There is magic in the air, a feeling that everything and everyone is working. The People hum as they earn their money, and sing as they spend it. Soldiers whistle as they sail off to exotic lands to stem the tide of Communism. Corporate Boards of Directors roll up their sleeves as they find bigger and better ways to serve their customers. Politicians mop their brows as they spend another grueling session of looking after the welfare of the Nation.
Yes, even Jimmy and Tammy feel the mood of the Country which our glorious President represents. And as the children scamper in their games, their parents gratefully acknowledge the bright future which he has molded for America.
Wait -- something is amiss! A kindly advertising executive, fondly thinking of new and wonderful ways in which he may introduce the grateful public to improved products for a better life, brushes past Jimmy and Tammy. Suddenly, a dark figure leaps out of an alleyway and confronts the well-meaning businessman, aiming a gun at him.
"Hands up, Fatso! Gimme all your money, or you're dead meat!"
Jimmy and Tammy scream with terror. They cry out "Help, help!" as the benevolent executive hesitantly withdraws his wallet, dreading the thought of giving his hard-earned pay to this unwashed and unworthy ruffian. Is there no one to help him?
Suddenly, as the wallet is about to change hands, Jimmy points his finger beyond the mugger and exclaims "Look!" The mugger turns to face the man standing behind him, and is instantly struck with terror. The man facing him is six feet six inches tall, wears an $800 three-piece suit, is clean-shaven, has shiny, black hair and sparkling teeth, and is washed behind the ears. He is pointing a very large chrome-plated .44 Magnum right at the mugger.
Tammy squeals with delight. "It's Captain Capitalism!"
Yes, readers, it's Captain Capitalism: friend of executives and stockholders, defender of patent rights, and enemy of Godless Commies everywhere.
The mugger sneers and hollers, "Eat death, Money-grubber!"
Before you can say N.R.A., Captain Capitalism blows the mugger into small pieces.
"Hooray for Captain Capitalism!" Jimmy cries out.
"My word, that was a close one!" says the friendly businessman. "Thank you, Captain Capitalism!"
"All in an honest day's work," replies Captain Capitalism.
The good-natured executive continues on his way, and Captain Capitalism addresses Jimmy and Tammy. "Now, children, run along and play, but be careful! The streets are unsafe as long as Godless Commies exist in this city."
"Oh, Captain Capitalism," asks Tammy, "why would there be such people in a Nation as free and prosperous as ours?"
"What are your names?"
"Well, Tammy, Jimmy, there are those who believe that Capitalism doesn't work. Those cringing 'Humanitarians' speak out in favor of 'Social Justice,' but what they don't realize is that Capitalism is the best means of ACHIEVING Social Justice. Yet Capitalism only helps those who help themselves. Those who show initiative, industry, and perseverance will make it. Those who show apathy, laziness, and impulsiveness will not.
"There are those who let themselves fall victim to evil ways. They refuse to do an honest day's work. They let their lives fall apart under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and sin, and when they hit bottom, they call money 'evil' and blame those who have been helped by Capitalism, calling them 'Money-grubbers.'"
"How awful!" exclaims Tammy.
"What can we do about it?" asks Jimmy.
"The best thing you can do right now is obey your parents, eat your vegetables, and spend your allowances wisely. When you get older, you can join the Army and help to wipe out the Godless Communist Scourge which threatens the world. After that, you can get an honest job, invest your savings, and become upright American citizens.
"I must leave now, Jimmy and Tammy. I have work to do, making the world safe for you and your parents."
"'Bye, Captain Capitalism!" cry Jimmy and Tammy together as he vanishes from sight.
"Boy," says Jimmy, "I'm going home right now and join the Junior Capitalist League so I can wear a Captain Capitalism badge just like the one he wears!"
"Me, too!" says Tammy.
KIDS! You too can Join the JUNIOR CAPITALIST LEAGUE! For only Ten dollars (plus Fifty cents postage and handling), you receive a Certificate of Membership (suitable for framing), an autographed picture of Captain Capitalism, and a GENUINE CAPTAIN CAPITALISM BADGE, just like the one he wears! Just have your Parents use their MasterCard or Visa and call: 1-800-555-9800 (please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery).
To all external appearances, Urban Center, U.S.A., is bright, cheerful, and productive. However, in dark corners of the city lurk Godless Commies who seek to undermine the moral fabric of our mighty Nation.
In a dirty basement apartment, an underfed, seedy-looking young man wearing small, round spectacles and threadbare clothes, types furiously at a musty desk illumined only by a single, naked bulb. As the pages fly through the typewriter, an evil plan gradually emerges: a treacherous treatise which threatens the well-being of the upright citizens of Urban Center. The work is completed, and the young man leans back thoughtfully and smiles as he rubs the three-day stubble on his chin. The time has come for the Red Hammer to strike!
Some weeks later, in another part of town, little Billy Jones walks home from school. Suddenly he hears a voice right next to his ear.
"Psst! Hey, kid! Would you like some dope? It's free!"
Billy's eyes open wide as he faces the stranger, who appears to be about eighteen years old, and replies, "Gosh, no! Mom told me never to accept things from strangers!"
"Aw, c'mon!" says the Teenager. "I only wanna be friends with you!"
"Well, I don't know," replies Billy. "I was told that dope was bad for you!"
"That's just what the grown-ups say to scare you!" says the unruly punk. "The truth is that they don't want you to smoke it 'cause it'll make you grow up faster and be able to smoke cigarettes and drink liquor just like them!"
Billy is hesitant, but suddenly a tall form looms before them and grabs the ruffian by the collar.
"Golly!" exclaims Billy. "It's Captain Capitalism!"
Yes, Readers, it's Captain Capitalism: faster than a speeding corporate takeover, more powerful than 51% stock in General Dynamics, able to leap a tall profit margin in a single bound.
"You should be ashamed of yourself, young man," says Captain Capitalism to the hoodlum. "There are far better ways to earn money than to hoodwink innocent children into a life of drug addiction. It's to the Police for you!
