I See London, I See France…

“The law,” Anatole France famously declared, “in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

Now there’s this:

A group of long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.


  1. Lewis Stein June 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm | #

    Did they get some bangers and mash to make it worth their while?

  2. wetcasements June 5, 2012 at 1:48 am | #

    The irony of all ironies of this here second Gilded Age is that things like austerity, Galtian contempt for the poor, and the general mood of needing to slash government in order to save it is that we’re headed towards a pretty dramatic shift to socialism, if not outright Communism in the coming decades.

    It’s as if our Galtian overlords don’t understand that revolutions don’t come about because Obama read Saul Alinsky, but because actual poor people are starving and can’t find decent work.

    Strange times.

    • Benedict@Large June 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm | #

      VERY nicely said.

    • Sam Holloway June 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm | #

      I think you’re on to something, wet, but if I may, I’d like to add a small caveat. Here in the U.S., at least, our wealthy overlords can count on an untold (but sufficient) number of middle and lower-middle class men to serve as a brutal, violent buffer to any left-wing populist mass uprising. Many of these men are in law enforcement, but many (like some of my colleagues in the fire/rescue service) are former military who maintain a personal arsenal at home, or at least would be willing to be armed by others. I’d like to think that the reckless avarice of our overlords– evidenced by their increasing willingness to cut the pay and bennies of their own public protectors– would put these men on the side of the disenfranchised, but I think the possibly apocryphal wisdom of Jay Gould speaks more loudly than reason here.

      In other words, by the time enough people get pissed enough to rise up and demand fairness, it’ll be too late. The infrastructure of totalitarian crackdown is already in place, and there are plenty of foot soldiers either in place or willing to step in to man the apparatus. If there is an uprising, it will be met with savage retaliation such as this country (and perhaps this world) has scarcely before seen. Maybe if there’s anything left when the smoke clears and the blood stops spraying, then we might see some kind of socialism. Maybe.

      • Blinkenlights der Gutenberg June 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm | #

        “The infrastructure of totalitarian crackdown is already in place”

        Indeed, but it was not designed around the contemporary technological circumstances of global internet access and the rapid and continual scaling-down of fabrication technologies.

        Today it’s rather expensive to outfit an unmanned vehicle with a bomb. There are still suicide bombers. Ten years from now, they will be suicide robots. Just think about it.

        In the end, the laws of thermodynamics are on the side of those who would destroy the existing order.

  3. Big Mitch June 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm | #

    is the “I see France…” a reference to “Let them eat cake”?

    • Mark June 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm | #

      I assume that you don’t have children…

  4. BillW June 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm | #

    Yes, why can’t they eat cake?

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