1950s >> 1950 >> no-549-may-1950

That’s Different

A man with an ax flew by Socrates, chasing another man :

 

“Stop him! Stop him!” cried he of the weapon. “He’s a murderer!”

 

But the old sage wasn’t taking any chances, and jogged along imperturbably.

 

“You fool!” quoth he of the ax. “Why didn’t you stop him? He’s a murderer, I tell you!”

 

“A murderer! What’s a murderer?”

 

“ Fool! One that kills, of course.”

 

“Ah! a butcher.”

 

No, idiot! That’s different. One that kills a man.”

<

“ Oh! Ah, a soldier.”

 

No! No! That’s different altogether. One that kills a man in times of peace!”

 

“A hangman!”

 

No! No! No! That’s different. One that kills a man in his house!”

 

“ A doctor, then!”
No! No! No! No! No! That’s different”

 

Running along after him (2,000 years after) comes another man with flaming eyes : “Stop him! Stop him!” he cries, pointing to something he sees, or thinks he sees, ahead of him. “Stop him! He’s a Socialist!”

 

“A Socialist! What’s a Socialist?”
“Why a believer in state industries, of course.”

 

“ Oh. I see? The railways, post offices, customs, drains, and all that.”
“No, that’s different! I mean competing against private enterprise.”

 

Oh! schools, universities, and the like.”
“No! No! That’s different. I mean state trading. The fellows that expect everything done for them by the state! A loafer that wants to share the earnings of the industrious workers!”

 

Ah! Ah! A nobleman who has inherited land.”

 

“No! No! That’s different. I mean—.”

 

Sydney Bulletin

 

(The above is reprinted from the Socialist Standard, September, 1909).