"And as for you, young friend, take my advice and stay away from strangers, and believe nothing that they say. It's tragic, but until Godless Communism is abolished from the world, there will always be those who would like nothing better than to hurt you ."
"Gee, thanks, Captain Capitalism!" says Billy. "I promise that I'll always listen to Mom and Dad, and I'll keep away from strangers!"
And so, as Billy continues on his way home, Captain Capitalism drops off the juvenile delinquent at the local Police Station; as he leaves the station, however, ready to continue his duty of aiding the People by furthering the Cause of Big Business, some strange words come within range of his hyper-sensitive, ultra-Conservative hearing.
"That's right, Joe, that's what it says. When the workers control the company, not only is deadwood removed, but the profits may then be divided equally!"
"What about the stockholders?"
"If only the workers own the company, only they will own stock in it."
"That sounds great, but how can our company be made like that?"
"That's where the Red Hammer plan comes in. Simply put, we go on strike. We prevent the executives from bringing in replacements, and cause the power structure to crumble under our impact. When the company collapses, we buy it out dirt cheap and run it ourselves. No more fat executives sucking the blood out of workers!"
"That sounds great! When do we start?"
"The Union leaders are discussing that now, but I'd be willing to bet that the strike'll start next week."
The two misguided workers continue on their way while Captain Capitalism stands shocked on the street corner.
"This could turn out to be an extremely serious situation," thinks Captain Capitalism. "This is obviously the work of Godless Communist infiltrators in the midst of our Society. I must investigate this at once."
Meanwhile, at Union Headquarters, the Red Hammer agitates the already corrupt Union leaders.
"You've all been the victims of manipulation by the bloated executives," he tells them.
"I don't know what you mean!" sneers one of the insubordinate exploiters of innocent workers. "Anytime we want something from the Fat Boys, all we have to do is go on strike and pretty soon they're desperate enough to give us anything we want!"
"Ah, but that's what they want you to think!" replies the scrawny rebel. "While you're striking, they're snickering! Pretending to be obstinate, they string you along for a prolonged strike, and then pretend to give in to your demands for a higher salaried contract. However, if you do some thinking and compare the amount gained after a year of increased salary to the amount lost after a prolonged strike without pay, it comes out even, if not negative!
"During that year, they play out the cooperation game, trying to inflate your 'loyalty' to the company. Then, at the end of the year, they tell you that the company is in financial trouble and ask to renegotiate your contract so that you take a cut in pay to keep the company afloat. You get the shaft, and they get the boodle!"
Angry mumblings fill the room, and the Godless Commie smirks inwardly while he prepares his crowning blow. "Now if YOU owned the company," he says to them, "You would get the boodle, and the money-grubbing slave drivers would be out on their tails!"
"And what about the workers?" inquires one of the rabble.
"What about them?" replies the unwashed Heathen. "You're the ones who are in control!"
Evil chuckles fill the room, and soon the plans are begun.
Some days later, little Billy Jones runs breathlessly down the sidewalk and suddenly collides with Captain Capitalism.
"Oh!" exclaims Billy. "Captain Capitalism! You've got to stop it!"
"Stop what?" asks Captain Capitalism.
"It's the workers!" replies Billy. "They've all gone on strike and want to take over the company!"
"Have no fear, young friend," says Captain Capitalism. "I knew that this was coming, but days of investigation have revealed who the true culprit is. After I deal with him appropriately, the workers will realize their mistake and go back to their honest jobs."
"Hooray!" cries Billy. "Are you going to blow him away with your famous chrome-plated Smith & Wesson?"
"No, young man," replies Captain Capitalism. "Godless Communism thrives on Comrades who have 'died in the line of duty.' If I were judiciously to remove the Red Hammer, he would be proclaimed a 'Martyr' and the Union leaders would carry on in his name."
"Oh, no!" says Billy. "What can you do about it?"
"If you follow me at a safe distance," intones Captain Capitalism, "you'll soon find out!"
Captain Capitalism then proceeds with a firm, aggressive stride in the direction of the strike, while little Billy runs gleefully behind him.
Lines of dissatisfied workers surround the company complex, waving signs and red hammers. Some of the signs say such things as "Down With Greedy Executives," "Up With Workers' Control," and "Power to the People." In front of them is the spindly form of the Red Hammer, who incites them to chant "The PEOple... uNITed... will NEver be deFEATed!"
Nearby, a cluster of nervous executives confer in search of a solution to the problem. Beyond them stand indignant citizens who shake their fists at the workers who are depriving them of the ability to purchase valuable products for a better life.
Suddenly, an excited buzz travels through the crowds, and they part to allow Captain Capitalism to pass through. The concerned executives look in his direction and breathe a sigh of relief as he approaches with little Billy running behind him.
One of the businessmen catches Billy in his arms, saying "What are you doing here, Billy? I told you to go straight home!"
Billy catches his breath and cries out "I ran into Captain Capitalism! He's going to help us! He's letting me watch him take care of the Red Hammer so the workers can go back to their honest jobs!"
"Is this true?" Mr. Jones asks Captain Capitalism. "I wouldn't want my son to be getting in your way!"
"You should be proud of little Billy," replies Captain Capitalism. "If more children were as concerned as he, the world would soon be free from the ravages of Godless Communism and terrorism."
Mr. Jones smiles approvingly and roughs Billy's hair as Captain Capitalism turns to the rest of the executives.
"Now, then," says Captain Capitalism to the Executives. "The situation is severe, yet it can be remedied. The source of the trouble is not the workers, but a dirty rebel who calls himself the 'Red Hammer.' If I defeat him, the workers will realize the error of their ways."
"If you can destroy the evil influence of the Red Hammer," says the kindly Chairman of the Board, "we shall eternally be in your debt, Captain Capitalism."
"You can do it, Captain Capitalism!" cries little Billy.
