Daily Archives: September 18th, 2009

“The Empire Never Ended”

“The Empire Never Ended” is a quote from Philip K. Dick’s VALIS published in 1981. The phrase is often used in conjunction with another phrase, “The Black Iron Prison.”

Let’s first make one thing clear, Philip K. Dick was a prolific, prophetic and often insane genius. And like all insane genius’, his appetite for self-destruction often fed his creativity and VALIS clearly showed that. In fact, Dick went out of his way by claiming the protagonist, Horse-lover Fat, was a semi-autobiographical character.

In the book, Horse-lover Fat under-goes several visions that are epiphanic in nature. One such episode clearing leaves Fat the impression that he saw a past self, a Gnostic Christian, hiding and running from the Romans! In fact, he claimed the personality over-took his body for a while!

There was no accident this incident was in the book. Dick himself claimed this event happened to him and led him to exclaim “The Empire Never Ended” because the whole scene over-layed the present to him!

Of course, he was talking about the Nixon Era, because this vision started in 1974 (March) and continued over the spring.

Dick passed away in 1982, in the beginnings of the St Ronny Raygun Era, and many of the players that learned their trade at Nixon’s knee honed their skills during that time, i.e., Rummy the Mummy, Cheneyburton, David Adder-ton, Bu$hco #1 (even St. Ronny didn’t trust this guy!) and other cast of characters that carried on the Empire through into the 21st Century with Bu$hco #2.

I wonder, in a parallel universe if Dick lived through the Raygun and Bu$hco #2 Eras there, if he would’ve written more about The Empire That Wouldn’t Die and it’s Black Iron Prisons?

Read more about Philip K. Dick here and here.

“The Empire Never Ended.”

“Black Iron Prison.”

1991 Vintage Publishing version