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Alan4discussion's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by Alan4discussion

Comment 66 by raytoman

What I find strange is that they can find a majority amongst the 99% (who are not actually rich) to vote in candidates who want to cut taxes for the 1% and screw everybody else.

It's called divide and rule with paid media stoking petty jealousy and squabbles so the elite can arbitrate in their own favour whilst posing as "honest" brokers - diverting money from public welfare and public projects to line their own pockets.

There are lessons from mythology which show these ideas of exploiting the gullible, are not new! - Bierce takes the hint for the conduct of his ‘honest man’ from Samuel Croxall’s Fables of Aesop and others: translated into English with instructive applications (1722 and often reissued). The ‘application’ for the fable of “The Lion, the Bear and the Fox” reflects on the foolishness of applying to lawyers in disputes over property: ‘When people go to law about an uncertain title, and have spent their whole estates in the contest, nothing is more common than for some little pettifogging attorney to step in, and secure it to himself.’[7] Thomas Bewick indicates the same moral in his illustrated Select Fables of Aesop (1784). There the preface to Fable 20, titled “The Lion, the Tyger and the Fox”, warns that ‘The intemperate rage of clients gives the lawyer an opportunity of seizing the property in dispute’

Just as the story of the dogs who lost everything while fighting over a bone became proverbial in England, the Indian proverbial equivalent is expressed as ‘monkey’s justice’. The story there is of two cats who fight over a piece of bread, or butter or cheese, and go before a monkey to adjudicate their shares. He cuts it into two unequal halves and has to nibble first one then the other to get them equal until the cats beg him to stop; claiming it as his fee, the monkey gobbles the remainder and leaves them nothing.

A much earlier Indian variation on the story appears in the Buddhist scriptures as the Dabbhapuppha Jataka.[11]. Here a jackal offers to arbitrate between two otters who are quarrelling over the division of a fish they have co-operated in bringing to land. The jackal awards them the head and tail and runs off with the bulk of their catch. The moral drawn is a political one:

Just as when strife arises among men,
They seek an arbiter: he’s leader then,
Their wealth decays and the king’s coffers gain.

Do these fables ring true?

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 21:28:37 UTC | #950970