Welcome to the city!
You may be thinking how pretty the city looks, or perhaps you are wondering where all the people are? Rows and rows of residential and office blocks, most are all much of a muchness in design. The streets are quiet since everyone is either asleep or at their workstations. Come nightfall, the roads will be filled with automated shuttles ferrying workers back to their dorm apartments and ferrying the nightshift from their cells to their workstations. It is ruthlessly efficient. However, I have yet to see a designed city that worked well, after all, real cities grow organically. There is almost no crime and no dissent in this city, but it is no utopia. The people work relentlessly to have the right to food, shelter and warmth: the right of a citizen to exist has to be earned. The entire city is owned by the City Corp. or more specifically by its board of directors. These people include generals from military intelligence, chosen bankers, the mega-wealthy and other 'legalised criminals'. Immediately beneath this cabal is a clique of selected individuals grouped into two parties and whom the citizens vote for, though it makes no difference which way they vote since both parties work for the Corporation. They call this 'democracy'. The citizens can not complain, for they get what they vote for, of course, even though voting is compulsory and changes nothing. The citizens slave away day and night for the right to exist on the land of their forefathers, of which they own not a single grain of grit. To exist by any other means is considered theft and punishable by eviction from the city into the surrounding wastelands. The city clerics support this view with words of men they claim to be divine, words such as 'Thou shalt not steal!' Mere existence in a world where a handful own everything, the land, the water and the air, is theft if these things can not be purchased, and so the people must labor in penitence to avoid the fear of punishment in their imagined hereafter.
If I publicly announced that I consider those clerics who hold the words of certain human beings to be those of the Divine Source as blasphemers, they would evict me from this city too. Free speech is permitted ..., but only as long as it fulfills a long list of criteria and does not offend those in high places! Any words not fulfilling these criteria are considered 'hate speech', a heinous crime in the city. Without obeying the Corporation, people can neither eat nor drink, nor have a place to lie down, nor have any fuel or power for warmth, nor any purifiers to breath this otherwise fetid air. Even drinking and breathing is theft without paying what is due in full. Nevertheless, the citizens who own nothing are told they are wealthy for the gift of mere existence without the hunger and diseases of the wastelands. I can speak to you like this because we are outside the system: I know every security hack in this city. We do not carry the implanted microchips that every citizen wears, but the bracelet I give you will deceive the surveillance system, for a time. It will believe that we are city elites of the Corporation, giving us the privilege of privacy, a privilege not even the top level administrators and ministers have, for they are under constant scrutiny by military intelligence in the name of 'national security'.
All this is to keep the citizens 'safe', or so they are told. Safe from their enemies abroad, and their enemies within. But, I know the Corporation's weakness: the city elites fear the fundamental truth. The clerics talk about judgement and how the enemies of their 'God', who is really nothing but a human alter ego, will be punished in the hereafter in a place that I say does not exist, for nobody can point to it and say, 'Look! There it is!', but they believe in it all the same. It is written in one of history's best-selling books that heaven is not a place and none can point to it, for it is 'within us', but none of them seem to have read these words in one of the very books from which they preach, for they have eyes yet cannot see. They also fail to realize that the Judgement works like this: 'There is a light, but many do not enter the light for they fear it will expose their faults' and instead they cower in darkness. So it is, that the 'world has already been judged', for the light spoken of, is nothing but the light of fundamental truth. No god, prophet or lord of humankind can be greater than the fundamental truth. Power corrupts. This is why, above all else a 'god needs compassion'! A god that is neither true nor compassionate is not fundamentally worthy of worship. That is why I choose not to believe in their threats, nor in their gods and prophets. It is written that one who receives the Spirit of Truth has no further need of prophets. Nevertheless, it is written that only a fool believes themselves to be wise. So, I always listen to what others have to say and where I recognize wisdom, I embrace it, but where I recognize falsehood, I see it as such. What I do not know, I do not know. The errors I make, are mine to make by right. Only the truth itself is truly divine, for no entity can be greater. Blake's Urizen considered himself holy, but his reason conquered his compassion and he wove a dark web of religion and law in which to entangle humanity. This city has been built on lies, lies that the city elite justify.
You may know the old story of the Beast whose name was a number, and that number was also the name of a man, and that number was 666. Many wild imaginings have been born from this story, but 666 is code for 'Nero Caesar' for he was an enemy of those who wrote of the Beast which he became to personify for his worldly power as Emperor of Rome, the City with Seven Hills, governed by the Beast with seven heads. It was said that 'None could buy or sell unless they bore the mark of the Beast ...', for 'Nero Caesar' was written upon every coin. Did they tell you, that in the story, the disciples so abhorred money that they employed Judas to carry their purse with which to buy provisions? Hatred of money may be too extreme and not pragmatic, but surely many ills are borne from a love of money. Look how love of money and the worldly power it represents have ruined this world. 'All this could be yours if you do my will', said the personification of evil and worldly power in the story. Well, many could not resist such temptation and so this City exists. Myself, I am not religious, but I will say that religion is a mirror of the human psyche. A person's faith tells us more about the person than any powers that may be.
