A million people stood before Grant Bosman in Swansford Central Plaza. He spoke of empty promises, bizarre claims, and ridiculous ideologies. It was one man with a voice—a voice so heavy that it paradoxically shook the hearts of many and questioned norms. But amidst this absurdity, what captured everyone’s attention was that Bosman was standing to give a show, putting up the front that he was collaborative leader instead of playing hero. But that’s when he slowly spun the interest to his favor– the show he was giving turned out to be spectacular. Everyone was intrigued by the notion of paradise; and something about this average man with empty hands tempted the people into giving him more to hold. And that was how Grant Bosman came to power as Swansford’s President.
You see, Bosman had the aspiration to see Swansford as a nation truly “indestructible” at its core. In his eyes, money, corruption, and safety should not even be of concern to the people. Conventional democracy? He scoffed at it! Who wouldn’t want your every want and need fulfilled on demand? Money, food, absolute sense and guarantee of safety! This was his dream for a nation, and he had promised a dream with no idea of how to achieve it, and zero evidence nor capability to back up his claims. A set-up for disaster with severe consequences; only a fool would put their trust in such a leader. Nevertheless, that population is made of such fools.
Population size: 1 million
Bosman sought to put his plans into motion. He was the type to talk-constructing the image of security was his top priority. The man with repetitive speeches and announcements coupled with a constant flaunting the city’s “prowess” (“A show, a show! What a jolly good show!”); that was what half his people saw him as. In their eyes he was just a clown; a clown who spoke of big game he couldn’t set his filthy hands on. Still, the public continued to enjoy his little masquerade.
“Money to the streets! No more jobs!” Everything was paid for and done by the government, with only their lackeys staying to carry out the execution with heftier sums of rewards in return. There was no need for public labour, and money to acquire whatever you want was obsolete. Bosman had it covered. It was a show; a show the people were paid to watch in exchange for their vote. They enjoyed it, revelling in riches. But everyone knew, they knew that this way of life would only last a week or two till the backlash brought the nation to its knees. Their fate was already set in stone, but who cares when you have money? Who cares when you have everything you want? This unsustainable way of running the city that Bosman practiced was equivalent to catastrophe. This almost humorous method of granting every wish and gifting money would almost never survive the hole the country was burning through itself.
Instead of paying taxes with the typical list of bills they grew ever so tired of, citizens paid their taxes with their “support” and “trust”. Who could complain? Crime rates were at an all-time low. People were happy. There was no need for conflict and all was peace. As obvious as it was, almost all found it easier to close an eye and swallow bliss than to question and fear for the future of the government and the nation. And as you could see, Bosman wasn’t the only one who refused to look at the problem.
Population size: 741 223
3 weeks was all it took for some to go insane. The strain it had on the economy, the workforce… Only the few under the government kept the city running. A few succumbed to stress and took their lives. In terms of money, Swansford had close to none. With zero gain, they relied on the stores accumulated over years, and in that time, Bosman brought more into action. The scale of his impact was increasing; from just no jobs to unlimited access to money, free for all. Food and resources had given in to meet its ever-growing demand. Because soon enough, the madman came to realise that the only way to keep Swansford in motion was to keep pushing forward. Failing to uphold the wall of expectations he held for himself, he had to build it higher from the bottom up, expanding upon it till it was large enough to cover the insecurity and the collapse he left in his wake. He gave more. He built more leisure parks, assured everyone that the country was safe and invested heavily in the city’s armed forces. Bosman pushed for campaigns, promising the city they had nothing to fear but fear itself; that Swansford was safe enough to leave the doors open at night.
Swansford was collapsing from the inside and it was plain to see for all. The lack of the sense of vigilance meant that stealing was much easier and few seemed to care. The people had gone mad, continuing to gaze at this show in awe; for the show had been interesting and seemed that it would never cease to entertain. What would they do? What could they do?
Stress only came in the form of things out of their direct influence and control; a recipe for boredom. And bored people are dangerous. Armed with nothing but their free will and loose from the chains of the norm, a few sought to abuse this chaos in the crumbling world around, frothing at the thrill of murder while others ventured to pull near-death stunts. And as such, boredom bred chaos, that blossomed into deaths, all from the seeds that Bosman planted.
Population: 175 689
5 weeks was enough to reach the breaking point. Every last pound was drained from the vaults, food and resources were nowhere near to meeting the demands. Swansford was a wreck: stores started to be raided, homes broken into, buildings on fire… Citizens had been driven to madness, and mass panic and distress unravelled into disaster. To put it simply, Swansford was at war with itself, where all sides were bound to lose.
Was this what Bosman wanted? He was the fool who played the hero; the jester who yearned to put up a splendid show. As for the audience… They stayed too long to watch the show and they had to pay the price.
Here, Swansford goes down in flames, and both the people and the ruler were the ones to blame.