Reconceptualizing the Revolutionary
in 21st Century Speculative Fiction

by Russell Lutz and Mark R. Brand
forum: Reconceptualizing the Revolutionary in 21st Century Speculative Fiction
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Reconceptualizing the Revolutionary
in 21st Century Speculative Fiction

Iota Cycle by Russell Lutz      The Perfect Revolution by Oscar Deadwood     

[Editor's Note: The following essay contains spoilers from the current Silverthought releases Iota Cycle, The Perfect Revolution, and Red Ivy Afternoon. Italicized text denotes passages written by Mark R. Brand.]


           Three novels were released through Silverthought Press in the spring of 2006. They were "Iota Cycle" by Russell Lutz, "The Perfect Revolution" by Oscar Deadwood and "Red Ivy Afternoon" by Mark R. Brand. Despite the fact that all three authors come from different backgrounds, and did not collaborate on these works, the three novels carry a striking number of similarities. This paper will compare and contrast the three, while attempting to place them in the cultural context of their authors' environment - namely, the United States in the first decade of the 21st Century. In the interest of complete disclosure, I should point out that I am one of these three authors, Russell Lutz.

As am I, and I would like to take the opportunity to point out that myself, Mr. Lutz and Mr. Deadwood, actually do have some latent similarities. Among these is the fact that all three of us are white men between the ages of 25-35. We earn more than $20,000 a year but (and this is largely conjecture since I haven't seen their pay stubs) less than $75,000 annually. We fall, as it were, squarely into the great, forgotten, chronically-disenfranchised, "back nine" of modern culture. Our race, gender, and earnings brackets place us three in a position where society tells us the world should be at our fingertips, yet ours is the place where competition is the thickest, and distinguishing ourselves the most unlikely. Another way to locate us collectively is in the ever-embattled and shrinking middle class. Since there are so few chances to rise into the upper class in what Susan Faludi refers to as an "ornamental" culture, it seems consistent to say that the three of us live lives poised over the chasm of paycheck-to-paycheck economic instability. The importance of this cannot be overlooked when discussing motivation for revolutionary thought.

First, a quick summary of each novel is needed. Lutz's "Iota Cycle" is a space-faring science fiction tale of colonization of a distant star system by a group of largely Anglo-American colonists in the 23rd and 24th Centuries. The book is divided into chapters, each written from a different character's point of view. The parts of the book most relevant to this discussion involve the people known as Europeans, not because of their original Earth heritage, but because they live on a habitable-zone planet called Europe. They are mostly farmers, living a rural existence, in stark contrast to the city dwelling Asians elsewhere in the system. The Europeans' constant struggle to make ends meet, even as the terraforming of their planet continues, leads to political unrest, terrorist activity, and eventually secession from the Iotan Federation by the European Councilor, Anton Labrack. The story of the events leading up to the secession is told by Helena Cochran, one of Labrack's speechwriters. This revolution ends quite tragically for the Iotans, as their advanced technology and their fragile existence in the system combines to result in nearly all of the citizens on both sides of the conflict perishing.

Deadwood's "The Perfect Revolution" is also science fiction, though set in a much nearer future - the year 2013. It is written as the journal of a soldier in the US Army, Sergeant Benjamin Benson, who begins the book as a front-line soldier in Iraq, serving on the border with a still belligerent Iran. Into this familiar army context are introduced a quantum leap forward in technology, autonomous android robots known as Perfect Soldiers. Under the leadership of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Prescott, the Perfect Soldiers effect a military coup d'etat in the United States. Benson and his fellow soldiers are brought home from overseas theaters of conflict and become the front line of the reorganization of the United States into a military dictatorship, always under the watchful eyes of the Perfect Soldiers. Benson receives promotion after promotion for his emotionally debilitating work as the leader of an extermination squad. Benson finally breaks with the revolution, with seemingly fatal consequences.

Brand's "Red Ivy Afternoon", though set even further into the future than "The Perfect Revolution", does not have the traditional marks of science fiction. There is almost no indication of advanced technology in the novel. There is a dystopian flavor to Brand's "Panamerica", a fusion of several nations under the aegis of the former United States of America. Several personal freedoms - such as the freedom to produce written literature - have been curtailed in this time. The narrator of this story is Julian Lightfall, a dockyard functionary with minimal drive for ambition in a world where economic class lines are hard to cross. He becomes involved with Pyndan Calabas, a man who is orchestrating a revolutionary movement, based in Boston, but with national influence. Calabas has come to the conclusion that Democracy is dead in Panamerica, and only a violent overthrow of the haves by the have-nots will return the power of self-rule to the people. The revolution strikes a number of not-insignificant blows, but is eventually snuffed out in a single, tragic night of violence.

