V Addresses the Public

Alan Moore


Page numbers appear in blue: 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 186, 187, 258

See also the following .jpgs, provided kindly by jazjaz.net and radgeek.com: 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 258

V’s Televised Address

[112] Good evening, London.  I thought it time we had a little talk.

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin…

[113] I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve called you here this evening.  Well, you see, I’m not entirely satisfied with your performance lately…I’m afraid your work’s been slipping, and…and, well, I’m afraid we’ve been thinking about letting you go.

Oh, I know, I know.  You’ve been with the company a long time now.  Almost…let me see.  Almost ten thousand years!  My word, doesn’t time fly?  It seems like only yesterday…

I remember the day you commenced your employment, swinging down from the trees, fresh-faced and nervous, a bone clasped in your bristling fist…

“Where do I start, sir?” you asked, plaintively.

I recall my exact words:  “There’s a pile of dinosaur eggs over there, youngster,” I said, smiling paternally the while.  “Get sucking.”

Well, we’ve certainly come a long way since then, haven’t we?  And yes, yes, you’re right, in all that time you haven’t missed a day.  [114] Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Also, please don’t think I’ve forgotten about your outstanding service record, or about all the invaluable contributions that you’ve made to the company…fire, the wheel, agriculture…it’s an impressive list, old-timer.  A jolly impressive list.  Don’t get me wrong.

But…well, to be frank, we’ve had our problems, too.  There’s no getting away from it.

Do you know what I think it stems from? I’ll tell you:  It’s your basic unwillingness to get on within the company.  You don’t seem to want to face up to any real responsibility, or to be your own boss.

Lord knows, you’ve been given plenty of opportunities…

We’ve offered you promotion time and time again, and each time you’ve turned us down.  “I couldn’t handle the work, Guv’nor,” you wheedled.  “I know my place.”  To be frank, you’re not trying, are you?

You see, you’ve been standing still for far too long, and it’s starting to show in your work…  [115] And, I might add, in your general standard of behaviour.

The constant bickering on the factory floor has not escaped my attention, nor the recent bouts of rowdiness in the staff canteen.

Then of course there’s…hmm.  Well, I didn’t really want to have to bring this up, but…well, you see, I’ve been hearing some disturbing rumours about your personal life.  No, never you mind who told me.  No names, no pack drill…  I understand that you are unable to get it on with your spouse.  I hear that you argue.  I am told that you shout.  Violence has been mentioned.  I am reliably informed that you always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all.

[116] And what about the children?  It’s always the children who suffer, as you’re well aware.  Poor little mites.  What are they to make of it?  What are they to make of your bullying, your despair, your cowardice and all your fondly nurtured bigotries?

Really, it’s not enough, is it?

And it’s no good blaming the drop in work standards upon bad management, either…though, to be sure, the management is very bad.

In fact, let us not mince words…the management is terrible!

We’ve had a string of embezzlers, frauds, liars, and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions.

This is plain fact.

But who elected them?

[117] It was you!  You who appointed these people!  You who gave them the power to make decisions for you!

While I’ll admit that anyone can make a mistake once, to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems to me nothing short of deliberate.

You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles.  You have accepted without question their senseless orders.  You have allowed them to fill your workspace with dangerous and unproven machines.

You could have stopped them.

All you had to say was “no.”

You have no spine.  You have no pride.

You are no longer an asset to the company.

I will, however, be generous.

You will be granted two years to show some improvement in your work.  If at the end of that time you are still unwilling to make a go of it…[118] you’re fired.

That will be all.  You may return to your labours.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

V’s Radio Address

[186] Good evening, London.  This is the voice of Fate.

[187] Almost four hundred years ago tonight, a great citizen made a most significant contribution to our common culture.  It was a contribution forged in stealth and silence and secrecy, although it is best remembered in noise and bright light.

To commemorate this most glorious of evenings, her majesty’s government is pleased to return the rights of secrecy and privacy to you, its loyal subjects.

For three days, your movements will not be watched, your conversations will not be listened to, and “do what thou wilt” shall be the whole of the law.

God bless you, and goodnight.

The New V’s Public Speech

[258] Good evening, London.

I would introduce myself, but truth to tell, I do not have a name.

You can call me “V”.

Since Mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves.

By doing so, they took our power.

By doing nothing, we gave it away.

We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.

In anarchy, there is another way.

With anarchy, from rubble comes new life, hope reinstated.  They say anarchy’s dead, but see, reports of my death were…exaggerated.

Tomorrow, Downing Street will be destroyed, the Head reduced to ruins, an end to what has gone before.

Tonight, you must choose what comes next.  Lives of our own, or a return to chains.

Choose carefully.

And so, adieu.

A Brief Comment

Alexander S. Peak

On page 187, V states that “do what thou wilt” shall be the whole of the law.  One might naturally misunderstand and assume that “do what thou wilt” constitutes the whole of the law in an anarchy, but this assumption would be incorrect.  It does not.

In fact, I have elsewhere argued that the anomistic decree that one should do whatever she or he wants ought to be described as “onmiarchist,” rather than anarchist.

What would be the law in an anarchy, then? one might ask.

In an anarchy, the whole of the law would be, do not aggress against the person or justly-acquired property of anyone else.  This would be the law in an anarchy for any aggressions against a person or her justly-acquired property naturally creates a coercive hierarchy, with the aggressor as ruler and the aggressed as ruled.  As aggression is the only thing incompatible with anarchy, it is the only thing against which, in an anarchy, one would be justified to use any force at all; in other words, it is the only thing that may be legally prohibited.

So why, then, does V say “do what thou wilt” wall be the whole of the law?  It’s because V recognises that what society is about to experience is not anarchy; instead, it’s about to experience something incompatible with anarchy, viz., chaos (p. 195).

Mr. Peak’s comment copyleft 2010.  Feel free to copy it as much as you like.

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