About "The Gostak Distims the Doshes"

This is the only thing I've written so far in the "Roma Aeterna" time line. Other items waiting their turn are the mystery stories "Death of a Demi-God", "A Vulture Too Late," and "Too Many Elephants".

Once upon a time, in the 1960's, I read a science-fiction story (probably in a science-fiction anthology checked out of a library) in which the protagonist was transported into another society. That society was divided by a slogan, "The Gostak distims the Doshes." No one could explain to him what the phrase meant, but it led to social disorder, and eventually international war, with great battles and naval actions, and much slaughter. This was the inspiration, in 2002, for what you're reading now. The original story, "The Gostak and the Doshes," by Miles J. Breuer, appeared in the March 1930 issue of Amazing Stories. So 72 years passed between his story, and my take on his idea, and another 16 years between my first version, and this one. For other takes, "google" the phrase on the internet.

So what (or who) is a gostak, who (or what) the doshes, and how does one distim them? The original story never did say, and if it was good enough for him…

Actually, I decided what the words meant in the context of this story, but I'm not sure any purpose is served by revealing my answer. Make up your own, and see how well it fits. There's a glossary, after the footnotes, to help.—LDO