Among unequals what society
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book VIII, 383
That man, he is stupid,
This sloven, she is slow,
Your specimen is a slattern,
My next one is a drunk.
Behind him some drugged-up punk,
Then a leech, a banker in his prosperity,
Then an impoverished man, lazy I’m sure,
And some prim and prissy prude in her shawl.
That high-and-mighty preacher tiptoes past the filthy number four
While that cunning conniving wretch
Is too cheeky for their good.
Look at them, all rotten,
See them all so depraved.
Tell me this, you democrat –
Among unequals, what society?
Today’s poem raises two ideas that we seem to have, but seem to be in conflict, namely that we seem to believe that the vast majority of our fellow humans are not our equals, but also that democracy based on universal suffrage is a good idea. What do you think?
The Hapless Neo-Romantic