we are a vernal equinox people

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 21, 2005

Leftist playwright Arthur "The Crucible" Miller died recently. Mark Steyn fails to join in the general gush.

He wasn't amiable enough to be an amiable dunce but he was the most useful of the useful idiots. It was a marvellous inspiration to recast the communist 'hysteria' of the 1950s as the Salem witch trials of the 1690s. Many people have pointed out the obvious flaw -- that there were no witches, whereas there were certainly communists. For one thing, they were gobbling up a lot of real estate: they seized Poland in 1945, Bulgaria in '46, Hungary and Romania in '47, Czechoslovakia in '48, China in '49; they very nearly grabbed Greece and Italy; they were the main influence on the nationalist movements of Africa and Asia. Imagine the Massachusetts witch trials if the witches were running Virginia, New York and New Hampshire, and you might have a working allegory.

Spot on, Mr. Steyn. And now that you mention it, the witch hunt hysteria metaphor has some currency still today within Catholic clerical circles. To tweak the historical circumstances ad rem: if the commissioners at the Salem witch trials had flown into the Assizes on broomsticks, summarily exonerated the crones accused, cursed the town crier, and offered to pay the therapy bill for those stableboys their weird sisters had changed into centipedes -- that would give you your working allegory.

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