Then we take Berlin

by Henry Farrell on October 26, 2007

Like Chris, I want to object to Andrew Sullivan’s “post”: – but my objection is narrower. _What does he mean_ by insinuating that “at last” we’re “honest about the true agenda of the left”?? We let slip our hidden agenda of creating “a tyranny where Crooked Timber and the benign left will call the shots and enforce their orthodoxy” _years ago._ Not only that, but our nefarious plans have previously received widespread public attention. Andrew’s dire prognostications were _anticipated in their entirety_ in 2004 by “Mr. Nick Morgan Mr. Andy Duncan, commentator-at-large at who not only pointed out that “What John Quiggin desires is Orwellian Newspeak, with Mr Quiggin and his friends at Crooked Timber being the Inner Party deciding the rules,” but sagaciously remarked that “Hell on Earth would be a World Government run by Crooked Timber.” You can’t say that you haven’t been warned. Repeatedly.



lemuel pitkin 10.26.07 at 2:51 pm

I for one welcome our new Crooked Timber overlords.


Kieran Healy 10.26.07 at 3:00 pm

Remind me, who was supposed to get which ministerial appointments again? In Crooked Timber Heaven, John Q runs the economy, Harry is Minister for Education, Daniel is head of the Central Bank, Eszter is Communications, Belle is Attorney General, Maria is Foreign Affairs, Ingrid is Justice, Scott is Homeland Security, Henry is Industry & Commerce, Brian is Armchairs (new ministry), Michael is Defence (canon specialist, see), John H is Culture & Media, and I’m Press Secretary.

In Crooked Timber Hell …


harry b 10.26.07 at 3:03 pm

CB gets Sport, Music, and Culture, I presume. Oh, and Speech, perhaps.


nu 10.26.07 at 3:05 pm

Purging the Budweiser mensheviks is a necessity to make the revolution stronger.


Alex 10.26.07 at 3:07 pm

A useful reminder that Sullivan’s relative post-2005 dewankerisation has to be considered in the light of the preceding 10 years of mountainous wankerism. The trendline is going in the right direction, but in absolute terms he’s still deep in the red.


harry b 10.26.07 at 3:28 pm

Sorry, I see that you assigned John H to Culture and Ezster for Commnications. CB can perhaps be our man in charge of ensuring that the entire population learns how to write like Molesworth chizz chizz.


Chris Bertram 10.26.07 at 3:35 pm

I’d be much more effective as Minister for Procrastination and Displacement Activity, in fact, I’m a natural.


dsquared 10.26.07 at 3:48 pm

Procrastination and Displacement Activity

I think it used to be called the “Department of Trade and Industry” but I like the new name better.


Alex 10.26.07 at 3:51 pm

Dsquared activity has been detected across the blogosphere; the status of the banking crisis is therefore revised from Fuck! Shit! Hell! to Somewhat Perturbed, with a Freakonomics Review Completion probability of 0.001, up from 0.0000001 the week before.


James Wimberley 10.26.07 at 3:52 pm

Harry in 6: it’s chiz not chizz as any fule kno.


Matt 10.26.07 at 3:55 pm

I comment here mostly in hopes that my sucking-up will lead to my getting some sort of under-secretary position, or at least allowing me to be put in charge of elevator inspections in a provincial city. (A slight relative of my by marriage did manage to turn that last job into a fairly decent living for a while.)


dsquared 10.26.07 at 4:02 pm

Freakonomics Review Completion probability of 0.001

the focus of concern has switched however to the “probability of coming up with the seminar contribution that I actually fucking promised Henry, several times that I would do by the end of the month. Which is no longer the AAA-rated asset it was widely considered to be by rating agencies a couple of weeks ago. I have a couple of book reviews to write that someone is paying me for though, and those will get done for sure, which probably proves that when it comes to incentives, Levitt is right and I am wrong.


Drake 10.26.07 at 4:03 pm

But what is the Crooked Timber oath?


Kieran Healy 10.26.07 at 4:06 pm

“First we read Berlin, then we take Manhattan.”


P O'Neill 10.26.07 at 4:07 pm

With the season that’s in it, I think Sully is duty-bound to do a post on his feelings about Guy Fawkes’ night.


kid bitzer 10.26.07 at 4:16 pm

it’s possibly sully’s most unattractive tic:
the fact that every now and then he has to revert to this atavistic, late ’70s tribalism in which thatcher is all that is right and good, and left-liberals are the enemy that must be pilloried at all costs.

he doesn’t seem to realize that on 90% of the issues of substance, he has come around to seeing that thatcherism and the conservative movement in general have been a nightmare–intellectually bankrupt and politically destructive.

so he has outgrown almost all of his adolescent schwarmerei for big strong conservative he-men, and started almost sounding like a grown-up on most occasions, i.e. like a rational liberal.

but, alas, every now and then the tribalist tic takes over, and he has to prove–to whom? himself?–that he is not a dirty fucking hippy.

pretty sad, really.


harry b 10.26.07 at 4:18 pm

james — I was trying to present evidence of the need for such a minister.


Hogan 10.26.07 at 5:07 pm

My years of labor union experience will be at your disposal when you need expert advice on stringing up razor wire around the re-education camps.

BTW, that comment appears to be by Andy Duncan in response to Nick Morgan. I say we bring them both in, just to be safe.


bi 10.26.07 at 5:27 pm

Can I take the post of Minister of Book Burning? Those lowly, filthy nonconformist worms keep talking about “suppression” of “dissent” so often. We should stomp on their rebellious writings beneath our feet, and then shred them all and recycle them as toilet paper… just like the lowly worms secretly wish.

