Quisling’s Heirs and Quisling’s Foes by 60 Guilders

Quisling’s Heirs and Quisling’s Foes by 60 Guilders

At our most gracious hostess’ request, I have updated Dorothy Thompson’s “Who Goes Nazi?” for the present. I confess myself inadequate to the task, but she told me she’d have to do it if I didn’t, and she’s got enough on her plate.

There are times when one wonders who would collaborate with an invading regime and who would not, or who would gleefully take up the whip hand themselves. In a world where there are reds to the left, browns to the right, terrorists and dictators in front, and bureaucrats behind, simplifying it down to one ideology just won’t cut it. So we’ll be discussing two more basic philosophical schools: those who wish to have slaves and masters, and those who wish for there to be neither.

Imagine yourself, at a reception held by a Mister John Boddy, the only person these days who could attract such a disparate group as we will be observing tonight. Let’s start with that fellow over there, the one holding the wine glass somewhat uncertainly, like he’d rather be holding a bottle of beer. Mr. A is an oil engineer, who Boddy met and became fast friends with when he decided to invest in the Bakken shale boom. He doesn’t know much history or philosophy, but I can tell you that if it came down to it, he would die free. He doesn’t have much truck with people telling him how to do his job or live his life, and he extends to everyone else the same courtesy. Such a fellow would have to be forced into the role of master at gunpoint, and the role of slave would require his family taken hostage as well.

Contrast him with the fellow he’s talking to, Mr. B, similar in type but not in character. Both men, truthfully, think themselves underpaid for their work. They both grouse about their bosses, and both, deep down, think the world would be better off if more people lived according to their lights. Mr. B, however, is an inveterate meddler who was raised by inveterate meddlers—and be assured, should a group come to power who shared his opinions, he would cheerfully truckle to them in order to lord it over others.

Mr. C is of a similar type to Mr. B, but with the added complication of having managed to get a Ph.d.—despite, frankly, having little inclination or aptitude for inquiry. What he does have, however, is a deep and abiding need for respect and a knack for telling people what they want to hear, combined with a crippling fear of failure. What is often referred to as “impostor syndrome” is in his case a reality, and he knows it. He will enthusiastically sign on to any cause that might allow him to quash anyone who could and would reveal him for what he is.

Ms. D, the gender studies professor who he is currently engaged in conversation with, is a truly sad case. Unlike many of her peers, she actually was hard done by in an overly traditionalist environment, and in a fashion that, once the authorities learned of it, resulted in several felony convictions with lengthy sentences and without parole. This resulted in her becoming something of a minor celebrity within certain circles, and a leading role in fighting against the sort of mentality that led to her abuse. Unfortunately, she has radicalized to the point where she assumes that everything that has results unfavorable to a woman is the result of “the patriarchy,” and, if pressed, would admit that she thinks accusation is proof enough regarding certain crimes. Given the chance, she would eviscerate even Mr. C if he put a foot wrong.

Now consider, for a moment, Mr. E, arguably her male counterpart, currently glowering in the corner. His story involves a shrew of a wife, terrible friends, and a violently biased family court judge whose verdict resulted in him never seeing his beloved children save but once a year—children who, by now, hate him because of the lies their mother tells them and hate their mother for the same reason—and being forced to pay alimony to the point where, despite being a white-collar professional, he has no car and lives in a dingy one-bedroom apartment. Initially only raging against those specific persons who had wronged him, he has extended his wrath both to all womankind and any man who does not see females as the enemy, and would take any chance he could to wreak his vicarious revenge.

Mrs. F, over by the fireplace, is different from both of these. Mr. A is her husband, with whom she has had five children—a fact that, when Ms. D realized it, caused her to instantly dismiss her and drift over to C. This was D’s loss, frankly. Mrs. F is not much more intellectual than her husband, it is true, but raising three boys and two girls will tell you much about how society actually deals with men and women, and about how to live life well. Were she to learn of Ms. D’s story—or Mr. E’s, for that matter—she would extend to them her sympathy, but would never let either of them near her children, whom she has raised to treat people like they’re people, not means by which to work out one’s own neuroses. She would not want to fight to keep or make a world where they could live in such a manner, but that would only make her the more ruthless, that she might never have to again.

Mr. G, who Mrs. F is talking with, is an odd sort, and possibly one of the most interesting people here. Born over the ocean, he will cheerfully admit to being a drifter, a dabbler and a dilettante, one of the many reasons that he has never married. Arguably technically homeless, he’s worked on every continent, and has seen the best and worst humanity has to offer because of it. Some might call him something of a hitchhiker, and so he is—but he’ll leave you a twenty for the gas, and offer to pay for your meal and his. He doesn’t think anyone owes him anything, and he knows when he’s discharged a debt. He’s a wanderer who thinks others should have the same right as he, and woe betide any who would abrogate that right.

Mr. H, who has just joined in on their conversation, is as anachronistic in his way as Mr. G is in his. He has never left the United States—indeed, he barely ever leaves his home state, the virtues of which he will expound upon for hours if he is permitted to do so and does not believe that he is boring his listener. However, he will also listen for hours to people talking about where they have been. His is a profound intellectual curiosity tempered by a desire to never leave the place of his birth, but he detests the idea of being bound to one place by any will other than his own, or being prevented from learning about whatever he wants to.

Then there’s Mrs. I, presently talking listlessly with Mr. J, her husband. There is not much to say about them, really, save for the fact that if one wishes to know what the cultural zeitgeist is, one need only find them and inquire about their opinions, as said opinions will match the average opinion of the society around them to a T.

