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

It says here “Egyptian protesters condemned what they said was the humiliation of the Prophet of Islam under the pretext of freedom of speech”… Pretext? I don’t think that word means what they think it does, unless it lost something in translation.

– from a conversation overheard between two people in a cafe in London, reading the news on their iThingies.

27 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Mohamedans often try to silence others through any means they can. Whilst many faiths try to be the only voice heard, the Sharia directs believers to rule their communities, and tells them that this rulership is required by God.
    Christianity has had many imperious followers, but they are not required to take over the communities they live in, as a commandment!

  • Roy Lofquist

    For Christmas I gave my son an iPad, my daughter an iPhone and my wife an iRon. That’s when the fight started.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    If the iRon had come out in a pink colour, your wife would have loved it! The little women love these cute touches!

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The chattering class will soon have this being all about Israel, but it isn’t: The threat radical Islam poses to the West would be there if Israel had never existed. Radical Islam is aggressively pursuing an eventual Islamic World theocracy, with values which are antithetical to the West’s, and believes it’s on a literal ‘mission from God’ to establish it.

    This is war to the knife, and it’s none of our doing.

  • Larry Sheldon

    …unless it lost something in translation

    I know that there are concept (not words) that can not be translated (e. g. Spanish “simpatico” to English, German “Gemütlichkeit” to English)

    Do we know all of the places where of this kind failure can occur? Can the concepts in the Bill of Rights be translated accurately to Arabic, Farsi, and so on?

  • Alisa

    Larry, forget the ‘pretext’ bit for a second. “Egyptian
    protesters condemned
    what they said was the
    humiliation of the Prophet
    of Islam” Isn’t that enough said?

  • Larry has a point with his second sentence. I don’t know, but it would explain a lot. There are people who want to preserve dead languages because they think it would preserve the ability to express certain ideas. Orwell imagined the opposite could be done with his Newspeak.

  • Alisa

    Culture and language are inseparable. Words denote concepts, and so the nonexistence of a certain word in a language always mirrors the nonexistence of the related concept in that culture – and vice versa. See more here:

  • Alisa

    …which may have been the point Larry was making?

  • Vinegar Joe

    Meanwhile in Muslim Indonesia, one of the major TV networks is showing a “historical” soap opera depicting Hindus as “evil” and “devious”…..there have been no Hindu riots or ambassadors murdered.


  • Chip

    It’s silly to state, as the media do, that Islamist mobs storm embassies, murder ambassadors and otherwise rampage because an obscure fellow somewhere in the world did something doubly obscure.

    They will always have a ’cause’ for their behaviour, so let’s simply be clear and state that they storm, murder and otherwise rampage because they are primitive savages.

  • Alisa

    “they storm, murder and otherwise rampage because they are primitive savages.”

    I beg to differ: some of them are well educated and are quite sophisticated. They do these things because they subscribe to a collectivist ideology that justifies such behavior in the name of…doesn’t really matter what.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Suddenly, that Glenn Reynolds talk about how Obama would do well to be any better than Jimmy Carter is starting to sound more ominous.(Link)

  • Ian Bennett

    Possibly it’s their subscribing to that collectivist ideology that identifies them as primitive savages, albeit well educated and are quite sophisticated ones.

  • Chip

    Primitivism and savagery in people is best explained by their beliefs and actions. Whether they went to university, read Sarte or played the banjo is immaterial.

  • llamas

    The prextext at play here is that these attacks are somehow spontaneous ‘demonstrations’ of popular sentiment. That’s the lie that’s put out because the instigators know that this it will play well with Westerners, especially Americans. Since almost any excuse will do, it’s not hard for them to find one. It causes many Americans especially to solidify their default reaction – oh. they’re just a bunch of barbarians – and prevents them from considering the actual causes more deeply.

    Make no mistake, these attacks were orchestrated and carried out with the full knowledge and approval of the major political powers in each place – specifically, the Sunni factions who are either already in power or wanting to accumulate more power. They are demonstrating to the the ‘Arab street’ that they have the will and the resources to carry out humiliating and policy-changing attacks on the US when it pleases them.

    I’m sure the individuals actually doing the rioting had little idea of the real reason they were doing it, either. But remember, for young men, rioting is actually a lot of fun, and they don’t need much of a reason to do it.



  • Alisa

    ‘primitive’ and ‘sophisticated’ are opposites by definition. ‘savage’ is admittedly more ambiguous.

  • Chip

    Yes, Alisa, but that wasn’t my point. They are not sophisticated because they went to university, as you say — they are primitive because of what they do.

    Now, if they committed their murder and mayhem though some combination of advanced physics and guile, perhaps they could be called sophisticated. But this is just a mob murdering the defenceless and parading their bodies in the street like trophies.

    Primitive, savage. And I really wish our emissaries would stop treating them as if they’re anything else, or god help me, as if some idiot’s YouTube upload was a serious grievance.

  • llamas makes a very good point. Let’s look at some points…

    The video had been on Youtube for a couple of months before someone dubbed it into Arabic. It then spread round the ME and in particular Egyptian TV showed it. For what reason other than to provoke the “mob”.

    Two days before the storming the Grand Mufti of Egypt laid into the film. Just enough time to organise but not to long for tempers to cool. Oh and it saves it up for 9/11.

    In Cairo all the usual suspect groups were there.

    Now it could be co-incidence but two attacks on similar targets in different countries at roughly the same time?

    Finally. It would appear the backers of the movie seems a movable feast. In Egypt “Ex-pat Copts” seem to be collaring much of the opprobrium.

  • And am I the only one pig-sick of the pissing and moaning about the “humiliation of the prophet”.

    I mean if he’s such a big cahuna (right hand of Allah and all that) what does he care about a crappy movie on Youtube or some cartoons or whatever the latest thing the faithful are belly-aching over?

  • Paul Marks

    Errr excuse me people.

    But the statement attacking the film (insulting Islam under the pretext of free speech “abusing” free speech) was not from the rioters.

    They were too busy chanting for blood and so on (as usual).

    The statement was from the State Department – i.e. the Obama Administration.

    In short the American government was basically saying that it agreed with the Islamists.

  • Alisa

    I see your point, Chip.

  • Paul,
    See CCinZ. I make that point too.

    Or Scipio Africanus.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    So you think Scipio did a good job last time? that left a lot of love for the northerners in Africa, didn’t it?

  • Paul Marks

    Nick – right you are.

    “Nuke” …

    Well I oppose the third Punic War (it was treachery) – but it was not Scipio’s choice (Cato the Elder demanded it – and he was a poltical foe of Scipio).

    And the defeat of Carthage did mean that the area was Roman till the time of the Vandels (many centuries).

    So YES it did work.

  • Perry Metzger

    As usual, “The Onion” (“America’s Finest News Source!”) has the most interesting take on this.