Extermination Agenda: Lawyers or stupid people?

This thread is intended as an intellectual exercise, not a serious attempt to validate the mass murder of large segments of our society. Mass murder is a crime, and a moral obscenity, and the OP does NOT condone it.

No matter how much good it might do.

“First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

It’s an old saying. I don’t remember where I first heard it. I keep wanting to say it’s from Shakespeare, but durned if I could cite it.

The upshot of the concept seems to be that lawyers are more trouble than they’re worth. True, without them, the common man would be at the mercy of a thick, convoluted, incomprehensible, and often hostile legal system…

…but WITH them, the common man is all too often at the mercy of the lawyers. Especially when they decide to go into politics.

…and with the introduction of politics, this brings me to the other topic of this thread: stupid people.

Now, stupid people are ubiquitous; stupidity is the hydrogen of sapience. It’s that common. Furthermore, it’s pervasive. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US does stupid stuff on occasion. Every human on the face of the earth, at one time or another, looks back on an action or decision and says to himself/herself, “What was I THINKING?” On occasion, we are all idiots.

Well, most of us, anyway. The stupider ones don’t. When stupidity is a way of life, looking back is a fairly uncommon event, much less reevaluation of previous decisions, I would think.

I first encountered this particular brand of stupidity during the Nixon administration.

A lot of people flatly refused to believe that Nixon was up to anything. Anything at all. Nixon was the President, and the idea that the President could possibly be up to anything aside from the greater glory and good of America and her people was simply unacceptable; worse, it was a Communist lie. Not just a lie, but a Communist lie. Exactly how the Communists could be involved was unclear, but the fact that the President’s honor was being impugned certainly seemed to point to Communist involvement, didn’t it?

I mean, when Nixon tried to fire his own Attorney General for refusing to drop the investigation, a LOT of people wised up. Not the stupid people. Plainly, that bad old Attorney General was a Communist, that’s all.

When Woodward and Bernstein’s exposes began to hit the papers, the stupid people barely blinked. Communists, both of 'em. And wasn’t one of them a Jew?

When the Tapes With The Missing Eighteen Minutes became public, the stupid people refused to even listen to them. Plainly, the eighteen missing minutes would CLEAR the President, if only that secretary hadn’t erased them! Plainly, she was a Communist. Or maybe a Jew. A woman, anyway.

…and then, finally, Nixon resigned.

The reaction of the Stupid People were mixed. Some of them swore that Nixon had been railroaded. The rest abruptly about-faced, refused to admit that they had ever defended Nixon, and then, later, savagely attacked President Ford for pardoning the guy.

Today, I read This Thread on the SDMB. So… because Kerry is married to the Heinz heiress, ketchup is therefore evil. Communist, maybe. No, the word “communist” is kind of outdated… I notice we’ve reverted to the even more antediluvian “unamerican.”

…and so some clown has created “W” Ketchup, a good American ketchup, a proper Republican ketchup, a ketchup that will never protest a war or argue against corporate energy policy. A ketchup which will provide profit for a good American entrepreneur, instead of fueling the great Commu-- um, Jew-- er, Unamerican Kerry Political Machine.

It’s not THE dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, but it’s certainly up there.

And there are people who believe it. There are people who will buy the ketchup, simply to prevent the evil Kerry from profiting from his evil wife’s evil ketchup.


And as I read further, I began to have one of my uglier, but more familiar fantasies:

“First thing, let’s kill all the stupid people.”

I mean, it would certainly clear things up. Retail work, and counter jobs at fast food joints would certainly become easier; the dumber and more contentious customers would be gone, as well as the more obstreperous managers, thus freeing the employees to do their jobs more efficiently.

Politics would become a matter of issues and problem-solving, as opposed to a clash of egos, who has the better hair, and who can sling crap at his opponent faster and more efficiently.

The American educational system would undergo a miraculous transformation, almost overnight. Meanwhile, much petty crime would simply cease, due to sheer lack of people committing them.

On the Internet, “do not feed the trolls” would become a meaningless statement. Everyone would have better things to do and say than diddling around with people’s heads on message boards.

True, we’d have to murder millions of people in cold blood, but I can’t help but think about the benefits, as well.

Which got me back to thinking about the lawyers. Would killing all the stupid people provide better benefits than killing all the lawyers?

Any takers?

Just wanted to tell you that yes, the lawyer quote is Shakespeare. From HENRY VI, the second act. It’s on a plaque behind my desk, but to be sure I googled it.

This is marvelous. Did you make this up? Or is there a book with lots of this kind of thing in it? Seriously. I’m usurping this line.

As a lit major who can’t stomach Shakespeare, your reference about the lawyers is correct. And it’s nice to see it in the context of …because they protect the common idiot) from a system created by lawyers. Lawyers are the keepers of the freerange zoo (mine, but admittedly nowhere near as good as your hydrogen analogy).

Kill the stupid folks first. That’ll leave the useful lawyers. Of course, if there aren’t any stupid people left, will they need lawyers to sort things out for them?

Can I throw in my two cents?

Um, stupid people can be taught. Not all lawyers are evil.

I noticed something about your OP: It’s stupid people who refuse to change.

Let’s get rid of closed-minded people. By which I mean people who are stupid and arrogant, refusing to learn or see other points of view. Personally I like stupid people just fine if they realize it and are willing to be taught.

Heh. So when do you have to go back to work? I go next week.

