We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Sooner or later, every Marxist expresses his sense of public duty by first telling you and me what to say and then what to think.

- Henry Porter

He is speaking specifically of Ken Livingstone, but it is beginning to be clear that little of the former student left of the ’70s now in power has parted with the spirit of Howard Kirk. Mao may be the model more than Marx. The Long March Through the Institutions being near its end, we face an obsession with controlling the detail of other’s lives and eliminating the possibility of resistance. You will not escape by avoiding thought or being silent about dissident; it is necessary to act in the approved manner to show your enthusiasm for progress and democracy.

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Plenty of leftists (and, hell, even lots of right-wingers even though it’s complete communism), claim that because the State owns the country, it’s justified in telling you what to do and telling your children what to think.

    These same people would get a seizure if Wal-Mart bought an island and trained the native children in the goodness of low, low prices, their moral duties to Wal-Mart, and the virtues of their store managers.

    Yet this gooey mush about citizenship, moral duties, and “democratic learning” (whatever that means) gets a free pass from 90% of the population (probably a low estimate). Sick!

  • Amazing — I agree with almost every word of a Guardian article. (Or does commentisfree not count?)

    That “progress” link is scary stuff, incidentally. I grew up pretty indignant at these strangers who professed authority over me and stole my parents’, and later my money. Perhaps if I’d been force-fed citizenship classes I might have turned out differently…

  • Amazing — I agree with almost every word of a Guardian article. (Or does commentisfree not count?)

    That “progress” link is scary stuff, incidentally. I grew up pretty indignant at these strangers who professed authority over me and stole my parents’, and later my money. Perhaps if I’d been force-fed citizenship classes I might have turned out differently…

  • Jacob

    I propose that instead of banning James Watson we ban Ken Livingstone.
    Marxism is a pretty vicious and murderous ideology and regime, not one iota less than racism.

  • guy herbert

    Amazing — I agree with almost every word of a Guardian article.

    Well, maybe you hadn’t heard “the rules of the game have changed”.

  • There may be some hint of a silver lining to this cloud. Firstly, the staggering incompetence of the British state is steadily eroding the public’s confidence in the ability of government to deliver positive results. Secondly, the level of public contempt and hostility towards the political class continues to rise. Thirdly, the Long Marchers will inevitably destroy the credibility of any institution that they subvert.

    My guess – and it’s no more than that – is that the current state of public opinion about Big Government is similar to the state of public opinion about corporatist economics in the early 1970s. There is widespread dissatisfaction about its obvious failures, but little awareness of the alternatives. There is growing discontent, but the major political parties are unwilling to address it because they are too risk-averse to stray far from the conventional wisdom.

    Eventually a tipping-point will be reached, and a movement or party that is willing to make radical changes will rise as quickly as Thatcherism did.

  • Social conditioning is way stronger than I ever expected.

    I first read that as being from ‘Harry Potter’. If only it HAD been.

  • Or, in the immortal words of the unofficia motto of the former German People’s Republic:

    “That which is not forbidden is compulsory”.

  • RAB

    Well considering that our State Educational system is unable to teach one fifth of our children to read and write, that’s a lot of people who are not going to listen, or be able to listen to the dictats of our masters.
    But this, considering the age of criminal responsibility is 10, worries me.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6479445.stm

  • Sunfish

    ..when Ken Livingstone is on a bandwagon I figure it’s time to get off.

    Are there runners-up for QOTD? Because he had a bunch like these.

    Under Straw’s proposed bill, if I were to say that “I think the entire world should go stick its head in a pig,” how many different things would they charge me with? After all, that’s gays and straights and blacks and whites and muslims and christians and I can’t imagine the pig being happy about it either.

    Fracking Red Ken. All of the coherent logic and tolerance of the Klan. Are we sure that he’s Labor and not BNP? (Is there an important difference between the two, other than “one has a Government and the other does not?”) And who wants to buy him a nice, tall, frosty glass of Shut the F**k Up? I’d do it, except the congestion charges on top of airfare put it about thirty bucks out of reach.

  • I’m getting slightly dyslexic – at first I thought the author of the quote was Harry Potter :-)

    Ken Livingstone does appear to have a bit of the air of Dolores Umbridge…

  • Paul Marks

    Some people who support the expansion of the size and scope of government are nice, they just mistakenly think that more taxes and regulations will make things better.

    And some people who support the expansion of the size and scope of government are nasty – but manage to hide their nastyness.

    Mr Livingstone is nasty AND his nastyness is not hidden – his intolerant antifreedom opinions (and other things such as his antisemitism and so on) have been exposed time and time again – and presented to the public via both radio stations and newspapers in London.

    So the comming election is a good test.

    If the voters elect Mr Livingstone for a third time it will say nothing about him (as he is not even trying very hard to hide what he is), but it will say a great deal about THEM.

  • Kim du Toit

    “You will not escape by avoiding thought or being silent about dissident; it is necessary to act in the approved manner to show your enthusiasm for progress and democracy.”

    In other words, it’s not enough to obey Big Brother; you have to love Big Brother.