When the collapsing began, in a system where scarcity was a commodity, there was always a need for the unemployed, the homeless and the hungry. When most people could no longer afford consumer goods, there were riots. The rulers called it an attack on democracy.
The riots were met with militarised, armoured police. With falling tax revenues companies took over financing the police, so the police increasingly functioned as capitalism’s own Praetorian Guard; sometimes supporting rival business leaders, sometimes bringing about their demise, and all the while living standards fell and the state started to crumble.
For Esme Sedgebrook, growing up in the provinces, there is no future other than an arranged marriage, motherhood, and domesticity, fleeing to join the uprising is as much about personal transformation as it is political.