The AllMart FamilySafe Security Chip ,
brought to you by
The Collective Boards (of Directors
I’m so glad you could come in today. Do sit down.
As you know, I’m the CEO of AllMart, and a representative member of the Collective Boards of Directors. The CB has had me bring you here today, because we have a little problem, and a big opportunity, and you’ve always been one of our best producers, so we’re giving you first shot at it.
First of all, I need to inform you, recently we’ve had a data problem. The stimulus provided by your last ad campaign failed to produce the predicted effect. Truthfully, your numbers have been slipping for some time, and it has certainly caught the eye of the CB.
Fear not, though, you’re not on the chopping block yet. I’m confident our new campaign will be a blockbuster; the question is whether you’re the right man for the job. Of course, you needn’t worry; you’ve been the CB’s star response-producer; the “Government Sickens You” ad campaign you led was credited with turning the public completely around on the vaccine issue, despite all the facts.
I can picture your face wrinkling up at that; I remember you saying that you felt we had “duped” the public, but you can’t argue with the numbers you produced. The vaccines were administered, and AllMart made record profits, while providing consumers “critical pride” for indignantly refusing to have their hard-earned money diverted to the government. The “fact” that the government vaccines weren’t really unsafe doesn’t really matter; you won the battle for people’s hearts, and they got their shots. And that’s why you get the big bucks. These fear-based campaigns are time-honored advertising gold, and you’re the master of them.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned, your numbers are off and, worse, are part of a disturbing trend; demand is down all over. But we’re gearing up for a real game-changer with our next campaign: Allmart’s FamilySafe Security Chip. “Do you know where your child is? Well Susie does, because she has AllMart’s FamilySafe Security Chip… Don’t you want your family to be safe? bla bla bla….” And top this: free vaccination or flu shot with each chip implanted.
Now I know that you’re one of those sensitive types that is always decrying the CB for their short-term thinking, but that’s how things are different now. This time, the CB is motivated by the long-term, the possibility of being able to guarantee ever-increasing demand, which would truly solve all our problems as a society. The decline of consumption has been an alarming trend that you ad-meisters have been powerless to mitigate. The Cynics have increased their presence in the marketplace of ideas, casting our ideology in doubt, and eroding consumer confidence, despite your best efforts. Furthermore, a veritable algal bloom of rebel niche groups, the Gardeners, the Humanists, the Simpletons or whatever they call themselves, is making non-consumption almost fashionable; and that is one fashion trend that the CB cannot be expected to stomach. What need can “no thing” fulfill? Nothing. But it is not just a wasteful and bankrupt ideology; it’s a dangerous one during these times. The truth, which the Cynics can’t face or deny, is that we all utterly depend for our existence on the continued expansion of production and consumption. How else can we maintain the levels of growth necessary to sustain our lifestyle? You should be proud to be at the vanguard of the creation and fulfillment of human needs.
Of course the Cynics have their “rights”, and the government still has its judicial and legislative “authority” to protect these rights, but only fools really think that has any power. Meanwhile, in reality, a human’s voice is powerless until it is manifested in the marketplace where the real decisions are made; choosing to not participate simply prevents one from having any power. Their very lack of consumption has up to now effectively marginalized the opinions of the Cynics and their ilk. However, new forms of resistance and rebellion are metastasizing and they are posing an increasingly grave threat to our system, at the same time that the sustainability of demand has been coming into question: a perfect storm.
I’m offering you an opportunity to help us ramp up demand as part of a noble effort to make our way of life sustainable, and to protect us from the alternative: the collapse of civilization as we know it. Our “An Armed America is a Safe America” campaign made us a fortune and triggered all those initiatives forcing all Americans to buy a gun from us with government subsidies in the name of national security, but, unfortunately, we effectively armed the rebels. While the Cynics slowly undermine the public’s faith in markets, the forces of anarchy being stirred could destroy the infrastructure supporting our basic needs, and then Armageddon will be upon us.
No, the Cynics are not the real problem; it is the rebel groups, who have begun to increasingly use violence, with the unethical, immoral and criminal goal of disrupting the global economy. These threats, given the vulnerability of our computerized systems, put the basic needs of every person on the planet at risk, while wreaking calamitous effects on the security of the capital upon which our economy depends. Have you heard about the riots? The acts of sabotage? The assassinations? Of course, the CB has suppressed the most shocking reports; but just the few reports leaked produced dips in demand and a spike in hate crimes against corporations. This is a crisis, not only of demand, but of belief in our way of life. Even the CB has undergone some changes; more than ever, we need leaders who are willing to proclaim and enforce the fact that people’s true power lay in their choices in the marketplace. We’ve used any means necessary to enforce this in foreign nations; we need no less resolve here on the home front. The will of the marketplace should be our command, and then all human voices will be heard in proper proportion and through proper means: the marketplace. This is what we mean by freedom and democracy.
We want you to be the lead man on this security chip campaign. The CB wants you to pull out all the stops. We’re going to make these chips urgent, necessary, and then cool, and soon it will be the norm, just like contact lenses, guns, or insurance. And then we’re in. You see, this chip represents a true revolution, a crossing of the boundary of the flesh, with advertising now able to penetrate the very skin and bloodstream of the consumer. Because, of course, this is not merely a security chip.
