A complete series
of 'Secret Agent K-7' recently arrived in Archive.org. The show, from the late '30s, is above the norm for a low-budget syndicated 15-minute radio series. Characters are necessarily shallow but constantly plausible. They do and say things that real people say and do. Technology is also shallow but accurate. Guns and radio direction-finders and Thermite are described and used properly. There are no impossible secret weapons.
The show pulled me in with two superficial details: One of the female agents is named Rita, and there's a lot of Morse.
After those surface items sucked me in, I realized that K-7 has one MAJOR shining virtue that separates it from all other spy stories. It's written from a NON-BELLIGERENT
viewpoint. The stories, summarized by the narrator's brief sermon at the end of each episode, are designed to PRESERVE PEACE, not to DESTROY THE WORLD.
What do I mean by non-belligerent? A few of those little sermons:
(1) It is a known fact that in these times telephone lines are routinely tapped. Those who rule by force and intrigue have many secrets to guard, from their own people and from the world.
Precisely correct and stated generically. You can apply this to any country. Contrast with the modern USA STRONG narrative of tapping and hacking. We do not tap because we are Exceptional. All tapping and hacking is caused by RUSSIANAGGRESSION. We need to DESTROY RUSSIANAGGRESSION because RUSSIANAGGRESSION must be destroyed.
(2) The bombing of cities far behind the actual lines of battle will be the most horrible part of the next war, for innocent women and children will be the victims.
Again note the generality. This turned out to be a precisely true prediction, and the Allies did most of the civilian bombing. And the show's writers were also correct in predicting that Thermite incendiary bombs would be the decisive factor. The A-bomb didn't really do anything more than Thermite, and the A-bomb was NOT what drove Japan to surrender. Our actions
in early 1945 indicated that we KNEW Japan would be done in July or August. How did we know? Because the entry of Russia
had been SCHEDULED two years in advance. The Russian second front was the final persuader, and we knew it.
(3) The fact that food rearmament programs are equal in importance to military and naval programs may be surprising. Men and munitions are important, but without food, war cannot be waged. Nations have been starved out before, and it will happen again.
A rare focus on DEFENSIBLE SPACES and SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Contrast with the USA STRONG approach. We are fanatically busy DESTROYING our own reserves of food, petroleum, water, helium, productive industries, skills, and money. Bush The Son made it lethally clear that he wanted to run these wars purely on debt and dependence. No defense bonds sold to Americans, no expansion of defense industries that would give jobs to Americans, no stockpiling of food or anything else. Continue bombing our own dams to "save" the nine-toed grinklesnarb, continue bombing our own police to "save" the vulnerable gangsters. We must get all of our oil from Saudi and give all of our jobs to China while borrowing all of our money from China. Total vulnerability, total dependence. We must be fully starve-able and fully disarmed in every possible way, physical and emotional and mental.
(4) The smuggling of undesirable aliens has always been a problem for the great nations of the world. Today it has assumed major importance, since the undesirables who enter a country are often spies and saboteurs.
Well, we all know that Dreamers are NEVER undesirable. Only natives are Deplorable and Undesirable. Dreamers are physically incapable of committing terrorism or spying or sabotage because they are Dreamers.
This one was in the dialog, not the 'sermon'. K-7 is brought in by an old friend who runs a factory that builds engine parts. He is nearing bankruptcy because his production is being sabotaged, probably by foreign moles among his employees, and he can't find the problem. He asks K-7 for help, and K-7 replies: "Your country is not engaged in war. Neither is the country buying your airplane parts. Both countries believe in peace. For that reason, as well as for the welfare of your workers, I will help you."
There's a concise and complete statement of Populism. Don't make war, improve the welfare of your OWN workers.
This was a COMMON attitude in 1938** America. Now it's forbidden.
= = = = =
Each of these little sermons would be
today. Literally unsayable, because the secrets must be guarded from our own people at all costs.
** Update: Actual program listings
show K-7 on the air in 1940. Only a few stations carried it, including KHQ in Spokane. I don't find any references from earlier years. This makes the non-interventionism even more salient.
Labels: #DeplorableLivesMatter, defensible spaces, skill-estate, STRONG!