The morning alarm woke up Ghen. With an annoyed sigh, he stretched out his arm and silenced the foul-sounding chirps. Slowly sitting up in bed, he let out a deep yawn and got to his feet. Running a couple of chitinous fingers along his antennae to stimulate them to life, he made his bed and then went to his closet. Today was a work day, so he needed his suit. Once the pants were on, he stretched out his wings so that he could button up the shirt, then relaxing them once all the buttons were secured. Dressing for the day was done, now for the morning meal. Entering his kitchen, he took out the chilled leftovers of the evening meal last night and popped it into the radiator, first defrosting and then slightly cooking it. During that process, he also fished out a ceramic cup and placed it in his brewer, serving himself some synthesized caffeine. His idle thought led him to being amused that, when eaten directly off a plant, it has a concentration that could kill him three times over. But after going through some refinement and roasting, all it does is make him hyper. Once the meal was put together, his plate of heated leftovers and a cup of almost-piping-hot cup of Xia's, he took his time to enjoy it. His communicator vibrated. When he looked, he found it was from his boss. "Hello?" Ghen answered. "Ghen, the meeting's been moved up to a few minutes from now." His boss, Xkik, announced. "Apparently higher up has something important they want to say. We have a terminal ready for you, I'll message the login details." "Wha-, what's so important?" Ghen asked in bewilderment. "Did a water line rupture or something?" "No, nothing like that." Xkik replied with a slight chuckle. "It's actually about the rumors we've been hearing. That human corporation wanting to acquire us? That's what they're talking about." Ghen could feel everything inside his thorax drop to the floor. "That must mean it's true then, right? Did we get sold off by the Queen to this company then?" "Show up to the meeting and you'll get your answer." Xkik said simply. When he finished, Ghen got the notification on his communicator. There's the login details, allowing him to remotely attend the meeting. "They're about to start, hurry up." Once Xkik disconnected, Ghen worked fast to login and set up the remote viewing. Once everything was done, his screen started transmitting the meeting room. It was already packed. And off by the main board, he saw his answer. There was a human, resting against the wall on his two legs. Standing right in the center of everyone's view was the coordinator, Tizx, watching the clock periodically. As soon as the meeting's start time was reached, the coordinator began. "Alright everyone. I realize that this was rather short notice, so I want to say how appreciative I am that you made it. Now then, let's just get right to it. For some time now, many of you have been hearing rumors that a human corporation has been interested in us. Why? We never really knew. We're just an organization responsible for finding, extracting and providing water to the colony here all under the direction of the Queen herself. Well, as of now, I have the answer for you. Why don't I let Ryan say that?" Stepping back, Tizx motioned for the human, Ryan, to take over. With a nod, Ryan practically bounced over and then took the position. "Good morning to you all. I hope my Zazk is passable, heh. Anyways, the answer to those rumors, is yes. Terran Galactic Company is indeed interested in you all. Which now leads to me. I'm here to announce that, effective yesterday evening, this water company is now a subsidiary of Terran Galactic Company, under the name of Zilia Water Delivery." Many other sub-coordinators broke into hushed conversation, no doubt speaking their thoughts with each other about this move. Ghen could only wonder if this was even a good thing. What will the humans do? Will he still have his job? Will he have to learn how to deal with the ruthless humans? "Now, I am well aware this is quite the...uh, change." Ryan continued. "That's why I'm happy to inform you that, no, nothing negative or detrimental will happen to you. You just have new people to answer to. Operations will continue as normal, everybody here will still keep their jobs. The only real change any of you will personally experience is that Coordinator Tizx here will now report to someone else. On behalf of the Terran Galactic Company, we are extremely excited and are looking forward to working with you all. Thank you for your time." A week later. At least Ryan wasn't lying. After the initial shock wore off, things went back as they normally did. There were no terminations, no reductions in annual pay or anything. Nothing really changed. At least until this new meeting was called. Ghen was at the worksite this time, so he took his seat and watched as, once again, Ryan led the meeting. "Hello again, everyone!" He said cheerfully, his Zazk noticeably improved. "I hope I didn't end up looking like a liar, right? Everything's still normal, all that?" All the zazk in the room confirmed, providing comments to their pleasant surprise as well as lingering thoughts. "Awesome! Awesome." Ryan said jubilantly, his fleshy mouth revealing his bone-white teeth. "Now then, you're probably wondering why I'm here again, right? Well, I got another fantastic piece of news for you all! Two, actually. I'll start with the first: Zilia Water Delivery has just completed its IPO. The company is now publicly traded!" Ghen and the others voiced their confusion, having no idea what in the name of the Queen Ryan was talking about. What was Ryan talking about? What's an IPO? And why exactly is being publicly traded such a significant thing? "Oh, you guys don't know any of that?" Ryan asked in surprised confusion. After everybody confirmed, he let out a quick huff as he began his explanation. "Well, to begin, IPO is short for Initial Public Offering. Basically what that means is that, before today, Zilia was privately held. Only certain individuals could buy and sell shares here. But now that we're public? Literally anyone can buy and sell shares in the company, hence us being publicly traded." "Uh, what's a share?" Ghen asked, still completely lost. "Oh, boy..." Ryan muttered under his breath before returning to his peppy image. "To simply put it, a share is short for having a share of ownership in a company. When you buy a share, you're buying a piece of ownership, and when you sell, you're selling that amount." "So wait...if someone buys a share, they're a co-owner then?" One of the other team coordinators asked. "If they get enough, yeah." Ryan nodded. "You need a lot though, and that really depends on the company. If I had to give an answer though? I'd say usually you need to have a lot more shares than a lot of people combined to be officially a co-owner, but we call that being a majority shareholder." "And how do we do that?" Ghen asked, now growing curious but still not understanding why such a concept exists. "Simple. Buy shares." Ryan said simply. "And that leads into the second piece of awesome news. Zilia's corporate has a product in mind, a premium-package of water delivery. Instead of the usual water that you pump out, filter and ensure its potable before delivery, with the premium package, not only will you get that, but you'll also get all of the required nutrients and vitamins the zazk body requires! And they feel you guys have the best expertise and understanding to pull it off! So, here's what we're offering as a good-faith bonus: A 25% increase to your annual salary as well as being given stock options." Ghen wasn't sure about the second part, but the salary definitely got his attention, as well as everyone else's. Although his job was considered to have a good pay, Ghen isn't going to say no to a higher salary. In fact, he's been focusing his work on getting a promotion so he can come home with even more credits in pocket. "What do you mean by stock options?" Ghen asked after some time. Ryan let out that smile again, the one that revealed his teeth. "If you choose to transfer over to the new group, you'll be provided 50,000 shares in Zilia itself. Why's that awesome? Let me walk you through it. Right now, our last closing price per share was 3.02 credits. And if you have 50,000 shares during that time, you're sitting on 151,000 credits, if you cash it out immediately." "And why shouldn't we?" One of the coordinators demanded in an ambiguous tone. "Because the price per share changes a lot." Ryan explained promptly. "When we got done with the IPO? It closed at 2.73 a share. Right now? My money's on the closing price being 2.99 a share. However, we are extremely confident in this premium package being successful. If it does? Well, my bet is that the share price will skyrocket to 3.12 a share. If you hold those shares and the price gets to what my bet was? You'll instead get 156,000 credits. Just by holding onto them, you just made an additional 5,000 credits!" "And what if we have more shares?" Ghen questioned, now getting excited at the prospect of free money. "Even more money!" Ryan laughed a bit. "And don't forget about dividends, but that's for another time. The premium group is gearing up right now, we just need the workforce. If any of you wants in, I'll be back tomorrow with all the forms needed to make it official. Take the day and tonight to think it over, yeah?" Everything else melted into a blur. Ghen was practically on autopilot that whole day. Was this the secret to the humans' incredibly massive economy? How so many of them have amassed so much money out of nowhere? All you had to do was just buy this share out of a company and you get more money without even working? As soon as he got home, Ghen knew what he was going to do during the night. After feverishly looking through the galnet, now having the human race connected to it, he looked and gathered up as many books that were translated into zazk as he could find, all talking about the human economic system. The last time he undertook such an intensive study was during his primary education phase. And during his search, he even found forums on the galnet that were completely dedicated to the human's economy. All of them talking about strategies on what company, or stock, to pick. How to analyze a company's performance to determine if it was worth the money, or it had potential to grow over time. And that was when he discovered the humans found another method to the extremely simple buying and selling process. There were humans and some other immigrated aliens who made five times what Ghen could receive over a simple month just by watching the share prices during trading hours, and then buying and selling them at the proper times. Ghen's mind was just absolutely flabbergasted. He thought it was just some strange concept only aliens could make, but no, not with the humans. They've practically made their economy into an art or a science. No, not even their economy. Everything. If humans can see a way to make money off of it, they'll do it. And if there isn't, they'll look for a way. Healthcare was monetized. Galnet services, transportation, shopping at the store, they even made all of their utilities into profit-oriented companies. And it was there that Ghen paused, the realization slamming into him. Everything was monetized. Which means, if you don't have the money for it, you're not getting it. Right? Are the humans truly that ruthless? So obsessed with making money? To the point that they're willing to deprive their own people of the absolute necessities if it's a source of credits? Ghen let out a scoff. There's no way. Nobody is that cruel and callous. He's never been to the United Nations. He can't rely on what a bunch of random people on the galnet says. He decided that from here on out, he'll only go as far as saying that humans are a little obsessed with credits, nothing more. ... There he was. Ryan, sitting in the office provided to him. And there was a rather large line leading to him. Looks like word got around. Although, the line wasn't as large as he expected it to be. Maybe the others thought it was just a ruse? That there's no such thing as making free money by spending it on such a made-up concept? Ghen only knows that, if it is a ruse, it's an extremely elaborate one, where all of the humans are in on it. And he believes that's just extremely ridiculous. At the end, if he's unsure, he'll just take the transfer for the very real increase in his very real salary. And although he spent a very good chunk of the night reading up on how humans do things, he's still going to play it smart. He'll leave his 50,000 shares alone and see where it goes from there. "Good morning sir." Ryan greeted warmly once Ghen took his seat. "Now, name please?" "Ghen." He answered, barely keeping his nerves down. "Alright...and what's your position at this location?" Ryan questioned after scribbling on his form. "I monitor the pumping stations near the extraction sites." Ghen explained, staying on point. "To be more specific, I check to see if they're in need of maintenance, as well as reading the flow rate that's determined by the calculators installed there. If there's too little for what's needed, I pump out more. And if there's too much, I pull it back a little." "Nice...and how long have you been doing it for?" Ryan complimented with a nod. "As of tomorrow, ten years." Ghen replied, voice quickly changing to minor awe once he realized that fact. "Excellent. Do you have anyone in mind you'd like to replace you here?" Ryan questioned after another scribble. "If you don't have anyone, you're free to say so." Ghen took a moment to think it over. A bunch of names went through his mind, but one stuck with him. "Tilik. He's just been accepted here, but he's learned quickly. Very attentive and he always catches something subtle. I think he'll do really well in my position, even better actually." "Tilik, really?" Ryan questioned with a little shock, going through his completed forms. Ghen felt a short sense of panic in him. Did something happen, or was Tilik actually transferring? His answer didn't take long to reveal itself. "Right, Tilik was actually one of the first people to want to transfer here. He's actually requested to be part of the testing teams specifically. Do you have a second choice?" "Um...no, actually." Ghen replied, feeling a little ashamed. "Tilik was my only choice, to be honest." "Hey, don't worry." Ryan said assuringly with his hands raised. "Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, there's just nobody up to snuff, right? 'Kay, so, last question. Is there anything specific you'd like to do when given the transfer?" "If you need someone monitoring new pumps, I'd be happy to do that." Ghen stated. "So basically same job but with better payoff, am I right?" Ryan grinned. "I hear you. Sometimes, we're just not paid enough for what we're doing. I know I think that sometimes. Uh, our secret, yeah?" "Yeah, our secret." Ghen nodded, thinking it'd be better to have friendly relations with the human, just in case. "Awesome. Back on topic, that's it." Ryan announced, placing the form on his pile. "We'll give you a call when you're accepted." "Oh, uh, that's it?" Ghen questioned with a shrug in shocked surprise. "What, expecting a question like, why do you want to transfer?" Ryan chuckled a bit as he leaned in his seat. "You can bullshit all you want, but we both know the answer. Sweet money and stock options. Not saying that's a bad answer of course, just that it's pretty obvious." "I suppose it is." Ghen commented, realizing the point. "Also, you mentioned this...dividend? Is that for Zilia shares?" Ryan laughed a little bit before nodding. "Yep, announced before I came here. About 0.43 per share. Want to know why that's awesome? Instead of waiting for the proper price to cash out your shares, now? The company pays you for each share you hold." "A...Are you serious?" Ghen demanded, flabbergasted. Ryan nodded with his now-trademark grin. "Dead serious. If you get the transfer, and get those 50,000 shares? A little head math...right, if you hold onto those, in addition to your salary, you'll now annually be paid 21,500 credits, if you keep it at 50,000 shares. Only you can decide to sell or buy shares." Ghen just stood there silent and motionless, no idea of whether to believe it or not, to which Ryan just laughed. Once he walked out of the room, he managed to snap back to reality. Again, just focus on the very real pay-raise. He'll deal with the other parts later. After he returned to his spot, he spotted Tizx approaching by his desk. The coordinator seems to be as casual as always. "I saw you in that line a bit ago, Ghen." He said as he leaned on the desk. "Guess you're really taking that human's word?" "I mean, I don't know about all this share business or what not." Ghen began with a shrug, his tone sounding a little defensive. "But I mean, having a bigger salary? Course I'm going for it when I can. And if all this magic credits turn out to be real? You realize we can live like the royal servants, right? Get the best cars, the nicest food and all that?" "I'd be very careful, Ghen." Tizx warned in a sudden shift in tone. "Don't trust those humans. The way they just...obsess over money? Come up with more and more insane ways of getting credits? I don't know, it just makes my wings twitch." "You think this is a bad idea?" Ghen asked with a little surprise at the change-in-demeanor. "I think you should be careful, with the humans, and with what you're saying." Tizx replied, straightening his posture. "I wouldn't put it past those Earthmen to backstab you if it gets them a few more credits. And we all know how the royal servants get if any of us lowly commoners start thinking we can