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How could a competent government handle/control a teenaged superhuman?

Vikram

Well-known member
Assume said kid to be teenaged, or at least above 14 and below 18. To help things along, let's remove the parents via car crash at birth, murder, or whatever.

How would, in this case, a sufficiently competent world government handle and control this entity, such that he can be a utility to the nation?

For the sake of simplicity, let's just put the power level at Post Crisis Superman. Everyone knows THAT one, I guess.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
Good education, that quickly involves strong political studies for the teenager to see with clarity the complexity of governance and society. The first and foremost message to send is that problems do not get solved with punches. Then you deal with the super's frustration by focusing their powers on singular grand projects like establishing a Moon or Mars colony while at the same time having clear discussions on how to better use their powers.

You want that super to have an administrator mindset, thinking on how to best use their powers to improve as many lives as possible in a reliable way.
 

Yesman

Not-Hostile Robot Caretaker
Author
I recall the novel of Jumper (not the movie) which had the teleporty protagonist get black mailed into working as a cheap transport service the NSA(inserting agents and whatnot.

Did help quite a bit since the anti-teleporty fanatic conspiracy quickly lost influence in the US alphabet agency for some reason.
 

Vikram

Well-known member
Good education, that quickly involves strong political studies for the teenager to see with clarity the complexity of governance and society. The first and foremost message to send is that problems do not get solved with punches. Then you deal with the super's frustration by focusing their powers on singular grand projects like establishing a Moon or Mars colony while at the same time having clear discussions on how to better use their powers.

You want that super to have an administrator mindset, thinking on how to best use their powers to improve as many lives as possible in a reliable way.
Will that deal with teenage temper tantrums tho? A stick may also be needed.
 

Lerticus

Senile Old Coot
☭ Communism ☭
Communism!

Teen angst becomes egalitarian acts for the proletariat!
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Writing Champ
A competent government is the bigger of the two fantasies.

Though there's one area where at least a plurality of real governments would do better than their comic/anime counterparts: real governments would unlikely to torture the superhuman's relatives in order to ensure said superhuman's loyalty. A depressing low bar but it is what it is...

While I'm at it might as well recycle some of what I wrote on AH.com about speculations on realistic reactions to magical girls:

*looks at western celebrity culture, especially the fate of many/most child actors*

Right, although that brings its own series of long term issues, and let's not even begin discussing how the US take care of its veterans besides that it's very much depends on a number of variables and it's complicated.

Although in the context of the East, said rewards are a double edge sword. Take for example how the PRC treat their Korean War veterans: all, and I mean all, their medical costs are fully covered by the government, for life. Guess what happens? After much of the medical industry privatized guess what happens? The fucking hospitals decided in many cases to squeeze as much money out of the government as possible by shoving as much meds and treatments on said veterans regardless whether they really needed or not, in many cases causing early and untimely death.

......

Bet the US military will regardless try to influencing magical girls' awakening. This is the 60s we're talking about after all, when men stared at goats because the CIA thought it's gonna net them psychic powered individuals or something like that. Or LSD gives people powers.

It's the 60s man!

......

Never underestimate social and mental pressures. After all, said magical girls do not exist in a vacuum, and were part of society...

......

I foresee various hardcore communists (and run of the mill authoritarian) governments actually having their own batch of brainwashed and crazy magical girls. Remember, a lot of the executioners in Pol Pot's regime were kids and teens, also the Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution were young people...

......

Guys, guys. You have to remember that wherever the magical girls popped up they are still very much the products of whichever societies they reside in, probably with all the baggage that implies.

......

To follow up on that, Jesse Owens was treated better in Germany during the 1936 Olympics* than he did back in the USA.

*sure, the facade is fake as fuck, but it's still rather telling that the USA couldn't even hide it's disdain towards blacks even when said blacks were winning glory and honor for it.

......

We're talking about females in most likely a mental state of turmoil (teens, duh) suddenly given extraordinary powers and expected to fight extraordinary threats, which the societies they reside in may or may not even recognize.

It's gonna be a clusterfuck.

Now the sensible thing for governments (and society) to do would be to amass a truly massive support and logistical network to support their magical girls, to recognize their struggles while at the same time strike a balance (i.e. not turning them into idols* or icons*, don't let that power and fame get into their head). Societies would need to revamp to become a lot less misogynist for a start, and a bunch of other things...

