Duels: a new form of problem solving

In a world so divided, what could bring us together? It seems like everyone in the world is at one another’s throats. What could remedy this polarization? Duels! Think about it, all serious contentions would be absolved. Imagine if you will, a world where all long standing conflicts are utterly extinguished. World peace is just a sword fight away. 

Sure, some may have conflicts with the morality of legalizing maiming one another with swords. However, I believe that as long as both parties consent to a duel, they accept the potential outcome of their actions. Think about it. In Pennsylvania, wearing seat belts in back seats is not required. Excessive drinking, while unbelievably harmful to one’s physical, emotional, and mental health, is not illegal. In America, the government and citizens enter into a social contract in which, as long as one is an adult, and abiding by the laws created by the government, they are technically allowed to cause harm towards themselves. So long as no one is murdered, I see no problem with the re-legalization of the duel. 

Think about how fun the media would have been in the 18th century, when politicians and public figures could just challenge one another to a duel! Imagine if Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf had a nationally televised sword fight. Wouldn’t that be such a spectacle? I, for one, think it could also enrich and elevate the reality TV genre. Imagine if Jersey Shore had dealt with themes of the value of human life, and the consequences of long-standing conflicts, the ways in which grudges can fester and destroy us. Wouldn’t that be fascinating?

Now, just to clarify, I don’t think that dueling should be a free-for-all. Like any other government-endorsed dangerous activity, there must be laws and regulations. With such an easily abusable system, there must be a ridiculous amount of bureaucratic hurdles to leap over. If those who wish to duel both succeed at applying for a dueling license, obtaining a letter from a judge endorsing the duel and the reasoning behind it, and then turn this in to their county’s Office of Dueling, and obtain their dueling licenses, then certainly they mean business. A rash decision duel would not be legal, that would still be known as assault. I simply propose a highly extensive and practically impossible procedure to handle the duel, thereby allowing only the most serious of duels to come to a head. 

I think it could improve society if long standing feuds of this nature could be resolved. Violence is generally not the answer, though it does have the potential to defuse certain incredibly contentious conflicts.