‘The only way we can give man the strength to withstand mental infection is through giving him the utmost freedom in the exchange of ideas.’
By Devin Foley | 26 October 2017
INTELLECTUAL TAKEOUT — Do you recall the story of the emperor who had no clothes? If so, then you will remember that a couple of swindlers entered the kingdom and then conned not only the emperor, but all of those around him into believing that the clothes they sewed for the emperor were the very best in the world.
The problem was that no one could see the clothing. When asked about the invisible clothing, the deceivers claimed that the reason no one could see the clothing was because it was the rarest of all clothes and no one had ever seen such luxurious cloth. Shockingly, the emperor swallowed the lie — hook, line, and sinker. All of his subordinates and subjects naturally followed the emperor’s lead and declared that the clothing was of the highest quality and beauty of any clothing that they had ever seen.
But there really wasn’t any clothing.
It was only during a parade showing off the emperor’s “new clothes” that a child pointed to the emperor and yelled, “He has no clothes! The emperor is naked.” With that innocent statement, reality was restored to the kingdom and the emperor was terribly shamed for being such a fool.
What does it mean for us today? Well, I’m guessing you have recently watched the news or sat in a classroom and it seemed like the person in authority was as delusional as the emperor. The authority figure, whether a professor or a talking head, refused to acknowledge reality even though it was right in front of them.
If you have had such an experience, you’re not alone.
Quite often we see individuals in authority giving themselves over to an ideology, often wrapped up in the quest for total equality, and attempting to force the world to conform to it. They then recruit students and others to agree with them, just like the emperor and his subordinates. And when the world doesn’t do as the ideologues want, they simply ignore reality and declare that what they “see” is reality.
When you disagree with them, though, you find yourself shouted down, accosted, or simply pushed to the hinterland of societal acceptance. You wonder if you’re delusional because you can’t see the emperor’s clothes or if the people around you are delusional because they refuse to see the reality you see. […]