(Note about the term fellah—I’ve been told that fellah has negative connotations. You can safely replace it with living pile of shit.)
As we moved from one region to the next like a plague of locusts, one continent stuck in our minds. The people there never stopped smiling. They didn’t swear or beat their wives. Their daily chores were done by machines, and they indulged in idleness. Right to the end, we were unable to explain their ominous winks of the eye. The people lived in an absurd dictatorship, which imposed their so-called state on them from birth. They had to pay to be born; they had to pay to identify themselves; they had to pay to live; they had to pay to participate in societal life. In other words, they paid for their presence alone. With what? With an unconditional basic income that they received from the state. They all wanted to be the same—to look the same, earn the same, and to have the same rights and obligations.
Rather than resolving grievances, the socalled parties that represented the people were tasked with pointing the grievances out and passing on responsibility to alleged perpetrators, such as large corporations. They introduced a perfidious additional system to finance this absurd madness and called it the stock market. Tradable corporate and government bonds were created. Their wealth was based on the exploitation of continents on the far side of the world.
We needed a fair bit of time to study this strange society. The people who lived in it didn’t seem to understand their political representatives’ aim—namely nothing more than the preservation of political representation, as in every political system. These representatives were “elected” by the people, and this was called democracy. Because everyone was equal, it was not the quality but the quantity of votes that counted. Viewing from the outside, we gradually came to understand what madness had developed: It was a case of people being bred to vote like cattle, that is in masses. And, in turn, a small number of megacorporations benefited from these masses. The so-called people, the herd, didn’t see this simple truth. A product dictate was directly injected into the brains of the senseless via the internet. Money had been replaced with a simple points system. However, most people entered the world with pre-existing debt. Parents had already offset their children’s basic income. This dependence was an ingenious pact between politicians and corporations—and how the preservation of power was ensured. The aim was the creation of the masses. In the beginning, males had the sole task of coitus, but they were gradually replaced by sperm banks. They put their DNA into cooling vessels and females created their desired child. Females forgot how to fuck. And everyone forgot how to kill. And so, all actions degenerated into substitute actions.
All political systems need a herd to sustain themselves and to grow. People knew from experience that the population in highly civilized areas such as cities decreases. But by people lending their children’s basic income, the population size shot up. This lending started as legal but then became a punishable offense. Despite this, it still went on illegally and was only leniently penalized by the almighty party state. This debt nourished party programs and enabled the diabolical cycle of power to spread. Fellahin were bred. Cattle made dependent on the state. This made their voting and consumer behavior controllable, and the latter taxable.
The red fellahin party, for instance, repeatedly pointed out social ills rather than resolving them. Bit by bit, concessions were given to the idiots who had been deliberately bred. The eco-warrior party, a horde of living and breathing compost heaps, shone brightly as the holder of the highest moral standards, like Christianity in times gone by. This party alone was responsible for the categorical imperative. It had become the guardian of all virtues. There was also the national racist party and several minor splinter groups.
Over time, these groups gradually dissolved into nothing, since the professional groups and sections of the population whom they believed they represented no longer existed. What do people do when they have nothing to do? They become decadent.
The fellahin, those dependent on the state in every respect, started to practice artistic activities. This essentially meant that they gave in to the idiocy. Films, press, culture, and art of all kinds were funded via complex reservoirs to suggest to people that they had a right to an opinion. State morality was preached via the state’s, the party’s, radio station. State morality was preached through state arts. State morality was preached in the state press. This balancing act between so-called free opinion and golden morality, which originated from their God—Jesus Christ in whom no one believed anymore— was the masterpiece of the state.
Electronic devices were used to brainwash all individuals. This collective market economy allowed citizens all forms of intoxication, distraction, and thereby fuelled a symbiotic dependence that became stronger with each new generation. But this approach led to a change in consumer behavior. People lived in containers and their possessions were limited to a single electronic device and a few items of clothing, which could be selected and changed daily as desired, like food. Furnishings were no more. The thing-in-itself was no more. People lived an easy life and treated their psychoses with colorful pills. They attended mass yoga classes to find themselves. They could groom and disinfect themselves in purpose-built reusable containers.
We met the last humans. They staggered around, disoriented and with no specific destination. Here a pop-up store, there a party. Everyone was a fashion designer. Everyone was an artist. Former tank factories were converted to nightclubs. To stop the masses from becoming dangerous, however, the state never forgot to inject them with a dose of envy and discord, although doing so turned out to be harder than expected. Everyone had become unquestioning.
But the problem was quickly resolved by creating several privileges. The battle for state privileges provided sufficient drive. There were no longer any enemies of the state, and in particular, no more intellectual enemies. Thinkers were bought, fostered, and optimally integrated into the system. The state avoided the emergence of disruptive ideas by presenting them as contrary to the opinion of the masses, to its opinion, and therefore as ridiculous. This process was made possible by the installation of what was known as social media.
Their eyes didn’t shine. Their bodies were shaped according to an ideal. Their spirit was dulled. Their behavior was peaceable, since their vegan and gluten-free food always had a little bromine added to it. It wasn’t hard for us to infiltrate this population and disrupt their system little by little, because they had gradually lost all criminal energy. Aggression had become completely foreign to them. Their drive for selfpreservation visibly degenerated. They no longer asked what for, and the question of why had long been vanquished.
The homilies had done their job, and so it was easy for us, as a handful of crazies, to quickly conquer an entire continent by infiltrating and penetrating their networks. While their political representatives were negotiating about what to do, it had already long-since occurred. Since they no longer had any butchers, bakers, mechanics, farmers, gardeners, or carpenters, it was no longer possible to supply the fellahin when the power and the navigation systems failed. When the batteries in their electric vehicles, telephones, and home computers died, and we had taken control of their emergency power generators, we drove this powerless heap together. Their unconditional surrender soon came.
The herd visibly diminished. Their cities today are deserted, abandoned. In earlier times, people protected themselves with city walls, but transport and communication were the highest dictates. War was evil. Their civilization had become God, and with this, they perished—just like all civilizations before them.
TOMAK (1970) is an Austrian artist who lives and works in Vienna. In 1995, TOMAK began studying painting and graphics with Christian Ludwig Attersee at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. The natural sciences shape TOMAK’s work to this day. His large-format paintings show technical, scientific representations, such as machines, construction plans, or anatomical charts. TOMAK’s works are built up in several layers of screen printing and oil painting. He sees himself as an antist (an antiartist), the “Posterboy of Antikunst.”
Follow TOMAK on Twitter: @StudioTOMAK