Shakespeare and the Defeat of the Swiss Referendum on Compensations

Shakespeare lines to comment the defeat of the referendum in Switzerland, “….commanded always by the greater gust, such is the lightness of you common men.”“Do they all deny her? An they were sons of mine, I’d have them whipped; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of.“

(All’s Well That Ends Well, act 2, sc. 5)

When it became known that Switzerland would hold a referendum – limiting the spread between the lowest and the highest paid employees of the same company – many across the world felt that it was about time.

Here is (was) an intelligent people, living in a highly civilized country, finally realizing the absurd consequences of runaway capitalism. Namely, that the extreme concentration of wealth leads – among other things – to the wanton destruction of the environment and to the state of perpetual war, required to fatten the minions of death and the profit of banks.

The defeat of the referendum gained remarkably little or no coverage in the American media.

Of course, the onepercenters will claim that those among the Swiss who proposed the measure were afflicted by “class envy” – or maybe they were Marxists. Whereas, as we all know, the problem is that extreme wealth leads to extreme political control. Which converts into a runaway feedback loop, for the creation of privilege for a few and misery for the others, with the Earth as the final victim.

Apparently, the defenders of extreme capitalism in Switzerland spent as much money as required to defeat the measure, and employed all that can impress awe upon the mind of man.

What is extraordinary is that the Swiss voters believed the tale of doom that supposedly would affect the country had the measure been approved. Nor did they realize that the intoxication of dominion knows no bound to its own externations – and that political power acquired through money (as today almost always is), is corrupted beyond the common degree of wickedness. Or that the power of wealth makes the ruled-over citizen the sport of caprice, the scoff of insolence, the slave of meanness, and the pupil of ignorance.

The episode proves – as if it were necessary – that, just as in the US, money and money alone makes the law, rules the parties and controls the electorate.

Once more, here are the words of two masterminds of propaganda, one a Nazi, the other an American.

Here is the Nazi,

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”  –    Joseph Goebbels

And here is the American,

“If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it… In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays

I am convinced that if the elites promoted legislation to turn people into eunuchs they would succeed, provided they funded the campaign with an adequate number of billions of dollars.

“….commanded always by the greater gust, such is the lightness of you common men.”


In the play. The King is still unaware that Helena wants Bertram as a husband (her reward for healing the King). Therefore he tells her to pick her choice among the young French noblemen currently at court. All refuse due to her lowly status. Lafeu erupts in anger. ‘An’ is synonym of ‘if’.

Image Location:

Shakespeare at Work. Use the quote to suggest a proposed type of punishment for a class of people or a specific group of persons you take issue with.

This entry was posted in After Dinner Quotes, Amusing Shakespeare, Best Shakespeare Quotes, Fighting your Adversary, Philosophical, Psychological & Historical Considerations, Presentation Ideas, Shakespeare and Politics, Shakespeare at Work, Shakespeare in Management, Shakespeare in Politics, Shakespeare Invocations, Shakespeare on Mass Psychology and Group Behavior and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *