The Schmoo: The Nexus of Politics and Philosophy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by PoliticalChic, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. PoliticalChic

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Oct 6, 2008
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    Brooklyn, NY
    A friend recently sent me a ‘graphic novel’ of an Al Capp cartoon of yesteryear…The Schmoo.
    It was fascinating…check this out:


    1. “The Shmoo first appeared in the strip in August 1948. According to Shmoo legend, the lovable creature laid eggs, gave milk and died of sheer esctasy when looked at with hunger. The Shmoo loved to be eaten and tasted like any food desired. Anything that delighted people delighted a Shmoo. Fry a Shmoo and it came out chicken. Broil it and it came out steak. Shmoo eyes made terrific suspender buttons. The hide of the Shmoo if cut thin made fine leather and if cut thick made the best lumber. Shmoo whiskers made splendid toothpicks. The Shmoo satisfied all the world's wants. You could never run out of Shmoon (plural of Shmoo) because they multiplied at such an incredible rate. The Shmoo believed that the only way to happiness was to bring happiness to others. Li'l Abner discovered Shmoos when he ventured into the forbidden Valley of the Shmoon, against the frantic protestations of Ol' Man Mose. "Shmoos," he warned, "is the greatest menace to hoomanity th' world has evah known." "Thass becuz they is so bad, huh?" asked Li'l Abner. "No, stupid," answered Mose, hurling one of life's profoundest paradoxes at Li'l Abner. "It's because they're so good!"

    Ironically, the lovable and selfless Shmoos ultimately brought misery to humankind because people with a limitless supply of self-sacrificing Shmoos stopped working and society broke down. Seen at first as a boon to humankind, they were ultimately hunted down and exterminated to preserve the status quo.” Shmoo

    Now, here is the adult version..

    2. Alexis de Tocqueville, writing “Democracy in America” in the 1830’s, described “an immense, tutelary power, which takes sole charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate.” As he predicted, this power is “absolute, attentive to detail, regular, provident, and gentle,” and it “works willingly for their happiness, but it wishes to be the only agent and the sole arbiter of that happiness. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their needs, guides them in their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their testaments, divides their inheritances.” It is entirely proper to ask, as he asked, whether it can “relieve them entirely of the trouble of thinking and of the effort associated with living.”

    3.For many of us, the idea of never having to plan, to consider the ramifications of our actions, is more than inviting. After all, what is the cost or this loving envelope?

    a. …a network of petty regulations—complicated, minute, and uniform, the rule of a technocratic elite armed with authority conferred by a liberal, quasi-democratic regime —through which even the most original minds and the most vigorous souls know not how to make their way past the crowd and emerge into the light of day. It does not break wills; it softens them, bends them, and directs them; rarely does it force one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting on one’s own; it does not destroy; it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it gets in the way, it curtails, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally it reduces each nation to nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."

    b. Here is the warm embrace of the collective, hinting ever so solicitously, so assiduously, how simple it would be to join, to give up what makes one different, unique.

    4. Well, after all, what is so terrible about a “social body” that would be intent on exercising foresight with regard to everything; that would act as a “second providence,” nourishing men from birth and protecting them from “perils”; and that would function as a “tutelary power” capable of rendering men “gentle” and “sociable”??

    a. Tocqueville foresaw that the human “soul” would enter into a “long repose.” In the process, “individual energy” would be “almost extinguished”; and, when action was required, men would “rely on others,” in a new and unprecedented “species of servitude

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