What’s Wrong With Woodrow Wilson?

Monday, October 11th, 2010

So asks Jill Lepore at the New York Times:

To the campaign to make “progressive” a slur, Wilson is useful. Much as many people admire aspects of his presidency, he has no natural constituency any more, right or left. He was opposed to female suffrage. He supported Jim Crow. He wrote about Anglo-Saxon racial supremacy. He makes a good bad guy. He was also an intellectual, the first U.S. president to hold a Ph.D., and not just any intellectual: he had a law degree, but, before he became president, he was an American historian, with a special interest in constitutional history.

This professor-president has convenient similarities to our current chief executive — a scholar of constitutional law, professorial, intellectual, even, in some people’s eyes, effete (as, for instance, T.R. and F.D.R. were not). Also, given that Tea Party populism, at least as represented by remarks made by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin over the last two years, is dedicated to the proposition that American history — the very study of the nation’s past — has been stolen by elitist, leftist intellectuals, discrediting Wilson, broadly, as an intellectual and, specifically, as an American historian, is tactical.

Finally, of course, Wilson was indeed a progressive; he pursued progressive policies, and nominated progressives like Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, targeting Wilson is, to some degree not only arbitrary but also counter-intuitive; much that he wrote aligns very well with today’s far right (“America was born a Christian nation,” Wilson once said).

I can’t speak for Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, or conservatives, but I’m not the least bit bothered by the fact that Wilson was an intellectual (it’s the content of his academic writing that I find objectionable), and I don’t really think he has all that much in common with Obama. But while the animus toward Wilson from the right is relatively new, or at least more pronounced than it’s been in the past, Wilson has always drawn the ire of libertarians. Among the many reasons why:

  • He dishonestly led us into a pointless, costly, destructive war, and assumed control over huge sectors of the economy to wage it. He seized railroads, food and energy production, and implemented price controls.
  • He suppressed dissent and imprisoned war critics. Said Wilson, “Conformity will be the only virtue. And every man who refuses to conform will have to pay the penalty.” He signed the Espionage and Sedition Acts, the latter of which made it a criminal offense to “oppose the cause of the United States.” He retaliated against critical newspapers, and directed the U.S. Postal Service to stop delivering mail determined to be critical of the war effort.
  • Wilson not only continued existing racial segregation of federal government workers, he extended it.
  • He instituted the first military draft since the Civil War.
  • He signed the first federal drug prohibition.
  • He reinstituted the federal income tax.

A few more, from Gene Healy’s book, The Cult of the Presidency:

  • Wilson believed in an activist, imperialist presidency. In his 1909 book Constitutional Government, he made the case against checks and balances and the separation of powers. The government, Wilson argued, is a living organism, and “no living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live.”
  • He ordered unconstitutional, unilateral military interventions into Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. (He also oversaw military interventions in Panama and Cuba, and instituted American-favored dictators throughout Latin America.)
  • Wilson believed God ordained him to be president, and acted accordingly, boasting to one friend in 1913 that “I have been smashing precedents almost daily every since I got here.” Every president since Jefferson had given the State of the Union in writing. Wilson reinstituted what Jefferson derided as the “speech from the Throne,” and ordered Congress assembled to hear him speak, giving rise to the embarrassing spectacle the SOTU has become today.
  • He oversaw a massive domestic spying program, and encouraged American citizens to report one another for subversion.

Lepore is correct that some of these libertarian objections are actually points of similarity between Wilson and modern conservatives. But I think a more interesting question than Why does the right hate Wilson? is, given all of this, along with his belief in white racial superiority and opposition to women’s suffrage, why do presidential historians seem to like him so much? Similarly, why do historians seem to be most smitten with the presidents who most exceed their constitutional authority?

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53 Responses to “What’s Wrong With Woodrow Wilson?”

  1. #1 |  SJE | 

    I understand the libertarian criticism of Wilson. My question is why does the RIGHT now hate Wilson? Bush II seems like the closest incarnation of Wilson since Wilson (stifling dissent, war mongering, appeasing the baser elements of his party, and psuedo conscription by sending Reserves and National Guard to fight in Iraq). Where was Glen Beck during W’s time?

