Once upon a time, a grasshopper and an ant lived in a field. All summer long, the grasshopper romped and played, while the ant worked hard under the boiling sun to store up food for the winter.
When winter came, the grasshopper was hungry. One cold and rainy day, he went to ask the ant for some food.
“What are you, crazy?” the ant said. “I’ve been breaking my back all summer long while you ran around hopping and laughing at me for missing all the fun in life.”
“Did I do that?” the grasshopper asked meekly.
“Yes! You said I was one of those old-fashioned clods who missed the whole point of the modern self-realization philosophy.”
“Gee, I’m sorry about that,” the grasshopper said. I didn’t realize you were so sensitive. But surely you are not going to hold that against me at a time like this.”
“Well, I don’t hold a grudge… but I do have a long memory.”
Just then, another ant came along. “Hi, Lefty,” the first ant said.
“Lefty, do you know what this grasshopper wants me to do? He wants me to give him some of the food I worked for all summer, under the blazing sun.”
“I would have thought you would already have volunteered to share with him, without being asked,” Lefty said.
“When we have disparate shares in the bounty of nature, the least we can do is try to correct the inequity.”
“Nature’s bounty, my foot,” George said. “I had to tote this stuff uphill and cross a stream on a log… all the while looking out for ant-eaters. Why couldn’t this lazy bum gather his own food and store it?” …
Lefty looked pained. “I’m surprised at your callousness, George… your selfishness, your greed.”
“Have you gone crazy, Lefty?”
“No. On the contrary, I have become educated.” …
Lefty not only won the argument, he continued to expand his program of shelters for grasshoppers. As word spread, grasshoppers came from miles around. Eventually, some of the younger ants decided to adopt the grasshopper lifestyle.
As the older generation of ants passed from the scene, more and more ants joined the grasshoppers, romping and playing in the fields. Finally all the ants and all the grasshoppers spent all their time enjoying the carefree lifestyle and lived happily ever after, all summer long. Then the winter came.
— Thomas Sowell, as quoted by Ben Domenech at Ricochet.com, in a fascinating and lengthy post on “Occupy Wall Street and a Generation Adrift.” And note this in the same post:
A colleague of mine went down to the Occupy Chicago event intending to make a video mocking the protesters. They asked them why they hated capitalism. But instead of angry socialists, they found the frustrated and distraught unemployed. “We don’t hate capitalism,” one young woman said, “we just want it to work again.” Someone needs to tell her that it can.
As long as you’re willing to erase the last 80 years of “Progressive” tinkering, distorting and destroying the concept, absolutely.
(And yeah, posting has been rather light this past week, while I’ve been Occupying the M/S Eurodam with the rest of the National Review Cruise. Watch for the pace to improve a bit more in the coming week.)