The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Two of history's skiffy moments

The first, via The Lightning Bug, via Avedon, is the strange story of how a conspiracy theorist claimed to have been in at the start of an amazingly successful anti-Christian conspiracy.

The second, on the same blog, is the tale of the city burners, the only people to have set out to bring down civilization over the entire then-known world and actually succeed.


The John Stormer history from Brad is entirely believable. I was involved in Democratic Party politics in the late 70s and early 80s, and did some research on the subject as well. It fits.

And the Dallas Theological Seminary connection? Absolutely. Take a look at where Hal Lindsay (The Late Great Planet Earth, etc, etc) got his degree. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Tim LaHaye is also a DTS grad. DTS is a known conservative quantity, and if you took a careful look at the theocratic politicians these days, my guess is that you'd see a lot of DTS credentials out there.

One of Brad Hicks' commenters suggests that the city burners would have made a particular target of writing and writers because they would view writing entirely as a technology of oppression.

That matches my understanding of the behaviour of the London mob (cf. Shakespeare's "first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"), although my memory, my books and Google all let me down when it comes to finding the specific references to groups, during the Peasants' Revolt in 1381 and other times, deliberately breaking into and burning down the houses where debt records would be kept.

Which in turn puts me in mind of the two trends in modern corporate record keeping, to put all information in ever more volatile formats, and to nail people down in ever greater debt and ever lesser privacy, giving millions a strong incentive to wipe the slate in one go.

I'm just a little ray of sunshine, aren't I? :-)

Hi Del. Burning debt records and title deeds has been a feature of peasant revolts, but as far as I can recollect not the 1381 Peasant's Revolt, which was so conscious a movement for Free Trade that it's almost spooky.

The modern electronic version of the 'wipe the slate' idea occurs in the movie 'Fight Club'. I've been trying to think of a future equivalent of the city burners scenario, but nothing has yet gelled.

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