On 415

We now know what we’d do
If we found a button that would give us a million dollars
But kill a stranger on the other side of the Earth

We would push that button
And push it again
And again and again and again

We’d base our economy on that button
We’d scale the button up
We’d give tax breaks to the button makers so they could make buttons faster

Maybe the button doesn’t even kill people
People die all the time, who’s to say why?
God would never allow such a thing to exist
The scientists are conspiring to destroy our lifestyle
The scientists are against God
We would say as we pushed the button

There is nothing we can do on our own
The real problem is the corporate fat cats
The real problem is the politicians
The real problem is indifference
The real problem is capitalism
We would say as we pushed the button

We would set goals for collectively reducing our button-pushing
And when we found instead that we were pushing the button even more
We would say very disappointed-sounding words, and then turn away
There are so many things that need our attention these days

And we would keep pushing the button
Until the other side of the Earth was dead
And when it started to kill our friends and neighbors
We’d keep right on pushing the button

And we’d keep pushing it until the devastation was far too great and too close to ignore
And then we’d keep pushing it
And as our neighborhoods crumbled we’d keep pushing it
And as our cities fell we’d keep pushing it
And as our society collapsed we’d keep pushing it

And we’d keep pushing it until finally, one day
Only a single man and a single woman were left

They would look out on the devastation and for the first time know truly its extent
And for the first time they would make a real plan for a better future
This time they would do everything right
This time they would forgo the temptations that led them to the brink

It would be a beautiful plan
It would really work

But plans cost money
So just one more time

They would push the button

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