Winter is Coming – Grasshoppers Fiddle While…


by Luke Hamilton

Winter is coming. The phrase was made popular with the success of the Game of Thrones series, but its resonance is elemental. Even in the height of summer, when a couple inches of snow sound like a refreshing break from the heat, contemplating the approach of winter triggers the impulse to prepare; to stock up. As any Midwesterner can attest, the thought of being caught, unprepared and lacking, in the dead of winter is enough to turn just about anyone into a prepper.

Just like the ants in the popular fable, it’s understood that work done in the spring, summer, and fall is to provide for the time when winter impedes the acquisition of resources necessary for life. As is often the case, this lesson, beautifully portrayed in a tale told to children, contains a truth which is vital to their development and functional participation in society. The ants work while the weather is nice; the grasshopper enjoys the nice weather while mocking the ants. The ants warn the grasshopper that he needs to prepare for bleaker times ahead; the grasshopper laughs and continues the party. Winter comes; grasshopper dies. Sorry Walt Disney, in the original version, the ants didn’t extend a grasshopper entitlement program to the shiftless-ne’er-do-well. They kept the door locked and turned up the Jimmy Buffet, content to bask in the fruits of their hard work and self-discipline.

The connection between the characters in the fable and the general character of our nation is unmistakable. As the Left’s punitive war on achievement continues apace, the number of ants in America continues to shrink. Much like the producers in Atlas Shrugged, the achievers in America have grown weary serving in their dual-role of culprit and scapegoat. We are told that the successful among us are to blame for the problems we have, and at the same time, they be coerced to involuntarily serve as the salvation from these problems through their sacrifice. So like John Galt, they are disappearing; but instead of retreating to form an objectivist paradise, as Rand’s characters did, many of our ants are joining the ranks of the grasshoppers.

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