Speech to students of Chedley High School
3 October 2042

Jack Marchmont

You’re right, Dezzy. It does take away our freedom. You will only wear the Standard Clothing, you can’t eat what you like, you can’t smoke or drink what you like or take all the drugs you’d like, you can’t run away or skive off school, you have to take exercise. And you won’t be allowed to go to religious and political meetings, and there’ll be no religion in the schools. We’ve lost those freedoms. We are controlled children, till we’re twenty.

People will tell you that doesn’t matter. Kids have always been controlled, they say, this is just making it a bit more efficient. But I don’t buy that. If you change something enough, it becomes a different thing. You make a plant bigger and bigger, and it becomes a bush; bigger still, and it’s a tree. The way they’re restricting our freedoms isn’t at all the same as your mum saying, ‘Don’t let me catch you smoking again!’ Because this [the Circle] this is the State saying it, and the State can make it stick.

So don’t believe people who say it’s not different. It is different. And in fact Max Margrave admitted it was. He said to me that it was an imposition on kids. That was the Standard Clothing, and it’s all part of the same thing. George Padmore said that children would be ‘relentlessly controlled’. And the Government always means what it says, it seems to me. Our freedom is being taken away.

Why is the Government so keen to do this? I mean, seven or eight million of these things, they must cost a bomb, and all the hassle of distributing them and putting them on. And the cost of the Standard Clothing, it’s enormous—why not spend all this money on something else?

The reason is, the Government thinks all this is really important, probably the most important thing they’re doing. They really want this, and there’s absolutely no chance we’re going to change their minds, Dezzy, no chance at all. And the reason is, they want to change the whole country, and everyone in it.

We’ve all seen what happened this year and last. I saw it, I sat in my house and heard the screams when they burnt people in Vicky Square, and hanged them and stoned them, and all those sermons on and on and on, it’s God’s will, God hates perverts, God hates Jews, God hates Muslims and devil-worshippers and queers and blacks and feminists! Kill them! Burn them! It’s God’s will! And that was how it was here, we had crazy Christians, in other places it was crazy Muslims and crazy fascists and crazy trotskyists and crazy nationalists, and other kinds of people so crazy you couldn’t even tell what kind of crazy they were. How did all that happen?

Because it isn’t by itself. It doesn’t come from nowhere. People believe that stuff, because they believe all kinds of other crazy and stupid stuff about God creating the world in six days and aliens from space kidnapping people and pink crystals stopping pollution and ancient runes and ley lines and astrology controlling your life. And all kinds of daft nonsense about sex and health, and how to run society, and on and on and on. People have been filled with nonsense, and that’s why they’ve gone crazy. And some of the nonsense seems harmless, but it leads straight on, straight on to those fires in Vicky Square.

And the crazy people pass their craziness on, they give that craziness and that stupidity to their children and to the children who go to their churches and mosques and so on. Don’t get me wrong! It’s not their fault they do this, because they got all that craziness from their parents, and they got it from theirs and so on, back and back into history. It’s not their fault!

But the Government is saying: enough! It stops right here. We will not pass the craziness on any more. There will not be any more fires in the gardens. We will draw a deep breath, we will count to ten, and we — will — change.

That’s why they’re taking our freedom. They’re saying: yes, we know it’s an imposition. Yes, it’s going to be rough on you, but it’s necessary, because whether you want to or not, you are going to grow up sane, not crazy. And the children you bring up in your turn, they will be sane too, and society will change.

Society will change, and it will be a great thing, the greatest revolution there has ever been. And we are the ones doing it! We are the ones making the sacrifice, the children of the country! Because our parents, and their parents, they trashed this country, and we are going to mend it, to make it well again.

When you look at yourself in your mirror, and you see yourself in your lifesuit, wearing the Golden Circle, you can think: Yes, I am not free. I’m not free, because I’m part of a huge movement to mend my country and to mend society, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of being a controlled child, and my own children will be proud of me, and they’ll thank me, and they’ll say: my father, my mother, they were controlled children after the Change, and it’s because of them that society is sane now.

I tell you, people, we’re going to be good. We’re going to be healthier, and fitter, and better-looking than people have ever been. We’ll be better educated, and above all we’ll be sane. We’re going to be fighting an enormous battle, a battle to save the country, and we will be the heroes. We will be a mighty generation! I look every adult I meet in the eye. I may not say it, but I feel it: I’m a controlled child. I’m helping to mend this country. Don’t you dare to put me down!

So let me tell you what’s going to happen. Everyone’s going to go and get their Golden Circles, and we’re going to do it proudly and with a smile. And if anyone is scared, then we’ll help them along, help them to do it. Because crazy people destroy each other, but sane people help each other, and we are going to be sane. Because this, the moment when the children enter the Golden Circle, this is the real Change, when people change, and the country starts to become a kinder, and a better place, where wonderful and extraordinary things will be done by us and by our own children, when the time comes.

Copyright © 2042 Jack Marchmont. Published by RATIO and the Institute for Revolutionary Studies, London