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Going completely M.A.D.
emnmnmeHeard about this on conservative radio:Registered Userregular
Mutually assured destruction has worked really well with nuclear arms over the years. We've had a few close calls but the earth isn't a burnt out cinder yet and I think that's worth something. So I got to wondering, if M.A.D. could expand into our daily lives, would our daily lives be better for it? Plenty of gun owners are fond of Robert Heinlein's "a well-armed society is a polite society." Conan the Barbarian often reflects on how people will show more respect to his fellow man when they realize rudeness can be answered with an axe to the head.
Let's take this thinking a little further by making it universal with a fictional scenario:
An alien, a god, or a higher power sees the people on earth and decides it's time for a little social experiment. This higher power will give everyone on the planet the ability to instantly kill another person simply by vocally declaring a strong desire to see them dead. The catch? By making that declaration, the declarer also drops dead. Any person would be able to kill any other person at the cost of their own life. The traditional ways of killing another person aren't affected by this magical change (i.e. you could still go out and stab an enemy and only society would punish you) but I'm pretty sure outright murder wouldn't work when every living person is armed with this new ability.
So would society change for the better? I'd think there would be some overuse of the new individual MAD plan thanks to the novelty of it. Celebrities and politicians and corporate leaders and pretty much anyone famous would fall over dead after the first month. There are enough crazy martyr types to go around to empty Hollywood and the UN a hundred times over but the dust would have to settle at some point and society would begin to adapt. Violent crime rates not related to homicide might drop - what goon would try to rape a woman in an alley if there was a good chance they'd both die? - and average people would take extra care not to harm others and cooperate more often. Tyrants couldn't rise to power but then any kind of national leader would be in serious jeopardy. Would we return to tribalism or would urban areas become safer?