Rosella Tolfree's World
A series set in a politically dark and dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring blogs that explains Rosella's World
Rosella Tolfree's World is a fictional world.
To Surrender Personal Privacy
For The Wonders Of Technology
To some in the early 21st Century, China is one of the most monitored and connected societies. As an example, during the COVID-19 pandemic they had developed phone apps as passes to gate people into certain areas depending on COVID-19 status.
Some have suggested that when POTUS45 was removed from social media, that Big Tech was flexing its muscles that even the U.S. could become tech controlled like China.
Development of Smart Cities
It would be during the late First Age of Humanity that governments developed Smart Cities. By this point the Big Tech giants had long been broken up, but this didn’t stop the CEOs from cooperating together. It was during this time that Jon Greene’s family would make its fortunes in the wiring of road sensors and other infrastructure for smart car technology. His family corporation became the global leader in retrofitting entire cities and nations to smart roads for the new car technology. This period would become another Gilded Age.
But not all people were content with the developments of these Smart Cities. In the U.S., these protestors tried political unrest and to vote out politicians, but these tactics failed. These disgruntled city folks didn’t like how the courts were allowing the intrusion of data stealing corporations into their lives. In frustration, many fled the developing Smart Cities to the wild parts of America. To live like pioneers once more. Many of these would be wilderness settlers perished because of inadequate understanding of how to live off the land.
By the time of the Second Age of Humanity, the idea of Smart Cities with a woven web of interconnected infrastructure, like how human nerves run throughout the body, became a reality. Various computerized systems from dumb A.I. systems too more sophisticated A.I. systems were used to control everything. It kept the interconnected parts of the human world efficiently working, even with the ecological disasters going about it. So necessary was this infrastructure in the U.S. that even basic Wi-Fi couldn’t be turned off by the government because of a U.S. Supreme Court case granting Constitutional Net Privilege Rights. Only under extreme cases of acts of terrorism were exceptions allowed.
The Difference and The Price
The big difference of Rosella’s World is humanity is not fully wired into this electronic network. The development of cybernetics to the point of full integration of the human mind into cyberspace ceased with the LA Cyber Riots. The LA Cyber Riots represented the tipping point where people realized that if things continued, a new super race was about to become a reality. Globally humanity turned its back against the idea of human-machine integration after that point. Humanity felt more comfortable with the control it had over artificial intelligence controlling parts of its world than wanting full integration.
All this integration came with a price. One’s privacy is surrendered to get a constant flow of data. For example, Rosella’s apartment toilet is an integrated smart toilet which monitors her health from her use. Many public and private toilets are this way by her time. They considered this a major medical advancement. Now real-time data could be fed into A.I. medical systems to alert a human doctor of any problem or medication change. Other real time health devices are available for individuals from implants, to integrated home systems, and to walk-up kiosks. Thanks to U.S. social changes in health care, integrating health data collection in a person’s everyday life was increased by Rosella’s time. No one felt their privacy was compromised because they were getting so many technological benefits in exchange.
The exception were the Great Melt refugees put into ‘the stacks.’ They were cut off from any benefit but had to surrender their privacy for the wellbeing of society. Many were American citizens. Kept in camps made from cargo containers while the US government figured out what to do. By the time of many of the Rosella Tolfree stories, a second generation has already been born in the camps.
YouTube Talks In Part About Smart Cities Problems
Cyclical Oppressors and Perceived Utopias
While America continued to adopt various socialist-like programs, it never fully became an absolutely communist utopia. Americans still prized individuality over the collective, and politicians were unwilling to uproot the U.S. Constitution based on identity politics. Politicians would amend the Constitution from time to time, but not fully change it into a new government. The current system served the parties well.
Set against the backdrop of increasing radical pressure to hold another Constitutional Convention, mainstream parties had to deal with these elements every election cycle. Despite having organized political parties initially, the American Marxist groups were by the mid-20th century a loose collection of identity politics, and intersectional theorists that used social media as a decentralized communication tool. They are more known for their leftist publications, which continue to operate even in the digital age.
By the Second Age of Humanity these groups were operating their own channels and shows pumping out their messages 24-7 to anyone willing to listen. In the Second Age, they still operated in a decentralized manner with no clear leadership. This made it difficult for local, state, and federal authorities to broker deals or even charge the leaders with racketeering or conspiracy.
