A Future President Explains "Beneficial Control"

Stop the confusion!

Source

Scene: An undisclosed interview room, looking a bit like a talk-show set.

Time: someday in the future.

" Hello, Madame President-- may I call you that?"

" Actually, we prefer just a simple 'Honored president' -- the 'Madame' and 'Mister' thing sounds rather discriminatory and sexist, don't you think?

"In fact, we are thinking of mandating the use of just plain names for now, freeing the people from the 'Mr. Mrs. Ms' titles. We estimate it will save a lot time and ink, for those still using snail mail . Ha ha."

"OK, since we are talking about mandates, Mad- er.. Honorable President, I'd like to ask a few questions about the recent directives regarding news reporting and so forth... "

"Well as you know, we have made a lot of improvements in the past several years or so. One is, Ha ha, that people stopped listening to Fox News... and most of the radio commentators."

"Well, some people say they were forced off the..."

"As I said, people did stop listening, and once it became apparent that the network stations were also just putting in a lot of negative opinion, untruth and gossip..."

"But they sometimes are only reporting on what a lot of people are thinking and feeling ..."


"Mr. Reporter, or perhaps I should say 'Honorable Reporter', Ha ha. Please stop interrupting me while I explain one simple fact: We are giving people freedom from the old fashioned and perplexing and incredibly diverse news sources.

"As everyone knows, they dished out lots of conflicting opinions as well as reporting controversial views. This has been confusing the people badly for way too long. No one knows what to believe. Ha ha."

It's all about control.

Source


"Our simple solution is to establish a new National News Site as the one single source to clarify the news and avoid conflicting ideas and the horrendous information overload which has been distressing people for decades.

"There will now be only one true and outlet and source for the news. It will be simple, objective and to the point with only two half-hour transmissions per day. That is more than enough.

"The approved scripts will be expertly and meticulously edited and the video feeds will be available to TVs or computers. The editing, of course, is only to save time and promote clarity.

"Everything will be distilled down to important news -- news that people really need to know. There will be no entertainment, or opinion, only reports on what directly affects the people, like new laws and regulations, stories about product recalls and other things that might be harmful to them.

"There will still be pollution alerts, so people know when to cut their usage of fuel and power consumption below regular allotments.

"There will be updates of some subjects with only basic statistical details such as: daily mass shootings with the number of dead and injured, and the daily number of arrests for anti-patriotic actions. There is no need to get people all emotional about these things, since we are gradually making progress in getting incidents like this under control. Soon we won't be hearing about these events at all."

"Well, I'm sure that is true, but what about world news like political and economic developments that might affect us?"

"These will no longer be covered unless it is something resulting in actual war, when we need to call more people into service. Most international events are not something ordinary US citizens can do anything about anyway, so the population should not be overly stressed or worried about things they have no control over. The government will take care of these things."

"But some people might still want to know . . ."

"I am surprised that you don't realize how much easier it is for everyone, now that government is looking out for ALL the best interests of all of the people. There are just so many things you don't really need to know or worry about. Ha ha.

" You may have heard from older people, about how they once had to do so many things for themselves that the government now covers for them. We now have so much more free time to be productive citizens without having to make hard decisions about where to live, what to eat, what to wear, etc."

"Well, I heard that some people didn't mind those choices so much. . . Some people, if they were not working in government-assigned jobs, might even choose to live closer to their friends and families . . ."

Families are on the way out.

Source

"Families are a thing of the past, man. Don't you know that a lot of murders and other violent crimes used to be mostly committed by family members and friends?

"Now we only have random workplace, street and school attacks. Even these have decreased since the gun bans have cleared up so many of the firearms that used to be available to anyone.

" The government-assigned jobs are now freeing more than 85% of our population from having to make educational and career choices, which relieves an enormous amount of stress. I'm sure that percentage will continue to grow."

"Some people think that family closeness and social ties used to help check some of the violent tendencies that result in random mass murders...."

"That just doesn't make sense. Ha ha. People used to have all of the worries and concerns of caring for their elderly parents as well as the pressures of child care before the standardized government eldercare and childcare systems were established.

