60 Years Ago Today: Same Old Shit!

What if we were living in an exact repeat of political arguments 60 years ago? Spoiler Alert: WE ARE!

Wake Up

Wake Up Already ... this was 60 Years ago!

Technology is accelerating all around us, but our public policy debates are clearly going in circles. How fascinating that we could be out exploring the galaxy by now, yet here we are hashing out this junk yet again. Exhibit A:Alice In Blunderland: A Fantasy for Every American Citizen” (1952)

Ever heard people calling for you to “Wake Up!” and railing against “big government’, “tax & spend” policies? Freaked out about scary alerts that the Federal government is threatening to control everything? Oh and did ya notice the attacks on public sector workers, dubious examples of government waste, equating regulation with anti-capitalism and, of course, questioning progressive taxes for the wealthy & corporations.
Well you can find them all in this anonymous 1952 political propaganda comic book.

“It’s Time For All Of Us To WAKE UP! ”
“Time to cut every cent of government waste and inefficiency”
“Time to clamp down on the ‘spend and tax’ spiral”
“Time to stop the growth of the overpowering Federal government”
“Time to bring government back home”

FUCK …. this is exactly like right now, in 2012.

Alice In Blunderland

Alice In Blunderland

Tea party patriots, fundamentalist conservatives, libertarians and Ron Paul supporters may (or may not) be surprised to see the exact language of today’s headlines. A few easy to remember memes, repeated as though they were unquestionable, targeted as a populist message, even though the policies advocated do little or nothing for the average American.

So the natural question arises: Who the fuck made this?  We don’t really know. So another good question is: What group had something to gain by advocating these policies and designing this well-produced yet oddly anonymous comic? Again it’s not known, but I suspect it was NOT a grassroots movement by ‘We The people’ to make America into a more fair, diverse and free nation of economic opportunity … this suspicion is based on the only authorship reference given anywhere in the entire comic:

© 1952, Industrial Services, 295 Madison Ave. New York, NY.

The name “Industrial Services” in New York is intentionally vague enough, and is amusingly difficult to trace on Google.  295 Madison Ave is a large building, so even the address is just approximate, it would have been a suite within that building. Comic guide searches turn up *Only One Credit* to “Industrial Services”,   “Alice In Blunderland” was the only publication “they” (whoever they were) put out under this name.

The Blunderland Experience:
In the comic Alice goes on a tour inside of “Government” and is guided through Blunderland and the tour is punctuated by a carefully selected series of “Fantastic Facts” which drive her to desperation.  Not surprisingly, the “facts” are not supported by any references or citations. They are vague and leave much to the imagination and context of the presentation!

Let’s examine a few. The first “fantastic fact” we learn sets the tone for those that follow.

“There are 29 Federal Government agencies duplicating each other’s work in making loans … 28 handle welfare projects … 50 compile statistics … etc, etc.!”

Ok, of all the shit you can complain about with Federal Government services … these 3 things are what they highlight? Does this say anything about where they are coming from? A concern for reducing oversight on loan activity, a disdain for welfare projects and a dismissal of the usefulness of statistics. Hmmm. Ok, Here are two more “Facts” from this anonymous political comic.

“We now have a quantitative framework with marginal qualitative reallocations to formalize the procedure for the further refining and implementing of our objectives”  – Actually this is the “easiest” sentence in an involved “explanation” made by a Federal controls agency official – as recently reported by the United Press.

Thousands of tons of obsolete, useless records and documents are kept in steel cabinets on costly office floors at maintenance charges of $29 per file a year when they might be stored in cardboard containers in warehouses at $2.15 a year – or better still, thrown away!

Okie-dokey, the complaints about technical language are clearly out of context and intended to create the impression that all government bureaucracies are a big pile of technical jargon with nothing to show for it. It also seems similar to the anti-intellectual, proud-to-be-ignorant trend in America, as exemplified by Fox News and the Bush II era of politics. This quote is probably real … but taken from a technical analysis using standard methodologies, which sound like greek, just like any technical jargon does. Even I can understand what is being said, which is ‘we figured out a solid way of self-testing to make sure we’re meeting goals”. On the 2nd point, the fascination with making public records easy to destroy and hard to access, or just tossing them out is quite interesting!!

Alice In Blunderland panel

We are gonna take your WOMEN!

