Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Alternative Ending

This story was inspired by the series on a possible ending of the American Empire in the Archdruid Report.
 Mine is a darker and more jaundiced version. He ends it with a bang. I have followed the vision of T.S.Eliott that it will end in a whimper.

    Alternative Ending

It happened to the Red Indians, the Tibetans and the Highlanders. It almost happened to the Chinese and the Turks. It is now happening to the Americans and Europeans.

    'This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang, but a whimper.'

    This, the great Anglo-American poet-prophet T.S.Eliott saw. That was how America ended anyway. There was no nuclear holocaust, no brave last stand, no Custer and certainly no Battle of Maldon. Not even a battle of Tsushima strait. Oh, yes! The Americans had at first talked a good fight, bestriding the world like a Colossus, but as the Chairman had said, they were merely paper tigers, afraid to use their nuclear teeth. When push had turned to shove, the dollar had turned to waste paper, American pretensions had turned to dust, and they had been revealed as the Hollow Men. As hollow and as broken as the Colossus of Rhodes, which likewise had been hauled off as scrap from the world stage. The More Equal Treaties, as the Chinese had called them, in allusion to  their 19th century history had formalised the Chinese colonisation and incremental takeover of sovereignty in what had been North America and was now the homeland of the second billion of overseas Chinese. The Animal Farm some Americans had sourly called the result, apparently in part an allusion to a book by an obscure English author, in a language which, once dominant had now been replaced by Mandarin. That had been while there had still been Americans capable of making and understanding literary allusions.

    The American decay and collapse was long drawn out, slow at first then rapid as it became irreversible. It was a matter of morals, and their surrogate, money, far more than a military affair. It was not the fault of a political miscalculation. It was not caused by any deficiency in information or any lack of cunning in devising subtle policies or in military strategy. Information and subtlety and skill abounded in the political and bureaucratic world, but were useless.The moral deficiency in self control and self respect which led to Americans being known as the grossest and greediest people in the world led to their rulers allowing, for reasons of personal expediency, the transfer of the productive economy to China and eastern Asia to enable those few who controlled it and who were already excessively wealthy but insatiably greedy and indifferent to the welfare of their fellow countrymen, in pursuit of still more money.This had left a mere shell, a casino economy of fraud and financial chicanery and statistical lies, through which those who really controlled things behind their political stooges had extracted any remaining wealth, leaving only false and dashed hopes, illusory dreams dispersing in a a new American
dawn of despair, disease and moral and physical decay.

    The correlate to this moral deficiency was financial deficits. Accustomed to excessive consumption Americans had bankrupted themselves by continuing to live at levels which were now beyond their individual and collective means. 'Your wages are set in Shanghai' was a saying in the globalised economy to which insufficient attention was paid. At first it was easy and apparently painless to live off accumulated wealth. The process was masked and made easy by mortgages when house prices were rising and it seemed the loans could always be repaid from eventual sale at much higher prices. The banks and the financial system had spread the virus of greed and folly which had shifted activity and attention from productive activity and sober lending, to a crazy chase after paper profits in a casino
of deceit, betting on indices which were rigged in any case, betting on irrelevant impossible absurdities packaged by mathematicians and sold by the slickest salesmen to greedy and gullible fools.

    The gravity of the situation had been masked for some time by the fact that the dollar was the reserve
currency of the world, used to finance trade between other countries, and especially, the international trade in oil. Thus there were far more dollars in circulation than were required by the domestic economy,so Americans could buy foreign goods by printing their own currency, and it was easy for the American government to raise cheap loans from the rest of the world to waste on it's corporate and political welfare programmes, sustaining it's corrupt political class for a while longer, and hiding the ultimate cost. As the relative and then the absolute share of America's participation in the world economy declined, and hysterical American bombast and bullying increased, the rest of the world slowly shifted their trade and their reserves away from the dollar. There were various economic shocks and cycles along the way, but economic political and cultural power inexorably flowed eastwards. Forced devaluations of the dollar made imports very expensive for the Americans, and interest rates had to rise despite the
manipulations of the American government and banks to suppress them. The cost of interest on government debts and the difficulty of rolling their repayment further into the future resulted in squeezing programmes with the least political support and the effective increase of taxes on an ever more impoverished population, partly by means of unjust regulations made to raise revenue, and  additions to the weight of bureaucratic costs on individuals and small businesses.

    Eventually even the monstrous expenditure on the military establishment, which had equaled that of the rest of the world put together, had to be scaled back, and  the network of military bases and spy centres around the world had to be reduced.Even the programmes to develop science fiction weapons at astronomical cost had to be trimmed.At first these cuts still left the American military in a far better state than their Soviet counterparts had been when the Soviet Union had collapsed and the Red Army and Fleet had rusted, and desperate soldiers and sailors had sold anything they could lay hands on to get a few sacks of potatoes to keep themselves alive. The cost of maintaining troops abroad became a much greater strain when they had to be paid in foreign currencies against which the dollar was devaluing.

     The American president had bestrode the world like a Collossus, brandishing his nuclear club and protected by his dollar shield. As he became a more puny Hercules, 'wearing the lion's skin, but weighed down by the club', he attracted more derision than respect, and contempt rather than obedience. No major power believed that the American government would risk losing even a few of it's cities in retaliation, and American politicians were laughably easy to bribe.

    As the world's economic situation declined, countries found that gold was the most valued part of their reserves. The indifference verging on contempt with which America was viewed by the rest of the world changed to contempt verging on fury as it was revealed that the gold reserves of the United States and of other countries, particularly Germany, which had been deposited with American banks and institutions when the Americans had been able to bully them, had simply been stolen.The United States could not return the gold because it no longer had any gold. The more than 8,000 tons of American reserves, the largest hoard in the world, supposedly held in Fort Knox had been replaced by gold plated tungsten bars, worth very little in comparison to the missing gold. The over 2,000 tons of German gold and smaller but still substantial amounts belonging to other countries which had been deposited with
American banks had also vanished, leaving mere pieces of paper behind. American goldbugs who rushed to collect their gold from America's financial institutions found that they had also been cheated. There were more than a hundred times as many certificates of ownership in circulation than there was actual gold. Successive American governments had long resisted demands to audit the Federal Reserve and Fort Knox, and to account properly to foreign governments for their gold deposits. Now the reason became painfully clear to the whole world. Decades earlier the bankers who controlled American governments and the Federal Reserve had lent all this gold to their banks, in murky transactions, returning either counterfeit bars or mere promises to pay. The actual gold had been siphoned off abroad or used to manipulate the markets to keep the price of gold artificially low, in support of the corrupt financial system of fiat paper currencies and low interest rates to benefit government borrowing and it's corrupt political constituencies of cheap borrowers as well as banksters; at the expense of honest savers and the creation
of capital. Many foolish people, including the Maximum Imbecile, Gordon Brown, who had sold half of Britain's gold reserves at a particularly low price, actually believed that gold was a 'barbarous relic' which had been replaced by the 'good as gold' lies of governments and their fiat currencies. Wiser governments knew that the world could still be a barbarous place rather than the socialist utopia they promoted to the masses, so they steadily bought all the gold that appeared on the market, also having no motive to let it's price rise whilst doing so.

     When the proverbial rainy day arrived, and the people of America and Europe went to their gold cupboard, they found it was bare. There was a lot more gold in Israel, India and China than there had been, but they weren't publicising that. The outrage around the world and within America had resulted in people refusing to buy anything from America if they could avoid it, or to sell anything unless paid in full, upfront and in a stronger currency. No one was willing to have financial dealings with American banks, at home or abroad. Bank premises were set on fire and junior bank staff murdered. That hardly affected the senior bankers who had been responsible. Having 'spoiled the Egyptians', they had folded their tents, sold their investments, and followed their wealth and their dual citizenships abroad.Naturally, the same people who had stolen so much, through every form of deceit, and caused the problems which they then forced the American government to pay for by re-capitalising their banks at the expense of the taxpayers, did not fail to extract a last profit by selling America and the dollar short, all the way down. 'When we've sucked America dry, it can shrivel up and blow away' had been their attitude, and it was a programme
successfully followed. Around the world the word 'American' became a term of abuse, an insult indicating a completely immoral thief and utterly worthless person. Some American expatriates were lynched, and others became derisively known as 'St.Peters' because of the fervor and multiplicity of times with which they denied their identities and their previous loyalties.

     The Chinese had become the world's biggest producer of gold, but they sold none of it abroad, and bought all they could in the market. They did not allow the Americans to hold their gold on their behalf. They had a long racial memory for turbulent times in which gold would be the best store of value. They liked their gold; they did not like to be cheated; they had the power to take revenge. Hence it had been foolish of American officials to attempt to pass off on them some of their gold plated tungsten bars in settlement of a government debt for which they had refused to accept any more paper. They had quickly detected the fraud and insisted on the American government and it's crooked banker friends, if indeed the two entities were not one and the same, buying enough real gold to compensate them, under threat of worldwide financial scandal and other undesirable consequences. It may be no coincidence that it was soon after this event that the rumours and agitation began to grow which led to the eventual exposure of the American Gold Theft and the implosion of America.

