New South Wales starts to emerge from “lockdown” tomorrow. So here is my take on two tales that blend well with what has been going on in Australia recently: The stories of King Cnut and The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Cnut or Canute?
I think the first one is right, but it is pronounced as the second. Anyway, King Cnut was born around the year 990 and reigned in the early 11th century as king of England, Denmark and Norway and what is now part of Sweden. It is said that he was so convinced of his power as ruler of the north sea countries that he ordered his chair to be placed on the sea-shore as the tide was coming in. He is then said to have ordered the rising tide not to come any further onto the land that he was ruler of. Naturally, the tide came in and wet his legs. At that point the king is said to have realised that he and his powers were not as great as he had thought. Supposedly saying something like “Let all the world know that the power of kings is empty and worthless, and there is no king worthy of the name save Him by whose will heaven, earth and the sea obey eternal laws.” Well, you get the point…right?
Cnut attempting – or even pretending – to command the waves of the sea is supposedly a true story. Even if it is an old myth then it’s still a great example of how power goes to some people’s heads. As the old saying goes: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I seem to recall mentioning King Cnut in an old post back in February 2019 – Wow! Not long after we arrived in Oz, and just as this scamdemic was gaining momentum. That post was predominantly about Electric cars but is well worth a read if you missed it (click here).
King Cnut actually existed whether the tale of the waves is true or not. The Emperor’s New Clothes however is a children’s fairy tale written by Hans Christian Anderson in 1837. I am sure you all know it but here’s a quick recap…
Two conmen meet an emperor who spends lots of state money on clothes rather than genuine state matters. The conmen spot an opportunity and pretend to be tailors. They offer to supply him the most amazing clothes that just so happen to be invisible to anyone who is too stupid to see them. The emperor hires them, and they set up equipment as if to start work. Government officials, and even the emperor himself, visit them to check their progress. Everyone can see that no equipment is being used but pretends otherwise to avoid being thought a fool. Finally, the ‘tailors’ announce that the emperor’s suit is ready to wear. They pretend to dress him and the emperor sets off on a tour of the city to show off his new clothes. The people of the town feel awkward but go along with the pretence, for fear of being called “stupid”. Finally a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then realize that everyone has been fooled.
And here’s what it means…
It is a cautionary tale about something called ‘pluralistic ignorance’. “What??!” – I hear you cry. Well pluralistic ignorance is described as a situation in which the majority of a group of people privately disagree with what is seen as the norm, but go along with it anyway because they assume (incorrectly) that most others in the group accept it. Put more simply; “no one believes it, but everyone thinks that everyone else believes it”.
The term “emperor’s new clothes” has become an idiom that is familiar to young and old alike. Pretty much everyone knows what the term refers to yet why are so few speaking out at this present time when we have so many obviously artificial ’emperors’?
For what it’s worth, this is exactly where I believe we are right now. Not only in Australia, although it is more prevalent here at this moment. Everyone knows the stories of Cnut and the naked emperor. The majority also realise what those tales mean. So let’s hope enough of them wake up and equate those tales with what is currently going on.
We have politicians who think they have absolute power and can reach a mythical “zero covid”. There are health/medical “advisors” telling them what they want to hear while simultaneously massaging their own egos and exaggerating the scale of the supposed “threat”. All the while enjoying their new found fame as they appear on TV 24/7. This whole thing is aided and abetted by the media who (for whatever reasons) do not want to stray from the party line. The media never properly question anything. Not even remotely.
There are many who can see right through the whole scam but anyone – like the ‘child’ in the story – who shouts out what is really going on is immediately called a fool or worse. And so they go along with it… And here we are…
In summary: The power has gone to the heads of the state Prime Ministers in Australia. “Zero covid” is a crazy policy and is just like trying to stop the waves. The power grab has been done on the back of mass hysteria of an over-egged “threat”. Yes of course there is a disease but it is not as bad as they have made out. There is so much to argue against it but none of them are saying so. Even though they can see it. In this sense they are effectively naked.
All I can say about them all is: What a bunch of Cnuts! (sic)