Who is Guilty
Answering a posting on RCSD, in which the topical stamp collectors were accused of being the most guilty for the proliferation of excessive and illegal stamps, I answered as follows.
topical philately exist because the topical stamps collectors exist. And
fortunately, because these collectors are mostly those that represent the
biggest (I don't say the greatest :) part of the stamp collecting, they are
also those who permanently feed the different domains of stamp collecting. I
mean by this that in time many topical stamp collectors have, like you,
changed their philatelic preferences.
It is too simply to accuse the topical stamp collectors of all evils that exist in their domain, and one forgets too often that they are also the first victims of these evils.
I could easily accuse for example the stamp collectors of other domains, those who are searching for special, rare things, that they are "THE primary cause that has lead to" all stamps that are illegally manufactured, sold or stolen from printing offices, etc. I think of modern stamps, like some imperfs, described at the end of my page:
Just notice that I speak about imperfs that were illegally produced for mainly the Swiss and Liechtenstein (!) collectors, in Swiss printing offices, and not by some banana republics. Eventually take a look at the date of that article too.
But I won't accuse those collectors who are searching for such stamps, because they actually started by searching for non-intentional errors, and some dishonest people profited by the occasion (and by collectors themselves) to manufacture the demanded goods and to fill their pockets. BTW, most of these "goods" continue to sell very well...
I won't accuse other collectors, live or dead, for all fake stamps that appeared in the world either, this just because they were searching for certain highly wished, but less available stamps.
The causes and the results of problems in different domains of traditional stamp collecting (whatever that means) are in principle not different of those in the realm of topical collecting. The quantities of fakes or imperfs or others are lower in the traditional philately, but this is only because the number of collectors searching for them is smaller than the number of topical stamp collectors, searching for their dear animals, art or space stamps. Or, in marketing terms, we speak here about two markets of different dimensions, with the same problems, but with quantities of produced dirt that are in proportion with the size of these respective markets.
IMO, instead of pointing with the accusing finger ones toward others, what is totally counterproductive, let's unite and fight against all these criminal activities that infest our hobby. PWO fights, as much as it cans, against illegal stamps. Who will start a fight against the stamps that I call "excessive"?