Fables of the Deconstruction

Once upon a time there was a city
Fair and beautiful to behold
Powerful and rich
Well guarded by high walls
With strong gates

Those who lived outside the city
Coveted its wealth and influence
And said:
Open the gates, so that you may see better.
Of what use are strong gates
if you cannot see what danger faces you?

Open your gates, so you might breathe fresh air.
Of what use are strong walls
if the people inside are suffocated?

Open your gates, for even if you
become momentarily weaker:
Your enemies will be cowed at the strength
that allows you to voluntarily weaken yourself.

The people of the city heard these arguments
And were pleased
For those who made the arguments were
So smart and fashionable
The people of the city opened their gates
And were pleased
At the power and wisdom which that act revealed
Although it was true that the view through the open gates
Was short and mean
And did not compare with the sight of a perceptive watchman
From a high tower
And it was true that sometimes unclean airs wafted into the city
And gave its people malaria or typhoid

Upon opening their gates
The people of the city had no will
To man their walls
Or care for their defenses
Or maintain order in the city
And soon it was
That the city belonged to someone else

And one morning the people woke
In the city that was no longer theirs
And saw that all the gates
Were shut
And they asked
(Most diffidently, for in addition to being smart and fashionable,
those people were now their masters)
“Why are the gates not open”
and were told
The open gate policy
is no longer necessary

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