Tuesday, May 24, 2016


In retrospect, I believe I probably should have provided some context for the title of my post, "One neck, one leash". The phrase was inspired by a scene in The Fountainhead, in which the deliciously sinister cultural critic and collectivist, Ellsworth Toohey, describes the mechanics of totalitarianism (a system of which he heartily approves):
Everything I said is contained in a single word – collectivism. And isn’t that the god of our century? To act together. To think – together. To feel – together. To unite, to agree, to obey. To obey, to serve, to sacrifice. Divide and conquer – first. But then, unite and rule. We’ve discovered that one last. Remember the Roman Emperor who said he wished humanity had a single neck so he could cut it ? People have laughed at him for centuries. But we’ll have the last laugh. We’ve accomplished what he couldn’t accomplish. We’ve taught men to unite. This makes one neck ready for one leash. We found the magic word. Collectivism.
In the film version, these words are spoken by the marvelous Robert Douglas in what is (in my opinion) his greatest movie role. I linked to a YouTube clip of the scene a year or so ago, but I think it has been taken down. If you haven't seen the movie, that one scene, alone, is worth the price of admission.

1 comment:

rinardman said...

Divide and conquer – first. But then, unite and rule.

Said by Obo the Clown, in slightly different words, on many occasions.