  2. #2 |  Warren Bonesteel | 

    If you look at The Progressive Era, politically, it arguably began with a Republican president. For that matter, Teddy Roosevelt was a Progressive Era president.

    I think that it can be argued that many of today’s problems began on Lincoln’s watch. To give him some credit, he was caught between six different rocks and six different hard places. The decisions he had to make weren’t easy, but he abandoned The Constitution at almost every turn, setting precedents which were followed or expanded upon by later Progressive Era presidents, including Wilson.

    The short answer to your final question has more to do with culture and the origins of modern human society. People like power, and they respect, if not openly admire, those who exercise that power.

  3. #3 |  Doug | 

    Don’t forget that Wilson oversaw the development of the Treaty of Versailles, leading to WWII, and the spearheaded the League of Nations, the first attempt at one world government. Lincoln was complicit in more American deaths, but his circumstances were not of his own accord. Wilson went out and sought bloodshed instead of letting them duke it out on their own, as in the Franco-Prussian War.

  4. #4 |  bobzbob | 

    “Don’t forget that Wilson oversaw the development of the Treaty of Versailles, leading to WWII,”

    Not so – WIlson so the dangers in a tough Treaty of Versailles and campaigned for solution that redeveloped germany. His proposals were ignored by the european leaders.

    I also can’t fault him for intervening in WWI. The devastating stalemate that was sapping the world’s economy had to be brought to an end. It was the right thing to do.

  5. #5 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Another question: given the shameful history of the Progressive movement, why do liberals still use the term?

  6. #6 |  Guido | 

    The only comparison I see between the two presidents is in their education. Unfortunately, as we all know, neocons prefer their leaders uneducated. In other words, a reflection of themselves.

  7. #7 |  JS | 

    “why do presidential historians seem to like him so much? Similarly, why do historians seem to be most smitten with the presidents who most exceed their constitutional authority?”

    Historians like writing about powerful people, not normal law abiding people. I mean, who wants to write books about England’s King Henry I who was a known for being a good administrator and not much else, while there are mountains of books written about Henry II who was an adulterous land grabbing imperialist asshole and therefore a much more interesting subject? I guess in a way history is a form of entertainment.

  8. #8 |  Johnny Yuma | 

    I thought the W in George W. Bush stood for Wilson. No?

  9. #9 |  Mattocracy | 

    We had to intervene in WWI for the same reasons we had to be in Vietnam, Somalia, Kosovo, and Iraq. Because someone thought it was ok to send Americans to die where Americans weren’t really threatened. And the idea that the world economy was in danger is a dubious and weak as saying we had to invade Iraq because the terrorists are coming to get us.

    As SJE alluded, Wilson and Bush II aren’t separated by much when it comes to war and civil liberties. Only partisan hacks try to argue otherwise.

  10. #10 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ #7 | JS |

    “I guess in a way history is a form of entertainment.”

    That is an excellent observation. I think you’re 100% correct. Controversial figures are just more interesting to hear about for the same reasons why people like Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. Drama sells. That’s why the History Channel devotes more time talking about Hitler than Eisenhower.

  11. #11 |  someother patriot | 

    NOPE. The core libertarian and constitutionalist problem with Wilson is the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. It seems to have been Wilson’s greatest problem with Wilson too. “I am a most unhappy man….”

  12. #12 |  InMD | 

    I actually find this to be pretty silly (though stupid might be the better word). I have a degree in history and while I’m all in favor of learning and debate on Woodrow Wilson’s presidency (or any presidency for that matter) I can’t help but laugh at people who project their own modern cultural and political views into historical events, particularly when they do so with such emotion. In this particular case I also find it quite ironic that supporters of things like the Patriot Act are the ones most enraged by a president who sought powers of similar implications during World War 1 and who still support all manner of government excess. Regardless of that, history should be analyzed with a cool head, not through the lenses of modern politics. There are no perfect parallels or easy answers. The United States is the way it is for a host of reasons encompassing but going well beyond individual presidential administrations.

    You’re also incorrect, Doug, regarding the Treaty of Versailles. Wilson opposed the heavy handed punishment inflicted on Germany. That was primarily the work of David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau who were more interested in vengeance than a sustainable peace. Wilson’s failure was his willingness to cede his views in exchange for the support of the other major powers in creating the League of Nations.

