The air around the table was a hazy and milky white. The inanimate world leaders sat, a thick silence hovering amongst them. The reason for the seriousness was clear: a new controversial idea had just been proposed by one of the representatives. This multifaceted idea would solve multiple world problems simultaneously, the representative claimed: widespread overpopulation, poverty, and the prediction that Earth would only be able to sustain people for so long. The proposal was understood by many at the table as unethical--for multiple reasons-- but it was also believed by those same people to be necessary. The main obstacle to implementation--and unanimity amongst the leaders--was that testing would need to take place immediately so that those people marked for elimination could be disposed of quickly. Breaking the silence at the table, the representative described to the others how they should draft full-scale plan in order to begin implementation as soon as possible. Without hesitation, the other delegates declared their unanimous approval. They began to script the actions at once.
The room was huge but echoes of a small girl’s question traveled throughout the space and came out clearly as, “Grandpa, can you tell me a story about when you were younger and in government?” The question elicited a prompt “Yes” from an older man reclining in a corner of the room and reading a book entitled Essays in Eugenics. After drawing himself out of the antique chair, the man went to his granddaughter, knelt down, and told her quietly that they needed to speak in private. She found his request peculiar, but with an increased sense of intrigue, accepted it without question.
He led her to a dark room bathed in seclusion, and only after closing the old oak door did he began to speak. His words were uttered slowly, though with the serious intent of getting his point across without being too lengthy.
“When I was a lot younger the world was a very different place,” he said, “and not the utopia it is now.”
“How so?” said the lass, confused, as she had studied all recorded history so assumed she knew otherwise.
“Well, whether you believe it or not, history has been rewritten into the history that you now study. Only a few people have knowledge of that.”
“Okay,” said the girl, “but what is this secret you value so much?”
“As a young boy, I was always befuddled by the fact that some people accomplish unthinkable acts--people such as Leonardo Da Vinci, while others seem to have had a negligible--if any--effect on the world. I was aware of differences when I started school at the age of three. I noticed how things that took me mere seconds would take others minutes, if they could even solve them at all. As I got older, I learned that a person’s mental capabilities could in fact be assessed by an I.Q. test, one that my great-great-grandfather was instrumental in creating. From that moment of realization on, I saw the immense difference between students who did well on the test and those who didn’t. This immense range of intelligence I saw as a young teenager led me in college to dedicate my life to helping society deal with the huge dilemma of how to build a healthy and sustainable society despite the obvious disparities in intellectual capabilities. After much reflection and assessment, I came to recognize and accept the root of all inequality: those who are born mentally superior are highly likely to beat their inferiors in almost every cognitive measure. I saw that this problem had no simple solution--and that it surely could not be solved by any conventional means of morality.
During my time at Harvard, my ideas spread like the flu, and with the help of my roommate, who adopted my convictions as his own, the most elite faculty and students at the university also embraced my core ideals. By the time I graduated, my philosophy had begun to spread across the United States while simultaneously a similar revolution was beginning to rise in the Chinese government. I attended law school, which posed little challenge, and without studying achieved a perfect score on the bar exam. Soon after, I began my tenure in government as the governor of my home state of Indiana, which interestingly enough was the first state to enact sterilization laws in the early 1900s. After a few years as governor, I was appointed ambassador to China. This worked out well as I was fluent in Chinese and could easily converse with the Chinese diplomats. Their government had begun to implement plans similar to the ones I would later propose as amendments to the U.S. constitution.
After serving as governor and ambassador, I decided to run for congress in order to receive more widespread recognition. Becoming a congressman was not as easily accomplished as expected due to some unforeseen problems. A counter-revolution, one that aimed to stop the spread of my ideas, had emerged. The group had some success, as not all people were fully convinced that my propositions should be carried out. After multiple attempts, I finally triumphed and was able to become the congressman from New York. I saw this state as the one I wanted to represent, as it was the financial capital of the world and was the location of some of my family’s corporations. Even before becoming a congressman, I drew much attention to my radical ideas and needed constant protection from those who perceived me as a threat. There were multiple assassination attempts which were often very close. The thing I remember best was how I tried to pass preliminary legislation for one of my propositions. The intent was to provide a starting point for future legislation that could more completely implement my ideas.
The air was heated with emotion as Congress debated whether a new law proposed by one of its members should be enacted as an amendment to the Constitution. This piece of legislation was met with a general consensus of applause by the Communists in the chamber, while those with ethics made signs of disgust. This new idea was in response to problems believed to be contributing to the current labor market and economic downturn. As was obvious in the year 2090, almost every person in the U.S. was unemployed and only those who possessed implausible intelligence were even able to get a job. Those who were average lived in dire poverty, even though their parents or grandparents may have had a fine and honest living. As expected, the crime rates had skyrocketed to the point that simply walking out in the light of day had inherent risks. All of this uncertainty was a result of robots taking all of the menial jobs, with the average artificial intelligence exceeding Mensa qualifications. With complete confidence, I started to recall a memory which caused the room to silence instantly. ‘I can see now how those who are descended from scholars are likely in the top percentile and those who are descended from peasants are not. As a result I think it is imperative that the government of our country changes its policies immediately. The best way to solve such a problem appears to be by taking the wording of the Declaration of Independence a little more seriously. The words ‘all men are created equal’ has not been followed, as demonstrated by the rampant imbalance between all of the citizens of this country. For these reasons, please vote in affirmation for the enactment of policies that will try to eradicate the monumental inequalities and more closely mirror laws followed in China.’ As I finished those words the room erupted in shouting, and soon after I felt that my actions that day would have lasting effects on the country and world as a whole.
