The new suit of the emperor is a story by Hans Christian Andersen that has passed from generation to generation without losing a bit of its charm. It is a story about the power of the majority, which is applicable to an infinity of situations.
History says that this was an emperor who loved dresses. He had his wardrobes full of beautiful clothes, but he always wanted a better one. He only wanted to dress with the utmost elegance and nothing mattered more. Sometimes, even, he neglected the affairs of the empire, just to enjoy his clothes.
Tell this story about the power of the majorities that, on a certain occasion, came a couple of rascals to the kingdom. They knew about the emperor’s weakness for clothes and then concocted a scam. They began to spread the story that they were capable of making extraordinary fabrics, with unique properties.
“For those who are afraid, all are noises.”
The rumors that these men spread spread to the ears of the emperor, who immediately ordered them to be called to his presence. I wanted to know what was being offered. The men said that the cloth they made was so soft and wonderful that the body hardly felt it.
They added that the fabric had a unique quality: it could not be seen by the stupid or by those who were incompetent for their positions. The emperor was enthralled. It seemed fabulous to her that not only was she being offered the fabric to make herself another dress, but that through it she could evaluate her servants.
According to this story about the power of the majorities, without thinking twice, the emperor ordered that they make him a dress with the magic cloth. The men asked for a juicy advance and installed a loom. They pretended to work day and night in it, generating great expectations.
The emperor’s new suit
Died of curiosity, the emperor sent his prime minister to bring him news of his expected commission. When the official arrived at the loom, the scammers asked him if he thought the new suit of the emperor was beautiful. The man was stunned. I did not know what to say.
He thought that if he said he had not seen anything, they would take him for a fool. Or worse, they would say that he was unfit for his position. So he decided to continue the game and say that the suit was beautiful. So he told the emperor afterwards, who was satisfied with the diligence.
The tricksters then asked for more money, to increase the beauty of the dress. The emperor gave it to him without saying a word. However, time passed and the suit was not ready. So he decided to send a new official to verify the progress. Again the official did not see anything, but on his return he said: “It’s the most beautiful outfit I’ve seen.”
A story about the power of the majorities
The emperor named the two rascals as imperial weavers. Then he announced that soon they would celebrate a great celebration, so he needed them to finish his new suit, to premiere that day. It tells the story about the power of the majorities, which men gladly accepted.
The day of the great celebration finally arrived and the scammers arrived with the suit to the royal bedroom. Doing the corresponding mimic, they said: “Here are the pants”. Then “Here’s the jacket” and so on. The emperor, of course, saw nothing, but he, like the others, was not going to allow himself to be taken for a fool or incompetent.
All the courtiers praised the emperor’s beautiful suit. They commented on how good it was. Also on the great quality of the fabric and the perfection of the finishes. According to the story about the power of the majorities, the emperor was pleased to see the reaction of others. So much so that he wanted to go out for a walk so that his subjects admired him.
He began to walk through the streets and people, who knew about the subject, kept praising his suit. Suddenly, a child raised his voice in the crowd. “But he’s naked!” He said. Other children at his side repeated the same thing. The others, including the emperor, acted as if they had not heard.