Sinners and scolds, feasting together in a cornucopia of collusion!

The topic of collusion is of longstanding interest here, as I am always fascinated by the way politics makes strange bedfellows, especially the way sworn political enemies can end up working towards the same goal.

This can take many forms; the following are only a few examples selected from some of my blog posts over the years:

  • Continued stigmatization of minorities for political ends by mutual agreement
  • Animal rights activists (who oppose domestication of animals) and plain old dog haters agree on unreasonable restrictions calculated to inhibit dog ownership
  • A coalition between the stupid and the evil, resulting (surprise!) in stupid and evil policies
  • Fundamentalists and atheists agree to redefine secularism -- to the point where the word has lost its original meaning
  • the creation of an exclusively homosexual "identitarian" caste aided and abetted by anti-gay activists who wanted to preserve a cultural stigma working in collusion with organized activists reacting against them
  • Leftist egalitarianism combines with the conservative love of accountability and a mandatory bottom line so that gifted students are systematically ignored
  • Liberals and conservatives who unite in opposition to the Enlightenment -- and reason
  • Environmentalists and big business working in collusion to create draconian new restrictions
  • the secret, unacknowledged love affair between fundamentalists and atheists
  • Those are just a few examples from over the years. M. Simon has also discussed this phenomenon, and in at least two posts he discussed the "Bootleggers and Baptists" phenomenon. The latter is a term coined by former FTC boss Bruce Yandle to explain what happens when a good cause collides with special interests. has a fascinating video in which Mr. Yandle explains the phenomenon and some of its modern manifestations, such as the way environmentalists and their supposed "enemies" in big business work together for draconian new regulations which make things worse for the rest of us, and he takes a whimsical look at opposition to legal marijuana by pot growers!

    Watch it and laugh. Or cry.

    What's next? Criminals lobbying for gun control?

    (Oh, I guess I already wrote about that one....)

    MORE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link (and for making what I thought was a grim title actually look funny)!

    A warm welcome to everyone (sinners and scolds included). Comments invited -- agree or disagree.

    posted by Eric on 06.26.10 at 03:19 PM


    I've usually seen that described as "Blair's Law" but for some reason it doesn't appear to be on Urban Dictionary anymore, but the internet archive remembers all.

    the ongoing process by which the world's multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force

    Veeshir   ·  June 26, 2010 10:21 PM

    My post is in moderation, but I meant to add....

    Unfortunately, they're not so useless, as you've so helpfully illustrated above.

    Veeshir   ·  June 26, 2010 10:22 PM

    The musical "The Music Man" is all about a bootlegger/baptist coalition.

    M. Simon   ·  June 27, 2010 9:47 AM

    Maybe if we simplify our metrics it would make more sense, or at least be a little easier to understand. Mr. Heinlein might have been on to something with this:

    "Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."

    You could add all the other -isms and -ists in your post to Mr. Heinlein's and it would work just as well. I suspect that in these coalitions both sides have it in their minds that once the goal or goals are achieved, they will subvert their erstwhile partners. Mises also wrote something along these lines about the advocates for socialism. They just assume that they will be the ones in charge once the revolution is over.

    Crawdad   ·  June 27, 2010 10:38 AM
    M. Simon   ·  June 27, 2010 1:50 PM

    Government-by-contrived-crisis and contrived-by-crisis-government?

    So all-encompassing it's probably not worth a mention.

    buddy larsen   ·  June 27, 2010 3:58 PM

    Did someone call for a sinner? I'm your guy.

    Randy   ·  June 27, 2010 5:43 PM

    The Left and radical Islam. I can't think of two groups with less overlap. Abortion? Gay rights? Feminism? Arabs and Israelis have more in common. Yet the Left defends virtually every abomination committed in the name of sharia.

    Tyrone Slothrop   ·  June 27, 2010 6:51 PM

    "What's next? Criminals lobbying for gun control?"

    Well, there's Mayor Daley and the Chicago city council...

    Nate Whilk   ·  June 27, 2010 6:52 PM

    The Left and radical Islam. I can't think of two groups with less overlap. Abortion? Gay rights? Feminism? Arabs and Israelis have more in common. Yet the Left defends virtually every abomination committed in the name of sharia.

    Tyrone Slothrop   ·  June 27, 2010 6:53 PM

    Plain old-fashioned corrupt officials (republican, democrat, et al) and the crooks paying the vigs. Follow the money and you will have justification for all of the strange bedfellows, indeed.

    Thomas   ·  June 27, 2010 9:42 PM

    Not very impressive. The analogy is full of holes. It's nothing but a cutesy sounding catch phrase that bears little resemblance to reality.

    Bootleggers sell their product every day of the week. The notion that they sell extra product on Sundays, to the extent that it makes them "Wealthy" is just plain silly.

    Whether or not their sales even go up on Sunday is a questionable assertion.

    DiogenesLamp   ·  June 28, 2010 11:16 AM

    Post a comment

    April 2011
    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
              1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30


    Search the Site


    Classics To Go

    Classical Values PDA Link


    Recent Entries


    Site Credits