From Douglas Adams’ So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, by way of Samizdata:
“On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
“Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
“I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
“But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”
The/our pre-verbal lizard-brain enforces this as such, will quite often cause us to perform primeval actions that actually endanger us or those close to us,
I post it here as a corrective to today’s SQotD, below, in which Paul Ryan says something good, thereby proving himself to be a more likeable lizard than nasty lizard Obama and his lizard gang.
…Alert readers will note that this is a classic example of a piece of writing that will have everyone nodding, but each thinking his own thing. It’s like if you say you favour “common sense”, “principled government”, or “democracy“. Each person listening to you agrees. Each has his own distinct idea about what each phrase means, in ways that often wildly contradict the ideas in the heads of his nodding neighbours.
The Lizard-brain: brought to you by primal fear, rage, and reproductive drive. Promoting species-typical instinctual behaviors involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays – such as VOTING…