I agree with Jon Elster that Hans Christian Anderson was one of the world's great sociologists. Contained within his stories are archetypes which continually recur. One of the most regular recurrences is of the "Emperor's New Clothes" Anderson, however, didn't write the version of the story that closed along the following lines:
"To the little boy, it was quite obvious that the Emperor was naked. His could hardly contain his excitement! 'The Emperor's got no clothes on!' he shouted, tugging at the coat tails of the courtiers. They looked down on him in horror - of course, they all knew the Emperor had no clothes on, but they were afraid to say anything. The little boy persisted. The Emperor heard him. Now the Emperor knew full well he was naked. He rather enjoyed the sport of parading naked and making everyone terrified of saying anything about it. The last thing he needed was some pesky kid causing a disruption and drawing attention to the obvious fact. He thought about it briefly and decided that the best thing to do was to get his henchmen to remove the child. Everybody else would be too frightened to do anything or say anything. As the child was being dragged away his cries stirred something in the crowd. They knew that what the child was saying was true. They felt ashamed of their own fear. Indeed, they saw themselves to be as naked as the Emperor. 'Enough!' shouted an adult in the crowd. The henchmen looked around to see who spoke. 'Enough!' came a shout from another part of the crowd. Suddenly, the atmosphere began to change as distant shouts of 'Enough' got louder. With the shout of 'The kid's right - Of course he's naked!', everyone started to laugh. Nevertheless, the child was dragged away, raising the temperature further.
For the Emperor, this was a problem. Fear was melting away. News spread to neighbouring towns: "Come and see the naked emperor!" screamed the headlines. People started to laugh. But the Emperor's close coterie remained loyal, batting away suggestions that the Emperor was at all naked. They released a statement defending the silencing of the little boy in a bid to appease his distraught parents: "When there is a breakdown in any relationship involving two parties who themselves have responsibilities to others who rely upon them, all efforts should be made to protect the reliant individuals from involvement in the breakdown" "What the hell does that mean?" said the crowd. "I think it a bit like their line last year after the notorious scandal about the great 'Screwdriver thief': 'When seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.'
The Emperor's task was now clear. How could he put fear back into a situation so that he could once more parade about the town with no clothes on? The Emperor had one more trick up his sleeve: the Establishment! He called upon the town Bishop, the Baker and the Law-Maker, all of whom were close associates. Between them, they conjured up new laws, new prayers and some granary loaves. "Let's give these people something to really chew on!" They said, laughing an evil laugh. The laws made the people work harder; the opiate prayers made them forget their troubles; and the bread filled their mouths so full they couldn't speak any more. Everyone forgot everything. The problem went away. And once more, the Emperor could walk in the town in his birthday suit."