Their nation was really quite wealthy. The educated citizens could easily find jobs, had good homes, and were able to purchase everything they needed. So could those in the working class, though their salaries were not quite as much.
Not only were the basic needs, such as safety and physiological needs, easily met, but the average citizen enjoyed community events, sporting activities, and the arts. Theaters, art galleries, and concert halls were filled for concerts, shows, and performances. Libraries were overflowing with books of history, fiction, politics, biographies, and more. Citizens had the opportunity to be well educated, not only at the grammar school and high school level, but universities across the nation churned out graduates who would become some of the most respected leaders in their respective fields in the world.
This is not to say that the nation was without troubles. They had just endured a major war in which many of their soldiers were killed in action. The costs of this war went far beyond the loss of life, though (although, there is no greater loss). The financial costs of the war well surpassed the net worth of the country. It had taken over a decade for them to rebound and come into a prosperous time once again.
During this time of great prosperity, a small group of leaders began to work their way through the process of being elected to the local and national legislative bodies. This small group, had realized that, even though they had ulterior motives for taking over the complete control of the country, they had to first work their way into power, one elected official at a time. They took small steps at first, gaining only a few seats at a time. But like it happens with so many groups, those small steps developed into huge gains, almost exponentially. After a decade, they became the controlling party.
There were people who realized that this elite group did not have the best interests of the nation at heart. Some of these people spoke out against this group and tried to prevent them from taking more power. Not only were they unsuccessful, many of them were arrested, or even killed, for speaking out against the ruling class. Some just disappeared, and no one saw them again.
To be sure, this ruling class really did look like it was doing good things for the nation. They nationalized the healthcare system so that every citizen had access to free care, including required childhood vaccinations. They nationalized the education system to give every child the best education possible. They formed after-school groups that taught children how to survive in the wilderness, the history of their country, and patriotism.
It all sounded so good on the surface. However, there were many things taking place of which the average citizen was completely unaware, at least for a while.
Those who were born with physical deformities or mental disabilities were often set aside and left to die. If a woman was thought to be carrying a baby with any defects, the baby was aborted. This was to make certain that all children would have every opportunity to live a successful life. The elderly and infirmed were often encouraged to take their own life so that they would be no burden on society. Adults who were determined to have physical or mental disabilities were often murdered, even against the will of their families who cared for them.
Racism was rampant! Anyone of any race other than white and of European descent was treated differently by government officials. Anyone who observed a religion other than that approved by the government was treated equally badly. Their rights to government support and benefits were restricted. They were singled out and harassed by business owners, police, and in every government office. Even children were told not to play with anyone of another race or religion.
Citizens were encouraged to spy on their neighbors. Children were taught to spy on their parents. All were told that, if they saw anyone do anything suspicious, they should report it to the authorities immediately, whether or not they had proof.
The governing class eventually took over the press, too. All reported information went first through the governing party leaders to be approved. Truth in reporting was irrelevant. By this time, elections were completely phony. The executive leader of the government had taken dictatorial control. Any opposition from the legislature was nullified. Since the press was at his beck and call, the media only reported what they were told to report.
The average citizen was often unaware of just how bad the situation was. Since he/she had access to a good job, free healthcare, and a free education for their children, there was little need for anything else. To help ensure the safety of the people and the state, a draft was implemented which required all young adults to either join the military or perform community service unless they were still in a university.
They didn’t see it coming. Because the changes happened in small increments at first, few realized where they, as a nation, were headed. When the small changes began growing, it was too late to stop it. There were many who tried, but ultimately, the help would have to come from people outside of the situation.
So, just what happened to this nation? There are two answers. It depends on whether you have attributed the above story to 1930’s Nazi Germany or present-day America. The former ended up in a world war in which they were utterly defeated, but only after killing over 6 million innocent civilians in gas chambers or by starvation. The latter? Well, that remains to be seen.