Part II: Licenses & Contrabands
The new standards for the almost-universally beloved Nationwide System of Libraries took several weeks to revise and complete.
Two months after Congressman Bookworm had the Bad Idea, things were going very smoothly for the NSL, which had become a widely publicized and popular program.
In every corner of the nation, there were the scattered, protesting Dunces who decried the new NSL under the feeble arguments of “unconstitutionality” and “federalizing our local libraries,” but these few critical voices were widely drowned out by the resounding applause that echoed from sea to shining sea.
It wasn’t only the happy House of Comrades who knew a Bad Idea when they saw one. Newspapers, media organs, politicians at every level of government, and library directors alike all praised the new program, eager to invest a part of federal funds into the next generation of Americans.
It was, as might be expected, all done in the name of benefiting The Children, an argument which had served countless politicians before that day and many afterward, as well.
Congressman Bookworm became a national hero. The small and the great alike adored his leadership in the crusade to improve libraries for The Children.
Librarians and directors loved the ability to buy more books for their libraries with the enticing federal grants, but some old-school librarians, who came very close to being labeled “Dunces,” did not appreciate the new standards for librarians.
“STUNNING NEW SCHOOLS FOR LIBRARIANS OPENING ACROSS THE NATION,” read the front page headline of one of the main media organs nearly a year after the passage of HB 1148.
These new training centers for librarians were very up-to-date and sophisticated, and many librarians could not afford to go to them. That wasn’t the trouble.
The trouble began when the controversial Section C, Article XXI became due for implementation: only licensed citizens could now become librarians, and licenses could be obtained only by attending one of the impressive new NSL Schools.
The argument behind this provision was that one of the main jobs of a librarian is to answer kids’ questions, and it certainly wouldn’t do to have ignorant—or worse yet, intentionally misleading—librarians directing the children of America in misinformation.
As if this weren’t controversial enough, the following year a “purging” of all NSL member-libraries began.
Pudgy government bureaucrats, known to the House of Comrades as fellow Do-Gooders, began flooding into the towns and cities of America, swarming into libraries. Their heroic mission?
To remove all books which contained “harmful and misleading information.” (Section C, Article XXXVI)
It sounded fair enough to most ordinary folk, who approved of having only accurate and decent books within the grasp of their children.
The Do-Gooders came prepared, of course, complete with a list of contraband books that would have to be annihilated. The list was quite lengthy, and licensed librarians who saw the list were appalled to think that all those hundreds of harmful and misleading books had been sitting on the shelves for all those years.
“It just goes to show,” one pretty young librarian fresh out of NSL School shrugged to her fellow novice librarian, “that times have changed. What the old generation considered safe is no longer safe in today’s advanced society. Doesn’t it make you feel proud to be an American?”
Even old classics were on the no-no list, much to the shock of many grieving but submissive grandparents, who had never guessed that the “wholesome” books of their own youth actually reeked of harmful and misleading content. But they trusted the judgment of the Do-Gooders and meekly accepted the purging without complaint.
Representative Freeman, and his constituency of backward-minded oldies, publicized the fact that helpful books such as The Law, Wealth of Nations, and Masters of Deceit were on the contraband list, while also pointing out that The Communist Manifesto and On the Origin of Species were not on the contraband list, surprisingly, considering the banning list was supposed to include books containing “harmful and misleading information.”
Congressman Bookworm and his fellow Do-Gooders—and The Dunces—came and went, and the new generation was raised having limited access to wholesome, educational books, instead unknowingly facing propaganda and misinformation when they visited the library. The licensed librarians were prepared to answer kids’ questions—with a wealth of big-government, socialist answers, of course.
In the generations to come, the indomitable Do-Gooders lauded the Bad Idea that Congressman Bookworm had thought of so many years ago, which had allowed them to control the reading materials of the nation’s children, all in the deceitful guise of helping The Children.
Like so many Do-Gooder Bad Ideas, the unsuspecting citizenry swallowed the bait without realizing the consequences of allowing the federal government to reach ever deeper into their daily lives.
And like so many other Bad Ideas, the scattered, screaming Dunces had no coordinated effort to awaken the people to the imminent danger, and were unable to stop it.
Bad Ideas will always be forced on us by the Do-Gooders until we are coordinated in our resistance as they are in their plans to control the thinking of people. Only by using effectual, organized means will we be able to restore the Republic and stop Bad Ideas from becoming law.
Don’t be a lone-ranger! Learn more about getting involved in coordinated, effective action at www.jbs.org.