Allow me to explain. Formerly, we were limited to bombardment by radio waves, aromas, pheromones, colors, and motion, to develop affiliation, but all strictly employing external stimuli. With this chip, we’ve broken on through to the other side: the inside. Oh no, this chip is not just about security. Of course, security is the selling point, but it scarcely helps the CB. The chips are cheap, and once uploaded they’ll probably displace thousands of security workers that we have been dispatching at huge profits for years to private vigilante groups, ever since your “Can’t Trust the Police” campaign caught fire with the public. And we’ll certainly have to ramp up our Paranoia Induction Program to facilitate the roll out, which is bound to cost us millions: media doesn’t come cheap. No; sure, we’re piggy-backing this security chip on the vaccine and flu shots for the PR boon it’ll provide, but moreover, we’re doing it because we have the opportunity to break the barrier of skin, and now we have the technology to tap into people’s minds and metabolic systems. You see, this isn’t merely a transmitting chip; it is equipped to channel chemicals to the root of our demand problem. We’ve found how to trigger the human brain to release the very chemicals that spur feelings of anxiety, meaninglessness, insecurity, and depression; exactly the chemical recipe for consumption desire. As effective as billboards, commercials, product placement, education, information, and propaganda are, they may have reached their limit as far as their ability to increase consumption; the drop in demand attests to that. With this chip, customizable to various purposes, we can mass-dose the population with chemicals to spur consumption and production as necessary to sustain this system which serves us so richly. That’s why this campaign is to be a watershed; from here on out, we’ll have our sales team truly under the consumers’ skin, working from the inside.
I can see your face twist with protest at the exploitative potential of remotely controlling and engineering human desire, but it would seem to be a necessity if human life is to be sustained. We have always “cultivated” humanity as we’ve differentiated our species from other animals, and the desire for things has become the hallmark of our species. If you can no longer make products that people find attractive, we must make humans who are attracted to them. Are we not the toolmakers? And what do we derive from things? Isn’t this Thing-ism the Cynics decry simply an application and democratization of our human desire for communication, beauty, truth, and the other evolved ideals of humanity? It has been said that God leads not by force but by attraction; then let humans be attracted to things and find meaning in them. We aim to help them, because we believe this attraction is fundamental to our nature as human beings, and we intend to cultivate it.
The CB is simply owning that process and, in an attempt to truly represent the consumers that put the CB in power, make the conscious choice to engineer humans that will be able to sustain our economy and avert our society’s collapse into chaos. If humans are to work in factories, why shouldn’t they have a chip to release endorphins and let them enjoy it? If people feel guilty about insufficiently helping the needy, why shouldn’t they be chemically relieved of that guilt, allowing them to be happy, productive citizens?
I can well imagine you wringing your hands over this, but you oughtn’t. What system of “democracy”, what kind of “voting” could be more inclusive than the marketplace? People keep voting for whatever the CB puts its money behind. Moreover, how hard has it been for the CB to spin the public into believing government is the problem? Your “Fear Big Brother” campaign prevented their passing the National ID Law. Meanwhile, AllMart just issued a membership card to its 300 millionth member, each of who treasures their feeling of belonging and takes pride in getting the 10% member discount; and they give us their data gladly. Your “Information Liberation” campaign helped pass the law allowing the CB to automatically share all data about a consumer with all other corporations every time a purchase is made. No one made a peep; not that anyone would have listened, anyway. And our friends in the legislature were sure to put a rider on that bill that allowed the CB to track the activities of non-consumers, that we might more effectively engage them with the marketplace, where their true power lay. Government can only do the will of the people as we’ve educated the people.
Yes, I suppose in our system one dollar, one vote is more accurate than one person, one vote. What I’m saying is: How could it be otherwise? The truth is this: People vote for the CB every time they buy something, every time they ignore the protests of aggrieved workers, every time they fail to inquire into the ramifications of their actions on one another and the Earth itself, which is every day of the year! They vote with their money, and then they flaunt what they’ve bought and hail it as self-expression. We’ve studied humans; we found what makes them happy; we’ve created a system that provides what they want; and now we’re simply ensuring that our system is sustainable. Shouldn’t people be happy?
The Cynics have got it all wrong. People believe in things, and that things do make life worth living. The consumer is a human faced with a new challenge or a new way to find meaning in this world. Would you deprive them of that? We are dedicated to serving their needs as they define them in the marketplace, which is where they go to define themselves. The government can’t do it. Citizenship’s got no sizzle. Humans, like machines, only do what they’re programmed to do; we are the programmers.
Look, at this point, there are only two possibilities, short of everyone legislating that we become hunters and gatherers again. First, we prop up demand as necessary to keep the production/consumption cycle flowing. Second, we let the Cynics and the Luddites drag down our economy with their petulant complaints, and wait till the rising tide of armed, unemployed, angry, dispossessed people annihilate a thousand years of progress in an anarchic wave of violence. And then everyone will be a hunter-gatherer again…. Sensibly speaking, there is truly only one possibility.
At any rate, this talk is getting tiresome. I’m here to sign you up for your next campaign and I needed to give you the big picture, but now I’m done entertaining all these pointless philosophical arguments, all of which have been effectively settled on the battleground of the marketplace. We still think you’re the best. We’ve simply exhausted the efficacy of using external stimuli to produce the results we desire; your data proves this. Now we’re ready to crack the barrier and start working on the inside. The CB has the technology and the plan. They need a campaign. You’re our first choice to run it. But you can easily talk your way out of it. And then you’re free to join the other Cynics picking through garbage for their sustenance. We noticed that you’ve been frequenting Cynic sites; it’s time for you to make a choice and face the consequences. We’re confident you’ll freely make the right choice.