The following is an opinion editorial by Fredrick Spenglerman, an 86 year old man who has lived in Woolonia his entire life. Having lived through everything from the Socialist Hurdell era, the Chesnov dictatorship regime, to recent attacks by traditionalist rebels, he wanted to explain what he’s seen over the years and his unique perspective on the current attacks by the Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels.
“I was born back in 1930, just a couple decades after the rise of the Woolonian Socialist Party. President Weldin Hurdell had been leader for quite some time already, and I’ll admit, the country wasn’t doing altogether terrible. Our cities were developing, we had jobs, and our economy seemed to be doing okay. Labor conditions weren’t the best, and most jobs were in factories. Some shepherding jobs still existed in certain places, but it was a little like factory farming. Hurdell was determined to take our country “beyond the days of traditional shepherding and into a future where Woolonia was a progressive first world nation”.”
“I honestly believe Hurdell meant well at first. But he was so set on his vision for the future of the nation that he began to abuse his power to make it come to pass, even when it hurt the country. With the WSA controlling the entire government, and Hurdell having all the power over the party, there really was no way to reel in that power.”
“It was around that time that the Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels, a large group of dissenters who wanted the nation to return to its original state before the WSA, started rising to prominence. They were actually quite a peaceful group when they started out. They were the only ones standing against the Hurdell regime. Many people wanted to join and stand with the WTR, but they didn’t want to step out and risk being in a bad spot with the government.”
“When Hurdell died in the 50’s, I think many were a little sad, but most were just hopeful that something better was to come. We were wrong. A rigged vote within the Party led to the rise of someone much, much worse, Maslo Chesnov. Hurdell started out as a good man. Chesnov didn’t even try to hide his motives. He did everything he could to gain power. Our country got even worse, corruption was as common as sheep, and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
“We started to see the Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels as heroes, the ones we hoped would save us from Chesnov. Their leader at the time, Jose Hansen, was our hero in our eyes. A lot of us actually hoped that the rebels would stage a military resistance, but Hansen always called for peaceful resistance. They were so peaceful that Chesnov, even amidst many threats and quite a few prisoners taken for ‘nonsubmission’, never actually tried to wipe them out.”
“My brother actually left when times got rough and joined the WTR, as did almost a fourth of the country. I didn’t hear from him for decades, and the first news I heard of him was that he had been taken prisoner by the WSA for his involvement with the Rebels. He wasn’t freed until the fall of the regime.”
“Then, that glorious time of the fall of the regime. We did not wish death on Chesnov. But his time came. A freak accident and he was gone. A power vacuum. The regime collapsed. 1984 saw the rise of a new Woolonia, one where people had rights. The Democratic Socialist Woolonian Collective became the new way of life. A new constitution. A democratic system. Multiple parties. Those from the regime held responsible for their actions. It was a beautiful thing. Prisoners from the WSA were released. Life was better.”
“The country had moved to a glorious compromise. We were a modern first world country. Yet we also had rights and freedoms. We had a growing modern industry centered around sheep, which grew the need for shepherding. Traditional shepherding happened out in the rural areas, and the modern industry and urban shepherding happened in the cities.”
“However, one group was left behind- the Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels. Hansen and many of his fellow peaceful leaders had passed before they could see the change in the country. Many of the others felt betrayed. For so many years, they had acted as the face of the fight against the regime. Now the regime had fallen, and they had been left behind. Traditionalism had been rejected in favor of modernism. Everything they had fought for had been rejected, by the public and by the government. Now that things were good, they weren’t needed any more. I believe this is when their motivation changed, when they changed.”
“Over time, we saw the rebels change. The division between traditionalist rebels and supporters of the government became more obvious and more heated. My brother was ashamed of what they had become. Hansen would be rolling over in his grave.”
“Then came the civil war, and now the attacks. This is not the WTR I knew coming up. They have changed. If my brother were alive today, he would be horrified at what his once heroes have become.”
This was an opinion editorial.