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Remarks of Councelor Pierre Aubin, Session of the Noble Councel, May 28th, Year of Our Lord 2017

Thomas White is an aerospace engineer and recovering political scientist. In his spare time, he fences, reads while walking and talks about himself in third person on the Internet.

Welcome everyone. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Secretary, Knight-Senators, honored warfighters, fellow citizens. Before I begin with my opening remarks, I would like to lead everybody in the pledge of allegiance.
"I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of Vespuccia. And to the empire for which it stands, and to the cannon that we uphold, and to the God that we serve, one nation, one people, one king and one purpose, of security and justice for all."
Thank you. Thank you.
I know that this is a difficult time for all of us. Three days ago, Dr. Herman Phillips, esteemed advisor to the king, was convicted by the censorship board of high treason. I know this is hard to accept. Dr. Phillips was a role model for many of us... Including myself. But ultimately we have to accept the fact that the man we knew didn't exist. The treasonous and blasphemous pamphlet discovered in his attic must speak for themselves.
In them, he imagines what he called an "alternate history," a bizarre world where the New World was discovered by Europe in 1492. He lays out the horrifying implications, as just monarchy is overtaken worldwide by mob rule and primitive democracy, our own compassionate levelism is replaced by brutal capitalism, and countries are unified worldwide by globe-spanning treaties. In other words, a world not unlike what the world would have been like had we lost the Cold War to the Ottoman Republic.
I struggle to understand what was going through his mind at the time. He must be making a political point somehow, but I don't know what it is. Perhaps he sympathizes with the terrorists who continue to prevent us from deposing mob rule nations and bringing them to monarchy. Perhaps he has forgotten that, despite the best efforts of our Agency for Human Values, there are still places in the world where divorce is legal. Perhaps he has forgotten that we won the Cold War, that our ideas are ascendant everywhere, and that they have been proven true in the process. Democracy is a barbarian ideology suitable only for the ancients. Perhaps he has forgotten the heritage of Western Civilization, a proud monolith which has always advocated our values and could never be any other way.
But, you know, I understand Dr. Phillips, and the deplorables who still support him. I can see why they believe what they do. Because it's tempting, so tempting, to believe in his wild fantasies. O, he says we can abolish serfdom! But let me ask you a question: then who will make your house and car? Perhaps he has forgotten that every economist agrees that serfdom is necessary for the modern economy. He says that we can all work together. When he promises an international cure to smallpox, a climate change agreement, a web of computers connecting everyone, an international council to settle disputes, it all sounds good. But humans don't work that way, no matter how much the ideologues want it to be true.
But, my fellow citizens, I think that this should be a moment, not of doubt, but of reaffirmation. Dr. Phillips would have you believe that history is a random drift, a free-for-all, a chaos, where the actions of individuals can change everything. Where evil could win and everyone would find it normal.
But he's wrong. We stand at the end of centuries of progress, thousands of great thinkers, and though they have had their misunderstandings, they have always been closing in on a single great truth. Every philosophical theory, everything we know about the world, confirms our actions, and those who disagree with us are on the wrong side of history.
Dr. Phillips worries, worries constantly, that if we don't fight for what we believe in, we could lose it. But we fight because we have the truth, and the truth will always triumph.
Thank you, and thank God that we live in the United States of Vespuccia, the greatest nation in the world.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Author Comments

I've always loved good stories, but given how chaotic I keep finding history to be, I think this is one reason why I was a bad political scientist. In this story, I wanted to explore that tendency in myself--that I think I would see history as natural and narratively leading up to the present, no matter what it actually was.

- Thomas Carey White
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