Captain Capitalism squares his shoulders and turns to face the workers, whose attention is entirely consumed by his awesome presence. As he removes the jacket of his $800 three-piece suit, revealing the massive shoulder holster containing his famous chrome-plated .44 Magnum, a nervous buzz travels through the ranks. He then removes the holster and gun, and a general sigh of relief ensues. Captain Capitalism then rolls up his clean, white sleeves, and clenching his fists approaches the picket lines.
He walks straight up to the Red Hammer, who shrinks back, screaming "Unfair! Unfair! You'd beat up on someone smaller than you! Just like the other Capitalist Pigs!"
The Workers, disgusted by the Red Hammer's show of cowardice, edge away from him. Captain Capitalism stops and places his hands on his narrow hips.
"You seem awful certain that you're going to be beaten up," says Captain Capitalism to the cringing filth. "Maybe it's because that's what you deserve."
"You tell 'im, Captain Capitalism!" cries little Billy.
The Red Hammer regains his composure and confronts Captain Capitalism with a sneer, saying "Oh, sure. You want to repress my Right to Free Speech! America, the Land of the Free! Free, that is, as long as you do and say what Big Business wants you to!"
"The Right to Free Speech, young man," replies Captain Capitalism, "was dearly won by the Forefathers of this Nation, and was not meant to be abused. The Right to Free Speech does not give you the right to speak lies and half-truths in order to make trouble. And our Forefathers would frown on those who sought power by tricking honest workers into turning against their servants."
"Servants?" says the Red Hammer incredulously. "You mean slave drivers!"
"No," replies Captain Capitalism, "I mean servants. Corporations exist to serve the needs of the People."
"You lie!" cries the Red Hammer. "Corporations exist to enslave the workers and rob the People, keeping all the money for themselves!"
"You are a Distortionist," replies Captain Capitalism. "All you have to do is look at history to see how Capitalism has worked in your favor."
Captain Capitalism speaks louder, so that all the workers may hear as well.
"In the Old Days, the People had to work all day just to keep alive. It's true that food and clothes were cheaper back then, but the People also made considerably less money. So much less, in fact, that almost all their work went just to subsistence, whereas nowadays far more income is available for raising the Standard of Living.
"Under the old system, the worker would never have been able to buy a car or TV, even if such were available. Since corporations have come into existence, with the miracle of mass production, not only are workers able to work less and earn more, they are able to purchase wonderful products for a better life which others may only dream of having. Our modern Capitalist Nation enjoys plenty of food, shelter, sanitation, education, and entertainment.
"The Red Hammer, however," says Captain Capitalism directly to the workers, "wants to turn our mighty Nation into a Communist state! Those red hammers which you wave are evil symbols of Socialism. Communism, though, leads not to Justice, but to Tyranny. I tell you that the Red Hammer has conspired with the Union leaders so that they would have all the power, and you would be worse off than ever! Is that what you want?"
The workers look at each other. Then they throw down their signs and stare menacingly at the Red Hammer and the Union leaders, who start running away, dodging brickbats and red hammers hurled by the Workers.
"Hooray for Captain Capitalism!" cries little Billy. "He's saved the day!"
The executives and citizens cheer and applaud Captain Capitalism, who puts his holster and jacket back on and disappears into the crowd with the air of a job well done.
"Isn't Captain Capitalism great, Dad?" asks Billy.
"He certainly is," replies Mr. Jones. "Now, run along home while I get back to work."
And so Billy runs along home, while Mr. Jones and the other executives work together with the workers to get production back on schedule. Meanwhile, the Red Hammer and the Union leaders slink out of Urban Center in shame. Have they learned their lesson? We can only hope.
CAPTAIN CAPITALISM SAYS: Good Junior Capitalists know how to save their money as well as spend it. Ask your friendly, participating Banker about his special "Junior Capitalist Savings Plan."
Here dwell people who refuse to take pride in their own or their property's appearances. Here dwell people who have given up the opportunities of Capitalism for the degenerate vices which have plagued Mankind throughout history. Here dwell people who refuse to obey authority, refuse to finish high school, refuse to enter college, refuse to serve their Country, and refuse to use their brains and their muscles, and then wonder why they spend the rest of their lives in squalid poverty.
Cannot one but pity the children who -- having no positive role models in their lazy, impulsive, Welfare-mooching parents -- grow up in these neighborhoods not knowing the better way, and who learn to reject those who espouse the truth, the might, and the right? Yet there are those who, pretending to champion the Cause of Justice, blame not those who refuse to succeed, but rather those who do succeed.
Poor little Leroy, a negro Child, walks down the trash-strewn sidewalk, accompanied by his faithful dog, Sparky. He hasn't been doing very well in school lately, and has already started to show an unhealthy disrespect for "White Folks" and "Coppers."
As he walks down the sidewalk, listening to the loud music booming from a nearby "ghetto box," little Leroy notices one of the "White Folks" standing on the opposite sidewalk, giving some money to a beggar. Leroy grins as he recognizes Lenny the Liberal, a social worker who appears regularly in the neighborhood. At the thought of getting a hand-out from the "White Fool," Leroy runs across the street toward him.
He and Sparky barely get to the opposite sidewalk when suddenly a shot rings out. Screams and confusion ensue, and out of it all runs a negro youth pursued by a tall, clean-cut man.
"Gosh!" says Leroy as he spots the well-groomed hero. "It's Captain Capitalism!"
Yes, Readers, it's Captain Capitalism: purveyor of Law, harbinger of Justice, and champion of the American Way.
"Halt!" shouts Captain Capitalism to the young criminal. "Halt, or I'll be forced to shoot!"
The crook whirls around and shoots again at Captain Capitalism, but misses. Then Captain Capitalism points his famous chrome-plated .44 Magnum right at the hoodlum and fires, blowing the ruffian's gun out of his hand.
The young criminal cries out in pain and anger, and tries to leap for the gun. Before the crook can reach the gun, however, Lenny the Liberal kicks it into the gutter, and then grabs the delinquent, shielding him from Captain Capitalism.
"Stop!" says Lenny the Liberal to Captain Capitalism. "Cease your persecution of this misguided child and find instead some REAL criminals."