    The collapse of America's financial system and the numerous frauds based on it,including the stock markets, had left many millions of Americans confused, angry, unemployed, riotous, homeless, starving, diseased, destitute - and eventually dead. Many of the States and municipalities were bankrupt, and hard pressed to collect enough revenue from angry and impoverished residents to pay for minimal public services. Public sector employment, pay and pensions were perforce reduced, despite the angry protests, go-slows and riots. The previously vociferous lefty intellectuals soon disappeared as their university and public sector bases were closed. Most of them turned from making trouble to seeking minor government handouts for spying on each other and everyone else. The fat-cats at the top of course suffered much less than they let on, being adept at deflecting attention and shedding crocodile tears. Their grip on
power was maintained because of the continued, but increasingly self-interested, loyalty of the men with guns and truncheons and much heavier weaponry, and the equally self-interested compliance of the media and the judiciary in obeying emergency legislation and not making much fuss about the suppression of widespread and bloody riots and arson. The much vaunted alternative media proved to be just another bunch of blowhards, easily closed down or shot. 'Enrich the troops, despise the rest', the deathbed advice of an Emperor when Rome was in trouble, became the effective motto of  the political class when America was in trouble. Important, or at least rich and self-important people with political connections, were able to hire guards, live in fortresses, gain legal exemption for crimes they committed or any deaths they caused, and move around comfortably if not freely. They were little affected by riots, town burnings, crime, starvation or disease epidemics amongst the ordinary people. If the common people were so stupid and feckless as to kill each other or destroy each others homes and property, what had that to do with the wealthy? Any threat to important people would be dealt with by their private guards and the remaining forces of the state.

    The legal system quickly adapted to the new situation. Troublesome lawyers and agitators complaining about 'human rights', 'democracy', 'the constitution' or 'legal norms and precedents' simply disappeared. Only a few had to be shot, most simply recognised that the situation had changed and sensible people would have to adapt themselves to it. The incipient trend dividing Americans into two classes, the rich and celebrated on one hand and the masses on the other, hardened into law. The former class, naturally including politicians and senior bureaucrats, could pretty much do as they liked. Their lawyers, their money and their political influence could find a way around anything.They retained all the old personal rights and legal protections. The more money they had, the less tax they paid. The poor however not only had to bear increased taxes, and other onerous regulations. They were subject to corporal punishment from which the rich were exempt.This was administered on the spot for a host of minor offences, by a host of petty officials, from whom there was no effective appeal. They were conscripted when the government needed troops. They had to provide their labour in lieu of monetary taxes to maintain roads and infrastructure - mainly for the rich, since there was little attention paid to the festering urban slums in which most of the population lived. If they traveled they were subject to demeaning searches, documentation checks and delays, from which the rich were exempt.

    This change was not as radical or as difficult to obtain as might be believed. Partly it was just the
recognition of a reality which had been obscured by general wealth and idealistic delusions, now make clear by poverty and a frightened ruling class. Democracy in America had long been a hypocritical delusion, maintained in appearance after the reality had changed to kleptocracy maintained by good public relations. There had been no difference between the two supposedly competing political parties, a two-headed one party system. 'Whoever you vote for, the government always wins'. It had been extremely difficult for third parties to meet a multitude of conditions, varying between states. Both parties were financed and their major figures vetted by the same interests, who also controlled the media, so only approved candidates could get publicity and money. These same interests ensured that elections required a great deal of money, most of which went back to them or their friends. They made sure that only interest groups of whom they approved got favourable access to the media and to politicians, so they
controlled legislation whoever was elected. There had been increasing popular disillusion with politics and politicians. but that did not matter. One party specialised in getting illegal aliens, the dead and the dregs of the population to vote. The other specialised in controlling the voting machines so that votes could be transferred from one candidate to the other. It did not matter. It was all political theatre. American politics was as corrupt and as fixed as American wrestling, to which it bore a strong resemblance as an entertainment for the masses, beyond which the real political decisions were made.The democratic form was maintained, giving a figleaf of cover to the kleptocracy manipulating their political stooges and giving the public distracting heroes and villains to cheer or boo.

    After the financial collapse the show became more obviously threadbare and absurd, but it continued.The politicians would not go away until they had made their fortunes. Politics had already been recognised as a prime route to wealth for those of a glib and unscrupulous disposition, willing and able to betray the interests of their country to the kleptocrats and serve as their frontmen. There was no risk of such rogues turning their coats and assuming some principles, they were too compromised, blackmailable and in fear of the kleptocrats to refuse to continue doing their bidding. The kleptocrats had sold the country and wanted it to hold together until the new owners took possession. Nor was it difficult to maintain control in a more or less normal manner. Most people wanted to continue a facsimile of a 'normal' life; there were few heroes. The government took control of the food supply and hunger reinforced their natural tendency towards docility in the face of an authority who could reward or punish
them.Rations were meagre and unreliable, except of course for the rich, but the obedient mostly hoped merely to avoid starvation. A job as a government thug was prized as it provided basic food and accommodation for the thug and his family. Little reluctance was shown in breaking the bones of troublemakers, or in killing on command. At a higher level, the generals were no more reluctant. They had been promoted because of their readiness to 'get with the program'. They were politicians in uniform and could see no better alternative. They were not willing to risk their comfortable lifestyles for windy abstractions or an attempt to revive the corpse of a dead past.       

    Much of the food by means of which the American government retained control, was provided by their new best friends, the government of China. Naturally there was a price, but it was not in currency, and to the public the Chinese were presented as benefactors. The financial collapse had disrupted the great agribusinesses dependent on oil based chemical fertilisors, so from being cheap and plentiful food had become scarce and expensive. Naturally, after the rich had taken their pick, their senior servants the politicians and bureaucrats took charge of what was left and their bully-boys and lickspittles were the only ones amongst the ordinary people who could be reasonably sure of getting anything to eat. Most of the urban population had become 'useless mouths' unable to earn a living or to feed themselves. Even those who had 'collapsed early' and attempted self sufficiency found that most or all of their produce was stolen or requisitioned by government thugs. Government became an even more virulent cancer
consuming the still healthy tissues of the body politic. America could no longer feed itself, and could not afford to import food or the oil to transport it. The parasites at the top of society and their supporters the parasites at the bottom between them destroyed most of the useful people in the middle. Bad weather, crop failures and diseases made things even worse. It became difficult to seize and transport food from the agricultural regions to the hungry maw of the distant cities, all the more so as local elites insisted on taking precedence.Urban populations shrank noticeably. The Grim Reaper was harvesting the population although the government refused officially to admit to famine. Appeals to the charity of the 'international community' were predictably fruitless, considering the current reputation of Americans. Consequently after some years had passed, the American government was considerably relieved to receive the offer of food from the government of China. Although the American public was encouraged to see this
as humanitarian there were secret conditions.

Apart from obvious things like ceasing to oppose China's re-acquisition of Taiwan, disclaiming any interest in Japan or in Tibet or in 'human rights' in China and promising to accept China's lead in international relations, there were co-operation and disarmament provisions. The Americans were obliged to hand over any remaining technical or military secrets, to reduce their forces and keep them far from
China and to cease to target China. The fact that San Diego was to become a Chinese naval base, and the naval restrictions to parity with China might have been particularly galling, but they had a precedent in what America had done to Britain in the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, which had also opened a breach between Britain and it's former ally Japan. In any case, the Americans were no longer able to maintain or deploy massive forces, just keeping them fed was sufficient of a problem and they were rapidly following the precedent of the Soviets. Even more secret and humiliating were the provisions giving China supervision over American nuclear forces, to ensure that they would not threaten China, even though they were starting to crumble because maintenance was becoming too difficult and expensive. The Chinese promised to supply technicians and equipment to prevent the American bombs from leaking or blowing up unexpectedly and to ensure that mutinous or starving troops did not use or sell them.

    Year by year the increasingly insolvent and hungry Americans pleaded with the increasingly affluent and well fed Chinese to supply them with another shipment of food, although of course the actual Americans doing the pleading were not themselves starving. They were doing quite nicely. Year by year the Chinese received more concessions, and were even encouraged to increase their investments in America. Having removed America as a military and political threat the Chinese proceeded to take it over economically and demographically. Even before the financial collapse, in the early years of the 21st century, various American States had offered the Chinese special tax free terms to invest in their areas. The Chinese had bought up areas where they could establish businesses free of American laws and supervision. The Canadians had even given Chinese investors guarantees to compensate them for any losses arising from future legislation. The Chinese had already invested some of their dollar surplus in buying up American real estate and companies. These precedents were improved upon. China came to own large areas of America which were subject to Chinese rather than American law. They had 'extrarerritoriality' and could not be entered without Chinese consent, although their products were free of any taxation or restriction on entering the United States. Their citizens were free to live in these growing enclaves, including units of their armed forces. They were free to live and do business and move through American territory without being subject to American laws, and any disputes with Americans were adjudicated by Mixed Courts of Chinese and American officials. Just as European nations in the 19th century could not let their people in the Ottoman Empire be subject to Ottoman law, so in the 21st century citizens of the Middle Kingdom could not be expected to submit themselves to the vagaries of American justice. Soon there were more Chinese than American  settlers in large parts of what had been the United States, more Chinese than American warplanes in it's skies and more Chinese than American troops on the ground. Year by year the Chinese bought up more and more American territory and received political control over it in exchange for continued food doles to the increasingly squalid and debased inhabitants of the big American cities. Any reluctance to give the Chinese what they wanted was soon overcome by starvation in the cities and smoothed over by relatively small gifts to American politicians and bureaucrats. The Chinese joked among themselves about how like the Red Indians the Americans had become. A few bottles of booze, some blankets and trinkets for their squaws and they would put their marks on treaties ceding vast territories and powers. The main difference seemed to be that the Red Indian chiefs had not known about Swiss bank accounts!

