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Useful idiots

Useful idiots
April 28, 2012, 11:45:05 AM
All of which reminded me of ‘useful idiots’: people who are propagandists for causes and goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by leaders of those causes.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/01/doug-smith-useful-idiot-watch-%E2%80%93-matt-yglesias.html

During times of peace and negotiations, Kautilya wanted spies and secret agents to exploit the divisions within a country. Most countries, he maintained, have four kinds of unhappy subjects—the enraged, the frightened, the greedy, and the proud. Secret agents can widen and deepen these divisions by inciting these four types of people to act against their king. The opposing king "should win over the seducible in the enemy's territories by means of conciliation and gifts and those not seducible by means of dissension and force."

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_military_history/v067/67.1boesche.html

"Even in Hitler’s Germany the infatuation for medals, titles and uniforms never reached the peak it has in the proletariat’s promised land. On the kolkhozy (collective farms), a visitor is apt to meet a Znatnaya Doyarka (Distinguished Cow Milking Woman). One of the latest additions to the new Soviet aristocracy is Honourable Coal Miner E. P. Baryshnikov."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,799607,00.html

Re: Useful idiots
April 28, 2012, 11:05:49 PM
The very last article reminds me of all the piddling awards given out to people for essentially just showing up and performing as expected. Sixth graders are lavished with graduation ceremonies for their eligibility for seventh grade. Sales people are singled out for recognition for consistently speaking coherently in public for a few weeks.

When nothing is hard won and the concept of heroic is cheapened in devalued equalization, there is little to strive for, achieve at great risk, then finally reflect upon with real pride while inspiring others. Culture atrophys in this manner. If cultural dieoff was severed limbs then these piddling awards are the little pinky band aids applied to heal them.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

Re: Useful idiots
April 29, 2012, 12:21:34 AM
There are few things more embarrassing - for me - than being labeled a 'hero', when I am no such thing.
Having lost my own sailboat to a hurricane, I swam out to someone else's and managed to save it, at considerable, and foolhardy, risk, to my life.
If that's being a hero, I'm a duck's dongle.
Yet there are people who see such things in that way.
Go figure.

Squawk!