... suffice to say, quite a few governments and societies won't make it in time. Sucks to be them (or they had it coming, depending on how charitable you want to be).

*let's not talk about the toxicity of Japanese idol industry or how American child actors usually turn out. Luckily the 60s was before both of those things were in full force.

......

If a government knows what's good for them, they will do their best to ensure the publicity of the magical girls is good, even if it means to betray their moral and ethical codes at times.

After all, the fallout from banning infowars is far less than NY city going up in flames by the monsters of the week.

......

Still, there's the hurdle drafting underage females when the dominating culture of the time being some flavor of "get back in the kitchen."

Also perhaps the first cases well be dealt with more akin to disease outbreaks or foreign/unknown invasion, which means the CDC and CIA will be whisking the first magical girls away to... nope, don't want to finish that thought. I don't want to know what the government is planning on doing with them at Area 51 when this is still the same government that was still doing horrifying stuff like the tuskegee experiment.

......

Take for example the Culture Revolution in the PRC during the late 1960s-early 1970s. In OTL when the Red Guards went out of control the military managed to step in and, well, not necessarily bringing things back under control... ITTL, given that the Red Guards OTL was a youth movement where do you think most of the magical girls will end up affiliating with? Especially when you realize how many magical girls would have a vested interest in taking down certain aspect of traditional Chinese culture (the insane levels of patriarchal misogyny for a start, which OTL ironically came right back after the Cultural Revolution ended, amplified through the one child policy (but that's another story, which we won't be talking about)).

So it's not inconceivable that the PRC might end up becoming a revolutionary socialist magical girl state, which on a scale of Mao to Pol Pot it'll probably lean towards the latter. Foreign intervention probably won't occur in the short term, because no one wants to stick their dick into that level/scale of crazy. Expect a truly horrifying bodycount over the decades, with a best case scenario of internal collapse and more senseless death, but also the possibility of an even more horrifying possibility of them attempting to export their revolution to the rest of the world via violent means...

What a time to be alive die!

......

This assumes that bullying and bullies are logical in their decision making, and will weigh long term costs and benefits before acquiring a target...

... I can assure you kids (and even adults) don't think that way. They're gonna pick on the ones that rub them off the wrong way, logic be damned until it's too late.

Also don't forget that many bullies are actually very good at the social game and playing the victim, which would really put the magical girls in a bad light if/when they do snap.
 

Vikram

Well-known member
A competent government is the bigger of the two fantasies.

Though there's one area where at least a plurality of real governments would do better than their comic/anime counterparts: real governments would unlikely to torture the superhuman's relatives in order to ensure said superhuman's loyalty. A depressing low bar but it is what it is...

While I'm at it might as well recycle some of what I wrote on AH.com about speculations on realistic reactions to magical girls:

*looks at western celebrity culture, especially the fate of many/most child actors*

Right, although that brings its own series of long term issues, and let's not even begin discussing how the US take care of its veterans besides that it's very much depends on a number of variables and it's complicated.

Although in the context of the East, said rewards are a double edge sword. Take for example how the PRC treat their Korean War veterans: all, and I mean all, their medical costs are fully covered by the government, for life. Guess what happens? After much of the medical industry privatized guess what happens? The fucking hospitals decided in many cases to squeeze as much money out of the government as possible by shoving as much meds and treatments on said veterans regardless whether they really needed or not, in many cases causing early and untimely death.

......

Bet the US military will regardless try to influencing magical girls' awakening. This is the 60s we're talking about after all, when men stared at goats because the CIA thought it's gonna net them psychic powered individuals or something like that. Or LSD gives people powers.

It's the 60s man!

......

Never underestimate social and mental pressures. After all, said magical girls do not exist in a vacuum, and were part of society...

......

I foresee various hardcore communists (and run of the mill authoritarian) governments actually having their own batch of brainwashed and crazy magical girls. Remember, a lot of the executioners in Pol Pot's regime were kids and teens, also the Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution were young people...

......

Guys, guys. You have to remember that wherever the magical girls popped up they are still very much the products of whichever societies they reside in, probably with all the baggage that implies.

......

To follow up on that, Jesse Owens was treated better in Germany during the 1936 Olympics* than he did back in the USA.

*sure, the facade is fake as fuck, but it's still rather telling that the USA couldn't even hide it's disdain towards blacks even when said blacks were winning glory and honor for it.

......

We're talking about females in most likely a mental state of turmoil (teens, duh) suddenly given extraordinary powers and expected to fight extraordinary threats, which the societies they reside in may or may not even recognize.

