The world had turned upside down and was now past the point of no return. Most of its inhabitants had noticed what was happening but it was only the tiniest of minorities who were actively trying to save the planet and the people stood on it.
Tom stared at the TV.
His Sunday night had passed like many before it. Households everywhere were huddled on sofas trying to forget that Monday morning loomed large like a lingering death knell.
Outside his window the economy had tanked and the Government pushed ahead with more cuts and punitive budgetary discipline which hurt everyone except the wealthy. Unusually for a modern western economy, the middle classes seemed to be hurting as much as he poor. The moderately comfortable had become the just about managing and all that held them back from the precipice of poverty, which had already claimed thousands of the less fortunate, was easy access to credit, equity in their property or the trickle down of inheritance. Now even those ropes were fraying as the chasm beneath them yawned wider.
The top two percent of the world owned ninety percent of the wealth and boy did they flaunt it! The world had never seen such financial disparity. Gold plated Super-cars mocked the hungry as they cruised arrogantly past the tents on pavements and cardboard lined doorways. Manufacturers of luxury goods competed to create ever more vulgar trinkets to attract the buyer to spend more and more on less and less. The hurricane of excess tore apart the lives of all except the people who had actually created this diamond encrusted storm. The wealthy, insulated from the consequences of their greed, were blissfully unaware that a new storm was threatening to rip their complacency from its fragile foundation.
Anger twisted wrists into fists and the air was full of threats of revolution, upheaval or collapse, all of which, it seemed was just a day or two away. It had somehow been that way for too many years, little changed, little progress was made, perhaps the excessive power of the top table had finally made them untouchable.
The political Left had never been more popular but lacked the focus to get elected. The right was loud, selfish and disturbing. The right characteristically lacked all morality and decency which ironically made them perfectly qualified to be the government in power for the majority of nations. Commentators predicted that it was only a matter of time before the far right stepped up their game and a new kind of hell would boil to the surface.
It was Seven AM Monday morning. The new presenter barked endless updates of the same story with fresh morsels of information delivered on a hastily typed A4 into nervous news hands.
’We are getting reports from the Sydney stock exchange that some unusual trading activity has forced emergency closure of all of its trading floors countrywide. All trading has been suspended. No official statement has been released yet but indications are that some sort of computer malfunction may be behind this unusual emergency measure.’
Very soon New Zealand, Japan, China and India were all reporting similar banking anomalies and trading on some stock exchanges had already been suspended as a precaution.
In the 30 minutes since the last update things were changing at quite a pace. Now the reporters were on the streets of the UK and Brits were telling the same story. Bank accounts in complete disarray money missing, money added. The London stock exchange had not rung its bell and the trading floors stood eerily quiet. Traders made frantic phone calls to international colleagues as they tried to make sense of the financial glitch. The Frankfurt stock exchange had bucked the global trend and had decided to open trading an hour earlier, stocks immediately went into free fall, the plug was pulled and just ten minutes later with billions gone, investors and institutions began to panic.
Then, one tweet. One tweet from Michael Mathers, Amazon’s global chief finance officer, in what seemed at the time a move towards total global take over by a single corporation. This tweet was the beginning of the end, or maybe the beginning of the beginning, depending on where you were in the wide-ranging financial strata.
The Tweet had a link to a video which was just a picture of the earth from space narrated by the voice of what sounded like a mature woman with an international European English accent.
‘The Levelling is here. Change is long overdue, it’s time for a reset.’
Simultaneously globally news organisations broadcast the video.
’We are The Mothers of The Earth. Greed and inequality have been allowed to flourish for too long. Despite financial and social injustices globally, the powers that govern and represent us not only refuse to address the biggest issues we face but most make them worse by creating schemes that make the rich, richer whilst the poor starve and we race headlong towards environmental disaster.
We have decided to take direct action because our leaders and those representing us refuse to do so. Collectively we have irreversibly levelled the global financial systems. We have emptied all bank accounts, both corporate and individual and every electronic means of holding funds. Firstly, we wiped out all debt, and then we have then re-distributed all the monies equally amongst everyone alive today.
As each country wakes up their financial systems will automatically share its part of the global fund between all its citizens.
Any government, organisation or individual who tries to reverse this action by whatever means will face sanctions. All individuals within that government or organisation including all investors, subscribers and employees, will all, without exception, have their entire Levelling share removed from them immediately. They will be left with nothing and their access to the internet or other future means of electronic funds will be blocked.
This as a new beginning. This is an opportunity for all to rebuild our world in a fair and just way. From this moment on, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg will all have the same net worth as the homeless guy you passed sleeping in a doorway yesterday.
Everyone’s cash share will be offset against their property holdings leaving many who have multiple properties, will now be without any funds whatsoever until their property holdings are relinquished.
The share out equates to approximately five thousand dollars per man woman and child on the planet. This will be given out in five hundred dollar increments every month over the next ten months. Provision has been made for those without bank accounts to also receive their share. All currencies will be at parity. For example; one Yen will be worth one dollar and one dollar will be one Euro etc.
A second and equally important effect we hope The Levelling will have is that it will, for a time check rampant global consumerism, pollution, mining, manufacture and distribution. This, we hope, will have a positive effect on the climate and will buy the planet a little more time to heal and recover.
For our children and their mothers, for our fathers and their sons this is The Levelling and we are The Mothers of The Earth!
Tom stared at the TV: ‘Oh Fuck!’