Year 2070 (Approx. & slightly abridged rerun)

It is the year 2070 and the nation is now becoming free of all social problems. As was predicted by the media as far back as 1990, the major breakthrough toward Utopia occurred in 2020, when scientists finally created life in a test tube.

During the last four decades of the twentieth century, the societal trend was toward something the social engineers labeled “total-being liberation.” Others called it simply “permissiveness.” It caused the society to descend into a virtual swampland of malaise. It seems that the hopelessly antiquated traditions of marriage and family, as described by the engineers, albeit the cornerstone of existence in civilized societies for thousands of years, had finally eroded about 2010 to the point that terms such as “parents” and “children” were practically non-existent. “Significant others” became the choice term applying to all members of groups, whether called families, communes, cults, etc. The notion of family included everything from shack-up to same-sex marriage. Indeed, millions claimed no family relationship at all, since to do so was tantamount to an admission that other people mattered.

“Total-being liberation” advocates had as their touchstone the notion that every person should be free to do his/her own thing; thus, it became gauche to countenance “infringement upon personal rights,” the devil take the hindmost. The natural consequence was a trend toward anarchy as evidenced by rampant crime, a breakdown of government (most officials on the “take”), and a gradual collapsing of the society. Serial polygamy (marriage, divorce, remarriage, re-divorce, ad infinitum) became the norm, at least when marriage was invoked at all.

Ultra-tolerance became the accepted social attitude. The criminal became a pampered misfit, the victim of his society, his rights therefore superior to those of the victims. Legislatures and courts became the marketplaces where anything could be bought and sold. The economy deteriorated to the point that citizens fought in the streets for a constantly diminishing supply of the necessities. The credo: “Why work when the welfare system is operative?”

Finally, the Senate, its members actually fearing for their lives and having settled a vital century-long dispute regarding just how long a filibuster should last, approved the formation of a commission to determine how to institute a viable society. The result was something called the Social Problems Act of 2010.

After poring over the history books, the commission’s initial judgment was that a reversion to the family-anchored concept of existence would solve the problem. However, realizing that passing new laws had not been solving problems for the past forty years, the commission deserted the family-mandate concept, knowing that such an anachronism would be completely ignored, even by the legislators, most of whom had embraced the total-liberation theory anyway. Besides, there was no agreement on the definition of family.

The commission recommended that an agency for social engineering be established, its purpose to be the creation of a new type of person who would harmonize totally with every other person, the obvious design eventuating in a frictionless society. The social engineers employed the best brains in the land, and by 2020 the first such person was created in a test tube, at least hopefully, and would be tested for 20 years.

Having passed all the tests for harmonious living by 2040, the new person was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Indeed, the new person could be configured in a number of models, depending upon an allocation method determined by the lawmakers. Naturally, each political party attempted to set the political orientation of the new persons, only to find that the new persons eschewed politics, since politics caused friction.

Further legislation was reluctantly passed by the lawmakers requiring the sterilization of everyone above age six, within the next two years, so that none of the old liberated persons could ever reproduce and destroy the society again. Obviously, pregnancy became obsolete and cloning became the norm. The new persons functioned in public and private capacities for the next 30 years, inculcating a blandness out-blanding even a politician’s speech…until other nations caught on to what had happened. Then came the crunch. Blandness lost.