Wasn’t Just Orwell

Bertolt Brecht:

Under Ni-En’s [Stalin’s] leadership industry was being constructed without exploiters and agriculture collectively organized in Su [the Soviet Union]. But the associations [parties] outside Su decayed. It was not the members who elected the secretaries, but the secretaries who elected the members. The political line was decreed by Su and the secretaries paid by Su. When mistakes were made, those who pointed them out were punished, but those who committed them remained in office. Thus they were soon no longer the best, merely the most compliant… Those in authority in Su no longer learned any facts, because the secretaries no longer reported anything that might not be welcome.

Me-ti, the Book of Twists and Turns.


They think we’re stupid with the gas tax holiday malarkey. It’s hard to draw any other conclusion. Such proposals must rank among THE most paternalistic displays of faith in your fellow countryman’s inability to understand even minimally how phenomena like a government or taxes work. Clinton and McCain really have religion on this point – and they’re serious about it. A dearth of evidence to the contrary and all that but still, it makes you wonder whether it’s merely a game to satisfy a sick curiosity about just how much can be pulled over on all of the people some of the time.

Even the jingoist Friedman is right on the money on this one; what does that tell us?

Don’t answer that. Maybe it will provide some daylight between those who subscribe to such and those who don’t.

Now this is a much better idea.