The Movement

August 9, 2010

I recently overheard this conversation while waiting at an airport. Just what "movement" the two were discussing was unclear. The loudest of the pair was speaking:

"And so, yes, our movement, our mission if you will, is superior to others for the simple reason that we have Truth on our side—Truth easily discernible to those who will open their minds to it. And that directs our approach.

"We must take a firm stand, avoiding the wishy-washiness of those who would seek rapprochement with the other side, who would have us hug those wrong-headed folk I long ago wrote off as enemies of the Truth. Remember, I was once one of them, and I know what authoritarians they are."

"Yes, but. . . ."

"No buts. Do we want to be co-opted? If we don't, we must not only oppose our enemies but also those who would coddle them. So much for their ever-shifting middle ground. The Truth is not negotiable."

"I see your point, but. . . ."

"Indeed, look at the different factions that make up our so-called movement. I would not only exclude the Tolerators—a large but ineffective group—but also those who want to tolerate the Tolerators. Really, they are all the same.

"And then there are those who are so focused on marginal issues that they fail to see the central aspect around which—it is clear to me—everything else revolves. I am astonished to see people wasting time on such frivolous matters as [ here a flight announcement obliterated a few words ] and of course the silly [ another brief announcement ], not to mention several others. Out with all the Marginalists, I say!"

"Still, I wonder. . . ."

"Yet again, out of the very small corps of dedicated workers on which our movement really depends, I take issue with those who are too reticent to criticize their associates, who are too intellectually dishonest to use correct labels like "wimps," "cowards," "traitors," "phonies," and so on. I regret that most of our elite colleagues are of this stripe.

"In fact, I often think that, really, there are just you and me, and, if I may speak frankly, I confess that I have begun, just recently, to wonder about you. I must say—"

Here a flight announcement took them away from me and I still did not learn just what movement they were discussing.


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