“…and that, my brothers, my sisters, my comrades, that is why we must rise up, take the reigns of our destiny, and lead eachother into the bright new future of freedom and independence!”
The assembled jumble of shopkeepers, street-sweepers, binmen and binwomen, sex workers and pole-dancers erupted into a cacophony of cheers. The approving roar took a full minute to die down…but once it had, a clipped voice could be heard.
“Excuse me… Ladies and gentlemen, this is all very…um…inspiring, I’ll grant you. However, we really must consider the grave consequences. I know, I know, all this…em…liberty, and justice, and…well…equality…it all sounds very nice, I don’t doubt. Nobody is quibbling with that.”
The crowd mumbled its assent.
“Nonetheless, we have to ask some hard questions. It would be remiss of us, would it not?”
Almost nobody present knew what ‘remiss’ meant – not that it really mattered, as a fair few could spot ‘counter-revolutionary bullshit’ when they heard it.
“After all…if we depose of these, criminals, as you call them…”
A low growl emanated from the throng.
“…who will pay for everything? This welfare state you all seem to be in favour of – apologies – we are all in favour of… Surely it only stands with the goodwill of the international bankers and economic leaders? It stands to reason, indeed, that once those lenders and creditors see the faces of our nouveau regime they will be most perturbed.”
A few faces of the prospective nouveau regime began to look a little fearful.
“Obviously, I’m not doubting the earnestness and passion of all who believe in a fairer society…but we must keep our feet on the ground. I mean, what about our children? It is our decisions which they will have to live with, for better or…worse.”
As she emphasised the word ‘worse’, the conservative made sure to wave a finger dismissively in the direction of the previous speaker. Many in the horde were wearing anxious looks and pensive expressions now.
“After all, it is not as if we could actually run our own affairs, for heaven’s sake. The very idea! We need these sensible, level-headed figures to show us the way, to run our industries and to defend our borders. What on earth would we do without such men – for they are almost entirely men – and without their expertise? Surely these individuals, whose wealth and influence is an abundant indication of the validity of their wisdom, are the foundation of our state. I tell you, if we run them out of town, and as a result scare off their international equivalents… Well…”
A strangled scream arose from someone. Tears were on the verge of being shed. One man, who mere moments before had been punching the air and bellowing ‘Omnia Communia Sunt’ as loudly as he could, now began to whimper. She’s right, oh dear God, she’s right.
“We all want was is best for everyone, of course we all do…but we have to take the sound, risk-free course of action…”
Sullen heads nodded in acquiescence.
“So let’s have no more talk of revolution and what-have-you. Things might be bad now, but we’re all in this together, let’s stick together, because it’s better together!”
A muted chorus of ‘Yeah alright’, ‘Spose so’, ‘Makes sense’, ‘Fair enough’ and ‘Hey-ho’ greeted this final rhetorical flourish, and the various downtrodden citizens dispersed in a sombre fashion.
The original speaker, aghast but not exactly surprised by this turn of events, shook his head in bewildered wonder; How on earth did anything in the past get changed for the better?
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…