ALLGOOD AND ALLBAD: THE GREAT CHANGE & THE COMING OF FREEWORLD
It was always the same day in Allgood. And it was always good... whatever might happen.
Joe was in his study, thinking as he did often of the dichotomy that had infused his life with so many bittersweet feelings for so long now.
It was composed of two dueling elements that he had never been able to reconcile.
Everyday life was a ritual of eternal license. His wallscreen brought him 250 varieties of such diversions, much of it that offended against his sensibilities, many of which sensibilities were quite out of date these days.
He was getting unnervingly dissatisfied with his life. The food, the behaviors he saw, even the air he breathed... nothing seemed right to him any more.
He was unhappy.
But it was all meant to be good. It was freedom. He was free.
But he didn’t see how he fitted into the system of Allgood.
Allgood had existed since the Great Change before which was Allbad. In Allbad there was duty as the primary feature. Duty, responsibility, integrity and work. As the crisis approached which brought about the Great Change the conflict between those who lived in Freeworld and those who lived in Allbad (or as they called it Idealworld) grew and grew.
The leaders of Freeworld knew their system of license created wealth and the more freedom there was the more wealth there would be and it was only a metter of time before everyone was happy.
The leaders of Idealworld had the ambition to maintain a sufficient level of control to maintain discipline. This discipline was there to maintain the necessary level of order required to bring an equality of opportunity leading to happiness.
The goal of both was general happiness you see. But the means to that goal were divergent in the extreme. Freedom on one hand. Order on the other.
Joe had read a lot of books on the subject and read many articles via his wallscreen. Evening was when he was best able to concentrate then contemplate on what he read and saw. Some of the materials he read and saw however, disturbed him. They were hard to find and though they were freely available they could get you into trouble.
The trouble was of a low level type for most people. Though most people never accessed the materials that caused this trouble any more. They were pursuing license. The perpetual and perennial license of Allgood.
For Joe the trouble was contained within the responses he received from others when some aspect of his divergent viewing and reading conflicted with everyday life. It needn’t be that he even said anything that wasn’t usual, though if he did he saw the response was never positive. He felt a tremor of unhappiness that disturbed him on these occasions. An inner disquiet and of feeling out of being out of synch with his entire environment.
You may think he was just a typical loner, an oddball, a wannabe intellectual with ideas beyond his IQ level who should have just found a few friends, played some sports and got with the program. Joe might even have agreed with you. But somehow his mind simply wouldn’t let him move in that direction, no matter how much he felt his happiness might lie in that direction.
The Great Change had seen the dissolving of Idealworld. This was a subject Joe pondered more than most. He felt queasy about this momentous event that had ushered in the world he now lived in. The opposition to Freeworld was gone, but the conflict in his own mind only grew.
The more he studied the facts about the change, as far as he could find them, the more an unsettledness grew within him. It became clear to him that something vital and even wonderful had been removed from himself and all others that would now be. Somehow license was not enough. An element had been removed that was there to provide balance. License produced wealth, he could see that. There was great wealth. Not for him and not for many but he saw signs of great wealth in many places and many more via his wallscreen. There it was all wealth, more wealth and ever greater wealth... on most channels that is. Almost all channels in fact. The channels favored by most in Allgood. Sometimes he felt he was the only one who accessed the others... and in those moments, alone in the quiet of his study, he felt himself to be the loneliest man possible.
But there were people on those other channels and he did feel a kindred for those glowing dots on his screen that represented them, far away beings out of reach, hidden is some corner of Allgood feeling, perhaps as he did? Or so it seemed. These thoughts generated a helpless kind of warmth inside Joe, he was glad of it but there was a keen pain of a nameless longing alongside it also.
The Great Change had brought about Freeworld and with it Allgood. Freeworld was the entire planet now, with full license for all, a playground of experience generating huge wealth. Allgood was the environment of thought protectively surrounding and permeating Freeworld. From the satellites orbiting above to the myriad channels of Networld to the sprawling LiveMalls to the EntertainmentZones to VirtualEros Net Allgood stretched its sensual aura of potential happiness.
But none of its made Joe happy. He was not even a little attracted toward any of it. He was repulsed. Something within him found it aligned with the concept from Before the Change regarding Allbad... that it was all wrong.
Allbad was the designation given to Idealworld. Joe had been a teenager at that time. On his parents’ screen each day and nigh important segments were given to how bad things were in Idealworld (or what was named as Allbad in Freeworld). It seemed obvious to all (or almost all) that the people there were being denied their due happiness. Their grey world of duty, controlled as they were appeared unlivable and permeated by oppression. We believed the systems of Allbad had failed and were not bringing happiness. Not at all. It was made obvious to us that there was no happiness there because there was no license to be free. And it was agreed they must be made free. To be like us.
And so it was. Every means was used to free them and so, eventually after every possible way was employed to bring what existed down and replace it Allbad succumbed to Allgood.
The Great Change took place and the people of Freeworld rejoiced.
That was forty years before. Joe, now fifty seven, found in his nightly sessions he retained many attitudes that made him think this had been necessary. This despite the contrary feelings that had arrived via his studies that something important had been lost, eliminated as part of the change.
Joe began to realize that there were elements in his mind that were there due to repetition rather than by any other means. He had sat with his parents through long years where negativity on some subjects was repeatedly emphasized and positivity on others provided as standard. And these were laid down in levels so deep it would be impossible to reassess everything he found he now desperately needed to, to retain his sanity.
Above and across Freeworld the satellites wove silently in the night. Below, light shone from every nation below. Here and there the mass of lights coalesced into gigantic balls of glowing fire where embers streaked out in tendrils connecting each ball in a huge matrix of gold. Below, vehicles rushed, travelers incessantly seeking connection, entertainment, leisure, excitement, pleasure and happiness through ever greater license. Each individual sought their need, fed their desires, fueled further wants, had goals eased then new goals stimulated. They found purpose through ambitions catered for in payment and wealth created.
And slowly but surely... if a little imagination was used... it could be seen from up here, that the tiniest lights of all, a little isolated from those vast glowing gobs of fire... were going out, slowly but surely, one by one by one...