    As the Chinese took over more and more American territory and assets many Americans became subject to Chinese control. They did not fit in or harmonise well with Chinese institutions and ways of doing things. Those that remained tended to be regarded as 'anti-social elements' who soon got into trouble and were executed or condemned to hard labour in the camps where mining or farming or simple manufacturing was carried on under extremely harsh conditions. The Chinese had assimilated Tibet by similar methods, sending Han Chinese to settle and take over all organisations, squeezing Tibetans out of jobs and opportinities for making a living, and sending native troublemakers or intellectuals to die in hard labour camps. Americans proved a lot less hardy than Tibetans, a less hardy lot in every way physically and spiritually, although initially they were more numerous. American slave labour was freely available and it was freely expended for Chinese purposes.

    There was very little resistance to the Chinese. Americans were conspicuous and the Chinese had no
hesitation about shooting, beating or enslaving any whom they suspected might cause trouble. American politicians were too deeply corrupt to even protest about such treatment of their fellow Americans whom they had abandoned to Chinese rule. In fact the Washington and big city politicians cared very little for such Americans since they tended to be the more civilised type of Americans who were less likely to be natural supporters of the trash who had risen to the top in what was left of American politics. Hence they were glad to be rid of them.

    Urban protests and violent resistance were futile because the Chinese had no reluctance to raze whole towns, slaughtering their inhabitants, before founding a new town for Chinese nearby. They did not want to mix with Americans in any case, and had no intention of allowing their society to be corrupted and polluted by their presence. Chinese-Americans fared little better. They were regarded as the descendents of traitors, hereditary class enemies, who might infiltrate Chinese society and pollute it with American ideas. Those who knew enough Chinese had a small and temporary role as interpreters of Chinese orders to Americans. There were a few Americans who were able to flee to the wilderness and attempt to survive there and even to attempt occasional pinpricks against the Chinese. They did not last long. They merely provided training for the Chinese forces who now had all the drone and electronic surveillance technology in which Americans had previously gloried. In any case, despite the outdoorsman/minuteman posturing in which some Americans had indulged, the truth was that such ruggedly independent 18th century figures were long since extinct. America had become a highly urban society, where even rural dwellers had become dependent on urban products and subject to a degree of social control quite beyond the imagination of their 18th century forebears. Beyond that, the economic collapse and social disintegration had left nearly all the population passively dependent on the power of the state for orders and food, to a degree which would have delighted Stalin. They were no more likely to rebel than were the Babylonians when occupied by the forces of Alexander the Great after the defeat of their previous ruler, the Persian Darius.

    Where was the once mighty American military whilst all this was going on? They were obeying orders to do nothing. Some people were under the illusion that the armed forces of the state existed to protect the population of that state. In fact, as this made clear, they existed to protect the persons who controlled the apparatus of the state and to advance their foreign policy objectives. Any tendency to sympathise with and protect the population at the expense of their rulers was selected against in employing and promoting people within the military. Politically correct careerists predominated as they did in all other institutions.

    Although many Americans had worried about a military threat from China, this fear had been both exaggerated and misdirected. The Chinese leadership had never envisaged a military assault on America. Of course, as they grew richer and stronger they had increased their armed forces to 'keep up with the Joneses' and to satisfy ambitious generals.They knew that time was on their side, as the rising power they would become relatively and absolutely stronger year by year while the Americans declined. In fact the Chinese were concerned that the Americans, who were already poised like a hulking Goliath about to attack China, would realise this and attack whilst they still could 'bomb China back to the stone age' at relatively little cost to themselves. Thus, they carefully avoided provoking the giant whilst rapidly building the nuclear capacity to reach at least some of America's cities in order to achieve deterrence. They did not want a nuclear exchange, although some wondered why the Americans did not iniate one to cripple China whilst they could. After all, especially since the transfer of America's manufacturing economy to
China, America's cities were no longer sources of power and wealth so much as sinks of squalor, crime, and demoralization, so that losing some of them could be considered beneficial to America! It was considered amazing and disgusting that American politicians allowed the long term interests of their people to be subordinated to the preservation of the worst elements that were actually parasites on the worthwhile elements of their society, whose interests were consistently subordinated to those of the less worthwhile elements. Not that the Chinese were complaining, they were happy to benefit from such folly.

    China's actual strategy was quite different. As keen students of Sun Tsu they knew that the best generals achieve victory without fighting a battle. It would be wasteful to destroy what they hoped to occupy; as foolish as burning down a house before moving into it. China had a high population density, it was short of arable land and it envied the space and productive capacity available to the Americans. In the view of the Chinese leadership it was their Manifest Destiny to occupy these lands and incorporate them into the Middle Kingdom, freeing them from misuse by a few foreign devils.Much as the Americans had taken these lands from a rabble of Red Indian savages and put them to better use, the time would come for the Chinese to displace the Americans and relegate any survivors to reservations. Some thought had been given to 'ethnic-specific bio-weapons', a more sophisticated version of smallpox infected blankets, but this was too uncertain and too vulnerable to retaliation since the Han Chinese were far more
racially homogeneous than the American mongrels.

    America was set like a fortress in the midst of the oceans. It was strongly defended and difficult to
attack. Nevertheless, impregnable fortresses seldom justify their titles. European historians could mention Chateau Gaillard or Eben Emael, or how the Spartan defence of Thermopylae had been outflanked through treachery. Indeed treachery had always been a surer method of taking a fortress than siege or assault, and so it proved in the case of America.

    At a military level the Chinese had already obtained most of America's secrets even before the financial collapse. Back in Clinton's time it had been rumoured that in return for modest financial contributions they had been granted restricted military technology. It had also been rumoured that the plans for American helicopters distributed over several Asian companies for security, had been obtained by the Chinese because their secret service controlled all those companies. The secret of silent submarine propellers had been sold to them by a Japanese shipyard executive. Pollard the Israeli spy had obtained most of America's secrets, including how to locate and communicate with it's submarines, and these had been sold on to the Chinese. When an American spy plane full of the fanciest electronics had been forced down and handed over intact to the Chinese, it had been rumoured that this had been arranged by American corporate interests who wanted to press the Congress into spending more billions with them
to develop something even fancier. So the Americans had the ideas, did the work and paid vast sums to implement them, whilst the Chinese reaped the benefit and caught up with them. The Americans also foolishly trusted Chinese scientists and technicians to work in their universities and laboratories and seemed surprised to find them spying!These things were useful in strengthening Chinese forces and providing a more credible deterrent, but they did not affect China's strategy.

    Economically their strategy had been advanced by the chimaera of 'Chimerica' which had bamboozled the Americans into accepting the transfer of their manufacturing capacity to China in return for the Chinese supplying them with cheap plastic rubbish and making cheap loans to the government to finance their political profligacy and debauchery, well knowing that the Americans would never be able to repay those loans and that it would be possible to exact a 'pound of flesh' in return. Greedy and foolish Americans had supposed that they could just default on their debts and that their power would continue forever allowing them to cheat and bully the rest of the world indefinitely, or definately until those particular people had made their fortunes and left the scene of their crimes, leaving someone else to cope with the consequences as best they could.

    To a considerable extent the Chinese takeover of America was just a series of commercial transactions. They simply bought it. They had not initiated the 'Chimerica' strategy. That had come from the previous owners of America, but they had quickly appreciated it's possibilities, and followed them through. First they made a lot of money with exports, which enabled them to buy property in the United States and to gain influence over the American government by financing their debts.Then they bought the politicians. Their previous owners had their own reasons for selling them. There was no bidding contest. The previously most dominant groups sold America as a going concern just like a corporate transaction, both assets and management changing hands. The Chinese knew that the banksters had stripped America's assets, made every corrupt profit they could out of it and charged too much for a population
which would be of minimal value as slaves because they were no longer productive. The Chinese, however had their own rather different business plan, and they expected history would give them a later chance to get their own back on the fraudsters who were selling them a collapsing shell as a going concern. The previous owners of America had been parasites with a determination to extract the maximum short term gain from the creativity and effort of Americans. This had allowed them to treat Americans worse than cattle, spreading disease with their corporate products, and useless but expensive drugs through their pharmaceutical companies, excessively expensive medical care through their
medical and insurance companies, irrelevant but expensive educations through their colleges and failure of regulation and absence of justice through their control of bureaucrats and politicians. Some thought that their media deliberately debased and 'dumbed down' the population and their promotion of every form of evil was to weaken and confuse and divide Americans who might otherwise notice what was being done to them and rise up against it - as well as for a sheer love of evil.The Chinese business model had no need to exploit Americans. They would make it their business to dispense with Americans, who between the blood-suckers and the blood-letters would find no salvation.