Fear and guilt are primary instruments of control. If any of them had any real faith in the Divine Source, albeit their faith no larger than a seed of mustard, then surely they would not slander the Divine and its work in the way that many of those of 'faith' do. The city elites are 'secular' and their predecessors tried to abolish religion since the city was multicultural and religion caused conflict due to its intrinsic bigotry. Over time, however, ethnicities blended, both genetically and culturally until only one new breed of people remained. The city elites then decided that religion was a powerful tool of control so they allow a selected hybrid religion by permitting chosen texts, chosen 'prophets' and choosing clerics to preach it. History repeats itself. Beware those who preach! It is futile to debate with them. I could tell you the name of their 'God' and the names of their 'prophets' but words are just words that only have meaning to those who hear and interpret them. I have little concern for such things, for I seek the fundamental truth. Religion is defined by the city state, though it contains still the gem of the Philosopher's Stone, wrapped in a garb defiled, for the city elites do not understand the words of poets and philosophers that persist to relate certain truths. If they did then they would have those words deleted! It is enough for them that too few ever understand those words. Alas! You already know what it is like to be a heretic! As for the city elites, theirs is a 'neon god'. A person's belief in the divine surely tells us more about the person than about what powers may be. I am not religious, but I do believe that all is not as it seems.
The ancient Egyptians wrote that: 'In the beginning was the Word ...'. Do you know what Word they speak of? They refer to the Divine Command 'be', so to speak, that first vibration that caused the Universe to begin. According to some, it was uttered by Thoth. You may have your own mental schema of the Divine, which may well be unique. I am not certain that I have ever met two persons of the same faith. Perhaps you adhere to a set of core tenets and assign yourself a label that others who claim to hold the same tenets also attach to themselves? Perhaps the label was attached to you by your upbringing, by the circumstances of your birth? Perhaps you have no religion, but adhere to a political faith, Left or Right (as if there are only two). Perhaps you have a national or occupational identity. What do you call yourself? Are you a 'thisian' or a 'thatian', a soldier or a philosopher. Perhaps fear or the urge to conform forces a label upon you, or perhaps, like me, you are what you are. I care not for labels, 'I am that I am'. Are you a god, a human being or an animal? Perhaps you don't even know?
The City has other dimensions to it. Many ascribe to certain political groupings, each following a stated ideology and all believing with fervor in their in-group's philosophy, despite empirical evidence to the contrary. Ah! They have eyes yet they cannot see! The City is not about religion or politics, but about a more basic force that drives both of these things. To explain the relevance of all this, let me begin at the beginning. Humankind is a tribal animal. For aeons humanity scratched out a living, hunting and gathering. They acquired a wide repertoire of skills and techniques which slowly grew more sophisticated. So successful, in fact, that their populations grew until the land could no longer support them by traditional means. War was rare and most tribes coexisted peacefully, trading with one-another. They took to farming to support their growing numbers. Then came the metals! Technological revolution gave them the gift of fire long ago, but now they could use fire to extract metals from the earth. The problem was, that not all earth was equal. Some regions had good supplies of the new sought after raw materials, others did not. This paved the way for more psychopathic individuals to prosper: they could claim metal deposits by force and sell the raw materials for profit, using slave labor if necessary to mine the ground. Those who could not easily afford to purchase these materials had another option: to steal the land back. Material inequity begat war! It also begat further inequity and social divides were born.
Long ago the world industrialized. Wars intensified as pressures on land and resources grew, and the thirst for power and worldly glory favored governance by the psychopathic few. Inequity became total. The land that once belonged to all who were nourished by it, now belonged to the few. They now did to land, space, water and food what they had done with metal. The financial credit system accelerated this land grab as the stronger dominated the weaker. For a while, enough people benefited for this system to persist: those whom it did not benefit had no democratic voice and were criminalized every time they attempted to take their fair share. Others were content enough to eek out life with their small lot. Power favors the corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. While the weak, sick and disabled starved, struggled and died before their time, the wealthiest owned more and more and controlled the system that declared all of this 'good'. They encouraged population expansion, so as to maximise their human assets, to gain more power and profit, as a faremer may strive to increase heads of cattle. Nature was reduced to ruins and the peoples starved, in both body and spirit. Not content, the wealthier classes competed among themselves, until fewer and fewer prospered. Now, you would think, the masses would have risen up and claimed back what was rightfully theirs by birth, but the elites had the wealth to exploit technology. Mass surveillance systems, combined with increasing criminalization of the masses, a more powerful police force and thought crimes gave the chosen few ever more power.