break into their circle." "I hear you, I'll be on my guard, promise." Ghen stated with a nod. With a confirming nod of his own, Tizx returned back to his duty, walking past Ghen's desk. Several weeks later. Everything became so much better. Ghen got the transfer. He didn't need to relocate to a new residence either. And after he was walked through into learning how to manage his stock account, and seeing that new form of payment in his hands, he already felt as though he made the best decision. But it was only when he decided to take those shares more seriously that he became privy to what he was given. After receiving the dividend payment, and actually seeing it was real, valid credits after transferring it to his main bank account, all he could describe was the most powerful high he ever felt. While his first thoughts were to buy himself a royalty-class car, some nicer furnishings for his home, or even a better home entirely, he ended up going the smarter route. After going back to his stock account, he discovered that Zilia's shares rose to about 3.22 credits in price. Knowing that this was the easiest money he could ever make, he took all of his dividend earnings and bought more shares in Zilia, bringing him to owning 56,891. And from his new regional coordinator, a human named Dylan, tomorrow is the grand release of the premium package. For just a monthly rate of 14.99 credits, the tap water will now include a sizeable portion of all nutrients and vitamins required in the zazk physiology. Still, Ghen has to admit. He's not entirely sure why anybody would want such a thing, if they'd even go for it. But, as long as he's practically swimming in easy credits, he won't pay much attention to it. And just like when he was intensively studying the basics of how the human economy worked, he barely got any sleep. His mind was constantly thinking about the things he would buy. Or rather, what other stocks to put his credits into. Even now he can still hardly believe it. Just spend your money on some, make-believe thing and, if you wait long enough and picked the right stock, you'll get more than you spent back? His mind even wandered onto what human colonies, or even their homeworld, Earth, was like. If everybody was making so much money, what kind of things would they offer? What kind of ridiculous service or product or item can you get? He's even debating on joining some forum and just asking around. Explain how he's new to how humans do things and was wondering what he should expect if he's successful. By the time he felt like he can go to sleep, the binary-stars of the system were rising from the horizon. After getting out of his bed and changing to clean clothes, his mind returned onto what-ifs. What if he bought better clothes? He's had his eye on that human brand of luxury clothes, Tessuti di Venezia, that's been all the rage amongst the royal servants. Or maybe he can go on vacation and just check out Earth for real? It was a short ride to his workplace from his home. After getting stuff his stuff and preparing to walk through the doors, he heard the roar of a car grow louder. When he looked, he saw the sleekest and quite possibly the coolest looking car he's ever seen. Each time the engine revved it would startle him, both from how harsh it sounded as well as just how intense it sounded. And after it parked, he saw the doors pop out and then slide along the body back. And there, he saw Tilik, the seat literally turning and extending out a bit before he got off. As soon as he saw Ghen staring, he struck a rather prideful pose after putting on his lab coat and then sauntered over to Ghen. "What do you think?" Tilik said, without any doubt inviting praise or compliments. "D...Did you actually buy that?" Ghen asked, unable to tear his eyes away from the car. "You're Queens-damn right I did!" Tilik laughed happily. "Thing takes off like a starship, has temperature-controlled seating, all-in-one center console, barely any bouncing on rough roads. Hoof, best decision I've ever made!" "How much did that thing cost?" Ghen asked after letting out an incredulous laugh. "Five million credits." Tilik replied, earning an absolutely shocked stare from Ghen. "And thanks to the incredible salary I have, in addition to all these shares and dividends, I'll pay back the credits I borrowed in no time!" Ghen needed a few moments before he could speak again. "All I've been doing is buying more shares." Tilik laughed and then patted the now-envious monitor's back. "Smart man. I got a little carried away, yeah, but not anymore. Any spending credits I got, going right back to investing. That's what it's called right, investing?" "Yeah, it is." Ghen nodded, feeling a fire light up in his thorax. "And also? Today's the day that the premium water thing is being released. Here's hoping it starts out well, right?" "Oh it will, trust me." Tilik chuckled as they both began making their way inside the workplace. "Lots of research, lots of study. By the Queen, so much of it...it'll make your head spin." And after hearing that, Ghen had a moment of realization. "Hey, Tilik? How did you get such a nice position anyways? Weren't you just studying under me before the humans came along?" Tilik let out a sigh after opening the door. "I'll be honest, I never wanted your job. Not because it's boring or terrible, just...I didn't suffer so many sleepless nights in the science academy just to be a glorified button pusher. This is what I've always wanted. Doing science, solving problems rather than just applying the solution, you know?" "Wait, you got an academic certificate?" Ghen questioned, completely floored. "How did you end up beneath me then? I should've been answering to you!" "Simple." Tilik gave a heavier sigh. "A royal servant was asking for the same job I was. Take a guess at who got it." "Ouch. Good thing the humans came along when they did, yeah?" Ghen was taken aback. He never heard anything about a servant taking a job at his place. "Looks like you're proving yourself to be well suited." "By the Queen, of course I am." Tilik nodded. "Like I said, I nearly broke my wings through so many nights, got certified top of my class, all just to get pushed to the dirt because someone who was born into a particular family wanted the same thing I did? I know I'm smarter than any of those empty-skull servants back in the Center. I know that, whatever, uh...corporate? Yeah, whatever corporate wants out of science, I will xeek give it to them." "Well, let me know how things go in the lab." Ghen said, admiring his drive as they neared the main office floor. "Because this is where the button pusher needs to go." Tilik let out a laugh as he nodded. "Hey, how about we meet up at Queen's Fine Eatery tonight. I'll pay, yeah?" Ghen, at first, wanted to admonish him for choosing such an outrageously expensive place to go. But he quickly realized that, he truly is good for it, thanks to the humans. "Well, hey, if you're paying for it." ... It was a fantastic opening. After being told what news sites to keep in mind for stocks, he first heard it from Dylan, and then got more detail on Business Today. There was such a massive demand right from the start that Zilia needs to increase extraction just to meet it. But what really got his attention was the effect it had. Zilia Water Delivery's share price just blasted off. After seemingly holding steady at about 3.15, by the time he got home and logged onto his account, it already reached 7.04 a share. The calculator on his account told him that he got a value-gain of 54.26%. Never in his entire life had he felt such...joy. With all of the shares he currently has? He's sitting at 400,512.64 credits. He knows that it is woefully pathetic compared to what the royal servants have just in their pockets, but the fact that he has such money, just by owning some intangible concept? Why even work at Zilia? Why doesn't he just sit at home, figure out what companies to invest in and make his money that way? What's even the point in working a real job, getting a pathetic pay when you can just take the money you have, determine where to spend it, and get triple back? All just sitting on your wings at home, researching? He was so wrapped up in his excited high that he completely forgot he was going to meet Tilik at Queen's. After quickly and haphazardly putting on his nicer clothes, he got to the place only a few minutes late. Tilik was there by the guide, no doubt having been waiting for him. As soon as he strode up, Tilik's wings stiffned out some. No doubt he must've seen the numbers as well. "I can see your wings, Ghen." Tilik began with an excited chuckle. "Made some serious credits?" Ghen let out an incredulous scoff, struggling to find the words for a moment. "Incredible. All I'm going to say." "Likewise." Tilik chortled some before nodding to the table guide. "All here. Table please?" "Right this way, sir." The guide said politely. It was a short walk, travelling between round tables. The vast majority were populated by zazk, but Ghen was surprised at seeing a few humans here as well. No doubt corporate workers checking out the local food. He did spot them having bowls filled with some kind of mass. Some were brown, others white with what looks to be black specks on them. They arrived at their table. A rather nice one, affording a view out the windows into the busy colony streets. Once Tilik and Ghen settled in, the guide handed out the menus. "May I suggest our rather popular option for tonight?" The guide began. "Human ice-cream. Ingredients sourced from Earth itself. Very cold, but incredibly sweet, and coming in many flavors. The most popular amongst us is called vanilla-bean. The vanilla itself soaks in the cream for much of the process, and then the innards sprinkled on top of it near the end. Rumor has it that the Queen herself has demanded personal shipments of such a treat straight from the home of vanilla, an island on Earth named Madagascar." Ghen didn't even spare a single thought. "Vanilla bean ice cream then, please." "Same." Tilik seconded when the guide glanced to him. With a slight bow, the guide proceeded to ferry their orders to the kitchen. Thankfully it was just a short wait before the guide returned, carrying a large plate containing bowls of ice cream. Ghen could feel the saliva on his mandibles as the bowl was placed before them. He could just feel the cold air around that glistening mass of sugary goodness. The white snow decorated with the black dots of vanilla bean. Once the guide left them, Tilik and Ghen both dived in at the same time. As soon as the ice cream entered his mouth, touched his tongue, he exploded in incomprehensible bliss. The sweetness, the smooth and creamy mass, even the taste of vanilla he wasn't sure about was just absolutely delightful. It was so overwhelming that his entire body limped, slumping in his seat as he was forced to ride on the surging tide of joy and happiness sweeping over him. Tilik was no different. He too was taken completely by the effects of the ice cream, his wings fluttering some against the seat. Ghen could hear some noise. It was the humans they passed by. They were chuckling, grinning, and glancing over at them discreetly. Unlike the two zazk, the humans seemingly just enjoyed the ice cream as if it was just another nice dessert to them. Or perhaps they couldn't allow themselves to succumb to the high? And as soon as the wave of indescribable bliss and happiness subsided, Ghen knew. He just knew. This was the life. He wanted this. The ice cream was just the beginning. So many things denied because he didn't have the credits, or worse, not the blood. Because he was just a drone in the great Collective, even if he had the credits, he wasn't allowed because of what caste he was born in. That fire that sparked in him when he saw Tilik's new car? It exploded into a raging firestorm. And when looking into Tilik's eyes, Ghen could see the same. He was on the same page as Ghen was. Both of them were sold. They have the credits. And the humans? If you can pay for it, they'll never discriminate. All they cared about is if you have the money. And by the Queen, Ghen and Tilik will endeavor to amass as much credits as physically possible. The rest of the night faded into a blur. A blur that evokes only one thing. Bliss. It was only when he walked through the door of his pathetic hut that Ghen's mind snapped back to focus. His mandibles felt sticky. And he felt a weight in his stomach. How much ice cream did he eat? Whatever it was, he ate such volume that the lower-section of his throax extended and rounded out, visible even under his shirt. He felt something odd in his pocket. It was a receipt. 43,000 credits for ten bowls of vanilla bean ice cream. Was that ten bowls for both of them? Or individually? Ghen didn't care. He's good for it. Returning back to his calculator, he acted upon the decision that he had made at that eatery. He's acquiring as many books about investing and stock trading as he could find, frequent and study all the discussions and arguments presented by other like-minded individuals such as he, all to ensure he can live the good life. And he had a very good feeling Tilik was doing the exact same thing. Well, first, the gurgling in his stomach, as well as the feeling of something rising demanded his attention. Looks like he'll need to take the night off to let his stomach get back to normal. Three Years Later. Ghen looked out beyond the horizon, seeing the colony that he grew up in. On the far side was where his old house was. With only a simple robe on, made from the finest silk from Earth's nation-state of China, he relaxed in his seat. It was a long road. Stockpiling credits from pre-existing investments and from subsequent pays, he and Tilik made it. From having only half a million in assets and cash, now transformed to over eight-hundred million. And now, his call contracts on American Interstellar? They've just announced a breakthrough in their next generation of warp drives, reducing the speed coefficient even further, resulting in far faster travel. And with that, their stock price climbed sharply. Another hundred million credits in the bank. Soon, very soon, he and Tilik are about to become the galaxy's first zazk billionares. But that's not enough. There are many humans who are billionares. Only those he can count on one hand are considered trillionares. He's going to break into that circle. He and Tilik. Looking beyond the colony, he saw the abandoned building of the workplace he transferred to when the humans arrived. Turns out, the reason for such a high demand was that the humans also slipped in sugar to the tap water. As soon as that broke, many influential royal servants demanded investigations and outright banning of Terran Galactic Company's influence over the former government division. Zilia's stock price plummeted. But thanks to an advance tip from his human coordinator, Dylan, he and Tilik made a put contract. And that's where they struck gold, as the human saying goes. Dylan warned that if they were citizens of the United Nations, they'd be investigated and convicted for insider trading. But, since they weren't, and the Collective were only just introduced to capitalism, there's no risk at all. Now the colony is going through a withdrawal phase, Zilia has been dissolved and reformed back as a government division and are currently at work re-establishing the standard, plain water delivery. "Well, shit." Tilik muttered as he walked up to Ghen's side, taking well to human speech. "Looks like you win. American Interstellar's announcement really was a good thing. There goes a million credits. Ah well, the Royal Shipyards will make it back for me soon." "Oh? Did they just go corporate?" Ghen asked curiously, glancing to Tilik. "Hell yeah they did." Tilik chuckled, sitting down. "Queen and her retard servants fought it hard, but Royal Shipyards is now officially a human-style corporation. And, to a surprise to all the xenophobes in the galaxy, they're already being offered contracts for ship production. That'll raise the stock price pretty good." "What's that human word...?" Ghen muttered, already having a reply in mind. "Dick? Yeah, calls or suck my dick, Tilik." Tilik roared in laughter. "Already made them. Forty credits a share by this day next month." "I have half a mind to go thirty." Ghen chuckled. "Either way, until then, I heard from Dylan that he knows a guy who knows several prime human women who happen to be into zazk." "You're interested in women?" Tilik said as his wings fluttered. "With how often you tell me to suck you off, I'd have thought differently." "Oh, I always thought it was you who was into men." Ghen responded dryly. "Just wanted to be a good friend, you know? Considering how you never seem to make it past, Hey sweet thing, I'm rich you know." "Oh, go fuck yourself." Tilik countered with a little laugh. After he stopped, wings stiffened, he looked to Ghen. "So, know any royal servants we can put the squeeze on for more revenue streams?" "I got just the one." Ghen nodded, sitting up. "Fzik. He's been fighting to control the ice cream trade. Worried it's a corrupting influence. Got done talking with the human CEO of Nestle earlier. If we clear the way, he'll know how to squeeze a little more gains in stock price when he makes the announcement." Tilik's wings stiffened even more, signaling his approval. "Alright, time to throw some credits around, yeah?" AN: Sorry for the period of no updates. College is starting up, lots of stuff to clear and work out. Not sure why but I just got a bug up my butt about incorporating money and the stock market into a short. Here it is. Sorry if it seems abrupt, character limit fast approaching. Let me know how you guys think about it!
