Michael Vardoulis
Michael Vardoulis

Land of the Rising Nanny

In another land and another time, many diverse countries arose out of a period of ignorance and tyranny. After a number of years in this newly-discovered freedom, many of these countries began to lose their respective territories to an incredibly popular and philosophically revered country, Nanny State. Nanny's charismatic leader, Big Brother, soon declared all lands the property of the People (Nanny's People) and embarked on a military campaign in the name of Nanny's Great Society.

The smaller countries responded to Big Brother's declaration in a number of different ways.

Many in the country of Santa Theista were excited about the power that Big Brother represented. Perhaps Big Brother and the Nanny State could be used to force people to follow the religious tenets so popular in the influential country of Santa Theista, thereby saving everyone's soul! The residents of Santa Theista's capital city, Fundamentalia, were especially pleased about the opportunity to impose their righteous values on others. Of course, Fundamentalia immediately began tearing itself apart in riots over which religious beliefs would be the ones to be imposed, but since such squabbles were commonplace for Fundamentalia, no one noticed.

A great number of Santa Theista's citizens really loved Big Brother's promise to feed and clothe all the needy. "Why stop at feeding the 5,000?" said the Theistans, "when you can feed 5 million with Big Brother and his Nanny State!" These Theistans received Big Brother's promises with open arms (the very same arms that found it too difficult to feed the needy themselves), claiming a fulfilment of prophecy. Some even whispered praises of Big Brother as another Messiah.

There were some in Santa Theista who were wary about Nanny State. "Big Brother is not our God," they said. These Theistans resisted the idea of a nearly-all-powerful State and saw Big Brother as a threat and an imposition on their faith. Some of these Theistan dissidents sought refuge in the countries Nanny and Big Brother had not yet consumed.

Homosexualitus was a relatively small country, though its citizens were prone to exaggerating its size. For many residents in the two largest Homosexualitus cities, Gayopolis and Lesbiana, Nanny State and Big Brother represented the ultimate expression and empowerment of the two genders. The warmth, security and approval promised by Nanny and Big Brother was just too appealing to most of Homosexualitus. Nonetheless, there were some Homosexualitans who questioned Big Brother's intentions and sought refuge outside Nanny's grasp.

There were some countries with a more divided response to Nanny's advances. Treehuggeria, Ethnocentrus and Nicotinus were all countries that had mixed reactions.

In Nicotinus, the government panicked at the sight of Big Brother, and immediately began trying to placate him. But many citizens were angry with the idea of being considered second-class citizens by Nanny State. These Nicotinians were angry enough to defy Big Brother openly, and began a mass exodus to the non-Nannified countries.

Ethnocentrus was a country only partially convinced by Big Brother's insistence that he was on the side of each of the myriad of ethnic groups encamped proudly within Ethnocentrus. Many Ethnocentrians understood that the Nanny State couldn't possibly benefit all the groups within its borders. Invariably groups fought with each other, insisting that one or the other was scheming with Big Brother. A few in Ethnocentrus realised Nanny State was not out to benefit any particular ethnic group at all and only made promises to gain obedience. These few Ethnocentrians were proud enough to neither fight over Big Brother's promises, nor eagerly anticipate them, so they fled from his clutches.

Treehuggeria responded to Big Brother's promises with a clear-cut civil war. Treehuggeria's western residents, centred around the city of Ecosocialista, embraced Big Brother as a figure powerful enough to finally protect the precious ecosystem. In the East, centred around the City of Ecoliberatia, the people saw Nanny State as the ultimate extension of all that had been harming the ecosystem from the beginning! "If we lose our ground," thought the Ecolibertarians, "We will run to the country of Narcotica where at least we know we're welcome." And so Treehuggeria was split.

Just as there were five countries who either partially or totally embraced Nanny State and her Big Brother, there were five countries who resisted. In spite of Nanny's "tough immigration laws," many who loved freedom tried to flee to these pockets of resistance.

The country of Gunfetish and its twin cities of Heston and Eastwood universally abhorred Big Brother's Nanny State. But they were a little wary of refugees. In fact, some went so far as to suggest endorsement of Nanny's anti-immigration policies. The Gunfetishians liked to be left alone, if for no other reason than to insure that no one got in the way of their target practice. Additionally, Gunfetish citizens were at odds with the other small countries resisting Nanny's influence. Particularly annoying were the Narcoticans, who routinely stumbled onto the firing ranges of Gunfetish in drug-induced hazes, wearing tye-dyes and beads which brought fashion anguish to most Gunfetishians.

