More Modest Proposals: repress the young!
All political systems are repressive, some more than others. But repression is inevitable. Politics is the distribution of repression, so let us not evaluate political systems in terms of how they distribute “rights” but rather how they distribute pain.
“Rights” are aspirational but pain is all too real. “Rights” are fuzzy around the edges, and often conflict with each other. But Pain is clear, distinct, quantifiable, and all-too-cumulative. Very rarely does one form of suffering get in the way of another form.
Humankind has tried different repressive schemes. We’ve repressed the poor. We’ve repressed the rich. We’ve repressed the merchants, the intelligentsia, the religious. We’re repressed minorities, silent majorities, even veterans and whiskey distillers. You name ‘em, we’ve repressed ‘em.
And yet, we don’t seem to have gotten it quite right. Our recipes for repression are not optimal. Those who might object on behalf of democracy’s alleged greatness are often the first to bewail the imminent demise of the system. Freedom and Democracy, it seems, are always in peril, embodying in reality the oxymoron of “eternal peril” invented in jest by Monty Python.
So even if freedom and democracy are the best of the worst, at the very least they deserve to be relieved of their absurdly eternal peril.
The answer I propose is that we have not repressed the right people. If we repress the right people in the right way for the right period of time, the rest of us can live in the most splendid, un-imperilled freedom the world has never known.
Humankind’s political choices are this: all of the people can be free some of the time, or some of the people can be free most of the time. Democracy chooses the first option. I modestly propose the second.
The reason the second option has a bad name now is because of its unfortunate association with kings, dictators, military juntas, aristocracies and police states. They all made the same mistake—they allotted freedom and repression in pretty much the same measure for the entire lifetimeof the individual subject/citizen—born to the manor, buried in the mausoleum.
Big mistake! What we need is a system of freedom and repressions attuned to the demographic age group of its citizens. Forget privilege and power based in any way on birth. Rather, privilege and power based on birth plus forty laps around the sun!
The obvious solution which has so far eluded us is to harshly repress the young, especially young men. If young people, especially men, lived under a police state the rest of us could live in a wildly free neo-hippie paradise. It wouldn’t even have to be “neo-hippie” it would be that chill.
Who commits crimes? Who commits terrorism? Who drives like shit? Young people, young people, young people. Especially men. The radical feminists are right, there’s no point arguing with them–insurance companies don’t, so neither should you. (In fact, there’s no point arguing with any radical system of thought—simply give in and submit to its critique and it goes away, like the Viet Cong, but that’s a digression…)
Male violence is the fundamental problem of every society. Fraud and corruption are secondary, and only slightly less male-dominated.
Whoring may be the oldest profession, but at least it was a profession. All in all, it seems like honest work. Male violence, however, is the oldest racket, and it has been perpetuating itself like a useless computer virus for much too long now. How long must we pay men to protect us from other men?
The radical feminists make only one mistake—they do not distinguish between “men” and men who have had their scalps disappear and dicks soften. In addition to lower testosterone (the world’s most dangerous drug), the latter tend have extensive family and social obligations which simply do not restrain the deluded thinking of 18-year-olds.
Eighteen year old men have a mindset designed for charging machine-gun nests: I’m special and I’ll live forever and the rules of common sense don’t apply to me.
Whereas the wisdom of age tells the senior conscript that adversaries become allies when the war ends, even Nazis and Commies, so why not just spray bullets around until each side runs out of ammo and the commanders are forced to withdraw?
This wisdom must be kept from the young (sh!), lest they fail to charge machine guns nests when we really really need them to, so already we’re talking about a police state in terms of information and censorship.
The mentality of 18 year olds is a wild resource which society must occasionally deploy and therefore must perpetually control. Like a pit bull. It is not something to be emulated by the broader culture, nor, given its admitted recklessness, does it seem particularly eligible for the so-called Rights of Man.
We should recast the Rights of Man as the Rights of Quadragenaria—forty laps around the sun (thirty for women, sorry, too bad dudes) and you’re in—full inalienable rights and participation with near-diplomatic immunity and with very little juridical supervision or surveillance, much less anything even resembling the Patriot Act.
Until then, make darn sure you’re papers are in order! Especially after curfew…
And don’t worry about any organized resistance from the youth to this proposed gerontocracy. They don’t vote, they don’t care. They don’t even read important things like this. Even if they did, you could still enact an Enlightened Gerontocracy without much protest because they would delude themselves by thinking:
I’m special, so I don’t need to worry about the upcoming harsh rules of gerontocracy because they won’t be applied to me like they will to other young people…
Previous revolutions have been costly and bloody and often fail to achieve lasting reforms. Establishing an Enlightened Gerontocracy, however, requires only the mellowest of revolutions against the world’s most privileged caste of people, so privileged they don’t even know it—the young and healthy.
Alan Brech 2012