    As for the stuff about “one-world government” I’d say anyone who ever wonders why libertarianism doesn’t get taken seriously you can refer to this post along with the billions like it all over the internet. I’ll probably get bad karma for this post but I will once again say that libertarians and people with libertarian leanings would do a lot better to advocate attainable libertarian goals such as (but not limited to) pushing back against the surveillance state, fighting against drug prohibition wherever possible but particularly at the local and state level, pushing to simplify the tax code, and stopping the most indefensible government interferences in the economy like farm subsidies. Getting worked up about a president who was in office nearly 100 years ago is at best a waste of time and at worst an advertisement for why libertarian views remain largely irrelevant in political discourse.

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    The following is a list of all the 20th century U.S. Presidents that I believe were honorable and dedicated to advancing freedom for U.S. citizens:

  14. #14 |  Andrew | 

    Don’t believe they teach this in our infallible public schools… hence I cannot believe this version of history.

  15. #15 |  Radley Balko | 

    I actually find this to be pretty silly (though stupid might be the better word). I have a degree in history and while I’m all in favor of learning and debate on Woodrow Wilson’s presidency (or any presidency for that matter) I can’t help but laugh at people who project their own modern cultural and political views into historical events, particularly when they do so with such emotion.

    Actually, the post looked at Wilson’s action within the context of his own time. And by that measure, he was pretty damned radical. Viewed in the context of where we are now, only the segregation and racial stuff looks out of place. And that’s precisely the point. You write:

    Getting worked up about a president who was in office nearly 100 years ago is at best a waste of time and at worst an advertisement for why libertarian views remain largely irrelevant in political discourse.

    Not sure if you’re talking about me or Beck here (I don’t consider Beck a libertarian). But how historians view Wilson is very much relevant, given that all presidents aspire to greatness, and, as noted, historians tend to measure presidents by their ability to wage war and expand their own power at the expense of the Constitution. Clinton once lamented that he was robbed of greatness by not having any big wars while he was an office (he was also reportedly upset that 9/11 happened after he left office).

    There’s nothing wrong, stupid, silly, or unproductive with trying to tip the scales in favor of affording more respect to presidents who recognized and appreciated the Constitution’s restraints on presidential power.

    I’ll refrain from commenting on the tired line about the relevancy of libertarian views.

  16. #16 |  Will | 

    I thought you were talking about Lincoln there for a minute. Looks like the 2 had a lot in common as far as policy.

  17. #17 |  John Jenkins | 

    @InMD: None of my degrees are in history (unless you count a minor!), but Wilson’s caving on the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles so that he could get everyone on board the League of Nations train, was a pretty boneheaded move. His failure to involve (or at least inform) the Senate regarding treaty negotiations made it that much worse since the U.S. didn’t even ratify the treaty and never joined the League: nice going, Woody!

    Now, it is unfair to judge his actions ex post, rather than looking at them knowing only what Wilson knew or should have known. Maybe Wilson really felt that getting the League of Nations was more important than the harshness of the treaty (or, more likely, he felt that he could ameliorate the harshness through the League, later). We have to judge that decision as he made it, but I think that even looking at it ex ante, he clearly botched the treaty negotiation process (at the least by not involving the Senate: a recurring theme, I might add, in U.S. treaty negotiations).

  18. #18 |  Chris K. | 

    Read The Creature from Jekyll Island, about the establishment of the Fed, understand Wilson’s complicity in it.

  19. #19 |  DarkEFang | 

    “Similarly, why do historians seem to be most smitten with the presidents who most exceed their constitutional authority?”

    JS is exactly right, a President that exceeds his Constitutional authority may stink, and they may do a ton of damage to the nation, but they aren’t boring.

  20. #20 |  InMD | 

    At #15/Radley

    Maybe they were radical for their time and maybe not. However we could look at essentially any president in the history of the United States and list examples of actions that were radical for their time or were questionable assertions of their constitutional power. That certainly does not mean I support such actions or that anyone has to support what was done. The question, however, is why are people picking certain administrations which weren’t even in power in living memory to make political points about modern problems? Is what Woodrow Wilson did really relevant to what is going on today?

