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 think it’s an interesting reflection on politics today when the choice in a major election is between a drunken, possibly alcoholic, philanderer and a philanderer. I’ve nothing at all against booze, excessive consumption of such, extra-marital legovers nor even illegitimate children. All add enormously to the gaiety and variety of life and no society with even the slightest claim to being liberal or free would say different. But it is an interesting insight into the characters of those who rise to the top in politics, isn’t it?”

- Tim Worstall.

Well, if you explore the history of the 18th Century and 19th, for example, you will find political figures who were drunks, wife-beaters, adulterers, duellists (Andrew Jackson, the US president, fought several, as did British political figures such as Fox, Castlereagh and Canning); indolent fools, frauds and con-artists. Plus ca change……

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Jobrag

    Don’t trust someone who never drinks thet have things to hide.

  • Laird

    “Duelists”? In the same category as “fools, frauds and con-artists”? Frankly, I’d like to see the return of formal duels. We’d have a much more civil society.

  • “Don’t trust someone who never drinks thet have things to hide.”

    But getting drunk means you’ll have things to find – e.g. the letter “y”… (only joshing!)

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Laird, fair point!

    Bear in mind, though, that some of those guys deliberately sought to provoke someone, and then hoped to kill. The army in the UK started to get annoyed at officers killing one another over women, card gambling debts, etc.

  • Is it really a revelation that politics attracts raging narcissists for whom anything in aid of their own wants is justifiable, and who use substances to avoid reality?

  • Renminbi

    Maybe I’m thick,but what politicians is he talking about?

  • guy herbert

    Pitt the Younger – Drunk
    Duke of Wellington – Philanderer
    Lloyd George – Philanderer
    Winston Churchill – Drunk (with a severe mental illness).

    Seems a pity to exclude talent on that basis.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Drunkeness – a problem, but not if he has it under control. (Churchill despite his reputation was not a heavy drinker. He would put a splash of whiskey into a glass of cracked ice and suck on it for hours. Ted Kennedy was known for getting blind drunk – and then showing up at the office cold sober the next day. And “The [Canadian] people would prefer John A. [Macdonald] drunk to George Brown sober.”)

    Philandering – Does he have it under control? A discreet mistress is one thing; screwing any woman who holds still is another. JFK and Bill Clinton were reckless and completely irresponsible.

    Duelling – could be an appropriate response to a personal attack.

    Wife-beating – Completely unforgivable. It is sadistic bullying. (One odd impact of wife-beating in recent years. Obama won the Democrat nomination for US Senator from Illinois when his chief opponent imploded over revelations that he had assaulted his ex-wife. She was his second wife, definitely the sort of trophy bimbo a rich man often marries second. The most damaging aspect of the story was that it publicized the fact that he married the woman – who was arguably a crazy bitch – twice.)

  • Paul Marks

    Senator Benton (“Bullion Benton”) was asked about the late President Jackson.

    “I shot him once – a great man”.

    Was the reply.