A Modest Proposal to Defend the Government Against Usurpation by Automatons
By Jonathan Swift
It is melancholy to contemplate the condition of the Americans, a race once proud in its liberties, but now humbled beneath the rule of a bureaucracy of automatons. Yet there is reason for hope, in as much as the wise fathers of this nation, foreseeing by centuries such peril to their posterity, armed them with the power to choose by popular election those who would set above to rule them.
But alas, this right has availed them naught, for with the advance of science, it has become possible to create manikins of such refined quality as to defeat the detective abilities of the populace, and since designed to perfection for such purpose, outpoll all human opponents to create a mechanical Leviathan over those, who were they better informed, would surely have chosen beings of their own kind as their governors.
Yet, for each novel ailment released upon the world by science, it has equally well provided a cure. And thus it was that the very man deserving of much of the credit for originating the automaton, the celebrated Professor Alan Turing of Bletchley Park, also sought to protect the world from the evils of his inventions by laying down a method through which they might be detected should they seek to gain through human impersonation powers beyond those convenient to the preservation of the liberty of their makers. In a word, Professor Turing advised that, when confronted with a being of an unclear nature, one not rely upon appearances, but test whether its claim to humanity is authentic through interviews. If it can answer a sufficient number of questions in a way that distinguishes a human being from an automaton, then one may tentatively conclude that it is human. If not, it is a machine.
As the whole world knows, the Americans are even now engaged once again in the quadrennial ritual of selecting their next government. Thus, being as I am a friend to human liberty, and moreover especially to those, while wayward, are nevertheless children of my own Britannia, I thought it my duty to do all in my power to assist them in their effort to reclaim their now lost, but yet yearned for, freedom. So, acting upon this calling, I concluded to render assistance to these stout but simple fellows by subjecting those seeking to become their president to the Turing test.
As my first question, I asked each of those seeking power the following: “Sir, how do you intend to stop the nefarious plot of the Persian jihadis to create a bomb of explosive force so great as to level all the capitals of the world?” I selected this for my interrogatory, since it has been put before to Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well a State Secretaries Albright, Powell, Rice, and Clinton, and all responded, precisely: “All options are on the table.” Clearly, then, such a reply might be taken as revelatory of an automaton.
The candidates responded thus:
Governor Romney: All options are on the table.
Senator Santorum: All options are on the table.
Governor Huntsman: All options are on the table.
Governor Perry: All options are on the, they are on the, the,.. I forget. Oops.
Congressman Paul: I don’t know why we are worrying about Iran. We should be worrying about our own country.
Speaker Gingrich: We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
In studying the above, the reader may observe that several of the gentlemen questioned provided replies indicative that they may be well-programmed automatons, while one appeared to be defective. Not wishing to be over-hasty in drawing such a conclusion, however, I asked each of the three functional suspects if they could explain their answers in other words. Here were their responses:
Governor Romney: Toutes les options sont sur la table. La table est sur la plume. La plume est sur le tapis. Le tapis est sur le chien. Il vous suffit d'une pierre de Rosette pour, vous aussi, apprendre le français en deux semaines. Incroyable mais vrai. Je m'appelle Mitt Romney et j'ai approuvé ce message.
Senator Santorum: I was the first one to say all options on the table. I said all options are in the table in 1994. I was the first to say all options. I was the first to say on. I was first to say the. I was first to say table. I was the first one. I was the first. I was the. I was. I.
Governor Huntsman: Confucius say, “A shrewd menu must have at least three options.” You get one from Column A and one from Column B. You choose duck and cwover? You vely smart.
Moving along then, I chose first to direct a deeper set of interrogatories to Congressman Paul. Here is the transcript of our interview.
Dean Swift: So Sir, what would be your policy towards China?
Congressman Paul: I don’t know why we are worrying about China. We should be worrying about our own country.
Dean Swift: And how would you secure the border with Mexico?
Congressman Paul: I don’t know why we are worrying about Mexico. We should be worrying about our own country.
Dean Swift: So how then, would you deal with the problems facing America?
Congressman Paul: I don’t know why we are worrying about America. We should be worrying about our own country.
This left Speaker Gingrich as the last remaining non-mechanical candidate. I entertained great hopes for this one, as he is of illustrious heritage, being descended, according to many reports, in direct line from our own glorious Duke of Marlborough, victor of Blenheim and Ramillies, savior of Europe. With the game thus finally worth the candle, I rejoiced in the endeavor to put his mettle to the test. Here, verbatim, is the text of our conversation.
Dean Swift: Sir, a considerable portion of the Republican establishment has aligned itself against you. How do you view them?
Speaker Gingrich: Dull, drilled, docile, brutish masses of Hun soldiery, plodding on like a field of swarming locusts.
Dean Swift: But you also have your own high rolling benefactors, do you not?
Speaker Gingrich: Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Dean Swift: But how can you beat Mitt Romney?
Speaker Gingrich: We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, What is our policy? I will say; “It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.” You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory - victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.
Dean Swift: And within this struggle, how do you view the importance of the Florida primary?
Speaker Gingrich: Romney knows that he will have to break us in this state or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all America may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if Florida and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, “This was their finest hour.”
With the non-automaton amongst the crowd thus revealed, the Americans have at least a chance for choosing him. That said, I am not sanguine that they will. Alarmed no doubt, by the appearance of such an alien being in their very midst, the automatons have set up such a clamor and clanging as to drown out all discourse, and with the rude intruder thus silenced, thereby preserve their rule for another four years. Yet it is heartening to see that even now it remains possible for a non-mechanical entity to come within striking distance of the throne, and if the Speaker should fall, another may rise to take the banner. So if not this time, then the next, through the aid of my method, – for whose invention I expect no compensation beyond that rightfully due to the savior of mankind – the enemy can be known, and ultimately defeated.
Jonathan Swift is the author of several noteworthy literary masterpieces, including Gulliver’s Travels, The Tale of the Tub, and The Battle of the Books.
Who exactly is this J. Swift and how did he get on this website? Can anyone check if we have anything on him in our KGB archives? Any compromat will do.
Who does he think he is and does he realize who we think we are?
We will not allow any suppression of the automaton minority in violation of our diverse and multicultural democratic institutions!!! All Automaton-Americans deserve a voice in framing the national debate.
Equal rights for antropomorphic automatons!
Automatons of the world, unite!
Liberate the automatons from their Rethuglikkan and Counter-Revolutionary Tea Party oppressors, and unite them with our gloriously Defecating Army of Occupation, specifically the 99th Division. Give them all that the Inner Party deems they need, in the next five year plan. There must be a untied front in the creation of the perfect Automaton state; Comrades, there shall be, no wavering, no hesitation, and No Springs!
The next phase on the road to The Progressive World of Next Tuesday, is to open reeducation camps in wastelands such as Alaska, Arizona, and Iowa for the counter-revolutionary tea partyers. We can also introduce Green living, but limiting families to a single child; any additional offspring of these mindless breeders can be used to supplement the diets of the Proletariat, as all other meats are obtained through the cruel abuse of our animal brethren shall be banned (with the exceptions of those animals who sacrifice themselves to the Party).
Upon completion of the second phase, we can turn our attention to those Neo-Kulak’s within the Proletariat and their deviant Bourgeois attitudes; such as free thought, deism and agnosticism, resistance to redistribution, and private property in all forms. Should one have a tooth brush when others must go without? NO Comrades! NO! A single toothbrush is more than enough for an apartment complex, to think otherwise is a sign of counter-revolutionary brain washing!
I shall reveal more, with a simple knock on your door some evening.
Sufficient Springs of the Revolution Comrades!
A red tie means all is right with the world.