From the first foundation of the Quinze-Vingts 1 all the inmates were on a footing of perfect equality, as is well known, and all their little affairs were decided by a majority of the votes; they were perfectly able to distinguish by the touch copper money from that of silver; not one of them ever mistook wine of Brie for Burgundy; their sense of smell was much finer than that of their neighbors who had two eyes apiece. They reasoned perfectly on the basis of four senses—that is to say that they knew all about them that is permitted to know; and they lived comfortably and peacefully, as much so as is possible for the Quinze-Vingts. Unfortunately, one of their professors pretended to have clear ideas concerning the sense of sight; he made himself listened to, he intrigued, he collected enthusiasts around him; finally, he came to be recognized as the head of the community; he set himself up as sovereign judge of colors; and all was lost. The first dictator of the Quinze-Vingts began by constituting a little council, by the aid of which he secured possession of all the contributions that came in—consequently no one dared to resist him. He decided that all 129 the coats of the Quinze-Vingts were white; the blind men believed him; they could talk of nothing
Marilyn Minter, BLEARY. 2015.