Some impoverished negro people nearby murmur in assent. Before Captain Capitalism can reply, Lenny the Liberal continues, saying "Why don't you go over to the nursery school and shoot the kids down in cold blood? Surely their screams would be more entertaining than those of this poor young man whose hand you've shattered!"
"Yeah!" cries out little Leroy. "Why don't you pick on someone your own size?"
Captain Capitalism glances at the hostile stares around him, and holsters his gun. Patiently mastering his righteous fury, Captain Capitalism pierces Lenny the Liberal with his gaze.
"Step aside, Lenny," says Captain Capitalism. "I've had enough of your whimpering interference. This young man is a hardened criminal, and should be brought to Justice."
"Justice!" snorts Lenny the Liberal. "Look around you! Do you call this Justice? While fat Politicians fawn to corporate executives, the People in the streets starve!"
Little Leroy, astonished by Lenny's words, looks upon him with newfound respect. Captain Capitalism, though, knows better.
"You know as well as I do," replies Captain Capitalism, "that people starve only through their own ignorance. There are plenty of jobs, food, and shelter for all people, if they only show the initiative to get it."
"Try telling that to the unemployed families who wait for hours in bread lines only to be told that there's no food left!" says Lenny the Liberal. "Try telling that to the youths, like this one, who cannot find decent jobs, and who in despair turn to a life of Crime."
"There are always alternatives to Crime," replies Captain Capitalism. "There are always opportunities for those who are willing to pursue them! America provides education, training, and service openings for anyone who wants them. Anything is better than a lifestyle which leads only to prison."
"Ha! Prison!" snorts Lenny the Liberal. "And why do you think that prisons are so crowded? It's because prison cannot serve as a deterrent when children are FORCED by circumstance to choose a life of Crime. It's either steal or starve. And thus the prisons fill to the brim with victims of Society who should be reformed rather than punished -- victims who suffer insult and even injury in addition to that which Society has dealt them."
"That is a lie!" replies Captain Capitalism. "Our prisons are full of hardened criminals whom we have given every chance to be assimilated back into Society. Yet over and over again they revert back to Crime, and thus we are forced to keep them in prison for the safety of the People."
"The reason they go back to Crime is that you put them right back into the very situation in which they started!" rebukes Lenny the Liberal. "You just let them loose without any means of survival, and thus they are forced to revert back to a life of Crime! With the exception of a small group of individuals who belong more in a hospital than a prison, any former criminal will reform if you give him the chance! If instead of kicking him out into the street you find him shelter and an honest job, he won't need to steal to survive!"
"And how are we supposed to do that?" asks Captain Capitalism. "Our Federal budget is not limitless!"
"If you spent less money sucking up to Big Business with fat Defense contracts and spent more of the Taxpayers' money on the Taxpayers themselves, aiding Education, Welfare, and Job Opportunity programs," replies Lenny the Liberal, "this Country would be in much better shape."
"Now, wait a minute!" cries Captain Capitalism as he holds up his hand. "I just got through telling you that our Country has plenty of educational and employment opportunities. If the children of unfortunate parents, when they grow up, enter Military service, not only will they be aiding our Nation, but they will be learning a trade, and they'll be paid for it! And they will learn sound American values, so that they can be upright American citizens! What more could they want?"
Leroy looks with astonishment upon Captain Capitalism, who grows taller with every word.
"Indeed," continues Captain Capitalism, "You're beginning to talk like a Godless Communist, who wants our Nation to weaken so that it could decay and crumble, inviting Communists to take over!
Lenny the Liberal shrinks at the accusation.
"How do YOU feel, Son?" Captain Capitalism says to little Leroy. "Do YOU want to be Free to do what you want, or do you want Communists to have you do what THEY want?"
"No, Sir!" replies Leroy. "I'm not gonna let no Commies tell ME what to do!"
Several of the people nearby nod their heads in agreement.
"Well," continues Captain Capitalism, "if you want to be Free, you have to learn to accept responsibility. If YOU serve your Country, your Country will serve YOU. However, if you reject your Country and pursue a life of Crime, you must be prepared to accept the consequences. And so, young man," he says to the criminal, "if you surrender now, things will go best for you. And if you shape up, we'll welcome you back into Society with open arms."
Lenny the Liberal steps aside as the young crook reluctantly surrenders himself.
"You may have beaten me this time, Captain Capitalism," says Lenny the Liberal, "but we'll meet again!"
Lenny the Liberal slinks away as Captain Capitalism takes the juvenile delinquent to the nearest Police Station.
"Hooray for Captain Capitalism!" hollers little Leroy. "When I grow up, I'm going to do the best I can in high school, and when I graduate I'll enter Military service and serve my Country while I learn an honest trade!"
"Woof! Woof!" barks Sparky enthusiastically as Leroy admiringly watches Captain Capitalism disappear around a corner.
And so, Urban Center is safe once more, for the time being. Yet enemies of Capitalism still abound, and Captain Capitalism is soon to meet his greatest challenge.
CAPTAIN CAPITALISM SAYS: Junior Capitalists believe in Safety First. Thus when you ask your parents for a GENUINE OFFICIAL CAPTAIN CAPITALISM CHROME-PLATED AIR GUN for Christmas, promise them that you'll always keep it on "safety" when you're not using it, even if it's unloaded. And remind your parents that they should only buy the OFFICIAL Brand, endorsed by CAPTAIN CAPITALISM HIMSELF, and that for a limited time only your local participating Dealer will include ABSOLUTELY FREE a LIFE-SIZE "GODLESS COMMIE" TARGET!
Everything sparkles wetly as Jimmy and Tammy, now Members of the Junior Capitalist League, walk down the street after School toward the Junior Capitalist League Headquarters located in the Urban Center Stock Exchange Building.
At the entrance they meet Billy and Leroy and exchange the secret handshake, making the Dollar Sign. Then they enter the Headquarters, accompanied by still more Junior Capitalists who have also hearkened to the mysterious summons which they have received .
"Do you have any idea what this is about?" Billy asks young Harry Thomas, an Officer in the Junior Capitalist League.
