The Occupy [Location] crowd managed to lose me in a hurry last week -- or was it the week before? -- when outspoken protesters decided to share their highly-advanced, deeply insightful theories about how The Jooooos were responsible for the economy gettin' all stanky.
Yeah, kid? Shaddup. That theory didn't hold for accusations of well-poisoning (etc.) causing the Black Death, back when there weren't any Christian lenders 'cos the Church was down on loaning money at interest; which should also clue you in that the "banking conspiracy" is purest, evil hokum, given the way in which everyone from the Mafia to mild-as-milk Methodists are in the loan business these days. Conspiracy FAIL -- which is what happens when they don't exist.
What we've got Occupying [Wherever] is the first generation with no living family members who came of age during The Age Of The Loudmouthed Leader. To them, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, FDR, Churchill and Tojo are just funny-looking old men in history books and plausible-sounding bullshit is exactly the same as truth (or at least decency), if delivered sincerely enough. The Big Lie is back, the crowd is lovin' it and bad things are never the fault of anyone like them. Nope, it's someone else and, look right there in Manhattan: it's the West's favorite Others.
Geez, I was hopin' we'd outgrowed that. Skooch over, Dreyfus; sooner or later, the mob will work their way around to the dark-complected, the Catholics, the Freemasons and infidels like me.
Kipling thought we might fix things by outlawing mass action of any sort, and while I have borrowed elements of his Aerial Board of Control in devising an oppressive anarchist non-government in my own fiction, I don't think it will be As Easy As A.B.C. (Want a little less politics with your airships? Try With The Night Mail, an evocative and literally as well as figuratively atmospheric bit of predictive journalism set in the same future. The story's good; the link is worth the clicking for the illustrations.)
I don't think Mr. Kipling's approach will work. Somewhere, George Santayana is laughing, but it's not a happy laugh.
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4 weeks ago