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September 7, 2005
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Oppressive governments are always looked upon as a violent government. Perhaps they use weapons to control their people, perhaps leaders purge their opponents in order to secure their future title, but it’s all the same. Governments use these drastic measures in order to keep its power and stay alive but what is a government without its people? Oppressive governments use many techniques and social aspects in order to control their population.

In “Examination Day”, we see the threat that intelligence has on a government. People easily see that a government would want to get rid of intelligent people for the purpose of keeping their population under control and to stop their citizens from getting ahead of the game of politics. In “Examination Day”, the child, who was killed because he was too smart for the government’s standards, began to ponder “Why?” amongst daily things. He wondered why the grass was green and how far away the sun was. To us, it seemed like ordinary questions that children would ask because their minds invite new ideas and has the capacity for a lot of imagination. However, curiosity could lead to bigger questions that could threaten the government. We don’t know exactly what the government was afraid of, but the child was definitely killed because he was too smart or had too much knowledge. Perhaps the government realized that children who asked “why” questions would eventually develop questions that related to the government. “Why are there rich and poor? Why don’t we have better technology?” New thoughts, ideas, and even things, could and have threaten the government. To better control the government’s own fate, it must get rid of those who could potentially raise these new thoughts, ideas, or things. A first sign of intelligence is curiosity, which the child displayed. Once someone becomes curious, it doesn’t stop. But those intelligent enough will see a better way that could overthrow the government.

However, if people will continue to ponder ideas that could threaten the government, how else could the government control its people? One way is to move people into a group and enforce conformity. This will ensure a controllable population because everyone will watch out for the misbehaving people. The government can decide what kind of behavior is okay and what is not. By enforcing these ideas unto children, they will grow up under the government’s ideal society, one that obeys and respects the government if wished. This is shown in “Feedback”, where individualism and individual thought is so restricted that those who show a bit of it will be punished severely. This can allow the government to rely on its own people to enforce its own desires. Even though there would be people who will think out of the box, their fear of the group’s opposition is overwhelming and will keep the person in check.

Of course, every government wants to control their population because it would be less troublesome. Governments could use violence or their own citizens to threaten each other into submission. By using society and human nature, governments can manipulate its people into any mold they wish. The citizens can be free-willed or terrified of speaking out of line.
Written for my sci-fi class. I felt hella evil writing this.
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