The China Miéville solution to the Milo Yiannopoulos problem

Infamous provocateur, public speaker, and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was set to deliver a speech yesterday at the University of California, Berkeley, but it was cancelled after an initial, peaceful demonstration by some 1,500 people was co-opted by a few dozen violent ‘Black bloc’ anarchists. This isn’t the first time it has happened to a Milo speech, and even other conservative authors, like Ben Shapiro (who couldn’t be considered a white supremacist by any stretch of the mind) were forced to cancel speeches due to incoming snowflake avalanche. Let’s not get into the politics of Yiannopoulos, Shapiro, and those who made them cancel their speeches, because we would be here all day; instead, let me offer a probable solution that might appease both sides of this conflict.

Milo Yiannopoulos

China Miéville’s sublime 2009 book, ‘The City & the City’ has an extraordinarily interesting premise. Tyador Borlú, the lead of the novel, is a detective in the fictional city of Besźel, who investigates the death of a foreign student, both in Besźel, and its ‘twin city’ Ul Qoma. By some unknown phenomenon, the two cities actually occupy the same dimensional space, but they are perceived by their denizens as different ones. A citizen must continuously ‘unsee’ the other city (erase from his mind, or let it fade into the background)– ‘breaching’, or peeking into the other city, whether intentionally, or by accident, is a punishable offense, more serious than murder. For example, an Ul Qoma resident is taught from childhood to ignore the other city, distinguishing it by style of clothing, gait, vehicles, or architecture.

The cities are composed of total, alter and crosshatched areas. A ‘total’ area only exists in one of the cities, the ‘alter’ areas only exist in the other, while crosshatched ares exist in both cities. A special building, Copula Hall, is sort of a border, existing in both cities, where you can legally cross into the other one. If you try to cross illegally, or simply fail to ‘unsee’ the other city, the clandestine organization known as ‘Breach’ will punish you. ‘Breach’ is the ‘unseen’ power player that keeps the fragile balance. While you may think these are some very harsh measures, I think it’s evident that an, ahem, ‘two-state solution’ like this one would solve all of the problems our divided country faces.


But how could we implement this in real life?

First, we have to determine the two sides: from now on, they shall be referred to as the ‘dem’ and the ‘rep’ side (sorry, libertarians and Greens, you aren’t big enough to take into consideration). Second, every citizen would have to pick their side in a general census. Third, every hamlet, town, village, city, and metropolis would be placed into one of the categories (dem, rep, or crosshatched) based on the percentage of each side in their census. For example, if a city had more than 66.6% of ‘dems’, it would be a pure ‘dem’ city; if it had more than 66.6% of ‘reps’, it would be a ‘rep’ city. If any settlement has more than 33.3% of the minority side, it would be a crosshatched city. If a settlement has less than 33.3% of the minority side, they would all have to leave (or exchange their homes on craigslist with someone from the other side).

The pure ‘dem’ or ‘rep’ settlements would be the easiest options to establish. The ‘rep’ side would have open carry everywhere, no abortion, only two recognized genders, absolute free speech (hate speech included) etc. A ‘dem’ side city would recognize every gender, have laws to regulate the use of correct pronouns, absolutely no guns, trigger warnings on their borders etc.

There would be considerably more complication in crosshatched cities. Every crosshatched city would have to provide accommodation, basic services, health care, public transport, banks, shops etc. for the minority side there. ‘Breaches’ would be regulated by the NSA (they certainly have the means), and other agencies. For example, there must be some form of punishment for a ‘rep’ woman who wants to have an abortion, and tries to get into a city on the other side to do so. Each state would have two governments, so each settlement can be governed without interference from the other side, but only one federal government. There would be some ‘neutral’ zones, too, where you can mingle with people from the other side: nature, military (it would be extremely inconvenient to keep two separate armed forces), and Washington, DC. There are many, many, many more problems to solve while establishing the two sides, but I firmly believe they could all be ironed out in the long term, with some careful planning.

COEXIST by Jim Goad

Citizens on each side could live their lives the way they always wanted to, by blocking out the harmful presence of the other, and not giving a damn about them. Each side would have the chance to show the other one the utopia they could have had decades ago, if not for the obstruction and pettiness of the other.

After all, if we can’t coexist peacefully, why should we coexist at all?

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