Story:Is ignorance a blessing ? —— Part 1(图)

发布 : 2020-10-28  来源 : 明报新闻网



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【明报专讯】Once upon a time there was an old kingdom called The Golden State. Its people believed in an ancient myth. Legend had it that the founder of the state, a descendant of the Sun god, divided people into three social classes, namely the gods, the knights and the labourers. The reason for the division was for the common good of society, a source of stability and growth.

People believed that they were divided into these three categories on the basis of their inner ability instead of family backgrounds or wealth. And some priests belonging to the class of the gods were sent to monitor every single one of their subjects. Every year people queued and waited to be assigned their class. The story was written into the state's constitution, which told how the country should operate, as well as textbooks for students to spend hard times memorising every single word of it.

Nothing could stand against social progression. Foreign technologies were brought in from a neighbouring country called the Wise State. And people in the Golden State started their pursuit of knowledge. Some intelligent people, after a long period of investigation, exposed the truth behind the story of the Golden State. They made use of the printing technology from the Wise State and printed piles of pamphlets.

They trumpeted revolution. All this irritated the ruling class. Troops were deployed and thousands killed.

But nothing could stop the truth from spreading. More and more people knew they were not bound to the so-called inner ability as told by the priests, and they organised protests to fight against the troops. However, the long-enjoyed stability, no matter how compromising and scandalous it was, was destroyed overnight. Other states eyed the opportunity and invaded the Golden State, one of them being the Wise State.

The Golden State was razed to the ground, and people fled the country. But the story has been widely circulated since then.

Adapted from a fable from Plato's Republic

by Ian Lam

■Gear up

Find words in the story which could be replaced by the following.

1. advancement


2. advocated


3. angered


(Answers on next text)

■Food for thought

A noble lie conceals people from important truths so as to achieve political aims. Do you think it is better for the Golden State citizens to obey rather than resist the rulers? Is ignorance a blessing rather than a curse? Discuss the question among yourselves.


descendant (n) 后代

division (n) 分配

stability (v) 稳定

pamphlet (n) 小册子

[Smarties' Power English 第290期]