In an unspecified future, Earth’s population is kept hard working and ignorant via brain-controlling television broadcasts. The world is manipulated – everything from the Cold War to The Beatles – by the Orwellian ‘MI23’, whose mantra is ‘Truth. Justice. Fear.’

Welcome to ‘Earth 101’, the new, multimedia, internet-based radio comedy series, which uses a combination of video, audio and Twitter feeds to create a surreal world of satirical science fiction.

There is little information available on the site but the first episode aired at midnight on Friday and presumably at the same time each week.

The shadowy ‘global meta-government’, MI23 is overseen by a greedy American corporation run by the brutish Bradley, who ruthlessly pursues ‘profit not loss’ and is sent into paroxysms of rage at the utterance of the ‘D word’: ‘deficit’.

Woolsey and Cromwell are two cowardly bureaucrats whose cosy world is threatened when Bradley demotes them from their functionless, Kafka-esque department (where their own job descriptions are unknown even to themselves) to work on a rickety satellite in orbit somewhere above the Earth.

We follow the hapless duo as they cheat and scheme their way out of facing early ‘retirement’ by the barrel of a gun, by backstabbing and scapegoating those beneath them.

A whimsical Douglas Adams-stlye humour provides some wry smiles in a fictional world which exists somewhere between Yes Minister and Blade Runner.

We are shown a universe in which Margaret Thatcher was a robot designed to wreak havoc on the public sector, and where the ruling classes have achieved a Machiavellian grip over the population, who unquestioningly go about their work whilst ruthless corporations endlessly chase profitability at the expense of humanity.

In reality, however, whilst the world’s ruling elite can be seen to be increasingly coalescing into aggressive corporate bureaucracies, it is certainly not true that the population is docile and unquestioning.

In contrast, the world is currently being rocked by protest movements, from democratic revolution in Nepal to riots, protests and general strikes in Greece. Spain is on the brink of a general strike, there are protests in Romania and last year saw 100,000 protest in Ireland over massive state cutbacks.

In March this year there were numerous student protests in America. We have seen strikes in the UK over cuts to education, the public sector and the attack on the BA workers by the union-bashing Willie Walsh.

Nor has capitalist hegemony been anything like achieved, as there is genuine conflict even amongst the ruling class as they squabble over the best way to make working people pay for the crisis of global finance.

Earth 101’s sci-fi dystopia has a sense of inevitability about it, which doesn’t necessarily chime with the reality of a world in which people can and often do decide to fight back against their oppressive rulers.

But to avoid becoming the ‘slumbering masses’, acquiescent of a life of toil and exploitation it is vital to build organised resistance against the ravages of global capital and continue to fight for a better world.

Dan Poulton

Dan is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner.  His most recent documentary was The New Scramble For Africa and his documentaries have appeared regularly on the Islam Channel. He is an organiser for Counterfire and a regular contributor to Counterfire site.