Then there’s Miss K, who’s here because she’s the daughter of one of Boddy’s old friends. She’s been drifting from conversation to conversation, and has lingered on the outside of all the conversations in the room—she considered talking to E, as she’s a good-hearted soul, but the look he shot her when he approached was very unwelcoming. Her parents worry about her, as she’s a sophomore at a public university—however, they need not fret. While she agrees with a few of the things Ms. D says about modern society, she finds her monomania to be off-putting, and much prefers the company of persons like Mr. A and Mrs. F, and would not aid any regime that had no place for the latter.

Finally, there is Mr. L, who just arrived and is gravitating towards Mr. C and Ms. D. He is the sort of person one might expect to see at a party like this—that is to say, he was born with a trust fund, as were his parents before him. He is acutely conscious of two things: that neither he nor his parents did anything to earn the wealth that they were born to, and that they have done nothing with that wealth that justifies their holding it. A better man might have given the lion’s share of it to charity and settled down to live off the interest of the rest in a modest house in the suburbs. Mr. L, however, has decided to tear everyone else down in order to assuage his own feelings of inadequacy, and is very popular in certain political circles because of it.

Now, upon observing the people at this party, one might be inclined to express concern for the future. But hold a moment—do you see what’s happening? The engineer, his wife, the wanderer, the homebody, and the neophyte are gravitating towards each other, leaving the others to stew in their self-created miseries.

This expresses the truth of the matter: in the end, there are many types that may or may not side with a tyrant, depending on what sort of tyrant he is. The more answerable question is who will never side with a tyrant, and you see them there now—the people who understand, even if they cannot express their understanding, that there is enough in being human to lift the head of a beggar and bow the head of a king, and that in this no one is any better than another.

See them talk and laugh as though they have always known each other despite only having met tonight, and know that none shall break them.

182 responses to “Quisling’s Heirs and Quisling’s Foes by 60 Guilders

  1. It’s the kind of thing that makes you soberly evaluate your own circle of friends and family. Which of those could you trust with your thoughts and your life if it came down to it?

  2. paladin3001

    The road to hell is paved with “good” intent. Those that wish to be left alone usually have a good idea to back off of imposing their viewpoints on others. Then there are those that screech “There ought to be a law!”, and “For the children!” will gravitate towards those that will assist them in fastening the shackles to everyone’s legs.

    • and most of those feel the law and works for the children should affect everyone else but themselves unless the effect is to give them more power over someone else.

      • A lot of them are also people who simply will not think things through. All they can see is what they want to be done, not what else for example a law which would make it easier to punish or prevent the outrage of the moment could be used for, or that maybe several of those things have the potential to be even worse than the original problem.

        They consider pieces, not the whole.

        And they often also are naive in the way that they don’t think the innocent and/or well meaning have nothing to worry about, that the only ones the rules they want would affect negatively are the ones who deserve it. Especially they don’t think it might ever become a problem for them, personally. Because they are not criminals. So of course not.

        • Which is worse, those, or the ones who know all that and want it anyhow?

          • I don’t know. The blind ones are frustrating. And sometimes they seem to be willfully blind. They don’t want to know. They prefer the fantasy. Maybe because the fantasy seems safer, where they’d want to live.

          • Insufficient information.

            If their ignorance is really invincible (which means, in this context, not reasonably overcome), they are innocent.

            If it’s vincible, it extenuates guilt only to the extent they tried and failed (with less than reasonable efforts) — so no effort, no extenutation. And if it’s studied or affected — that is, they went out of their way to keep themselves in the dark — the only question is whether they are merely as guilty as if they fully understood what they were doing, or more so, owing to the hardness of heart involved.

        • Some of those first-order thinkers, when you mention any of the obvious second-order effects will, rather than attempt to explain why those might not matter or would be fixable, simply complain that you’re ‘complicating things,’ with an implicit ‘unnecessarily.’

          And then the putative conversation is over, because you’re just being ‘pointlessly negative’ and they’re refusing to see obvious problems with their proposed solution.

          • Like the thread that was started after an earthquake, where someone asked “Why don’t we harness the energy of earthquakes? We could power lots of homes for a very long time!”

            When engineers came along and talked about the unpredictability of such events, and the expense to prepare for just one rare event, and the difficulties in storing all that energy (particularly over a long period of time)…and there were a lot of people saying, in effect, “Ah, don’t be so negative! We can’t do something like this if we only focus on the possible!” (I can’t remember the exact phrasing, but this is the gist of it.)

            Technically, the “Aye-sayers” were right: if we don’t explore, and even push for, the impossible, we’ll never do the impossible. But the engineers were right too: if you’re going to successfully harness the energy of an earthquake, you’re going to have to understand things like economics, materials, and energy — and the people who understand these things are engineers — and when an engineer says something is improbable, there’s a *very* good chance that it’s not very probable at all.

            Overall, the “Aye-sayers” gave me the impression that they expected the energy harvesting to work mostly because they didn’t believe that the things the engineers were bringing up weren’t real problems, and not because they understood the problem space….

            (And, come to think of it, while not all engineers try to explore new ideas, there are plenty of engineers who do, and maybe even a few engineers who have actually made a device to harness the energy of earthquakes as a hobby, knowing full well that it won’t scale well — maybe even knowing full well why the idea simply cannot work.)

