Conspiracy Theories

"The Booty of the Plundered Churches of Paris"


Since it's May Day—and since I've accumulated all sorts of interesting old conspiracy rants while writing my book about political paranoia — I thought I'd post an artifact from America's first red scare. Not the McCarthy era, not the Palmer raids, not even the strikes of the 1880s that made May Day a labor festival in the first place, but the alarmed reaction to the Paris Commune of 1871. Here's a paragraph published by the New York Herald on January 18, 1874, as part of an article headlined "The Communists of New York—Their Secret Meetings and Movements":

You expect the TEXT to have an alt-text? Dude, you're blowing my mind.