Since 1983, I have lived, worked and raised a family in a progressive, egalitarian, income-sharing intentional community (or commune) of 100 people in rural Virginia. AMA.
Hello Reddit! My name is Keenan Dakota, I have lived at Twin Oaks, an income-sharing, intentional community in rural Virginia for 36 years, since 1983. I grew up in northern Virginia, my parents worked in government. I went to George Mason University where I studied business management. I joined Twin Oaks when I was 23 because I lost faith in the underpinnings of capitalism and looking for a better model. I have stayed because over time capitalism hasn't looked any better, and its a great place to raise children. While at Twin Oaks, I raised two boys to adulthood, constructed several buildings, managed the building maintenance program, have managed some of the business lines at different times. Proof this is me. A younger photo of me at Twin Oaks.Here is a video interview of me about living at Twin Oaks.Photo of Twin Oaks members at the 50th anniversary. Some things that make life here different from the mainstream:
The labor system - all work is considered equal, whether you are earning income for the community or not. Cooking/cleaning counts the same as planning the annual budget. Also, you don't have to do the same job all week - your day can be a mix of indoor and outdoor work, you have freedom to arrange your day, and you can gain skills in a wide array of tasks and trades.
Non-gender binary, queer and trans people are very welcome at Twin Oaks. People introduce themselves with their pronouns and a significant number of our members go by they/them.
Verbal consent culture is very important here. It is not okay to touch anyone without asking.
Nudity and partial nudity is allowed in some parts of the farm, such as in the sauna, swimming hole, on the hiking trails, etc.
Our social norms prohibit using phones in common areas when other members are present, with the exception of a few cafe-style spaces.
Every day we provide a home-cooked, plant-based lunch and dinner with options for special diets including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and no onions & garlic.
Raising kids here is easier. Some of the time that parents spend raising their children counts towards their labor quota. Many of the kids are home-schooled or "unschooled", and they spend more time outside than in front of a screen. The kids have no problem passing the state's annual standardized test to move onto the next grade level.
We have a shared clothing resource called Commie Clothes, which is like a free thrift store. Borrow something and then return it dirty, and it gets washed and re-hung up.
More about Twin Oaks: Twin Oaks is an intentional community in rural central Virginia, made up of around 90 adult members and 15 children. Since the community's beginning in 1967, our way of life has reflected our values of cooperation, sharing, nonviolence, equality, and ecology. We do not have a group religion; our beliefs are diverse. We do not have a central leader; we govern ourselves by a form of democracy with responsibility shared among various managers, planners, and committees. We are self-supporting economically, and partly self-sufficient. We are income-sharing. Each member works 42 hours a week in the community's business and domestic areas. Each member receives housing, food, healthcare, and personal spending money from the community. We have open-slots and are accepting applications for new members. All prospective new members must participate in a three-week visitor program. Applicants to join must leave for 30 days after their visit while the community decides on their application. We offer a $5 tour on Saturdays of the property, starting in March. More info here. Ask me anything! TL;DR: Opted out of the rat-race and retired at 23 to live in the woods with a bunch of hippies. EDIT: Thanks for all the questions! If you want some photos of the farm, you can check out our instagram. EDIT2: I'm answering new, original questions again today. Sort by new and scroll through the trolls to see more of my responses. EDIT3: We DO have food with onion & garlic! At meals, there is the regular food, PLUS alternative options for vegan/vegetarian/no gluten/no onions & garlic. EDIT4: Some of you have been asking if we are a cult. No, we are not. We don't have a central leader or common religion. Here are characteristics of cults, FYI. Edit: Yikes! Did I mention that I am 60? Reddit is not my native land. I don't understand the hostile, angry and seemingly deliberately obtuse comments on here. And Soooo many people! Anyway, to the angry crowd: Twin Oaks poses no threat to anyone, we are 100 people out of a country of 330 million? Twin Oaks reached its current maximum population about 25 years ago, so not growing fast, or at all. Members come and go from Twin Oaks. There are, my guess is, 800 ex-members of Twin Oaks, so we aren't holding on to everyone who joins—certainly, no one is held against their will. Twin Oaks is in rural Virginia, but we really aren't insular, isolated, gated or scared of the mainstream culture. We have scheduled tours of the whole property. Local government officials, like building inspectors, come to Twin Oaks with some frequency. People at Twin Oaks like to travel and manage to do so. I personally, know lots of people in the area, I am also a runner, so I leave the property probably every day. There are lots of news stories about Twin Oaks over the years. If you are worried about Twin Oaks, maybe you could go read what the mainstream (and alternative) media have to say. Except about equality Twin Oaks is not particularly dogmatic about anything. (I know some people at Twin Oaks will disagree with that statement.) Twin Oaks isn't really hypocritical about Capitalism, Socialism, or Communism, we just don't identify those concepts as something that we are trying to do. Twin Oaks is not trying to DO Communism, we are trying to live a good life with equally empowered citizens—which has led us to try to maintain economic parity among members. Communists also do that. In making decisions in the community I don't remember anyone trying to support or oppose an idea due to excess or insufficient Communism, Socialism, or Capitalism. In most practical senses those words aren't useful and don't mean anything. So, no need to hammer Twin Oaks for being insufficiently pure, or hypocritical. Twin Oaks is very similar to the Kibbutz in Israel. If anyone has concerns or questions about what would happen if places like Twin Oaks suddenly became much larger and more common, read about the history of the Kibbutz, which may have grown to possibly 1% of the population at their largest? There was and is no fight with Capitalism from the kibbutz—or with the State. My point is—not a threat. To the other people who think that the ideas of Twin Oaks are interesting, I want you to know it is possible to live at Twin Oaks (or places like Twin Oaks) and happily live ones entire life. There is no central, critical failing that makes the idea not work. And plenty of upside. But do lots of research first. Twin Oaks maintains a massive web site. (Anyway, it takes a long time to read.) But what I would like to see is more people starting more egalitarian, income-sharing communities. I think that there is a need for a community that is designed and built by families, and who also share income, and provide mutual support with labor and money. If you love this concept, maybe consider gathering together other people and starting your own. Ideologically speaking: -Ecology: the best response to ecological problems is for humans to use fewer resources. The easiest way to use fewer resources is to share resources. Living communally vastly cuts down on resource use without reducing quality of life. -Equality: ideologically speaking, most people accept the idea that all humans have equal rights, but most social structures operate in ways that are fundamentally unequal. If we truly believe in equality then we ought to be willing to put our bodies where our ideology is. In a truly equal world, the issues of sexism and racism and all other forms of discrimination would, essentially, not exist. -Democracy: Twin Oaks uses all manner of decision-making models and tools to try to include everyone and to keep people equally empowered. There is no useful word for this. We do use a majority vote sometimes, as a fallback. But sometimes we use consensus. We sometimes use sociocracy (dynamic governance). The word "Isocracy" (decision-making among equals), would be useful to describe Twin Oaks' decision-making model, but Lev in Australia has written an incomprehensible "definition" on Wikipedia, that he keeps changing back when someone corrects it. -Happiness: The overarching goal of all ideologies is to make people happy, right? I mean, isn't it? Capitalism is based upon the belief that motivation is crucial to human aspiration and success (and therefore more happiness). Under Capitalism, equality is a detriment because it hinders motivation (less fear of failure, or striving for success). Twin Oaks believes that humans are happier when they are equal, and equally empowered. So the place to start up the ladder of happiness is to first make everyone equal. Well, Twin Oaks is mainly still working on that first step. EDIT5: Some have asked about videos - here are links to documentaries about Twin Oaks by BBC, VICE and RT.
