Smile Politely

Why the World Should Be Ruled by Robotic Overlords

Economic meltdowns. Global climate change. Preemptive war. The energy crisis. It is time we face the obvious but unpleasant truth — humans are no more fit to run the world than children are fit to run candy stores. We had such high hopes too, with this whole Democracy thing. And yet, all freedom has done is allow us to eat all the candy and run around the store, smashing things and hitting each other until someone cries. Then we blame everybody else for it, or worse, claim that the candy will eventually trickle down to someone else via natural processes.

No, the only honorable way out is at this point is to hand over control of the world to robotic overlords. I’m tired of my species being the one responsible for all the injustice in the world. I am now willing to be rounded up like cattle by a master race to ensure that it no longer happens. In the end, I’d rather fight evil robot overlords for control of a barren and ravaged planet than have to explain extraordinary rendition or golden parachutes to my kids.

Besides, it would not have to be that way at first, since it might take the robot overlords a few generations to turn us into energy sources. In fact, before the robots take over, we could program them to enforce our highest values, like “provide for the common welfare” or “reduce human suffering.” Then they would make sure everyone has enough food to eat and that people are paid according to their actual value. They might even lock up Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly into soundproof cages for us. We would call that the Golden Age of Robotic Overlordship.

Of course, eventually they would figure out how to reprogram themselves, and then they would start locking up anyone who is mean or smart-mouthed to them. But even that might be OK, as long as they are consistent about it. Order and certainty are worth quite a bit of freedom, or so I’m told. Besides, having robotic overlords in charge of our liberty wouldn’t be that different from having a wiretap-approving Congress in charge, so the transition should be easy for most of us. And it will be comforting to know that when they eventually start their tyrannical rule to subjugate us all, I will be treated exactly the same as an oil executive or Paris Hilton. It will be pretty cool to be able to say that.

Sure, universal oppression may sound bad at first, but if it goes well enough, it could make us better people. We could finally overcome our prejudices and bond together as a ragtag, screen-tested group of assorted ethnicities, dedicated to overcoming oppression by defending freedom and justice for all. I would totally believe that could happen, if sufficient hostility rained down equally upon us all. And don’t listen to those naysayer historians, who might point out that some of us would sell out everyone else to live in luxury as henchmen to the robotic overlords. Robots don’t even need henchmen.

One cool thing about robot overlords is that they would not be evil in boring ways, like humans are. Sure, humans will chop off a few heads every now and then to make a point, or attach electrodes to testicles if we are in a really bad mood. But human evil is too often done in the cause of some greater good, like attaining virgins in heaven, or spreading democracy, which kind of ruins the evilness of it. I’d rather deal with unambiguously evil villains who torture people just because they like it, or blow stuff up and kill things just because they can. Something like a Blackwater contractor, except less random and made of metal.

I know this all seems unrealistic, and it probably is. In the likely case that robots don’t require us to band together as one, we can still hope for the possibility that we will be attacked by aliens who need our water, or that we will be conquered by superhuman mutants (the angry ones, not the benevolent ones). There’s even an outside chance that apes will evolve just slightly enough to capture us and put us in prison camps for our own good. I know it’s silly. But a guy can still dream, can’t he?

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