THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“When one reads the reports of UNO [United Nations Organization] conferences, or international negotiations of any kind, it is difficult not to be reminded of l’Attaque and similar war games that children used to play, with cardboard pieces representing battleships, aeroplanes, and so forth, each of which had a fixed value and could be counted in some recognized way. In fact, one might almost invent a new game called Uno, to be played in enlightened homes where the parents do not want their children to grow up with a militaristic outlook.

The pieces in this game are called the proposal, the demarche, the formula, the stumbling-block, the stalemate, the deadlock, the bottle-neck and the vicious circle. The object of the game is to arrive at a formula, and though details vary, the general outline of play is always much the same. First the players assemble, and somebody leads off with the proposal. This is countered by the stumbling-block, without which the game could not develop. The stumbling-block then changes into a bottle-neck, or more often into a deadlock or vicious circle. A deadlock and a vicious circle occurring simultaneously produce a stalemate, which may last for weeks. The someone suddenly plays the demarche. The demarche makes it possible to produce a formula, and once the formula has been found the players can go home, leaving everything as it was at the beginning.” – George Orwell, “As I Please,” December 12, 1946.