"They are now freed from all of that, and able to concentrate on being productive citizens which helps everyone.

"In addition, we are making a few changes to the old universal healthcare system which will solve some of the problems which have started to come up. To avoid wasting medical resources, a painless and peaceful release from what may otherwise be prolonged suffering will be provided.

"Of course this will only happen when it it determined that modern medicine will be ineffective or prohibitively costly. It is going to free up a lot of medical workers who are now wasting their time, as well as medicines, on hopeless cases."

"Something doesn't sound quite right about that . . ."

"What a Mess!"

Source

"It's just a practical fact of life, son. Like other things we have done, it won't happen all at once. People will get used to it over time and realize that everything we do benefits our whole population.

"Those born in the last few decades can't remember earlier days before the requirement to participate in a compatibility data base which is used to insure only the best marriage matches are allowed.

" They don't even remember when we didn't have universal free downloads from the government lists of approved music, art and entertainment. And we would all hate to go back to the time when we actually had to choose what clothes to wear. The multi-standard uniforms are practical and comfortable. "

Do you think this could happen in the USA?

  • No, the people wouldn't allow it.
  • Yes, it might.
  • Yes, it's already starting
See results without voting

"Did you know that people once actually even had to choose what they ate and drank? A lot of citizens made awful choices which resulted in poor health -- a real strain on the healthcare system.

"Not only that, but people used to have to select uncooked food products from a large confusing market, prepare the foods at home -- with various means of preparation for various kinds of food-- and clean up dishes and cooking appliances afterward. What a waste of time and effort -- and for what? For bad health?

"Thank goodness our nutritionally balanced food-sticks and vitamin beverages have eliminated the need for all of that bother. Too bad the French and Italians are still clinging to some of their old ways, but I'm sure they will come around soon. Have you ever seen a plateful of spaghetti? What a mess!"

When did you visit?

Source

"Yeah, I guess that is all good, but going back to the idea of 'peaceful release from suffering' you mentioned ..."

"As I said, it is not something to be concerned about. How many of us still keep in touch with our older relatives or the disabled and chronically ill anymore, anyway?

"The government care centers do all of the work with those people now. If any family members wish to communicate with any of those people, when their care is coming to an end, they will be given a special permit which will allow them to e-mail the caregiver of their relative. The message, most assuredly, will be passed along. It's the least we can do."

"Yeah, I guess that IS the least..."

"OK, I've got to bring this little chat to a close now, there's always something to do when you're the Honorable President. Ha ha.

"By the way, we will need to see the final draft of your story before it is submitted, and since all of the independent news sources will be soon be absorbed into the National News , you will probably be reassigned to the new food-stick processing plant.

"As usual, we will pay for your move. Thanks. Nice to meet you, though I probably won't be speaking with you again."

[Two large guards escort the reporter out.]

More by this Author


Comments 43 comments

eovery profile image

eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

They want to control us, they already have control of the liberals, who think they are free, but are not.

Keep on hubbing!


habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Scary stuff. It's 1984, for sure. Great hub!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I hope not-- maybe if people can see it coming...

1984 is at least a little late in coming, maybe we can still keep it from happening.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I really enjoyed reading this, Rochelle, as it really was innovative in its presentation. I really hope that this does not occur. It'll be the end of life as we know it. Yes, 1984 does come to mind first. I'm afraid that emoticons (i.e. :) ) and text-language will take over as the new Newspeak! LOL (Geez!) Thanks for a wonderful yet scary look into our probable future.


Sue Adams profile image

Sue Adams 7 years ago from Andalusia

I can't see it happening unless the government can control the internet. What with Twitter and Youtube available to all. Did you know that the first video reports of the China earthquake disaster was on twitter BEFORE the BBC got onto it?


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

This vision is scary, but it is not SO SCARY... In real totaliarin system, there would not be reporters who would dare to ask such PROVOCATIVE questions, he, he...(not even before re-assignment to food-stickers production)...In totaliarian systems, your last chapter happens among the first steps.

Very interesting article, inspite of that vision, I can feel your positivity.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks dohn121-- yes, I forgot to mention that the News would be written in text language.

