Ursula K. LeGuin, who left us on Monday, once wrote a very short story that contains all the political theory you will ever need. The puzzle it presents is the moral puzzle of “civilization,” which means it’s a puzzle that’s most acute in the city. Personally, it captures much of what motivates me, and confuses me.
It’s a parable, but it doesn’t lecture you. It opens space to think, as all of her best work did.
It’s very short. It’s very funny. There’s nudity and (optional) sex. You can read it in five minutes. You have time. Don’t skim. Read every sentence. It’s here.
(If for any reason that link doesn’t work, it’s called “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and it’s in the collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters. My understanding is that the online versions exist with her permission, but if the link vanishes, then maybe they didn’t.)
Pass it on.