Taxpayers of Oregon, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your drivel!

We’ll come back to the picked pockets of Oregon in a moment. First, another allusion to Karl Marx. Even those of our readers who, having led charmed lives, are innocent of the writings of that pestilential sage will have caught the allusion to The Communist Manifesto. They doubtless also will recognize what might be Marx’s single best line, from The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

A curious feature of this phenomenon is how the goal posts for what counts as tragedy and what counts as farce keep moving. Back in 1946, George Orw ...