Then we must install on every blog server a special software which uses fantastically complicated AI technology to look for every hint of Political Incorrectness™. When any hint of un-PCness is found, the software will blow up the whole server and turn it into a loudspeaker which’ll keep blaring messages of tolerance, treason, and global warming, until everyone goes bonkers.


Uncle Kvetch 10.26.07 at 5:32 pm

but, alas, every now and then the tribalist tic takes over, and he has to prove—to whom? himself?—that he is not a dirty fucking hippy

And why do you think he feels the need to do this, KB? I don’t dismiss the pull of tribalism, but I think it’s more about simple self-interest: In the current climate, “Just One More Gay Liberal” isn’t going to get a fraction of the attention, the TV appearances, the writing gigs, and the $$ that a “Gay Catholic Tory” will.

It’s about maintaining that all-important contrarian cred. Sully may be a hack, but he’s no fool.


Barry 10.26.07 at 5:57 pm

In CT hell, the commenters run the government.
For example, Brett would be such a shoe-in for many ministries (Health Suppression, Truthiness, Financial Scams & Disasters) that he might actually be ripped into multiple pieces :)


Ingrid Robeyns 10.26.07 at 6:44 pm

We also need to find a Minster for Children and the Family and a Minister for Sustainable Development. Or is this only in the Hell Version of the CT government?


Henry 10.26.07 at 6:56 pm

the seminar contribution that I actually fucking promised Henry, several times that I would do by the end of the month. Which is no longer the AAA-rated asset it was widely considered to be by rating agencies a couple of weeks ago.

That sounds to me like a plea to be provided with appropriate incentives, starting with persistent whiny emails, and going from there. I’ll start working on it …


novakant 10.26.07 at 7:06 pm

good lord, a government consisting solely of academics – how would you ever get anything done?


Colin Danby 10.26.07 at 7:23 pm

Plan Locksley Hall comienza!

Can I be Secretary for Waste, Fraud, and Abuse?


engels 10.26.07 at 7:42 pm

Can I be Minister for Roads to Serfdom?


Watson Aname 10.26.07 at 7:53 pm

First we read Berlin, then we take drink Manhattans.


Watson Aname 10.26.07 at 8:05 pm

hmmm.. that worked better when I could see the strikethrough on `take’


Bill Gardner 10.26.07 at 8:24 pm

yeah, but don’t seek guidance from the beauty of our weapons. There’s some recent experience with that.


thuringwethil 10.27.07 at 12:58 am

Well its a good thing they haven’t caught onto the sun destroying yet.


christian h. 10.27.07 at 1:34 am

Why’s Andy surprised? Everyone knows that Crooked Timber is a front for the Proletarian Hammer Tendency.


Delicious Pundit 10.27.07 at 3:07 am

You’ll still allow us to watch college football, won’t you? Because if we have to start following rugby I’m joining the reactionaries.


JP Stormcrow 10.27.07 at 3:44 am

Hell on Earth would be a World Government run by Crooked Timber.

I have a truly marvelous proof of this proposition which I can’t post due to overly restrictive Hate Speech laws.


Fats Durston 10.27.07 at 4:00 am

First we read Berlin, then we take drink Manhattans.

Just as long as we don’t have to listen to Berlin or Manhattan Transfer.


Scott McLemee 10.27.07 at 11:37 am

I’ve been expelled from the Proletarian Hammer Tendency. They have issued a pamphlet, Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade McLemee, but I am too busy with Homeland Security issues to respond.


The Next to Last Pope 10.27.07 at 3:35 pm

I’d like to volunteer to help fight the War on Christmas.


JP Stormcrow 10.27.07 at 6:24 pm

I’d like to volunteer to help fight the War on Christmas.

I believe that mission will be outsourced to Blackwater. (cf. Massacre at Mall of America – December 2008)

But there are plenty of spots open on the All-CT Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, Profiteering and Corruption.


Michael Bérubé 10.28.07 at 12:09 am

In Crooked Timber Hell I am the Minister of Transportation, making sure that all my trains run once every six-seven weeks or thereabouts.


a 10.28.07 at 6:44 am

One discussion I remember from the Balliol Junior Common room is “In a democracy only informed people should be allowed to vote.”


Nabakov 10.28.07 at 2:29 pm

I put my hand to be Deputy Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Lots and lots of foreign affairs.


Belle Waring 10.28.07 at 2:49 pm

it’s like in chocolate city: “richard pryor, miniter of fine arts; and miss aretha franklin the first lady.” I love you CT!


Belle Waring 10.28.07 at 2:54 pm

gr, “miniter” should be “minister.”


W. Kiernan 10.30.07 at 9:43 am

Man, I not only clicked through to Sullivan’s piece but clicked through that to a thing he wrote in 1999 entitled, fuck me if I lie, “What’s So Bad About Hate?” My head hurts now, as I read Sullivan deliberately confound the fairly closely defined term-of-art “hate crime” (i.e. a crime to which is added the element of social terrorism) and the wide and vague general meaning of the common English word “hate,” across 7,000 words or so.

Because I hate the whole world I dish up this snip:

Do we not owe something more to the victims of hate? Perhaps we do. But it is also true that there is nothing that government can do for the hated that the hated cannot better do for themselves.

Go read this thing if you want to get pissed off.


engels 10.30.07 at 5:34 pm

W. Kiernan – You’ve just ruined my day. Congratulations, asshole.

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