Tuesday, 30 June 2009
It's ALL a con.
I had always assumed that one of my favourite films, The Sting, was nothing more than a hugely entertaining but far fetched piece of fiction. Then several years after the film I came across The Big Con by David Maurer and learnt that Maurer had been a consultant on the film and that so called "long cons" as portrayed in The Sting really did happen in the 1920's.
It is a basic tenet of grifting that you can't con an honest punter. The mark has to be motivated by greed or they just won't play. I was reminded of all this when hearing about Bernard Madoff's 150 year sentence. Now I'm not suggesting for a moment that Madoff is the kind of bloke that you would want to be building the post-revolutionary anarchist society with, and no doubt his victims included some hard working small time savers, but when I hear that one punter lost 12 million dollars I tend feel a distinct lack of sympathy.
The anarchist movement has a long and honourable tradition of expropriators. Perhaps we need a new generation of political con-persons - screwing the rich for the common good.