Once upon a time there was a kingdom called Us that believed in freedom. There was another kingdom that did not believe in freedom, and treated its citizens with great cruelty. The name of this mean kingdom was Cha.
Cha was not strong enough to take over Us, so they made cheap shiny things that the people of Us wanted to buy. As time went on, the people of Us bought more and more, giving lots of their money to the lords of Cha.
Us quickly became dependent on Cha for things. The Us citizens craved the latest sale of Cha goods, and forgot all about the fact that Cha was opposed to everything they believed in. Cha continued to treat its own citizens very badly. In fact, it made them work in huge slave factories to make the goods that the people of Us purchased.
But the people of Us didn’t care. Human rights, their Constitution said, were supposed to apply to everyone. But as long as they weren’t forced into slave factories like the people of Cha, those in the country of Us were happy to buy and ignore the great oppression.
But as they gave more and more to Cha, the people of Us had to work harder and harder. They forgot about equality and rights. Instead, they simply competed, toiling constantly, to see who could get the most shiny things, or any shiny things at all. Some worked merely to get enough food to survive.
Eventually Cha became so strong that its influence spread across the world. The people of Us were shocked that freedom was disappearing from the planet. Cha started buying huge areas of land right in the heart of Us.
The quality of life in Us got worse and worse. Cha had won the battle of money and also of ideas. Freedom as a goal faded away. It was replaced by the ideal of hard work to serve your leaders while police watched over you very closely. Also, Cha did not believe in protecting the environment, so the Earth everywhere got uglier and uglier.
The moral of the story is this: Do not forget what you stand for, and do not be seduced by cheap things and the desire for material status. Never forget what happened to the people of Us.