Archive for the ‘Some Modest Proposals’ Category

Those poor, poor conservatives

In the Eighties, Reagan succeeded in stigmatising ‘liberal’ as something so self-evidently awful that no proper American could stand up and admit to being one. Politics became a competition in denying any trace of liberal contamination. In much the same way, opposition to the Bush Administration, and subsequently support for Obama, was treated in terms […]

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 11:13 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

Cue rapturous applause

‘Miss Congeniality’ and many other films have guyed the beauty pageant, at which everyone has to say that they want World Peace and apparently nobody is allowed to want much else. A modest proposal would be that, for the sake of greater honesty, this ritual be amended to reflect more accurately the real needs and […]

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 11:16 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

Counterinsurgency through nookie

In the European Middle Ages, the restriction of marriage to the eldest son of the noble house naturally caused frustration in the younger sons. That these younger sons thereupon went a-crusading primarily to find lands and wives in the East is a cliché, and a matter of learnèd dispute. One scholar, probably Georges Duby, suggested […]

Posted on December 14, 2011 at 17:30 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

Wars For Drugs

Everybody is now complaining about ‘narco-states’, that is, countries where the common people see no way to make a living other than to cultivate and sell drugs to addicts in richer countries. But no modern narco-state has gone to war against the buyers’ state authorities in order to prevent criminalisation; no modern narco-state has waged, […]

Posted on December 14, 2011 at 22:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

Give us money and we’ll go away

Insurance originated as the pooling of risk between dissimilar individuals, mediated by medieval guilds and 19th-century trade-union burial societies. Early insurance companies were therefore mutual societies. Demutualisation, or conversion to limited companies, was later touted as a search for efficiency, a way of creating larger and richer units that could play with the big boys, […]

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 12:21 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

Judging the judges

It is all very well and good to set up a commission of enquiry into miscarriages of justice, discover that an innocent man was imprisoned thirty years ago, and release him with compensation. When there was credible evidence against the accused at the time, but new evidence has emergedonly recently, for instance improved DNA testing […]

Posted on December 16, 2011 at 14:28 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

Two Models for the Coming Age

China has something called the Fifty-Cent Army. These are citizens who blog and comment for the government, at 50 cents the post. We have, I think, seen the beginning of this in the West, but it is not as well organised as in China. It might grow out of a mass fascist-type party, or it […]

Posted on December 18, 2011 at 16:08 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

Kind and usual punishment

The American courts’ attempt to find a method of execution that is not ‘cruel and unusual’ is a futile enterprise. Firstly, it is by no means certain that the Founding Fathers considered a straightforward hanging to be cruel; the Constitution probably had in mind drawing and quartering, breaking on the wheel, burning at the stake […]

Posted on December 19, 2011 at 13:44 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals

An old-new concept of political violence

People often wonder how the urban terrorist movements of the late twentieth century were intended to work. How exactly was the blowing up of innocents in pubs or railways stations meant to overthrow a regime, much less ‘smash the system’, whatever that adolescent phrase was supposed to mean? This kind of terrorism did, however, have […]

Posted on December 20, 2011 at 14:56 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Some Modest Proposals