What if I told you there was a way to end crime forever?
That there was the possibility to eliminate robbery, murder, vandalism and all the other social ills that plague good and honest people everywhere.
No one would need to fear walking the streets at night or locking up their cars and houses.
Think of the financial savings from unnecessary insurance claims. The pressure taken off police forces and prison systems, to say nothing of the mental anguish caused to victims and families.
How do we do this?
It’s called the Ludovico Technique, a cutting-edge psychiatric treatment developed by Brodsky and Banom, British researchers who have worked hand in glove with the UK government to stem the tide of anti-social crime enveloping the British Isles.
The Ludovico Technique is a form of aversion therapy. The subject is forced to watch images of violent images and atrocities, while being pumped with fear-inducing drugs. The purpose is for the subject to become physically sick at the mere thought of committing a crime. Thus, the crime is eliminated before it is acted on.
As Dr Brodsky explains, ‘Our subject is…impelled towards the good by, paradoxically, being impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude.”
Early testing has been positive, with one subject, who was found guilty of rape, assault and burglary explaining “You’ve proved to me that all this ultraviolence and killing is wrong, wrong, and terribly wrong. I’ve learned me lesson, sir. I’ve seen now what I’ve never seen before. I’m cured! Praise God!”
What’s most promising about the Ludovico Technique, is its adaptability. Not only can it be applied to career criminals, but it could also be directed at indignant toddlers to prevent tantrums. Moody teenagers would recoil at the thought of answering back. Slack office clerks would vomit at the suggestion of trawling Facebook all day. And perhaps, most pertinently, those blasted anti-vaxxers would shut up and take their darn medicine.
Soon we can all live safe in the knowledge that every decision we make is the right one and no one must suffer the inconvenience of thinking for themselves.
Astute readers may have noticed that I’m not describing real life and that there is no Dr Brodsky or Ludovico Technique.
What I’ve described instead is the dystopian world created by British author Anthony Burgess in his 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, later adapted into a film by Stanley Kubrick.
Burgess was writing in a time when crime really was enveloping Britain. Authorities in the 1960s were worried that rising crime rates would degrade British society to the point of lawlessness.
Moreover, this was also a time when authoritarianism was seen by some as a viable alternative to free societies. The Soviet Union’s moral bankruptcy had not yet been fully revealed, and there were those who looked to its repressive methods to help society function.
Burgess knew better. He knew that the ability to choose was not only the basis for a fair society but one of our most fundamental rights as human beings. “They have turned you into something other than a human being.” One of his characters says to the protagonist. “You have no power of choice any longer. You are committed to socially acceptable acts, a little machine capable only of good…A man who cannot choose ceases to be a man.”
Today we live in a time where a virus, not crime, is enveloping society. Authorities are worried that rising infection rates will degrade Australia to the point of destruction.
Moreover, this is also a time when authoritarianism is seen as a viable alternative to free societies. Even though the Soviet Union’s moral bankruptcy is plain for all to see, there are still those who look to repressive methods to help society function.
There are those who believe that to reach full vaccination, we must resort to authoritarianism and coercion to get as many people as possible on board. By pushing objectors to the margins and threatening their livelihoods, those in power believe we achieve a utopian society where illness is eliminated.
This is as ridiculous today as it was in Burgess’s day.
One cannot legislate for morality. One cannot force adults in a free society to make the right decision.
And let me be clear. Getting the vaccine is the right decision. Vaccines are safe, effective and the most logical way to stop the spread of COVID-19. And yet, freedom-loving Australians should be appalled that their countrymen and women are being railroaded into taking it.
Freedom today is seen as a quaint anachronism by some and a byword for gun-loving (read stupid) Americans by others. A luxury that must be trampled on to achieve the greater good of keeping others safe.
Freedom is not an obstacle to the greater good. It is the greater good. Without freedom of choice, we are nothing more lobotomised bodies, incapable of thinking and ripe for manipulation.
As Burgess puts it: “If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange—meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil.”
The idea of a whole nation of dutiful and unthinking drones lining up to do exactly what they’re told for fear of destitution is far scarier than any virus.