Naturally, Congress was not ready for changes as radical as the ones proposed, and the bill didn’t pass, but I wasn’t willing to relinquish my beliefs. The risk of becoming ostracized from the political world was high, yet I couldn’t stand to see the current condition of the U.S. continue to degrade. After ten years of spreading my message, I was finally ready to run for the highest office of the country. The race was close and many shots were fired my way, but in the end I reigned victorious and was set to be inaugurated on the twentieth of January in the year 2101. From the day of my inauguration, I remember that my speech was as follows, ‘Well-known by the masses today is that our country is going through one of its worst times as a result of advancements in technology. Like bees in a beehive, we are all connected and have to look out for the collective good when making decisions. This respectable agenda has been sidestepped, however, as technology advanced and most if not all people were thrown into hard economic times. This complication was inevitable, and the government up to this point has been in denial on the equal rights of people, even though they were made clear by our Founding Fathers. It is said by many politicians behind closed doors that some people are unfit to share in government. By prolonging this belief without any attempt to solve the underlying problems, it is likely that these problems will persist and possibly get even worse. These people are considered by the elite to be greatly inferior, but the pedestrian should nonetheless be given the chance to grow more intelligent; as a result people will live together in greater harmony. This country was founded on the idea that each person has the right to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ and it is of the highest importance that we begin anew in order to re-establish this opportunity. Thank you. May our subsequent generations live in a world where all people have the possibility of greatness and accomplishment.’
Within days after being sworn in as the leader of the free world, I had a cabinet meeting with my staff that pertained to the implementation of a new program. After much talk, we decided that in order to pass legislation I would need to first draw up a plan to convince Congress to enact this new program. The plan that I would state that day managed to garner the support of my comrades and was soon to be shared with Congress again. The revolution that I was about to initiate was based on the steps that follow:
First, we will get the approval of Congress to carry out whatever plans we see fit, which will require bribery and guarantees of safety and wealth. Soon after, we will have an extensive number of robots programmed to guard those of us in charge, to prevent an unfortunate loss at the hands of an opposer.
Second, with regard to the fact that people naturally look out for themselves, we will need to first eliminate all of those who disagree with our policies so that everything will run smoothly. This will require warning them that when punishment is viewed necessary it will be done. People who oppose us will no longer have any influence over the country, and slowly we will have supreme control of people’s thoughts and opinions. We will take over all of the different news sources and begin to indoctrinate young children with our ideas as part of their education.
Third, with these actions set in place, we will begin to require mandatory intelligence testing for people of all ages, which will allow for our plans to be carried out later. The information provided by these assessments will be stored in a central computer server which will rank people based on their respective age group and gender. Robots will be responsible for undertaking the administration of all tests, and all of those who resist will be jailed without question. Once this is complete, it will be time for us to initiate the next step of our plan.
Fourth, no people will be killed as a result of our government’s policies, but forced sterilizations will be performed over time in phases so as to not instantly diminish our population. The neutering of people will start with those ranking on the bottom ninetieth percentile of all humans, with some exceptions based on political connections or economic value of the individual connections. Those who have proven themselves highly accomplished humans will be spared, but those will be the only exceptions. This will result in a nearly immediate drop in the human population, which will nonetheless continue to function. Later on, this process will expand to include 95 percent of people and then 99 percent of people. After several years we will progress to sterilize all but those with IQs in the 99.9570883466 percentile which means all of those who have an approximate IQ of 150 or above. The reason for ignoring those with disabilities is because by this time in human history all serious origins of disabilities will have already been recognized and prevented.
Fifth, with these actions having been carried out, we will progress to allow humans to function in a democratic way with a government that is controlled by the people. These amendments to the constitution will be made unchangeable, as to prevent future tampering.”
“These complicated steps were soon carried out, sweetheart, and they have resulted in the world that we live in today.”
“Grandpa don’t you think that what you began was unethical and resulted in the unhappiness of countless people?”
“Yes, but I set it up with the greater good in mind. Those who were negatively affected were predominantly already in a state of depression and were not able to contribute to society. The formation of this near utopian society has allowed for innumerable advancements in technology and the general happiness of people. Though I wish the side effects of my revolution had not entailed sacrificing the happiness of so many, the steps were necessary. Just as evolution changes how an animal adapts to its environment, the establishment of the current society was simply the next step in the betterment of the human race.”
“So, Grandfather, why do you believe that this information has been kept secret from my generation?”
“It was carried out in order to sever people’s emotional connection to the believed ‘crimes’ of our past. With all of this said, it is of the utmost importance that you never share what you have heard and that you continue to live your life as normally as you can. The life that I have lived has been important for human evolvement, but it is critical that those who live today continue to carry us on to further heights.”
The small girl answered, “Your secret is safe with me.” That secret would keep them close forever.