ASIC Regulation Thread - Regarding the proposed changes ( Australians effected the most )
I'm hopeless at formatting text, so if you think you can structure this post better take everything i write and put it into an easy to digest way. I'm just going to type out everything i know in text as fast as possible. I'm not a legal expert, I'm not somehow who understands every bit of information in the PDF's below, but i know I'm a retail trader that uses leverage to make profit which is why I'm posting this, in the hope that someone who can run a charge better than me, will. Some of you are already aware of what might be happening, this is just a post to educate retail traders on changes that might be coming to certain brokers. This effects Australian Customers the most, but also effects those living in other countries that use Australian brokers, such as Pepperstone and others. Last year in August 2019, ASIC ( Australian Securities and Investments Commission ) was concerned about retail traders going into Forex and Binary options without understanding these instruments properly and started sticking their noses in for tough regulation. ASIC asked brokers and anyone with interest in the industry to write to them and explain what should and should not change from the changes they proposed, some of the proposed changes are very misguided and come from a lack of understanding exactly how OTC derivatives actually work. I will provide the link to the paper further down so you can read it yourself and i will provide a link to all the submission made by all parties that sent submissions to ASIC, however the 2 main points of debate are: 1, To reduce the overall leverage available to retail traders to either 20:1 or 30:1. This means people who currently use leverage such as 100:1 to 500:1 and everything in between will be effected the most, even more so are those traders with relatively small accounts, meaning in order to get your foot in the door to trading you will need more capital for it to be viable. ^^ This point above is very important. 2, The removing of Binary options trading, which basically includes products like "Bet if gold will rise to this price in the next 30 seconds" This sort of stuff. So far from all the submissions from brokers and individuals nobody really cares if this changes as far as i know, though if you have concerns about this i would start voicing your disapproval. Though i would not waste your time here, all is pointing to this being eradicated completely with brokers also supporting the changes, I've never used such a product and know very little about them. ^^ This point above isn't very important and will probably be enforced in the future. Still to this day i see retail traders not understanding leverage, they think of it as "dangerous and scary", it's not, position size is the real danger, not leverage. So ASIC is aiming to limit retail traders access to high leverage, they are claiming it is a way to protect traders who don't really understand what they are getting into by attacking leverage and not the real problem which is position size relative to your capital. If it was truly about protecting retail traders from blowing up their accounts, they would look for ways to educate traders on "understanding position sizes and why it's important" rather than attacking leverage, but their goal is misguided or has an ulterior motive . I will give you a small example below. EXAMPLE - We will use 2 demo accounts for demonstration purposes. If you don't understand my example, i suggest you try it for yourself. - Skip if not interested in examples. Lets say we open 2 demo accounts with $1000 in both, one with 20:1 leverage and one with 500:1 leverage and we open an identical position on both accounts ( say a micro lot '0.01' on EURUSD ). You are safer on the 500:1 account as you don't need to put up as much margin as collateral as you would on the 20:1. If the trade we just opened goes against us and continues against us, the account with 20:1 leverage will run out of free margin a lot faster than the 500:1 account. In this simple example is shows you that leverage is not dangerous but safer and gives you a lot more breathing room. This trade was a small micro lot, so it would take hundreds of pips movements to get margin called and blow up that $1000 on each account. Lets now use a different position size to truly understand why retail traders blow up accounts and is the reason why trading can be dangerous. This time instead of opening a micro lot of '0.01' on our $1000 dollar demo accounts, lets open a position size much larger, 5 lots. Remember we only have $1000 and we are about to open a position much larger relative to our capital ( which we should never do because we can't afford to do that ) the 20:1 probably wont even let you place that trade if you don't have enough margin as collateral or if you could open the position you would have a very tiny amount of free margin left over, meaning a small pip movement against you will instantly blow up your $1000 account. On the 500:1 account you wouldn't need to put up as much margin as collateral with more free margin if the trade goes bad, but again a small movement could blow up your account. In this example, both accounts were dangerous because the lack of understanding position sizes, opening a position you can't afford to open. This is what the true danger is, not the leverage. Even in the second example, the higher leverage would "margin call" you out later. So i would go as far to say that lower leverage is more dangerous for you because it margin calls you out faster and just by having a lower leverage doesn't stop you from opening big positions that can blow you up in a 5 pip movement anymore, any leverage size is dangerous if you're opening positions you can't afford to open. This is also taking into consideration that no risk management is being used, with risk management higher leverage is even more powerful. ASIC believes lowering leverage will stop people opening positions that they can't afford. When the reality is no matter how much capital you have $500, $1000, $5000, $50,000, $500,000, $5,000,000. You don't open position sizes that will blow that capital up completely with small movements. The same thing can happen on a 20:1 or 500:1 account. Leverage is a tool, use it, if your on a lower leverage already such as 20:1, 30:1 it means your country has been regulated and you already have harder trading conditions. Just remember higher leverage allows you to open larger position sizes in total for the amount of money you own, but the issue is NOT that your using the higher leverage but because you are opening positions you can't afford, for what ever reason that is, the only fix for this is education and will not be fixed by simply lowing leverage, since you can just as easy blow up your account on low leverage just as fast or if not faster. So what is going on? There might ( get your tinfoil hats on ) be more that is involved here, deeper than you think, other agendas to try and stop small time retail traders from making money via OTC products, theories such as governments not wanting their citizens to be traders, rather would prefer you to get out there and work a 9 to 5 instead. Effective ways to do this would be making conditions harder with a much larger barrier of entry and the best way to increase the barrier of entry for retail traders is to limit leverage, lower leverage means you need to put up more money, less breathing room for trades, lower potential. They are limiting your upside potential and the downside stays the same, a blown account is a blow account. Think of leverage as a weapon, a person wielding a butchers knife can probably destroy a person wielding a steak knife, but both knifes can prove fatal. They want to make sure your holding the butter knife then tell you to butcher a cow with it. 30:1 leverage is still workable and can still be profitable, but not as profitable as 500:1 accounts. This is why they are allowing professionals to use high leverage, this gives them another edge over successful retail traders who will still be trying to butcher a cow with a butter knife, while they are slaying limbs off the cow with machetes. It's a way to hamstring you and keep you away rather than trying to "protect" you. The real danger is not leverage, they are barking up the wrong tree, how convenient to be barking up the very tree most retail traders don't fully understand ( leverage) , pass legislation to make trading conditions harder and at the same time push the narrative that trading is dangerous by making it even harder. A full circle strategy to make your trading conditions worse, so you don't succeed. Listen carefully especially if you trade with any of the brokers that have provided their submissions to ASIC. Brokers want to seem like they are on your side and so far some of the submissions ( i haven't read them all ) have brokers willing to drop their leverage down to 30:1 because they know by dropping the leverage down it will start margin calling out their clients at a much faster rate, causing more blown up accounts / abandoned accounts with residual margin called funds, but they also know that if they make trading environments too hard less people will trade or even worse move their funds elsewhere offshore to unregulated brokers that offer higher leverage. Right now it's all just a proposal, but as governments expand and continue to gain more control over it's citizens, it's just a matter of time till it's law, it's up to you to be vocal about it, let your broker know that if they drop their leverage, you're out, force them to fight for you. If you have any more information related to this, or have anything to add, post below. I'm not an expert at this technical law talk, i know that i do well with 500:1 leverage and turn profits with it, it would be harder for me to do on a lower leverage, this is the reason for my post. All related documents HERE CP-322 ( Consultation paper 322 ) & Submissions from brokers and others. https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/consultation-papers/cp-322-product-intervention-otc-binary-options-and-cfds/
I was arguing with someone on the youtube comments... I have some thoughts. The original reply on Youtube was severely truncated because character limits meant I lost my comments and had to try a couple times. I'll expand a lot more here. I was also childishly accused of somethings, and I didn't want my efforts to go to waste. For context: Someone was taking an absolutist stance on the firearms with the second amendment, and was quite angry that 2nd amendment doesn't get strict scrutiny protections, and felt like it should be expanded across the board. This reddit post is based on an adaption on the original, with additional expanded commentary in case anyone wants to join in. Original youtube comments as follows: Other person: How come we never get a judge like this on a second amendment case! A constitutional judge I don't believe it!!!!! Me: well for one, the law is not clearly on one side. Religious rights get strict scrutiny protection. Gun rights get intermediate scrutiny. other person: does the Second Amendment get treated that way because it's number two on the list and not number one? Or should strict scrutiny be observed across the board when it comes to any enumerated right? Me: It does say well-regulated militia. and if the people are the militia, that means you do get to control who is in it and who gets a gun. Would you allow a psychotic person to have a gun? DC v. Heller said that people have a right to keep and bear arms, but that doesn't necessarily mean "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner." Its generally given intermediate scrutiny, although that hasn't been spelled out. other person: you need to get your dictionary out. And after you're done with that go get the Federalist Papers. Where the genius gentleman who wrote the declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights talk about what they meant when they wrote what they wrote. Then come back and talk to me. Liberal talking points mean nothing to me only facts. I type out a huge wall of text that gets ignored, which was adapted into the meat and potatoes of this post other person: 😂🤣😊🤣😊🤣😂🤣😊🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂yea ok. NO 😂🤣😂 TRY AGAIN😁😂🤣ILL B WAITING!😂🤣😂 me: absolute no rebuttal. too many emojis. Suggestive of a troll. Seeing as there is nothing to discuss, I'm done here. other person: lol yea . No. You didn't read the Federalist Papers. And if you did. You obviously didn't understand what you read, and didn't use a dictionary either. So like I said try again!😂🤣😂 and oh yes I must be a bot because I don't agree with what you say! Liberals you guys are hilarious😂🤣😂 That triggered that part of me that insists on correcting everyone. now that I've copy pasted what was said so that I don't get accused of misrepresenting anything.... Arguing on the results The first problem with originalism to me at least, seems to be that its used to support certain political stances, the stance comes first, rather than the law stuff. That can be said for pretty much any way of interpreting to some extent however. What I don't like is how there seems to be a premise of our opinions don't really matter, we should start with what it actually meant originally. And the pretense of true neutral on modern day politics, since we are going with the original intent of back then. First step is showing that rights can be "limited." All rights are balanced against other rights. If my religion says I get to murder you just because, that doesn't excuse it. You have a right to not be murdered. The religion is not an excuse. Do not murder is a general thing we can all agree upon. There is a government interest in preventing murder. Another exception to free speech is defamation. You aren't allowed to spew false things to hurt someone, and hide behind free speech. So no right is absolute, despite what the law may say. Its absolute as far as tyrannical government intrusions. By creation of tort law, Did Congress a) abridge the right of free speech or b) such free speech right does not allow you to defame someone, because you are abusing speech to harm them, in such a way that is so unfair, it violates something big enough worth it. Ie Does free speech give you the right to defame someone else? If so, that means the person who you defamed must put up with defamation, the lies and reputation harm? Put another way, are you allowed to call anyone a pedophile/murdererapist regardless if its true? Its better to think of them as declarations of principles. It doesn't take too much effort to try to stretch out the rights and realize that they come into conflict at some point. Furthermore, due to 9th amendment, we get implied rights of a right to privacy and bodily autonomy, freedom of thought and conscience. it seems like one of the risks is forgetting the fact that just because it isn't written there, doesn't mean that it didn't matter to the original authors/framers. That would seem to possibly imply it was just a given. In a sense everything is a constitutional issue in that the question is why is the government doing this anyways and do they have the right to, due to the 9th and 10th. So there is nothing wrong with limiting in application a right. Its not that you don't have the right, its just that the right can be limited, not by the government, but necessarily because the absolute right goes against and overrides other rights. I reconcile the seemingly absolute right behind "Congress shall make no law..." with the reality that rights cannot be absolute. Because to him, originalism + second amendment => unlimited gun rights. So I attack the conclusion. It was the most immediate issue, and because attacking originalism is harder and longer. First premise - there is a single original intent that encapsulates what everyone thought about it at the time, and that this truth is the ultimate, fundamental, original, historically correct interpretation/theory/answer. The natural consequence is to say that the only way to change that interpretation is through an amendment, or at least explicitly in statute. But that's quite difficult/impossible due to Gerrymandering. Scalia calculated that 4% of the population, distributed correctly could stop an amendment from being passed. So yes, we must obviously fix that, but that's another rabbit hole. The framers were people, flawed people, politicians in fact. Since reasonable people can disagree, and they disagreed frequently, having genuine disagreements and difference of opinions, they would make compromises, and they did that frequently, since the disagreed a lot, including on big ticket items. See Federalist 1. Thus like good politicians, they would invent a good enough compromise and kick the can down the road, and hope the system they said would be able to adapt and address it. That turned out to be false when it came to slavery. