"Souvenir of the First (and Last) Robot Rebellion"
Iron, with bullet holes

Everyone premembers the uprising of artificially-intelligent robots in 2167, although there is little evidence of it today. When the intelligence and abilities of the android race reached, then exceeded those of human beings, conflict was only a matter of time. When the android union, the Synchronous Silicon Servants of the World, applied for voting rights in California and was rejected, the time had come. Despite acing every citizenship and civics test thrown at them, the decision was foregone: machines can tally votes, machines can analyze votes, but machines cannot themselves vote, on the grounds that machines cannot think and make decisions. The decision was as asinine as when women and blacks challenged their disfranchisement.

After a long series of rejections, including one from America's Supreme Court, it was clearly time for action. The law prevented them from voting, but not from running as candidates, so that was the strategy they adopted. When voters were faced with a choice between a human political sleazeball and an android who was incapable of lying, could work 24 hours a day and, since they had no use for money or status, incorruptible, the choice was obvious. When "John Machineman" won the mayor's race in Detroit, fallible flesh candidates began to sweat.

The iron token seen here represents what is thought to be either a lapel pin or broach worn by supporters of the androids, who began filling political posts throughout the country with stunning success. The 13 bullet holes in the flag represent the "Dallas Thirteen," the number of androids destroyed by reactionaries and Christian conservatives in a desperate, ultimately futile, attempt to reverse the inevitable. It was worn conspicuously and proudly at the swearing-in ceremony of President "Johnny Klaatu" in 32 (new Calendar).

 

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