The Great American Novel

RothColonel Chichikov relates how his experiences with American capitalism provided Stalin with this classic witticism:

From each according to his stupidity, to each according to his greed.

I have to admit that when I read this passage in Philip Roth’s The Great American Novel, I was confused: although the witticism is attributed to Stalin, it seemed to fit the current Republican Party much better than pre-war Communism in the USSR.

In fact, the more I read Roth’s novel, the more it illuminated the current political situation in the United States. How do you gain power, power to control the population? Lies, character assassinations, spreading fear, promoting myths, creating enemies, developing hatred and fear.

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What is a Classic?

Who's on FirstThis is  classic:

Lou: I love baseball. When we get to St. Louis, will you tell me the guys’ name on the team so when I go to see them in that St. Louis ball park I’ll be able to know those fellows?

Bud: All right. but you know, strange as it may seems, they give ball players nowadays very peculiar names, nick names, like “Dizzy Dean.” Now on the St. Louis team we have Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third —

Lou: That’s what I want to find out. I want you to tell me the names of the fellows on the St. Louis team.

Bud: I’m telling you. Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third —

Lou: You know the fellows’ names?

Bud: Yes.

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