Semantics, I am sure, but no. Ignorant (as in un-learned) people can be taught. Other people have demonstrated superior talents at repelling incoming information–“refusing to change.” These people are stupid. Unfit to live in a world which has always required adaptability. Stupid is commonly used with regard to food animals: cows, turkeys, voles, etc. Perhaps therein lies a suggestion for the OP’s misgivings about the cold-bloodedness required for the killings. And it would also give us something to eat with our ketchup.

Killing the stupid people would be better, by far. Not only will the collective intellect of the populace go up, but if you get them early enough, you’ll eliminate from the gene pool, so successive generations also benefit from this forward-thinking plan.

They came for the dumbfucks, and I did not object, because I am not a dumbfuck. Then they came for the shit-for-brains, and I did not object, because I am not a shit-for-brains. Then they came for the Republicans, and they were already all gone…

You can’t kill all the stupid people until we build enough robots to replace them.

Two of my favourite Heinlein quotes, the third one is “Stupidity should be lethal”.

I guess my point with the above is that we should take out the lawyers first because stupidity will take care of itself. Pity it doesn’t always happen before reproduction.


I would agree, if we were talkin’ about animals in a standard predator/prey relationship. The only way stupid critters can survive under such circumstances is by animal cunning… or by reproducing faster than the predators can eat them.

In humans, though, it’s a different beast entirely. Society will tend to prop up a stupid person up to the point where he becomes a major liability – breaking a law or whatever. And there are no laws against reproducing, unfortunately. At least lawyers don’t necessarily breed more lawyers, although I understand there is a trend in that direction.

Add that to the fact that stupid humans often “take care of themselves,” Darwinically speaking, in ways that take out other, non-stupid people as well. Watch any episode of *Greatest Police Chases Vol. XIV * to see what I’m talking about; anyone who’s familiar with any given drunk driving case will also agree, I think.

Stupidity and ignorance ain’t the same thing. Ignorance is simply lack of information, lack of thinking ability, lack of knowledge and smarts, the point being that ignorance can be remedied; most ignorant folks are more than happy to better themselves, so long as they don’t feel patronized or looked down upon as they do so.

Stupidity, now… stupidity’s a whole different beast, and we could probably fill a whole thread in Great Debates simply trying to define its nature. I’ve known plenty of ignorant rednecks and hillbillies that I would NOT call “stupid.” They may not have been able to tell you where New Guinea was, or how to use the Internet, but they sure knew enough not to get loaded and try to use the interstate…


Any hillbilly/redneck knows to stay off the interstate when loaded…the fuzz tend not to patrol the back roads. :smiley:

On some days, I am (mildly) intelligent, by Doper standards, anyway.
On other days, I am amazingly stupid, by way of lack of sleep.
Do I get shot?

Also, I seem to recall that the character Shakespeare gave those lines to was a lout, drunk & savage who wanted to destroy civilization. He was more than a bit of a fool. His name is Dick the Butcher, & he & his friends are the very models of the lazy, idiotic dimwits you decry.

You took advice from a fool. A dead, fictional, fool.

Who’s the fool now? :dubious:

Won’t somebody please think of the Golgafrinchans!


Who’s the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?
-Obi Wan Kenobi, who was neither stupid nor a lawyer

Well, if we got rid of the personal injury lawyers, then stupidity would be a lot more lethal for that very reason. :smiley:

Seriously, though, I’d like to comment on the common misunderstanding of the Shakespeare quotation. I have been given to understand that, at the time, the word “lawyer” does not mean the sort of barrister or solicitor that it conjures in modern English, but one who makes laws – a legislator, in other words. In the play, Jack Cade and his men wished to present grievances to the king. The king received their petitions and then gathered an army to destroy them. Cade’s men then routed the troops sent to subdue them and ended up capturing London. Although Cade was initially welcomed into London, his men soon engaged in selective looting and pillaging.

This provides the backdrop for the statement by Dick the Butcher:

Dick means, of course, that they must first remove the obstacles to their reign of terror – the laws, and those who make them.

Years later, ta similar sentiment would be expressed in song by the hobos:

I believe Heinlein also proposed that really bad manners should also be a capital offense. In ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’, I think it was. Bad manners in the sense of a basic inability to follow the ways of your society and get along with your fellows at least to the extent of not driving them into homicidal frenzies through clipping your toenails at your desk at work and the like.

Personally, I’d get rid of these terminally rude people first, and let the stupid but civil ones pass.

SBS, Heinlein had his mouthpiece/main character say something like it in The Cat Who Walked Through Walls (one of his later, lamented novels). In The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, death ('breathing vacuum")was usually the result of insulting a woman, not paying for air, or being stupid in the usually deadly ways.

Well, if we kill all the stupid people, the ones who are left will just make more stupid people, but if we kill all the lawyers, that might inspire people who haven’t yet made a career choice to consider, say, anything else.

Stupid people. Definitely. Laws happen by way of societal structuring, and where there are laws, there are gonna be lawyers. Stupid people exist by way of society making it illegal to slay them, and where there are stupid people, they’re gonna be pissing me right the hell off.

Besides, as others have pointed out, with the stupid people out of the way, we’ll be left with a higher percentage of lawyers who shouldn’t be killed. They exist, really; I’ve known a few. (Okay, so it was two, and my mom worked for a lawyer so I met a whole mess of 'em, but they do exist, okay?)

On the downside, though, that might be bad for me financially. See, I wait tables at a steakhouse, and while it’d be great to get rid of the asshats who can’t understand why “Medium” has pink in it, it’d also mean a whole lot less business all around. Intelligent people, in addition to knowing that being an asshole makes you an asshole, also know that $18.99 is far too much to pay for a 9 oz. steak. Real catch-22, that one.