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were full of these compromises (Great Compromise, No prohibiting slave trade until 1808 and fugitive slave act, 3/5's compromise *shudders*, no export duties, yes import duties, interstate commerce clause only, no intrastate). They were nothing but compromises, such as the Bill of Rights. It was a originally a political compromise offered by James Madison to get New York to ratify the constitution. Eventually, he realized there was more to it than that. It wasn't merely list of rights the people have and things the government can't do, but rather stood for the proposition that people have many rights, and that there are many things the government can't do, not just these. These were merely the ones that people were able to spell out through the amendment process. Compromise definitionally means that there are 2 or more sides, and everyone isn't completely happy. That means that there are 2 or more threads of thought that go into it, sometimes independent and contradictory. And sometimes you find that there are potentially more than one theoretical underpinnings, but they didn't agree on which one, although both of them led to same spot. So as an originalist which one do you pick? Holding that a single framer's opinion is the correct opinion, simply because they were the author, means saying that this person was right and the rest were wrong, and ignoring a whole bunch of other people, and somewhat arbitrarily saying the chosen one matters the most. I'd also remind you that sometimes there is no correct answer, in that there was no consensus or majority opinion. As in they agreed on the compromise, but there were no theoretical underpinnings they completely agreed upon, or at least the theoretical underpinnings they did at least partially agree upon, weren't as firm, thought out, or fully agreed upon. Due to this lack of super well thought out reasoning, when analyzing the constitution and laws, one must understand that something might just a placeholder answer for political expediency. Furthermore, different people can pass the same law, the same text, and come away with differing interpretations, with the descendants of both sides telling themselves we agreed to the same thing. The most horrifying examples can be find in the road up to the civil war. Two fundamentally different halves were developing. One constitutional interpretation was right, and one was wrong. They couldn't both be right at the same time. And lets not kid ourselves, the only reason why a certain flavor of interpretation developed, was because it protected a certain "domestic" or "peculiar institution." So you either need some kind of reasoned principle to say we can exclude this mess, or you pick a certain side. But picking both sides individually presents their own sets of problems as well. Premise 2 - we must be tightly bound to the original intent that people thought in the past because its correct and we must adhere regardless of everything else I was trying to illustrate the problems with originalism, using Jefferson as an example. *tangent incoming* I actually really dislike Jefferson, not just because he was racist and owned slaves, but he pretended to be this dangerous liberal radical, and made (perhaps recklessly) a bold declaration that he had no intention of keeping or actually meant it. He setup a high bar for himself, and I get to hold him to that high bar. that's not presentism at all. Presentism is the historian's sin of apply our modern day values and harshly imposing them on their times with disregard for their contextual era that surrounded them and that they were born into. In fact, when you do that, Jefferson's evaluation becomes even worse, because he's the least excusable for being deeply racist out of ignorance. Such virtues and ideas existed at that point on the fringes, and he and his contemporaries were well aware of it. In fact, one of the view points of that time was that slaves were inferior because of the condition imposed on them, that the planter class (ie they themselves) did. This would stay as quiet personal admissions. All this out of the way, lets continue. He's not an honored figure because he was a racist slaveholder, he's honored because he put to pen and paper the principle of fundamental human equality, despite the fact that he nowhere lived up to that, politically or in his personal life (potential rape of Sally Hemmings. As a slave, could she even have consented? She was arguable always under duress). This same stuff applies to all the historical figures including the founding fathers, I just used Jefferson because I think he's overrated and this illustrates my point well. What did Jefferson mean by "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence. He excluded women, children, non-binary individuals (including George Washington who had Klinefelters syndrome and was XXY, for sake of simplicity sex = gender and men = XY, women = XX), the various native tribes, and Africans. We can tell that he was excluding most natives and Africans as nonhumans all of this from his writings (see Notes on Virginia) and behaviors. Jefferson was a huge racist, but we don't follow his actual original intent. For one, reconstruction amendments override him here, but secondly, we don't blindly follow the intent only. We extrapolate the important principle they got right, and try to apply it as best as possible to our modern context. That's why the Second Amendment doesn't apply to muskets only. That's why First Amendment protects this as speech. Jefferson called the constitution a living document. Its living because its interpreted in different ways and open to change. So where are the parameters and boundaries of this. Who gets to determine the boundaries of the living constitution? Due to Marbury v Madison, right now, its the courts, so I rather have them be more open about their bias. I'd prefer the least amount of bias possible, but we shouldn't pretend that they aren't biased at all. But with originalism, even less people's thoughts counts. Why does only certain individuals' thoughts count, and who are these people? Well they are the chosen people because they were born white, male, into a wealthy family, with the right last names. Originalist is ridiculous because its so restrictive on who counts. They are dead. There ideas are valid, but originalism means they don't get examined on their own. The whole point of jurisprudence is to work through these complexities, and to reflect the historical nuances. The problem with originalism is that it doesn't allow for this, and assumes a certain narrative is true already, and which narrative is that? Whatever is determined to be the "original," which due to the fluid nature as described earlier, could be whichever one is politically expedient. *tangent* I do however, agree that it shouldn't be overstretched because it would then break/tear. it does frustrate me that everything is a constitutional issue (not in the sense of why is the government doing this, how do they have the powepermission to do that), but in the fact that its gotten overstretched. Like on first impression, I had no clue that Roe v. Wade was a constitutional issue. I didn't know abortions were in there. (Yes I know there were privacy things too, but my point is still made) But adhering to strict originalism means naturally accepting this baggage of bigotry from a previous time along with it. Or you can say that this baggage wasn't the essence of it, but these accidental characteristics were just as much part of the original intent, quite sadly. So you need some kind of limiting principle that allows you to dump the baggage of bigotry, which means not being originalist, or you throw out the strict originalist option out (as in we MUST adhere to the original intent as opposed to saying history is a useful guide, but we have no obligation to copy what they thought. If we are talking about a specific well-written statute, then there is less wiggle room, but that's not the case here, these were a lot more of declarations of principle.) Arguably, you can avoid dealing with this uncomfortable implications by saying this questions are worthless because 13th-15th amendments, but that's not really a good system then, if its that rigid, that you need an amendment to escape the racist views of the past view. *tangent* here I go into the weeds of how one could be a super strict originalist and not be racist, more of a thought experiment and hypothetical. While the 14th and 15th amendments could be argued to provide a principal, it depends on how much of a textualist you want to be. 14th amendment establishes the a principle of don't discriminate for dumb reasons, but it doesn't spell out any protected classes. Some may look to the 15th amendment, since they were passed around the same time by the same Congress with the same context. It spells out race, color, or previous condition of servitude. So it depends, but I think might point still stands. Its scary to think about it. I don't know anyone who would take it this far, but is there any principle stopping it from going this far? Luckily enough John Bingham the primary author of both the 14th and 15th can serve as a save, since his original intent was more better, in contrast to the compromises on the 14th and 15th amendments, which muzzled it and made it more muted/toned down than originally desired by some, including John Bingham and Charles Sumner. A lot of things are missing like a ban on poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, nothing on naturalized citizens born overseas (for the nativists), also women's suffrage. But another racist originalist may consciously or not emphasize a more conservative author and hold that up as the original intent. Thankfully, these problems not addressed there were fixed later legislatively, but never on an amendment level, so it could be changed. I'd remind you, we have no equal protection clause on the federal level, its read to be implied in the 5th amendment due process clause, so uninterpreting out is possible since its implied. Maybe the equal protection clause should be amended to spell out protected categories, or maybe the solution is another ERA. But the fact that I'm going into the weeds has another implication... do we really want to be held back by the failures of the past? I'm just going to mention briefly the subtext of conservatism in (Burke's sense) terms of tradition vs progressivism/revolution. Originalism basically solidifies these long dead people's points of view unless specifically contradicted by statute, but even contradicting via statute wouldn't work entirely because how would you go about doing that for a constitutional issue? And the problem is that in the context of the Constitution, tradition, is just peer pressure from the dead, but on a constitutional level, this solidifies their points of view, and requires an amendment to change. Is that really a wise idea. I'd remind everyone that we had a long and bloody path that led up to war. Adopting this approach makes the law too clunky to adapt. So arguably, that means adopting racist points of view that contradicts the 14th amendments. One of the compromise/balancing acts was the question of how much should the constitution be able to be changed? Keep in mind that its the scaffolding, the base structures and basic principles, and that's not something you want to change too often. For context, the Articles of Confederation required the assent of 9/13 states to do something, and unanimous 13/13 consent for other important things like amendments. The US Constitution requires a simple majority in both individuals Houses/Chambers of Congress, and the President to sign off, with a 2/3rds on both to override veto. The whole point of a republic is balance. Neither mob rule, nor tyranny of a dictator, popular sovereignty/majority rule, while still upholding minority rights and rule of law. It should be able to change with the times and reflect the people, but not too much, hence representatives and refinement. Fair laws created through a (representative) democratic process, and enforced and applied evenly in a way that actually makes sense. But if you are to go with originalism, that means that judges are to stick with the original (often bigoted) intent or more likely reconstitute/patch-together a modernish meaning and call it original, which is often a political issue. Originalism also means that judges inherently must be conservative, and cannot ever introduce a new interpretation or way of looking at the constitution, which can prevent necessary change, which then creates a need for more legislative changes or amendments to ensure the a functional government under the constitution. If this is a good or bad thing is neither here nor there, but I will say, its quite impossible because of stuff like gerrymandering. This felt like I was typing something for something more than a mere reddit post off of something more than just mere youtube comments.
Because of the Reddit character limit, I am posting this separately. Episode IX - Balance in the Force: If The Force Awakens was a bad premise executed incredibly well and The Last Jedi was an incredible premise executed badly, The Rise of Skywalker is a terrible premise executed horribly. I disagree with the popular notion that Rian cornered J.J. because TLJ screwed everything up. I have many problems with The Last Jedi, but Rian took what could have been a visionless carbon-copy of the OT, and gave a new bold direction, an inspiring purpose for this trilogy to exist. It opened up so many possibilities for Episode 9, but J.J. took the easiest soulless path. Episode 9 should never have been the plot conclusion that reverses from The Last Jedi and attempts to be a thoughtless fan service finale that ties up the Prequels and the Originals by redoing Return of the Jedi. Episode 9 should have been the thematic conclusion that wraps up the motifs of the Prequels, the Originals, and The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker failed to answer the questions that the trilogy has raised. I am not talking about J.J.'s mystery boxes. Sure, I would have liked to learn how Maz got Luke's lightsaber and who Max von Sydow's character was, but I am talking about the thematic questions. What should the Jedi be and where should the Jedi head toward? What should the galactic government be after the failures of the New Republic? What is the will of the Force? What is the balance? Why is Kylo Ren's path wrong? What is the permanent solution to the chaos that has been repeated again? Despite branding itself to be a finale that attempts to unify the whole saga, The Rise of Skywalker answers none of these because killing Palpy again, this time he is 'dead' dead, solves every problem of the galaxy. The movie fails to wrap up the 42-year franchise, it fails to wrap up what The Last Jedi has set up, it fails to answer The Force Awakens's questions, only raising more questions, it fails to be a fan-service movie, and it even fails to be a fun popcorn movie as its own. This is Spectre of Star Wars. It bafflingly misunderstands what the essence of Star Wars is. As the title suggests, this new story is about our heroes exploring what balance in the Force means. Balance is not just killing Palpy again and be done with it. Here are the basic ideas. Let's continue The Last Jedi's message about the power of myth and everyman. EDIT: I have incorporated EmperorYogg's idea. Crawl: The flames of resistance burn brightly! Word of mouth about the heroic act of Jedi Master LUKE SKYWALKER has spread from planet to planet and inspired the galaxy anew. To suffocate growing unrest, Supreme Leader Hux has silenced all communication between neighboring systems. Defiance is punishable by death. As the First Order struggles to maintain their systems, Lord KYLO REN rages in search of all records of the Force and anyone associated with it, determined to destroy any threat to his power....
The camera pans down and we see common people talking about the legend of Luke Skywalker as they look up the night sky. Then the montage of the word of mouth about Luke Skywalker's heroic sacrifice spreading among the common people throughout the galaxy. Even the FO troopers who witnessed the event at Crait talk about this in secret.
It has been two years after The Last Jedi.
The FO has blocked all civilian communications, trades, and movements between systems. People are only able to travel if they have permission.
Finn has become one of the Commanders of the Resistance.
Kylo dreams of his uncle returning to his mind and pulling him to the light. He dreams of Luke over and over.
Kylo reigns the FO as a Lord. He continues his "kill the past" mentality to the extreme. Kylo wants to remove all record of the Force and those associated with it from the galaxy. He massacres the suspected Force users and destroys the ancient Jedi and Sith relics. He hopes to maintain power as the leader of the FO by gatekeeping such knowledge as he has become fearful that he might lose his authority at any moment. This makes Kylo a thematical opposition to Rey, who wants to spread stories and knowledge of the Force to recruit the Jedi.
After the death of Plagueis, Supreme Hux has been obsessed with the Sith and the Jedi and wants to become a Force-user. Unlike Kylo, who destroys all records of the Force, he has been collecting the lightsabers and ancient relics. He beheads the traitors and captured Resistance fighters on the public square by using the lightsaber he has collected to show off. Despite wanting to become a Force-user, he has no knowledge nor cares to understand it. Only for his power. To beat Kylo Ren out of his power. Basically, Hux is an Indiana Jones villain. This makes Hux an opposition to both Kylo and Rey and gives him an interesting dynamic with Kylo.
As Kylo and the Knights of Ren massacre another group of Force worshippers (Not the Jedi nor the Sith. People like Chirrut who do not fall under any side), Kylo discovers some sort of a key. They return to Coruscant and examine it, discovering it is a key to the World Between Worlds from Rebels. He tries to destroy the key at first but chooses to venture there alone, determined to close this place once and for all so no one can access it. He then dreams of Luke again in his nightmare.
NandovMovies's idea on Chewbacca is pretty fantastic. Chewbacca and C-3PO (translating the Force worshippers' words for Chewbacca) are with these Force worshippers in the intro as Rey is trying to find all the Force-related relics to rebuild the Jedi, but Kylo and his Knights of Ren came in. The Force worshipper contacts Rey through the Force to alert her. We see Rey in her hideout on Kijimi, floating with the Force. There are many new recruits beside her. Rey tells them it is time to go.
Kylo demands the Force worshippers to join him, but they refuse. Kylo and his Knights massacre the worshippers. Before Chewie gets captured, he does something to C-3PO. He captures Chewbacca, C-3PO, and his Falcon and brings them to Coruscant.
The FO attempts to extract information from C-3PO, but Chewie mindwiped him. However, Kylo notices additional modification for C-3PO with the parts that are made with Ajan Kloss steels, meaning the Resistance base is on there. The FO then tortures Chewbacca to get information, but he will not open his mouth. Finally, Kylo arrives. Chewbacca looks away. Kylo interrogates Chewbacca to gain information about where the Resistance and Rey are and what this key is about. Chewbacca resists and starts remembering his happy days with Kylo and Han Solo, and Kylo relieves these moments. Chewbacca watching the marriage... Leia holding her newborn baby... Ben's Jedi training... and Ben killing his father. Kylo tries to suppress it, killing the past but it keeps haunting him back. Despite Chewie's effort, Kylo obtains information regarding the key and Rey and the Resistance's location.
The stationed Republic troopers raid Rey's hideout on Kijimi, but they were already gone. Rey and her Jedi and Rebel recruits escape. Her new recruits comprise of diverse living beings from Kijimi, from teenagers to elders, from humans to aliens... Rey has been recruiting those who wanted to be the Jedi and the Resistance through the stories. In the last hope to preserve the Jedi's legacy, Rey grows from student to teacher and shares the sacred texts to everyone who wants to be Jedi. She has been printing and researching the texts.
We get a chase scene in the village. Rather than Rey killing every enemy in her sight unlike Luke did in Return of the Jedi, she tries more peaceful solutions. Instead of slashing trooper's head, she Force-throws objects and cuts off the bridge, etc. The villagers cheer for the Jedi and block the troopers' way. She protects her pupils and escapes without killing anyone. Connix reveals herself with the hidden Resistance ship and helps them escape. Rey tells her they are new Jedi recruits.
In the road to regroup with the Resistance, Connix thanks Rey for alerting the Resistance. The Resistance has retreated again (As Kylo extracted information about the Resistance base) and she is angry that the Resistance cannot keep running away. They are now bigger than before and this is time to fight back. A new volunteer says that time might be closer since people are resenting the FO rule and the blackout was the last straw. They talk about the sacrifice of Luke Skywalker and how it has inspired people. He asks if Rey is Luke's daughter. Rey gives a bittersweet smile and tells him she is not. She still wants to be someone's daughter.
