We Americans are ostriches. We stick well meaning heads into the political sands of these United States, swear--probably correctly--they are better than all other sands, and accordingly declare ourselves...
We Americans are ostriches. We stick well meaning heads into the
political sands of these United States, swear--probably correctly--they
are better than all other sands, and accordingly declare ourselves free
for ever from entangling alliances. "Struthio camelus," whose plumes are
plucked for market while his head, stowed snugly in a stocking, "sees no
evil, hears no evil, speaks no evil," and who then struts about asserting
that a plucked and smarting rump is fashionable, ought to be our national
bird, not the all-seeing eagle.
But this isn't an effort to reform the United States. We're the finest
there is or ever was, only rather more entangled with the old world than
The Great Pyramid of Gizeh is older than the Declaration of Independence,
and its claims continue to have precedence, our elected statesmen
notwithstanding. Statesmen understand not much beyond the drift of
popular opinion; but conspirators have always understood that the safest
place to conspire in is the centre of the establishment they aim at.
The men whose lives are spent mainly in the open are the widest awake. To
assert the contrary is only another phase of the ostrich habit. If a man
wipes his knife on the seat of his trousers and knows where the cinnamon
bear will be rooting at six a.m., he's not necessarily less enlightened
than the fellow who thinks he knows what the editorials in the morning
paper really mean. That partly explains why the best policemen come from
the plough-tail and the woods, and cities don't often produce Abe
All this sounds rather far from Egypt and the Pyramid of Gizeh, but is
not. Few people know or knew why the Great Pyramid was built. Hundreds of
thousands toiled at the making of it, most of whom thought they knew,
just as most of the people who take the subway in the morning think they
know why, and are deluded. They believed what they were told. They were
told what was considered good for them to think. The men who told them
knew hardly any more but were getting a profit, and hard cash always did
look like Euclid's Q.E.D. But the men who really did know why the Pyramid
was building held their tongues and toiled elsewhere, also for cash,
except Khufu himself, who was the arch-type of perfect profiteers.