Re: Heroic Bureaucrats?

From: Thomas McVey <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 16:10:30 -0800

> Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 14:43:44 +0100
> From: Henrix
> Subject: Re: Heroic Tax Collectors
> Peter Larsen wrote:
> >Marcus Falco in the Lindsey Davis is a (fairly low level) hero
> >with only average combat skills -- he's not a tax collector, but he is an
> >informer.
> The chinese are perhaps a better example.
> In, for instance, Tales from the Water Margin there are several officials
> and bureaucrats who are forced to join the rebels/bandits/heroes for trying
> to behave honestly in a period when the regime is corrupt, including their
> leader, The Timely Rain Song Jiang.
> I cannot seem to recall any down-right tax collectors, though.

I don't have "Outlaws of the Marsh" handy, but I'm pretty sure Song Jiang had some tax collecting duties (before he kills his wife and flees to the bandits), and a few other of the Stars of Heaven / Demons of the Earth also.

> But then,
> taxation seems to have been one of the problems in late Song, and some of
> the heroes are in fact smugglers.
> Their heroics lie, of course, in the "kicking the crap out of their
> enemies" (as Ttrotsky puts it) department, apart from being just in
> governing the bandit camp, and of course in being polite.
> Many of the imperial commanders sent out to catch the bandits end up
> joining them, since Song Jiang is so just and polite.

Well, it's more like "You've failed in beating us, if you go back to the capital they'll execute you for failing, so why don't you join us."

There's also one case where they frame a general for murder (think the Black Whirlwind - Lu Xiong? - does this nefarious deed), and the general has no choice but to flee to the bandits.

It does make you think about heroic bureaucrats though. What about present-day ones?

How about this for Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve:

Macroeconomics 5w3
Research Obscure Statistics 10w2
Speak Cryptically 4w3
Awe Politician 15w1
Affect Financial Markets 10w3 ^15
Terrify Day Trader 5w4
Objectivist Philosophy 2w1
Ugly 5w1


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