Excerpts from “united states”

Jack Flyte,  head of the Enterprise, an international conglomerate, 2038:

“Under the city’s Emergency Decrees, the Directorate’s intention is to transform the consortium into…an Ayn Rand sort of free enterprise city-state in which New York’s most powerful corporations can conduct business unshackled from all city regulation, taxation, and public oversight…accountable to no one….”

Flyte looked at Benjamin Quayle, his chief publicist and friend, with chagrin.  Slowly he shook his head. “I was so consumed by our own empire building, I didn’t see any of it coming—yet there it was, right under my nose.”


Albert Longueille, Algerian ambassador to the United States, at a “safe house” in Brooklyn, 2038:

“Worst of all, your tyrants are among you, your powerful corporate and political elites.  They already have the keys to the doors of power—and the safes—yet they still want more. Meanwhile, your government allows them to act in their own interests and against those of the people.”

Cecil Collander at Columbus Circle, 2038:

In a chorus of horns, a gridlock of drivers began to honk their impatience.  In a minute, Cecil’s cab lurched forward. With painful slowness it passed by the motionless still-hooded corpses swaying from their ropes. The cab rounded Columbus Circle and crept onto Broadway, finally heading uptown again.  Outside her window, Cecil could see a broad expanse of Central Park empty and tranquil, as if the scene two blocks behind had never occurred.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christmas 1942, Germany:

“The reasonable people’s failure is obvious. With the best of intentions and a naive lack of realism, they think that with a little reason they can bend back into position the framework that has got out of joint. In their lack of vision they want to do justice to all sides, and so the conflicting forces wear them down with nothing achieved. …Still more pathetic…The fanatic thinks that his single-minded principles qualify him to do battle with the powers of evil, but like a bull he rushes at the red cloak instead of at the person who is holding it; he exhausts himself and is beaten….”

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