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The Daily Inquisition / October 2, 2008

Today’s Defendants: The words “Folks” and “People”

Statement of the Grand Inquisitor: The epithet “folks” is sinful in itself. It is employed by hucksters of various cults to make their victims feel included. We are included only in the sense that the baleen-fringed mouth of a whale includes the krill drawn inside it. Populist cant like “folks” is the song the whale plays to the krill, a lullaby for the damned.


We must pause to condemn the related though less significant term “people,” used as an admonitory epithet by scolding leftists, who address their audiences like weary social-studies teachers corralling high-schoolers to watch PBS parables. This epithet is simply not as dangerous as “folks” because, like all Progressive diction, it seems designed to repulse and alienate those to whom it is addressed.

The rightwing analogue, “folks,” is far more seductive and thus more vile. No denizen of a house or apartment is a component of a “folk.” No particular vehicle in a traffic jam is a cell of an organism. On the contrary, each hates and strives against all others. Hence the thousand popular films lovingly imagining a depopulated world, the secret dream of every commuter.

There is no folk, and invoking this nonexistent entity is the mortal sin of consolation. We repeat: all consolations are to be handed over to the Counterintelligence Bureau.

Statement of the Defense: You know well enough that every wretched tribe has created consoling fictions like this.

Verdict: Yes, and every wretched tribe is damned.

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