N° 17 Surprising


His description of the customs
of a primitive tribe helps us now to better understand certain aspects
of life in civilized societies especially those which are kept hidden

In travelling into several remote nations of the
world Captain Gulliver detected a secret society called Arminium. It happened
that members of this social club thought they could try alternatives to
their traditional custom and practice. And they found and identified traits,
marks and qualities which they have not seen before.

The society comprises two classes: the Activium
class and the Philistrium class. The small Activium class consists of
young and active members, the Activors, and of retired Activors called
Inactivors. Inactivors are waiting for their promotion to the big Philistrium
class where they are expected to help in the establishment of conditions
which allow the Activors to develop creative imagination. Besides of ordinary
there were conditional members of Activium, the Foxes, as well as applicants
for conditional membership, the Spefoxes.

The Philistrium is formed by respectable Philistors.
The heart of Philistrium is the PhiVo; he is surrounded by an inner shell
of twelve other members, the PhiAM’s. The outer shell of Philistrium consists
of more than 200 Arminium members called AHAH. Consequently to the election
of the PhiVo some Philistors feel discharged of further responsability
for the society.

The Activors are stimulated by specialized animators:
the Senior (who was elected by the Activium assembly as president of this
class); the Consenior (who looks for the physical and mental welfare of
the Activors); the Secretor (who secretes electronic mail called Arminianews
for diaspora members); and the Mayor of Foxes (who looks for the welfare
of the Foxes). The Arminium society paid decent attention to the communication
between members and protected it against epidemic diseases: the logorrhoea
(i.e., preference for delirious discussions); the equally harmful muteness;
the disapproving of disapprovals (i.e., annoying reflections about who
is useful and who else is useless; with no hope for a definitive answer,
since everybody is at the same time useful and useless); refusal to prepare
the future (i.e., short-circuiting deliberations with the use of nonsense
slogans like: Don’t worry, be happy! or: Nobody believes that your proposition
will result in a palpable improvement of our situation).

A good friend of the society realized that the mental
disorder in the social environment may well be used to provoke an immune
reaction, thus promoting the health, wealth, and welfare of the society
and of the individual members and applicants. He first asked the Spefoxes
and Foxes for their advice. After some consideration he recommended: Try
to see yourself with the eyes of Philistors, Inactivors and Activors:
are they confident that the Foxes will help each other, that they will
exercise thoughtfullness for the other members? And similarly he interviewed
regular Arminium members and asked them to look at the society from the
point of view of Foxes and Spefoxes: Do you think that the society supplies
to Foxes and other Activors the incentives for personal performance they
are looking for? Then he pronounced a few surprising and amusing propositions:

  • Make mistakes if you want to correct them!
  • The opinion of the other is equally legitimate as the own judgement!
  • Contradictions are helpful for changing attitudes!
  • If one member is doing well, other members are doing well!
  • Effective actions reproduce effective actions!

Some Arminium members and some Foxes and Spefoxes
reacted as fatalistic keyhole philosophers: Let us look and we will see!
– and the problem was temporarily solved for them. But after some while
they joined the others who said: We lay down the path by walking it! –
and all people had their fun and worked together on unsolved problems.
Captain Gulliver finished his report with the following encouraging observation:

Nothing was ever the same as they said it was.

»K. Ibel