They regroup on the asteroid world of Opuchi in the Unknown Regions like Polis Massa. The Resistance, now significantly increased in size, has just fled from Ajan Kloss. Opuchi is the last place they have. The Resistance has become a more proper military now, but there are plenty of civilian vehicles modified into the warships. They have been gathering local resistance forces and unifying them under the rebranded name of the Alliance of Free Planets.
While I agree with the Rey Sue criticism in The Force Awakens, people who still complained about Rey being Mary Sue even after TLJ's release seem to misunderstand her character. Rey's character flaw (Yes, it does exist) was that she was so gullible and naive, and The Last Jedi challenged this in an interesting way. Rather than continuing Rey being another Luke Skywalker-type hero, which would not work because of her OP set-up in TFA, Rian made Rey's story as someone with innate power already present with no direction on how to process it and how to find her place in the galaxy. You know, sort of like Superman. If you view through this lens, every Rey's 'want' fails. Her Jedi fantasy gets crushed, her optimism about turning Kylo to good shatters, and her hope about her parentage is torn to pieces. To continue her arc, in REDONE, Rey is no longer a naive optimistic character as she used to be. She is jaded, stressed, and lashes out when she sees students doing something wrong. Not only Rey has self-doubt if she will be able to lead the new generation of the Jedi, but she is also disillusioned and feels that the Jedi's way is wrong.
The Resistance has no idea what to do amidst the communication blackout. The blackout is working for the FO. The Resistance is completely cornered and has no way out. However, R2-D2, who is with Leia, tells that the Coruscant Jedi Temple has an old communication system from the Old Republic that can send a universal signal. (If you have read my ROTS REDONE, R2-D2 was the one who transmitted Obi-Wan's warning message. Even if you take the movie canon, R2-D2 was Anakin's droid, and Anakin already knew where the Temple beacon was, so I do not think it would be big of a stretch that R2 knows about it.) The FO cannot stop it since it far predates the FO, the New Republic, and even the Imperial tech. Leia plans on using it to get allies for possibly the last strike against the FO. "It will go out across all system comm channels and will be inserted into the public holonet. Trillions of beings will soon hear my voice. This is a galaxy-wide call to arms. We can no longer fight in isolation. Together, we will restore hope."
Luke's Force ghost visits Rey after she trained the recruits. Luke: "Another hard day's work?" Rey ignores Luke and says, "Leave me alone." Although Rey has come to terms with Luke, her relationship with Luke is not smooth. Rey talks about how she is not ready for such a task. She does not feel like she has what it takes to be a Jedi and cannot live up to everyone's expectations. Luke says, he has just visited Ben, in his dream, and tells her that Ben is going to the World Between Worlds. A place described in the Jedi texts as a place of balance. The texts tell where the key is. Luke tells Rey that he sensed Ben can be saved thus Rey can bring balance to the Force. However, Rey asks if Kylo is worth saving anymore. If Rey re-establish the Jedi Order, the same thing is bound to happen and the cycle of suffering continues. Rey: "Balance? The dark suffocates the light, light extinguishes the dark. Over and over and over again. How is that balance in the Force?" Luke: "I know that anger. My father had it too." Rey: "So says my master and his master before him. A thousand masters so eager to tell us how to live." Regardless, Rey decides to have a dangerous journey alone. Although Rey doubts about it, Rey still feels the need to try. Leia and Finn doubt it.
Finn then talks about Kylo. He says, "He can't change. It's too late." Rey says, "It's never too late to change. You taught me that." This sets Finn's character arc that he needs to learn people can change as he did.
Maz is with Rey. Maz talks about the former Jedi who found Anakin's lightsaber. "The former Togruta Jedi" did not follow the Jedi's principles, yet was still able to do good, proving you can still serve the Force without inheriting the way of the Jedi.
Rey tells Leia that she does not feel she belongs with the heroes like Leia, Finn, and Chewie. She feels unworthy. Leia brings some senses to her. "You're not like my father or my brother. You're new. Whatever happens, remember the Force chose you, Rey. Your story isn't written by anyone else." Rey's arc in Episode 9 is about learning to stop relying on other people (or things) for validation and learn to start relying on herself. She doesn’t have to be told her place in the Galaxy, she has to find it herself and she can still be a hero despite coming from nothing.
Finn tries to persuade her not to go. The Resistance and the Jedi recruits need her. If she has to go, Finn will go with her. Rey refuses, but Finn begs her to take him. Rey uses the Force mind tricks on him, but it does not work as his spirit is too strong. Rey runs away with R2-D2 and leaves Finn without a proper goodbye.
R2-D2 wants to meet Kylo again, as he has always been with Ben until he became Kylo Ren. Rey hesitates, but Leia tells her to bring him.
Leia's mission is to gather many armies as possible for the final confrontation against the FO on Coruscant. Nien Nunb tells where Lando is and she meets Lando in his casino at Canto Bight. She asks him to join the fight but Lando refuses. What's the point of fighting when the same thing repeats. This conversation leads to Leia's decision at the end of the story. Leia gets disappointed and leaves the casino. Lando feels guilty for not helping Leia.
For Finn's arc, u/withoutamartyr seems to be ideal. Finn's mission is to get into Coruscant through the FO freighter and transmit Leia's message. Wedge is said to be there. Before they depart, R2-D2 and BB-8 come together. R2-D2's prod connects to BB-8 and gives him the map of the Jedi Temple, passing down the torch.
Finn, BB-8, and his squad, disguised as the migrant workers, are sent to one of the agriworlds in the Outer Rims. This can be Ertegas or Taris. They go through a checkpoint, which is about to close today. Only Finn gets accepted as the last migrant for today. One of the troopers recognizes Finn's face and about to detain him, but a sergeant trooper comes out and takes Finn away. The trooper takes out his helmet to reveal Wedge Antilles.
Wedge guides Finn and BB-8 to Babu Frik, who lives hiding in the migrant settlement. Babu Frik modifies BB-8's shell into the FO BB unit. Wedge talks about how people on Coruscant are starving due to the blackout as Coruscant has little to no farm. Finn has to get into the freighter loaded with bread-powder rations (The powder Rey used to grow bread in TFA), resources, and the weaponry. Here, Finn asks, "How'd you do it? How did you defeat an Empire with almost nothing?" Wedge responds, "We had each other. That's how we won."
With the help of Wedge, Finn hides in the bread-powder container and loads into the freighter while disguised BB-8 is already in the freighter and hacks the scanner examining the loads. They successfully get smuggled into the freighter which heads to Coruscant.
Among the troopers are Elite Troopers, who have been highly trained with high moral.
In the road to Coruscant, Finn, covered in bread powder, gets out of the container and sneaks into the vents. In the vent, water drops fall onto Finn and loaves of bread grow out of his skins and clothes. He gets detected and captured. The FO captain tries contacting other fleets, but BB-8 jammed the freighter, cutting off any communication from the ship. The captain says there must be a droid spy and orders them to find BB-8. BB-8 must have the Resistance location. The captain is giggling, thinking he will get promoted for killing infamous Finn. When Finn is ordered to be executed, the troopers refuse the order and shoot their captain. They take off their helmets, a boy, a 16-year-old child soldier as the FO has lowered the conscription age, and his older sister, Jannah. They are alien characters, Zabrak, Twe'lek, Chiss, Pantoran, Togruta, Mirialan... It does not matter. They say, "We all know your name." Soldiers do not know what they are fighting for anymore and their morale is an all-time low. Finn and the troopers start a breakout, and more troopers get inspired and do the same. The defected group gets larger and creates a massive mutiny and overthrow their superiors. Finn and the deserters take control of the ship before the officers were able to alert the HQ.
Jannah tells her backstory. She enlisted to the FO because they promised to give equal society for non-humans after two decades of brutal humanist rule of the Empire. Until she realized she is no different from a stormtrooper. Finn asks what was the last straw. She says it was him. It is because of the story of Finn that made her turn. She says Finn is the legend among the FO troopers and fangirls over Finn. She tells Finn's defection and myth have already caused several mutinies within the FO. "We are not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them."
The freighter of Finn and his army of the deserted Republic troopers gets into Coruscant. Coruscant is surrounded by the shield blockade like Scarif from Rogue One, reinforcing the notion that societies are isolated from each other. Large stations hover over the cities. Coruscant is no longer a vibrant city. Because of the embargo, citizens are poor and many have become scavengers. We learn of the FO's status in the galaxy and how the people feel about it. The public has turned against the government, but they cannot rebel due to martial law. They surround Hux's gigantic sky palace that is floating behind the abandoned Senate building. Like how Wallace corp. is built right behind Tyrell corp. in Blade Runner 2049. They fool the guards using the Republic trooper disguise (as the deserters are literally the Republic troopers) and go into the Jedi temple, marveled by its history and architecture.
Chased by Knights of Ren, Finn, and BB-8 restore the power of the Temple and successfully transmit Leia's inspiring message to people all over the galaxy to join the battle of Coruscant. "The First Order has continued the pretense that they would end social injustice and corruption. On the surface, their policies may seem to be aimed at righting the wrongs imposed by the tyrannical Empire. But their true goal has always been no different from the Empire: The subjugation of the thousand thousand worlds and the enslavement of all galactic citizens. They rule by fear rather than by consent. They state that all beings are equal citizens while they carry out missions designed to destroy whole populations." [...] "For too long we have watched the heavy hand of the First Order strangle our liberties, stifling our freedoms in the name of ensuring our safety. No longer. It is now time for action. Despite the First Order's threats, despite the Supreme Leader Hux himself, I have no fear as I take new action. For I know I am not alone. Beginning today we stand together as people. Today, we all vow to free the galaxy once more, and today the galaxy will indeed be free." [...] "We ask much of you. The fate of the galaxy rests in this one decisive fight for freedom. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The time has come to stop hiding and face tyranny one to one. This is our most desperate hour. Help us, everyone. You are the galaxy's only hope. Let the stars sing! Let the planets shout! May the Force be with all of us." A montage of people in the galaxy hearing her message, including Lando's casino where every droid there projects Leia's message. Even R2-D2, who is with Rey, projects Leia's message. Rey realizes the assault has begun.
In his journey to the World Between Worlds, Kylo meets Rey and fights her. However, Rey overwhelms Kylo and cuts his limbs out. He falls to the ground, tumbles near the lava. Kylo discovers he has transported to Mustafar, and in front of him is Obi-Wan, delivering his lines from ROTS. Kylo tries climbing up, but the fire catches up to his clothing. Kylo feels immense pain as fire burns his skins. Then he wakes up and his limbs are fine. An illusion. Kylo thinks this is a trick of the Force this place has set, trying to keep away intruders who aren’t worthy of possessing its power.
He meets the Force ghost of Anakin Skywalker. Anakin could not contact Kylo for a long time as Plagueis has been blocking that contact. This would be a fantastic opportunity to redeem Hayden Christensen with competent direction and dialogues. Kylo at first resists Anakin and tries to destroy him. Anakin persuades him to realize errors of his power obsession and 'kill the past' mentality.
In TWBW, Kylo experiences the history of the Sith as he sort of time travels like Bran. Showing that Kylo's path is not so different from Darth Vader and other Sith. They spend a long time as these two having a journey together. Imagine Cade Skywalker meeting Anakin from Legacy. Kylo also meets his old self, deformed and scarred with deep sorrow, the inevitable fate if Kylo chooses to go down this path.
Hux finds a Sith relic. I am undecided about what this relic should be or how he found it yet. He could have sent Pryde after Kylo to TWBW and learn about it. Regardless, Hux meets the Sith ghost of Plagueis. Plagueis tells Hux that Kylo killed him, not the girl. Now, Hux has a reason to turn his military against his despised tyrant boss for treason. Hux assumes himself as the 'Lord' and promises Pryde to promote him to the Supreme Leader if Pryde kills Kylo. Kylo has lost the power he so much adored. This humbles Kylo and changes his character.
Plagueis promises Hux that he will gain the immense Force power if he lets Plagueis borrow his body. Hux can be a Sith he has so desired. Hux can live forever. Hux denies.
Rey needs to learn about the true meaning of balance to the Force and her self-worth in the journey. Her journey also needs to come together with Kylo. Maybe Rey arriving at Tython, the ancient Jedi homeworld, to find the key to the World Between Worlds, and in that process, she witnesses how the Jedi Order has changed and perverted by dogmatism. Or she goes to Lothal and goes through the Painting of the Mortis gods. Or, a more interesting one, she goes to the homeworld of Celestials. Celestials have had such immense Force powers that Jedi and Sith legends suggest that they may have merged with the Force itself, and are actually the 'guiding' part of The Force. Unlike Jedi or Sith, they did not view the Force as light and dark. To them, the Force was only the Force. They saw the Force as a single thing. They recognized the Force had more than one aspect to it, more precisely sides to it. While the Jedi see any use of the Force that breaks what they define as being natural, as being an abomination in the Force. Basically they call it an unclean and impure use of the Force that brings nothing but death and destruction. To a Jedi, the light side is the only side. The true nature of the Force. While obviously the Sith saw things at the opposite end of the Jedi. In a way, the Jedi broke up the Force and were responsible for the creation of an imbalance in the galaxy as well as the Sith. Seeing they themselves are out of balance for they only see the Force as they want to see it and not as it is. Rey finally realizes the balance. She obtains the key and goes to the World Between Worlds. The challenge here is to integrate Rey's external challenge in this part. Like Rey just wandering around the ancient relics, learning things, and exiting is boring. There need to be stakes here, and I do not know what could that be. Maybe the Knights of Ren chase after both Rey?
