Happiness and Equality

Once there was an evil king. He was known as the Eagle King. He had a dark soul. All he cared about was power and gold.

He had all the gold in the world, but he wanted more.

He had all the power in the world, but it was not enough.

He wasn’t happy, and it bothered him that his subjects while poor were happy. So he sought out to steal their happiness.

Without that happiness he would die.

The king was a very devious and clever cat.

He operated in the shadows.

One day he hatched a plan.

He consulted his top advisers, nobles, and scientists.

After careful deliberation, he decided to intentionally inflict a pox upon his subjects.

The goal was to create fear in society.

People would naturally panic over the disease, he concluded.

The people will be clamoring for a solution, his advisers told him.

I will provide a solution, said the king. I will call for a general quarantine. I will shut down all businesses in the community, except for mine.

My business will be deemed essential.

When the other businesses shut down, I will pick up the slack by providing those services that were lost.

That will mean more money for you, and us, said his nobles.

They were licking their chops at increased revenues, for they were as greedy as the king.

So they went ahead and implemented their plan.

The people readily embraced it.

Sieg Heil, they screamed.

But there was one voice of dissension.

Who dares to speak against me, said the king.

I, the lowly knave, came the reply.

I don’t think you thought this out properly, said the knave.

Such a plan will ultimately hurt you. The people will figure it out in time and come to hate you. You will win in the short run but not the long run. Plus, you will make more money in taxes if you will only let the people enjoy some of the money.

We will continue to lie, said one of the advisers. And, it’s not their money we’re after, it’s their happiness.

We don’t want them having any, said the king.

But doesn’t that go against our traditions and our values of pursuing life, liberty and happiness, asked the knave.

We are changing the values and the traditions, said one of the advisers. What preceded will be no more.

We will program the people to not seek happiness, said another adviser. If people seek happiness, then inevitably one person will have more than another. This will be unacceptable in the new value system in which equality will be valued.

That’s right, said the king. And to help cement this equality we will have people put hoods over their heads because we don’t want one person to be more beautiful than another. That would entail inequality.

The hood will serve a double purpose, added a noble. Not only will it prevent inequality, it will help prevent transmission of the disease. We want to make sure that we keep the fear going as long as possible. We don’t want people all getting the disease at once because then they will become immune.

We want, added the king, for the people to be exposed to this disease for the rest of their lives.

We want them to live in fear.

Can this be done, asked the knave.

It most certainly can, said one of the scientists.

Because we have put people in quarantine, because we have asked them to wear hoods in the name of equality, we have cut down transmission of the disease. This will make the disease linger at a low level.

If ever we want to bring the number up in order to cause more fear, said another scientist, we will send our infected people into the community to mingle and spread the disease through common objects such as money.

By emphasizing the hood, said the king, we have taken people’s focus off washing their hands. It is the handwashing that is primarily responsible for preventing disease.

Won’t the people figure this out, asked the knave.

No, said the king. We have programmed them over the years to believe that we the royals and nobles are of superior intelligence and power. They will do exactly what we tell them to do.

It works every time, said an advisor. We have been lying for years. By the time they catch on, they are in their 60s and ready to die. The young people are too new to figure things out. The middle-age people are too occupied getting through the day.

Because we have weakened them by stealing much of their wealth they don’t have the strength or inclination to care, laughed one of the nobles.

That all sounds good, said the knave, but you have forgotten one thing.

Speak, said the king.

Without the pursuit of happiness, said the knave, without social interaction, what makes an individual uniquely human will die. Humanity will die. When humanity dies, you will die because you will have no more happiness to steal.

Sincerely,

Archer Crosley

Copyright 2020 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

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