This story is available on the net.
Lithium Cola used it in an essay he posted on Daily Kos, some time back.
Here it is. Major league props, hat tips and everything else for Ursula LeGuin, one of the best science fiction writers of all time.
(crossposted from Right of Assembly)
Ursula Leguin, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas."
See the link for the story.
It all sounds so goddamned wonderful, doesn't it? Fucking paradise. Everything you ever dreamed of, as a small child.
Well, assuming you lucked out and got to be one of the lucky small children.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.Yeah. It's possible. There are other ways, outside the box, outside the envelope, outside all of the preconceptions and habits.
There are other, kinder ways, that aren't predicated on there having to be child victims who have to be thrown into the volcano, kept in prisons, beaten, or otherwise being used as scapegoats.
We don't have to punish our children, in order to survive. Or the children within us.
My comments here are crude, compared to the brilliance and subtlety of Le Guin's piece.
At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all.
These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlandsThey walk straight out, through the beautiful gates, and they do not come back.
of Omelas. Each one goes alone, youth or girl, man or woman. Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow-lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back.