In only the broadest strokes, the similarities between these three novels are clear. In each, a disenfranchised minority seeks to redress their lack of power through violent means. The farmers of Iota's Europe pull out of a century-old pact with the other planets of their system. The US soldiers of the "Perfect Revolution" bring about a military coup. And the poverty stricken lower class urban workers of Panamerica attempt to overthrow their corporate masters.

Also of interest is the recurring theme of work as it relates to the male protagonists of the novels. In "Iota Cycle" the European farmers ostensibly represent a land-bound toil and production society that looks ever upward to the Asian planetary systems that produce largely consumer goods and electronics rather than raw materials or foodstuffs. The Burke family, which the book loosely follows, are heavily involved in the farm work rather than the electronics work, hence placing the male (and occasionally female) protagonists of the story firmly in the unwashed, thankless labor class rather than the slick, intellectual, leisure class.

In "The Perfect Revolution", the protagonist is a small-town kid who has grown up (a little) and enlisted in the military. The armed forces, at least in the late 20th century, became largely relegated to the economic sector of last resort. Their rank-and-file enlisted men were recruited not from college campuses but from daytime trade schools and mall kiosks where those not otherwise gainfully or purposefully employed could be culled. After all, soldiering is a profession that will always have an edge in respect and masculine purpose over the alternatives available to non-college-students (washing dishes, part-time service jobs, answering telephones). To some young men, even the fear of war is not so great as the emasculating shame of taking a job as a secretary or nurse. Additionally, Deadwood brought into his story almost immediately a huge spike in unemployment that led to an overall breakdown of social networks and institutions. This is a recurring theme that has taken the place of nuclear annihilation in dystopian-future tales of the first decade of the 21st century. Radiation will at least kill you quickly, but to men (who comprise the lion's share of sci-fi and speculative fiction readership) unemployment and loss of everything they have worked for and towards represents an equivalent but slow death. Loss of work identity is a very special and immediate fear for the modern American man.

Part of what motivates Julian Lightfall in "Red Ivy Afternoon" to gravitate instinctively towards Calabas and his revolution is the sense that for some men death is preferable to indefinite idleness and uselessness. Julian is painfully aware at any given moment how vicious and narrow the margins are that keep him elevated enough above the rest of his neighbors to afford an apartment all to himself. This is not a society where jobs have been lost completely. Rather, their wages have been lowered and their hopes for upward mobility uniformly crushed by the iron heel of capitalism. There are jobs for those who will work like slaves, but there are no long-term guarantees. There is always the choice to say "enough", and like Upton Sinclair's meat-packers in "The Jungle", Julian is perfectly in his right to storm off the job and into the streets to die of starvation or exposure in the frigid Boston winter. What results is an un-free freedom where working men find themselves thankful at all times to participate in a system that mercilessly oppresses them. Julian encounters a vague, relentless self-hate that stems from his work, and this eventually puts him in the right frame of mind to throw his lot in with violent revolutionaries.

On a stylistic level, it is interesting to note the similar structures of the three stories.

Each is told in the first person, in the form of a journal. In fact, each of the three stories (the novels by Brand and Deadwood, and the chapter titled "Winter" by Lutz) begin with a clear, self-conscious reference to the journalistic nature of the work. It seems as if each of the fictional diarists - Cochran, Lightfall and Benson - want to make it perfectly clear that these are their words and no one else's, that this is not some official history of the events, but a highly personal one.

Each of the stories features a protagonist who is tied closely to the center of their respective revolutions, but always at an impersonal remove. Ben Benson reports to General Prescott as a soldier, one singled out for extraordinary service, but still quite removed from the decision-making process. Helena Cochran feels a kinship with her employer, Anton Labrack. And yet, she is excluded from his plans, particularly his spur-of-the-moment decision to lead a revolt from the Iotan Federation. Julian Lightfall counts Pyndan Calabas as a friend, and yet learns little of Calabas's plans until late in the story. He often worries, in fact, that Calabas might end his life.