It's gonna be a clusterfuck.

Now the sensible thing for governments (and society) to do would be to amass a truly massive support and logistical network to support their magical girls, to recognize their struggles while at the same time strike a balance (i.e. not turning them into idols* or icons*, don't let that power and fame get into their head). Societies would need to revamp to become a lot less misogynist for a start, and a bunch of other things...

... suffice to say, quite a few governments and societies won't make it in time. Sucks to be them (or they had it coming, depending on how charitable you want to be).

*let's not talk about the toxicity of Japanese idol industry or how American child actors usually turn out. Luckily the 60s was before both of those things were in full force.

......

If a government knows what's good for them, they will do their best to ensure the publicity of the magical girls is good, even if it means to betray their moral and ethical codes at times.

After all, the fallout from banning infowars is far less than NY city going up in flames by the monsters of the week.

......

Still, there's the hurdle drafting underage females when the dominating culture of the time being some flavor of "get back in the kitchen."

Also perhaps the first cases well be dealt with more akin to disease outbreaks or foreign/unknown invasion, which means the CDC and CIA will be whisking the first magical girls away to... nope, don't want to finish that thought. I don't want to know what the government is planning on doing with them at Area 51 when this is still the same government that was still doing horrifying stuff like the tuskegee experiment.

......

Take for example the Culture Revolution in the PRC during the late 1960s-early 1970s. In OTL when the Red Guards went out of control the military managed to step in and, well, not necessarily bringing things back under control... ITTL, given that the Red Guards OTL was a youth movement where do you think most of the magical girls will end up affiliating with? Especially when you realize how many magical girls would have a vested interest in taking down certain aspect of traditional Chinese culture (the insane levels of patriarchal misogyny for a start, which OTL ironically came right back after the Cultural Revolution ended, amplified through the one child policy (but that's another story, which we won't be talking about)).

So it's not inconceivable that the PRC might end up becoming a revolutionary socialist magical girl state, which on a scale of Mao to Pol Pot it'll probably lean towards the latter. Foreign intervention probably won't occur in the short term, because no one wants to stick their dick into that level/scale of crazy. Expect a truly horrifying bodycount over the decades, with a best case scenario of internal collapse and more senseless death, but also the possibility of an even more horrifying possibility of them attempting to export their revolution to the rest of the world via violent means...

What a time to be alive die!

......

This assumes that bullying and bullies are logical in their decision making, and will weigh long term costs and benefits before acquiring a target...

... I can assure you kids (and even adults) don't think that way. They're gonna pick on the ones that rub them off the wrong way, logic be damned until it's too late.

Also don't forget that many bullies are actually very good at the social game and playing the victim, which would really put the magical girls in a bad light if/when they do snap.
And yet, here we are.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

New member
Author
A competent government is the bigger of the two fantasies.
That made me laugh IRL.

But I think there are degrees to incompetence in government.

The highest order being your constituency showing up with rifles cannon and pitchforks to terminate your term of office by hanging guillotining or feeding you to the dogs.

The lowest order being getting reelected because they wonder if you can still clean this up.


As for the OP question.

Education, counseling, food and shelter.
Basically taking the role of the parent to the orphan.
If post-crisis superboy feels love for the government that created the institutions that raised him then Superman will love the country that set them up.

You are more or less asking about what care should the state provide to a young person without a next of kin. the buttom line is that him having superpowers is immaterial. You give love you get it back.
 

Vikram

Well-known member
But what if this boy gets online and reads up on some ideology?
What if he becomes a Marxist and decides that he should overthrow the current system and take control of the country's economy, for example.

There is a reason, after all, that Superman's political leanings were quickly removed to make him a milquetoast do gooder that can never affect the "real" world. A superhuman that is ideologically guided can change the world.

And I seriously doubt that just gratitude would be enough to stop him if that happens. Look at Gautam Buddha.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
But what if this boy gets online and reads up on some ideology?
What if he becomes a Marxist and decides that he should overthrow the current system and take control of the country's economy, for example.
Let me quote myself:
Good education, that quickly involves strong political studies for the teenager to see with clarity the complexity of governance and society. The first and foremost message to send is that problems do not get solved with punches. Then you deal with the super's frustration by focusing their powers on singular grand projects like establishing a Moon or Mars colony while at the same time having clear discussions on how to better use their powers.

