Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Historical Pattern of "Counterfeit Rebellions"

"The youth movement was an expression of the uneasiness that young people felt in face of the gloomy prospects that the general trend toward regimentation offered them. But it was a counterfeit rebellion doomed to failure because it did not dare to fight seriously against the growing menace of government all-round control and totalitarianism. The tumultuous would-be rioters were impotent because they were under the spell of the totalitarian superstitions. They indulged in seditious babble and chanted inflammatory songs, but they wanted first of all government jobs. (...) [The movement] was doomed because it did not attack the seed of the evil, the trend toward socialization. It was in fact nothing but a confused expression of uneasiness, without any clear ideas and definite plans. The revolting adolescents were so completely under the spell of socialist ideas that they simply did not know what they wanted".

- Ludwig von Mises ("Bureaucracy", pp. 96-7), writing in 1944, on the so-called "youth movement" in pre-World War I Germany and Italy. See any parallels with the "Occupy movement"? If you do, remember that "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it".

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