            • One obvious problem with harnessing “Earthquake Power” — aside from the unpredictability in regard to timing and epicenter — would seem to be the probability of the earthquake destroying the power station(s).

              But then, I am sufficiently good at math that I refuse to buy lottery tickets, so what would I know?

    • “There ought to be a law!”
      A pundit I enjoy reading opined that the motto for a conservative legislature ought to be “Don’t just do something, STAND THERE!”

  3. While it turns up in a wide range of variations of lifestyles, I have found that good character matters. Intelligence is useful, competence is helpful and status can be handy, but without good character to guide them? Trouble.

    • And good character is something that is, for the most part, trained into a child. Some are born with more aptitude for it than others, but without the training, very few will achieve adulthood with good character.

      I would be hanging out with Mrs. F in the scenario above. And bravo to her and Mr. A for defying the dictates of society and having more children than are socially acceptable!

  4. Being able to gather a steadfast circle of friends was my grandparents’ skill, and my parents like them. One of my biggest regrets is not having picked up their accurate eye for judging character, or their ability to sit down with literally anyone and come away as a new addition to their Christmas letter mailing list.

  5. Polliwog the 'Ette

    I see myself as Mrs. F and hope that it is true. As a young adult I thought I knew how others should live and am now embarrassed by that, although I was never big on *forcing* people to do so.

    • Sheesh! I’ve known how others should live ever since my early twenties: far away from me. A (not so) surprising number of folks seem to agree, suggesting I should live far away from them.

  6. I’m the one in the corner, not exactly hiding behind a large potted plant, until I sort out who will lecture me on some thing I don’t care to listen to. Or I’ll be snooping the bookshelves, while sorting out who will…

    • Oh, sorry, excuse me. I didn’t know this plant was taken.

    • I’m over here, plinking a key or two on the century-old grand piano that our kind host was foolish enough to leave out in the open. I wonder what would happen if I tried to play Chopsticks? Oh well, he doesn’t seem to mind.

      • As someone who’s played for almost twenty years, nothing breaks my heart more than a piano with a “do not play” sign on it.

        • Understood.

          Unfortunately not everyone respects or treats the property of others well. A convention I attend had outgrown their original location and were slated to move the convention center opening the next year. A temporary location had been found. It a beautiful grand piano in the lobby. The convention eventually had to get the it locked down. A concert grand would be an expensive item to have to replace.

        • OTOH, a set of bagpipes with a Do Not Play sign on them is only common sense.

    • Oh, yes, I like to check out the books. Have you ever noticed that there are people who seem to think that book shelves are for anything but? Of course, particularly now with the world of e-books, one cannot conclude that a lack of books on display on those shelves mean a lack of books.

      (If you ever get to tour President Eisenhower’s retirement home in Gettysburg take a moment check out the bookcase in his office. There are not a lot of books, but the ones that are there are interesting.)

      After scanning the shelves I would settle for a somewhat secluded comfy chair in which to knit/crochet while people watching. (Or maybe gravitate to the kitchen.)

      • I have a few books, due to their eccentric nature, that I can pretty much only get as an e-book of some sort. But because they are so eccentric, I want other people to be able to be aware of it too.

        I have toyed with the idea of creating “blurb cards” that describe a book and have a QR code for the resource, so that I can put them on some sort of “bookcase” display…

    • I will be faking mingling, most likely. Walking around, smiling occasionally, but not really talking with anybody. From time to time I will retreat somewhere where I can be alone, then I will again come out and pretend I am going somewhere to talk with somebody, just stopped to get a drink or a snack and a quick look at the bookshelves or something else.

      I will probably be listening what they are talking about though. Just not trying to take part in the conversations, most times. If somebody starts talking to me I will, then, answer and have a conversation with them, if I like doing it. If not I will make up some excuse and continue the fake mingling and regular retreats.

    • *looks up from book taken from bookshelf* Oh hi there! Sorry, is this yours?

  7. Watching, listening, and waiting from the window with a curtain…think I have found my group, but careful, careful. And wondering how I ever got invited.

    • I have fancied a library with a window seat that can be closed off by heavy curtains to which I can retreat, such as the one described at the beginning of Jane Eyre, but with congenial people with which to share the house.

      • Whenever I am asked about favorite fictional libraries, I always say the one in Robin McKinley’s Beauty because that was the only one designed for reading, not for research. Most fictional libraries — including my own! — are research ones for obvious reasons.

        • Terry Sanders

          The sheer size had notying to do with it? 🙂

          I’ve always been partial to the one Leonidas Witherall found in the house his friends built for him. Modest, but at least it could exist in the physical world.

          • There are some BIG fictional libraries out there that were designed with an eye to research. Take, for instance, the one in The Book of Bone. It entirely fills a building of several stories. But since I sent my heroine there for research– the title book, in fact 0:) — it’s not a place for pleasure reading. (And that’s not even getting into the in-story problem.)

        • Within the confines of the university there was a library. And such a library it was. From the sub-basement levels to the great tower it was the most magnificent of libraries. All of this was ruled over by the librarian of all librarians. Ouk, ouk!

          • would you take out a novel from that library?

            • Depends. If the librarian told me strongly urged me to you better bet I would.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Well, there’s one library where I might check out books but would also be very very sure to return them.

                The Arkon’s Library is his hoard and while he might lend his books, you don’t steal from a Dragon’s Hoard!

  8. There’s a reason social classes don’t mix. If you get a chance to have dinner with your ‘betters’ you will find out just how shallow they are. None of them seem to have the sense to stay quiet.

