“Necroeconomics” is a concept used by some economists to describe the results of the collapse of the Soviet Economy, in the 1990s. Apart from the pure economic disaster, the collapse led to a trend of population decrease that, in some cases, is continuing to this day. The term may have a more general meaning and Warren Montag discusses how a purely market economy might deal with workers in a situation in which there are no sufficient resources to keep all of them alive. The idea that the state might decide that some people need to be eliminated has been called “necropolitics.”
These concepts do not necessarily imply that your government has decided to kill you. The extermination may be the unwanted result of wrong policies or one of the unavoidable consequences of the overexploitation of the resources that make people live. But what if the government secretly decided to eliminate a fraction of the population, judged to be a useless burden for society? We all know that it happened in some states in a non-remote past. What form could it take today?
This idea has been explored by Antonio Turiel of the “Oil Crash” blog in a story published in Spanish two years ago and titled “Good Vibrations.” When I read it the first time, I found it fascinating but hardly prophetic. It seemed to me just farfetched that people, anywhere in the world, would meekly accept to be ordered by their government to take a drug that they knew would kill them. But, today, I think that Antonio may have been more prophetic than he himself could have imagined. So, I translated the story into English, and here it is. Not for the faint hearted!
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