The Trees Said to the Bramble Come Reign Over Us
Автор(и) : Garet Garrett
Издател : Ludwig von Mises Institute
Място на издаване : Auburn, Alabama, USA
ISBN : 978-193-355-053-4
Брой страници : 258
Език : английски
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Garet Garrett wrote one last, and truly spectacular, novel called Harangue (The Trees Said to the Bramble Come Reign Over Us). The words are from the Bible (Judges 9:15, and the metaphor here refers to the strange penchant of the rich to fund socialism that kills the rich and consumes wealth.
Garrett illustrates the strange tendency in a story of politics, economic folly, conspiracy, ideology, and violence. Published in 1926, it deals directly with the real-life attempt to create a Workers Paradise in the United States, in North Dakota from 1918 to 1921.
The plot pits two socialist movements against each other in a battle for control. The I.W.W. was the American movement of Reds – socialist-'anarchists' who believed the violent strike would usher in utopia. Meanwhile, the Non-Partisan League was the American movement of pinks, the social democrats who wanted full socialism but with liberties (so long as they could be tolerated). They joined together in to lay siege to the governor's office, and then nationalized the mills and the banks. They raised taxes, nationalized insurance and did a thousand other dangerous things that sunk the economy and led to the recall of the governor.
The setting for this novel, then, is dramatic and the story wonderfully fertile for economic insight. Garrett details what happens to an economy when central planners are in charge, with a special focus on pricing problems and production decisions. He explains what happens when a bank no longer deals with the problem of risk.
But what is especially interesting is his treatment of the sociology of the rich. Garrett has an enormously insightful take on what turns the rich into supporters of the Reds.
Keep in mind that this novel, which closely tracks the real experience, was written in 1926! It surely must rank among the most prophetic novels of the 20th century. It certainly deserves to be ranked among Garrett's great works, not only for telling the history as it really happened but for imparting great socio-economic lessons in the process.
“He had written scores of them—histories of the world, of religion, of races, of science, and lately in ten volumes a history of history—all perfectly sound and empty, He was a prodigious hack containing millions of facts. He had no fame at all on the literary plane. One of his several pseudonyms was better known than his own name. His recreation was a passionate interest in talk of revolution. He was useful in this company as a selfreciting encyclopedia, and was neglected as all encyclopedias are. To the conversation he had nothing but historical facts to contribute; and as everyone had learned not to start that torrent and as he was too shy to break it unasked, his role was that of listener, which was very agreeable, for very often the talk was about revolution.
He had, however, one amusing office. When the mysterious power had been present that did sometimes lift them high above their cynicism, their boredom, their sophisticated despair, their weariness of facts, and when the human instrument of this power, usually a visitor, had revealed a vision of perfectible man living in a perfect state, a state of nature perhaps, delivered from his wicked institutions, there came after the climax always an embarrassing moment. There was no curtain; no way of theatrical exit. There they sat staring helplessly at one another.”
Garet Garrett (1878–1954), born Edward Peter Garrett, was an American journalist and author who was noted for his criticisms of the New Deal and U.S. involvement in the Second World War. In 1911, he wrote a fairly successful book, Where the Money Grows and Anatomy of the Bubble. In 1916, at the age of 38, Garrett became the executive editor of the New York Tribune, after having worked as a financial writer for The New York Times, the Saturday Evening Post, and The Wall Street Journal. From 1920 to 1933, his primary focus was on writing books. Between 1920 and 1932 Garrett wrote eight books, including The American Omen in 1928 and A Bubble That Broke the World in 1932. In 1953, Garrett published The People's Pottage (later republished as The Burden of Empire and more recently as Ex America: the 50th Anniversary of the People's Pottage), which consisted of 3 essays: "The Revolution Was", "Ex America" and "The Rise of Empire"). Through these works, he questioned the aftermath of the Roosevelt administration and its impact on American society. In these works, he coined a phrase for a revolutionary methodology used by conservative thinking to understand the transformation of the old culture/regime: "revolution within the form."