    • Landing on the higher side of the class divide does not render everyone insufferable towards those who are generally seen as having lesser social standing. Nor does being born in a slum to a single mother mean you are going to drop out of school and become a gang member.

      Circumstances may raise your chances of particular a fate, but it does not determine it.

    • I almost developed permanent grooves in my tongue during grad school from biting it while listening to Great Professors (TM) expounding on Serious Topics (and blocking the direct path to the nibbles) during conference receptions. Well meaning? Yes, for the most part. Dedicated? Very much so. In serious need of a visit to the Real World? Frequently. Mr. A. and his associates would have been a lot more fun to be around, and would have required fewer acting skills.

      • I made myself extremely unpopular by laughing out loud and asking ego-deflating questions in grad school. I passed anyway.

        School is more fun when you are bigger, older and better informed than the profs. They can’t flunk you when you have a 3.9 GPA.

        • I was the only grad student in the department with a 4.0. But one of my committee members would have flunked me in a heart-beat if they learned I was not just an introverted Eager Progressive.

          • Was one plus of my school. Engineering was pretty much facts. We used boattail bullets as example of aerodynamic drag.

            • As a mathematician, I would say that engineering isn’t about facts. From my vantage point, I see a lot of guesswork going on.

              Having said that, I should observe that (1) an engineer’s guesswork can give mathematicians something to work on, so I’m not going to complain about it (a great example is Finite Element Analysis: an engineer decided to try to model something complex by modelling a lot of simple bits that were put together to make the complex thing — and it took mathematicians about 20 years to establish that yes, this is a reasonable way to create computer models); and (2) because people live and die on engineering guesswork, an engineer’s guess is often more trustworthy than a lawyer’s or professor’s knowledge.

              (I remember reading about a lawyer deciding to take a few engineering classes…and learned why all those engineers he had seen on the stand have the certainty that they had…and learned that the certainty is also hard-earned…)

              • That spar doesn’t care about your feelings as to whether you want it to fail or not. Regardless or whether it is empirical or analytical there is something that belies every action. There is always a way to test a theory in engineering. It may be completely and utterly impractical but testable.

                A fact has some form of proof, whether a mathematical variant or testing to 150% of design loads. An autoethnograpy isn’t. It’s your musings.

                • Although, yes it is not a rigorous logic proof as opposed to empirical data.

                  But my reference was more toward not having to deal with too much stupid ballet around Prof opinion.

                  • Oh, I completely agree. There’s just an inherent tendency for me to be pedantic.

                    Going back to the finite element analysis example: while it was strictly guesswork when it was first developed, a proper engineer wouldn’t let an FEA-tested design go without some actual physical testing before confirming that the design worked as expected. There are just too many things that can go wrong with a computer model, to fully trust it. And this remains true, even though mathematicians determined it was a mathematically sound technique.

                    And while mathematicians were able to establish the technique as mathematically sound, hand they been unable to, they almost certainly would have been able to at least establish under what conditions the technique should work.

                    Meanwhile, humanities professors argue over things like post-modern literary “analysis” and congratulate themselves over their “minority grievance history” while letting “unimportant” branches of history, like military, local and State, languish in obscurity…..

                    • Pedantry not permitted – this is the internet!

                      There are just too many things that can go wrong with a computer model, to fully trust it.

                      Denier! Don’t you know that once a computer model produces the results desired the science is settled?

                      You probably subscribe to that old, outdated paradigm about science being a process of observation, hypothesis, testing, observation, revised hypothesis, testing, ad infinitum.

                      Sorry, that model proved too cumbersome and unreliable, often yielding results at odds with current needs.

                    • Besides, I have been told, in no uncertain terms, that logic and universal truth are merely social constructs of Western Civilization. Magic may not work for Europeans but it is a fact of life in South Africa.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      And South African armies are armed with magic wands not guns. [Sarcastic Grin]

                    • Can’t find the link. But some woman at a University sponsored education conference in South Africa used that argument. Rules discovered by European science did not necessarily apply in Africa. She was offended by condescending Europeans insisting that magic was bunk.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      There was some lines in a book (fiction) that I read that touches on this.

                      Roughly “Belief in witchcraft was so widely spread that we might believe that there was some truth in it except for the fact that witchcraft seemed to “disappear” whenever the modern world intruded into those areas”.

                      IMO Belief in magic was a world-wide belief but Real Magic is no where to be found.

                      Of course, societies that Believe In Magic regularly fall to societies that don’t Believe In Magic.

                      IE That woman is an idiot.

                    • “Show how transistor the circuit matches the transistor model.”
                      The way to make the real circuit match the model?
                      Change the model transistor parameters to match the circuit.

                      It’s NOT cheating. It’s being at least minimally observant of Reality.

              • kenashimame

                When I still worked for the private process serving firm we had a client who followed up his J.D. with and M.E. and an M.D.

          • That’s when it is good to be bigger and older. SJWs fold really quick when they think you might take things personally.

    • It seems that the people who are well-liked across classes are those who can “fake” their class. An ignorant hick who can keep his mouth shut and appear interested (and who has at least decent manners) can mingle with the well-to-do. An upper-crust person who is humble can mingle well with the working class. Obviously, the well-read hick and the intellectually agile aristocrat can mingle. The key is listening, curiosity, and humility.

      Note who in our present culture lacks all three of those. (Not exclusively, but most others only lack one or two of the three.)

      (Interestingly, most of civilization seems to be manners that promote those three things.)

