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It is not just history that repeats itself, fables do too. That is, of course, if they happen to be politically correct.

For example, an ancient Chinese fable has it that the emperor (you know who, Xia, the other end of the alphabet or the other side of the world?) decides he needs a new wardrobe. Far and wide he searches until he finds a pair of con-artists surnamed NEO who convince him of their trustworthiness and loyalty. The emperor commissions them to provide him a new wardrobe to his specifications. They promise to return in one week. As the appointed hour grew near, the NEOs were in a panic; with nothing that meets the emporer's expectations to offer, they decided on a grand cover up.

Before the emperor and his court, they explain: "Your highness and most excellent, imperial majesty, we have found the most absolutely exquisite of tapestries. They exceed all your specifications. We have tailored them to fit you exactly. What is more, they are magical. Only those who believe in you can see them; scoundrels and enemies can not. If you think their beauty is fitting, you can put them on and wear a ready-made loyalty-test wherever you go."

The emperor was amazed and so impressed that he addressed his court, declaring the NEOs henceforth would be the Court Magicians and paid them handsomely in pure gold for their trouble.

In due course, the emperor grandly announced to his court: "You will see the finery of my new clothes." With that the NEOs opened a large trunk they brought with them and began dressing the emperor in his new clothes. No one of the court could see anything, but, fearing the emperor's wrath, each acknowledged the finery and beauty of his new clothes and they assured him that no expense had been spared. The emperor was convinced of their magic for he himself could not see the clothing; but of course he knew he was a scoundrel.

Armed with the response from his dutiful court, the emperor declared the next day, his birthday, to be a national holiday. He decided to address his subjects in his new clothing which the NEOs eagerly provided.

Promptly at the appointed time the next day, the emperor stood before his court. All assured him that he was the most finely dressed emperor of all time. With that he strode out onto the palace balcony to greet his subjects.

All were hushed in silence--until an innocent little boy way in the back somewhere asked his mother:

"Why is the emperor wearing no clothes?"


Why indeed? See Even A Child Can Do It and Locus of Control.

See also: The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer for yet another take.

Often-times political correctness is merely another expression of the Authoritarian Personality in charge. It is worse when the emperor's subjects believe. Worse still is when they pretend to believe instead of speaking out.


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