If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
– George Orwell, 1984
I often wonder what an archaeologist from the distant future will make of our civilization today. What will he find in the rubble that will intrigue him about our lost society? What tiny puzzles can he construct from the fragments of our lives and then what meaning will he derive? One can assume that this future archaeologist would find it tempting to compare his “modern” civilization with our own and thereby come to the conclusion that he has suspected all along – even though he is a scientist – that his society is far more advanced than our own. This will, no doubt, give special meaning to his own existence and fuel his enthusiasm for further study of this – our – most primitive culture. Armed with new funding and veins veritably pulsing with enthusiasm, he would come across some troubling new discoveries.
First, it would seem that our society was based on some high ideals centered on a code of laws that seemingly protected its citizens from abusing one another and its government from abusing its citizens. Taking the bones from some of the deepest parts of the dig and comparing them in a paleogenetic study with some bones from a shallower part, he finds that the earliest founders of this system of government were genetically not so diverse – almost identical, in fact. And yet, they put down in writing that all men were created equal by their god(s) and that these universal rights were inalienable. Even more puzzling, however, would be the remains of a war – fought amongst themselves – in which one side seemingly wanted to continue to systematically oppress a genetically diverse but fundamentally identical group of genomes living amongst the founders people as their “slaves” – whatever that meant – while the other side, apparently based somewhere to the north of the continent, wanted to realign their society to fit more or less within the original founders’ parameters. Apparently, this more progressive northern side won the war but somehow failed to win the peace.
Soon after this pivotal war there came a slow but sure division in which the northerners, easterners, and westerners were diametrically opposed to their counterparts in the south and in the middle. The northerners kept accusing the southerners of assaulting an apparently important religious text called “The Bible” – they keep referring to them as “bible-thumpers.” And, apparently, the southerners disliked the northerners for having some sort of cardiovascular medical condition – they keep referring to them as “bleeding-heart liberals.” Whatever the case, the nascent kingdom was dividing into “red” and “blue” provinces with strong correlations between the reds and the bible-thumpers and the blues and the bleeding-hearts. This time of division was not a happy time.
It would seem, from evidence collected so far, that the country at this time was being severely oppressed by elements of an elite civil authority called “police.” They were elite because they had very specific training to pacify the populace by any means necessary – particularly those of the genome group that differed with that of the founders. Their training and tactics would indicate also that the darkest-skinned of the diverse genome group were the most dangerous and threatening because the elite government taskforce – police – were routinely allowed to shoot this particular sub-grouping on sight with primitive but highly deadly projectile weapons.
Perhaps, in a moment of daydream, the archaeologist would pause here to reflect on why the “black” subgroup were targeted so. Perhaps, this particular subgroup had special abilities or powers as they were also recruited in equivocal numbers to play in their gladiatorial arenas – more than any other subgroup. Without further evidence, this would be all mere conjecture. The evidence at hand would point to a more logical conclusion: that the losers of their civil conflict never forgave their northern brothers and eventually, over time, were able to create or at the very least infiltrate their police to exact revenge upon the very people that they perceived as the very cause of their fall from power. How ironic, then, to note that the archaeological evidence seems to suggest that this splinter element eventually brought down the entire kingdom that modern historians call “America.”