Thanks, Sue,I'm sure there are ways that the internet could be controlled or taken over. Also computers, or internet access could be made illegal. During WW II in Europe it was illegal to have or listen to a radio. Of course, some people built their own and tried to keep them well-hidden.

Yes Tatjana-Mihaela, you are right. Freedom of the press is usually the first thing to go in such a state, especially if there is a forceful takeover. I'm just thinking about the small ways that freedoms of choice can be eroded... which lead to greater and greater government control. I think it could happen in very subtle ways, so that people think everything is being done for their benefit.

Is "helping" the major banks, financial institutions and large corporations giving the government any control?? No, I suppose they are just "helping" and it's all for the greater good. Now about healthcare-- well, never mind.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

can anyone say "soylent green?"

wonderful hub Rochelle...I also fear this as our future


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I think people have to be made aware of this possibility.

As others have mentioned: "1984" (Heck I'm old enough to think that was a date FArrr in the future) and "Soylent Green"-- there have been others "Brave New World" etc.

One point is, that some people think this will be something that could come suddenly. I think it might creep up on us.

Thanks for your comment


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

More and more we are being controlled. It is a matter of time.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country Author

And will we even notice? Thanks for reading.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is a wonderful approach at teaching folks just what is at stake. I sometimes wonder if so many of our legislators are really so duped into thinking that the direction they are taking us is really what the majority of people want and need. The populace is starting to wake up and make some noise. Just hope it is not too late.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Too scary to even contemplate anywhere... can I please pretend to be an ostrich and stick my head in the sand? I fear for our children's children and their children.

Quite a powerful hub Rochelle

regards Zsuzsy


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA

Great, Rochelle! It was a "deja vu" for me.....with some additions that Tatjana-Michaela pointed.....

Remember- I grew up in Soviet Union.....

Sad.... If Americans do not withstand it now, in three generations there will be little if no hope....


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I really appreciate the comments of people, like you, who have your own personal experience. My husband grew up in Hitler's Germany, and also learned something about government control.


cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

Hi Rochelle.I'm your new fa...follower...

"I'm not taken in by stories I have heard.

I just read the daily news and swear by every word"(Steely Dan).

I watched a doc on Youtube titled "The end of America",scared the hell out of me.

I highly recommend it...

I want to learn to write like you.

This is the Best Hub I've read yet!

Just the best.

Thanks...


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

This is outstanding. VERY well written. You were one of the first to encourage me when I started writing. Thanks so much and keep up the good work.


Sue Adams profile image

Sue Adams 6 years ago from Andalusia

I like it a lot. Science fiction has always paved the way for less radical measures.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

I hope it's fiction. Some realities seem way too close. For instance some states are legislating against trans fats and too much salt in restaurant foods. Do they think the people a too stupid to make good decisions?


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

I remember about a science fiction I read a long long time ago. Science fiction was still something I didn't know then. The story, the old and useless people were mandated by law to go to a government center for "check up". So, one who is faltering in many of his usual normal ways will volunteer to submit self for screening, he might be accompanied by a family member or go by himself.

An old man in a certain household, believed or his son believed that his senile father would soon be up for questioning by the government if he didn't go for the check up. After several postponements, the old man finally left with happy assurance that he would pass the test and be back home. When he left, the son discovered that the old man didn't bring anything, when he could have brought few pieces of clothing to wear during days of rehabilitation in the center. The son cried, he knew that his father was just giving him false assurance, he knew full well that he would be put to eternal rest, the way you insinuate in this hub.

The son bundled away all his father's belongings to put somewhere. His young son and only grandchild asked where his grandfather was. The father held the boy in a tight embrace and cried some more. The boy was puzzled.It would take time before he would understand why he couldn't see the old man again.

Scary, I hope your interview remains that way, a fiction. Nice hub. Talks about present realities that warns us if we don't behave in government.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

A scary story for those of us who are grandparents. Sounds little like Hitler's "final solution".


EmpressFelicity profile image

EmpressFelicity 6 years ago from Kent, England, UK

@Rochelle Frank: "During WW II in Europe it was illegal to have or listen to a radio."

