Saturday, May 26, 2007

Satire at its finest

"A good labour union is of value because it keeps out radical unions, which would destroy property. No one ought to be forced to belong to a union, however. All labor agitators who try to force men to join a union should be hanged. In fact, just between ourselves, there oughtn't to be any unions allowed at all; and as its the best way of fighting unions, every business man ought to belong to an employers' association and to the Chamber of Commerce. In union there is strength. So any selfish Log who doesn't join the Chamber of Commerce ought to be forced to."

That quote is from the title character - George Babbit - of Babbit by Sinclair Lewis. If you haven't read the book, do your self a favor and give it a shot (the link above is an e-text). It was written in 1922, but you'll find that all that much hasn't changed since Lewis was inspired to write this satire about how an emerging business class would seek to manufacture American "values" and impose conformity on the middle class, and how such a dynamic can suck the life out of life. I've taken to calling Bill O'Reilly George Babbitt on steroids minus the crisis of conscience, so if for nothing else, you can read the book to get an appreciation of that insult.

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