Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

When The Powerful Feel #Fear...

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got a little more of Alyce's adventure to share with you, today! Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
"As I said, the people who are powerful fear that the rest of us will one day wake up to the fact that we can force them to share if we just work together. So, they use a lot of different strategies, some of which we've discussed, to keep us divided. But, when people get too angry and start to take action, they'll try to use the police to disrupt any protests and bully the protesters into backing down."

"Are the police part of the ruling elite in your society?" asked Squid-boy.

I shook my head. "No. That's part of the genius of their strategy. Cops are just working stiffs like the rest of us. Most of them are good people and they become police officers because they actually do want to help others and keep them safe. But the way the powerful have structured the legal system makes it almost inevitable that the police will end up at odds with the communities they're supposed to serve. And that means that regular people end up viewing cops as 'the enemy' and, so, cops end up returning the favor and viewing regular people as 'the enemy', too."

"When, in reality, it's the people who are pulling the strings who are the enemies of both groups," murmured Yax.

I pointed at him. "Bingo. That's it, exactly."

"But how does your legal system set up such a dysfunctional dynamic?" asked Squid-boy.

"Oh, there are lots of ways. One is the drug laws we talked about, before. They criminalize normal human behavior and then selectively enforce those laws. People will take drugs because it feels good to them to take drugs, and it doesn't really matter what the laws say. The people in power know this, that's why they make such laws. And they're careful to only criminalize the drugs that poor people tend to prefer; the drugs that are more common among the rich are either not illegal or there are less severe penalties associated with possessing them."

"So, they set up a situation where police feel they have a right to peer into people's private affairs," said Yax.

"Yep. And, let's be honest, just making laws like that is a huge overstep of authority by the government. After all, it's one thing for the government to regulate the manufacturing of goods or to mandate certain warnings be issued about the likely effects of a given substance. But who are they to tell consenting adults what they may or may not put into their own bodies? Why should free citizens allow their personal, private behavior to be controlled like that?"

"So, the laws surrounding these mind-altering substances only exist to create tensions between law enforcement officials and the rest of the community?"

"Pretty much."

"Then why do your people allow these laws to exist?"

"Well, that goes back to the divisions that have been created between people with different skin colors and between people from different parts of the country. Again, the drug laws aren't enforced equally and they don't apply equally to all drugs. So, the government uses propaganda to make it seem like some drugs are more dangerous than they are and those are generally the drugs that are typically used by people who are poor or who have darker skin or both. So, that makes people with lighter skin or people with slightly more money start to think that the people in the communities that are associated with the drugs the government has convinced them are dangerous are dangerous themselves. So, they vote for politicians who want to keep the drugs illegal because they think that will protect them from the people. Also, the corporations that manufacture pharmaceuticals want other drugs to be illegal because they are competition for those corporations. And, so, the corporations bribe politicians to keep those laws in place. So, there is more than one reason for the laws."

"But can't the people who live in the communities that are most affected by these laws organize to change them?" asked Squid-boy.

I nodded. "They can, and some of them have started to do that, but it's not easy. Those tend to be the communities that are the most disenfranchised. The laws we talked about before that keep people from voting tend to affect those communities the most. Plus, they are generally poor, which means most of the people who live in them work two or three jobs just to put food on the table, which doesn't leave them with a lot of time or energy for political engagement."

Yax frowned. "That seems awfully convenient for those who are in power."

I snorted. "Of course it is, that's how they designed the system. Also, you have to keep in mind what happens when the people in those communities finally do come together to protest." I pointed at the robots dressed like militarized police in the exhibit we were standing in front of. "This doesn't usually end well for the protesters."

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