"No more than you do," Harry replies. "Only someone high in the corporate hierarchy has the power to give the Red Signal, indicating that the Economy itself is at stake."
They arrive at a large meeting room adjacent to the Headquarters Office, and find it to be already packed with dozens of other Junior Capitalists. Everyone sits down, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the mysterious summoner. They don't have long to wait, for soon a door at the head of the room opens, and a tall, immaculate man enters.
The Junior Capitalists draw in their breaths sharply in astonishment at the awesome presence, and someone cries out "It's Captain Capitalism!"
Yes, Readers, it's Captain Capitalism: proponent of Truth, Freedom, and Nuclear Superiority.
"You probably realize by now," he begins almost immediately, "that I am the one who has summoned you here. Therefore you must also realize that this is no trivial matter. The safety of our Economy is at stake, and I need your help."
Everyone stares blankly, amazed that Captain Capitalism would need anyone's help, much less theirs, but Tammy says out loud "We'd do anything to help you carry out the Cause of Righteousness and the American Way!"
"I know you would," replies Captain Capitalism, "and that's why I summoned you all.
"The situation is this: Harvey the Hacker, the notorious computer criminal, has been released on Parole, and already there has been a flurry of criminal computer activity. Bank accounts have been illegally transferred, interest rates have been altered, market quotations have been tampered with, and even salaries of elected Officials and corporate executives have been reduced!"
"Gosh!" exclaims Jimmy. "That's terrible! How can he get away with it?"
"None of the activity has been traceable to him," replies Captain Capitalism. "He's found some way of either operating with remote units or using time-delay programs or both. In addition, he's been so slippery that even FBI agents have been unable to keep a constant watch on him.
"And that's why I need your help: I need all of you to scatter throughout Urban Center and keep an eye on him. He'd never suspect you to be working for me, and you can keep in touch with each other and with me using your Official Captain Capitalism Pocket Two-Way Radios. Any questions?"
"How will we recognize Harvey the Hacker?" asks Harry.
"I will brief all of you before the actual operation," replies Captain Capitalism. "In the meantime, I advise that you all go home and get yourselves well rested for tomorrow."
"You can count on us!" says Leroy.
Meanwhile, in the tranquil, ivy-covered halls of Urban Center University, a storm is about to brew. Professor Picklepuss, a kindly but eccentric mentor, sits isolated from the worries of the Real World. His greatest delight is in the creation of Social, Political, and Economic Theories, and he has published many in various obscure, erudite journals.
Today, however, he has a visitor: the notorious Lenny the Liberal, who is still bent on sinister revenge against Captain Capitalism. The two misguided idealists sit together in the Professor's office after the Professor shoves aside some of the many stacks of paper and books which fill almost all available space.
"Well, well," says the Professor, "to what do I owe the honor of your visit?"
"I have read your latest manuscript," replies Lenny the Liberal, "and I thought that such a theory on the attainment and maintenance of a Pacifist World Community could have a great impact on our Society."
"Yes, that is true," says the Professor. "However, it is only a theoretical system, and is intended to be used as food for thought."
"Yet it is an applicable theory," replies Lenny the Liberal, "and could be used as food for action."
"Well, yes, I suppose so," answers the Professor, "but I hadn't really thought of actually applying the ideas to real life."
"Ideas are the essence of real life," argues Lenny the Liberal. "Your theory is so convincing that I have no doubt as to its validity."
"The fact that a theory is valid does not indicate that it will work," replies the Professor. "Many obstacles lie between the present system and the one which I have developed in my manuscript."
"That is why I am here," says Lenny the Liberal. "I know the obstacles, and the chief obstacle is none other than Captain Capitalism. He is admired and respected by upright citizens all over the world, and if he is overcome, so will be the opinions of virtually everyone."
"And how would you propose to overcome this obstacle?" asks the Professor.
"If you were to challenge Captain Capitalism to a public debate," replies Lenny the Liberal, "you would be sure to swing the opinions of millions of people to your point of view. Captain Capitalism would be disgraced, and his popularity would plummet. And when that happens, the chief deterrent to a better world will be removed!"
"Yes, I suppose that this is true," says the Professor, "but I know nothing of public debates or what is required to bring them about."
"Don't worry, Professor," says Lenny the Liberal. "I'll take care of everything. Just do what I tell you to do, and before we know it, we've got Captain Capitalism where we want him!"
The next day, Jimmy, Tammy, and Billy find themselves combing the area near Morgan Park downtown in search of Harvey the Hacker. Jimmy walks by the majestic National Urban Bank Building and suddenly spots his quarry, who is carrying a small gray case. Jimmy ducks into a nearby passage, removes his Official Captain Capitalism Two-Way Pocket Radio from his jacket pocket, and speaks into it, saying "Red to Blue, Red to Blue, can you read me?"
"Blue here," Tammy replies. "What's the scoop?"
"I have spotted the Target," says Jimmy. "He's walking toward your position now."
"I see him," replies Tammy. "I'll contact White and then tail the Target while you contact Home Base."
"I read you," says Jimmy. "Over and out."
Jimmy puts away his Pocket Radio and goes back the way he came so as not to attract Harvey the Hacker's attention.
Tammy, in the meantime, begins tailing Harvey the Hacker, and at the first opportunity speaks once more into her Pocket Radio, saying "Blue to White, Blue to White, can you hear me?"
"Loud and clear, Blue," replies Billy. "Where are you?"
"I'm at the corner of Cedar and 5th," answers Tammy. "I'm following the Target, and it looks like he's heading for the subway."
"I read you," says Billy. "Has Home Base been notified?"
"Red will do that as soon as we're off the air," replies Tammy. "The Trap should be set by the time the Target begins his activities."
"Great!" says Billy. "I'm going to head over there right now and get on when he does."
"Be careful, White," says Tammy.
"I will," replies Billy. "Over and out."
Tammy puts away her Pocket Radio and continues her cautious tailing of the target, while Billy heads straight to the subway entrance.