    The real weaknesses of the Americans had been moral. The Chinese had not originated these, but they
recognised America's vices and slowly exploited them. Long before America existed the Chinese had an ancient history of familiarity with the underworld formed by the overlapping of politics, business and crime, and they were better able to navigate such murky waters and survive as a culture. It should not be thought that the destruction of America was their only concern or top priority. It would be accomplished eventually, but often there were more immediate claims on their attention. Just as the moral decay which had rotted the Chinese empire and enabled American and other opium dealers to profit at their expense in the 19th century had been endogenous; so the moral decay of America had not been caused by the Chinese, and they were not the first or only people to take advantage and worsen it, although they were it's ultimate beneficiaries. Even the rampant problem of drug addiction, although the Chinese eventually promoted it, had developed independently and been pushed by other callous groups, including the American secret services, to gain unaccountable funds to finance various self defeating machinations. One measure of America's moral collapse was provided by an ex-housing bureaucrat who had addressed a group of supposedly socially enlightened and concerned individuals. She had found that none of them would support any proposal to ameliorate the spread of drug addiction and it's social effects which would cost them anything. They would be willing for their own children and grandchildren to become drug addicts rather than to reduce their own incomes. Such a people stood condemned perpetually. Their own extreme greed and selfishness destroyed them. They did not deserve to be called a people, they lost their identity and soon lost their possessions and their existence. 

    This extreme greed, selfishness and egotism severing the most basic of social ties did not exist in
isolation. It was promoted and exploited not only by the banksters and their media and academic associates but also by the evil and deranged creed of political correctness which overthrew everything normal and decent in a deliberate subversion of culture and civilisation designed to rot America and western countries. It was very successful. All the institutions of society were infiltrated and subverted and turned against their proper purposes.The public was made to pay for their own subversion. Everything debased, evil, immoral and perverted was flaunted and promoted at the expense of everything that was better. This in concert with the extreme financial greed and desperate materialism made a moral solvent which soon dissolved American and European societies. Corruption and evil of every kind seemed to gravitate to the head of affairs, a necessity for social advancement. It was therefore not surprising
that corruption and treachery was rife and resistance rare.These countries, previously the most civilised and cultured and advanced in every way, were made the sump of the planet where all it's human rubbish was encouraged to accumulate at the expense of the natives. By the time America ended it had become an inverted parody of what it had been, populated largely by the sort of riff-raff who would have made the Founding Fathers forego their project had they been able to foresee what would become of it and of their descendents. Much the same fate befell Europe, although in that case the beneficiaries were the Muslims rather than the Chinese.

    The tough minded might argue that the Chinese had done the world a favour by eliminating the source of decadence and corruption that had been America. That was pretty much the view of the Chinese leadership and it was the view which they intended their subjects to have of the matter.

    There was one outstanding matter.Traitors and spies are used but never trusted. What goes around comes around. One morning the skies of central Asia were lit by the launching of multiple atomic tipped rockets, and slightly later similar plumes arose from Chinese ships and submarines in the Mediterranean and in the Arabian sea. As dawn rose over Israel it suddenly became 'brighter than a thousand suns' and the country fulfilled it's destiny by turning into the apocryphal 'glass carpark that glows in the dark'. The subsequent rejoicing in the Middle East and Muslim Europe was undiminished by regret for the loss of the Palestinians. Thereafter the Muslim world became much more friendly towards China and their remaining oil flowed much more cheerfully to Old and New China.   

    Well before the end of the 21st century the Chinese leadership was able to survey the state of the world and find that it was good. The acquisition of North America or New China as it was now known, had opened tremendous possibilities for expansion. The old 'one child' policy had long since been reversed and the Chinese were breeding more rapidly than ever before. From one person in five on earth being Chinese at beginning of the century the figure was approaching two, and before long more than half of humanity was expected to be Chinese. The vast and sparsely settled regions of Africa and South America were supplying not only resources but also space for further settlement under almost total Chinese influence. Australia and New Zealand were obedient client states with unrestricted Chinese immigration already starting to assimilate them, or at any rate their social institutions and resources to
Chinese needs. The Russians still had a lot of nuclear bombs, but by now the Chinese were in effective occupation of much of Siberia and the balance was tipping their way. The Indians and the Japanese were increasingly respectful. The successor to the United Nations was established in Beijing where the diplomats and their families could shop and socialise in between sessions arranging tributes of their native products to the rulers of China and praising them for their great humanity and magnificence. China was truly the central , most important country and culture , the Middle Kingdom on which others depended. The Americans had thought that they were exceptional and indispensable to the world. Now those that survived were merely performing animals in zoos where Chinese visitors gawped at them and threw them an occasional peanut.

After the End

Summer in Washington 2112 A.D.

    Chin-ki-wan enjoyed his outing to Washington. The visit to the American Reserve had been amusing and instructive. He had had his photograph taken shaking the hand of the American President, Michael Jackson XVII. The President and his cabinet had greeted the party of Chinese visitors in the Oval Office of the White House, recited the Gettysburg Address, given them cheap copies of the Declaration of Independence, received their gifts of food and small change respectfully, and entertained them with a song and dance routine, before bowing them out to make way for the next party of tourists.

    Then the party had gone to the Capitol, to watch another scripted performance of another quaint folk
activity, 'democratic' politics.This had featured more singing and dancing by politicians and lobbyists, loud and tearful expressions of love for the 'People' and zealous desire to improve their lot, whilst transferring bags of cash and whispered stock tips from lobbyists to legislators, accompanied by draft laws favouring the clients of the lobbyists, which the legislators then passed into law without bothering to read. In the second scene the politicians had hounded the lobbyists for campaign funds to ensure their re-election, in return for promises of future legislative favours. In the third scene the political pimps and whores changed places, the lobbyists becoming politicians and the politicians becoming lobbyists. So the merry dance continued, with a gleeful chorus laughing about how easy it was to make money in politics. 'It's a revolving door', they sang as if in front of the American voters, 'We come out rich, you come out poor!'

    The visit to the Financial Center with it's banks, brokers, hedge funds and stock exchanges had been more confusing. Their guide explained that it was meant to be confusing; that was how the sharpies wanted the sheeple to feel as it made it easier to fleece them. This was a representation, simulation or even replication of the Temples of Avarice wherein Americans had drugged and dazed themselves with fantasies of easy riches; the moral equivalents of 19th century Chinese opium dens, and as deeply immersed in the overlapping underworlds of crime, politics, degeneracy and corrupt influence. Their guide had explained the main activities; market rigging, rate fixing, leveraged buy-outs, asset stripping, naked short selling, algorithmic high frequency trading, front running, liar lending, false certification, robo-signing, foreclosure on improperly seized real estate, false accounting, forgery and misrepresentation. There seemed to be an endless list of deceits. Chin-ki was sure that there was no means of theft which had not been fully exploited by the Priests of Finance. These games had gone far beyond dealing in actual income producing assets. It had become mere gambling, reaching desperate depths of depravity and frenzied heights of delirious activity as the real economy crumbled but ill-gotten winnings in such crooked casinos had been allowed to masquerade as money which was used to buy actual goods and services, thus further debasing a currency which the government was in any case rapidly depreciating to pay for it's own grotesquely inflated programmes of graft and corruption. There was a strong gambling streak in the Chinese character, so Chin-ki and his party soon gained the impression that these reprehended old practices had not entirely ceased. They sensed that under the cover of the 'genuine reconstruction', for their entertainment and instruction, of the financial vices which had done so much to destroy America, was a continuing current of gambling.Their guide made sure that none of the party stayed long enough to become ensnared. Reading the old American slogans on the walls, 'Never give a sucker an even break', 'there's one born every minute', 'Too big to fail', 'Fraud is the business model', they moved on. Outside, they paused to view another 'genuine reconstruction' of native American culture, a 'protest demonstration'. A listless band of unkempt layabouts shuffled around muttering and holding placards distributed to them by a few organisers. Seeing the tourists approaching, they perked up and began to shout the slogans in which they had been instructed, with more enthusiasm. 'Occupy Wall Street!', 'Down with Capitalism!', 'The 99% not the 1%!'. Pausing only briefly to take photographs and disburse small change to the malodorous and malnourished demonstrators, the visitors moved on, followed by only a few low voiced whines or imprecations.
    Well aware of the uncertain but predatory temper of the natives, keen to avoid close encounters of the
unpleasantly unscripted kind, the nervous guides and their heavily armed guards bustled the tourists into their coach, which proceeded on their tour of the less dangerous parts of the city. Crumbling walls and decaying buildings were quite normal, and the authorities kept at least the centers of the main highways relatively free of potholes and obstructions, so the tourists were able to enjoy a spontaneous and relatively safe view of life in the American capital. They passed a few chaingangs of citizens under the supervision of armed guards, performing their labour taxes to keep the city at least minimally functional. Corpses, drunks and drug addicts lying in the street were so common that they scarcely merited a glance, and the positive air pressure in the coach prevented the stink outside from disturbing them. Only brief comment was excited by passing an occasional mugging or murder in progress. Crime and begging seemed to be the only economic activities. Whenever the coach stopped, in heavily guarded locations,
there was always an infestation of pleading, and sometimes bleeding, beggars, held back by the guards. There was not much to encourage visitors to linger. The river was an open sewer. The museums and monuments and libraries of old were long gone; destroyed, not by the Chinese, who still respected antiquity and culture despite the Maoist aberrations, but by the plague of political correctness which had torn down all such manifestations and memorials of 'racism', 'elitism', 'capitalism', 'fascism', 'imperialism', 'dead white males', and in a word, 'civilisation'.   

