Two Worlds

Somewhere beyond space and time there were two ethereal worlds.

World number one was like this:

It’s a world organized into countries with the most successful country operating under the principles of free markets and elected government. Except for a few regulations (which caused all the problems), the big country was fair, prosperous and happy. Those who worked hard and had strong skills were wealthy. Those with lesser skills, or were lazy, were not rich but they got what they deserved; no, better than they deserved because they got cell phones and cable TV. And yet, some of those lazy people were resentful.

The rich generated brilliant ideas, creating goods and services and jobs. Bosses and shareholders, people who financed things, were paid first for their generosity. If there was any money left over, it went to the workers.

The world wasn’t perfect—costs still needed trimming and profits were never quite high enough and the lazy and unskilled got more than they deserved—but overall it was quite good. The bosses made all the decisions and the people voted for politicians who didn’t. This kept the peace, even if some malcontents were dissatisfied.

The other world was like this:

The big country had lots of regulations, unjustly boosting the undeserving poor people. The economy is hamstrung by regulations, requiring corporations to repair all damage they cause to people and property and—get this!—even the planet! So, government wastes money and hires people to provide goods and services to many, many people who cannot find private sector jobs. These government jobs aren’t real jobs, of course. They are a kind of slavery.

In this morally bankrupt world, the government-dependent hangers on are happy, and the skilled hard-working people are less rich than on world number one. They are the (justifiably) disgruntled people.

Marty didn’t live in either of those worlds. Those worlds of ideology were independent of physical forces. Even gravity, on those two worlds, bended to fit ideology. On Marvin’s world, ideology counted for nothing. It was known that the physical world and the people in it were limited to what physical law would allow.

Marty didn’t, indeed couldn’t, break the laws. He obeyed gravity, motion, time and everything demanded by reality.

Marty recognized that all the people on his planet were largely the same, despite obvious superficial differences. They shared a common human condition. They got along. True Marty sometimes tried to block people from doing things he thought was unwise, and sometimes, Marty realized, his own judgement was wrong—although he often couldn’t tell at those times.

He hoped his friends would restrain him when he himself attempted to do something unwise.

On any other planet, Marty would be considered a freak. But Marty, a resident of a rare sensible planet, did not know better. Or care.