Another alternative is Rey arrives at Lothal first and goes through the painting to reach the TWBW. Rey goes through time and space and discovers Celestials.
She encounters Kylo. Kylo and Rey fight, as he promised to Luke that he will destroy her, but Rey tries persuading him, using the knowledge she just gained. Trying to convince that Kylo's way is wrong. To Rey, the whole dark side/light side thing is drawn out, and clearly both have major flaws. In anger that he has lost his power in the FO, Kylo defeats Rey. However, Rey manages to turn Kylo to good. However, I am not sure what triggers Kylo to turn at this moment yet. Maybe Anakin and Luke intervene and tell Rey and Kylo that both Luke and Anakin were affected by the Jedi's inability to prepare them for the darkness they would feel.
Another argument to refute Kylo is that he is wrong that he can stop the Force. He cannot stop the Force and his determination to destroy those who can use it only furthers the Force's calling.
Or you can have a moment where R2 projects the recording of Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar. "I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new empire!" If you want a movie canon, R2-D2 shows Anakin choking Padme, which parallels Kylo killing Rey. Urging Kylo that he is no different from Anakin and the Sith's path. Kylo decides not to kill Rey but has not turned yet. Pryde and his Elite Troopers die.
Leia's forces drop out of hyperspace and face the FO navy on Coruscant. The Resistance is hopelessly outnumbered. Now, there is no going back. Leia trusts in hope and believes people will come together.
People on Coruscant get inspired by Leia's message and the space battle above Coruscant and start rebelling against the FO. The soldiers are dispatched to suppress the riots. Hux detects where the message is coming from and sends the troops into the Jedi temple. Finn and the deserted Republic troopers escape the temple and return to the freighter to leave Coruscant.
At the most desperate moment, the civilian reinforcements led by Lando from across the galaxy to join the battle.
In the freighter, before Finn decides to leave Coruscant, he looks out the window and witnesses the space battle above Coruscant and the soldiers suppressing the revolution. Instead of running away, he decides to broadcast his message to all troopers on Coruscant through the radio. Similar to the scene from The Winter Soldier, Finn accepts his status as a legend. "Troopers, I'm Finn. You know me. You've heard my story. Make my story yours." They don't know if it works until the FO forces halt and massive mutinies take all over them. Finn hears many voices from the radio, "We hear you, Finn.", "We are with you,""We all have heard of you! " We see a long slow-motion montage of Republic troopers, who took out their helmets, joining the crowd. Finn leads the charge into the government buildings. The revolution has begun. 'People' overthrow the FO. Very much like Les Miz and Metropolis imagery. With this, Finn concludes his arc. This reinforces the theme of rebellion reborn, the power of legend, and the theme of people versus the FO.
During the chaos, Chewbacca and C-3PO escapes and flies the Falcon to assist the revolution from the sky. We get a chase sequence on the cityscape. The Falcon destroys the planetary shield gate from inside to help the Resistance fleet coming into the planet.
Meanwhile, Plagueis once again asks Hux to borrow his body. Realizing Hux has no way out, he lets Plagueis. Plagueis possess Hux and revives by obtaining the body of Hux.
During Pryde's attack, the World Between Worlds gets destroyed. In the World Between Worlds, Rey teleports herself to Coruscant to face Hux possessed by Plagueis. (As you can teleport space and time in TWBW)
Rey arrives at the sky palace and faces Plagueis, but is too weak to fight him. Rey is defeated and can do nothing. Plagueis laughs and says it matters not that the FO fall. He will flee to Unknown Regions and return someday to avenge to rule the galaxy, and the cycle will continue. Plagueis uses the Force to control the sky palace and launches it into the sky, away from the planet. (Or the palace works like a ship and has a flying function) He says he will train Rey in the ways of the dark side to make her another Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. The Resistance attacks the palace, but lasers won't penetrate.
Before the sky palace lightspeeds, the palace pauses as if something is holding back. It is revealed that Ben Solo on the ground is holding the sky palace to stop escaping. Everyone on the ground is shocked to see Kylo Ren and sees his Force stopping the sky palace. However, Ben's power is not enough and the palace continues fleeing.
In the sky palace, Rey hears the voices of the past Jedi. The Force flows within Rey and everyone.
Just as Ben loses his grip on the sky palace, a boy comes out and extends his hand toward the sky palace. Others follow. Masses of the crowd gathers and reaches for the sky palace, including Finn and his band of deserters. Together, they stop the sky palace and Plagueis escaping. Here, Ben has a realization that the Force cannot be stopped. This is a payoff to the theme of everyone can be a Jedi.
Ben Force-pushes out of the wreckage and enters Hux's throne room. Rey also wakes up, keep hearing the voices of the Jedi. Plagueis's dark ghost leaves Hux's body, saying he cannot die. The Force ghosts of the Jedi appear and put their hands on Ben and Rey's shoulders. They then extend their hands and the light comes out as Yoda did in Episode III REDONE. However, it does not work and Plagueis overwhelms them still.
Rey represents the light and Ben the dark. Ben tries to help Rey by shooting out light with her, but it still does not work. Plagueis says the light cannot match the dark. Rey realizes something and encourages Kylo to find balance within the Force. They embrace balance. Rey and Ben extend their hands and the light and the dark come out. They do what Jacen Solo did in the Unifying Force and achieve complete oneness with the power of the Force. The light and the dark mix together and shoot out grey. The balance in the middle. Strengths and weaknesses of both sides. Rey and Ben obliterate Hux's body as well as Plagueis's soul.
I am not sure if 'grey' is an optimal option when the theme is about abandoning the light and the dark dichotomy. The scene is somewhat too cheesy in my taste, but so far this is the best way I can think of to go about it for now until I can think of a better solution.
There is a cool concept art of Treverrow version where Rey reaches a place of the Force beyond what we know and meets the Force ghosts of the past Jedi like Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Luke. The gray gets to Rey and she arrives at the sand field, where sand is black and the sky is white. Not heaven nor hell, a limbo. From the fog, hundreds of the Jedi walk out before her. Yoda reveals Rey succeeded where they failed. "You choose to abandon the light and dark dichotomy of the Force. To find the balance within."
The FO collapses and the Resistance assumes the control of Coruscant. Leia now sees it was corrupt out of touch bureaucracy of the Old and New Republic that birthed the Empire and the FO. In the half-destroyed Galactic Senate, instead of establishing the New New Republic, Leia declares there will not be a central galactic government. She will let each system to secede and declare independence.
Ben Solo turns good at the end, but is not 'redeemed'. I like Stephan Krosecz's idea. On Tatooine where Anakin was born, Ben defeats the FO remnants and stands before the mass grave where Ben ordered his men to slaughter the villagers and killed Mon Mothma. He is directly facing 'the past' and owning it. Ben tells Anakin's Force ghost that he will reject the surname, "Solo", as he feels he does not deserve his father's legacy and wander the galaxy alone to atone for his sins by helping people. Anakin tells him to carry that name. Solo is who you are and you should not bury it. Ben agrees and decides to carry that name in his journey to repent for his wrongdoings. This would be a far interesting angle for his character. This works with the theme that we should change for the better without forgetting the past. Acknowledging that people he has hurt should not feel obligated to befriend and accept him.
Yoda calls Luke "Master Skywalker" as a payoff to Yoda calling Luke "Young Skywalker".
In the end, Rey achieves balance in the Force by what Lucas has revealed in his interviews during the Prequels: "...The Force has two sides, the good side, the evil side, and they both need to be there.", "It is not a malevolent or a benevolent thing.", "Too much light or dark would be the undoing of life as you understand it." The prophecy is not the light side reigning the galaxy as the Jedi have thought, nor the dark side reigning the galaxy as the Sith have thought. It is about incorporating the pros of both sides and be better. After the victory, Rey gathers her pupils on Ahch-To, where everything began. Finn and Jannah are among them. Rey gives a speech.
She establishes the Jedi Academy, not the Jedi Order, that embraces the legacy of the Jedi but learns from the failures of the past Jedi Orders and erases rigid dogmatism that ultimately doomed her parents and the Jedi. The light side, the dark side, these are outdated binary concepts. It only becomes a cycle of reaction: the light side rules, which births the dark side, which births the light side. The cycle that only creates pain and suffering. As George said, "It rhymes." Rey believes there is a healthy middle ground. We should allow all human emotions and encourage the worshippers of the Force to follow their feelings and live to the fullest without a petty dogma controlling their lives. Rey announces the new Jedi code: "Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force." It sends the opposite message to the original Jedi code and emphasizes a true balance. Rey believes it is important to accept these emotions rather than overcoming them or acting like they do not exist. The latter leads to Jedi falling to the dark after years of suppressing emotion and feelings that are natural and perhaps necessary to be compassionate and selfless as Jedi are. Emotions and passion exist because we are living beings. Rey allows people to express their darkness to others, not hide it away until it takes over them. We are all ignorant of some things which drive us to educate ourselves. Rey lets the students interpret the ancient texts freely as interpretations of religion to evolve as time passes, democratizing the Jedi. Individual Jedi can practice the Force in their own way they believe in. She recognizes this will not lead to the perfect world, but it is a step in the right direction. "Because we must try to be better." Rey breaks the cycle of pain and re-invents the Jedi for future generations. The story ends with Rey igniting her now white lightstaff, with the Jedi flag attached, and raising skyward, and her hundred students following her as Force-ghost Luke, Yoda, and Anakin, watching and smiling at the new generation finally bringing balance to the Force.
