L. Neil Smith's
Number 202, December 9, 2002


"Our Opposition"
by John Hoffman

Exclusive to TLE

Here's a snippet of a conversation in IRC, a popular chat program ... Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce our esteemed opposition.

- - -

Q: would you advocate the govt killing 1000 innocent people, if it would signficantly improve society

A: In most cases yes, but I'd have to know the specifics, If I had to choose between making humanity 10x better or killing a million people, I'd choose humanity "The good of the many over the good of the few" Besides, we can kill a million people 1000 times before its a serious threat to the species

A: The funny thing is I wouldn't kill 1000 criminals to prevent them from commiting crimes

A: that wasn't a snipe

Q: what if the govt said killing you would make humanity better

A: Like any organism, I'd protest, Instict would override thought, and my goal would be survival

Q: why? it would benifit society

Q: at least the govt said it would.

A: Well, as an imperfect being, I don't have 100% percent controll, I have emotion, and the best of that is, I have Ambition so even through my idealism I want the world

Q: you don't see it in anyway being wrong, that the govt would kill you, or a 1000 inncocent people?

Q: because the govt says it would benifit society

A: Oh, Kill me or 1000 innocent people? I thought I was a part of it

Q: they are different thoughts

Q: it isn't a choice.

Q: i could just as well have said you and 1000 people

Q: well. we can talk about this later, i have to go get some food

A: As an intellectuallist, I see no harm in killing 1000 for the greater good, as a person, If I'm a target I'm going to resist that mandate til the bitter sweet end

A: okay

- - -

(No, I am not "Q". Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.)

Ever watch the movie, Swordfish? Did you think Gabriel (played by John Travolta) was an unrealistic character? Well, here's a real live person with the same philosophy; the ends justify the means, no matter how many sins you commit, no matter how many rights you violate, and no matter how many people you kill. Pure Machiavelli.

This is authoritarianism, pure and simple, taken to its logical conclusion. If we grant the government we build the power to define right and wrong based on an abstract goal, no matter how noble, we give up everything, even our right to live.


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