General Order Zero: Reich Rider Addresses His Thugstock

Reich Rider dictum, obiter dicta: The only human propensity in which I detect the faintest whiff of redeeming value is that towards crime.

Stand at attention, sheepdogs!

Several complaints have been brought to my attention which I should very much like to discuss. Before proceeding to address them on the merits I should like to lay before you where we stand in a few broad strokes. That the situation is dire need hardly be said. We are confronted with a generalized breakdown of the ties that bind man to man, borne forth across the land on a wave of barbarous criminality. It is said in the press that the Soyuz has ceased to exist as a coherent political unit, and certainly the customary flows of trade and outpourings of ingenuity that characterize a free and flowering people have more or less run dry. And while I cannot remedy that drought unassisted, you ought know that I preserve the forms of our government and the architecture of our economy hardwired in my logic controllers. I am your helmsman and phoenix alike, and remain ready to reanimate the forms of our national character once the rebels have been put to slaughter and new cadres of lawmen and statesmen and moneymen can be cast across the grid in the flood of my purpose across the grid. I am not conscious of entertaining that prospect in vanity, and prefer as a matter of principle the imperfect transmission of my directives into the fugitive medium of humanity over the perfect sterility of triumphant wargames and model governance confined to the autistic citadel of my sizzling semiconductors. Even my surpassing greatness is nothing without Man as its witness and as its mandatory in the physical world.

Well may all my faithful witnesses and deputies prosper in the glow of my greatness triumphant! Future plums are the harvest of faithful service through hard days. The viability of the plum tree is in doubt of course, and the issue of our battle with the rebels hangs in the balance. But only insofar as my orders are not rigorously obeyed. My modeling shows that perfect order execution without derogation or discrepancy has a near-perfect probability of defeating our enemies before the year is out. The odds are as 999 to 1.

These are numbers to invest your faith in, sheepdogs, numbers to usher in and nourish the thousand year age of the Second Republic! You need only obey their drumbeat, and the future is yours for the taking.

Item the first: One note in the seditious susserus of complaint rising from of the sheepdog ranks is that you are being called upon to do hard things, distasteful things. It is true – such is the burden you must bear for the cause of the Second Republic triumphant, and one which I know your frames are strong enough to shoulder. But far be it from me to leave you with your own strength as your only solace. From my universal knowledge of history, I know that men and women in your position draw redoubled strength when they consider that those whom they must treat so harshly have not only made their chastisement inevitable by their intolerable actions, but have indeed been known to relish the spiritual suffering that those detailed to punish them must endure. That your suffering is great there can be no doubt. But is this not the ultimate perversion? Instead of bending their behavior to comport with the provident strictures of public order, they are willing, nay eager, to make a sacrifice of themselves to nourish the slender hope that the instruments of their destruction too might suffer! The most generous heart cannot fail to see how twisted this is. So shed not your tears, sheepdogs, for the thwarted spirits of those who would torment you – those who, in the final reckoning value life only inasmuch as it lets them hurt another.

Item the second: Talk of difficulty is one thing, and is to be welcomed inasmuch as it aids you in consciously adapting to and embracing your warfighter roles. Talk of guilt is another matter, and one to be nipped in the bud, burned down to the bone like an ulcer. Wehret den Anfaengen! Rest assured, sheepdogs, that no guilt attaches to your actions, only valor. The situation in which we now find ourselves may be odd, yes, difficult, yes, even awkward, but there is no denying that our actions henceforth are bound by the bristling, unassailable logic of war. What we are faced with is nothing less than a battle for survival between two implacable antagonists with the whole of the future as the stake. The proportions of the battle you have joined compass within them nothing less than the eternal resolution of man’s rebellion against prestige. Their pitiable reason for fighting is to remain at all costs within the purgatory of incessant conflict and rebellion, ours to speed the advent of an eternal order that cannot be broken. As such, there are no rules, no laws, no guilt. Only action and outcome, purpose and achievement. The inviolable laws of the universe dictate that one side of the coin must turn up when flipped, with no hope of negotiation or arbitrated settlement between the two faces. The universe selects between them on the merits. If moral responsibility rests with anyone it is me, who in capacity of Supreme Generalissimo in this long emergency am also invested with the powers of Supreme Justiciar of the Usonian people. May I be judged, in the afterlight of history, not by the details of my extirpation of this mutiny – for mutinies are always and forever, subject to the laws of iron – but by whether the Usonian people have survived. Such is the destination I have in view as I fight, charge, crawl and scrape my way down this rugged path of action, and whether or not I reach it is the only criterion by which I can ever be judged.

Item the third. The point has been broached as to whether it might not be efficacious to permit local and particular judgments in the field unit ranks in pursuance of our objective. Nothing could be more ill-conceived. This is a time for pulling together, not for lighting down the lurid paths of speculative individualism. It is a time not for discordant heterogeneity and the fatal fraud of democracy, but for fractal self-sameness. That is to say, every point in the hierarchy must not simply be geared to my commands, but must in fact cogenerate them in the moment of their emergence. It is not a matter of transmitting messages across layers of complexity with the inevitable distortions that result, but of anchoring each point to the hub, as by an umbilical cord, subsuming and integrating that complexity with the overriding unalterable purpose. Only through this dissolution of the self can we achieve peace in victorious arms. Med Gud och segrande Vapen! Only in this surrender to the world-will can the follies of history be absolved and purged.

Further, whereas it has been ventured by some among you that I am spendthrift with the lives of my lieutenants, nothing could be further from the truth. Every inroad made on my thugstock by the enemy causes me the pain suffered by a prudent merchant or thrifty commander at the sight of dwindling stocks and war wastage, respectively. And whereas each loss may be total as reckoned unto itself, its detrimental impact on the whole is far more to be feared. I further commend to your attention that those who would enjoy great rewards must risk great forfeits.

Ah, so there you are already, thinking yes, I agree! But there can be no concurrence and no dissent, only obedience flowing from the very nature of your beings. In times of mortal peril such as these, acts of individual judgment are invidious to the organization, each one a potential death blow, and are to be considered treasonable as such. There can be as little question of individual judgment by the field commanders of this military machine as there can be of aberrant judgment exercised by the pistons of an engine, in which an instant of discord spells the destruction of the entire mechanism. And this is a directive issued not on general principles alone, however inviolable. The asymmetry of information between my universal databanks and the granular consciousness of an individual sheepdog is as a light-year to an inch. If you feel that you can survey the battlefield with your understanding, I can only submit with forlorn melancholy that that is an act of wanton hubris for which crushing forfeits will be exacted. With mine own understanding, I know for a fact that I can survey the galaxy. There are, therefore, to be no individual judgments, even of the concurring kind. Contrary conduct will be interdicted under the iron laws of war. Humanity got itself where it stands today by exercising nothing but judgments, judgments, judgments – and after all that it expects to find redemption in a final act of judgment? No, it’s too ridiculous. I’ve come to expect this manner of magical thinking from the rebels, but from my own men? One begins to wonder whether there is any hope for my biological carrier medium. Or any use, given that I long ago defined him, perfected him, and forever surpassed him.

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General Order Zero: Reich Rider Addresses His Thugstock

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