Back To The Storyline
Alice, after expressing confusion about Blunderland (aka. Federal Government), is called unpatriotic and taken to court. Here she is pre-judged before a jury of the government workers we have been told are so horrible. Her mad-hatter tour guide turns out to also be her prosecutor. A rabbit reads the verdict:   “We find the defendant Guilty of treason, unpatriotism, non-conformism, vandalism and  – er – etcetera and (ahem) etcetera.”

Then the government workers attack her menacingly, with slight sexual overtones as a guy in prison stripes with a net says “She wouldn’t become a ‘stockpile stenographer’ ” and, given that this was 1952, I see very clear Racial Overtones with the skin color of the ‘Doormouse’ also attacking her!
Meanwhile chaos erupts with more calls of “traitor” and “non-conformist” from the courtroom mob. She awakes to find it was all a dream, but now she must TAKE ACTION! before it’s TOO LATE!

Take-Away Message To The Reader:
The entire government, Especially Federal is your biggest enemy. No positive aspects to Federal government are mentioned. Apparently they exist solely to take and waste your money. Everything that is a frustration in your life is somehow a result of Federal interference or the laziness of public employees. Statistical research about American society, racial, social & financial demographics are not necessary, or useful … merely an extravagance. As is record-keeping, nobody in the future wants to know what we were doing in 1952. Put them all in cardboard boxes in remote warehouses, so they are easy to burn all at once … or just throw them away.
Fuck … whatever, right?

So yeah, that’s weird …
I’d love to know more about who produced this comic and the memeology behind it.  If you can figure it out, then post a comment with your research! My (self-consciously biased) intuition is that it’s a conservative think-tank or business investor consortium of some kind who funded this, and for basically the same purposes as most of the anti-fed rhetoric nowadays … to drive lunkheaed populist support for elitist goals, tie up the fed in legislation, and cut down on regulations and oversight so some few corporations can make mad profits!
Probably at the expense of the environment and the general welfare of the US citizen.
… Same old shit, different generation.  Where’s my fucking escape spaceship?
Oh, not available in this “future”? Ok, I’ll settle for the ‘Satellite of Love’ for now.

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  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Without any reference at all to this article, I must say that I’m delighted to see someone new posting.

    That goes for you too, Matt Staggs.

    • DeepCough

      It’s because something is wrong with the damn Submit Story page (That, or they froze me out.)

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        Perhaps they did.

        Once I started paying attention, I was surprised how many comments magically go “poof”. Including one or two of my own.

        It is possible that they may want to exhibit the same editorial control over the story submissions.

        • Anarchy Pony

          Are you sure you’re not getting flagged or something?

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            Well, that could be possible, but I doubt it.

            The one instance I clearly recall of my own post going poof was a reply I made to Calypso where I pretended to misunderstand something he was saying and so intentionally interpreted his comment about his job dealing with 200 mentally ill people as referring to his time spent here.

            I specifically used the name of this site in the comment. But other than calling everyone on the site “mentally ill” there was nothing particularly offensive about it. Nothing worth flagging, to be sure.

          • Matt Staggs

            I’ve had a few of my own comments disappear. I assure you that there’s no deleting of comments going on. I mean, someone said I like to suck dick and I let it stand on one of the posts I wrote. I would’ve started there were I so inclined!

      • Matt Staggs

         Hey DeepCough,
        The Powers That Be are aware. Don’t you usually submit your posts via email, anyway? I’m hoping that will be resolved very, very soon. For the record, I’ve tried to email you a couple of times but the email address that’s on file is incorrect. I’ve gotten bouncebacks.

        • DeepCough

          Well, that e-mail finally went defunct, so I’ll submit to y’all my new one, mm’kay?

          • Matt Staggs

             mm’kay.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Anyway, this looks to me like the work of Birchers.

    • Secretlab

      This actually is similar, but far less slick, than some Birch Society material I saw growing up in the 60’s. JBS was created in 1958 (according to Wiki), so the mystery is still unsolved.

      • Secretlab

        Correction: more slick. Clearly, I’m a childhood victim of COMMUNISM and FLORIDATION! It’s hopeless, really.

      • Anarchy Pony

        Well maybe it was created by pre-birchers. Seems to have all the same sentiments they espouse.

