Humanity held a referendum on free will. The rule, according to the cosmos, was that the question had to be clear and concise, so the question was: Given the stresses of day to day life and the oppressive nature of choice, would you support the removal of your freedom to make choices for yourself.
In some jurisdictions there were other ballot initiatives. There were several about legalizing marijuana and one about gay marriage, and one about whether or not people and corporations should be able to own water.
Sixty-one percent of voters were in favour of keeping free will, but there was only eighteen percent turnout, so a law was passed compelling everyone to vote in a new referendum.
The second time around seventy-six percent of people voted to ditch free will. The result surprised a lot of people, even though not one major political or corporate figure came out in favour of free will. Consumer advocates didn’t like free will either, because which product to buy caused enormous stress on people. A lot of money went into advertising and lobbying for the removal of free will.
The twenty-four percent who wanted to maintain free will said that they should be able to keep theirs. They said that a collective vote on something like that was invalid and furthermore it was fucking stupid. They claimed that their right to free will would be trampled by the tyranny of the majority, but the judges ruled that the question was clear and the results binding.
It’s been twelve years since humanity lost free will. By every metric we have things have improved. Governments are more responsible, crime is way down and people are healthier and happier. Stress and sick leaves have dropped eighty-eight percent, and nobody agonizes over what brand of toothpaste to buy.
By law, humanity has to hold a new referendum on free will every four years. If you ask around, people are in favour of regaining free will, and all the popular politicians promise referenda and demand a return to free speech, but in three referenda so far, not a single vote has been cast for free will.
People bitch about that. They say its clear that their will isn’t allowed to prevail at the ballot box, and they say the worst thing humanity ever did was give up its free will, but it’s clear that it’s the best thing we ever did, and it makes me happy that those who control us now recognize that we can’t be trusted to make the right choices for ourselves.