It seems as if each of the three authors is going to great pains not only to paint the picture of the respective revolutions through the eyes of a minor functionary, but to distance that functionary from the decision-making process. The authors seem to be saying that revolutionaries are best described in the third person, that their desires, their logic, their motives should be rendered through the lens of another's experience.

This detachment from the center of the events that transpire in each revolution is, I think, at the thematic heart of each respective storyline. Revolutions can be bloody, vicious affairs in which ideas become more important than people's lives. Not only does no one like to take responsibility for this change in priorities, but the people who participate in them in stories require a special narrative pattern that allows the reader to understand the motivations of those who choose to pick up the gun, or the bomb, or the leaflet, or whatever. In the cases of the protagonists/narrators of these three novels, it is evident that the authors want us to believe that the revolutionary goal is the leader, not a specific person, and the people who participate in them are often along for the ride and motivated by a variety of social factors. This is a very humanistic perspective, and is narratively persuasive.

This detachment also may have something to do with the mythopoetic notion of the "Wild Man." Put simply, that which changes us and helps us evolve often seems, at first, quite dangerous. The narrators are each at some point at least once hesitant upon treading across clearly-labeled lines of behavior. Just as in Robert Bly's "Iron John" the young boy who frees the Wild Man knows that because he has broken the law he cannot return home, Julian, Benjamin, and Helena (and others from "Iota Cycle") know the feeling of self-exile from their cultures that rides tandem with the very things that will eventually set them free. In other words, there is no growth or true fulfillment without simultaneously confronting the boundaries of "acceptable" behavior.

The inciting situations in the three revolutions are similar, but slightly skewed from one another in the details. Each is economic in nature. The urban workers in "Red Ivy Afternoon" have been forced, through the mendacity of corporations and the complicity of the government, to work for unlivable wages in a period of overall prosperity. The suburban-bred soldiers of "The Perfect Revolution" respond to the collapse of the US economy, which has generated 50% unemployment rates and the loss of basic societal services. The rural farmers in "Iota Cycle" respond to price-fixing of their food by the Asia-controlled Council, despite their growing importance in maintaining needed supplies to feed the fast-growing colony.

Notice how the notion of corporation as a negative force runs through each story. The highly successful corporations of "Red Ivy Afternoon" ask for ever more from their workers, while providing less. The unsuccessful corporations of "The Perfect Revolution" form a catalyst for economic breakdown of an entire nation. And the largely ambiguous corporations of "Iota Cycle" receive the benefits of tightly controlled prices for some commodities while allowed to charge unregulated prices for their manufactured goods. In each story, the corporation functions as a villain, one without a face or a name, working behind the scenes to blithely create the initial conditions of rebellion.

Rebellion yes, revolution no. Each of these novels contains the necessary mixture for revolution, but the corporations actually play a fairly small role in them. Jack Goldstone's "Revolutions of the Late 20th Century" outlines the conditions necessary for successful revolution to take place. They are:

1) A young and mobile population. This is surely where Julian Lightfall, Benjamin Benson, and many characters from "Iota Cycle" fit in. They have little or no family to fall back on, no support structure to simultaneously reassure and ground them to a specific place or behavior. Unemployment, or employment that is unreliable, makes for the mobility of the population in general. Where there is no trust or faith that life will go on more or less as-is, there is often unrest and forms of disobedience like black markets and gang-culture in order to bring artificial vigilante stability.

2) An ineffective or disillusioned governing body. In "Iota Cycle" this amounts to the difficulties encountered when trying to coordinate inter-planetary commerce between cultures who are isolated culturally from each other. In "The Perfect Revolution", the military-junta style government approaches the cult of personality leadership of such regimes as the Pinochet or Ceausescu dictatorships. In "Red Ivy Afternoon", the government is controlled almost completely by the capitalists, a virtual oligarchy who have only their own interests in mind.