      • It’s amazing how often one gets invited “inside” by Showing Up and mostly Shutting Up. If you should also carry at least some of a load, you have a (near?) Auric value to many.

        The more amazing things is how many fail to understand this simple thing, even after it is explained to them. Make ox feel (perhaps too) smart, they do.

  9. “See them talk and laugh as though they have always known each other despite only having met tonight, and know that none shall break them.”

    This is the thing that the Internet has done, which has broken the power of the socialists. We all know we aren’t alone now. Before, I thought I was the only one.

    • There’s a C.S. Lewis quote that I like to use about this.

      “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one…””

      • It was interesting if disconcerting to find someone recommending C.S. Lewis’s Four Love prior to fan shipping discussions

        • Can’t say I’m surprised, I wish more people would read that before interpreting every show of concern between two characters as “THEY WANT TO HAVE SEX”.

          • Michael Houst

            Well, it the characters are human, then that probably is the first thing on their minds.

            • Not with persons in whom and for whom they have no sexual interest.

              It is astonishing how many people, who will insist on talking about their own very precise turn-ons as prerequisites to sexual interest in actors they like, etc., will also refuse to grant characters they ship any sort of individual sexual preference, even in matters as broad as the sex of the person causing interest. Rights for me, but indiscriminate putting out for thee.

              • Michael Houst

                Okay. Guess I wasn’t precise enough in this day and age of “pan-sexuality/pan-genderism.” Historically, normal males and females look at each other and even if only for a brief moment, consider the other sexually, even if only as a “what if” scenario. Then the acculturation kicks in and we treat Padre Espanada and Sister Mother Theresa appropriately, and vice versa

                • What gets me is that there are people who are perfectly willing to accept the existence of hyper-sexualized folk but think that people who express no sexual interest are lying. (Not referring to you; just a generalized musing.) (And yeah, I know several folk who fall into that category, visually indistinguishable from “willing but unpartnered.”)

                • Historically, normal males and females look at each other and even if only for a brief moment, consider the other sexually, even if only as a “what if” scenario.

                  The only evidence I know of that is the arguments between the folks who say it’s so, and the folks who say no, not so much, followed by either accusations of lying or “you’re just weird.”

                  How on earth the “everyone normal thinks immediately of sex” are getting their data, while the “no, can’t agree with that” folks are disallowed as a matter of course, I can’t figure out.

              • I have been flatly told that my ability to marry, in theory, any man who would have me is sufficient, whereas a homosexual’s ability to marry, in theory, any member of the opposite sex is not enough. Because the only important criterion is the crotch, apparently.

                And I’ve recently read a book where a character, realizing that he loves and deeply wants to save the life of another character, male, concludes he’s bisexual.

          • Truth.

            Heck, the massive head-banging reaction of shipping Anna and Elsa– the sisters from frozen– when the whole POINT was “hey, there is non-romantic love! And it’s important!”

            /sigh

        • Ummm. When I was first studying Konie Greek The Spouse found me a recording of C.S. Lewis’ lectures upon which his books The Four Loves was based. Marvelous.

  10. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Part of me would like to “be in charge” to show those idiot SJWs what “being oppressed” is all about.

    Another part of me tells the first part that “it is the way to Hell”.

    Then there’s the part of me that thinks “being in charge” is too much trouble even when I’d be in charge of people who “want the same things that I want”. 😉

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      When I was very young, I thought I wanted power. When I grew to adulthood, I realized that I’m just not interested enough in other people to want any part of that.

      • It’s not that I particularly desire power. It’s that I desire others not have power over me. That, alas, requires a certain degree of power be exercised or projected. And it’s… imperfect.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I also tend to want more solitude than I need, enjoy, or can tolerate.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Ever read Alan Dean Foster’s “The Man Who Used The Universe”?

          The Main Character (of the title) by the end of the book was seen as a Hero to be respected (and not to be bothered) by two interstellar powers (one human & the other alien) and had the wealth to protect himself from lesser groups (and individuals).

          Not a nice guy but his motive was always “to not have anybody in control of him”. 😉

        • Chrismouse

          That’s pretty much what drives my view of international relations, just as with interpersonal relations. Some things you do because if you don’t, no one else will. And other things you do because if you don’t, *someone else* WILL. And it will probably be in a way that you don’t like. Sometimes you just have to act in order to preserve your freedom TO act, even if you don’t particularly care about a given issue at hand.

    • What you seem to desire.. might be describing?… is the ability to.. if only once per subject.. haunt their dreams and give them the nightmare they do not realize that they are asking for. Something on the order of A Christmas Carol but not exactly.

      Of course, that also would likely be tiresome.

      If they’d just leave us all alone and… hey, I can dream, too.

      • Michael Houst

        We really need the human race to go interstellar. It’s the only way we can really guarantee the chance to be left alone, at least for a while.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        Which relates to my headbanging reaction to the recent selfrighteous spate of “This is the future liberals want” pictures on Facebook and Twitter.

        It may well *be* the future that the rank and file, at least, want. The methods employed make it very unlikely that it’s the future they’ll get.

    • That’s what my book is about. If you can do -anything-, what would you do? If you have to save the world, how would you do it?

      Its a serious question, I think. One which I’ve thought about for quite some time. Do you go beat up on everybody who done you wrong? If you did, what would happen? Would it work out, or would it suck?

      I decided that Taking Over The World would get me the exact opposite of what I want. So, the characters do the opposite of taking over the world.

