People often ask: What is that [Zouave] uniform?

 

And the answer is: We’re Santa’s elves!

 

Everyone knows that the toys Santa distributes to good little children are made by elves.  Everyone also knows that bad children get sticks and coal in their stockings.  And that takes care of those who don’t clean up their rooms or don’t do their homework. 

 

But what about the really bad children, the liars and thieves and bullies?  We are the elves who take care of those!

Because the Zouaves are Santa’s enforcers, they are larger than other elves.

 

This topic also opens a window into the economics of Santa Claus’ toy distribution.  Santa’s Christmas toy distribution clearly is not an example of market economics.   The fact is, the elves are unpaid.  Christmas toys are produced according to the elves’ abilities and are distributed according to the needs of children under the direction of a central authority.  The central authority is Santa, who decides the distribution of toys according to non-economic criteria with a firm moral and ideological basis (naughty vs. nice).  Historical experience shows that such a system, as in Stalinist Russia, needs enforcers.  The Zouave elves are necessary as Santa’s enforcers of labor discipline as well as necessary to deal with evil children.

 

If you don’t believe this, we offer the historical explanation.

 

Back to the Zouave uniform question.