Around the end of the First Age to start of the Second Age, Maeva Paquin, a French Neo-Post-Modernist, came up with a new Marxist theory. She called it, “Oppresseurs Cycliques” or Cyclical Oppressors. Looking back through history, she noted how Lenin and other communists became oppressors in their society. This furthered the need for deconstruction and reanalysis of the intersections of the oppressed. Requiring the oppressed to revolt against these oppressors. If successful they would then become the oppressors themselves. Starting the cycle all over again.
Or as she called this cyclical reality, “utopie réalisée”, or perceived utopia. In that, each cycle would create a perceived utopia that would fall into a dystopian reality because of the creation of oppressive leadership.
Paquin noted the same was occurring with the African American subculture. As the new affirmative action amendment took effect in the U.S., the Race-Conflict approach was fading rapidly away now that a successful win had occurred. And African American personal perceptions were changing about well-being. The old victim arguments were no longer working because the people no longer saw themselves as a victim based on any historical legacy or natural racial category. Many saw the amendment as the final and end all corrective action needed socially because of the political messaging to get it passed and ratified. Opposition shut down attempts to say otherwise on social media or the news. While individual African Americans were not becoming “oppressive overlords” in American society, they were becoming like their historical white counterparts in larger numbers. More African Americans were being lifted out of poverty and out of the prison systems. Being moved into the higher income brackets. With all the social perks that come with those brackets. A perceived utopia.
But Paquin saw that in doing so it came at a dystopian cost for some. The uneven realities of the amendment created widening disparities between African Americans and the other races and ethnicities. Thus, the amendment was creating groups of oppressed people by her thinking. Repeating the original cycle of the past. Making the amendment a source of cyclical oppression.
By the early Second Age, with advance CRISPR, full genetic manipulation and fixing of human genomes became a reality. Paquin noted that people were skewing the concepts of race, gender, and sexual identity on a genetic level. They were removing some and mixing others. This made identity politics of any kind going forward increasingly difficult to argue. She predicted if the trend continued that a new oppressed group would need to be found if there was to be any hope for the movement.
The main counters to Paquin’s arguments was the lacking resolution to the cycle and getting what her critics called “absolute utopia”. A state of perfect and unchanging utopian existence. She would reject the absolute utopian theory as an impossible reality because of human nature. Other critics told her views on what oppression was and what it was not were skewed. She would dismiss this out of hand.
Paquin was correct in that by Rosella’s time all the labels of sexuality had faded away in society. People did whatever with whomever (there were still social norms and laws dealing with children and consent). The public celebration of unique sexual identities was no longer a norm. And as for race, people had blended in so much melanin genes to deal with the increase in ultraviolet radiation from global warming that many people looked similar in color. People became “color blind”. With the affirmative action amendment firmly in the past, nearly everyone excepted things as historically resolved.
The New Conflict Groups
It was during the development of the A-3 androids that Marxists groups in France latched onto a new under privileged group. They called themselves, “Société de la liberté robotique”. A French organization known by the initials SLR. Or in English, the Robotic Freedom Society. This group pushed for marriage rights, property rights, voting rights, wage earning rights, etc. for autonomous A.I. sentience. They see humans as oppressors. And these machines as the true humans. Many of the followers’ desire to become machines themselves. These followers see androids as slaves in the same context as historical human slavery. The counter arguments were that androids are machines. Programmed tools for humanity’s service. There’s no comparison to human slavery. Humans have dignity and a soul. Machines don’t.
Government anti-terrorist organizations saw the SLR as a bona fide threat. They believed that the SLR could reprogram A-3 and A-4 androids to become malicious against humans. They also believed that the group was responsible for the illegal trafficking of illicit cybernetic technologies.
The only other social group that was attempted to be organized in the United States were those who were displaced by the floods and New Madrid Traps. This included the native born and immigrants herded into the camps known as the Stacks. The Stacks were shipping containers turned into makeshift housing for the displaced by the federal government. But attempts to organize these people constantly broke down due to the level of support and oppression they suffered. While in the Stacks, the federal government ensured that they met their basic needs. Some could leave the Stacks to get employment in the surrounding communities. Overall, these people had become so discouraged with their position in society they lacked the will to fight back. They had become content with their bleak outcome.
