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

“I close this sermon with these words: Avoid anger, recrimination, and personal attack. Those with whom you are angry are probably (taken by and large) at least as filled with or as empty of virtue as you. Moreover, they are the very ones you might wish later to welcome as your allies. Avoid panic and despair; be of good cheer. If you’re working in freedom’s vineyard to the best of your ability, the rest is in the hands of a higher authority anyway. If you can see no humor in what’s going on (and even at times in your own behavior) you’ll soon lose that sense of balance so important to effective and reasoned thought and action. Finally, take comfort in the thought that the cause of freedom can never be lost, precisely because it can never be won. Given man’s nature, freedom will always be in jeopardy and the only question that need concern each of us is if and how well we took our stand in its defence during that short period of time when we were potentially a part of that struggle.”

– Can Capitalism Survive? Benjamin A. Rogge, page 300. Originally published in 1979 and republished by that splendid organisation, Liberty Fund.

7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • That sums up my way of thinking perfectly – thanks so much for posting it.

  • David Koehler-Stanescu

    A wonderful post, but I have some problems with the last part

    Finally, take comfort in the thought that the cause of freedom can never be lost, precisely because it can never be won. Given man’s nature, freedom will always be in jeopardy and the only question that need concern each of us is if and how well we took our stand in its defence during that short period of time when we were potentially a part of that struggle.”

    I’ve seen what the public schools have been doing to the next generation (at least here in America) most of the next generation doesn’t WANT to succeed, they’ve been so dumned down that they won’t even notice that they’re being turned into slaves, and even if they did, as long as the money and food are flowing they’d be just fine with it. Eventually the enemies of freedom will win, because there will only be this type of people, people that don’t CARE what they leave for the next generation, people that think they’re “entitled” to the world, and anyone who keeps them from the “rights” that they “deserve” is never going to be elected to office, as long as there is someone who will forcefeed benefits, entitlements, and “free money” down their throats

  • Kim du Toit

    Nice sentiment, but totally impractical in the face of people who are your implacable and diametrically-opposed ideological enemies, who wish either to kill you for your heathenism or to confiscate your wealth and property at gunpoint.

    My days of “turning the other cheek” and “trying to see their point of view” are O-V-E-R.

  • Kim, read more carefully: he is by no means calling to ‘turn the other cheek’.

  • veryretired

    That last sentence is as good a summary of how I view my responsibilities as a free man as anything I have seen.

    What better epitaph could one hope for on his headstone than “He devoted his life to securing and increasing individual liberty”?

    I would be content if I were remembered that way.

  • Kim du Toit

    Alisa, as far as I’m concerned, offering ANY kind of politeness or accommodation to my ideological opponents is not only a waste of time, it is undeserved.


    “Those with whom you are angry are probably (taken by and large) at least as filled with or as empty of virtue as you.”

    Relativist bollocks, and a high-school debating trick besides. What if, in the case of Islamist extremism, I am virtuous while they are empty of virtue? (And I mean that in the sense of: “I refuse to nuke Mecca on humanitarian grounds, while they would nuke Washington D.C. or London in a heartbeat, if they could.”)

    Why, precisely, should I avoid “anger, recrimination and personal attack in dealing with these amoral sociopaths?

    And if you think I feel strongly about THAT group, you don’t want to know how I feel about Democrats.

  • I’m with you, Kim – I just happen to think that he was making a subtler point. However, I won’t dwell on it, as the part I most identified with anyway was the rest of that quote.