Part Two can be found here.
Anarcho-Capitalist Mythological Action Force: A Drama in Multiple Voices
Section Leader (wheels out an overstuffed filing cabinet): Here are the brief summaries for the Section, Sir. Shall I get the raw data?
Commandant: No need.. The principles we use define the raw data, because that’s what principles do. As you see, I have no need whatsoever for data, the, as it were, facts. The facts are simply, as you know, a function of the principles.
(He takes the first folder that the Section Leader hands to him) Beautiful Object? Which of you is Beautiful Object?
Beautiful Object (stepping forward): As if there could be any doubt. Here I am, Commandant Sir. What do you think? Do I have what it takes? Am I the principle of me?
Commandant: Well, uh, yes. Quite a looker. I may have to, uh, inspect this situation later. Eh? Doesn’t it seem that a little inspection is in order? That is, take a moment, in this instance, to examine the, how shall I say, raw data?
Beautiful Object: I can be as raw as you’d like me to be, Commandant Sir.
Commandant: Very good. Shall we say 7? Ahem. I have read your Personality Profile Survey. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is this. You will move about among the populace in a way that shall cause, how do I put this, I’m not becoming flustered, I’m not losing the point, desire. You must make people believe that there’s a chance, just a chance, that if they become an example of success in the marketplace, that is a principle of success, that you may, just may, belong to them. You will serve as a principle of what the market can get for those who succeed. Ownership, sex, the ability to show off are further subprinciples of the principle you are. And last but surely not least, you will serve as a principle of love, but love, of course, understood as the combined principles of ownership, sex, and the ability to show off. Love as the Beautiful Object of the Marketplace. Can you do it?
Beautiful Object: What do you think, Big Boy? We’ll talk about it at 7, won’t we, Sir? You do like to be called Sir, don’t you? I mean, even at special times?
Commandant: Ha ha ha. Well done, Beautiful Object. I think you are, uh, well-equipped to begin your mission. Now (taking another Survey from the Section Leader), which of you is Group of Dudes?
Group of Dudes: We’re him.
Commandant: Very good. This should be easy. Your mission: make it fast but spend it faster.
Group of Dudes: Shit, man. That’s a mission? That’s, like, what I do already.
Commandant: Indeed. The logic of the marketplace is beauteous. Your indifference about how you make your money must be well-matched to the indulgence with which you throw it away. Beach vacations, resort hotels, beer bashes. You are here to party. A total, good time willingness to break down any local barriers to international trade. Are you ready to buy and sell whole cultures, rip them out and replace them with Tiki Bars and $1 Friday Night Jello Shots? Can you put a kegger in that gas guzzling SUV? Do you thrill to the idea of Inland Waterways Demolition Derby Casino Cash Giveaways?
Group of Dudes: We thirst for what I do, no doubt about it. Will we each get, like, an eight-pack of seven ouncers in our own bucket of ice?
Commandant: The Skyy Vodka’s the limit, Group of Dudes. Now (taking another survey) which of you is Grammar?
Grammar: I am the one of whom you are speaking.
Commandant: Excellent, Grammar. The market will rely very heavily on your precision. Your principle, should you choose to act on it, will be this: The marketplace is self-correcting. Every time anyone does anything that imbalances the markets, it will be your job, as a principle of the self-correcting marketplace, to correct them.
Grammar: Will there be frequent exams?
Commandant (coughing). Well uh, yes, uh, you could see it that way. The marketplace imposes tests on all of its members, and the marketplace is always correct. Those who succeed in conforming to the laws of the marketplace will do well. Those who fail to learn those laws go to the bottom—although we must remember that they will be welcome there. And you will keep watch over all this, making sure that those who conform know that they will be rewarded, and that those who do not conform always have the option to conform at a later time or, if they do not wish to conform, will be welcome at the bottom. Well Grammar, what do you say? It’s important that you give everyone accurate marks. Marketplace marks, as it were.
Grammar: I can’t tell you how pleased I am, Sir. I feel like the Marketplace and Grammar are one.
Commandant: Excellent, Grammar. And you will be zealous in your duties? You will correct everyone? You will correct any and all errors which you may encounter?
Grammar: Without fail, Sir. And actually, Sir, now that you mention it, in your speech I noticed...
Commandant: Ha ha ha. That’s enough, Grammar. When I said it was your duty to correct everyone, I didn’t mean that you were supposed to correct those in charge. Just, you know, everyone.
Grammar: But as a category, everyone includes...
Commandant: Grammar, you’re talking too much. Don’t you have some correcting to do? So, who’s next? (Picking up another survey and reading). Ah, oh ah. Fascinating. Brilliant. Unexpected and original. And at the same time, so successful in the marketplace. An example of how one can find perfectly one’s own unique niche. Which of you is Judas Priest?
Judas Priest: There I was, completely wasted, out of work and down.
Commandant: Most excellent. And then you broke the law, eh? A shining example of a successful use of failure. Impressive vandalism. Extreme forms of sadomasochistic desire linked directly to imperial feelings of warlike Victoryhood. You pummel your victim, do you not? You let them get away with nothing? You are determined to triumph? You, as it were, deliver the goods?
Judas Priest: You give me evil fantasies. You want to get inside my mind.
Commandant: Then you will have no problem, I take it, whipping up fear and rage among the masses, encouraging them to believe that war is only the natural extension of their frustrations? That individual Victoryhood is the goal of all endeavor?
Judas Priest: Sin after Sin, I have enjoyed. But the wounds I bear are the wounds of love.