Hiding behind the cloak of 'national security' the elite cabal grew in power and put itself above the law. The corruption of the state, including its legal system, became total and all this was made to look 'righteous'. The angel of darkness indeed pretended to be an angel of the light. Commanding a vast military-industrial complex, the elites drove nations to war with one-another. Wars profit the chosen few. Excuses were given, as the Media controlled by fewer and fewer, created a version of the truth to suite the cabal. In truth there were several cabals vying for power, and groups fragmented with infighting, but the chosen elites became fewer and fewer until a single group remained. They controlled almost everything. They dictated what information people could receive, what people could and could not do, what people could say, and even, aided by information technology, what people thought. They controlled the internet, in the guise of keeping people safe from enemies they had created. Control the flow of information and you have absolute power over any city. However, the Earth is a sacred vessel and I am not sure it can ever be truly controlled. Mass hunger and poverty, exasperated by overpopulation and ceaseless wars, eventually goaded people to act. However, the elites used the Media to direct people's anger at whatsoever target they chose. In the end the world was reduced to waste, except for a haven of elites who now controlled all remaining resources and they created this city in which to enslave all that remained of humanity. Do you know the name of this city? It is called New London.
Of course, from time to time some citizens rebelled or turned to crime out of anger and frustration, but these were of course caught by the total surveillance system. Does a world free of crime seem like a good thing to you? The problem is, 'Who decides what is a crime?' Citizens were punished for a multitude of 'hate crimes' and all manner of thought crimes. The city has technology that can read the minds of every citizen and the elites widened the definition of criminality to label all dissenters as 'terrorists'. At the same time, they legalized their own crimes. One person's law is another person's crime! If you don't believe me, sleep on it!
So what was the underlying cause that I spoke of? Labels were used to 'divide and conquer' the Peoples of the World. At first this was made to look righteous, but in the end the authorities had so much power they allowed all to see their evil, for they feared nobody. Nationalism, religion, politics - I see no real difference between them. They are all instruments of division and control and all made to look righteous. Perhaps you identify with certain labels and find my words offensive? If so, then that is unfortunate, but I shall not apologise, for it is important that we remember that, 'Nobody has the right not to be offended!' Free speech will always cause offense, but it must be preserved. There are two sides to every story and they should both be told. So much for the how, but why? Do you believe in good and evil? The people that brought all of this about, they may have been psychopaths, perhaps greedy and cruel, others perhaps ignorant and naive, but people are what they are. If a horseshoe jumped off the anvil and shouted that it wanted to be a sword, then I am sure the blacksmith would be surprised! The ultimate cause is, quite simply, evolution. This city came to be because it was inevitable.
First and foremost, the human being is an animal. A conscious animal perhaps, but possibly nothing more. in any case humans behave like humans because they are humans. They are not dogs or monkeys. Humanness is in their DNA. Humankind is a social animal, that was part of their evolutionary strength and their gregariousness is genetic. A society in which people share some but not all of their genes can be shown, by computer simulation, to result in an animal that works with its fellows, but also competes with them. This gave rise to love, but also to hate, to trust but also to deceit. A baboon may share its food with others, but steal food when it thinks nobody is looking. Some animals will pair faithfully, but then cheat on their partners when opportunity arises. Why? Because this increases their biological fitness. It is survival of the fittest, and that may not be the strongest and fastest, but also the most cunning and deceitful. Fitness refers to the survival of an organism's genes in its offspring and lineage. Why is it survival of the fittest? Because in a universe in which all things are ephemeral, something either exists or it doesn't. It was destined to be this way from the beginning. You see, the city elites believe they have power, but they in fact slaves to their own genetic instincts. Their failure to rise to higher things, inevitable as it may or may not have been, has cost all of humanity its freedom. It's not the city elites that rule, it is the Beast whom they are enslaved to!
I am afraid that all of this: the construction of this dread city and all the misery it contains with its social divides and twisted ideologies, was inevitable. Or, so it would seem ...
I hope that you do not believe in anything I say, because I do not demand belief of you. I do not preach! If you see the truth, or falsehood, in these words and know it is so from empirical evidence, then there is no need for belief. However, I would recommend that you seek the truth always. Seek and you will find. Let me show you the city library and you can see what truths, if any, you uncover!
I have a pass that lets me access the secure vaults of the library, which is normally only accessible to the chosen few. Indeed, access to all knowledge is controlled in this city on a 'need to know basis'. We are privileged to have hacked the most secure computer system ever created! But, be warned! You may not like what you find. All I am offering you, is access.