    After their sanitised but sobering exposure to the current state of American culture, the tourists were
pleased to get back to the entrance gate, set in the heavily mined and fortified Iron Curtain around the District of Columbia, glad to note the strong security precautions taken to prevent an outbreak of Americanism. The silent tourists were pleased to see the thoroughness with which the guards searched the coach, inside and out, above and below, checking it's weight in and out and carefully scrutinising the passengers and matching their descriptions and photographs against those taken on their entry, and examining their small purchases of tourist memorabilia. Foregoing the opportunity  to buy more American flags on sticks, postcards, George Washington dolls or models of the White House, from a group of dispirited vendors, the party was happy to make their return to their familiar world, noting as they left the arrival of a convoy of trucks bearing the treaty supplies of rations, booze and blankets
for the natives.

    Tomorrow it would be back to work in the paddy fields of Virginia, or in the waterpowered manufactories of what had been New England but was now of course part of New China, where schools and universities such as the famous Charvard, wasted no time on irrelevancies such as the alleged voyages of Christopher Columbus. Now teaching was devoted to the voyages of Zheng He and his much earlier precursors who had voyaged to and settled in the Americas in the mists of forgotten time. There was no need to study the inventions and discoveries of Europeans or Americans since everything important had been invented or discovered by Chinese. Chin-ki and his fellows would return to work
refreshed and with much to show and tell their co-workers and friends about their experiences, reinforcing their pride in being Chinese and both amazed and disgusted that such creatures as the Americans could ever have dominated the world at the expense of the Chinese, as legend asserted. Regardless of any facts it was obviously better that people should be encouraged to support and believe in civilisation rather than the demons and foreign barbarians on the fringes of the Middle Kingdom who threatened it's harmony. He felt no sympathy for such degraded beings. It was obviously proper that foreign devils such as they should be kept from influencing the people and affairs of the Middle Kingdom. Seeing them in their native environment was a salutary correction to any trace of sympathy with them and a warning not to follow similar vices to a similar fate.           

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Midsummer at Avebury

Midsummer at Avebury


    Stonehenge at midwinter had been bleak. Wet, windy, with empty bellies, full of discomfort. Discomfort, though, had been appropriate to the purpose and the season. In some years the snow fell early, and there were those who saw this as a favorable omen, silently merging the landscape into the Great White. It was certainly more cheerful whilst the snow was fresh. Last year there had been no snow, but there had been cold winds, driving and eddying downpours of rain, hissing and keening around the Stones. Not even the small fire which Tradition permitted at the centre had been possible, nor would it's warmth have availed even those closest to it, although that indeed was not it's purpose. In some years there was an atmosphere of peace, even of joy and exaltation as the sun slowly arose in a clear still morning, beginning to strengthen for a new round of days, and the noble spirits amongst the recently dead made their passage to join it, opening the way and so assisting those souls and spirits of lesser capacity who could follow but not initiate. Last year had not been like that. No Great One had died recently, or been present at the ceremony to bless it from either side of the Portals of Life and Death. The atmosphere had reflected unquiet earthbound spirits, who did "rage, rage against the passing of the light" because they lacked sufficient inner light to make a good Passage. For them a different ceremony had been required. All night the drums had muttered, thundered, howled and growled in concert with the weather. The pipes had shrieked and moaned like lost souls themselves. The storm intensified, lightning flickered in the murky clouds. The Old Priest had writhed and leapt, apparently in a trance of frenzy, spittle and gibberish spilling from his rain-lashed lips, until with a great scream his foot had stamped and his staff struck the earth at the same time as a mighty clap of thunder and a lightning bolt which singed the air and temporarily seared the eyeballs of the participants,signaled the acceptance of the Gods.


    Midsummer at Avebury was quite different. The weather was excellent, the landscape was dotted with crowds of cheerful people, talking, walking, watching and taking part in the sporting events, picnicing, playing with children, chaffering with the hucksters and applauding the performers of tricks and plays. All the fun of the Fair.This was the most popular of the annual festivals, attracting the largest crowds, and transacting the most public business most publicly. Private and public, death and life, winter and summer, this world and the Otherworld, each has its place and it's business and the requirements of all must be met.

    Alvin Wendover considered that Wessex was lucky. Through the favour of the Gods, and the work and wisdom of ancient men, long forgotten but still admired, Wessex and it's people had inherited the greatest and most famous and awe inspiring collection of megalithic monuments amongst the three kingdoms into which the Island of the Mighty was now divided, and he did not think there was a superior set in the rest of the world. Also, although not strictly megalithic, the exposed chalk of the Downs displayed the great hill figures and the eerie ramparts of the duns most impressively, shining white amidst the green, revealing the Great White of the Otherworld hinting of the accessibility of its allure and permanence within and underlying the mutability of the everyday world. Although not greatly talented or favoured, he himself had stood at the head of the White Horse and learned directly from the horse's mouth. He had entered the portal opened and guarded by the Long Man. In a minor capacity he helped to
restore and extend the great network of sacred places which mediated the Powers within the Land for the collective and individual benefit of those of the land. Much more recent than the very ancient times in which this relationship had been established and focused with sacred places had been the Evil Old Times when the sacred had been scorned, denied, derided, perverted and ignored. The Island of the Mighty had instead become a den of thieves, corpocrats and socialists, bureaucrats and parasitical invaders, avaricious, atheist or islamist, materialistic, canting, contemptuous, cruel and ultimately destructive first of others and finally of themselves. As in the old Grail story of the knights of an evil king who had raped and despoiled the fountain maidens whose bounty had at first been freely offered, so they had maltreated the land and it's inhabitants. Now, Alvin was one of those who worked at healing and correcting those imbalances and preventing a recurrence. He enjoyed the festival but he had more important business here.

His Excellency

    There was a fat jolly man with shrewd eyes above his cheerful smile and ready greetings who seemed to take considerable interest and enjoyment in the proceedings, moving easily through the gathering, leaving a good impression behind him, facilitated by his memory for names, faces and the circumstances of previous meetings and details of the lives, families and concerns of the people he greeted and who were happy to greet him. This was not quite a politician in search of votes - such creatures were extinct, although obviously capable of revival. This was  His Imperial Majesty's ambassador to the Kingdom of Wessex, His Excellency Dieter Schmitt. His Excellency, or 'Dieter' as he generally insisted in being called in the informal circumstances which he contrived and preferred, had a prodigious appetite for information, as well as for 'wine, women and song'. He made it his business as well as his pleasure to be as well informed as possible of the state of affairs in the kingdom. He certainly had a more complete and accurate picture of the numerical facts and physical capacities of the kingdom than had any of the
officials of the king, and he had a very good sense of the currents of ideas and feelings and of the relations among the powerful. This made him a very good advisor to both the Emperor and the King.

    Himself a nominal Catholic, a follower of His Holiness Karl II who was happily ensconced in the Papal Palace of Koln and enjoying a cosily caesaropapal relationship with his Imperial Majesty Ludwig IV, Dieter had been surprised to find that Germanic paganism was now much more influential in Wessex than it was in Germany. Instead of shrilly demanding crusades and conversions, missionaries and an army of occupation and extirpation, Dieter had quietly proceeded to promote interest in German kultur and history. This was actually a lot cheaper and more effective in fostering good relations, Germanophilia and gradual assimilation to the Empire. It had helped that Ludwig was personally no more interested in religion or matters spiritual than was his ambassador, and his government were fully occupied with war against the Moslems, and the administration of conquered territories, in which they welcomed the co-operation of the remaining weak European states. Dieter and his government had been far more interested in encouraging technical and economic development, trade, education and the avoidance of distracting conflict between the three English kingdoms, Wessex, Mercia and Yorkshire. They had been pleased to secure the support of a British Division, consisting of brigades from each of the kingdoms. This had owed much to the knowledge and diplomacy of Dieter and his colleagues in the other kingdoms. Old Romans would have recognised a client kingdom. Old India hands of the British Raj would have recognised an effective Resident in a Princely State. Shocked natives might later come to recognise just how complete could be the ascendency exercised over their rulers and their succession by the imperial power.

