Saturday, September 2, 2017

Party Discipline, by Cory Doctorow

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(Dystopia) Lenae and Shirelle are just high school girls with no futures, but they fantasize about fighting the corporations who keep people down, and they find a unique way to do it. (15,146 words; Time: 50m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The narration and dialogue are very good. The plot is simple but effective: Lenae's plan goes off perfectly, although she decides fighting the system isn't going to be her thing.

Shirelle’s crush on Ale Martinez is hilarious.

Con: The dystopia is rather hard to believe. It suggests that in the next few decades America will become a fascist dictatorship where:
  • Freedom of speech is restricted.
  • Freedom of association is abolished. (You can go to jail just for being around the wrong people.)
  • Right to have a lawyer is abolished.
  • Labor organizing is abolished.
  • Birthright citizenship is abolished. (The person deported because his parents weren't born here.)
The economics is weird: the Law of Comparative Advantage seems to have been repealed (there are lots of people with nothing useful they could do) and the Lump-of-Labor Fallacy turned out to be true (there's a limited amount of work for people to do).

Beyond that, it's a bit disappointing that the most Lenae can think of doing with her revolution is to make shopping carts. Given the situation, one wonders that she (or the Wanderers) didn't decide to make machine guns. Why risk 20 years in prison for shopping carts?

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