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If The Emperor Wears No Clothes



Marcusian stripes returned to haunt.
Syllogistic neologisms.
In a one-dimensional world.

Where is the logic of it all?
Aristotle’s fame befuddled.
Pride and Prejudice discovered.

It’s Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four.
Returned to us this Century.
“Big Brotherlooming everywhere.

Propositioned to what is false.
The world indeed is upside down.
With the truth fallen on its side.

“Toy Soldiers” fallen on their sides.
Unimportant, disposable.
Figures of subjects, all to deceive.

Slain by deductive reasoning.
Falsely asserted to be true.
The wherewithal to crown a lie.

Conclusions made nonsensical.
Inferences patently false.
“Matter-of-fact” cynical world.

This our world inhabited now.
Where blatant lies reverse the truth.
With “Newspeak” becoming the vogue.

A web of domination rules.
With all of us entangled souls.
Spawned as one-dimensional man.

This then is now a charge I give:
“If the emperor has no clothes.
Be brave; reveal his nakedness!”

About this poem

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was a German-American philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist. As an undergraduate major of sociology and languages, I became a little familiar with his Frankfurt School philosophy, anchored in my mind by his use of the phrase, “One-Dimensional Man.” Some of his strident philosophical propositions and commentaries seem so relevant today where, because of the prevalence and even dominance of “alternative truths,” many of us conclude, either falsely or correctly, that we have come to inhabit a world informed by “matter-of-fact-cynicism” and with many of us not confronting falsity, but looking the other way when the emperor is wearing no clothes.  

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Written on January 23, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on January 23, 2022

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Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

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"If The Emperor Wears No Clothes" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 17 May 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/118366/if-the-emperor-wears-no-clothes>.

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