    His Excellency was acknowledged to be a good man to know. Not only was he affable and well informed, he was generous in entertaining and he dispensed scholarships and patronage. He helped mechanics to get training in Germany, engineers and businesses to find investors. He promoted the teaching of German to make these visits easier. The strict laws and prejudices against usury made it difficult to open the country to German banking, or even to promote local banks. Several times he received lectures on how Roman loans had enslaved the Britons, leading to Boudicca's rebellion, and obscure rants about the alleged role of German and American banks in causing the collapse of the Old Times. Some of the more traditionalist inclination regarded him with suspicion, and thought that his
influence tended to re-create the Old Times which they so despised and loathed. Most people were swayed by his charm and his generosity. Some were pleased to learn German and to take opportunities to study or travel or work in Germany and it's increasingly extensive domains, but not entirely for the obvious reasons. Just as in the Dark Ages missionaries from Britain and Ireland had spread Christianity through Germany, now to a lesser extent and in a much more discreet manner, certain English pagans took the opportunity to go to Germany, make the right contacts and strengthen paganism there.

    Richard Brown enjoyed visiting the Avebury festival with his family when business permitted. His wife Mary particularly liked the torchlight processions and ceremonies along the 'snakes' of stones leading to the centre. He was pleased by the happy atmosphere of the festival and the chance to discuss news and possible business with old friends and new acquaintances. After a picnic lunch his wife and their maid had taken the children to see more of the games, entertainments and knick-knack stalls, whilst Richard had taken a stroll to one of the better inns in the district, where he had met several acquaintances and had fallen into friendly discussion over cups or mugs of wine, beer or mead. Richard and his cousins held interests in a Mauretanian iron mine and an iron foundry near Bristol, which increasingly depended on coal shipped from Mercia or Yorkshire. He was interested to hear news which could indicate a change in demand for iron.

   James Fisher, a shipowner, was another member of the group. He owned several small ships which transported iron ore from Mauritania, recently seized by the forces of Wessex, and sugar, rum,
cotton and other tropical produce from the English and European plantations in the Windward and Leeward Islands. He was interested in possible expansion of trade routes.He had stories retailed from his captains and only a year or so out of date, about Brazil and it's war with the cannibalistic Mexicans, and the encounters of European and Brazilian traders in the Caribbean with the Republican Americans and fights with the ferocious Mexicans. Sometimes such gatherings would include businessmen from Mercia or Yorkshire taking the opportunity to combine the pleasure of visiting the famous Avebury Midsummer Festival with the chance of finding a little business or information.

  The group was discussing the prices and relative quality of the wines of Wessex and those of France, Portugal and Vandalia when Dieter Schmitt arrived. He already knew Richard and was soon at home with the group, ordering another round, and loudly proclaiming the superiority of the Rhineland wines of Germany, which he promised to let them try for themselves when they visited his Residence or attended one of the dinners which he regularly hosted. Indeed, he would be delighted if they all joined him for dinner in this very inn the next night, along with their spouses, when he would introduce them to the contents of several cases of wine which he had brought along hoping for just such an occasion to share them!

    The dinner was indeed a pleasant and relaxing event, a memorable addition to the pleasures of the Festival. Richard and his wife enjoyed the wines, and enjoyed the socialising even more. It was not only businessmen who were the guests of His Excellency. He was on good terms with prosperous farmers,landed gentry and officials, officers on leave, priests, poets, shamans, cousins of the King. Everyone who was anyone knew Dieter and drank deep of his hospitality. These meetings helped a lot of people who bore responsibility in different areas, economic, religious, administrative, military, political and cultural to meet and mingle more easily than would otherwise have been the case. Only a few of his many admiring guests saw this, admired the skill of his performance, contrasted it with that of the rather aloof and bookish King Harold V, whom most of his middle class subjects had only seen at a ceremonial
distance, and wondered who really ruled in Wessex or would do so in a few years time. There were  others, less obvious but perhaps more influential, determined that whoever ruled Wessex, it would be neither Dieter Schmitt, nor His Imperial Majesty. The Germans were admired and respected, particularly for their leadership in freeing Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East from the curse of Islam, but there were forces at work within this land which the Germans did not comprehend, and which would not easily submit to foreign domination.
Organistion and Events

    Mrs. Sally Sugden was especially busy at this time of year. She was the Organiser,in charge of the programme of ritual events at the Avebury Midsummer Festival. The High level rituals were, of course, not open to the public. The Stewards patrolled the vicinity to ensure their privacy. There were other celebrations and rituals, such as the dancing along the two 'snake' arms to the central circle, and the marriage ceremonies and the torchlight processions, in which the public were welcome to participate. The secular festivities went on for at least a week, centred on the solstice. The Festival was always opened by a procession around the sacred temenos and speeches by Sir Peter Churchward, the local lord and magistrate, representing the secular power, unless King Harold himself graced the occasion, and the various leading priests and priestesses, including herself. She maintained order in relation to the sacred side of affairs, and Sir Peter upheld secular justice. The Circle was always popular and in demand for all sorts of rituals and activities. She saw that clashes of scheduling were avoided, and kept a discreet eye on all that happened. The Spirits of Place were accepting of a range of formulae, beliefs and pantheons, although they had a firm identity of their own. Sally was intimately acquainted with them as she was also the Convener of the Wardens of Avebury, the group responsible for the daily spiritual practices communing with the spirits, and for the spiritual and physical maintenance of the site. All the well known sites of Wessex and the other kingdoms were in the keeping of such groups. The spiritual links between them were strong, but their Guardians often found it useful as well as pleasant to visit each other's sites for festivals, ceremonies and initiations.    
    Avebury was not only a single very large monument, but part of a whole 'ritual landscape'. Not only were the other sites maintained and the location of their own ceremonies, their influences conjoined. Many of the visitors to the Avebury Festival took the opportunity to visit places like Silbury Hill, West Kennet Longbarrow, and Stonehenge, for both sightseeing and ritual purposes. These linkages were an important part of what held each of the kingdoms together and formed a growing unity between them underneath the formal political situation.

    Colourful heraldry was becoming fashionable again, at least for ceremonial and festive occasions and for indications of property rights amongst the nobility and corporations, even if no longer so useful in combat, apart from incorporation into the badges and colours of military units. The Dragon Standard of Wessex flew proudly above a beautiful assemblage of flags, banners and heraldic emblems of the Guilds and Associations, Orders, Brotherhoods, Sororities, Companionships, county and municipal and less formal groupings which embodied the society of Wessex. When the King was present the Royal Standard of a golden wyvern or dragon on a scarlet background would fly over all the others. These emblems were more than decoration, they embodied the pride and love and loyalty and identity of
the people, much as the standards of the Roman legions had done. Those who studied the public mood took note of any lack of respect for these symbols, and would begin to investigate. This year the public mood, like the weather, was cheerful. 

    Amongst the entertainments were masques and mummers, and stock figures such as the heroic King Arthur and St. George and Thor. Amongst their evil opponents were figures such as the Moor, and also the Bankster, the Israeli and Uncle Sam who were burnt in effigy, to the delight of the crowds. Talks and demonstrations were also popular. James Fisher's grisly tales of the doings of larger than life characters in the Americas, or 'beyond the line', battling Mexican ghouls, seeking profit and adventure amongst corrupt Brazilians and haughty Americans, alternately chilling and stirring the blood of his listeners, were a great success. Whatever they lost in veracity was more than made up in drama.

    Other travelers, returning merchants and officers on leave, spoke of life in the commercial colonies of
Vandalia and trade in the Mediterranean, explorations in North Africa and investigation of the ancient monuments of Egypt, and the Middle East, now liberated from Moslem occupation, and prospering under German administration. Certain druids with the assistance of Irish colleagues were exploring the numerous megaliths and stone circles of the North African coastlands, including the great but little known stone circle, comparable to Stonehenge, situated at Mezorah, near Lixus in Morocco. There was a medieval legend that the stones of the 'Giant's Dance' had been brought long before from North Africa to Ireland, and then transferred to Stonehenge by Merlin the fabled enchanter. Thus both the Irish and the men of Wessex were interested in finding out what they could, and seeking respectful contact with the spirits of that land.  
    Over the preceding centuries Irish druids had been helpful in opening contact with the spirits of ancestors and the gods of the land at West Kennet and other sites which had been similar in function to Newgrange, and in strengthening such contacts, selecting and training the able, developing the ancestral contacts and enlivening the land. This skill had first been developed to a notable level by the Irish, and they had then assisted their neighbors in developing similar skills.   

    A school of sorcery had developed that dealt with the dead. Not only could they encourage rebirth of
appropriate souls and banish others, some could and did pursue enemies of their people beyond death, blasting and shriveling their souls to less than human status. They had also identified the links of Fate guiding the successive incarnations of the evil ones who had done so much to debase and destroy the Old People. They pursued them relentlessly, prevailing upon the Powers of Hel to deny them birth as humans, and to ensure that their souls spent billions of years of misery and degradation. These people were intense haters, disinclined to spend future lifetimes fighting the same foes revived. Less advanced levels had the ability to weaken the will of an enemy, spreading fear, confusion and despair. It took nothing from the skill and courage of the German forces to know, as did few, that their spectacular victories over Islam had been assisted by the secret help of Irish, Welsh and British mages demoralising and confusing the Moslem leadership.

