Time passed and the rapidly changing world made a new normal; the old forgotten. Gone was the safety of everyday life in the city. All grew to fear each other. The Namibian girl who found the Democracy Device became a mother.


During this time, the Government of Military and National Unity used their superior technology to develop innovative forms of suffering, exquisitely measured and celebrated, taken deep into the fragmenting self. Blindly obedient followers built sleek and exclusive ghettos for their genetic superiors. In return, they received the comfort of having their frustrations directed at an arbitrary minority, their hatred carefully stimulated.

With the poor, the sick, the non-white and the critics outside the ghetto walls, those inside lived in electronic terror of ejection. Opposing a superior was punishable in this way, as was debt, criticism, curiosity or any attempt to remove the many digital sensors in the body. Merely to point at the new normal could result in exile.

The Namibian woman tried to hide her son’s illness, but doctors cost money, as did technical assistance, education, dentistry, security and digital membership. Any falling behind meant exclusion. When the computers finally picked up the boy’s sickness, the family could not afford to save him and he was euthanised. They gave thanks in public, as all were required to do, but it is not clear that her husband ever overcame this loss. She worked unceasingly to help him keep up the appearance of obedience, but sometimes when he wept quietly, she resented his self-indulgence. She had to survive, had done so in the past and would do so again. Working harder, keeping quieter, asking less for herself, she did not countenance failure. And yet there were moments of tenderness between them, ordinary, warm and valuable.

Device Segment 6: Democratic Leadership is here.


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