Wednesday, November 02, 2011

"England must be brought into line.  The imbecile bourgeoisie of this country make themselves the accomplices of the very people whose aim is to drive them out of their houses to starve in ditches.  And they have the political power still, if they only had the sense to use it for their preservation.  I suppose you agree that the middle classes are stupid?... They are... They have no imagination.  They are blinded by an idiotic vanity..."

Thus speaks the conniving Mr Vladimir, First Secretary of the Russian embassy in Conrad's The Secret AgentGiven that Vladimir is a deeply sinister manipulator with little concern for human life, I'm intrigued to find a speech so eerily reminiscent of certain strains of modern punditry in a novel from 1907... And from the villain, at that.  That speech would get a thousand approving comments, at the right newspaper websites.

Also, check out the description...

"...And Mr Vladimir developed his idea from on high, with scorn and condescension, displaying at the same time an amount of ignorance as to the real aims, thoughts and methods of the revolutionary world... He confounded causes with effects more than was excusable; the most distinguished propagandists with impulsive bomb-throwers; assumed organisation where in the nature of things it could not exist; spoke of the social revolutionary party one moment as of a perfectly discplined army, where the word of its chiefs was supreme, and at another as if it had been the loosest association of desperate brigands that ever camped in a mountain gorge..."

Well, you can take your pick for who that might sound like, almost anywhere on the political spectrum.

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