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

This is not a political rebellion; it is a mollycoddled mob, a riotous expression of carelessness for one’s own community. And as a left-winger, I refuse to celebrate nihilistic behaviour that has a profoundly negative impact on working people’s lives. Far from being an instance of working-class action, the welfare-state mob has more in common with what Marx described as the lumpenproletariat. Indeed, it is worth recalling Marx’s colourful description in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon of how that French ruler cynically built his power base amongst parts of the bourgeoisie and sections of the lumpenproletariat, so that ‘ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie rubbed shoulders with vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, swindlers, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, brothel-keepers, organ-grinders, ragpickers, knife-grinders, tinkers, beggars… and from this kindred element Boneparte formed the core of his [constituency], where all its members felt the need to benefit themselves at the expense of the labouring nation.’ In very different circumstances, we have something similar today – where the decadent commentariat’s siding with lumpen rioters represents a weird coming together of sections of the bourgeoisie with sections of the underworked and the over-flattered, as the rest of us, ‘the labouring nation’, look on with disdain.

Brendan O’Neill.

You don’t have to buy some of the slightly misty-eyed stuff about working class “communities” to see that he has a strong point. As I often like to point out, an open liberal society requires a modicum of basic respect for the lives and property of others, a certain amount of fertile soil for particular virtues to take root in and flourish.

10 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Or maybe the second quote of the day?

    “Disdain” isn’t the right word, though. “Anger”, “Rage”, “Impotent Fury” more like.

  • gudster

    Brendan O’Neill has fast become my favorite lefty… if its possible to have such a thing.

  • Classical liberal

    I’ve yet to see any evidence, beyond his self-description as a “Marxist”, that O’Neill really is a leftie. He appears to loathe the modern state and all its works with a ferocity that makes most of the regulars here look like George Monbiot, and his condemnation of “capitalism” or “the right” always seems to me rather half-hearted and tokenistic.

  • ErisGuy

    Gales of riotous laughter: Brendan O’Neill, left behind in so many ways.

  • Dan

    The left destroyed the Judeo-Christian backbone of English culture, and with it any sense of conscience or or responsibility towards their fellow man. (The environment, on the other hand, is sancrosanct.)

    Any genuine surprise at the result – masses of youth attacking the ‘other’ who are the ‘oppressors’- is at best willful blindness, and clearly ignorant of both what was predicted by many, and the explicit aim of the left’s ideological founding fathers.

    If O’Neill wises up because of this, he is a welcome brother in arms. If not, then he is a dangerous fool.

  • If O’Neill wises up because of this, he is a welcome brother in arms. If not, then he is a dangerous fool.

    I do not think O’Neill’s views will change in the slightest. He has always despised the multi-culti left. He is a strange beast 🙂

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Now might be an excellent time to campaign for the right to bear arms! The case for self-defence is being made before our eyes! Especially if the ineffective police are going to have their numbers reduced in the near future. It’ll be every shopkeeper for (him/her)-self, then.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    It was quite instructive to watch a BBC news anchor try and get a guy to explain why, if they were impoverished and lacking opportunity, that they decided that the thing to do was to burn down shops, kill and maim, and terrify people in their homes. When the guy struggled to give a clear answer, the contempt coming from the BBC man was so clear you could cut it with a knife.

    Call me naive, but parts of the liberal MSM might have had a bit of an epiphany. Will it last, though?

  • Rob H

    With regard to JPs BBC epiphany:

    It is easy to hold socially liberal views in boom time. It is easy to justify the poor stealing from the less poor in a theoretical scenario over a bottle of rioja after your third tapas course.

    However, acts like these bring into to sharp focus the natural law of right and wrong. To see decades of hardwork go up in smoke is soul destroying for the viewer let alone the victim. Suddenly the reality dawns that if you work hard and smart you can get on – and then the realisation that this should be the expectation?

    The left had to break down the clarity of moral values through relativism to justify its own philosophy of theft. In times of hardship and war those moral values become clear to all. This is why this is a political tidal wave in terms of shared conciousness. It is a huge blow to the carefully nurtured cultural hegemony that the left have taken years to build up.

    When you have moral clarity rhetoric is not enough. What is the risk of facism to the old labour vote now?How will the main parties react? Will people be happy with rhetoric or is action on the culture of entitlement expected now?

  • Paul Marks

    The original Marxist analysis of N the III was unfair (no shock there – Karl never told the truth if he could avoid it).

    Most of the people who voted the man in as President (before he became Emperor) were ordinary people – small farmers, and townsmen.

    Nor is there any real evidence that his government was more corrupt than those that came before or after it.

    Still the what Mr O’Neill says about today may have some truth in it – or more than some.