Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Libertarian Fable by Aesop

According to the story, a group of frogs lived happily and peacefully in a pond. Over time, however, they became discontented with their way of life, and thought they should have a mighty king to rule over them. They called out to the great god Zeus to send them a king.

Zeus was amused by the frogs' request, and cast a large log down into their pond, saying "Behold, your king!" At first, the frogs were terrified of the huge log, but after seeing that it did not move, they began to climb upon it. Once they realized the log would not move, they called out again to Zeus to send them a real king, one that moved.

Annoyed by the frogs, Zeus said, "Very well, here is your new king," and sent a large stork to the pond. The stork began devouring frogs. In terror, frogs called out to Zeus to save them. Zeus refused, saying the frogs now had what they'd wanted, and had to face the consequences.

Some interesting comments:

By Protestant proto-fascist Martin Luther:
German Theologian Martin Luther (1483–1546) in his 1523 "On Governmental Authority" speaks of the paucity of good rulers, attributing this lack to humanity not deserving good rulers due to its wickedness. He then alludes to this fable to illustrate how humanity (frogs) deserves the rulers (stork) it gets:
"Frogs must have their storks."

By libertarian Robert Heinlein:
Science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein referred to this story several times throughout his work. From his novel Glory Road in 1963:
"...the answer to most problems was: Don't do anything. Always King Log, never King Stork——'Live and let live.'"

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