An hour later, Peter had arrived in MedicinaTech, his parents’ pharmaceutical and vaccine-making corporation, and also the seat of government in his district. He waited in his parents’ office for them to arrive.
As he waited, he looked out the glass walls of the office and at all the masked employees rushing about doing this and that. He sneered in disgust at their, in his opinion, thoughtless compliance to all the rules meant to protect us from the viral variant of the time.
He thought about what had been happening over the past decade. Not just about the viruses, but also about how corporations no longer used the government to protect their interests…how corporations gradually replaced governments. It all started with certain tech companies in Nevada creating their own governments, as proposed by a bill back in early 2021. Over the 2020s, this idea caught on little by little as a way for capitalists to cut out the middle-man of the state.
There was some resistance at first, of course, but gradually people became used to the idea, and just passively accepted it. By the end of the decade, pretty much the whole world was being run by corporations as local district governments. No longer was it even pretended that governments looked out for the interests of the people: what had once been only implied was now explicitly understood. Corporations were the government, because they were the only thing the government had been there to care for anyway.
Though Peter benefited from the privilege of being the son of governors of his area, he still sighed, sad for all the people, the vast majority, who didn’t get to enjoy his benefits. When his parents died, and he was to succeed them, he planned to give up the whole MedicinaTech company and give the power back to the people…if he could.
His parents arrived after about five minutes of his waiting. His father followed his mother through the doorway, and they saw Peter sitting by their desks. “Hi, Peter,” his mother said. “What can we do for you?” His parents sat at their desks.
“I heard that Derek Gould died last night,” Peter said.
“Yeah,” his father said without a trace of emotion.
“We need to find a new CFO, and fast,” his mother said with an equal lack of emotion. “It’s going to be a real pain.”
“You two don’t seem too broken up about his death,” Peter said. “He’d only been with this company since it began, hadn’t he?”
“When you run a business, you focus on the business,” his father said. “Not on feelings.”
“And that goes double for governing a district,” his mother added. “Your head has to be clear when dealing with the kind of pressure your father and I have, dear.”
“Yeah, but you’ve never focused on anyone’s feelings here,” Peter said with a hint of aggression. “Not Derek’s or his wife’s, not the workers you overwork and underpay, not–“
“Oh, let’s not start that up again!” his mother said.
“This is the influence of your girlfriend’s family’s liberal newspaper, no doubt,” his father said.
“The newspaper that governs our neighbouring district, and that demonizes our company and all the good we do for the world,” his mother said.
“Yeah, all the profiting off of other people’s suffering!” Peter shouts. “Michelle’s newspaper doesn’t criticize you enough, as I see it. Their writers think these viruses are real. Michelle isn’t influencing me one tenth as much as you think she is. I was just debating her earlier today about whether this new virus is real, which she believes it is. My opposition to what you’re doing here is from my own heart.”
“Yet you hypocritically enjoy all the benefits of being the son of wealthy, politically powerful parents,” his father said with a sneer. “You, as our son, who doesn’t have to wear masks or stay in lockdown.”
“And an ungrateful son, at that,” his mother growled. “Maybe we should deny you those benefits, so you can learn some appreciation.”
“I knew it was pointless coming here,” Peter said, then stormed out of the office, slamming the door behind him.
“Why did I have to have Friedrich Engels for a son?” his father said with a sigh.