  11. I know folk hear are rather well read (duh) and have some knowledge of history… I do wonder how many today would need to look up Vidkun to find out what the title means.

  12. Five will get you ten that Mr. H is from Texas… 🙂
    I recall reading the original essay in the bound copies of Harpers when I was in college, and self-educating myself on WWII by going back and reading contemporary magazines and a newspaper (on microfilm down in the library basement.) It was fascinating to me to follow events as they were seen as they happened, and that essay stuck in my mind for decades, although I soon forgot who had written it and where, exactly, I had read it.

    • On hearing Larry Correa’s name for the “minotaurs” in his books, $Housemate stated, “Never ask a bull where he’s from…”.

    • Texas is so huge that it’s easy to travel widely and never leave the state. The segment of I-10 from Beaumont to El Paso is longer than the segments on either side, and I-10 is one of the longest Interstates in the country.

      I’ve done several shows in Texas (two in Houston, two in San Antonio), and I’ve always noticed the long drive through wide-open spaces.

      • don’t forget Dallas. large city only a few hours drive from farm country.

        • Syracuse and Rochester, only a few minutes drive from farm country. Once you’re out of NYC, NY State is rural with a few city dots.

          • I’m sure. NY State is too col. I’m a naturalized citizen of Texas now. 😉 I mentioned Dallas because it doesn’t get mentioned Texas threads. I was born and raised in NYC.

            • too cold!

            • Interesting when I went to Providence in January having not lived in New England since 2006 I was surprised how at home I felt and how much I enjoyed the cold.

              I had always known I missed snow.

          • Sacramento is interesting because “a few minutes from farm country” depends on which direction you drive in. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in about 20 years, you could drive a completely urbanized corridor between Sacramento and SF, but I’m pretty sure that driving north is still going to be a short hop to farming. (There is an idiot development that’s been just north of the city for about twenty years that’s in a flood plain, but people don’t want to be north when they could go west.)

        • richardmcenroe

          AND LORD LET IT STAY THAT WAY.

      • The segment of I-10 from El Paso to Houston is longer than the one to the West although only by double digits. Both road trips are pretty empty too (having made both while in HS).

    • Could be North Carolina — it has a great variety of places and climates from barrier islands to high mountains, from sub-tropical rain forest to Canadian Spruce Pine forests, big cities and isolated wilderness and much in between. We do lack for desert, but no one gets everything.

      • NC has no desert environment? I would have thought surely a century of (almost) uninterrupted Democrat dominance of the state’s politics would have created at least one by now.

        Texas has barrier islands and I am not going to quibble over their comparability to the Outer Banks, but do Texans enjoy an equivalent to the Great Dismal Swamp?

        • Yes. It’s called Houston.

          • Professor Badness

            Indeed!
            Lived there, done that. Never encountered so much pollen and spoor in my life.

            • Houston; could be worse, could be New Orleans.
              wait, they imported much of the worst of N.O. after Katrina.
              Well it got worse.
              Tis a toss-up

        • Georgia rises from barrier islands to mountains; has a large swamp (actually several swamps); and a small desert. It’s the dunes at Albany, Georgia. Georgia actually has more than one site for riverine sand dunes, but this is perhaps the largest.They formed during a glaciation period when it got so dry, prevailing winds formed them.

          Such is Georgia’s commitment to diversity that the state has strong conservation programs for wildlife. especially reptiles such as the gopher tortoise; the sea turtle; indigo snake; and carpetbaggers. The latter is an introduced species, but like wild horses, some have a fondness for the creatures. Breeding programs in Atlanta have been so successful that the state has begun reintroducing them throughout the country. This has primarily been through the efforts of corporate sponsors, such as CNN.

          • Michael Houst

            I USED to be a resident of New York State until I got tired of high paying taxes for zero services, and switched residency to the Granite State. Was ever so glad I did so when the Clintons decided that New Yorkers were going to be their next strategic victims. Carpetbaggers? The political ones are worse than bed bugs if you ask me. Unfortunately, ORKIN doesn’t cover those.

          • LOL at the “introduced species.”. Indeed!

        • Nope, no desert. Though when I still owned a home (got to be too much for me to take care of alone) I DID have a small (6×6) patch of sand in the back yard with a few beavertail and prickly pear cacti. If anything lures me out of North Carolina it will probably be to get to a place where I can easily visit a desert. (Living in it can be too much of a good thing.)

      • The sand dunes on part of the coast, and on the outer banks where the Wright brothers took off, could pass for a desert if you were making a movie and wanted to save the money of going west. It was “Firestarter” that showed Hollywood that NC could pass for most of the rest of the country.

        • Has you ever been to Kitty Hawk? Near by is one of the places where the regular hits of lightening produces interesting glass formations and on either side is water … and more water*.

          *As in: Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

    • Odd enough I have recently gotten a different perspective on the Great Depression and the Second World War by reading the oldest issues in the DVD collect of the first 50 years of Model Railroader. One thing that has been fascinating is the degree of ingenuity in finding substitute materials. It has also shown me what was less than useful for the war.

      A great example is very early in 1942 a great amount of material on converting old windshield wiper motors into motors for model railroad locomotives. I guess the scrap metal and other material drives didn’t hover them up.

      • Terry Sanders

        On a lighter note, the above-mentioned Leonidas Witheral mysteries were set in a well-off Boston suburb during the late Depression and through the war, and were written in media res. They were essentially “Hercule Poirot does slapstick.” Seeing what the author thought her contemporaries would *laugh at* was sometimes enlightening.

