Thursday, 10 September 2015

Citizen Value (1971-1979)



In 1971 a local government survey revealed that the citizens of Scarfolk were, by and large, content. This was of great concern to the council which worried that its people risked developing self-confidence - perhaps even dignity - and worse that they might even have false hopes for a brighter future.

By 1972 a government scheme to stifle these dangerous thoughts was in full effect. Schools were not permitted to grade any student higher than a 'D'; adults received personalised insults by post or telephone, and families attended compulsory classes which promoted subservience and feelings of shame.

Additionally, every Friday local newspapers published an updated list of individual citizens' current worth alongside prices for poultry, offal and other meat products. Some citizens' values frequently fell below that of brain, spleen, heart and tripe.

The poster above was ubiquitous at the time, but this example was found on a wall in Scarfolk hospital's maternity ward.

5 comments:

  1. Now we see where Callmedave Cameron is getting his ideas from!

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  2. Is that for real?

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    1. Yes, it is! (or was). It was one of a number of strategies developed by Council as part of a far-reaching policy of Scarfolk population growth partly based on the theories of Thomas Malthus, whose great great grandson lived in Scarfolk (he managed a mask factory) and was an Alderman. Prostitution, drug dealing, unchecked crime, abstinence and sterilization (Council pioneered the idea of gifting a transistor for vasectomies, later very successfully exported to India) were effective in controlling numbers but expensive to implement and time-consuming to upkeep. The Citizen Value program was outstanding for its thrifty results – suicide, self-harm, depression and hopelessness all sky-rocketed in Scarfolk because of it and kept populations numbers well in check. It was a ground-breaking policy later modified and used effectively by both the South Korean and Japanese governments on their populations. Thanks for shining a light on this, Dr Littler!

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