Story 25 - The Hydrology of Poyang Hu.
She began to laugh. "Yes, we are still the richest nation on the planet," she assured Jacky. "Twenty percent of our entire population are among the richest people on the planet, or believe themselves to be that. They take in eighty percent of the national income, while the remaining eighty percent of the population receive a pittance so small that many can't afford housing anymore, or transportation, or health care, or electricity, or clothing, or even food to eat."
Heather laughed again, and told Jacky that America has also achieved what no other nation has achieved in modern times. She told him that the Tzars of Russia had once the ambition to make Moscow the third Rome. "The Czars failed, but America succeeded," she said. "Just as Rome existed by looting the surrounding nations with the sword of its legions, so America exists by looting the world with the 'sword' of its IMF. Except in ancient Rome, the citizens weren't starving as they are today in many places, even in the USA. Apparently, we don't care about that anymore. But we've got everything else that Rome had. We've got the circuses, the entertainment, the games, the violence, the killing. In fact, violence and killing has become our leading export product. We produce export products that nobody else in the world cares to produce. Now all the citizens in the world can indulge themselves with visual violence twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, all year long, all pioneered and made in America. But that's not enough."
Heather applauded Jacky for having recognized some of that as far away as China, even that complaints have been received that the American soldiers' kill ratio is too low, that they don't kill enough people in wars, that they are too reluctant. "So, we have created video games for them," said Heather, "to train them, games that are tailored to produce fast reaction, unthinking killers. One course, we now sell those military training games to children of all ages, all across the country, and all over the world. The Army is even giving them away for free."
Heather pointed out that these games incorporate rules that are not related to the real world, but which the children must abide by if they wish to be successful in the game. "By this process a person becomes isolated from the real world," she said, "by a psychological process that develops split personalities, one of which is tied to the game for six to eight hours a day, while the other aims to cope in the real world to some degree, with conflicts arising between the two as the boundaries begin to shift or disappear. That is what we give to our children. That is how we educate them. And this is not all done just for profit. These games are evidently created to produce stone heart killers which the army will soon require for its future one-hundred year wars, its clash of civilization wars. We have half a million children already trained in this manner. In Rome, at least, the killing games were limited to the boundaries of the arena. That's all gone with the wind."
Heather glanced at Jacky. "We also have the same in store for our youngest children. We give then violent toys to play with, cute little pocket size monsters that possess special killing powers, that they can carry around with them and dream about at night." She told him that we even have something similar in store for the adult population, in the form of terrorism. "We have created terrorism and put it on the map, and use it to terrorize the whole population, even the whole world, in the name of fighting terrorism, of course. Human rights, civil right, justice, love, honor; who can still remember the days when these stood tall and unassailable?"
She turned to Jacky again. "So how does one clean up that mess? How does one cleanse the poisoned lake, called America? How does one make it a livable place again in which people can survive, families can prosper, and people can look forward to a bright future? Well, that's not allowed! Anybody who ever tried to clean things up soon found out that it is forbidden to clean up that mess and set things right again."