Judah Freed
6 min readApr 22, 2018


Still more generations pass. The gap widens between men and women. The gap widens between racial groups. The gap widens between rich and poor.

A middle class exists for a while, but it shrinks from concentrating wealth at the top. The elites thrive as most folks barely survive. Most live one paycheck away from disaster. Most people care only about their own daily challenges.

Few think about the nature of their unjust republic.

Few recall how people once lived in a full republic, and earlier in a real democracy. Collective memory has forgotten how the earliest enlightened settlers lived responsibly free without any government at all.

Children now learn in school how the legendary Founding Fathers centuries ago came here to establish a strong government of the men, by the men, and for the men. Manly men prove their manhood by siring sons and dynasties.

Most islanders share a view of society as a hierarchy where men rule, ranked by race, wealth and virility.

The overpopulated island is now filled with factories, shopping centers and apartment homes in crowded cities. The working class of all races live in separate neighborhoods where boxy homes all look the same.

Spacious homesites grace the gated and guarded communities of the upper class, almost entirely the majority race.

Fertile minorities pose a threat to the majority race’s purity and dominance. The mixed-race underclass is reproducing fast enough to be the majority one day.

Some minority people gain wealth and influence, like in the arts, sports or business. Many minority people struggle to survive hopeless slums beset by drugs, crime, vermin, and disease. The majority too often blames the minorities for their own sad poverty.

Health care quality depends on insurance coverage. Many favor higher taxes for “universal health care,” but congress is owned by insurance lobbyists.

Government-paid healthcare exists to help out the working class and poor, the veterans, but quality is uneven. Uneven funding from a grudging congress seems to shrink every year. Medical debt ruins lives.

Traditionally, younger generations care of the elders. Nowadays, the offspring too often are overwhelmed by their own daily survival, let alone their ambitions.

The old and sick too often die in nursing homes, with loved ones at best, too often alone, attended by paid strangers, kind ones at best. Too rarely do folks die at home with family and friend to send them Home with love and peace shining in all their souls.

After death, funerals are where religions declare their creeds for the living to heed.

At the rim of every big city, sprawling waste dumps sprout scrawny orphans who survive by combing the garbage for scraps of fetid food. Some fall and die to rot away forgotten. Some live for their dreams. Some grow to thrive and change the word for the better.

Between the cities and towns, private farms and ranches raise crops and livestock to feed rich and poor alike. Quality varies by price. Corporations own most agricultural spreads across fields and pastures. A few family farms endure for the love of the land.

A farmer’s life is a hard life. Islandwide agricultural chemical companies sell genetically modify seeds that grow only with use of their patented fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Each season, the farmers must buy new seeds and agrochemicals. Farmers are forbidden by law to save the seeds and replant them. Each season, farmers must go into debt, risking all in case of crop failure. Crop insurance often is a scam.

Island law forbids any local regulation of local use of agricultural chemical. They spoil the soil for crops, taints the streams feeding the reservoirs, reaching the sea, bleaching the reefs, fouling the fisheries, and inducing illness among the people. The food chain is costly and toxic.

Adoni Kodesh Rafi, a minority mother with two kids, sparks a grassroots movement when she speaks up at a neighborhood meeting covered in the press. She says, “Feeding us should not require poisoning us.”

Turns out she speaks for many who think the same way. Polluting the island for profit is unsustainable and senseless. Short-term profits are never worth losing a long life. Neighbors soon begin urging other neighbors to buy organic and boycott “fake food.”

The movement spawns independent “healthy and natural” grocery stores, which get bought by chains that cater to the affluent. Adoni can’t afford to shop there any more. She lives in a “food desert” where stores do not sell fresh produce. So, she helps plant a community garden. Before long, similar gardens sprout up on vacant lots in cities across the island.

Adoni and other “freethinkers” find refuge and community in a new network of wired computer networks, at first properly called the “Internet” and then the “internet.” They love the freedom of being able to interact directly with anyone else using the network. They love the natural equality of the net and the new the Island Wide Web (IWW).

A conspiracy theory spreads on the free “social media” internet pages. If people who can’t afford to eat well are dying from toxic food, goes the logic, and if Minorities rarely can afford to eat well, then food industry kills more poor folks than rich folks. Is this an accident? Is killing minorities a plot to keep the majority in the majority?

Adoni decides this theory is crazy. For her, everyone is everyone else, life is life everywhere. She lives by the ideal of all sensible people sensing our oneness and naturally living together accordingly.

“Besides,” She thinks, “nobody could be that evil and live free for long among awake and good people.”

Adoni is a freethinker. She admits it. She reads. She strives to be rational, scientific, even skeptical, but she trusts her senses, all of them. She’s seen far too many confirmations of everybody’s innate unity for any other view of life to make sense for her.

She’s a grateful throwback to the island founders. She’s done being insecure about never fitting in.

Adoni doubts the majority religion of masculine prosperity and feminine servility. She is a loving mother, a loving wife until widowed, but she more than a motherhood pleasure machine for men.

Old books tell her of forgotten times when all lived as equals, when love ruled society, not greed. In Mother Nature, she senses, the goddess joyfully balances the god. Her spirituality informs her conscience and social activism.

On the internet Adoni Rafi post an outcry, “I cannot vote because I am a woman. I have never had a vote in having no vote. Denied a fair say, I dare to wonder, what in natural law gives men a right to rule us in the name of holy morality yet ignore unholy injustice?”

Adoni strikes a nerve. Her germ of an idea spreads like a virus across the internet. Women and then minorities gather to hear Adoni talk. People stay to support her ideal and one another. A movement is born. They work for social reform and liberation.

Underground communities form in towns and cities. Freethinkers feel free to be their true elves as they gather together. When they depart, they put on their public faces to go out and about in a man’s world.

Corporate mass media decry spiritual activists like Rafi as silly “pagans” and “nature nuts.” Pundits vilify and ridicule them as just foolish malcontents, merely bratty children who should be ignored not rewarded with attention. Despite such defamation, or because of it, the grassroots movement grows and thrives, challenging the status quo.

Elite men meet over drinks in their country clubs and ask how to be rid of the pests threatening their hold on society. Suggestions range from silly to sinister.

They agree to finance fervent religious revivals that absorb the people in seeking a devil to blame, and a puppet savior will be set up to lead them. Great plan! They finance loyal preachers to go say: Have faith! Trust God and obey. Praise the old time religion!

Injustice stirs unrest. People hunger for someone to blame. They are ripe for takeover by a charismatic ruffian with no respect for good government.

In this way, the injustice endures so long as barely enough people barely behave themselves.

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Excerpt from the expanded preamble for
Grounded hope for the 21st century
inspired by Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events or places is entirely coincidental or is intended purely as an allegorical satire, parody or spoof of such person, event or place, and is not intended to communicate any true or factual information about that person, event or place.



Judah Freed

Author of MAKING GLOBAL SENSE: Grounded hope for democracy and the earth inspired by Thomas Paine's Common Sense.