2010s >> 1909 >> no-61-september-1909

Short Story: 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 on 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 bis 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—.” 
From the Sydney Bulletin.

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