      • I lucked onto a collection of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science from roughly 1925 to 1955.

        It was interesting that both were casually talking about “the upcoming war in Europe” as early as 1935. There were many mentions of the US rearmament program of the 1930s, the war games in Louisiana, evaluations of foreign military technology, etc. And nobody had forgotten Billy Mitchell’s trip to Japan yet.

        The stuff printed during the war was subject to censorship, but both that and the 1930s stuff paint a substantially different picture of the era than in most of the history books I’ve read.

  13. Professor Badness

    I would, as many of the Huns have indicated, simply listened; gravitating toward the group of engineer, wife et al.
    The trait of “remaining silent” is usually a self defense mechanism we Odds utilize quite heavily.
    Besides, sociable as I naturally am, I’d rather be alone than dealing with most of the rest of that group.

    • And I am still amused at how often just showing up and mostly listening gets one invited into things the pushy try to get into, but just can’t.

    • My sister has been annoyed at me because I can go most anywhere, and find several folks to have long conversations with. Listening to people first is a big part of that.

  14. I remember Mr. A — he was a Steve Ditko character, created in 1967 for Wally Wood’s (underground) Witzend comic! He eventually became the basis for Ditko’s (far more) Comics Code acceptable The Question and in Alan Moore’s Watchmen as Rorschach (who Ditko acknowledged as being “like Mr. A except insane”.)

    Developed while Ditko was heavily influenced by Ayn Rand’s philosophies, Mr. A was one of comics’ more interesting heroes, troubled not at all by questions over the rightness of his actions. Depicted as incorruptible he would assuredly have no truck with slavery and even with his family as hostages would never bend his knee.

  15. Not to quibble, but shouldn’t that be “reds to the left, browns to the left”?

    Corporatism – the basis of fascist economics – is another flavor of socialism. Everyone forgets that the Soviets were an Axis power at the beginning of WW2 in Europe.

    • Not quite. Corporatism isn’t precisely socialist, largely because it does not involve displacing the “bourgeoisie,” but instead co-opting them. This is why the Nazis were able to gain either the support or neutrality of the German middle-class and aristocracy, while the Communists could not.
      It is fair to state that Fascism and Socialism are both alike in their hostility to free-market capitalism and liberty in general. However, given where the original left/right dichotomy come from–namely, Revolutionary France–Corporatism and Socialism belong on different ends of the spectrum. Corporatists hate free-market capitalism because it overturns the established order; Socialists hate it because it acts to preserve the established order.

      • That is the first cogent explanation I have heard of why Facists should be considered of the right and not the left. However, it does rely on the fact hat the US, in the French Revolution sense, is all left but of the part the rest of the left tried to kill off.

      • Corporatism is still state control of the economy and statist in outlook. How is that not socialist?

        It’s not Marxist/Communist direct control of the means of production, but Marxism is only an extreme form of socialism. All forms invariably end up with an elite, protected establishment benefiting directly from the state control of the economy, whether it be compliant ‘private’ businesses with corporatism or party elite with communism. So called ‘socialists’ just want to be the established order and have no innate opposition to an elite provided it’s them. That doesn’t change whether the elite are Party members, academic technocrats, CEOs of sycophantic industries, or long haired Bolsheviks squatting in public parks. All use the state to acquire wealth and influence.

        • Because socialism is a particular *form* of state control of the economy. What you’re doing is claiming that gumbo and gazpacho are the same thing because they are both a form of soup.

          • A) What’s gazpacho?

            B) Socialism is state control of the economy, whether it be Marxism, soft European ‘democratic socialism’, or some other form of coerced control.

            In your soup analogy, socialism is the soup. There are different flavors of socialist soup, but they’re still soup.

            C) Gumbo is a stew, not a soup.

      • “Corporatists hate free-market capitalism because it overturns the established order”

        No, they were happily overturning the order themselves. The German aristocracy were greatly over-represented in the opposition, such as plots to overthrow Hitler.

        Hitler himself boasted about how the youth programs from the age of ten onward would take children from those responsible for their social divisions and smooth them out, with Labor Service and the Armed Forces being ready to remove anything that the programs had left undone.

        • Were the side-effects of the experiment not so dire, one does wonder what the eventual outcome would have been, in terms of what the various Hitlerian programs would have produced.

          My guess is that the Nazi’s eventual end product would have wound up not that far off from the New Soviet Man, in terms of cynicism and gaming the system. By about the third generation, I suspect that the inherent idiocies in the system would have shown themselves, and the dire dysfunction would have become more than apparent. Like with Chavez and Maduro, only maybe not as quick…? I find it amazing that the poor Venezuelans have run the deck out so quickly–You’d have thought, with all that oil wealth, that they’d have taken longer to reach the end state they did. All it took was ten years, and we’re looking at a state of nature in what was once one of South America’s most developed countries.

          Long-term, these utopian schemes to “perfect man” never work out, because they’re run by human beings, not gods. And, since we can’t know what perfection entails or requires, well… The pooch always winds up getting well-and-truly screwed. Whether it was that nut-ball “First Emperor of China”, Pol Pot, Mao, or the geniuses who wanted to set up all the utopian schemes here in the US over the years, eventually the contradictions catch up, and the whole thing collapses. It’s almost like you shouldn’t bother trying to utopia, ya know…?

          • I find it amazing that the poor Venezuelans have run the deck out so quickly–You’d have thought, with all that oil wealth, that they’d have taken longer to reach the end state they did. All it took was ten years,…

            Some toxins are really toxic.

