Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Allegory of the Right

There is a group of people, living in a large ice hockey arena.  Their values are maintenance of their civilization, freedom for their people, and autonomy for the individual.  Their great love in life is skating and moving pucks around on the ice.

One day, the game ice hockey is invented.  It is an immediate hit.  Soon it is discovered that the game is a lot more fun if there are exactly two teams on the ice at a time, and if they wear different colored jerseys to distinguish themselves and make the action less confusing.  Then someone hits on the idea of decorating the jerseys with slogans so that the adoring crowds will have something to chant while the game progresses.

The two most opinionated people in the arena are chosen for the task of creating the slogans.  One chooses:
Israel is our greatest ally!
We need to invade Iraq post-haste!
and the other chooses:
Israel is a heap of rubbish!
No alliances ever!

These slogans prove quite serviceable as they really give the crowds something to disagree over.  Then one day, an alert fan glancing outside the arena notices that Pancho Villa is approaching at the head of a column of 1000 men with Mauser rifles.  He spreads the warning to the crowds, who are generally disorganized and a little dazed from all the shouting.

In frustration, the alert fan runs down to the edge of the ice, shouting about the impending threat of Villa and his riflemen.  He reasons that the hockey players are easily organized and energetic enough to face down the threat.

In reply, a couple of players mutter to him that they will be happy to face Villa as soon as the other team is defeated, noting that the game has no time limit, and a side is defeated only when it admits that its slogans were wrong.