You want that super to have an administrator mindset, thinking on how to best use their powers to improve as many lives as possible in a reliable way.
A good educational system covers politics and ideologies in a dispassionate way. Marx? It's studied among many other economic and philosophical thinkers with actual reflexion and criticism that isn't an idiotic "REEEEE COMMUNISM" nor "REEEEE COMRADE". All high-ranking administrators here have read and studied Marx carefuly.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

New member
Author
A good educational system covers politics and ideologies in a dispassionate way. Marx? It's studied among many other economic and philosophical thinkers with actual reflexion and criticism that isn't an idiotic "REEEEE COMMUNISM" nor "REEEEE COMRADE". All high-ranking administrators here have read and studied Marx carefuly.
While I consider myself a strong education advocate. The fact remains that education is a two-edge sword. A person in their teens is in most cases not mature enough to make informed decisions. Young people are very emotional in the motives of their actions.

Not to mention the infuriating propensity to learning the wrong lessons and jumping to conclusions.

Educating Superman would be a delicate operation. And one that can fail miserably.
That being said, education is the only way to go about what the OP is asking.


But what if this boy gets online and reads up on some ideology?
What if he becomes a Marxist and decides that he should overthrow the current system and take control of the country's economy, for example.
The best defense from less than stellar ideologies is exposure therapy. I would actually want to introduce "Superboy" to Marxism-Leninism and their critiques. Marx "Das Kapital" alone can be viewed as criticism to capitalism, but it offers no real answers and Marx's later works openly advocate armed struggle and violence. And in some cases outright murder.

The other way to delegitimize something like Marxism-Leninism or Maoism or Fashism or Radical Islamism or Nationalism or or or is to display the ideal those ideologies preach and carefully deconstruct them and point out their follies.
Even if you fail to teach Superboy anything useful you still managed to show him that, quick-fix ideas are a dime a dozen. People try them every few years and the results of those are mostly disastrous.

As a side note, I have personal misgivings with the popular, or more accurately, pop-culture view on Marxism. To critique something you need to have more than cursory knowledge on the subject you are critiquing.


So to your, question:
But what if this boy gets online and reads up on some ideology?
Show it to him and Read the site with him together. Encourage him to engage in a discussion with the people behind that site.
The greatest threat to any idea is a questioning mind.
 

Vikram

Well-known member
So to your, question:
But what if this boy gets online and reads up on some ideology?
Show it to him and Read the site with him together. Encourage him to engage in a discussion with the people behind that site.
The greatest threat to any idea is a questioning mind.
That implies a level of security with the idea that would be downright unrealistic in any nation on earth. One has to remember that governments are nowhere near as idealistic as we are, and would be nowhere near as comfortable with educating a demigod with ideas that may lead to him overthrowing them.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

New member
Author
That implies a level of security with the idea that would be downright unrealistic in any nation on earth. One has to remember that governments are nowhere near as idealistic as we are, and would be nowhere near as comfortable with educating a demigod with ideas that may lead to him overthrowing them.
If you don't think there would be 50 sets of eyes watching the boy every second then I think that it is you who is looking at this with unrealistic expectations.

What you wrote implies a level of incompetence reserved for Sunday School teachers.
This is your own OP, you said "sufficiently competent world government" and not El Presidente of Carbombia.


There is only one Superboy.
The staff roster of the orphanage that houses him would make any university green with envy.
Nobel prize winners would be the people that get the job. Also, don't confuse state institutions with the government. Politicians come and go, teachers, social workers, doctors stay.

The people in office, the politicians, can and will raise a stink over what they call gross mismanagement of the Superboy. But that would likely a populistic stance. Propaganda for domestic consumption.

They will likely say something like what you just wrote.

Senator Bob Von Noname: "I cannot stand by and watch as you introduce the Demigod to poisonous ideology! Are you trying to have him overthrow the government?!?"

Now people that dedicated their lives to education and childhood psychology, will just calmly explain why what the Honorable Senator Bob Von Noname just said is incorrect.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
That implies a level of security with the idea that would be downright unrealistic in any nation on earth. One has to remember that governments are nowhere near as idealistic as we are, and would be nowhere near as comfortable with educating a demigod with ideas that may lead to him overthrowing them.
Governmental structures in developed countries are rarely if ever incompetently stupid as you seem to believe. The real world isn't a US comic book where governments are necessarly evil and stupid enough for the reader to notice it.
 
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