Other Posts of Interest
Human Sexuality, Sex, and Genderism in Rosella’s Dystopian World
Important Legal Changes in the Dystopian U.S. of Rosella’s World
Important Legal Changes in the Dystopian U.S. of Rosella's World- Part 2
Image-"Workers of the world unite". By Hennie Stander, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed with Adobe Splash)
No More Live Debates, No Regrets
Recently the U.S. had its first Presidential Debate for 2020. Some are saying it was horrible. I didn’t catch much of it. What I saw, I didn’t like personally because it wasn’t your typical policy style debate. It was more of smackdown match. All what was missing was the caged Thunderdome. Which if you’re into that, I suppose that’s fine? But that’s technically not debate. It’s a street brawl.
By the Second Age of Humanity, and the creation of the Social Media Net, an organized candidate debate had disappeared from the American political culture.
This is primarily because the Social Media Net has millions of channels and show options. Think about YouTube and Twitter having a baby that’s fed steroids. This is the Social Media Net. It crowded out traditional news networks that would carry such events. The same happened to sports and movies. With so much diversity available for people to consume, this thinned out the eyeballs per channel and show. Competition went through the roof.
In the prior age, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) was put in charge of licensing the operators in the U.S. of such broadcast mediums as Twitch. This was because of an increased need to regulate issues around copyright abuses. This licensing continued with the development of the Social Media Net and helped to speed up its development. Because of the licensing technique used by the FCC was like Amateur Radio Service (ham) licensing versus normal broadcasting, access to individuals and small businesses was far easier. Allowing for a flood of new operators and business models. The FCC also blocked many mergers to encourage competition. This prevented larger mainstream media from buying up smaller operators. The FCC rules also regulated the maximum number of channels any single network could own. All these factors made for a robust plethora of content. But discouraged centralized broadcasted events, like a Presidential debate.
Without having such events, the grip of the two-party system slipped. Increasingly, the smaller parties were using the Social Media Net’s niche channels to gather party strength in regions. These echo chambers reinforced these smaller parties’ messages.
Organizations did many legal attempts to shut down both hate group channels and “radical leftist” channels. All these attempts failed because of support of free speech for the channel by the courts. And with the growing shattering of the two-party system, the ability to culturally control the narrative in America faded.
What it leaves us with by Rosella’s time is an America filled with diametrically opposed sides, and everything in between. And no one group completely controlling the conversation. It’s one social free-for-all, with violence as the ultimate solution for many. And a government trying its best to control the situation in a flooded world. All the while, corporations are reaching for space.
Image- AR District UPCI District Rally, By Geron Dison, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed with Adobe Spark)
We Can Have More than Two Parties
Democrats and Republicans are Actually the Same
After watching the YouTube by Second Thought, I thought it might help American readers to know how we actually can have a multiple party system at the federal level. Especially when you consider the premise being put forth by Second Thought that both the Democrats and Republicans are essentially the same party in policy, despite the ideological tribalism. Any minor differences are mere showmanship for vote pandering for the base.
Getting More Than One Party
It all has to do with a math equation that determines the number of political parties in a government. Originally used to determine the number of controlling parties for West Europe, it’s just as effective in our U.S. system when you factor in all seats, including the Office of the President.
We sometimes forget that the government we have today is federal government 2.0. Before we had the Continental Congress and with it eight Presidents. The people didn’t elect these presidents, but the representatives of Congress did.
The current U.S. President under Section 3 of Article 2 of the US Constitution gives the office certain rights concerning Congress, which no doubt were like how the previous Continental Congress president presided over things. Further, which every party occupies this office is automatically considered the head of that party, and the U.S. President has veto power for legislation passed. Therefore, you must include this position in the calculations.
The math is straightforward, and all you need to do is just adjust the percentages of seats per party.
Forget the White House
For Rosella’s dystopian America most of the new control lies in the House, which has greatest number of seats available and thus greater opportunity for new parties to creep into the system. This is the basic strategy that is used in her world. Certain political parties concentrate their efforts in a specific region of the nation not to win the White House, but to grab House seats and any Senate seats they can pick up. All the while on the state and local level they are also stacking the deck in those elections.
This is a basic divide-and-conquer technique through the concentration of resources on a smaller area. By splitting up the nation between the other smaller parties, they can use the size of the nation itself to break the control the Democrats and Republicans have had all these years.
They turn areas of the country once in favor of one of the two major parties against them.