His Majesty

    King Harold was a tall, thin, balding man in early middle age. Although diffident and reserved, quite unlike  His Excellency in appearance and manner, he was in fact a True King. He was not a ceremonial figurehead living a life of luxury encrusted boredom, a puppet moved and ventriloquised by crass and cunning politicians. He was the best sort of king - the mystic sort. He had completed the ordeals and rituals of kingship, not in any symbolic show, but in reality, so that the symbols he wielded had real effect. He had merged with the Land whilst still living, and the Powers of the Land had accepted him as Sovereign. The King and the Land were One. He experienced the timeless memory of the land and participated in the lives of the creatures that inhabited it. It was because he devoted so much effort to seeking further levels of insight and initiation that he had not attended the opening of the Avebury
Midsummer Festival this year. Seated around a table in a conference room in the Royal Palace at Winchester he had listened carefully to the reports of his ministers, and then listened to those of his advisers who had already attended the opening days of the Festival and heard their accounts of events, concerns and public mood. Now he murmured a quotation quietly and wryly to himself, "What should they know of England, who only England know?".  "Tell Sally I'll be there for the Closing Ceremony and will speak. Liaise with her in organising some suitable meetings." He nodded to his private secretary and turned away. Should he honour Mrs Sugden by appointing her as the Lady of Avebury? Was she yet up to the initiatory level required? Perhaps in a year or so if she continued to develop her spiritual talents as well as supervising the Midsummer Festivals competently. Now there were other things he wished to discuss with his Archmage.

    His Majesty was not naturally a socializer. Standing around making small talk with grasping merchants and false faced social climbers wearied and wilted him. He had more liking for many of the lower classes, but their narrowness, pettiness and coarseness were also trying. Nevertheless, he was their king and would seek to benefit them in whichever ways they could best understand. He had accepted his advisers' recommendation that he should meet his people more and become a better known focus for their loyalty and affection. He would attend a variety of meetings at the Festival, hobnob with many people, and at the closing ceremony he would make small awards and give public praise to many people for minor but worthy accomplishments, brought to his attention by his advisers, and the leaders of many of the associations, as well as by public request. This would be an occasion for him to wear a crown in ceremonial display, reminiscent of the medieval seasonal royal Courts where the King would meet and entertain his nobles and transact formal business. The crown, of course of gold often encrusted with jewels and sacred symbols, sparkled with light and was a visible symbol of the Royal Glory or 'body of light' only visible to psychics. The halos in depictions of saints had had a similar meaning. Kingship was both a sacred and a secular function. His Majesty would also attend with far less publicity, certain private meetings and initiations, for he had himself attained the degree of Stone King, who could mediate a deep sense of peace and cosmic consciousness to those who were appropriately prepared to receive it.

    This year, after the opening days, mainly devoted to commerce, entertainment and socialising, King Harold was present and took an important part in the ritual and religious activities, which after all, were the main point of the Midsummer Festival. He was known to be there, but was only visible to the public at the grand procession and ritual in which all could participate on midsummer's day. Most of his time was spent in more intense and private rituals and initiations of the more advanced grades of groups of the druidic/shamanic/priestly classes. He became the centre of attention in the closing days as he presided over a public meeting of the Witan, consisting of such notables of the kingdom as happened to be present, and where discreetly vetted members of the public could present petitions. There was little actual business to be discussed, but those who took an interest could see their government in action, and feel able to participate in their degree, or feel satisfied that their King and their rulers spiritual and temporal were accessible to their concerns. Although there was nothing like the old 'democracy' and no whining about 'rights' or 'minorities', and people had to be respectful, they were able to speak with
considerable freedom to the king and his ministers. Nor was the King afraid to move among his people. Unlike the Presidents and Prime Ministers of old who had hidden behind bodyguards and body doubles and only been present to carefully selected and heavily guarded audiences, because their evil natures and evil deeds caused them to live in fear of assassination, the King would have scorned such measures. He and his people were of one birth and one Land. He was not afraid to lay down his life for his people; for unlike the rulers of old who had devoted their peoples lives to their personal interests, his life was devoted to the service of his people and his Land. No one who was not of the land was present, and the people were not corrupted by such evil influences that they failed to recognise their emotional and spiritual bond to each other and to their ancestors and the powers of the land through the person of the King or would wish to harm themselves by injuring him, so His Majesty could move among and
converse with relative strangers without more than honorific guards.

    More popular by far than the ceremonies of government and the meetings with occasional petitioners or groups of notables and social climbers, was the huge Closing Day feast hosted by the King for all who wished to attend and eat and drink their fill at his expense. All did. There were far too many to fit in any one tent or inn, or even the mighty circle of the henge. The landscape was dotted with groups enjoying the hospitality. His Majesty and his leading ministers went from group to group, welcoming them, urging them to enjoy themselves. wishing them well for the coming year, and leaving discreetly before the proceedings became too boisterous. It was an event which added noticeably to the popularity of the King.     


    Many people enjoyed the Festival and the chance meetings they encountered. Some meetings were not by chance. There were many family and local groups and associations which regularly met at the Festival, and there were more specialised Guilds and groups which arranged to meet there. These were not necessarily religious, although some liked to think that they were under spiritual or religious patronage, and maintained appropriate rites. Usually these meetings were in at inns or houses or encampments in the vicinity but not actually in the Avebury henge. Amongst these was the Guild of St. George. This was a combination of farming and military interests, under the notional patronage of the military saint who had been the patron of England since the Middle Ages, and whose cross had been it's flag, even when subsumed into the Union Jack.This had actually begun in Yorkshire, which had inherited the main use of this symbol, but it had naturally had it's appeal in the other kingdoms also.It's members wore white
vestments bearing the upright red cross on ceremonial occasions.The military members wore it with a small red sword in the upper right quadrant (left to an observer in front of it), which was in imitation of the emblem of the long destroyed City of London and it's military tradition and they had taken it's motto, Domine Dirige Nos. The agricultural members wore it with a red spade in the same place. Not surprisingly this was popular with both farmers and Thanes. Some pondered the connection between sword and spade, and the derivation of the suit of spades from 'spada', which had been Spanish for 'sword'. At the lower level, many soldiers came from rural backgrounds. The Thanes who provided the officer class, and many of the civil administrators were usually also landowners. Some of the same men would also offer prayers and sacrifices to Frey and Freyja for fertility and prosperity of their farms
and their families, and saw no objection to appealing to Thor or Odin as well as to St. Michael or St. George for help in battle. These people were prominent in the farming displays and competitions, and in the military demonstrations which were also popular with the public. There was strong interest in maintaining and improving farming techniques and the fertility and happiness of the crops and animals and wild creatures as well as the human inhabitants of the Land. Farmers' groups organised talks, demonstrations and competitions, and nature druids sought to find means of obtaining the co-operation of the spirits of nature, particularly the followers of the Blessed Crombie of Findhorn, who encouraged helpful rites and practices. Devotions to Frey and Freyja were also popular for similar reasons. Brigit or St. Bride was increasingly popular in the north, where long before she had been the goddess of the Brigantes, and Bran again had devotees among the druids.

    The John Barleycorns were a group with widespread affiliations. Superficially, devoted to convivial
drinking, and often amongst those attending the festivals and 'blots' of Saxon pagan groups - where many attendees got 'blotto' on the beer and mead and wine that were so copiously consumed; their inner membership was devoted to the very ancient belief and rituals of the dying and rising spirit. They produced food and beverages which they blessed and endeavored to assure embodied the helpful spirit of the Land and it's deities. These sacramental foods were thought to contribute to the physical and spiritual health of the 'wise' who ingested them. Naturally, they were not huckstered to the general public, but became available to those with the strongest spiritual and emotional connections to the Land. Travelers were thus able to maintain their vitality and vital connection to their land even when abroad and mainly dependent for their sustenance on the produce of other lands. Unwittingly, Dieter achieved something of a similar although weaker benefit through his consumption of the wines of his native

    The Sons of Wayland were also amongst those groups whose members met regularly at the Festival, although their ceremonial centre was Wayland's Smithy, further to the east. In addition to enjoying the festivities and ceremonies members took the chance to discuss technical matters amongst themselves. Some of the members were druids or shamans who were able to contact nature spirits. This year one of the most intense discussions concerned better and cheaper means of smelting and working iron. Issac Hughes, a short dour man and one of the most skilled iron-workers was at the centre of this discussion, among with John Wilkins a nature druid. The pair of them had spent years in Mauritania trying to focus the sun's heat with lenses, to raise working temperatures and economise on coal and coke. Wilkins tried to conjure fire and air elementals and have them raise the temperature and provide a strong draft for the furnace. Hughes had learned German and gone to Germany under Dieter's sponsorship, to study and
replicate their industrial techniques, but no hint of his current concerns was permitted to reach Dieter's ears. The Archmage and Sir Henry Tipton, a courtier close to the King, who took an interest in matters of security, had made that very clear. Hughes, Wilkins and their ilk also took a keen interest in the products of Norse and Swedish metal-crafting. These had a legendary tradition of fine workmanship and there were ancient tales and modern hints that they had bound spirits to create famous weapons. The Norse weapon-smiths and mages seldom ventured to visit the Avebury Midsummer Festival, so Hughes and Wilkins were not disappointed by their absence. They enjoyed the discussions with their fellow Sons of Wayland, considered who else might be able to help them, and planned their next experiments.

