How would one, given the current situation on Terra, move humanity towards becoming something more Imperial, and in doing so, not cause massive amounts of death and destruction?
…if I had an answer to that one, I’d be Chairman of the Vanguard Party, not an ‘umble SF author.
(Honestly, if I was feeling all upbeat and hopeful at the moment, I’d say “education, enlightenment – and the Enlightenment – and maybe some voluntary cognitive surgery”.
If I was feeling less serious, I’d go with a Dr. Horrible quote and say “Anarchy – that I run!”
But it’s election season here in These United States, and as I’m unable to escape the spectacle of almost everyone trying to decide whether to kneel before the monochrome authoritarian or the colorful fascist and receive their leavings of the screwing about to be rightfully delivered to the Other-Tribal-Americans, those unspeakable, interchangeable bastards, my opinion of humanity in general is busy experimenting to see if it can find some new depths to sink to, and so I’m going to quote a somewhat different part of the Horrible canon:
Any dolt with half a brain
Can see that humankind has gone insane
To the point where I don’t know
If I’ll upset the status quo
If I throw poison in the water main
Listen close to everybody’s heart
And hear that breaking sound
Hopes and dreams are shattering apart
And crashing to the ground
I cannot believe my eyes
How the world’s filled with filth and lies
But it’s plain to see
Evil inside of me is on the rise
…without the counterpoint.
I might be more than just a little bitter, cynical, and depressively-triggered right now, despite the best efforts of the medications. Ask again later.)
/me is looking at appropriate 3rd world countries….
I always find it somewhat ironic that the people who in theory espouse libertarian and/or anarchist principles tend in practice to not really think all that highly of actual people in practice.
(Admittedly, there’s a certain element of “pot calling the kettle black” at work on my own part…)
I like persons just fine; it is indeed precisely the mass people that I don’t think highly of.
As I mentioned over on G+, for example, the very next thing I saw after posting this was a news story about a single mother facing jail time because an undercover cop infiltrated her Facebook potluck group and offered her a few bucks for a plate of homemade ceviche. Something that any even approximately decent person would never dream of doing themselves, but which has become routine under laws upon which there is basically complete bipartisan agreement, quadrennially rubber-stamped by The People – who, if they have any qualms about this or the other couple of million similar examples, write it off as, y’know, “cost of doing business”, “price we pay for civilization (sic)”, often with that bloody awful cliché about omelettes and eggs.
I suspect that appreciating this particular phenomenon in which the phase change between persons and people generates ethical awfulness plays a very strong part in generating libertarian anarchist types, for that matter.
So, y’know, when it comes to the often-seen libertarian/anarchist position of “Persons, maybe, but fuck people. Fuck ’em with an axe.”, yeah, I’ll own that.
Your comment prompted me to Google exactly what ceviche is, which incidentally brought me to the exact same story.
Now, I could see a case for making the arrest if her product was improperly prepared or shipped or violated some other fundamental tenet of due care — but yes, the very idea behind requiring a government license just to do business (and facing criminal penalties if you don’t have one) is just inane.
And even at that, short of truly flagrant negligence or active malice, it seems like even mishandling would be a matter for a civil lawsuit and recovery of damages.
Then again, I think most of the punishments that our legal system inflicts are either worthless or within delta thereof, except sometimes by sheer happenstance.
If I were asked something remotely similar, mutatis mutandis (*), I think my reply might start with “after we get done airlocking all the yattering nincompoops, thereby completing Phase One of raising the sanity waterline…”
This is why nobody asks me, that it is 🙂
(*) – Replacing “Empire/Imperial” with “United Stellar Federation-esque”, while noting that the USF is a place that’s still thoroughly mired in its own chuntering gungleheadedness by comparison to the Empire.
If election news is still bumming you out: Look, two-headed sharks!
Dicephalic Sharks in 2020!