Salient: An organ of student opinion at Victoria University, Wellington. Vol. 23, No. 5. Wednesday, June 15, 1960
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Baa Baa Black Sheep
The most important thing about this analytical survey of the economic condition among sheep is the essentially bureaucratic nature of any such inquiry.
The question, "Have you any wool?" is a penetrating one and in fact raises the whole problem of the vested interests of a controlling class grabbing the textile industry from the small consumer.
Surety only ft Christian or a cop could support such an idotic movement towards repressiveness.
One of the leading Lithuanian sociologists, R. Vladivostok, in an attempt to excuse such obviously sloganised " theory," appeals to "tradition" to justify this intellectual apathy.
This Is False
The striking absence of any refutation of the master-servant relationship, seen in the worker's obsequious answer: "Yes, sir, yes, sir," is scarcely worthy of comment.
No Christian, with his insistence on the "threeness" of the black sheep's wool supplies can produce anything but a pretence of a doctrine, whose vagueness is its only defence against revolutionaries and reformers.
And the restating of the paternalistic outlook of Christians and police towards society contained in the improper distribution obtained by proletarian workers
"One for the master, one for the dame." and with the final superior smugness :
"One lor the little boy who lives down the lane" is impossibly naive.
However, far more far-reaching in its effects is the underlying theme of antilibertarian propaganda, which can be seen from an enumeration of the general bureaucratic prejudices against intellectualism which are concealed under this obvious and superficial political attack.
There are three points.
1. The derogatory "Baa-baa" which merely verifies what I have been saying all along; the conformist mentality of those who, typically enough, feed us with claptrap and then expect us to be polite to police is incapable of producing real overall inferences;
2. The "black" in the first line. It must not be imagined that any racial prejudice winge will go unanswered.
3. The reference to "wool." Obviously some word less acceptable to our Christian-dominated social order has been expurgated.
Because of the prejudice of the police, a slighting reference to the sexual capacity of the Negro has been turned into a seemingly harmless nursery-rhyme with which bureaucratic police and bourgeois Christians will smugly bolster up the toppling structure of the existing social order. The natural consequence is a garbled and Impoverished idea of "goodness," an idea that has long-since ceased to have meaning in this world.
Now read the poem.