Capitalistica, though relatively distant from Gunfetish, was an anathema to the Gunfetishians. Though few in Gunfetish had actually ever travelled there before, rumours abounded in Gunfetish that the Capitalisticans, especially in its capital city of Anarchocapitalista, lived in vast cities with buildings well over five stories high. Even more disturbing were the reports that Capitalisticans drove vehicles other than large pickup trucks with gun racks.

The distant island of Objectivus was even more enigmatic to the Gunfetishians - since almost no contact ever happened between the two countries, Gunfetish's citizens simply assumed Objectivians were uninterested in them (a condition which was gladly reciprocated).

The only people Gunfetishians seemed to get on with were their immediate neighbours in Antitaxia. The sizeable Antitaxian city of Patriotville borders Gunfetish and many tea parties were held there in honour of the disdain toward Nanny State shared by the two countries.

Antitaxia was a little more sophisticated than Gunfetish, if for no other reason than Antitaxians better understood and accepted the Capitalistican and Objectavian people. The Narcotican propensity to spike the tea during Antitaxia's tea parties did much to foster discontent between Antitaxia and Narcotica. Antitaxians viewed Narcoticans with embarrassment and refused to be associated with them, in spite of their shared disgust with Nanny State. A number of Antitaxians went so far as to suggest endorsing Nanny's Prohibition policies in an attempt to rid the land of the Narcotican scourge.

Even while in the most potent of altered states, the Narcoticans could not ignore the fact that the other Nanny-hating countries didn't take them seriously. The town of Hempopolis had thousands of acres of a thriving industrial hemp business that would make the Capitalisticans green with envy. The town of Infirmopolis was in the business of curing diseases that Nanny State's centralised health system had declared incurable. This did nothing to help the reputation of Narcotica among the other freedom-loving countries, and the Narcoticans knew it, and reciprocated the resentment.

Capitalistica just couldn't figure out why Big Brother and his Nanny State were so appealing. Nannies policies were obviously counter-productive and against all common sense. "We're thriving over here," said the residents of Capitalistica, "and people are embracing the opposite of our ideas? It doesn't make sense! Haven't we proven that government doesn't work?" The Capitalistican amazement and disbelief over Big Brother's popularity only underscored the fact that Nanny State had surrounded and enveloped Capitalistica. Big Brother even began referring to a number of Nanny State's policies as "capitalist," a self- contradictory horror that only served to bewilder the Capitalisticans even more.

The people of the tiny island of Objectivus were deeply saddened by the fate of Capitalistica. But they quickly got over their sorrow to resume the philosophical debates between the Objectavian villages of Peikofftown and Kelleyville. The Peikoffians were quick to point fingers at the Kelleyans for their recent practice of accepting philosophically incorrect refugees from such dismal places as Treehuggeria, Nicotinus, Ethnocentrus, and worst of all, Santa Theista. "Not that there is anything wrong with it," said the Peikoffians, "but the Kelleyans really shouldn't be accepting the Homosexualitans either." The Kelleyans responded to the harsh allegations of the Peikoffians by insisting that if these refugees did not become serious Objectavians over time, they would be deported to Schwartzville, a fate recognised by Peikoffians and Kelleyans alike to be worse than capital punishment, and the sanctity of the Objectavian island would remain intact.

Big Brother relished in the inability for his opposition to work together against Nanny State. A diverse yet united front may have actually been able to avert Big Brother's megalomaniacal lust. But alas, it was not to be, as Big Brother conquered all of the remaining countries throughout the land in the name of the glorious Nanny State. In appreciation for their simple role in Nanny State's total victory, Big Brother rewarded the citizens of the former freedom-loving countries with the ideal forum to debate their differences: the jails of the Nanny State.

The moral of this tale is that the battle for freedom is immediate and urgent. If freedom lovers must debate their differences, it should be in the trenches of the resistance to Nanny State, lest freedom lovers find themselves in debate among the halls of Nanny's prisons. Fight well, and fight together.

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe?