It is right that anyone with a beard ought to be suspected of terrorism. They obviously have something to hide. In most cases, it is their face, but we should remember that hiding the face can also indicate the hiding of other intentions.
The beard is a constant reminder to the adult male wearer of his inevitable impotence in the face of socio-economic forces. In pre-modern societies, where a razorblade was a prized possession, a clean-shaven face symbolised youthfulness, but it also symbolised wealth. Beards meant poverty; humility.
In late capitalism, when almost everyone can afford a disposable razor, the beard symbolises decadence to the wearer; yet it simultaneously is an affectation of poverty where none exists.
For the bearded man, the beard symbolises a defiance of the unspoken diktats of modern culture, where a smooth and stubble-free persona is ‘the best a man can get’, yet the act of wearing it is simultaneously an acknowledgment that one’s self-expression can neither transcend nor evade the aforementioned diktats. Wearing a beard, then, is a sublime act of humiliation. Look at me, the bearded man is saying to his reflection, I am beautiful, but I am also weak and monstrous.
Thus, enthralled and repelled by his own self-image, the bearded man must put his superfluous ‘razor’ to other uses. The ‘razor’ is polymorphous, and can take the form of, among other things:
Consider the last category. The democratisation of the means of mass destruction over the last 60 years, and a simultaneous democratisation of the postmodern, has brought us to a historical tipping point, where bearded men, who despite their narcissism, are conscious of the outward symbolism of their beards, have used their beards as a fiendish taunt to those who behold him. Does the beard mean that I have dispensed with my ‘razor’? Or is it that I keep my ‘razor’ hidden, to be used at a later stage?
Given the amount of carnage and destruction wrought by men with beards throughout history, it is as plain as the nose on your face that there is a direct link between beardliness and barbarism. Indeed, the Latin word for beard is ‘barba’, therefore I think that it is fair to say that although there may not be an original link between having a ‘barba’ and being a barbarian, the similarity between the two words served to establish a cognitive nexus, initially inchoate, but which grew stronger and more entangled over time. We have now arrived at a moment in history where the ‘barba’ and ‘barbarism’ are practically synonymous.
The hour is later than we think. Whilst a very small minority of beard-wearers are terrorists, wearing a beard has become an outward political act, beyond simple narcissism or asceticism. It is becoming a globalised ideology, poised to wreak untold havoc on our societies, and and we must act accordingly. As a society we must be prepared to give up smaller, less consequential freedoms, for the greater good.
It is not enough, as some might argue, to say ‘but there are good men with beards’, or ‘it is only a small number of men with beards who are terrorists’.
Both statements are true, but it is also true that we should ask: what part of a man’s worth – his resilience, his vigour, his capacity to do good – result from his beard? Does Santa Claus’s beard make his presents any better? Wouldn’t it be beneficial for all, that in removing the means by which individuals spread terror, we should stop allowing ourselves to be guided by Samsonite myths?
Despite the recent calls from liberals for the burqa to be banned, it is a historical fact beards obscure a far greater danger, although a man in a beard wearing a burqa is doubly dangerous.
In short, we need a ban. Which is more important: the right to be free from terror, or the right not to shave? By introducing a ban – which will cause no physical harm to anyone, nor will it affect any other civil liberties, we free ourselves from the growing spectre of barbitude – that is, the state of being subjugated by bearded individuals.