Balloons and the social revolution

Margaret Marks says that the Marxist-Leninists are not giving away balloons in the German elections. I hope this is because they can’t afford them rather than for ideological reasons. While it is true that Jimmy Connolly saw in them the nemesis of the working classes, a progressive balloon vendor appears in one of my favourite fairy tales, a Simpsons-like affair by Yuri Olesha called Three Fat Men, and as far as I know neither Marx nor the other one ever said anything bad about balloons.

I see no reason either why Spanish reactionaries shouldn’t adopt balloons. Nicomedes Pastor Díaz (Los problemas del socialismo, 1848) uses the aerostat as a metaphor for civilisation, but nowhere does he suggest shooting it down; indeed, he emphasises the importance of providing it with sufficient hydrogen.

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