Chronicle 45376d: History of the 21st Century; The Listserve

February 23 2016

As covered previously in Chapter 1, the early colonizers of our moon were known by many as The Pragmatists. They were given this name for their logical and practical manner, specifically as it related to their decision to abandon Earth. They dubbed the majority of humanity as an “unsalvageable barbarian horde[1],” and left the planet to the people who had essentially taken over, hereafter known as the Barbarians.
However, let us turn our gaze to the time before the horde became what it was. In the early 21st century, the beginnings of barbarianism were only just coming to light. Many people were still unaffected by fear, capable of seeing beyond stereotypes or gross generalizations. Yes, politicians were beginning to discover that fear was a powerful motivator, but those who saw the faults in following this path remained in the majority. Evidence has been found to suggest that people would rather “leave the country” than live in a world run by these politicians (see Chapter 2 on The American Conspiracy). Of course, the Pragmatists ended up taking this one step further.
Before the Barbarians broke the Earthbound internet[2], we managed to save certain chronicles from this time period. The Listserve was recovered by Ingrid Bissen, 24 years Post Departure (PD) in 2171. It is perhaps the best record of pre-Barbarian humanity we were able to retain. The Listserve is a collection of electronic missives between strangers from across the globe. It’s said that the list of subscribers was made up of some twenty thousand souls.
Let us pause to ponder this scenario for a moment. On a day picked at random, one of those people would be given the opportunity to amplify their voice. That anyone would choose to listen is a different question. But imagine being in that situation. What would you write? Would you use this opportunity to promote your business? Share your greatest moments? Condemn your enemies?
Remarkably, most people used this chance to share advice, motivation, inspiration. Their stories were remarkably like ours. A mother struggling to find herself within the new role of motherhood. A man afraid of being judged, hiding who he is. A child coming to grips with what it means to be an adult. And throughout it all, there is an undercurrent of understanding—empathy of the human experience—that the Barbarians could never achieve.
The Listserve is a powerful historical artifact. It shows us the glory of what once was and the tragedy of what we have lost. But it also begs the question—if a society made up of minds such as these could devolve into the Barbarian Horde, what, if anything, can stop it from happening on the Moon?

[1] See The Pragmatists’ Revolt by Alfred A. Branford, 2217 PD

[2] See Technological De-Evolution by Alice McDowell, 2197 PD

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