Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Tyranny of Equality: The Second Story

An important man holds a dinner and invites lots of guests.

"I shall be glad to see you," reads the invitation, "please be yourselves."

Eric says: "This is a fancy dress party - I'll come as Dame Edna Everage."

Kevin says: "This is a karaoke party - I'll sing Bohemian Rhapsody."

Sheila says: "I'll bring my rock-band with me."

Clarence says: "this is a formal dinner - I'll wear my robes of state and bring my entourage."

Moira says: "This is a nudist party - I won't wear anything at all."

Alice says: "This is a drinking party - I'll bring lots of barrels of beer."

Michelle says: "What a lovely invitation. I'll bring a gift."

And so the dinner happens. It's a shambles. There are arguments between Sheila and Kevin, who then try to do their thing at the same time. Clarence is clearly upset with both Moira and Eric (who, incidentally, cannot stop staring at Moira) and Alice is busy throwing up in the pot plants while the other guests get louder and rowdier on booze. Michelle is sitting there quietly and, looking at the tears in their host's eyes as he sits there wanting to talk to his guests, wanting to share with them, she puts down her knife and fork and waits for calm to be restored.

How long will she have to wait?

1 comment:

poetreader said...

Calm will be restored when someone takes charge, defines situations, identifies goals, and sets rules. Only then does one have freedom to grow and to achieve.

Anarchy is not freedom but bondage in a paralysis that prevents any real freedom from being exercised.

Here is the reason for the rise of dictatorships: when the old ways are abandoned and there are no clear goals, no clear boundaries to action, everyman works against every other and everything grinds to a halt. Existence becomes untenable. Someone steps into the gap, sets goals, makes rules, provides guidance, and the wheels of society turn once again. This was precisely the situation of
Weimar Germany, and a man named Hitler stepped in. Evil though he was, he was welcomed as a fuhrer, a leader, someone to lead Germany from its manarchic confusion. Lacking a good man to fill the gap, an evil one was able to step in.

We have a need to know what kind of party we are attending, and what is expected of us.

ed pacht