Turtledove
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Comrade Block Chairman
Fictional Character
"Powerless"
POD: 20th Century(?)
Type of Appearance: Direct (unnamed)
Nationality: West Coast People's Democratic Republic
Affiliations: Communist Party of the WCPDR

The chairman of Charlie Simpkins' block was a minor bureaucrat who presided over the monthly mandatory political meetings attended by the block's residents. Most meetings consisted of reading and approving the minutes of the last meeting, reviewing old business, approving new business, and the like.

However, Charlie Simpkins upset the flow of the meetings two months in a row. At one meeting, Simpkins raised new business by complaining about his warehouse manager, Emmett Muldberg. The chairman was caught off-guard; such complaints were unheard of. The chairman ducked the issue by pointing out the warehouse was not the block, and that Simpkins should report to Muldberg's superiors. When Simpkins confirmed he and his co-workers already had, there was a vote to adjourn the meeting.

The following month, the chairman announced that the West Valley Central Committee was going to tear down an apartment building and replace it with housing for Party members. No consideration had been given to the residents of the old building. When he was finally recognized by the block chairman, Simpkins asked if the Committee considered the applicable law, which prohibited the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. In short order, the people attending the meeting demanded the Committee follow the law. The block chairman blurted out that the Committee didn't have the money to compensate for the apartments. With the Committee trapped, Simpkins moved that the building be left standing and that the Party center be placed at another location. He was quickly seconded. When the block chairman agreed to pass the popular opposition to the Committee, the crowd carried Simpkins out on their shoulders.[1]

References[]

  1. Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction September/October, 2018, ebook.
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