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The classic graffito of the eponymous Luddites, along with the signature of King Mob, which latter, however, was largely confined to London. It referred to the legendary leader of that movement, General Ned Ludd, and originally, the indomitable will of his followers — originally the frame-breakers, or Luddites proper, whose wave broke circa 1815; later, the pre- or proto-socialist outraged working man in general.

Stirring as it may be it was, however, false; the real use of socialism has been to abate the mob, thoroughly and permanently — both in the democracies of the West, and in the Communist states, where the mob was conveniently abolished as redundant. From the perspective of socialism, this was because the mob had the critical flaw of being politically incorrect and ideologically malformed — it had the bad habit of perpetually wanting the things that working men want, instead of what the sanctimonious half of the middle class wants; from the perspective of Power, as always, socialism is a useful idiot.

In the East, then, the iron hammer was swiftly and simply brought down; here, King Mob was replaced by a cartoon simulacrum, a vuvuzela-toting Daffy-Duck imitation whose fangs are rubber and squeak when it tries to bite. Either way, Ned Ludd is well and truly dead.

* * *

Or perhaps not, after all; for that is not dead which can eternal lie in the heart of Man, and something does seem to be stirring. I wouldn't get my hopes up, though, if I were you; nobody with a degree is liable to enjoy the rebirth of King Mob, particularly nobody in favor of immigration.


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