Bureaucracy on the Planet of the Apes

Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water from a fire hose. After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result--all the apes are sprayed with cold water.

Do this a few more times and pretty soon you will find that if any ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will fall on him and beat him up. Now, turn off the water, wrap up the hose and never use it again.

Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The New ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one. The newcomer also goes to the stairs and, as expected, is attacked by all the apes, including the previous newcomer that was never sprayed with cold water.

Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape, but they still take part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs.

Why not?

"BECAUSE THAT'S THE WAY IT'S ALWAYS BEEN DONE AROUND HERE."