Time passes, and Tammy once again speaks into her Pocket Radio, saying "Blue to Red, Blue to Red, come in, Red."
"I read you, Blue," replies the Jimmy. "Where are you now?"
"I'm right behind the Target," replies Tammy, "and he's about to enter the subway. Are the exits posted?"
"Yes, they are," answers Jimmy. "There's no chance of losing him. Once we know where he's going, I'll contact you."
"Roger," replies Tammy. "Over and out."
The target arrives at the subway and enters it with Billy just ahead of him. He enters the platform, looks around, and purchases a token from the machine. He gets on the subway train and sits down. Billy sits down nearby, reading a comic book.
When the subway train reaches the Urban International Airport exit, Harvey the Hacker gets off, followed by Billy. Billy spots Leroy nearby, and allows him to follow Harvey the Hacker. When Harvey the Hacker is out of sight, Billy takes out his Pocket Radio and speaks into it, saying "White to Red, White to Red, do you hear me?"
"I can barely hear you, White," replies Jimmy. "Where are you?"
"I'm at the Airport," answers Billy. "Eagle is tailing him now."
"I read you," says Jimmy. "I'm at Home Base now. When the Target starts doing anything suspicious, contact me at once."
"Roger," replies Billy. "Over and out."
Meanwhile, during the Five O'Clock News on TV Station W-USA, Professor Picklepuss gives his prepared statement to over a million viewers.
"My name is Picklepuss, Professor of Humanistic Studies at Urban Center University," he says to the viewers. "Recently I created a theoretical system for attaining and maintaining a Pacifist World Community. This plan could convert our current war-torn, starving, and unjust world into a peaceful, prosperous, and just one. At the urging of others, I have decided to publicize this theory by means of a public debate with a well-known authority on our present system. It is thus that I challenge Captain Capitalism to a public debate in Ford Square one week from today. I expect his public reply tomorrow. If none is given, that shall be considered to be an indication of acknowledgement as to the validity of my system, and an endorsement for its implementation. Otherwise, I look forward to the coming intellectual battle. Thank you."
Just as Professor Picklepuss finishes his words, Harvey the Hacker approaches a pay phone. Leroy immediately calls Jimmy, saying "Eagle to Red, Eagle to Red, come in, Red!"
"Red here, Eagle," replies Jimmy.
"The Target's approached a pay phone here at the Airport, and is now opening up his gray case," says Leroy. "It looks like there's a little computer inside!"
"The Boss has the FBI monitoring all phone lines there, and should be there himself very soon," replies Jimmy.
"He'd better hurry," says Leroy. "The Target's taking out a couple of cup-shaped things and is placing them on the ends of the phone. Now he's dialing a number."
"We've got him!" says Jimmy. "He's contacting the Internal Revenue Service Database. I can't tell what all that stuff is that he's doing, but the FBI's recording it."
"All right!" exclaims Leroy. "I can see the Boss's car now!"
Approaching the main entrance of the Airport at high speed is a large, black Lincoln Continental with license plates that say "EARN IT." It screeches to a halt, and Captain Capitalism jumps out and runs up to Leroy.
"Where is he?" he asks Leroy.
"He's over there, at that pay phone!" replies Leroy.
Captain Capitalism whips out his famous chrome-plated Smith & Wesson and levels it at Harvey the Hacker, shouting "Freeze, Harvey! The game's over!"
As quick as lightning, Harvey the Hacker sprints away from the phone and ducks down a passage before Captain Capitalism can aim at him.
"Don't let him get away, Captain Capitalism!" shouts Leroy.
Captain Capitalism runs after Harvey the Hacker, who runs down a corridor, heads out through a side exit, runs up to a cab, pulls the driver out, and takes off in it. Captain Capitalism and Leroy jump into the Lincoln Continental, and after carefully fastening their seat belts they take off after him.
As the two cars screech out of the Airport, Captain Capitalism turns on his siren and flashing lights. Harvey the Hacker zooms down the access road and gets onto the freeway with Captain Capitalism close behind. Harvey the Hacker weaves in and out of the traffic lanes, forcing cars to veer out of the way, sometimes crashing into each other in the process. Nonetheless, Captain Capitalism with astonishing skill manages to keep right behind him.
Desperate to escape, Harvey the Hacker notices an exit ramp undergoing repairs, and crashes through the "Exit Closed" sign. He plows through piles of sand and roars up a bank to get to the clearing above, but he doesn't quite make it, and the cab begins to slide back down. As Captain Capitalism cautiously approaches, Harvey the Hacker zooms off in another direction, crashing through yet another sign. He manages to wedge the cab through a tight passage and then zooms off.
Leroy cries out "Oh, no!" thinking that Harvey the Hacker is escaping, but neither of them notices the huge pit just beyond an embankment. Harvey the Hacker accelerates over the embankment, only to find open air beneath him. The cab sails over the pit, yet fails to clear it, crashing into the side just below ground level. Harvey the Hacker, having forgotten to wear his seat belts, sails through the windshield and lands in a pile of gravel.
Captain Capitalism gently drives around to the other side and gets out to see if Harvey the Hacker has survived the impact. He bends over for a moment, then straightens up again and slowly shakes his head at Leroy. Harvey the Hacker is dead.
The next day, after everyone has had a good night's sleep and has attended the church of his choice, the Junior Capitalists meet at their headquarters. The mood is not as joyful as it could be, for though they accomplished their assignment, they did not capture Harvey the Hacker alive. Captain Capitalism is also there, brooding over Life, but then he gets up an says "I don't know why we're all so glum -- we did our jobs, we served Justice, and we saved the Economy. So cheer up, everybody! I'll buy us all some ice cream!"
Everyone cheers up as they walk down to the nearest ice cream shop. Later that afternoon, as the Junior Capitalists eat their sundaes and watch the TV at the shop, the Afternoon News announcer for W-USA comes on the screen for an update and shocks everyone when he says "It is now nearly 24 hours since Professor Picklepuss gave his challenge to confront Captain Capitalism in a public debate at Ford Square this coming Saturday, concerning his new system for attaining and maintaining a Pacifist World Co mmunity.
