THE BROWN CRAYON AND THE BURDEN OFFREE WILL
by Devon Pitlor, MA Econ.
“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into theworld, he is responsible for everything he does.”
Jean-Paul Sartre (from L’Etre et le Néant, 1943)
I. Old Tremsy addresses an advanced group of young citizenacolytes."Years ago, people used to cast ballots," said Tremsy. "Theyused to vote on things."The citizen acolytes, a mixed collection of dazed looking boysand girls, had all heard the story twice before---and always fromTremsy, as stated in the rules. His next utterance would be"They were all unhappy and worried. Voting presented themwith too many choices, and most were not prepared to getinvolved enough to know what they were voting for."Old Tremsy was a prime superannuary, one of the very elder ones, who had actually been there at the start, one whom theAdministration had kept around on artificial life support toremind people of how bad things had been before the advent of the Dynasty. Tremsy wanted to die, but he had an assigned jobto do. People needed to know from an actual living humanbeing, if one could still call Tremsy that, what life was
likebefore the Dynasty. So for all the required gatherings, and therewere several each day, Tremsy told his story again and again.It was a simple little tale the way Tremsy told it, and it more thanexplained why things like group decisions, committees,participatory democracy and voting had once put such apsychological burden on everyone. "Every second person useda drug called Prozac in those days,"sighed Tremsy, the wordsfalling out of his mouth mechanically with a dull metallic ringechoing from somewhere deep inside his false and jerry-riggedinnards. "People were nervous and insecure. Then came Jeff