“Padre, there are subtleties! We are not concerned with motives, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime and with relieving the ghastly congestion in our prisons. He will be your true Christian, ready to turn the other cheek, ready to be crucified rather than crucify, sick to the heart at the thought of killing a fly. Reclamation! Joy before the angels of God! The point is that it works. ” — Minister in “A Clockwork Orange,” an adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ 1962 dystopian novella of the same name
All over America, schools are exercising what they call zero-tolerance policy to suspend young children packing “suggestions of guns.”
Behind this practice is the idea that populations can be conditioned against owning real guns. Start early, indoctrinate the kids and society will change.
In turn, such thinking rests on the premise that human beings are Pavlovian dogs, programmed biological machines. If the program currently running is faulty and fails to obey the mandate of “greatest good for the greatest number,” change the program.
If the brain reveals a chemical imbalance (although no research has even established a baseline for normal balance), insert psychiatric drugs and correct the problem.
Maintain surveillance on the entire population, thus convincing millions they may be potential law-breakers, and they will modify their behavior, toe the line, march straight ahead and keep their mouths shut.
As this sort of flawed reasoning expands and spreads, people begin to believe that a model of radical reconstruction is viable and good.
For instance, how many people would now respond favorably to the idea that everyone can be programmed to forget guns even exist?
How many people would agree to a program that “guaranteed” racial prejudice would be wiped from human memory?
How many people would happily respond to the notion that environmental destruction, as an impulse, could be removed from the brain?
How many of these people would even notice that such programs were eliminating freedom? And if they did notice, how many would care?
Operant conditioning and mind control could have side effects? What does that mean, if freedom was never real in the first place?
A recent opinion piece in The Harvard Crimson by student Sandra Y.L. Korn was subtitled: “Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice.” Korn asserted that academic research promoting “oppression” should be stopped. Perhaps you can imagine what a university council, convened to define and rule on “justice,” would look and sound like.
(Question for consideration by the Committee: Should University funds for African-American left-handed lesbians supersede money devoted to correcting unequal treatment of differently abled, wheelchair-bound Hispanic immigrants whose parents descend from bloodlines of Spanish conquistadors in the New World?)
The idea that you can obliterate “bad parts” of the brain and preserve the good parts is now embedded in standard science. It is childish, absurd and dangerous to the extreme.
Brain researchers are, on the whole, disinterested in the law. They aim to create a new species for whom no laws will be needed. People will do the right thing, because their upgraded brains tell them to.
If these researchers and their allies succeed, what we are now calling revolutions will be as Pop Tarts are to intercontinental ballistic missiles. We’ll have mass uprisings that will shake the Earth.
Because when freedom is slipping away — is actually being drained away — and when people know it in their bones, when they can no longer deny it or sleep through it, they will show exactly how important they think it is.
They will no longer believe that all this programming and brain research are aimed at curing illness. They will understand the madness being visited on them.