Royal responsibilities of a True King

    One of the private rituals in which the King participated was an initiation ceremony for the Order of the
Serpents, to which Alvin belonged. Alvin and a couple of other candidates who had also spent years performing spiritual exercises, had reached the point of attempting to arouse and make conscious contact with the living spirit within the land, and raise it to flow through their own bodies and perhaps raise their consciousness still further to a level of divinity. This was reminiscent of the old Egyptian Pharoahs' emblem of a cobra rising behind them and symbolised as a serpents head on their foreheads. These were the druid 'snakes' that St. Patrick was said to have driven from Ireland, thereby depriving it of it's heritage of wisdom. In India there had been similar depictions and the spiritual force had been known as kundalini. It was not incidental that a dragon or wyvern was the emblem of Wessex,flown over the heads of it's king and people. Amongst the Royal regalia was a copy of the Sutton Hoo helmet, which had a snake from the back of the head meeting a bird formed by the nose and eyebrows, face to face at about
the location of the 'third eye'. The original, along with much else as well as the British Museum, had of course been destroyed by the treacherous Israeli nuclear attack a millennium earlier. This ceremonial headgear appeared to be at least as much a numinous mask of power as a piece of battlegear. Not only did the King have the right to wear it as an emblem of Royalty, as a True King he actually had the ability which it portrayed and may have been intended to invoke. Hence, in the ritual of initiation within the sacred circles of Avebury, he was able to raise the power and induce it successfully in the candidates. After the ceremony the initiates processed around the circles and 'snakes' of stone, led by the King, introducing them to the spirits of the land and of their predecessors associated with each of the stones. This was a contact and communion which they could subsequently renew by themselves.
    The King and his advisers were responsible, to the gods and to the people, for both the physical and
spiritual welfare of their country. They watched over the circumstances and moods of all it's groups and of nature, seeking balancing adjustments as they and the spirits of the Land considered necessary. At this time they were generally satisfied with the condition of the people and of their land. The bulk of the people were content, happy in their relation to each other and to the powers of spirit. They held to simple pragmatic faiths, confident that their rulers maintained deeper relationships on their behalf. The mercantile and technical classes were more materialistic, opportunistic and self interested, less securely rooted in the Land. They could be vulnerable to the blandishments of Dieter and his ilk, but they were not inherently disloyal. The fact that Money no longer ruled was a major check on materialistic tendencies. It would be necessary to see that technical and economic changes and greater opportunities to amass great wealth abroad did not cause any great disruption in their society. Strong indications that charity was a virtue expected of the rich would help. The gentry and nobility also had greater knowledge of the world than the peasantry, and some could be swayed by ambition and hopes of advancement under the rule of the German Empire, but honour, pride of ancestry and love of the Land were still strong in them. A class of
rootless atheistical, egotistical intellectuals, in the old manner, would have been a problem if their poison had been allowed to corrupt the minds, manners and morals of the people; but intellectual as well as spiritual functions were now the province of the sacerdotal class of druids/priests/philosophers/shamans, who were the staunchest upholders of the spirits of the Land, because they had the greatest capacity and responsibility for dealing with them and mediating their influence to the people.The King was the keystone of the arch, holding it all together at the level that concerned each of the classes, and overall. Wessex was fortunate that he was a True King.


    On this occasion some of the Irish druids and 'birdmen', together with mages from Mercia and Yorkshire  were present at private meetings of the psychically and spiritually gifted and with the king. Their 'birdmen' astral travelers had more up to date news of the Americas, and of the rest of the world.The Republican Americans were respected to a certain extent by those who knew more of them from the reports of the 'birdmen', than the caricature of evil that entertained the public. Their tenacity in protecting and re-establishing their identity and institutions in the face of almost overwhelming assaults from the savage Mexicans, who had performed much the same role as had the Moslems in Europe, was admired, as was their implacability in slaughtering any such savages or mutant degenerates or potential troublemakers from the Coasts of Death that they encountered. On the other hand, they were regarded as too old fashioned to be of much relevance in the 'new world', since on the whole they were still very
materialistic and were recreating their immediate past as best they could, rather than developing a more spiritual society. The spiritual and temporal leaders of these Islands wished the current Americans well, but had no desire for closer contact with them. The popular loathing of the old time Americans, although crude, was soundly based. They were hated and despised not so much for what they may have done to others, as for what they had done to themselves, and through their cultural dominance encouraged in others. Like the Biblical Esau, they had sold their birthright for a 'mess of pottage', to Jacob whose name meant supplanter or deceiver. Failing to be true to themselves they could not fail to be false to others.

    Still, the Americans were not of immediate concern to the leaders of Wessex and the other British kingdoms. Eventually  the mercantile interests of Britain, Europe, the German Empire and Brazil would reach an accommodation with the Americans. They had a much greater project on hand. They were engaged in awakening the Land, making it aware of itself as a living entity, and of the various sacred centres on the land as senses or organs within it's body. Already their more advanced members of the druid class could experience such a common consciousness, and the King could go further. Not for nothing had there been an old saying, 'let our leader be our (spiritual) bridge'. Indeed the Popes had taken over this very title of Pontifex Maximus, chief bridge builder, from the old Roman priesthood, and not because of any special interest or proficiency in civil engineering. They hoped to encourage the reciprocal relation between the people and their land, which was already very much stronger than it had been in the Old Times. Now the objective was to strengthen the sense of identity of the Land and it's people in each of the Kingdom, and to have each regional identity contribute to and participate in the overall identity of Britannia, and further, to extend the concept to link the strong separate identities of the peoples and Lands of Europe and even the whole world. This, they hoped, would be a better foundation for co-operative action on both physical and spiritual levels than the old empires based on force and fraud. They had no desire to repeat those mistakes or the greed driven 'globalisation' which had destroyed the identities and livelihoods of so many, including those who supposed that they were benefiting from it, in order to create a small class of evil parasites who sucked the lifeblood out of the
peoples and lands of most of the earth, reducing everyone to miserable ghosts of what they could have been, for the malicious enjoyment of the very few who expressed the evil of the Old Times in the most concentrated form.They scorned those who had worshiped 'The Economy' as a supreme deity to whose service all other considerations had been sacrificed. They knew that the economy should serve the needs of the Land and the People, not the other way round. A good servant had been allowed to become a bad master, consuming like a Moloch, the 'children' or future hope of the foolish people of the Old Times. Neither had they any time for the feeble old scientific conceit of an abstract Gaia, expressing the interrelation of physical quantities only. They had confidence that their successors, if not themselves, would be able to rise to participation on still higher spiritual levels through their communion with the
Anima Mundi.


    The day after the Closing Day ceremonies and festivities people began to depart, slowly gathering their
families and possessions. Many were moving slowly and nursing hangovers. The roads away from Avebury were filled by throngs resuming their normal lives and business. The King and his entourage had departed before dawn, riding briskly to Winchester well ahead of the awakening of most of the people, and leaving servants to pack his pavilion and other baggage into carts which would not leave until the next day so as not to impede the passage of the public on their way home.

    At Avebury that midsummer, all those who had sought found something of value to them. At a popular level many people had enjoyed the festivities, the entertainment, the sporting competitions, the colourful displays, the public ceremonies, the chance to buy and sell, the social connections, the weather, the meetings gossip and news. Their identity and pride had been re-affirmed. At a ceremonial level, their participation in the seasonal cycle had been demonstrated and their loyalty to each other and the powers of earth and heaven had been renewed and strengthened via their attachment to their King. At a deeper level the rituals at this sacred place had invigorated the relationship with the Powers of heaven and earth, of those who could sustain it; and the initiations had introduced a few more worthy candidates into this relationship. The Land itself had been energised and brought closer to awakening as a unified consciousness, a consciousness in which at least some of the People could participate, and which provided an entry to more exalted states of cosmic consciousness for more advanced mystics such as the King.

    Watching the departure of great and small, Mrs. Sugden was contented. She and her assistants had worked hard and she was pleased that the Festival had been a success at every level. She hoped that next year's Festival would be just as good. For the present she looked forward to a resumption of her slower and less crowded routine, in the happy and peaceful presence of the Stones. 

    As he left the festival Alvin Wendover was very happy. As far as he was concerned, Midsummer at Avebury had been a great success. The occasion had  marked an important stage in His spiritual pilgrimage, and he now had wider vistas and responsibilities to survey and cultivate.

    It was another beautiful day. The sun was warm but a breeze kept it from becoming too hot, as the grass and flowers and crops and trees nodded and sparkled and a few wisps of clouds drifted like dreaming sylphs in the shining sky. There was an abiding sense of peace and joy, and those who noticed such things noticed that the Land itself was smiling.