3) A cultural or social schism between the landed elite and the military. This is somewhat more subtle in the three novels above. It is most prominent in "Iota Cycle", where the military resupply ship finds itself in a delicate political position when it discovers that the revolutionaries have deliberately sabotaged communication equipment in order to influence the standard resupply protocols of the colonies. In "The Perfect Revolution", the military junta government takes it upon itself to start covertly assassinating members of the landed and political elite, whether they are active revolutionaries or not. In "Red Ivy Afternoon", there is no schism between the landed elite and the military. There are some defectors from the military to the revolution, but the theoretical basis of this condition of revolution is a much broader, widespread ideological gap between the military as a whole unit and those who control the homeland. Eventually, it is the lack of this particular condition that causes Pyndan Calabas's revolution to fail. The "Red Ivy Afternoon" revolutionaries are crushed by a military whose interests coincide with that of the oligarchical landed elite.

Similarly, governments, and particularly censorship, form a common thread between the novels. In "The Perfect Revolution", one of the first things done by the rebel soldiers is shut down all electricity and impose curfews and martial law. Information flow ends. Only the words of General Prescott are, at first, allowed to be heard by the populace. In "Iota Cycle", the government - controlled by its Asian Councillors - keeps a tight leash on the flow of information back to Earth, in an attempt to control the formulation of a resupply mission. In "Red Ivy Afternoon", the already mentioned ban on physical written material serves as a running commentary on the restrictions placed on people by the government.

The hero of each story reacts differently to each revolution. Julian Lightfall, after initial trepidation, becomes a fervent believer in Calabas's cause, even after the dramatic failure of their first open conflict with the powers of Panamerica. He even hints in the final words of his memoir that he would consider trying again as the leader of another revolt. Ben Benson shows a measure of sympathy with the military leaders who provide some structure for his troubled United States. However, a threnody of concern, particularly when discussing the enigmatic Perfect Soldiers, runs through his journal. He is also disgusted by the grisly details of his part in the revolution. Helena Cochran ends her involvement in the Iotan revolution without taking sides. She escapes into obscurity, not willing to support her erstwhile patron, nor to support the Asian faction of the Federation.

It is interesting to note that the relative support of the protagonist character for the aims of the revolution is inversely related to the relative success of that revolution. Julian's full-throated support for the populist uprising is ill-placed, as the bloody finale of the book makes clear. Ben's feelings of trepidation about the Perfect Revolution mean nothing in the face of its fantastic success. Helena's decision to sit out the Iotan revolution strikes a middle ground, and echoes the final outcome of that war - no one wins.

This is interesting, since the significance of it is almost certainly narrative rather than literal. In general, the strength of the support of any single revolutionary in a real revolution is irrelevant. More important is the social status of the particular revolutionary. A dock-worker, no matter how vocal or clever, will generally not have any net effect on the success or failure of a revolution. A soldier has considerably more, given his or her status as a member of the military, without which we have already established that revolutions can almost never succeed. A politician typically has the most influence on the eventual outcome of a revolution, due to their high status not only as a public celebrity/intellectual, but also as a notable representative of the will of large numbers of people, to which even the landed elite in an oligarchical government will pay some attention.

A subtler thread of similarity between the stories is the nature of sacrifice, not on the part of the architects of revolution, but on the bit players - our diarist heroes. Each of the male protagonists loses a female friend, one who is not, in fact, a lover. Julian's relationship is with Christina, a high society woman with a position akin to a madam of a brothel, matching up the sons of privilege of Panamerica with the high class women of Portfolio - a trendy and exclusive club in Boston. Christina's role as a frontline player in the revolution is revealed quite late in the story. She and the women in her employ were infected with a time-release venereal disease, designed to attack the rich and powerful and their families. Through Christina's self-control with Julian, he escapes contracting this disease, thus saving his life. However, Christina herself dies for the cause, much to Julian's sorrow.

In "The Perfect Revolution", Ben befriends another soldier, a woman named Tanya. Their relationship never reaches a romantic level. Tanya's bitter end comes at the hands of a Perfect Soldier, who executes her after revealing that she is guilty of "sodomy" with another man. Once again, abstention from sex serves to save the hero of the story from a terrible fate.

The sacrifice of Helena in "Iota Cycle" is rather more vague. She implies in her account that working for Anton Labrack has caused her to lose opportunities, for employment and for love, though she does not elaborate. She also loses her freedom in the end, having to go into hiding once the revolution commences.

