|The Price of Life
||[Feb. 13th, 2007|10:18 pm]
|||||Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate like a Promethean Curse||]|
It was during an age where corporate interests directed and shaped people like the churning cogs of a gargantuan machine that the idea of moral-capitalism was first proposed. Until then, morality had been defined globally by the consensus of ostensibly civilised nations, or locally by strongly felt, yet embarrassingly subjective, emotions. With the advent of moral-capitalism, this changed, and the people were given a shape that better fit the machine and to better grease the turn of the cog. Moral-capitalism proposed a value for human life and gave it a price tag as it did any product. This deceptively simple explanation placed man within the context of his commercialist surroundings and provided a rational basis for legal justice based on the subtraction of the value of the individual for each transgression of the law. Justice could be served by fine payable to the state or by imprisonment wherein a person’s value would slowly return to its original worth. But in the case of the most heinous crimes, if a person’s value fell below 0, their life would be worthless and their biological lease terminated, possibly by converting them into glue or grounding them into livestock meal.
The perspective of law enforcement changed and the scales that had so long been the symbol representing justice assumed extra dimensions. The promulgation of morals became equivalent to the promotion of a product through advertising, an art that had long since become highly refined in the west. Criminal statistics were graphed, mapped and data-mined, and psychological trends plotted to arrange effective marketing campaigns by a government that had become indistinguishable from a corporation.
The Unified Sovereigns took up moral-capitalism with zeal, going so far as to set the standard dollar value of a human life. This had little effect, however, except to set a global goal, as the citizenry of a country in the grip of civil war would still be considered as having a very low value while conversely, a well-behaved country would place greater value on its chief investment. Nevertheless, consensus had been achieved by the nations belonging to the Unified Sovereigns and moral-capitalism would come to be adopted by all the nations of the west as the paradigm of humanistic philosophy.
Soon the Unified Sovereigns looked towards the benighted east, utterly ignorant of righteous rule. One particular nation’s contempt presented a galling obstruction, its rich resources hoarded by a moral pauper, a ruthless dictator responsible for the deaths of thousands.
The Magnates mobilised their forces. Tanks covered in logos rumbled into carriers advertising perfumes and shampoos. Soldiers stroked the barrels of their MMGs or Monetary Munition Guns, a lethal ballistic and psychological weapon invented by the brother corporate entities of weapons manufacturer Schmidt and Western, who found converting coins into ammunition for a high-velocity gun more cost-effective than fashioning bullets, and who quickly realised they served as an eloquent reminder both to the troops and to their enemies of the high price of war and human life. Hackers hijacked telecommunications and television broadcasts, advertising the increased price of life all would experience under the invaders and the decrease in the cost of a local and international call under its auspices.
After several months, the war was over, the dictator had been captured and the campaign considered a success. The first affirmation of the spirit of the mission statement of this newly minted moral-capitalistic nation would be a trial. An Article of Incorporation, as constitutions had then become known, was drawn up and a panel of influential figures from throughout the land summoned to sit judgement of the fallen dictator who was expected to hang for his misdeeds. The Magnates and Tycoons rubbed their hands gleefully as they awaited the expected outcome, that democracy would be achieved with the execution of their first war criminal. A hush fell over the court, and one could hear the swivel of the camera as it turned upon the spokesperson for the nation. He opened his mouth and then spoke a language the Magnates did not understand, speaking of lessons learnt by the occupying forces and proclaiming the dictator’s sentence would be forgiveness contingent on exile.
The courtroom broke into uproar that such a costly war fought to topple a dictator whose bloody acts had already caused his life’s value to drop far into the red would result only in his exile. The occupying forces moved to subvert the ruling with force, and soldiers in the streets rioted, their economics driven minds reacting to an implied insult that depreciated their costly sacrifices. Lawlessness reigned and the Unified Sovereigns soon abandoned their project, withdrawing their forces and declaring the nation morally bankrupt, its citizens not worth the expenditure of any more time, effort or more importantly, money.