Surely not? (How else would Hitler have mesmerised an entire nation?) It certainly wasn't illegal in Britain anyhow - although you did need a licence to own one.

Well-written hub BTW - nice creepy dystopian atmosphere.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Well- perhaps I should have said Nazi-controlled Europe. Hitler's speeches were usually broadcast through speakers in the town squares, but he certainly didn't want people listening to Radio Free Europe or other "allied propaganda".

No one in my husband's German family had a (legal) radio. They once got a visit from the SS who wanted to see their (required) picture of Hitler on their living room wall. Someone had turned them in because they thought the family's picture was not large enough and not in a proper frame.

Thanks for your comments and compliments.


GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

GojiJuiceGoodness 6 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

Great hub! I like how you have the two speakers interrupt each other. :P I think you hub is kinda funny, but on the other hand its scarily true and real.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, GogiJuice. In one way it does seem entire absurd, in another-- too possible. I think you caught the essense.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Great read on a very serious subject, Rochelle. We are not really that far away from the reality of such an interview. We all need to remember that the Soviet Union had only one news source for a reason not in the best interest of the people.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Wayne Brown. Though we don't want to believe in the possibility-- we have to watch for it.


Bonnie 6 years ago

An article ran in our local paper earlier in the week that scared me (again). It says that MR PRESIDENT STATED: "worst-performing teachers have “got to go” if they don’t improve quickly". While I certainly think our children deserve the best possible education, is this the way we want it addressed - by our HIGHEST ELECTED OFFICIAL deciding what teachers "have to go"? When the government controls what our children learn, it is indeed the beginning of the end.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Bonnie. I wonder how many people really notice that kind of thing. And I wonder what they will propose for "worst-performing parents". I think that the involved parents in any local district are the ones who should be involved in decision making.

Many more are deciding on home and charter schools-- at least we still have that option, but for how long?


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 5 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I loved reading this, though it was chilling as anything I've read by Margaret Atwood or Jose Saramagio. I'll keep my spaghetti and school choice thank you very much!

I agree too that parents need to take some control of their children's education. I personally find that in Iowa, which is ranked as one of the top ten states in the nation for kids to grow up in (just heard it on the radio, can't substantiate or elaborate), we find our kids' BEST educational experiences are extracurricular and supplemental. The family is an essential component of this formula.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Another funny one Rochelle....I know it is a serious matter....well not really. Do you think that food sticks will actually be the food of the future? I kinda like my messy spaghetti though. Some of the ideas are really good. I wouldn't mind not hearing about all the ghastly happenings in other countries, I wouldn't mind a government news agency where only need to know news is aired, it would save a lot of stress. As is, I hate watching the news!

Food sticks...ha ha...she laughs a lot doesn't she....I think the Honorable President is a bit coo coo..ha ha


Imogen French profile image

Imogen French 5 years ago from Southwest England

A very entertaining story with a serious message. Protection of our civil liberties and freedom of choice are very important, and we mustn't allow our governments ever to have this much control!

Well done on a well written hub - my favourite of the week so far!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Wannabwestern, You are right, yet families seem to be becoming very old fashioned and outdated. Our hope is that there are a still a few that are committed to each other and can live with less of the beneficial government help that so many have come to depend upon.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks, Cardisa. The news does get to be too much and too depressing, but if we had one source it would be worse than having no news.

It would be so easy to manipulate, even more than it already is.


Chuck profile image

Chuck 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

This is a great Hub.

The first part about control of news was very interesting. In fact, instead of a fictional future "Honorable President" justifying future government control of news with the comment "We are giving people freedom from the old fashioned and perplexing news sources." I can give you a quote from a real government employee saying something very similar to justify an actual government controlled news system.

When I was in college I had the opportunity to travel to the former Soviet Union for a ten day study tour as part of a Soviet seminar course I took.

The speaker was our Soviet tour guide who explained to us that the Soviet people had free access to news. However, instead of wasting resources on multiple competing news sites that mixed opinion with facts, the Soviet system had one news source that provided people with the facts and let them make their own opinions.

While there was a certain logic to our tour guide's explanation, I soon saw the problem with this in practice.