    A number of the things you mention from the draft, to segregation, to full scale nationalization of entire sectors of the economy either no longer exist or are the work of more recent politicians in their modern manifestations. Segregation and the draft, as much as I disagree with these policies, were not unprecedented. Federal drug prohibition has its roots in that period and no doubt Wilson helped it along but the modern War on Drugs as we know it was born in the 1960′s and 1970′s. Military adventurism was also nothing new for America. Most historians would say it was born in the Spanish American war which predated Wilson. But again, all this misses the point. Every sitting president since McCulloch v. Maryland (and even before) has at some point exercised power in ways which many libertarians would find disagreeable. The only reason Wilson is being focused on is because it makes a convenient rallying cry for the followers of Glenn Beck and other fools.

    The later points you mentioned weren’t directed at you or Glenn Beck but were actually meant for Doug’s comment about “one world government”. I apologize for not making that clearer.

    Nevertheless I think you’re vastly overestimating how much the views of professional historians go towards determining who is considered a “great president”. Indeed I was unaware there is even a definitive list of who qualifies for the honor of “great president”. I frequently hear people describe Ronald Reagan and JFK as great presidents who appear to have little knowledge about what those presidents actually did and what their positions were. Do you really think that Americans are shaping their opinions about past presidents on historical scholarship? If so that’s news to me.

    You can refrain from commenting on my “tired line” if you want but you’re taking offense where none was intended. It wasn’t a cheap shot (and again, it was intended for the one world government comment). However, I want libertarian positions to be relevant in political discourse. The problem is that when we take up frivolous issues like this we end up looking no different than the dumbest corners of the Republican party. The appeal of libertarianism to me has always been a focus on a rational appreciation of what government is, and more importantly is not, capable of doing. I don’t see how joining some nut at Fox News in condemning Woodrow Wilson is furthering that understanding.

  21. #21 |  Mike | 

    This is one of the reasons I think, given a few decades, historians will revise their opinions of Bush. He presided over a massive expansion of government power — the Patriot Act, Medicare Part D, two wars, removing millions of low-income people from the tax rolls, reversing many of the gains in welfare spending from the previous decade. Once the immediate partisan moment passes, they’ll start talking about how under-rated he was.

  22. #22 |  InMD | 

    At #37

    I would agree with that assessment.

    I’m glad you appreciated history enough to get a minor in it. If you were stupid enough to major in it like I was it could have resulted in an eventual return to school in order to learn something more lucrative. ;)

  23. #23 |  Dan | 

    InMD,

    I think some consideration of history is reasonable as otherwise it allows opponents of liberty to frame the debate. For example, the media often talks about “extending the Bush tax cuts”. The fundamental issue is not the cuts enacted by Bush, but rather the increases enacted by Wilson and several Presidents since then.

    The US has been managed incompetetly for over 100 years, in contrast to a more or less effective leadership during the first 100. Given the problems with how most other nations are run today, we have no better way to illustrate a vision that can lead to relative prosperity.

  24. #24 |  Marty | 

    I think even wilson regretted the Fed.

  25. #25 |  Marty | 

    #21 | Mike

    before the whole 9/11 event, Bush was on course to be the most vacationing, least active president in the last century. He was great to make fun of and he didn’t do a lot- if it wasn’t for everything after the attack, he’d be one of my favorite presidents.

  26. #26 |  Salt | 

    Best President ever: William Henry Harrison. March 4 – April 4, 1841, 31 days, twelve hours, and 30 minutes.

    Wasn’t around long enough to screw up anything.

    FWIW: I don’t read this post as joining anyone @ Fox on anything. This post is a response to a NY Times piece, making certain observations on Wilson.

  27. #27 |  bobzbob | 

    “reversing many of the gains in welfare spending from the previous decade. ”

    Actually it was clinton that reformed welfare.

  28. #28 |  bobzbob | 

    Funny how the historically inaccurate post, #3 gets positive ratings while the historically accurate one, #4 gets negative ratings. Tells you pretty much everything you need to know about libertarians.