            While I would not care to sprinkle pyrethrin(s) on my breakfast… forced the choice of pyrethrin or a cyanide salt.. not being suicidal, I’d take the pyrethrin. Venezuela? Cyanide salt. And not Potassium ferrocyanide in trace amounts, either.

          • “I find it amazing that the poor Venezuelans have run the deck out so quickly–You’d have thought, with all that oil wealth, that they’d have taken longer to reach the end state they did. All it took was ten years, and we’re looking at a state of nature in what was once one of South America’s most developed countries.”

            The Venezuelans were doing fine (for a certain value of ‘fine’) until 2014, when they got hit with a double whammy of drought and the oil crash nearly simultaneously. Combined with the fact that their vast oil reserves are of rather low quality, the country demonstrates that commodity production giveth and taketh away.

            • It looks like there was also a case of eating the seed corn. Money that should have been spent on infrastructure and maintenance was spent of social programs (not to mention kleptocracy gone wild).

          • Sounds like a book plot idea…….
            (Of course, Phil Dick beat you there. 😉 )

  16. Joe in PNG

    I’d wind up talking to Mr. G- expats always wind up chatting, and we can go on for hours about either tropical illnesses, or traveling itself- airlines, hotels, places to eat, ect.

  17. scott2harrison
  18. Mz. Q asked, do we really even have to go to the party…I mean, I’ve got all this wood and I’d like to cut some flooring for model railroad cars and build a table for my router and use those guitar stand plans with the leftover lumber and I just started to learn Faure’s Pavan and that Norman Dance composition I is starting to jell and my friend just got her Guda dome and wants to jam and I just got the Savage Rifts rpg stuff and want to write a game…

    I mean A, G, F, H, and K are welcome to come over and hang and help make stuff or BS or do their own thing but do I really have to stand around and just chat?

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Just don’t ask about Mr. E. Nobody knows anything about him.

    • You can divide people into two groups: those who do things, and those who only talk about it…

      • I just honestly don’t get generic parties.

        I get gaming nights which are a kind of party. I get poetry readings which are a kind of party. I get play parties which are a kind of party.

        But each of those has an activity that you are getting together to engage in.

        I get meeting friends for dinner. That’s being sociable.

        What I don’t get is getting a bunch of friends together at your house just to sit around and drink and talk. Do something.

        Guess that is just my way of being an Odd.

        • I figured out quite a while ago that these do have a purpose. The host’s purpose.

          Most of them are because the host wants something out of one or more of the guests. However… I don’t think this Mr. Boddy has that purpose. Those gatherings are usually quite homogeneous, as someone who has spent the night having his or her pet loves and hates reinforced by the like-minded is far more receptive to giving you that something.

          No, I have two theories (that are not mutually exclusive, mind) about this party. First is that our Mr. Boddy just likes getting a strange assortment of people together and seeing what happens. The second is that he is a social psychologist, and there are cameras and recorders tastefully hidden around the room. (Yes, people, hiding behind that plant may not be all that intelligent…)

        • Terry Sanders

          Oddly enough, there are people for whom meeting new people, or catching up with old friends, can be a purpose in itself. And you yourself appear to be one of them. Otherwise you wouldn’t meet friends for dinner, either. It’s not a particularly efficient way to eat..

      • FlyingMike

        You can divide people into two groups, those that divide people into two groups…

        • You can divide people into 10 groups: those that understand binary……
          (I had to go there.)

  19. Don’t forget Mr. M: he’s a sadistic who just plain gets a thrill out of stepping on people and breaking things and will happily join any cause that gives him license to do so.

    • Joe in PNG

      There is a type of person who is like an evil version of a brine shrimp.
      During “normal” times, they lay fallow, living normal to loser lives.
      But, should the rains come, and the established order get tossed, and should a statist government based on ideology come to power, these people hatch and rise to positions of power.
      Himmler is the textbook example of this- a bookish loser chicken farmer who was able to worm his way to the top, and demonstrated all the petty vindictiveness of the loser when he got there.

      And this is one of the things that scares me about a potential second American civil war.

  20. Reblogged this on The Writer in Black and commented:
    Cheating a bit today because Sarah A. Hoyt, over on “According to Hoyt” had some good things to day.

  21. Who do I trust? Nobody but you and me and I’m not so certain about me. (No, that wasn’t a mistake.)

  22. and i decided i didnt need to be there and didnt go, esp from Ms. D’s last facebook post.

  23. Being an ex-professional actor, I’d be at my usual place — hovering within ten feet of the food and drink.

  24. Rich Rostrom

    Ooops! Preview button needed!

    Quisling is not the real model. He was an open enthusiast for fascism and Nazi Germany before the war; all he did in 1940 was act on his stated views.

    There are people out there who are Quisling-analogs in that they openly admire Castro, Guevara, even Stalin. (E.g. the new campaign chief for Britain’s Labour Party.) If in power they would act similarly – but that is already known.

    The people Thompson and 60 Guilders are looking at are the joiners after the fact. These may come in several flavors; some are suggested. There are others; opportunists with no real conscience; and those who are complacent in power, and embrace the New Order if it keeps them in charge and gives them more authority (“Vicars of Bray”).

    In Norway, after Quisling weaseled his way into Hitler’s favor and was made co-ruler of the country (alongside a German Reichskommissar), some thousands of Norwegians joined his National Samling party – getting or retaining government jobs and other perks, including positions of authority.

    Those are the people who “go Nazi”.