Saturday, March 19, 2011

The More Things Change …

I was trawling through a used book store the other day and stumbled across a couple of gems by I.F. Stone, The Haunted Fifties and Polemics And Prophecies 1967-1970. I bought them both for a grand total of seven dollars, less than the cost of two gallons of gas in these parts. Such is the value we place on wisdom in this country. In thumbing through them, I’m struck by the depressing continuities in our politics. Truly, the more things change the more they stay the same. Here’s Stone describing the Democrats in 1955:

The Democrats will make capital in the West on power; keep mum on civil rights for Negroes; do nothing for labor; jump on Reds as hard as Republicans to prove their purity; exploit the discontent of the security program and at the same time kick up a fuss about cuts in the defense budget to show that the Republicans are the ones who are really “soft” about communism. The country, generally as contented as the Borden cow, will take all this without a moo as long as business holds up.

Sound familiar?

(Here he is on Donald Rumsfeld … Whoops. I mean John Foster Dulles: “Smooth is an inadequate word for Dulles. His prevarications are so polished as to be aesthetically pleasurable.”)

1 comment:

Packaging Machinery said...

The more changes, the better opportunities!