Chapter 14


People :

Author : Fredy Perlman

Text :

TAPED NARRATOR (sound of rewinding, somewhat lengthy. Stop. Then): It began with isolated strangers in the big city, hostile and suspicious individuals surrounded by —

(LYMAN turns off the tape recorder on his desk after the lights go on)

(Same room. The shelves contain sandals, plates, pottery and packaged commodities. The desk no longer contains a typesetting machine. In the place of the picture window there is a wall. A large portrait occupies the center of the wall — a portrait of Philip, somewhat older and in a suit. The remainder of the wall contains the following statements:)









(E.G.L.F. — C.P.)



Pay for the rest of your life.

(LYMAN SANDERS, considerably older, sits at the desk, which contains the tape recorder, an intercom box, and of course paper. A reporter, with a pad, sits on the other side of the desk. Both are dressed as befits executives)

REPORTER: So the enterprise remained unified until the founder’s mysterious death. Did he simply vanish?

LYMAN: It is believed that the founder died in an accident in connection with his last interest, horses, but the causes are unknown.

REPORTER: Did his wife take over immediately after his demise?

LYMAN: Not immediately. Their son managed the business for a brief period, and I must add, to his credit, that he kept it unified. But in other respects he left a mess by perpetrating innumerable disturbances and untold upheavals with his gang of motorcycle friends.

REPORTER: He was awarded some kind of medal for distinguished service, if I’m not wrong.

LYMAN: That’s correct. He did heroic service in the Far East. He died in Iran.

REPORTER: Is it true that he died of a fever contracted from a drinking orgy?

LYMAN: I believe that story is apocryphal.

REPORTER: So the founder’s wife salvaged the operation —

LYMAN: I wouldn’t put it that way. The founder’s wife did step in on two or three occasions during the stormy interregnum that followed the demise of the son —

REPORTER: So the real work of salvage —

LYMAN: That’s correct. The real work of salvage is due entirely to the efforts of the three friends — I could almost say kinsmen — of the founder.

REPORTER: Among whom you were the senior member.

LYMAN: Correct again. We established a partnership. However, centrifugal forces soon made themselves felt, and ultimately these forces tore asunder what had once been a unified enterprise.

REPORTER: Two of the partners established competing empires —

LYMAN: In actual fact the competition was minimal. One of the partners set up Alternative Media Enterprises and specialized in all the lines related to self-publishing, but this was at a time when ISC was playing down the share of those lines, and at this point we’ve gotten out of them altogether. The other partner detached the part of our activity that was inherently noncompetitive, namely the educational sector, and that enterprise, the Alternative Schools Corporation, recently merged with an institute of behavioral psychology; as you probably know, their largest contracts are with the Pentagon.

REPORTER: Is it true that both of the successor enterprises are now larger than the original home base?

LYMAN: It depends on what you mean by larger. ISC retains the vast wealth of accumulated tradition, and we continue to have an edge over the other two in the more, shall we say, philosophical and artistic manifestations.

REPORTER: I’m deeply grateful, Mr. Sanders —

LYMAN: On the contrary, the pleasure was all mine. Will I be able to see the material before publication?

REPORTER: I’ll see to it. And the typescript?

LYMAN: Yes of course. (Presses button of intercom)

VOICE OF LAMIA (through intercom): Yes, Mr. Sanders.

LYMAN: Lamia, would you see to it that the gentleman from the News is given a typescript of the Foundation Tape?

VOICE OF LAMIA: Yes, Mr. Sanders.

(REPORTER exits after handshake. Intercom’ buzzes)

LYMAN: What is it, Lamia?

VOICE OF LAMIA: Lyman, are you ready to hear the day’s report now?

LYMAN: Shoot away, Lamia.

VOICE OF LAMIA (Light and sound fade during this exposition): Two hundred pairs of sandals, 76 with straps; assortments of pottery, mainly vases, amounting to 137 pounds; forty eight paintings, half of them for the sepia version of number nineteen; a problem order for frozen yogurt, much too large for us to fill — a rush order from a natural foods cooperative in northern Wisconsin for 500 cases of frozen yogurt, and as you know our total weekly production is 50 cases...

(Lights and sound fade out)


From :

Chronology :

November 30, 2010 : Chapter 14 -- Publication.
October 11, 2021 : Chapter 14 -- Added.
October 13, 2021 : Chapter 14 -- Updated.

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