Why don't we have special zones in which we can experiment with various types of economic systems, political systems, and social norms? In nations as large and populous as the United States it could be conceivable to set aside large tracts of land and people in order to test and in indulge in our questions and instincts; a place in which we can set aside our customary morals and suppositions so that we can attempt to find something better. Such places are not without precedent, though at first glance they may not appear to bear any similarities to the zones proposed.

While technically a part of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong is allowed a certain degree of autonomy with which to practice the system of democracy and capitalism first instituted by the British. In this regard, Hong Kong could be considered a special zone where particular economic and political activities are allowed to play out. The Chinese government has learned from this city-zone the perils of democracy upon its established way of political life; it has learned what happens when you attempt to introduce authoritarian measures into a society accustomed to a degree of democracy and self-government. But along with this negative educational experience it has learned a very important positive one, it has refined its own economic system in order to profit from the zone's experience with global capitalism.

The other major example of the aforementioned zones is the proverbial elephant in the room, the institution which stares at us everyday with its eyes full of possibilities and potential. The elephant I speak of is the prison system, that monolith dedicated to the inequalities, immorality, and humanity of man. Where else can you find an entire society removed from the greater world; a society not ruled by the same sense of morality and fairness that the rest of us take for granted. There are over one million people incarcerated in the US alone, over one million able and unwilling souls which can be used at our discretion in order to create a better society – or societies if that is what happens to be required. You would be hard pressed to find a functional person who believed those convicts deserved the same treatment, chances, or resources as those who were able to follow the strictures of society proper.

And, in fact, these people no longer do deserve these gifts of the advanced life. It is this lack of desert which makes them such prime candidates for any sort of social experiment. In a sense they are already caught in an experiment, an experiment where social norms have reverted back to those of the dark ages. Having forsaken their rights upon entering the prison walls, they have been transformed into the modern-day equivalent of serfs and chattel. They live to serve and obey their lord and his henchmen, the warden and guards, and to toil for their measly existences. Society as a whole seems to be at peace with the conditions these excuses for humans are put into so can we not push it a little farther? It is within our power to transplant these prisoners to a more desolated area of the country and devise a means of containment both for the sake of the greater population and the integrity of the experiment.

Once contained we can fashion any number of social, political, or economic experiments depending on the willingness, intelligence, strength, or any other characteristic of the subjects. We can create the most horrid physical conditions in order to repeatedly test human behavior in the face of absolute suffering and desperation; we can create a class-system in which the strongest rule over the weak or vice versa; we can introduce democratic slavery where the most intelligent and willing to participate are the only ones allowed citizenship and rule over those both too inept and and unwilling to govern as a whole. The amount of subjects is inexhaustible thanks to the human penchant for illegal activity and the government inclination to create laws which creates outlaws at every turn.

The possibilities are limitless in regards to what can be accomplished and how they can be accomplished. No longer do we need to fear new theories or old practices since we refuse to take risks, we can simply transfer those risks to those whose lives no longer account for much. We can finally put the theories and observations of men like Nietzsche, Machiavelli, Marx, and even despots such as Hitler into controlled practice without becoming animals ourselves or sacrificing a piece of our society. We have the chance to move beyond the withered confines of Western Christian-Judeo morality and into a new society that isn't afraid of the past or the unknown but embraces that which allows us to understand and grow.


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