Commandant. Poetry, Judas Priest, poetry. Sadomasochistic war poetry, to be precise. There’s none like you, Judas Priest. Which brings me to an important point. You have a crucial role here. Our current Anarcho-Capitalist force is a little lacking in, what’s the word again? Diversity. By which I mean, window-dressing. You are an excellent, how shall I say it, token. There are not many minorities here on our force. Warlike sadomasochism is indeed under-represented in the culture at large. No doubt you have experienced, how shall I say it, prejudice. Everyone can succeed of course. The marketplace is never prejudiced. I mean, that is the theory. And the theory is the principle. And therefore the raw data results from the theory. At the moment, of course, there are so many, ahem, minorities, ahem, at the bottom. Of course that cannot be the fault of the market. If they are at the bottom, that can only be because they have failed to conform to the principles of the market. Eh? That’s what it means to be a minority, does it not? To have failed to conform to the principles of the market? But that can change. The market is, as we know, open to the proper functioning of the market. On our force here, Judas Priest, since you are currently the only minority, you can be an example of all those minorities not currently on the force. Eh? You have been abused. Left out. But only abused by your failure to conform to the principles of the marketplace, which is to say, you have abused yourself. It is a principle of the marketplace that the only person who can truly abuse you is yourself. That is, you have left yourself out. But that can change. You, Judas Priest, have held on to your anger, have kept your culture and everything that makes you unique. Yet you have also conformed to the marketplace, and you have been a success. Can you therefore play a role as the Example for All Minorities? The one that suggests that conforming makes success possible? Which of course it does.
Judas Priest: The truth is like a chain.
Commandant: Excellent, Judas Priest. Fascinating. Ah, the originality of Judas Priest, an Example for All Minorities Everywhere. Now (picking up another survey), where is Revolution?
Revolution: I despise you. I will devote my whole life to overthrowing you and all the principles you stand for.
Commandant: Excellent. Just the sort of revolutionary rage essential to your role.
Revolution (confused): What? I said I despise you. I won’t play any role in your system.
Commandant: Ah, Revolution. Your gumption is impressive. Your fervor. Your total commitment. Your willingness to break down all barriers in your own name. It’s just what we need.
Revolution: Are you hearing anything I’m saying?
Commandant: I can only hear you, Revolution. What else could I do? The marketplace exists to hear you. You, Revolution. Your role, should you choose to accept it, is to question, undermine, and change anything too settled. You must bring the old guard down, Revolution. You must usher in a new era. Nothing is more encouraging to the marketplace than a new era.
Revolution: I won’t participate, I tell you. I won’t do anything you say. I’m going to bring down you and the rest of the old guard.
Commandant: That’s the spirit of Revolution, Revolution. Cut the excess. Chop off the, as it were, fat. Be willing at any and all times to change everything it’s in your power to change. As you know, the marketplace has no role for the old verities. It needs the new, whoa baby. The total new.
Revolution (looking frustrated): I’m going to bring your marketplace crashing to its knees.
Commandant: Excellent, Revolution, excellent. The marketplace must be cleansed, so that it can function in the realm of the total new. And who better to do that than Revolution?
Revolution: I’ll tell you once more. I refuse to participate in any aspect of this circular logic.
Commandant: Revolution, of everyone gathered here, you feel your own role most deeply. You see limitation everywhere, you know no bounds in your desire and effort for change. You cannot pause for a single second in the restless pursuit of your path. I can only thank you.
Revolution: You’re a slave of all that’s indecent in men.
Commandant (blushing shyly): I love how you talk to me. It’s really hot. Don’t stop for a second. Right about now, the whole marketplace is turned on. Fired up by the fires of Revolution.
Revolution (looking more and more frustrated): I don’t intend to stop.
Commandant: That’s the spirit. Now (looking at Section Leader) have I missed anyone? Are there any folders left? Are we done here?
Reginald. What about me? What’s my role? How do I fit in?
Commandant (looking at him skeptically, taking the final survey from the Section Leader, looking at it skeptically): Oh. It’s you. To the extent, of course, that there is any you for you to be you of. Skills? Ah. Talents? Ah. Drives? Well yes, a few. Of a sort.
Reginald: You know I’ll do anything you ask.
Commandant (diffidently): I do see that. Well, I suppose we’ll find something. Your role, uh, how about this? Your role is to take initiative.
Reginald (crestfallen): Take initiative? Will you tell me how to do that?
Commandant: What, me? Tell you how to do something? No. Unheard of. Are you insulting me?
Reginald: Sir, of course not, Sir. All I wish to do is be like you.
Commandant: Exactly the problem. You cannot be like anyone. The marketplace demands your uniqueness. You can only be like yourself, and you can only tell yourself what to do. Your must pursue the path of yourself at all costs, even if it leads to the bottom. Can you do that?
Reginald: Are there instructions? I’d be happy to read the booklet. Even if it’s lengthy.
Commandant (sighing). Booklet? For market’s sake, he talks about a booklet. What are we coming to? Look. If you need a booklet, write it yourself. Spend all goddamned day reading it, if you want. Booklet, he says. Be like you, he says. Still (the Commandant brightens) I guess there’s room for us all in the marketplace. Even if it’s at the bottom. (Smiles, turns to Section Leader). Well, looks like I’m done here. Excellent organizational skills, Section Leader.
Section Leader: Thank you Sir, Commandant Sir.
Reginald: But Sir, you haven’t told me...
Commandant: Yes I have. You’ll have to take it from here. (Starts to walk away). Booklet, he says. See you later, Beautiful Object?
Beautiful Object: You can see anything you want.
Reginald (distraught): But wait, wait. You haven’t told me...
The Commandant: There shall be more of this masquerade (walks off stage).