Friday, 24 March 2017

The Department of Genetic Chauvinism

[Media prompt] If babies were randomly allocated to families would racism end?
The Department of Genetic Chauvinism

The windows of the Department of Genetic Chauvinism afforded staff like Ivan a splendid view across the Plaza, exceed only by the outlook from the offices of the Social Construct itself. Not that Ivan had ever been provided the opportunity, the honour, of gazing from within the Construct’s hallowed interior over the Great Plaza of the People; he could only dream of such a thing. But he had heard, they had all heard, that on a clear day one could see all the way to the Office of the Chancellor herself, situated atop the Peak. Looking out of the window, the Plaza spreading before him like a satin sheet, Ivan sipped his vitein, reflexively supressing the innate sense of pride, the unalloyed joy, of having his life map lead to the chair in which he sat. He did, though, allow himself a slight tingle before turning back to his screen.

Here, too, Ivan bathed in the satisfaction of his rank in the new society, an advanced, modern civilisation, built on, indeed arising from, the horrors of the Great Struggle, like the mythical phoenix reborn from ashes. Reasserting his will, purging himself now of all extraneous feelings of pleasure, pushing them from his mind, Ivan focused his eyes on the screen, concentrating fully on case before him. It was a difficult one, and would require all of his not inconsiderable skill, his acumen, acknowledged by the director only that morning as among the best she had ever seen.

Upon his arriving at the office that morning, the director had requested Ivan’s presence in her cell. The word immediately had not been appended to the memo, but it was, in its absence, unequivocally implied. We have a situation, said the director, no sooner had he closed the door. A thrill of excitement, abundantly sexual, he noted later, coursed through his body, but he expertly concealed it. Seated, his back straight, boots together, he listened as the director outlined the grievous situation confronting them, her tones hushed, as was befitting. When he walked back to his work station, his heels clicking on the floor, the admiration of his colleagues bathed him as though in honeyed milk.

Now, after several hours of painstaking intellectual labour, inching ever closer to the truth, closing in on a solution, Ivan was on the verge of success. As the fog cleared, and the enormity, the sacrilegious nature of it, hove into view, he was aghast. Ivan checked, and then checked again, but his work was methodical, his conclusions unassailable. For generations, how many generations he had yet to determine, the family assigned to him for investigation had, through philanthropic handouts of an immense scale, beyond Ivan’s comprehension, circumvented the Laws on Genetic Chauvinism, which stated, inter alia, “no couple shall under any circumstances preserve the paternal bond between natural parent and child.” Raising one’s own children was unheard of since the Great Struggle. But there it was, as plain as the fantasy of maternal bonding; the Clintons had never given up a child for random allocation. Ivan smiled; they would be in the hands of the Social Construct by evening, and it would not end well. 

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