Queen Jadis Elitism

 

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C.S. Lewis is always timely. Our family is reading through The Chronicles of Narnia. We’re in The Magician’s Nephew, a portion of which describes the elitist attitude displayed in Hillary Clinton who thinks herself outside or above the law that normal humans must abide by.

Digory has an Uncle Andrew who failed to keep a promise, so Digory reproved him for it. His uncle replied in a typical elitist way:

“Well, then, it was jolly rotten of you (not to keep a promise),” said Digory.

“Rotten?” said Uncle Andrew with a puzzled look.

“Oh, I see. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true: most right and proper, I’m sure, and I’m very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys—and servants—and women—and even people in general, can’t possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny.”

Later in the same conversation, Uncle Andrew tries to explain the significance of his science experiment. Digory challenges him, and Uncle Andrew doubles-down with elitist claims to be outside the laws of normal humans:

“Can’t you understand that the thing is a great experiment?” asked Uncle Andrew. “The whole point of sending anyone into the Other Place is that I want to find out what it’s like.”

“Well why didn’t you go yourself then?” Digory replied.

Digory had hardly ever seen anyone so surprised and offended as his Uncle did at this simple question. “Me? Me?” he exclaimed. “The boy must be mad! A man at my time of life, and in my state of health, to risk the shock and the dangers of being flung suddenly into a different universe? I never heard anything so preposterous in my life! Do you realize what you’re saying? Think what Another World means—you might meet anything anything.”

“And I suppose you’ve sent Polly into it then,” said Digory. His cheeks were flaming with anger now. “And all I can say,” he added, “even if you are my Uncle— is that you’ve behaved like a coward, sending a girl to a place you’re afraid to go to yourself.”

“Silence, sir!” said Uncle Andrew, bringing his hand down on the table. “I will not be talked to like that by a little, dirty, schoolboy. You don’t understand. I am the great scholar, the magician, the adept, who is doing the experiment. Of course I need subjects to do it on. Bless my soul, you’ll be telling me next that I ought to have asked the guinea-pigs’ permission before I used them! No great wisdom can be reached without sacrifice. But the idea of my going myself is ridiculous. It’s like asking a general to fight as a common soldier. Supposing I got killed, what would become of my life’s work?”

Later on in the story, Queen Jadis says the same thing to justify herself for employing the Deplorable Word, which killed every living thing on her planet Charn:

“The last great battle,” said the Queen, “raged for three days here in Charn itself. For three days I looked down upon it from this very spot. I did not use my power till the last of my soldiers had fallen, and the accursed woman, my sister, at the head of her rebels was halfway up those great stairs that lead up from the city to the terrace. Then I waited till we were so close that we could see one another’s faces. She flashed her horrible, wicked eyes upon me and said, “Victory.” “Yes,” said I, “Victory, but not yours.” Then I spoke the Deplorable Word. A moment later I was the only living thing beneath the sun.”,

“But the people?” gasped Digory.

“What people, boy?” asked the Queen.

“All the ordinary people,” said Polly, “who’d never done you any harm. And the women, and the children, and the animals.”

“Don’t you understand?” said the Queen (still speaking to Digory). “I was the Queen. They were all my people. What else were they there for but to do my will?”

“It was rather hard luck on them, all the same,” said he.

“I had forgotten that you are only a common boy. How should you understand reasons of State? You must learn, child, that what would be wrong for you or for any of the common people is not wrong in a great Queen such as I. The weight of the world is on our shoulders. We must be freed from all rules. Ours is a high and lonely destiny.”

Contrast these statements with the words spoken today about Hillary’s exoneration from FBI Director James Comey:

“To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

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