It's a Jungle out there!

“We can’t accept any longer, given the changes in the world and the attitude of the people, the law of the jungle”
-French President Jacques Chirac


(This little, tiny story is part of a series, in which I explain to my little daughter how things work.)

Politics works like this: Big People of Big Country buy Big People of Little Country, who, by the way, will be elected in “democratic elections” thanks to big bucks; Big People of Big Country give big loans to Little Country (of course, to buy “made in Big Country”); Big People of Little Country pocket a big chunk and invest it in the Big Country, without ever investing in real development (education, health, the environment, etc); Little People of Little Country work for ever to pay back what they never got; Big People of Little Country thank Big People of Big Country in the name of Little Country, and promise to repay the big debt; and Little People of Little Country get big promises, just like Little People of Big Country. And they lived happily ever after…


One day the King of the Jungle, tired of being called a “Tyrant,” gathered the most cunning animals in the kingdom, chief among them the Foxes… He said to them: “It’s mighty unjust that I am not recognized for what I am. You know full well that the best of my SCRAPS, after you, go to the Little Animals… Well, I want you to write LAWS, so from now on it’ll be them, and not me, who would rule over this God chosen kingdom…”

After a few months of hard deliberations (and a few “private parties” and “business trips”) the Foxes (now turned politicians) returned with a long, long book of laws written in a language so hard to understand to the Little Animals that they thought it was old Greek. After translation, it started like this: “The animals with a mane will be treated like kings; the animals with paws and teeth will be above the Laws; and the animals who will represent the interests of the Little Animals, us, will be granted a raise in benefits and status… Of course, ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION will be considered ILLEGAL, and will result in the Lion eating the Little Animal…”


Once upon a time, in the deep jungle, lived a Lion and a Monkey… One day the Monkey, tired of the Lion always taking the LION’S SHARE, and seeing that such injustice represented a danger to all, demanded JUSTICE… The HUNGRY LION, yawning and stretching, said, “You would have to have paws and sharp teeth…” Then the Monkey, who was very clever, devised a plan: He would go to the costume store, and look like a lion…

When the Lion saw him, noticing that the new lion wasn’t a match for him, and fearing COMPETITION, killed him on the spot --before the indifferent look of the little animals of the jungle… And that’s how the Law of the Jungle was re-established one more time…

NOTE: Other monkeys survived him…


After killing the monkey dressed as a lion, the Lion gathered all the little animals of the jungle and announced: “Today we have successfully eradicated one of the major threats to the peace and order of our jungle… Yes, an evil lion, envious of us, attacked without warning… Luckily, your sacrifice gave me strong paws and teeth… And yes, these mighty weapons were so useful to me that I finished him off without a sweat… Anyhow, now it turns out that some of his accomplices are trying to attack us… So get ready for more suffering and restrictions, if not for a catastrophe… But hey, there’s a place for you in heaven…”

Meanwhile, one of the little animals --who out of need kept grazing all along-- asked another, “What did he say?” “I think he said something about a new lion,” answered the other. To which the first animal replied, “Another one!?”

Moral: We don’t need lions or violent monkeys that become lions. The hope lies in the little animals. No Lion No Problem!

NOTE: The “no lion no problem” goes after the characteristics of the lion (power, greed, monopoly, lies, violence, etc.) and its causes and not individuals per se. In other words, not the “hunting,” but the “taming” of the lion is the most desired outcome. Mission accomplished…

The corruption you describe in your ‘How Politics Works’ is very much entrenched in many third world countries. Not too long ago, (or it’s always been a plan) that the World Bank wanted a sweeping reform in its lending policies to these countries? I don’t know whatever happened to that plan.