  29. #29 |  André | 

    #27: You say that as if people of all political stripes don’t adopt a stance on history that conforms with their ideological views and ignores any nuance that may somehow clash with their preconceived notions… Everybody from Limbaugh and Coulter to Moore and Olbermann have been known to discard facts in favour of partisan hackery.

  30. #30 |  Clay | 

    It’s good to see Wilson coming in for the criticism he so richly deserves, even if it is from a loon like Glenn Beck.

    Now I’m just waiting for the Calvin Coolidge renaissance.

  31. #31 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ bobzbob,

    There is nothing accurate about the last part of your statement. There was no need for Wilson to send US troops to fight in WWI. Your reasoning is weak to justify sending men to die in a conflict that we were never a part of in the first place.

    If Wilson was so concerned with Germany’s redevelopment he should’ve stayed out of Europe and let them settle it with a truce.

  32. #32 |  InMD | 

    At #23

    Tax policy in this country has varied widely over the last century and I think one of the things missing from political discourse is a realistic debate on that issue, though that is a another discussion altogether.

    I think you’re being pretty naive though if you think that the United States was governed more competently in the 19th Century than the 20th. For one thing we had slavery, a brutal civil war, and suffrage was generally limited to white male landowners. Say what you want about incorporation of the Bill of Rights in the 14th Amendment but it was also the time when many rights we take for granted (eroded as they are) were thought to apply only to the federal government. I’ve never understood why some people seem to be fine with all manner of cruelty and coercion from state and local governments as long as the feds aren’t involved. Whether or not official thuggery is allowed shouldn’t depend solely on who is signing the paychecks.

  33. #33 |  bobzbob | 

    Local gov’t tends to have much less scrutiny and therefore have proportionatly much more waste, fraud and “thuggery” than federal operations. You should see our local mayor throw his weight around.

  34. #34 |  Mike | 

    Looking over that article, there’s an incredible “balance”. Five scholars defend Wilson and mock his detractors in condescending tones. One guy sort of semi-defends the criticism.

  35. #35 |  Marty | 

    bobzbob-

    I’m calling bullshit on ‘Local gov’t tends to have much less scrutiny and therefore have proportionatly much more waste, fraud and “thuggery” than federal operations.’ you cite your anecdotal mayor evidence, but that directly contradicts the findings of Elinor Ostrom in her nobel winning studies showing small, local govts to be much more efficient.

  36. #36 |  Jesse Walker | 

    Funny how the historically inaccurate post, #3 gets positive ratings while the historically accurate one, #4 gets negative ratings.

    I suspect your negative ratings had more to do with your defense of World War I than your correction re: the Treaty of Versailles.

  37. #37 |  BamBam | 

    Radley, you missed Wilson’s worst transgression: he signed off on creating the Federal Reserve despite knowing all of the evil backdoor dealings. This 4th central bank in this country is what allows endless war, man made inflation, boom and bust cycles, bailouts — all because a printing press creates “the money” so deficit spending can exist.

  38. #38 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    …why libertarian views remain largely irrelevant in political discourse.

    Personally, I am very happy that the evil, corrupt, inept, and un-Constitutional state of US politics has nothing to do with libertarianism.

  39. #39 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Bambam,
    Ron Paul salutes you. Wilson may or may not have known what he was creating, and he may or may not have said…

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
    ~ Woodrow Wilson

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Woodrow_Wilson

    But, anti-Fed sentiment is a libertarian view and is irrelevant in political discourse (apparently).

  40. #40 |  Jesse Walker | 

    Could everyone please stop circulating that phony Wilson quote? If you’re curious about what the man actually said, you can find part of the quote here (recycled from here) and some more of it here. And some of it — “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.” — appears nowhere. Which is what you should expect, since he wrote it before the Fed was created.

  41. #41 |  Jesse Walker | 

    Wrote the rest, I mean — not the part that appears nowhere.

  42. #42 |  A Good Question | The League of Ordinary Gentlemen | 

    [...] running through a litany of Woodrow Wilson’s misdeeds as President, Radley Balko asks: But I think a more interesting question than Why does the right hate Wilson? is, given all of [...]

  43. #43 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Jesse,
    Tongue was in cheek hence “may or may not” reference and link explaining the misquote.