Attempts to gerrymander districts fail because these smaller parties convert as many voters as possible to their party affiliation across multiple districts, including gerrymandered ones.
By abandoning the goal of the White House, Rosella’s dystopian America ends up having in Congress many more party voices and far less brinkmanship occurring over legislation. Despite the many opinions of how things should run, you end up with greater consensus and a willingness to work with each other to secure each other’s goals. This is because no one party has enough power by themselves to stall legislation or get their way. It forces them to work together or perish as voters leave them.
Now wouldn’t that be a pleasant change for once?
Read Here about the Political Illuminati of Rosella's Dystopian America
Image- untitled image, By Parker Johnson, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed with Adobe Spark)
Voting in the US
In the news there’s talk of POTUS 45 may not peacefully leave office should he not win. Citing such issues as the possibility of election fraud occurring because of mail in ballot delays.
While it’s been suggested by some news pundits that the US should get over this single day approach to elections. And move towards a monthly voting theory (this would be like India, which takes an entire month to process a national election). The reality is Americans are no doubt too impatient to wait a whole month for results. We’ve become accustomed to the instant for everything.
Regardless of the outcome this November 2020, you will see both sides argue across this nation about election irregularities. Everything from polls not being open long enough to accommodate long lines, to counting delays of mail in ballots, improper ballot counting procedures, and to election judge issues. You name it there will be a case filed, especially for districts where numbers are close.
The reason has to do with how in many states the electoral college votes are a winner takes all situations. Thus, there’s an incentive in close counts to make cases about fraud and deceit. Despite in a close count situation, there’s typically an automatic recount by law. There could be a serious delay in election results if there’s a lot of mailed in ballots to recount. No doubt there’s going to be the surprise box of ballots that someone forgot to process. Throwing more gasoline on the election fraud pyre.
In Rosella’s world, I deal with voting in a short story I wrote back in 2017 called, “How Covfefe Will Save the U.S. From Robot Domination”.
This is the passage from the story describing how the character Steve votes using a voting kiosk.
“He went to the voting kiosk, pulled out his ID, put it into the card slot, placed his thumb on the scanner plate and then the machine cleared him for voting. He voted his ballot for his district. At the end he verified his selections, and then with his finger signed his approved ballot as he casted his votes.”
I know some may not like the use of such technologies because it requires a physical id and biometrics for identification, but in person voting there’s someone who checks you in. The reason the voting polls are supposed to be local to your home is so the people working the polling site know you. Thus, no need for identification. The poll worker can vouch for the identity of the voter once they confirm the records as being true. But in today’s age, no one knows their neighbor anymore. We are no longer so closely knit as communities. Hence the push for voter id systems for fraud safeguards. The problem becomes that state ids should be free and easily obtained for all eligible voters. This may not be the case in many jurisdictions in the U.S.
I understand the concern of mail in ballots. While convenient, what if the voter records are not that up to date and a person gets a ballot for a roommate who's no longer there? If they send it in, it could be construed as voting fraud. But what if they see their friend over the weekend and the friend fills it out and then gives it back to be dropped off at a collection box? Is that still fraud? The friend doesn’t even live in that place anymore but is voting in its election district.
States are supposed to keep things up to date, but they mark people as “inactive” until after not voting in two federal elections according to law. Then the voter can be purged from the rolls. Election officials have different powers depending upon the jurisdiction to auto update address information. So, it’s inconsistent across the nation.
Therefore, a true national voter registration system is needed in the United States, despite current online attempts. States don’t have to comply. My understanding is they share some voting records between some states, but again not all.
The lack of solid universal federal standards and compliance makes any voting in the U.S. a hodgepodge of inconsistency and fraught with possible party manipulation for voter suppression.
I don’t truly address this issue in Rosella’s future. Her world, is beset with complex issues of flooding and volcanic traps, wiping out whole portions of states. How to get people to vote becomes a local concern as much as it is today. So long as the tallies are told to the federal level for those elections, that’s fine with everyone.
If you read the story, you’ll discover that despite the use of an electronic polling system, there are odd things that can happen in an election where results can be skewed calling into question the whole voting process.
So, even in the future, despite attempts to improve voting, there will always be issues.
Image- untitled image, By Jan Antonin Kolar, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed with Adobe Spark)
Seth Underwood writes adult science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com