"Yet as of this minute there has been no reply from Captain Capitalism. Surely, the defender of our Economy would not concede to the potentially dangerous position of Professor Picklepuss without first challenging it! And thus, as over a million upright citizens wait anxiously for some sign, all we at W-USA can say is 'Captain Capitalism, where are you?'"
The Junior Capitalists sit in silent shock, but Captain Capitalism slowly and grimly stands up and clenches his fists. Then he speaks out to the rest, saying "Keep your eyes glued to this station, Junior Capitalists! I have a challenge to accept!"
Everyone cheers as Captain Capitalism heads out the door.
Later, almost at the very end of the News, the Junior Capitalists hear some commotion in the background, and the announcer says over the air "We interrupt this portion of the News to bring you a special announcement. Captain Capitalism has entered our studio, and is now coming this way! I relinquish the camera to him."
The announcer steps aside and Captain Capitalism comes into view. "First, I want to apologize for my tardiness," he says to over a million Viewers. "I offer no excuse save a temporary and unfortunate failure to keep up with the News. Second, I formally and publicly announce my acceptance of the challenge of Professor Picklepuss, and I look forward to meeting him this Saturday."
As these words travel across the air, a muffled roar, the applause of over a million viewers, emanates from the polished towers of Urban Center, U.S.A.
The sun hides behind clouds on Saturday, and the day is cool and gloomy. Thousands of people fill Ford Square right up to the platform where the great debate is to commence. And up front are the Junior Capitalists themselves, ready to cheer Captain Capitalism on to victory.
Captain Capitalism sits to the right with his chin resting on his hand. Professor Picklepuss sits to the left, conferring with Lenny the Liberal, who grins maliciously at Captain Capitalism. In the center sits the mediator, who is none other than Jerry Helms, the Mayor of Urban Center.
The debate is about to begin when a person runs onto the platform and whispers into the Mayor's ear. The Mayor rises and speaks into his microphone, saying "Captain Capitalism has received an important phone call. It's from the President."
Everyone in Ford Square is hushed as someone brings a phone to Captain Capitalism, who stands as he takes it. The call is piped over the loudspeaker, so that everyone may hear it.
"This is Captain Capitalism," says Captain Capitalism into the phone.
"This is your President speaking," says an elderly, affable voice on the phone. "I just wanted to encourage you by saying that the best man will win the debate, and that man will be you."
Cheers erupt from the spectators as Captain Capitalism and the President confer privately for a moment longer. Finally the debate is begun, with Professor Picklepuss giving the first statement.
"Without any complex arguments or details," he begins, "I will simply state my position. The central cause of war is lust for Political and Economic power. The central cause of Crime, Poverty, and Pollution is the practice of making personal gains at the expense of others and of natural resources.
"My proposed system has no power structure and no Economic structure. Put simply, it is a Rational Anarchy which has only four basic precepts. The first is to take only what you need to live comfortably and to give whatever effort you can to support the World Community. The second is not to willingly violate the rights of privacy, property, or person of any individual. The third is not to willingly violate the rights of the environment through the waste of mineral, water, air, or living resources. The fourth is not to own any weapon save one for hunting, and that only if the need for one may be demonstrated.
"Because nobody is underprivileged, there is no rational reason for Crime. Thus any criminals would be those in need of hospitalization rather than of imprisonment. And because there is no power structure through which one may gain Political or Economic advantage, national boundaries will become obsolete, and the only remaining incentive for war would be prejudice. The elimination of military weapons, however, would undermine war on a population scale.
"In conclusion, the transition to such a system is not easy, and requires both trust and a sense of responsibility from each individual. Nonetheless, such may be feasible with proper education and elimination of prejudiced attitudes spawned through ignorance.
"I now yield to Captain Capitalism."
Captain Capitalism pauses for a moment, and then leans forward to his microphone and says "I cannot believe that you are being serious! No government? Absurd! No money? Unthinkable!
"How can the People live free, happy, and productive lives without either government or money?"
"I ask you," says the Professor, "how can MOST people live free, happy, and productive lives WITH government or money? The principal driving force behind a Capitalist society is the establishment of a limited amount of Economic power and the concentration of it to a relatively small number of individuals. This is ultimately at the expense of everyone else."
"That's not true," replies Captain Capitalism. "The principal driving force of Capitalism is that ANYONE can create a good life for himself, provided he make the effort."
"And provided he has connections," says the Professor. "You still leave out the fact that for every person who succeeds, it is at the expense of many who don't."
"People don't succeed only because they won't succeed," replies Captain Capitalism.
The Professor changes his tactic. "So what is success?" he asks. "What is it that's so special about owning pieces of paper or bits of metal or numbers in a computerized account? Why do we need to earn money and then spend it when we can just do the work that needs to be done and then receive the goods and services we need for living? Why do we need something which allows one person to take advantage over another, when we can simply have all the People living at the same level?"
"Because if you simply provide goods and services for free," replies Captain Capitalism, "the People won't have any incentive to work!"
"People are smart enough to realize that if they don't work, the System won't," counters the Professor.
"There will always be those who feel that they can let others do the work for them," argues Captain Capitalism.
"Perhaps," says the Professor, "but it's not likely. Almost anyone who doesn't work will eventually beg to."
"Try telling that to all those on Welfare," replies Captain Capitalism.
"Find them a decent job, and they'll take it," counters the Professor.
Captain Capitalism changes his strategy. "Your system obviously calls for halting arms production and eventually reducing current armaments," he says, "but what about the Godless Commies and the Libyan terrorists? They would never agree to such a pact -- all they want to do is conquer the world, and they'd never be able to do it without their armaments!"
"They are Human Beings!" replies the Professor. "They may have different beliefs than ours, but that doesn't mean that they don't have similar motives. There is no reason, except bigotry, that we cannot come to an agreement with them and even cooperate with them."
