Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bad people on the rise

Farthing is a new book that looks like a cross between Fatherland, It Can't Happen Here, and the Remains of the Day. Fascist sympathetic members of the British aristocracy kick out Churchill and sign a separate peace. The country starts democratic but under the influence of their Teutonic ally, they move steadily into the fascist camp. The plot revolves around the daughter of one of the plotters who has married a Jew. When someone gets murdered at high society party, guess who gets blamed?

Some of the buzz I have read makes dark allusions to the tide of fascism overwhelming contemporary America. That's just too over the top for me, and also counterproductive. Rather than talking about some grand conspiracy, or worse, implicating all of society (less your enlightened friends,) I wish people would focus in on the real problems, like the torture legislation, the attempts to expand executive power at the expense of legislative and judicial power and the emphasis of ideology over policy. These are real problems that don't fit on some bumper sticker label. Focusing on these will win over more people than wild eyed accusations that Mussolini is back from the dead.

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