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Monday, September 07, 2020

The riots and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”

 The general idea of Goethe’s version of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is not especially about lies. The message is that we are not wise enough to know what the result of our efforts will ultimately be. When we call forth any powerful forces—inventions, weaponry, politics, laws, theories, artistic creations – they can be used for good or evil and everything in between, and we don’t necessarily have any say in the matter. The same is true if we call forth powerful destructive forces such as mobs, for ends we think we are achieving.

Right now, the “we” is the left (books, the press, the education system, the Democratic Party), and the force that’s been called forth is the Antifa BLM mob. Elected politicians such as a mayor like Ted Wheeler of Portland or Jenny Durkan of Seattle have already glimpsed the army of broomsticks coming towards them to trample them. But this is no cartoon.

In Iran in 1979, the left played footsie with the Ayatollahs, thinking it could use them and that the left would win in the end. History tells us they were wrong. Right now in the US it’s left vs. left – the political, elected left (and the “useful idiot” liberals) versus the more anarchist/nihilist/sociopathic left such as Antifa. The first group is Mickey Mouse (in more ways than one) and the second group the broomsticks.

And the elected left may find that the spirits it has summoned cannot be banished.

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