… clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike.” (Cymbeline, act 4, sc.1)
Tips for Use. This is the reply to yesterday’s views of King Lear on Socialism. It is equally the implied argument of neo-liberals, evangelists and imperialists of all colors and shades. If you belong to this class here is a powerful philosophical argument to support your anti-leftist and anti-socialist views.
Less awkwardly the quote can apply to situations, or people, or even things where it is important to emphasize the difference rather than the similarity. Even, possibly, during an interview or verbal exchange where your counterpart tries to say that there is no qualitative or substantial difference between you and others. In an interview it could be an answer to questions of the type, “Show me that you are better than candidate so and so… etc.”
The meaning and spirit of the quote is hammered into the masses at large by the corporate media, as well as legions of sycophants, flatterers, ruffians and similar, to justify the theft of the commonwealth by a few (the 1%) to the detriment of the many. It is what drove the eminently intelligent George W. Bush to say, “Some people are smarter than others”, to justify the rape of the working class and the dismantling of the middle class, sacrificed on the altar of the so-called “market economy”.
What is never said or questioned is the definition of the adjective “smart”. In the instance some of the “smartest” people in charge of sundries Wall Street firms (not to mention Enron and countless others) actually sunk the companies they directed thanks to their “smartness”.
By leaving the adjective undefined everything goes. However, a definition based on facts is “any son of bitch who can get away with it.”
Smart people indeed, including George W. Bush, who had difficulty in stringing a few coherent words together – but had no qualms in destroying countries and killing millions of people (in Iraq alone 1.3 million) to effect “regime changes”.
It is difficult for people of George W. Bush’s ilk to accept that clay and clay differing in dignity is no excuse for the destruction of the seemingly weaker clay.
If you like this website why not subscribe (see last menu item to the right)? You will get automatically any new blog as well as any other information and novelty that will be forthcoming, including a system to effortlessly (yes) remember hundreds of Shakespearean quotes by heart and having fun in the process. You can also chat with me – please go to the chat-page. And I promise, no sales calls, trade leads, venomous schemes, hidden plots, Machiavellian conspiracies, commercial ploys, psychological tricks, leads exchanges, barter proposals, suggestions or offers of any kind imaginable (and unimaginable).
In the play. Imogen escaped from the court and from her evil stepmother. Imogen is wearing a man’s disguise and has been quickly adopted by the two brothers Arviragus and Belarius as another brother. Unbeknown to her, she is actually her sister, but this will be revealed at the end of the play.