a different galaxy, on a world that wasn’t quite as advanced as Earth at the time, but still no longer capitalistic. They started a war with the native Dardieti, powered by a machine that uncontrollably replicated each and every one of them every single day. Freemarketeer Mala Savidge never wanted any of this. She was even considering the possibility that she was less of a true capitalist, and more of a rebel, who would never be happy with the status quo. Her willingness to question her own identity is what lead her to being chosen as the Freemarketeer Ambassador to Dardius. It was she who negotiated the cease-fire, the peace treaty, and the ultimate integration of the Freemarketeers. She would later assume a leadership role in this new world.

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