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37. Revolution (II)

Updated: Dec 18, 2020



The princess stepped over a small red stain on the flagstones. It was no larger than a penny, but still it caught her eye. Blood. It was the blood of the cell’s previous occupant, certainly long dead. Perhaps they had put up a fight on their way to the boneyard; it had been known to happen, a panic took the priv and, like an irrational animal, they fought for their lives. The guards cuffed them and sometimes caused a nosebleed, though, for the most part, they aimed for the trunk of the body. So it was rare to see blood, though the stink of urine was strong at the door to the boneyard, as if it were a gateway to some vile back alley behind a public house, when, in fact, it was located in the centre of the capital and in the broadest daylight.

The Prosecutor was very strict in his desire to preserve the privs from bodily harm: he could not abide to see a priv with a bruised face or broken nose, especially for the reconciliation vids. “The Committee exists to guarantee the rights of all citizens,” he said in a recent tube address. “We are not a reactionary regime. Everything that the Committee decides is in line with the settled science and the consensus of experts in human rights, as represented by the State University directorate. I give you my assurances that all privs will be treated according to the latest guidelines.” And so the privs arrived at the boneyard unharmed in body, albeit always a little pale.

From her cell, the princess watched the boneyard. It was a sunken square surrounded by a few concrete buildings, constructed without windows. The latest research she had seen on a tubeclip showed that windows were quite unnecessary and were, indeed, repressive instruments. “In the past,” an academic from the State University said, “there was a distinct window privilege in our society. Some people had five or six windows—and the 1% had as many as two or three hundred, scattered over various homes. Unfortunately, there are still disparities in window distribution despite the best efforts of the revolution, but 96% of less privileged groups have had some access to a window in the last six months. Before the revolution, only a tiny elite could expect to see out of a window in their entire lives.” Her colleague interjected. “We must problematise the desire for windows,” he said. “This idea that everyone should have a window is in itself a legacy of individualism—of proto-fascist classical liberalism—and shows aristonormative tendencies. We need reeducate ourselves away from the mystique of ‘the window’. We must do the work, even if it’s hard…”

The princess watched the machine at work in the centre of the boneyard. She, having a window, was, strangely enough, still privileged. Then again, the buildings that had been adapted into prisons had been built long before the revolution; it was only the Committee’s elites who enjoyed the liberatory experience of sitting in windowless offices under fluorescent lights. Soon, the Committee would be coming for the those people who only wanted to redistribute windows and not abolish them. The Committee had little time for princesses and dukes; for some reason, their real enthusiasm and pleasure seemed to come from killing their own. The princess imagined the mousy little academic with a strong jawline being led beneath her window, still shouting defiant slogans about redistribution. “Citizen, citizen, enough of your reactionary bullshit about redistribution. Do the work. Speak into the camera…do the work. Make your reconciliation.” The princess heard many apologies from her cell, always so sincere, many crying, and always pleading their allegiance to the revolution, so sorry for not working hard enough. A few, the fanatics, bent no knee: “Window abolitionism is counter-revolutionary! Long live Krenz! Long live…”

She waited there many months, but it seemed that, for the revolution, a mere princess was of no importance. They had found new, better oppressors.

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