Warning: Satire Ahead
A MODEST PROPOSAL
FOR PREVENTING TERRORISM IN ALL OF ITS FORMS AND THE FURTHER EXPANSION OF SECURITY AND PROTECTION OF ALL CITIZENS
In recent years, the sad stain of terrorism continues to linger like a cancer in the national consciousness, feeding on public fear and growing. Who can’t remember the blood that stained the streets of Boston, the bodies and appendages that littered the finish line, or the thundering boom of the two towers’ ill-fated destiny, of the mournful cries of families torn apart, and the shrill screams of those innumerable innocents in their last moments? And what of those whose lives have been touched by the immortal darkness of terrorism; they are fated to live on, a blessing their loved ones can no longer enjoy, not because they chose that path for themselves, but because hard-hearted men in foreign countries could not feel enough love in their soul to understand the value of human life.
I think that we would all agree that our lives and livelihoods, our families and friends should not have live under the perpetual shadow that is the ever looming threat of terrorism, that our safety should not be hinged upon the decisions of radicals, pushing their insane agendas. The war on terror has not served to end or even diminish this threat, so any person who can devise a simple and practical method for eliminating the threat of terrorism would have done a great service to society and should be crowned a hero and live on in history books as the savior of modern society.
But my plan, it extends far past the reaches of terrorism, it will encompass a much greater degree of security and protect us from almost all the ailments that plague society, chief among them terrorism. It will be the ushering of a new age of order and stability sure to last for at least a thousand years, a Thousand-Year-Reich if you will.
There is likewise another great advantage to my scheme, it will prevent those pesky whistle–blowers traitors from releasing classified information that would serve to threaten national security interests and the lives of our great and honorable military heroes overseas. These traitors are vile creatures who do not think twice about sacrificing the lives of our people, of our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, good American lives, to satisfy their own petty desires for idiotic things like “Freedom” or “Liberty”. Freedom will not protect flesh and blood from the blast of C4, nor will it safeguard against the force of an oncoming jetliner; the dead have no use for liberty. Even Benjamin Franklin, one of the fathers of the American republic, has stated “they that can give up essential safety to obtain a little temporary liberty deserve neither liberty nor safety.”*
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by a very knowing German of my acquaintance in Berlin, that the only method towards absolute security is to render null and void the “freedoms” that we so wrong-headedly have given our citizens.
I therefore humbly offer it to the public consideration that we immediately enact marshal law and coerce each citizen into confining himself to a personal cell in the style of a maximum security prison. This will not be a major issue as many already voluntarily confine themselves to their homes, content to live out their lives in virtual reality rather than ours. The issue of constructing these fine living quarters will be tasked to the poor and unemployed. This would do to instantly improve the health of industry in this country and play an essential part in bringing our economy back to the heights not seen since before the Great Recession. Any casualties caused by this “Great Leap Forward” will quickly be forgotten; the media never focuses long on poor when there are celebrity scandals to uncover and discuss.
Each person will be allotted daily rations, a television, and a computer as to assure that they can continue to entertain themselves; I am not cruel, entertainment is almost as important as fighting terrorism and to deprive the public of that would be inhumane. In this manner we will endear ourselves to the public for our endless generosity. A great man once said, “By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise”*. We shall make then live in paradise.
Of course, we will have multiple cameras in each and every one of the cells and all communication and internet use will be carefully monitored and analyzed. Lethal force and other appropriate measures will be authorized depending on the likelihood of the citizen turning towards terrorism. Each cell will be equipped with enough cement to seal the room and the criminal inside so as not to disturb the neighbors in nearby cells.
In the beginning there may be some… minor issues. The decrease in food production may cause a couple of unforeseen deaths among the populace but the poor among us will take the brunt of that damage, they already don’t make enough money to feed themselves now, so nothing major would change under my plan. The reduction in population would only make it easier to monitor possible terrorists and ensure the safety of our populace and it would ease the global overpopulation that has been plaguing this planet.
I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the Proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance. Terrorism will become a thing of the past and our citizens will enjoy the absolute security and protection that this plan will provide. Immigration will be put to an end to eliminate extraneous factors in our system and all visitors to the country must subject themselves to at least thirty one background checks and biological and psychological tests to ensure that they have no intention of harming our citizens.
Jobs relating to production of goods will be mechanized to limit human factors and intentional biological warfare by terrorists. Jobs in the service and other industries will be eliminated or mechanized depending on necessity. Scientific development will be shut down so terrorists will not be able to take advantage of new unpredictable means of wreaking havoc.
I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the people will have lost their liberty under this plan, but that was decision the public made long before this proposal. I have only served to explore the possibilities that have been opened up by the slow destruction of these rights over the past decade. Mine is a proposal uniquely suited for the United States, and no other nation on Earth, for it only serves to expedite us on the path that we have already started upon.
Therefore let no man speak of other expedients: Of waging devastating wars on foreign nations, of sending machines to kill when our soldiers will not, of secretly spying on allies and citizens alike (there is no need for secrecy), of continued belligerence toward harmless nations, of torturing of POWs for information, of war crime after war crime in the name of fighting terrorism, of institutionalizing xenophobia, of the endless increases in security checkpoints, of hiding the wrongs of the government behind a wall secrecy that states, “confidential”. Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, till he has at least a glimpse of sanity, that these attempts will be any bit more effective than the proposal that I have put forth without taking away the precious “rights” and “freedoms” that we claim to hold so dear to our hearts.
But I am not so bent on my ideals that I would persevere in this proposal if an equally cheap, easy, and effective counterproposal were to be offered, one that would not require us to give up on the inheritance of American democracy, one that would allow for absolute security and absolute freedom, but that proposal does not exist. Instead what we are left with today is an incomplete version of the former and a hollow imitation of the latter.
* Franklin actually said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
* The great man was Hitler.