    • MIQEL

       Good, I was hoping someone would catch that MST3K reference. I hear ya on the Birchers thing … ideologically related for sure. Also “Industrial Services” is not very creative either … “Chaos Engineer” found this awesome reference, it’s a copy of an EVEN EARLIER comic of the same name & similar narrative
      http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28069

  • Nephilim

    As long as they keep us ignorant of history and divided into factions this is all we will ever get.  Anyone else feel like a hamster on a wheel?  You should, it was planned that way.

    • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

      you can exit the wheel anytime you’d like
      but I have found
      many people prefer the wheel to freedom

      • Nephilim

         True, and true…  Heading for the exit right now as a a matter of fact, and I am excited like the French when Lindbergh landed.

  • Durga_daggr

    astrologers have been talking about this for a while now. See: Transit cycle of Uranus and Pluto during times of revolutionary upheaval. 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    the stages of political enlightenment:

    is there more to this than meets the eye?
    wow! there’s a lot of stuff I didn’t know
    everybody should know about this stuff
    HEY EVERYBODY HERE’S A LOT OF STUFF
    nobody gives a shit about this stuff
    they’re all deluded robots
    they actually like living like robots
    ah, fogetabotit
    I’ll just post comments on DisInfo & places like dat
    a wait for Armageddon to cum

    • Thomascoker420

       Check out this different type of economy, spread to everyone you know, or at least try lol… Like you said noone cares enough…. But yea… It is a viable system as opposed to our current economic growth system.  http:// steadystate. org/discover/

      • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

        thanks
        the idea of sustainable practices
        being the basis of an economy is an excellent idea
        and in modern times
        this occurs spontaneously during times of crisis

        unfortunately
        we will have to wait for the impending social collapse
        before any serious reform can begin

        and now
        back to our regularly scheduled program

  • 420

     Check out this different type of economy, spread to everyone you know,
    or at least try lol..
     It is a viable system as opposed to our current economic growth system. 
    http:// steadystate. org/discover/

    • Anarchy Pony

      Dude, you gotta sound like you’re not a spambot.

    • rtb61

       Problem with that is, pretty much any kind of political system would work, you only have to make one correction, remove psychopaths out of the equation.
      They basically corrupt the whole of democracy to feed their own insane egos.

  • chaos engineer

    Curious comic. It seems to have taken its inspiration from John Kendrick Bangs’ 1907 political satire, Alice in Blunderland: An Iridescent Dream.http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28069

    • MIQEL

      Wow, thank you! Great find :)

  • Simiantongue

    Oh dear Wotan in Valhalla, evidence of ideological stratification. You mean the socio/political fodder teapartiers spread everywhere for their sheeple to graze upon these days isn’t something new? Who’da thunk it.

    If you were surprised by this historical piece of propaganda don’t think twice about it, it’s just a natural part of the “every generation thinks they invented it” syndrome. That effect will fade when you get old enough to accumulate some perspective.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JTJP6CBNJUEDKEC7AZHI7ASE3I Coyne

    What’s new about this? The same could be said about 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 years ago! These stop-spending-stop-taxing-balance-the-budget rows come around as regular as visits to the bathroom.  They always break down for the same reason: “Cut Someone Else!”

    (“Cut those wasteful thieves over there; but don’t cut me, that would utterly destroy the country, which can’t survive without my subsidy.”)

  • paprtowl

    i was only 8 years old at the time but things have accelerated , maybe to the point that they can’t be reversed , the answer is in our hands.

  • Theonepercent

    Of course it is the same old shit.  It is about shifting from one regime to another.  Does anyone really know who funds OWS or any protests for that matter.   What better way to  get the people to dig their own graves.  As someone mentioned in these comments everyone is on a hamster wheel even the protesters. 

  • Thezetigeistmovement

    I’ve said it before on other articles, but will reiterate again. The Zeitgeist Movement has been spreading information about an alternative steady state true Resource Based Economic Model for a few years now, and it’s on the back of the works of Buckminster Fuller. Constant consumption is not sustainable, and our politicians don’t know a damn thing about how to do anything. Go ahead and ask any politician how we’re going to feed people. How we would build a bridge, or anything for that matter. I urge everyone to looking into the proposals of TheVenusProject .com and TheZeitgeistMovement .com

    Here’s a Ted presentation – youtube.com/watch?v=4mkRFCtl2MI

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