Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2019 Day 5: Us Versus them

By Robin de Voh on 2019-10-10

It had unmistakably been a platform of hatred. That's what they had called it back in the day, once it had started to really gain momentum that was hard to ignore. They had started off slightly creepy, but it was almost understandable where they were coming from at first. As time went on, the frail veil of civility was lifted more and more and what came from behind it was nothing more than unbridled hatred and black or white rhetoric.

Hatred of the other. Hatred of anything different. And not because there was an actual reason to hate them, but because it had historically always been easier to blame it on a 'them', rather than look at themselves and their systems and realize that perhaps they were at fault equally, if not far more.

It had happened time and time again in the past, and the groups being targeted as 'them' -- mostly -- had always been different, depending on the time. Any group with a different skin color, or any group with a different culture or religion, was a target. Some more often than others, some only during specific times and events. Honestly, the dividing line seemed to be random most of the time. Liberals, who on average were mostly similar to the 'us', were also 'them' at some point, showing that it was never about any actual reasons.

It was arbitrary, and they knew it. And they didn't care.

Eventually even they admitted it didn't matter who you were, what you looked like or what you believed in.

It merely mattered whether you followed or not. If you did not, you were unwanted. If you did, you were part of the system, as intended, and were expected to actively uphold it.

It hadn't started that way, but as it had done before, it had gone that way. In the past, these authoritarian and othering systems had failed because others had deemed them too dangerous to keep existing.

But when one of the most influential countries in the world, one of the major exporters of their brand of freedom, had fallen, it turned out there was nobody left to pick up that fight. The other super powers had their own version of authoritarianism already, or were by now devolving into it. One by one nations followed suit and the world became more and more filled with hatred.

Hatred without reasons other than 'us' versus 'them'.

Global development stalled, as nations turned in on themselves. Trade wars and actual wars raged, as the 'usses' decided that they deserved more for themselves, and it was fine taking it from 'them'.

International discourse became a blame game over time, and nobody seemed to know how to get out of that situation.

Some countries remained open and free, but not to all. They were afraid that if they played too large a role on the global stage, they would make enemies and their freedom would eventually end in a war they weren't willing to fight. Or capable of winning, in most cases.

So they, too, turned inward.

Isolationism became the norm.

I'm not even supposed to know any of this. World history and world news is no longer a thing. It's all national now, or if you're lucky, 'international' in the sense that a power bloc of countries might share information amongst themselves.

But it's not like that information is any less one-sided. It's just coordinated over multiple agencies speaking multiple languages.

But there's a network. They don't know about it. And we talk. And we share. And we plan to do something, even if we're not sure what it is we'll actually be able to do.

There were freedoms before, that we do not have. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of this, freedom of that. Now we have the 'choice' to follow or not. But not following is a death sentence, and everybody knows it, even if nobody says it.

Almost everybody feels the fear. Even amongst the followers. Even those who would rat out their own family, deep down, feel the fear. There are some who don't, and they are the main problem we face. They follow because they do feel fear, just not their own. It's others', and they relish in it.

But they're not the majority. We are.

We've got news casts, we've got cells all over the globe. We've got weapons caches and training. The only thing we don't have is a way forward. We don't have the support of the masses we're sure will follow us. But once we do, we'll make ourselves known to all and do what has to be done to bring freedom back to the world.

They'll call us terrorists once we do. From their perspective, they're right.

From our perspective, we're freedom fighters.

History will have to decide who's right.

I've mostly avoided politics for all these years. Oh, well.