It’s been established that ideas are the things most likely to cause humans to kill. Sometimes they’re simple and stupid ideas, like the notion that one has a right to another person’s body or money. Sometimes they’re more complex, like Communism, which is, uh, the notion that one has a right to another person’s body or money, if “the workers” say so. In the light of Mayor Daley’s latest attempt to keep Chicagoans safe, I’d like to propose the following policies, which will be even more effective than the ones Daley is proposing.
1. No bookstores, news stands or broadcasters will be allowed within the city limits. After all, one can always get one’s dangerous ideas from outside the city, so this is no 1st Amendment burden at all. Internet access will be permitted (since there is a 1st Amendment) as long as it’s inside your own home. No Mickey D’s Wifi for you!
2. Limit residents from reading more than one book at a time.
3. In houses with children, all books and newspapers must be locked up. Books may be used by children before bedtime, under parental supervision, for the purpose of teaching literacy.
4. Everyone must have 12 years of training before they are allowed to express ideas in public. No schools for idea expression training or independent thought may exist within the city limits (nor do they now).
5. The police department will maintain a registry of every literate person in the city.
6. Prohibit people from expressing ideas if they were convicted of various crimes, including being a member of the wrong political party.
7. No political discussions in public. If such a discussion happens in your home, and your guest leaves, you must be silent on your front porch…no parting shots!
Now, it could be claimed that the above policies totally gut the 1st Amendment. But as established in Schenk v. U.S., there may be reasonable restrictions on free speech. One might falsely shout “fire” in a crowded theater, or claim that the draft is involuntary servitude, or that humans don’t have the same natural right of self-defense that other animals do. We can’t have that. And the same laws will also apply to Chicago politicians, which will make things even more peaceful.
H/T for inspiration: Venlet.