Twice a year, in Spring and Fall, we turn our clocks forward or back an hour to begin and end daylight savings time. But why do we do this? Why do we subject ourselves to a mild case of jet lag with each time change without seeing any benefits? How does daylight savings time manage to be so annoying? Never fear, I will answer all of your burning questions (and a few more!) to show you why daylight savings time should be abolished. I will also propose some alternatives to daylight savings time, which some may call radical. But read on, for social advancement requires thorough public discourse.
Daylight savings time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November. The first person to come up with the idea of shifting the clock to make better use of daytime was Benjamin Franklin, the bald-pated bespectacled man who graces our one-hundred-dollar bill. Daylight savings time first became widely used during World War I to conserve fuel. It was brought back during World War II for the same reason, but even then, it was a controversial decision.
Many believe that daylight savings time was created for the convenience of farmers, but they were actually opposed to the idea. It threw off their regular schedule, and that of their livestock as well. In fact, farmers are the main reason why daylight savings didn’t uniformly take effect until the late 1960s; up until that point, many states either didn’t observe daylight savings time, or started it on different dates, leading to greater confusion and disharmony.
While daylight savings time might have worked a century ago, there are many problems with it now that are reason enough for its removal. Not all states even follow daylight savings time (Arizona and Hawaii decided not to), and there have even been recent legislative objections to it. The Sunshine Protection Act has even been reintroduced into the Senate with bipartisan support. If passed, this would mean that the entire country would be on daylight savings time year-round.
While I believe this would be better than our current back-and-forth situation, I think we really need to dive a bit deeper and address the true source of these problems: time.
Anarchists believe that all people are equal, and, therefore, deserve equal treatment. They have also found many hierarchical powers to be unjust, corrupting those in power and dehumanizing those who aren’t, thus creating an unequal society. Throughout humanity, we’ve seen political, social, and economic hierarchies, but taking this one step further, isn’t the ultimate hierarchy the laws of physics themselves, which constrain our bodies and minds? And isn’t the force that governs the laws of physics time itself? Isn’t that the ultimate hierarchy we must dissemble in order to be free?
After all, why is time the medium in which we are suspended? Why not honey, or yogurt, or ice cream? The world would certainly taste a lot better, instead of the bitter ashes we are forced to subsist upon. Rather than a harsh desert of broken dreams, our world could be cool and creamy.
Frankly, the concept of time is clearly broken. Without a means of navigating time, humanity has no way to manipulate the past or future to our liking. One could argue that time is the source of all of our problems: causes and effects, actions and reactions, pain and suffering, war and peace, crime and punishment, pride and prejudice, mice and men, Jekyll and Hyde, Romeo and Juliet. Comedy, tragedy, horror, drama, science fiction. It’s all too much!
In the words of the philosopher Martin Heidegger, “Temporality temporalizes as a future which makes present in the process of having been,” whatever that means, but I think you see my point: time sucks.
If I had control of time, I would create a reality that is frozen at the pinnacle of human civilization: a golden moment of achievement, with humanity united in celebration, like the moon landing, or a fish leaving the sea to walk on land. Such a moment would have to be before the invention of Facebook and the subsequent collapse of society.
Or, alternatively, we could apply this same principle, but make it so that each person is individually frozen in their own greatest moment. We can all recall peak moments and experiences in our lives. For myself, there was a day when I was swimming. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I was drinking a smoothie. It was perfect. Then a cool breeze came through, chilling my bones, and heralding the end of all things. The moment was over. I was cold, tired, and grumpy. But if I could, I would freeze time in the moment before that breeze came through: sun on my face, smoothie in hand, belly full, and mind at peace.
As I said before, natural laws must not constrain us! And so I propose to you a system where time is frozen at each person’s individual peak moment. (Side note: I wish to warn you that you should decide on your moment soon, because others are already choosing their moments, and certain portions of the earth may no longer be available. Further, certain portions of time might not be available. I’m not sure, I haven’t totally thought this through. I’m not a physicist, okay? But it could get bad, like really crazy, so act fast.)
In conclusion, daylight savings time is a useless system from the past that has no place in modern society.