houses of gold more social satire:

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tango3, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    More Ran Prieur satirical excerpts:

    If the surface of the earth were covered with diamonds and gold, and we could get mud only by digging deep mines, then we would dig deep mud mines, and people in houses of diamonds and gold would look with bitter envy at the rich brown lustre of the houses of mud, and they would work their whole lives to live in mud houses and employ maids to scour the filthy unsanitary diamond and gold dust off the precious mud floors.

    The mud-dwellers would hide their shameful secret -- that they still weren't happy. They would feel guilty and start ambitious programs to bring mud to the whole world. They would go to the most pathetically undeveloped places, where people relaxed all day in villages built of diamonds and gold that they just picked up off the ground; they would tear down the villages and erect modern mud housing projects; in return for this service, they would teach the people productive job skills by putting them to work in the mud mines and the mud-processing plants. If anyone complained, they would be indignantly denounced as ungrateful by people who had worked their whole lives before they earned the privilege of living in mud.

    People who claimed to prefer living in gold and diamonds, and stubbornly refused to better themselves, would be dismissed as lazy and shiftless. If too many people became lazy, they would have to be somehow compelled to work in the mud factories and do their part for the common good. Eventually, a country might become rich enough to make building codes that required all structures to be made of mud, so no one would have to endure the shame of looking at -- or worse, living in -- golden houses. Of course, anyone blessed with living in such a muddy country should be deeply grateful,and do their share of the work that maintains such enviable muddiness.

    But now there's a new discovery! By digging even deeper mines, with even greater effort, we can extract a substance so rare and refined that only the most laboriously trained noses can appreciate its exquisite scent. That's right -- shit! And if we all redouble our activity, we may see a day when anyone, by working hard enough, can earn the chance to live in a shithouse.

    Of course my analogy is flawed: The world we live in is even more absurd and satanic. In this world, the stuff that actually is lying all over the ground -- dirt and straw and rocks and even shit -- is useful for building houses. And the stuff that is extracted from the earth with great effort is much less valuable than dirt.

    With enough effort, a civilization can produce iron, which doesn't cut nearly as well as chipped obsidian, but is especially useful in making weapons that can be used to wound and kill other people to compel them to work for you making more iron. Next we can produce steel, which is useless for warm, comfortable houses for people to live in, but indispensable for giant office buildings from which the manufacture of more steel and the compulsion of more workers can be managed.

    We can drill for oil, which, when spread on plants, does not help them grow, but which can power iron and steel contraptions that pretend to save labor while multiplying the demand for labor-consuming materials and practices.

    Lately, with unfathomable effort, we have produced the highest thing yet: plutonium, a substance so valuable that it kills any living thing it touches and its only use is making bombs that can kill a million people at once who refuse to work for you.
  2. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Good one.
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