While we were on our tour, there was a big hockey game in Prague, the capital of what was then the Soviet satellite nation of Czechoslovakia, between the Soviet national team and the Czech team.

The Soviet press was full of stories reporting on the game and the Soviet victory.

Upon returning home, I read an article about the game in Time Magazine. Like the articles about the game in the Soviet Union, the Time Magazine article stuck mainly to he facts of the event. However, the Time article contained three facts that were lacking in the Soviet articles.

The first was the score itself. The Soviet articles simply reported that it was a "Huge" victory which, for hockey would probably be a win by three points or more. Time Magazine reported the the victory as a 3 to 2 point win in favor of the Soviet team.

The second fact that appeared in Time but not mentioned in the Soviet articles was that the Soviet's third, and winning, point was a disputed point. As sometimes happens in hockey, the puck flew straight at the net and appeared to go in but ended up directly behind the net. There was no question that the puck was headed straight at the net. The question was. did it go into the net with such force that it came out the back? Or, did it miss the top of the net by a fraction of an inch and go over the net? If the puck passed through the net the point was good, but if it went over there was no point.

According to the Time article the mostly Czech audience believed they saw the puck go over the net, a belief shared by the foreign journalists present as well.

The third fact mentioned by Time and not by the Soviet press was the fact that the referees' decision to award the point to the Soviets was a split decision with the 2 Soviet referees saying the shot was good and the Czech referee voting that it wasn't.

Media doesn't need to resort to inventing or distorting facts to influence a viewer's conclusion. News can be distorted just as easily by the selective use of facts. This way the Soviet government controlled media could honestly claim, as much of the current mainstream American media does, that they are engaging in factual reporting.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

My parents and aunt and uncle visited Russia in 1976, when they were just beginning to let a few tourists in. They had a very loyal young tour guide who told them all kinds of things that they knew were untrue. One was that the new tractors they saw were Russian-made. My uncle was a California tractor salesman, and he recognized the farm machinery as FORD-- repainted and with the name ground off. Yes the devil IS in the details.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate your comments, Chuck.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thank you, Imogen French. (My origonal reply had a couple of errors). I fear it is happening ever so slowly, so that we hardly notice. I read that the FDA has made a rule regarding the maximum size of holes allowed in "domestic Swiss cheese" so it doesn't interfere with commercial slicing machines. Seems almost silly (And the Swiss are outraged)-- but if they can control little details like this, how far do we have to go before everything is government regulated?


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas

Rochelle, I remember this piece from a few months back....great idea to share it again as we continue down that road toward "beneficial control"...sounds so pleasant and safe, doesn't it? The only beneficial control our nation has and should have is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Perhaps those who like to exercise "beneficial control" over the people might read it and see that the government is an extension of the people...not vice versa. The drumbeat of today is for equality....which can never be legislated and is amounts to nothing if we lose our liberties in the process. Liberty is the process by which one can achieve equality but they have to "try" first. Thanks for sharing a very good hub. ~WB


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country Author

Thanks for all that appreciation, Wayne Brown. Isn't it amazing how much of a muddle has been made by legislation? Do these people really think they are helping the country, or is there something more sinister going on?


Mary McShane profile image

Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

This is too scary for words. If we ever lose our power of free speech, it's all over. :(


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country Author

We may be on a slippery slope. So many people are thinking about what they can get, and not realizing what they are losing in the meantime.


VJGSA profile image

VJGSA 23 months ago from Texas

One of the first means of "controlling a situation" during War World II was to cut communications. The non-fiction, non-political book "Who Controls The Internet" states that there are means to cut internet access at the spur of the moment. In fact, we read recently that North Korea has just one "incoming" internet line for the entire country - provided by China. And it was mysteriously cut off for several days. Having worked as a journalist, I know first hand that while the media do not "tell" us how to do think, it does "tell" us what to think about simply by editors on a daily basis choosing what issues to print/broadcast.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 23 months ago from California Gold Country Author

You are right. One of the main ways to control a nation is to make them dependent on one source of something they need ... or think they need. In the US we are very big on proclaiming our "independence", but we become more needy and more dependent for many things every day.

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