"Now, wait a minute," says Captain Capitalism. "I'm a reasonable man. I respect the fact that some people have different beliefs, and I forgive them when they admit they're wrong. Just look at China -- they admitted that the Cultural Revolution was a bad idea, and we haven't held it against them. Now we have formal diplomatic and business relations with them.
"The same goes with the rest of the Godless Commies and terrorists. If they realize the error of their ways, I'll be willing to deal with them. Yet as long as they remain what they are, they're the principal danger to our Nation, and must be dealt with as enemies.
"And that is why we can't reduce our armaments or freeze our production. If we did that, they'd get ahead of us and would be able to defeat us in a war. As long as we have the upper hand we can keep them in check, for they would know that we could eliminate them. And if they don't shape up soon, we may just nuke 'em anyway."
"That's totally absurd!" exclaims the Professor. "Don't you realize that if either we or they launched a nuclear attack, it would be suicide? The effects would wipe out all life on Earth!"
"I can't believe that you consider that to be true," replies Captain Capitalism. "The only scientists who publicize that propaganda are under the direct guidance of the KGB. Besides, even if it were true, it would be a small price to pay to keep America from being taken over by the Commies."
"Where is the logic in that?" asks the Professor. "Would you kill someone to save him?"
"Better Dead than Red," answers Captain Capitalism triumphantly.
Visibly perturbed, the Professor continues his attack. "Is life then so cheap to you that you would destroy thousands of millions of innocent men, women, and children just because you would have them governed by one set of corrupt officials rather than another? Don't you realize that most so-called 'Godless Commies' are ordinary citizens who have jobs, families, and homes, and are devoutly religious? Don't you realize that most so-called 'Libyan terrorists' are impoverished, starving, oppressed families?
"You talk about destroying Communism, Terrorism, and Tyranny, but you act as if the only way to do so is to destroy the victims along with it! This is certainly Might, but is it Right? Is it Just? Is it the American Way?
"Not only that, but in the name of 'suppressing Communism' America refuses to recognize governments formed by People-backed revolutions, and actively works against them. Yet our own Nation was founded on revolution! Is America denying the validity of its own origins?
"My Country 'Tis of Thee, Land of Hypocrisy!"
Lenny the Liberal laughs triumphantly as Captain Capitalism hangs his head in shame. A disappointed buzz travels throughout the mass of spectators.
"Oh!" cries Tammy. "You can't give up now!"
"C'mon, Captain Capitalism!" shouts Jimmy.
"You just gotta beat him!" hollers Billy. "The world depends on you!"
"You can do it!" yells Leroy. "We're backing you all the way!"
After what seems an eternity, Captain Capitalism raises his head, and once again Flames of Righteousness light in his eyes. And as the sun comes out from behind the clouds, Captain Capitalism slowly draws himself up to his full height and turns with a smile to Professor Picklepuss, who begins to fidget nervously.
"I'll agree that our system has some flaws," says Captain Capitalism, "but it's still the best system in existence, and at least our citizens enjoy Freedom and a high Standard of Living.
"Your system sounds wonderful, indeed almost too wonderful to be true. Now I admit that some may be able to live under such a system, but do you feel that the People in general could do so?"
"Well," answers the Professor hesitantly, "not quite. People in general are too irresponsible to get along without money or government. However, they can be guided until they're accustomed to accepting the responsibilities involved."
"And who would do the guiding?" asks Captain Capitalism.
"Why, I suppose those of us who are able to guide them would do so," replies the Professor.
"In other words," says Captain Capitalism, "you would tell the People what was good for them?"
"Well," replies the Professor hesitantly, "yes..."
"And you would thus be forced to come up with some appropriate means to enforce this guidance?" asks Captain Capitalism.
Lenny the Liberal starts turning red.
"I suppose we would," replies the Professor.
"Otherwise," continues Captain Capitalism, "the People would make mistakes which could upset the balance of the system?"
"Exactly," says the Professor with relief.
"So," says Captain Capitalism, "you design a system for the 'good of the People,' and you dictate it to them 'for their own good,' and you enforce your dictates through 'appropriate means.' Is that correct?"
Lenny the Liberal turns pale.
"Yes," answers the Professor, "I suppose that is one way of putting it, but..."
"I see no 'buts!'" says Captain Capitalism with renewed vigor. "Oh, how often have I heard of well-meaning chaps who have a system 'for the good of the People,' and who in implementing it only turn out to be Godless Communist Tyrants who want to subjugate the People and take away their Right to be Free and to buy products for a better life!"
Renewed buzzing passes through the audience.
"Oh, how tragic it would be," continues Captain Capitalism triumphantly, "if YOU were to turn out to be one of those Tyrants!"
The audience starts mumbling angrily. Lenny the Liberal starts shouting something at Captain Capitalism, but is drowned out by the noise.
Professor Picklepuss, distressed by the accusation, bows to Captain Capitalism and leaves to go back to his ivy-covered halls, where he can spend the rest of his life creating interesting but worthless ideas.
Lenny the Liberal slinks away from the jubilant audience, thinking of yet more plans for revenge.
The Junior Capitalists, meanwhile, all give a rousing cheer for Captain Capitalism.
And in Washington, D.C., in the White House, the President himself breathes easily once more.
Yes, Captain Capitalism has saved the world. Yet he knows that as long as Godless Commies and Libyan terrorists exist, his Job will not be done. And he also knows that as long as criminals like the Red Hammer and Lenny the Liberal exist, his job will be all the more difficult. He also knows, however, that as long as upright citizens and Junior Capitalists stand behind him, he will never fail to carry out his duty.
KIDS! You too can own a pair of GENUINE OFFICIAL CAPTAIN CAPITALISM POCKET TWO-WAY RADIOS just like the Junior Capitalist League uses! For only $89.95 plus $10.00 postage and handling, you get TWO Two-Way Pocket Radios PLUS ABSOLUTELY FREE a pair of "Junior Capitalist" iron-on transfers for your t-shirts! Just have your parents use their MasterCard or Visa and call 1-800-555-9800 (please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery). Order today!
The Circular File