These observations are concurrent with two main themes of conflict- and revolution-related stories. First, it is women who tend to suffer the most from war. Some gender studies theorists argue this point based on the nature of combat death vs. civilian collateral damage. There are those who say that women are unfairly protected from having to physically defend their homelands or go to war for their countries, and there are others who point out the horrific war-crimes perpetrated against largely helpless and defenseless civilian populations in places like Kosovo and the Sudan. In any case, all three of the novels above represent sacrifices on the part of the women to the overall outcome that is in the hands of the male characters.

The second major theme is that in order to put oneself mentally in a place where the hard-eyed actions of revolution can be carried out, the male protagonists must distance themselves either voluntarily or involuntarily from the domestic comforts that the female characters represent.

In "Red Ivy Afternoon" Julian would, if given his choice, rather stay in his painful drudgery-filled existence with Christina than take up arms against the whole world. But since it's clear that he will never possess her (or symbolically, he will never possess peaceful domestic happiness), he sees little point in continuing under the corporate yoke.

In "The Perfect Revolution" Tanya represents a softer side to the chaos that surrounds Benjamin Benson. He sees in her a way to reconnect to the world outside of war, where women and men are free to fraternize with each other. Until she is violently removed from the equation, Benson might never have found the coldness in himself to lock away his emotions permanently and embark on the killing-spree that his particular revolution demanded of him.

Helena in "Iota Cycle" represents the deliberate distancing of domesticity of a male character already committed to the revolutionary ideals. She is the distracting influence that must be held off and reconceptualized while Anton Labrack "does what he has to do".

The motivations for each of the three journals are, ostensibly, to "set the record straight", to provide an insider's account of the process of revolution. But, again, in the details, they differ. Helena's account seems to be one designed to absolve herself from blame in the matter of European secession. She goes to great lengths to remind the reader of her disconnection from Labrack. Her final words indicate that she has been made something of a scapegoat - along with many others - for the division of the Iotan government, a theory she fervently denies.

Julian Lightfall's diary tells of a different sort of motivation. His words, often filled with reminders of the illicit nature of writing in general, scream for understanding of the nature of the world, and the necessity to change it. His is the closest of the three to a political tract, espousing a position for the reader to either accept or deny.

Ben Benson's journal is nothing less than a confession. At nearly every step of his journey, he makes choices that, once made, fill him with extraordinary regret. In the first few pages of the book, just after the killing of Tanya, he loses control and shoots down a room full of journalists. That they were sentenced to die anyway does not reduce his guilt. Unlike Helena, he does not try to escape blame. He piles blame upon himself in great quantity.

What conclusions can one draw from these stories? What do the striking similarities of these narratives tell us about the nature of American society in the beginning of the 21st Century?

Clearly, the nature of large corporations is drawn into question. They are either complicit in loss of freedom (in "Red Ivy Afternoon"), guilty of malpractice (in "The Perfect Revolution") or overly opportunistic (in "Iota Cycle"). But in every case, they prod a divisive and bloody rebellion in their respective markets. A sense of increased division between the rich and the poor is the driving force in each rebellion. Would Brand's working class martyrs have rebelled against their loss of freedoms had they been well compensated and happy? Likely not. Would Lutz's European farmers have stood for their break with the rest of Iota if they didn't feel under the heel of Asian corporations? It doesn't seem so. Would the soldiers in Deadwood's novel have supported the coup had they not been told, time and again, in letters from home how desperate were their families' economic circumstances? Again, no.

Corporations are convenient scapegoats for revolutionary fiction, but often not undeservedly so. This is where the importance of locating these revolutions in the 21st century comes in. The last 15 years of technological and economic advances have seen a shift toward frightening global capitalism in the form of multinational corporations. These conglomerates eschew regional trade laws by existing outside of the legal jurisdictions where they can be effectively regulated and controlled by the political bodies that ostensibly enforce the will of the masses. The fact that for the most part political parties are influenced far more by the corporations themselves than by any democratic input that the general public might have notwithstanding, the hands that control the helm of global progress and direction are increasingly being narrowed to a very small group of ultra-powerful individuals.

That these individuals can operate above the laws of countries or political bodies is terrifying in a uniquely 21st century way. Some of the impetus of "Red Ivy Afternoon", "The Perfect Revolution" and "Iota Cycle" can be traced directly back to the alarming CNN broadcasts of violent street-fighting during 2001 protests of NAFTA and other so-called "Free-trade" agreements. On the surface, this appeared to be a question of jobs, employment, and wages. Beneath this, however, was the real danger of relaxed sanctions and public input into the ethical doings of corporations who operate across national borders. Thanks to political wrangling by elite captains of industry, the small man in the United States can imagine a time where their jobs and labor become worthless due to mass-sweatshops, union-breaking, and virtual serfdom due to labor deregulation. As if we weren't already working 50 hours plus a week and skipping our lunch breaks to do it.

