Once upon a time, there was a beautiful piece of land, high above the hill overlooking meadows and vistas of grand and wonderful delights. It was called, “The Land of Innocence.” In this land lived a peaceful people. They toiled by day and night and never complained. These were charitable, humble, and assiduous innovators. Blessed with the resources of the land, inbred with a dignity of labor and toughened by the demands of survival they conspired to create a haven for themselves and a showcase for the world.
Within these people there was a select group, called “Proofers.” The “Proofers” tended to the fears, emotions, pathos and any unwelcome trauma of the rest of the people. The “Goofers” on the other hand, created trails to various landmarks for all to see and enjoy, in the land of plenty. The “Goofers” were honorable people too. But as time moved on, one such special “Goofer” named “Roofer” who loved the control and purpose of the day to day lives of the people, decided that he would make a special effort to show his magnificence and benevolence. He decreed, that all “Oofers,” the elderly, would be given special privileges of help by the tax-collecting, “Goofers.” In return the “Roofer” had figured that the people would keep him in power for life. And that is what happened, until he died. Other “Goofers” successfully carried the mantle of the “Roofer’s” decree, all fearing the wrath from taking back the promise of easy comforts and freedom from costs of daily living. In keeping this “Goofers” promise fulfilled, Jeremy Bentham had won this contest against Immanuel Kant. Reason had taken a back seat to implied logic. There was no autonomously applied principle of Reasoning except for an ulterior motive of self-service via the expressed notion of common good.
As time went on the “Oofers” community grew bigger and bigger and they started to require a lot of time with the “Proofers.” The subsidies grew and threatened to destabilize the revenue stream of the “Goofers,” for their many and varied schemes. Since the “Goofers” could not blame it on the “Oofers,” because the “Oofers” had swelled in numbers across the land and represented a large base of power, they placed the blame on the “Proofers.” The “Proofers” meanwhile were a hard working bunch of single-minded, individualists, who paid seldom paid attention to the polity. Scrolls were published by the “Goofers” and nailed to the oak trees by the “Looters,” “Hooters” and “Suiters” where every one walking the country-mile could see. The posters decried the recalcitrance of the “Proofers” of their non-compliance. And there grew a groundswell of public distrust against the “Proofers.”
The “Goofers” finding a perfect target to assault, added insult to injury by creating a forced labor force of the “Proofers.” The “Goofers” initially enticed them into the fold with visions of freedom and appropriate fee for their services and then gradually tightened the vice on them, by adding an ever-increasing set of demands. The “Proofers” who served under a “volunteer” basis found themselves reimbursed based on some concocted formulas devised by some of the expert “Goofers.” The attempt was to create a controlled market system that denuded the freedom of individual contracts between the “Oofers” and the “Proofers.” The “Proofer” complaints fell on deaf ears, since the “Oofers” did not have to pay, they remained quiet, and the misery of the “Proofers” mounted. Frederick Hayek, Milton Friedman and even Aristotle would have been unnerved by the goings on in “The Land of Innocence.” Where once innocence thrived but since had died and now the fields were plagued by the shadows of corruptive influence. The lyrics of “common good,” “public trust” and “benefits of the many,” in sing-song fashion began to be broadcast across the land.
While the “Proofers” were busy hard at trying to make sense of the changes, they were slapped with another puzzle to solve. This “puzzle” was the specified need for the “Proofers” to constantly check their abilities to function at a 100% with one arm and a monocular vision. This puzzle testing was conspired by the “Play-along-self-enrichment Jeremy Benthem leaning crowd to extract monetary gains for themselves. They called this puzzle testing, “MOCP” or Maintenance of Credibility Puzzle. Each “Proofer” had to solve the puzzle to maintain his “Proofiness” abilities, all under the burning midnight oil.
Meanwhile the “Goofers” having found, a steady rock under their feet in the turbulent waters of misguided economic directives, against the “Proofers” continued the barrage with more and more restrictive covenants, devised unilaterally to the detriment of the “Proofers” and “Proofing.” No one paid attention. The turn of the screw was only harming the “Proofers” and they were the vilified group, so no one cared. “Yup, they deserve it,” was on every tongue.
There was a hue and cry across the land and every “Proofer” felt the sting of the outrage directed against him or her. There was a bully pulpit in every corner and a “Goofer” followed by a “Hooter” was always on it, seen yelling at the magnitude of the economic problem steadfastly pointing the finger at the “Proofers” as the root cause. Until one day an elegant and well-dressed “Proofer” from a prestigious school of volatile thought and an equally well dressed, “Goofer” from a prestigious school of contrary thought, got together and decided that there must be a way to level the playing field with a fairness doctrine. The “Goofers” decided to name the “Proofers” as “Free-riders.”
This was further adding insult to the “Proofers” many sustained injuries, to be called “Free-riders.” They made many an application to get the ear of the chief “Goofer” but no one would allow them near. With sullied reputation and an overburdened sense of despair, the “Proofers” at first acquiesced and then with added restrictions of being mandated to help the people with one hand tied behind their back and the right eye covered with a blindfold, they trudged along, complaining as they had all along, trying to figure out what to do.
The “Goofers” with the help of the “Hooters” published new and far-reaching guidelines of how the “Proofers” were to carry out the specialized “Oofers” mandated programs. There were compensatory incentives for those that played along and forsook their oath while those who stuck to their principles were placed under more restrictive covenants. The latter suffered the wrath of the “Goofers” by being burnt at the proverbial stake. Their oaths were torn up and shredded in public, their abilities chained and names sullied. Meanwhile the play-along “Proofers” had a larger and forceful voice with passionate articulation of the “Goofer’s” new paradigmatic mechanisms of “Proofing.” This new paradigm according to the turn coats, was the greatest thing since sliced bread. These “Proofers” taunted the true-to-spirit ones that resisted and who had stayed true to their oaths, at every step and at every corner. The spoils had gone to the play-along crowd or so it seemed.
Given the clamor, restrictions and the vilification, the “Proofers” finally decided that they had, had enough. They had to work four times as hard and earn quarter as much and even then they had to face the wrath of the “Goofers,” “Hooters” “Suiters” and “Looters.” Many stopped working, others were disillusioned and others still contemplated their exits from the field of “Proofing.” One day the “Proofers” decided to stop meeting the demands of the “Goofers,” “Hooters” and “Looters” altogether. “No more!” they said. “No more!”
They made it known that they were first and foremost “Proofers” and not “Free-Riders” and that they would have nothing to do with the “Goofers” plans. If any of the people wished to bring their grief to their doorstep, they would assuage it as best as they could, but they would not be a party to the “Goofers” self-serving plans. They would serve the people and “Oofers” with both arms and eyes and to the best of their abilities as they had in the yesteryears. They would give them the full benefit of their expertise and knowledge. They would remain loyal to the oath of honor they had undertaken. They, the “Proofers” would be “Proofers once again!”
There were “Goofers” sponsored demonstrations and large-scale posters demeaning the “Proofers.” But there was no turning back. The backbone had been firmed up, finally. The die had been cast in stone and the paradigm was about to change. The exodus from beneath the heavy hand of the Goofers was in progress. The supreme principle of morality was in play, welcoming the Autonomous reason and the sense of duty.
Crushed by this change the “Goofers” were back in their big-little grey and white buildings, with the “Looters” and “Hooters” conspiring their next move…
“What to do? What to do?...