Ursala Le Guin: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

I read this story recently and I can’t make up my mind as to whether I understand it. Here is my best attempt.

The city can only thrive when it’s citizens whole-heartedly accept a utilitarian ideology. This deep psychological acceptance occurs, for most of them, when they see the abused child. We must assume there’s no other way for this wholly necessary acceptance to be brought about in the citizens. Then the child has to be there for the city to thrive and the city thriving outweighs its being there in the calculation of utility.