For the last several decades, the clarion call of conservatism in America (discounting the superstitious lunatic fringe) has been the demand for deregulation of the economic system. A return to the Golden Age before Roosevelt imported the policies of Stalin wholesale and forced hard working business men to abide by laws crafted by irrational collectivists. It may surprise many that I sympathize with these ends. I think the government should interfere as little with our lives as possible. My main problem with deregulation in its current form is that it doesn’t go far enough. We need to extend the success of free market policies into the sphere of our own private lives. As will be seen, this will also lead to vast improvements in the economy, in addition to ameliorating environmental concerns and generally bringing about a more dynamic society.
I will state what everyone has been thinking: we need to deregulate the taking of human life. For too long, since the beginning of what we call “civilization”, in fact, the legal ability to deprive another sentient hominid of biological vitality has been reserved for an unelected elite, often composed of those elements of society least qualified to wield such a power. And what has the “social stability” such a state of affairs admittedly brings about achieved: a mass culture in which the majority of the population spends the bulk of the time not devoted to pointless labor watching films and television programs the main content of which is, wait for it, people killing each other. Clearly, “civilization” has done little more than repress a natural human instinct: the primal need to shoot ones neighbor in the face. We must democratize the power of life and death.
It would be far preferable, indeed it is urgently necessary, to unleash this instinct and allow the natural balances of human relationships to maintain a more organic stability than that provided by our laughable “civilization.” This is a precise analogue to the advances made in economic relations, which have been so surprisingly efficient in bringing about our current state of overwhelming prosperity. In the area of interpersonal, lethal violence, we should expect the same Invisible Hand to guide the process. Allow people to decide, without coercion, whether they will or will not take another human’s life, and they will act in their own rational self-interest, just as they do in the economic arena.
The fact is, bullets are expensive. There is a finite amount of ordnance that a rational individual is apt to expend, based on simple cost/benefit analysis. In the proposed scenario, the decision to shoot or not shoot another will be based not on some metaphysical notion such as the “sanctity of human life” (what does that even mean, really?) but on the hard limits of how many bullets a person currently possesses, the likelihood of obtaining more, and the benefit the individual will derive from a given murder. This will also lead to a preference for less efficient forms of involuntary termination of existence. Stabbing, bludgeoning with bricks, strangling, and allied methods have a success rate far below the brutal fatality acumen of shooting. Thus “victims” will have a far higher chance of surviving than they do in a system that privileges guns by default.
Also note that, in this scheme, no one loses the right to sue anyone for material damages as a result of having a loved one or valued associate iced in the back alley and found with their brains splattered across a graffiti riddled dumpster. Frivolous suits, such as those involving non-material “damages”, and those where the deceased clearly deserved to have their spleen ripped out and fed to wild dogs, will of course have to be tightly monitored. But overall, I think we can trust the system to ensure that no one is unduly harmed by the death of another.
As part of this, we will also need to change the language we use around the act of taking another’s life. Words like “killing” and “murder” are burdened with baggage accrued over millennia. If we are to move forward, it is important to begin with a semantically clean slate. My suggestion is “Anthropocentric Corpse Creation” or “ACC” for short. This serves the dual purpose of emphasizing that “death” is also, considered positively, the beginning of a new state of being, and of creating distance between the act and the hysteria it breeds as a result of thousands of years of bad publicity.
Environmentally, the surplus of decaying matter will be an absolute boon. We are all aware of the deleterious nature of current farming practices. The nutrients provided by our rotting neighbors, family members, and friends, could act as a significant check against the degradation of precious soil. And surely it would give comfort for those “grieving the loss” of someone who was probably just taking up space waiting to die anyway to know that those lives have found a purpose in fertilizing a field, or a beautiful garden that all can enjoy.
Being pragmatic, we know that we can expect more “liberal” and “humanitarian” influences to modify this proposal and corrupt its simplicity and efficiency. We are thus willing to concede, at the outset, one benefit an individual could potentially derive from enthusiastic participation in ACCs. Obviously, a person who enacts an ACC would normally expect rights to whatever economic benefits they might derive from the corpse their labors have produced. However, we are willing to reverse this, and give entitlements to those who can reasonably claim intimate association with the recently deceased.
In the area of agriculture, these benefits are quite substantial. We envision the development of nutrient rich soil from surplus of bodies. One proposed name for this is “humulch,” derived by combing the words “human” and “mulch”. But I’m not an advertising executive. I’m sure the creative folks from various firms will come up with a name that has the needed cross-demographic appeal.
Be that as it may, we will need to develop a system by which a particular body is given a static value based on the health of the individual at the time of his or her ACC. This value devolves upon the “family” of the deceased, so it becomes in everyone’s best interest to make sure those closest to them are in good physical shape at all times. An unhealthy corpse would be a net loss for these individuals.
We balance this generous safety net with a “cap and trade” system, similar to one of the saner methods of controlling pollution. If an individual opts in to this system, he or she will accept a cap on the number of ACCs they may commit in a year. Any extra “credits” they hold at the end of the year, representing unused ACCs, are theirs to sell to others who are also part of the system at fair market value. This system is totally voluntary, but the possible revenue makes it very attractive to financially conscious ACC enthusiasts.
As with all policies crafted by flawed human beings, this proposal has many ways in which it falls short. But, in the main, it has to be better than the current situation, where an unelected clique, answering only to politicians, is the only group allowed to pursue a basic human need. Those who make protestations about the “sanctity of life” need to take a good hard look at how they actually use their time. Wouldn’t society be much more creative and dynamic if we weren’t sure if we would survive until tomorrow? Such a life is the one we were meant to live, where every moment is enjoyed, every pleasure drunken in like sweet wine.
At least, that’s how it seems to me.
Note: While the absurdity of the foregoing should be obvious, and if we lived in a sane world, a serious author of such a piece would be considered absolutely barking mad, I am well aware that we, in fact, live in a terminally fucked up world and that there will be a few who regard what is suggested here as plausible or even desirable. To those who would use it to support some batshit crazy Libertarian wet dream, I can only say: Fuck you. Get psychological help. You are already a danger to yourself and others. I earnestly hope you do build a separate nation in international waters and find yourselves overrun by pirates until you run back screaming for help. Such a blunt confrontation with reality seems the only way you will ever grow up and join the human race.