In a near-future an underground group of a very talented scientists was born. Since our world was on a brink of total collapse due to climate changes, resource shortages, general stupidity of world leaders and religious fanaticism, they considered this to be a now-or-never time for their "Project Equality" as a mean to erradicate a root of all these problems - inequality between people.

A very complex virus-bomb was made and spread all over the world's population. At set time this virus started to alter humanity into what someone might consider a completely different species. This species (lets call it E-Human) was similar to humans, however, it was mono-gender and didn't have any major racial features (like distinct skin color or eye shape). The change happened rather quickly (in a single month) and as it was found out, a representative of an underground group of scientists issued a statement at the UN: this transformation is not permanent, and everyone will be back to normal in 10 years. However, people have to learn this lesson.

So, what would world shape into after 10 years?

A few more details:

  • all people was transformed simultaneously.

  • there was no unaffected people.

  • there is no way to reverse transformation before the end of experiment.

  • any E-Human (whenever it was male or female before transformation) can bear a child, but conception still requires a partner. Pregnancy still lasts 9 month.

  • all children born in this 10-year timeframe would be born as E-Human, but will change to normal Human at the end.

  • $\begingroup$ Many would probably die as now only some parts of the world are safely inhabitable for the E-People anymore. Unless you introduce some fancy mechanisms to make up for pigment and thus stuff like vitamin d production $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 9:24
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I would just like to point out that equality is not having everybody the same. And it would certainly not stop racism or sexism as people would change physically but not mentally. If you change a machist into a genderless being, he might not take it lightly, same goes with anybody with strong feeling towards those parts of its identity. This is because an underlying question is what is the pysical norm to be set ? No racial features means everybody white ? "No gender" means everybody hermaphrodite ? And why those norms instead of others ? $\endgroup$
    – Riff
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ The problem aren't the different genders, or races. The problem are the opinions, feelings, etc. Cause there will be still selfish people , arrogant people, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Anetair
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


First of all there's little doubt in my mind that this will go horribly wrong. As Nicolas has pointed out in the comments, equality in the sense of the political ideal, is not the same as absolute uniformity.

In order to actually achieve the desired goal, you're better off removing people's concepts of their own identity and how it relates to people - whether they are "the same" or "different". There's an idea in ethics that the best way to make an ethical decision is to try and make a decision that someone would make if they have no idea what social/racial/gender group they belonged to (I'll try and find a link - I know where I've heard this theory, I just can't remember what it's called). For example, if you have no idea if you are black or white, you're less likely to make an ethical decision that is prejudiced against blacks or whites.

Ultimately, as long as people are able to perceive themselves and differentiate themselves from others, the same old problems are going to crop up. You've tried to make people the same by default but there will be differences you can't predict - and even if not, people might make themselves distinguishable into different groups, either by clothing, mutilation or some other means, and then hold prejudices against groups other than their own.

  • $\begingroup$ In short, they they would paint stars on their bellies: youtube.com/watch?v=PdLPe7XjdKc $\endgroup$
    – SusanW
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ 1) I'd say there is a rather big difference between "different clothing, mutilation or some other means" that can be controlled and natural means (gender, skin color, eye shape, etc) that cannot be controlled that easily. 2) Say you are meeting a new E-person. You don't know if it was he or she, black/white/asian/whatever before transformation. You might ask, but there is no guarantee you'll get an honest answer (besides, I think that would be considered rude). Therefore "you're less likely to make an ethical decision that is prejudiced against blacks or whites". $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ there is also body size prejudice, tall/short, wide/thin.so there will always be prejudices to face so i think the op would need to ask a question of what the world would be like without prejudice $\endgroup$
    – Sarfaraaz
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 12:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MrScapegrace blacks and whites was just an example - by removing race, you would indeed abolish racism, my point is that prejudice would still exist. I don't think there is a massive difference between "natural" means and other means - the actual difference is still arbitrary, in that treating people with prejudice is a choice, not a result of objective inferiority. Even if the existing means of visible difference are controllable, there's no guarantee that you yourself will be in control of them. E.g. people might be forcibly mutilated or branded to show that they are of a lower caste. $\endgroup$
    – danl
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 12:39

People would surely still discriminate and bear prejudice regarding features other than "race" and gender - both physical (age, build, health problems, voice tone, facial features...) and social (wealth, degree of education, ideology, language, dress code, place of birth, political alignment...).

I think that, likely, all the other factors besides race and gender would become more important. My view is that prejudices are integral to the human nature, and can't be entirely erased from society, although they can (and should) be controlled.

I believe that society would nevertheless be deeply impacted by the imposed change - there would be an initial crisis during and after the change. By far most would fear and hate it - both because change is a sure cause of stress - and this one is quite severe as it affects perceived identity -, and because the unilateral act of transforming everybody would be perceived by many as an act of violence.

A few would not only fully support the scientists, but strive to make the change permanent - some would seek it for themselves and the more fanatical would try to ensure that the "experiment" is permanent for the whole mankind. Many wouldn't believe that the change is irreversible and try to reverse it early. Government and corporations would try to seize the tech behind the transformation for their own purposes. There could be war.

Groups with different views about the change would hate each other, giving birth to a new reason for prejudice that would endure even after the end of the experiment. When approaching the 10 years deadline the population would be only partially adapted - there are many instances in our history of entire nations mourning losses and resenting wrongs for decades - and the anxiety would trigger a new wave of conflicts.

The change back to "normal" would probably let the world still more scarred than if the change was permanent... some will miss their E-human body, some will mourn the loss of ten years in their old bodies, general mistrust on science... Only the prejudices won't fade, the experiment would backfire. Lots of interesting stories could be devised from this scenario...


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