  44. #44 |  Marty | 

    good catch, Jesse- I was duped, also.

    http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/2007/12/21/woodrow_wilson_federal_reserve

  45. #45 |  October 12 roundup | 

    [...] Jill Lepore asks why Woodrow Wilson’s so disliked these days; Radley Balko offers some help [The Agitator, NYT "Room for [...]

  46. #46 |  BamBam | 

    It’s sad that so many are quick to embrace what modern day propaganda outlets publish as “fact” and “fact checking”. The facts of how the Federal Reserve was brought into existence (read some history books that cite references) require that you believe Wilson was completely disconnected from reality to NOT know what his actions caused. The same belief is required to accept that Congress, year after year after year, just “doesn’t get it” and can’t understand how their actions are ruining everyone. Praxeology and history go hand in hand.

  47. #47 |  Sporkistan | 

    I’m glad you mention the Creel Commission, but you left out Edward Mandell House (Woodrow Wilson’s Karl Rove who wrote a Mein Kampf called Philip Dru)

  48. #48 |  Calvin | 

    Bobzbob, I disagree with your apparent degree of credit to Clinton for welfare reform. After campaigning on it in 92, he did nothing to advance it. When the GOP passed reform, he vetoed it. They passed it again, and he vetoed it AGAIN.

    Finally, on the third time, pollster Dick Morris told him it was killing him, so Clinton signed. So this great accomplishment was shoved down his throat, and he belatedly caved.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’ll take it. Can’t see Obama doing the same. But still not something I’d count as “his.”

  49. #49 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    #1 | SJE | October 11th, 2010 at 4:21 pm
    “Where was Glen Beck during W’s time?”

    I’ll tell you where he was. He was on the radio and CNN shouting down dissent and calling anyone who criticized the Junior administration a terrorist. Watch how quickly the man will abandon his “libertarianism” (snicker) when team red is back in power.

  50. #50 |  caolson | 

    InMD – I like your posts, informative, thought-provoking. But I did notice one slight problem. Post 20 has the line: “Segregation and the draft, as much as I disagree with these policies, were not unprecedented. ” which tries to apply, what I guess we might call an objective, historical lens given the context of the period.

    But later you note in post #32 a disagreement with the governance of 19th century United States given slavery, suffrage, etc. as being more or less better than 20th century governance.

    The problem is that in post 20, you tell us to use historical perspective to a degree to understand the moral and ethical issues framed in historical context but later, post 32, apply modern moral and ethical arguments to frame your arguments against judgement of the period. In historical context, slavery, white-male voting, white male land owners, were very common and not so radical positions. The “radical” aspect of the period was the growing anti-slavery movement. This is partly why I hate discussing the Civil War period at all. Suddenly people become a “revisionist” when you abstract modern applications of morality and ethics in favor of comprehending history through the context of morality and ethics of the period. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be repulsed by some of the views, just that these often foreign-feeling views were far more commonplace and had some bearing on the thoughts and actions of the people of the period that we can’t really comprehend.

  51. #51 |  Outsourcing Outrage… « Back Towards The Locus | 

    [...] New York Times columnist tries to reclaim Woodrow Wilson and the “progressive” legacy. Radley Balko educates her. Me, I think that criticism of progressivism’s past needs to be reclaimed from [...]

  52. #52 |  Will Richardson | 

    Perhaps it’s the fact that he resembles Big Government Racist Sexist Imperialist Republicanism/Corporatism and holds an unforgiving mirror up to it?

  53. #53 |  susan 28 | 

    What ISN’T wrong with him?

    He was a tyrant, isn’t that enough?

    Or do we still cling to oxymoronic notions like Benevolent Tyranny?

    Sadly, i think Mr Bonsteel #2 is correct about humans’ power fetish. The enemy is us.. which was the insight that informed my decision not to make any more of us way back as a teen and has only been reinfoced since..

    Face it: we SUCK.. why bring someone here who’s gonna either be crapped on by Wilsonian types and their fans, or BE a Wilsonian type or a fan.. either way it ends badly.. Starve the Beast – quit making cute, bouncey-wouncey tyrant-fodder just to keep you company, it’s not nice!

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