Time Machine and Historical Dialogue | Teen Ink

Time Machine and Historical Dialogue

January 24, 2010
By TimeMachine SILVER, Mercer Island, Washington
TimeMachine SILVER, Mercer Island, Washington
6 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Mr. President: “Good afternoon, gentlemen. You may not know one another—or me, as a matter of fact—but please do not be alarmed. I am the president of the United States. You may not know what the United States is, but frankly it does not matter. Using this time machine over here—” [pats the machine] “—I pulled all four of you from the apexes of your lives to the present, also known as year 2493. Why? Because the new country Detinu needs assistance in creating a government.”

Locke: “As strange as it seems, I shall consider it if you explain the situation in detail.”

Mr. President: “Various countries—the United States, China, India, and Indonesia, to name a few—grew overpopulated. Population control laws are enforced but even that will not cut down the population for a century or so. As a solution, each country chipped in a couple billion dollars and worked together to build a man-made island. Detinu.”

Hobbes: “A man-made island? How preposterous! Ridiculous! Bizarre!”

Mr. President: “Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Anyway, there are approximately 800 million people in Detinu and it is quite chaotic there. To cut to the chase, which government do you advise would tidy the country?”

Montesquieu: “A monarchy with limited power should do the job.”

Hobbes: “Limited? That really will not work. An absolute monarchy—forget about divine rights—is the solution. Have the Detinuans relinquish their rights to a ruler that is capable of protecting his or her people in addition to ensuring peace.”

Locke: “Divine rights are simply an excuse for absolute authority, so I agree with you on that matter, Hobbes. As for an absolute monarchy, I disagree. As Montesquieu suggested, a limited monarchy will suffice. An absolute monarch can become corrupt. Without some sort of balance in power, revolts and wars will ensue.”

Hobbes: “Hmmm, corruption… That is a good point. But people are wicked and cannot govern themselves. They need an honest, good monarch to direct their country.”

Rousseau: “We are certainly not wicked! Humans are born good and compassionate! We’re independent beings! People can definitely rule themselves. Why rule under a monarchy? Detinuans should live under a democratic social contract, which would enable every citizen to have a direct say in the government.”

Montesquieu: “But the idea of a limited monarchy appeals to me. You see, Detinu’s government should be divided into three groups: a law-enforcing party, a law-creating party, and a law-interpreting party.”

Locke: “That is exactly what I think is needed: a limited monarchy that will protect the rights to life, freedom and property.”

Montesquieu: “Yes, yes, yes. And those three groups are essential because they check and balance each other’s powers.

Rousseau: “But only adult males should be able to create laws because—”

Mr. President: “—let’s go for equality. All men and women are created equally.”

Hobbes: “That is the very reason why there is competition and violence—it is because humans are created equally! If Detinu has democracy, then people would only be interested in promoting what they want. If Detinu has a separation of powers, then those three groups will vie to grow stronger! Although corruption is possible in an form of government, absolute monarchy is the least susceptible to it.”

Rousseau: “I refuse to support the idea of an absolute monarchy. Democracy, combined with Montesquieu’s separation of powers, is better. All adult men and women—if you insist in equality, Mr. President—can form laws in assemblies, but those that carry out the laws should be elected by the citizens.

Locke: “And should that government abuse the rights of the people rather than protecting them, the citizens may rebel and protest. But I find it highly unlikely because the balance of powers will prevent politicians from seeking absolute power.”

Mr. President: “I like it! Separation of powers, a democracy, limited power, operating with the consent of the people being governed… It sounds very much like the US government.”

Hobbes: “The US government?”

Mr. President: “Pretty much, in a nutshell.”

Hobbes: “Hmmphh. Then why did you bother asking us for our inputs when you could have based Detinu’s government off your own?”

Mr. President: “That’s a great question. I suppose I wanted to listen to wiser sources to see if there was a better alternative.”

Montesquieu: “Well, I must return back to my home in France. If you need more help, seek the knowledge in On the Spirit of Laws—I wrote it myself two years ago.”

Mr. President: “Thank you very much; I will do so. Now, please step inside the time machine one at a time so I may send you back home.”

Locke: “Goodbye Mr. President. I hope all works out.”

Hobbes: “And if it does not, resort to an absolute monarchy! It is the best choice!”

Mr. President: “Hahaha, I shall consider it. Anyway, thank you all so much. Detinu appreciates your efforts. Have a safe ride back to the past!”

The author's comments:
This is a piece I wrote for my world history class.

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This article has 5 comments.

MKimmi said...
on Mar. 9 2011 at 6:34 am
MKimmi, NY, New York
0 articles 0 photos 103 comments
i don't get the blonde thing...what you said... O_O">

eelrtb BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 10:51 pm
eelrtb BRONZE, Spotsylvania, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 8 comments
nice story!  i enjoyed reading this and the time machine idea.  i like history, so reading this story was very interesting.

on Oct. 6 2010 at 7:48 am
Jsullivan BRONZE, Huckleberryfinlane, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Cancer...Cancer is in everything, the food, the water even the household items." (By: My grandfather)

I'm a blonde, but even I understood it. I really like the time machine idea. That's just what we need that way we can fix our mistakes before we make them. Its great by the way.

on Jul. 10 2010 at 8:00 am
These are the philosophers/thinkers we studied in Civics this year.  Cool story.

guitarist said...
on Jan. 29 2010 at 2:43 pm
Oh, I see...'Detinu' is 'United' backward. This is a fun, educational fiction. Well done!