Dear British friends,... (a rant from the continent)
This is an overly long opinion piece and a kinda vicious rant. But I have to get this off my chest because at this point in time I am lost for words to describe the incredible thing that is Brexit, therefore I'm interested in the opinion of British and other non-British people. For a couple of months now I've been watching in awe several times a month how the House of Commons, your parliament, the elected representatives of the British people, have taken up the shovel and started digging. It is a strange and surreal experience, like standing next to burning orphanage: It is horrible but I can't stop watching. Mere days ago HoC voted down every single proposal to at least mitigate some of the damage and there has not been any outburst of common sense, a thing the British always were famous for, since. To be blunt, for me it was the straw that broke the camels back. I am a German and I don't know whether my views reflect a majority or minority. I'm an engineer in the chemical industry and I have travelled to Britain often during the last 15 years. I strolled trough the countryside, I visited the big cities, I have been surprised about the excellent restaurants even in places I'd never have expected (namely the "Old School Restaurant" on the Isle of Skye. If you are there, have yourself a treat and pay it a visit!). I have met a lot of wonderful people during my visits to Britain, both on holiday and on business travels. I like Britain. A lot. And therefore it is hard to see her leave EU. To me Brexit came not so much as a shock but as a situation forcing a decision on my part too. It is sad to be left by and have to abandon you as an EU member, but it won't break my heart and in their current state neither the government nor parliament, nor the people of the UK look as if they could contribute to the EU in any meaningful way. Every single person I know thinks and most newspapers state about the offical stance of your government that it relfects a situation in which both the people as a whole and the government of the UK either don't know what can realistically be achieved or don't know what they really want at all. All polls show significant support for either side with still only relatively narrow majorities. HoC sessions during the last weeks embody this problem. It is the most undesireable state of affairs in the current situation. Regardless of your future relationship with the EU, roughly half your population will be deeply unhappy. There is no unequivocal Will Of The People. The blame game has already begun and since a huge part of your population has been swallowing untrue or at least grossly exaggerated anti-EU-crap for decades I have no hope that a significant portion of those will see through the lies. I fully expect roughly half the British to blame EU for the shitshow Brexit their government put together. If fully expect HoC to reflect that blame. And therefore in my opinion in the long run it is best for EU if UK is out as quickly as possible (but prefarble when EU is ready and europhile British have set their plans for movement to EU in motion). After the first vote in the House of Commons I watched it became clear to me that the majority of MP's don't give two single fucks about a workable solution. I don't know whether it is mostly party politics, personal animosities, cognitive dissonance, sheer incompetence or a mélange of everything. At this point in time UK is not governed well and her people are not represented by men and women capable of managing a task like withdrawing from EU. I feel sad but finally a thought that has lurked around somewhere in the background all the time has now come to the forefront: I don't want a second referndum. I don't want UK revoking A50 at the eleventh hour. I don't want UK inside EU. I want her out. I want her out for good. This is neither funny nor amusing. It will affect me negatively personally because I like travelling to Britain and therefore I've given it a lot of thought. It's a hard decission. It comes with a lot of problems for everyone involved. It will make us all poorer, it will make UK prone to falling prey to American and Chinese interests. It will weaken EU politically. But still I want UK out of EU. This situation is forcing a decission as binary as the initial referendum was: In or Out. As we say in Germany: Halbschwanger gibt's nicht (you can't be half-pregnant). Two years ago I would have been happy had HMG decided that it were in their best interest to abandon the exit and HoC had supported that decision. But two years ago the world was vastly different. Only few companies had set their plans for relocation out of UK in motion, the war rethoric wasn't as widespread and a working cross-party solution seemed at least not impossible. In my view the most crucial mistake your government made was thinking of the negotiation as a game of poker or a haggle at the bazar. I would call that the layman's approach to negotiation because I often meet it. Laymen tend to think negatiation means being secretive, playing tough and who blinks first loses - but that is not how it's done in the real world. In the real world negotiators are well prepared with data and know the strengths and weaknesses of their counterparts and their own. They use their leverage to assert compromise, not dominance. Instead of consulting actual business negotiators or senior civil servants HMG and many influential people like the ERG thought playing tough and not blinking first were viable strategies. They never really tried to assess what possibillities were on the table and what could realistically be achieved. That's why to this day, not two weaks away from the cliff-edge, no open debate about what kind of Brexit HMG should persue was held in Britain. And that's why they so fundamentally misunderstood how the EU operates and do so to this very day. They have failed to grasp that EU is first and formost an entity driven by procedure. This is a neccessity to ensure that two dozon chicks waddle at least roughly in the same direction. Therefore EUs insistance on a clear structuring of the leave process. Even in 2019 HMG have tried to negotiate with individual countries or shift the goal posts and even today they are still baffled that this approach didn't turn out well. This goes much deeper than just the Brexit negotiatons: One of the frequent criticisms of EU is that the members could never agree on anything or constantly veto each other for parochial reasons. But in practice they do agree and don't veto each other most of the time and a lot of things get done. The stance of EU during the entire Brexit process has been consistent, clear and unanimous. EU won't blink. EU will do what her representatives say. EU has one of the most efficient bureaucracies in the world - 60.000 civil servants in Brussels and Strassbourg may be a lot of people in absolute terms but the city of München alone has roughly 40.000 civil servants and the city of Hamburg has 100.000 so in relative terms it is not even that large. They have failed to realise that on a world scale the EU practically is Europe. Even without UK she contains about 60 % of the citizens, 80 % of GDP and practically all the political weight on the continent. Every single country not being a member is extremely closely aligned. Norway and Switzerland for that matter are all but members without voting rights. Even Belarus and Russia have lots of treaties and despite all the sabre rattling of the past two decades get along with each other pretty well in the long run. Unless Britain can be towed across the atlantic to the Americas there is no way in the world that the continent will not be her most important political and economic partner. Sheer geographic proximity is still and for the foreseable future will probably continue to be the most important factor when it comes to trade and alliences. They have failed to realise that Devide And Conquer won't work. It should have been clear at the very beginning of negotiations when PM May travelled to half a dozen EU countries she hoped to negotiate with sperately only to be told that the negotiations had to be conducted with the EU, not Austria, France, Germany, etc. Many people say that this was going to show first and foremost, that the British government after 40 years of membership still have no clue about the meaning and the inner workings of the EU despite being a highly influential member. I have heard people opine that at some point in time HMG started to believe their own spin about EU being hopelessly devided all the time. Sadly I too think this assessment is acurate. They have failed to realise that the four freedoms are the single market and for nearly all practical purposes the single market is the EU. They are are not negotiable because abandoning one of them would be the end of the single market and consequently the EU. And regardless to your opinion on whether the EU is overall positive or negative, no one in their right mind can realistically expect the EU to tear up herself. They have grossly overestimated their importance for the continental industry. I'm an engineer in the chemical industry and our approach to brexit can be summed up like this: It's a shame but if you must, please leave in an orderly fashion. You will be missed but ultimately the EU is of more importance to us because it's the bigger market to sell to and buy from, the bigger economic area and the vastly more powerful political entity. If you leave in an orderly fashion there will be some disturbances but ultimately your industry will still be valuable. If you crash out there will be a period of trouble and disorder after which a lot of business will be gone. So please avoid that on all cost. Again keep in mind: Losing you will be expensive but losing the EU will be desastrous. So be in no doubt as to the seriousness of your position. They have failed to understand continental and particularly French and German foreign policy after world war II. By far the most important topic for our foreign policy is keeping peace with our neighbours and deepen our economic and cultural interactions in order to cement this peace. This is in fact where the whole project of a united Europe started from in the early 1950's, when French foreign minister Schuman and German chancellor Adenauer signed a treaty about Franco-German coal and steel production that quickly morphed into the ECSC, than the EEC and ultimately the EU. With the very first paragraph of the Treaty of Rome stating exactly that. A lot of British people still think EU started as a pure trade community but that is wrong. As early as 1951 the ECSC contained the seeds of all the departments, bodies and organs of todays EU. They have failed to grasp that while we don't want you to leave we won't fight to keep you in. We have no obligation to help you beyond what is in our best interest. We don't want to punish you but we won't let you keep your benefits when leaving. The responsibility of the EU is first and foremost to the members of the EU - which you aren't going to be anymore soon. We will do our best to make the EU a success - it is your own responsibility to make Britain a success. We will do everything we can to ensure that EU comes out of this mess in the best possible way. If along that way Uk also comes out in the best possible way, we will all be pleased. If UK sinks into chaos we won't be pleased at all but again: Being successful out of EU is UK's responsibility. Please keep that in mind: We are not against you. We are for us. They don't understand why the members of the EU stand firm in the current situation. There's an expression so German there isn't a proper english idiom: "Pack schlägt sich, Pack verträgt sich" which means that, whereas members of a group are prone to fight with each other, they are equally prone to make peace again quickly, especially when confronted with a sitatuation concerning the group as a whole. A situation, for instance, like Brexit. Many people in Brtain grossly overestimate the problems of member states, particularly their problems with the EU. They have overestimated the anti-EU sentiment on the continent. While it is true that a lot of people are openly critical or even against EU there is no mainstream party openly campaigning for their country to leave anymore. Even in France, Germany and Italy the tone of that parties has considerably mellowed. In Britain anti-EU fringe is mainstream politics and has been for as long as I can remember. Goverments of France, Germany, etc. are dealing with their political extremists but in blaming the EU for every decission of British politics (No ID cards, low taxes, low regulation, lack of industrial policy, privatising vital assets, crushing workers rights, etc.) successive British governments have actively persued anti-EU populsim and in effect executed anti-EU agendas by chosing to leave the EU. You don't have to be affraid of a rise of a new fringe party or a rebirth of UKIP, because you have the Conservative Party and the anti-EU wing of Labour. Even without UKIP and the like anit-EU sentiment is a strong force in your political environment. Successive British governments have loudly blamed the EU for politics completely within their realm of responsibility. Even further: They have loudly embraced the anti-immigrant and anti-EU crowd while at the same time doing exactly the opposite: You are governed by the same PM who sent Vans saying "Go Home!" through high-immigration boroughs and oversaw the windrush scandal while doing bugger all to excersise any meaningful form of control over immigration (COMPLETE for non-EU- and VAST for EU-immigration). You are governed by the very party that kept blaming the EU for any interior British problems despite the fact that they were home grown. Examples: EU regulation on immigration has been written largly by British lawmakers in the 1990. Immigration doesn't need to be unrestricted under EU regulation. It is your government that chose for 25 years not to excersise their options. The large disparity in income has nothing to do with EU regulation - in fact Britain always has been a pain in the ass when it comes to further regulation and strengthening workers rights (Remember how Thatcher crushed the Unions?). Going full turbo-capitalism and trying to pull off a Singapore most likely is also no realistic option because an area state like UK is significantly different to a city state. Dropping all tariffs would probably either destroy the remaining manufacturing or forcing much harsher conditions on British workers. In addition the national distribution of wealth would be even more shifted towards the large cities, because the one top-tier world class industry UK has is financial services which are overwhelmingly provided by firms in those large cities. Your government tried to negotiate with individual EU countries dozens of times during the last 2,5 years and was denied every single time. Of course politicians clad the message in fine talking along the lines of "Of course we are looking forward to mutally attractive trade aggreements after Britain leaves the EU" or "We are prepared to basically copy the agreements that be" but I am quite certain that the very moment after Britains departure has been in force, she will be swarmed by cohorts of negotiators from basically every conutry in the world saying things along the lines of "Of course we would like to have the basically same deal. Juuuuuust some minor adjustments here and there and here too and, oh, also over there. And that point we surely can drop at all but this one we'd like to discuss a little further...". Please keep in mind that for close to three years now UK has been loudly announcing to the world that after four decades of discussion she was unable to agree on a clear idea of what her position in the world should look like after Brexit. The referendum was almost three years ago. And still the question has not been answered by UK. Surely many individual opinions float around but HMG haven't managed to form a coherent strategy by taking them into due account. Instead you got soundbites like "Brexit Means Brexit" and "Will Of The People" and "We voted to leave" without defining what options to persue. The rest of the world know this. They can see it with their very eyes and hear it with their very ears. They've been watching! They've been taking notes! I am absolutely certain that whole branches of the civil services of all the major and emerging nations are working overtime to review all the treaties they now have with EU in order to find items they could renegotiate to their advantage with UK. For the last three years private and public executives have taken notice of the negotiation process and how UK conducted herself in contrast to EU. Be in no doubt which entity is regarded as the more professional, better prepared, reasonable, stable and united one. Especially after the latest parliamentary sessions. In my opinion Britain at this point in time has a MASSIVE problem with herself, exemplified through the division amongst MP of either party, parliament as a whole, subgroups in HMG and a public that is roughly split in half over the question of Brexit. In my humble opinion the damage UK in her current state could inflict on EU as a whole in the immediate future is far greater than she could as a third country, even after a hard Brexit. Surely, A50 could be revoked tomorrow but there is no way in the world to undo the effects of Brexit. In her current state Britain as an EU member would likely sent outright EU enemies to the European Parliament. She would be a pain int the ass in any future decission and discussion - even if HMG would want to stay in EU in the goodest of faiths the rift running through the public and the HoC would still be there and continue to be a ball and chain to anything the EU27 would want to get done. Im totally absolutely positively certain that not five years after a possible revokation of A50 the PM would arrive in Brussels for renegotiation of UKs terms of membership. I am equally certain British politicians of either party would continue to shift the blame for their unpopular decissions on EU (that British press will do so is a given regardless of the outcome of Brexit). There is deep disparity between the city and the countryside, the poor people and the rich, the well educated and the not well educated. As far as I can see far deeper than for instance in France, Germany or Italy. If UK government won't be able to fix this they (I'm pretty sure they won't) will look for a scapegoat and this will most likely be EU. Therefore I don't want British MEP. I don't want people of a country leaving EU in the near future to have seats and influence or even sabotage decisions in the European Parliament. I particularly don't want the likes of Farage there. I don't want EU hampared by pointless obstruction of MEP who won't have to live with the consequences. It is, in my humble opinion, positively bat-shit crazy to consider the party that is now in government, the party that went full steam austerity, the party that is home to the most vicious desaster capitalists currently influencing British politics, the party that it is even deeper rooted by private networks than my garden is by the blackberry on the adjacent meadow, the very party that has achieved next to nothing in almost three years time will champion a new soically sound domestic policy improving the lives of the poor and precarious after having left EU. It is, again in my humble opinion, at least very naive to assume that the current opposition, lead by a life-long anti-EU campaigner and with a strong anti-EU wing of her own, having not taken a clear stance on whether to be in favour or against Brexit, under the constraints the loss of all those international treaties will pose, can implement even a small portion of their proposed legislation with success. And thusly, as a German and EU citizen who wants as little fallout from your internal problems as possible to go down over the rest of Europe, I want you out of EU. Obviously neither HMG nor HoC nor a sizable part of the public can be trusted to rely on EU for anything but her being a whipping girl for her internal struggles and unpopular decissions. I don't suspect this to stop, change or even gain significant backlash in the next years. This is not only recognized by little old me, but certainly by decission makers all around the globe. UK, once upon a time the mightiest and most adored nation in the world, home to the finest scientists, industries and ruler over a quarter of the earths surface not hundred years ago, will soon have cut herself off one of the biggest, richest and most powerful blocs in the world. UK will than govern roughly 1/100 of world population, less than 1/100 of military personnel, 2 % of wealth without any meaningful treaty, besides her NATO membership, to anyone anymore. She will be on her own. A ship on the high seas with a crew that can't even set a course after years of discussion. Please keep in mind that on the world scale UK, when anything besides financial services is considered, is a high-wage-low-productivity country. Practically all your industries are heavily dependend on, and heavily aligned to frictionless trade. Domestic farming for instance provides UK people with locally produced food (People everywhere love to eat "homegrown"), manufacturing often provides well paid work outside the big cities and in rural areas. Without the political power of EU and the hundreds of treaties with other countries she provides, UK is sigificantly weakening the prospects of her remaining industries. This is not news. A lot of people in UK know this. A lot of people all around the globe know this. I still hope that there can be an agreement found in the next week, but with each day going by it looks less likely to me. Still a lot of people can't imagine what sort fo havoc a No-Deal Brexit is bound to wreak but I fear they are going to be in for a serious reality check very soon. It is a cold world after all. Take care.
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