There is something overtly American about the notion that prosperity is the right of every level of society. Each of these authors writes from an American perspective. Brand and Deadwood in the specifics, Lutz more allegorically. No one is revolting against their government for high ideals. These rebels are poor and they see no way within the current structure to shift to a higher class level. Either regulation ("Red Ivy Afternoon" and "Iota Cycle") or opportunity ("The Perfect Revolution") stands in their way. The choice to break with the prevailing authority is not one of survival. None of these characters is in danger of starving. They are angry about being devalued and cut off from the true fruits of their labor - democracy and stability provided by the soldiers in "The Perfect Revolution", the backbreaking work of the rank and file in "Red Ivy Afternoon", the literal fruits of farm labor in "Iota Cycle".

One might conclude that for three disparate authors to independently generate such seemingly subversive works indicates a threshold is being reached in America today. Do Brand, Deadwood and Lutz represent a sampling of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans who would prefer to undermine the nation's institutions in favor of something new?

And here is where the current relevance of these three novels comes in the most tellingly: these revolutions are reacting to a future that's not much worse than the one we live in now. "Red Ivy Afternoon" is virtually indistinguishable economically and technologically from the world we live in today. The soldiers in "The Perfect Revolution" are people we can see in our minds because they are on our real-life TV sets every night. The politicians of "Iota Cycle" haggling over prices while people starve to death is a contemporary, real-world analogy.

On the other hand, look again at the structure of the novels. None of the authors chose to write as revolutionaries. They instead write about them, through the eyes of another, someone swept along by the tide of events. Julian Lightfall is given a difficult choice by his friend: join us or leave the country. Despite that he eventually becomes emotionally tied to the cause, his initial choice is far from easy. Ben Benson, as a soldier in an army patrolled by god-like robots, has less choice than Julian. Helena watches from the sidelines as the European secession happens in bare moments. Each author builds a case for revolution to occur, but they also distance themselves from the decision to begin that revolution. The trigger point of violence is out of their protagonists' hands.

I personally feel that this reluctance to claim the revolution impetus for themselves indicates a conscious choice on the part of the authors to play up the forbidden danger element of revolution. As I mentioned above, there is something inherently fearful about breaking away from what society accepts, and while many are willing to do this if prompted, few are willing to be the first one to step out of line. Knowing the third-person perspective of a revolution (that is: a revolution not told from the leadership point of view), is to also know the trepidation that accompanies every revolutionary that maybe, just maybe, they chose the wrong side to be on.

Perhaps more worthy of note, each of these economic scenarios is highly speculative. The totalitarian regime of "Red Ivy Afternoon" is not even The United States of America anymore, but now Panamerica. The economic depression of "The Perfect Revolution" is extreme, far worse than any bust period in American history, including the Great Depression. The invented worlds of "Iota Cycle" are economically simplistic models, unlike the current interaction of corporations or nations on Earth.

Though I understand that in the specifics the situations listed above are indeed highly speculative, I would argue that at their core is a set of social circumstances that are not only very current and relevant, but that have conceivably happened before during the course of countless revolutions in history. If there is something to be gained from these novels as a group, it is that there is value in imagining a world where the "same old story" is played out again and again with rocks, swords, guns, missiles, spacecraft, etc… Were we to look at the patterns more generally, we could see conflict coming and try to avoid it before it costs more lives and needless sacrifice.

Each author, whether consciously or subconsciously, felt the need to manufacture the basis for revolution. While American in cultural details, the authors did not tell a story of revolution in today's America, with today's problems. These could be seen, instead, as cautionary tales. In two of the stories ("The Perfect Revolution" and "Iota Cycle"), the danger of advanced technology functions prominently. However, in all the novels, it is the danger of lost opportunity - opportunity for employment, for advancement, for profit - that proves to be the real generator of conflict. These authors seem to be saying that economic freedom is the bedrock of American stability, and if we lose that, anything might happen.



copyright 2006 Russell Lutz and Mark Brand.

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