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

You may be a staunch supporter of the welfare state, socialized medicine, gay marriage, preferential treatment of women and 75 percent taxation of all private income. It won’t help you if you have distanced yourself from the teachings of the prophet.

Thus, in the Netherlands, Islam’s critics are also “extreme right-wing racists” – if by “extreme”, “right-wing” and “racist’ you mean gay hedonists (Pim Fortuyn), anti-monarchist coke-snorting nihilists (Theo van Gogh) and liberal black feminists (Ayaan Hirsi Ali). Whichever of these novel permutations of “right-wing” you fall into, you wind up either on trial (Nekschot, Geert Wilders), forced into exile (Miss Ali) or pushing up tulips (Fortuyn, van Gogh). Likewise, the artists and comedians I met through Lars in Copenhagen had been variously arrested, subjected to death threats, had homes firebombed and a family restaurant shot up. And in the final indignity they’d wound up sharing a stage with a right-wing loon like me because their leftie pals weren’t there for them. All your liberal friends who went to the Amnesty International fundraisers and bored the pants off you with that bit of apocryphal Voltaire – “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – they all stayed utterly silent. C’mon, nobody’s asking you to defend anyone to the death. A mildly principled Tweet would do. A tepidly supportive fax.

Mark Steyn

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Why is Steyn picking on Holland? Didn’t he have a close shave with a Canadian Human Rights (Kangaroo) Court? How did that brush with muslim nit-pickers go?

  • coniston

    Nick – click on the link and read the whole article. It has some great news about Canada – they have repealed the infamous Section 13 of the Human Rights Act – which Steyn was tried under…but read the whole thing- he gives plenty of context. Lars Hedegaard – Defender of Freedom.

  • Alsadius

    For all that Steyn got harassed by the “Human Rights” crowd, nobody has tried to stick him with a knife to pass him a letter like they did with Van Gogh. He’s doing well enough to allow for some mockery, I’d say.

  • Regional

    Things could get entertaining in Frogistan with the tradional battle between the Communists and Fascists for control of the Left

  • Paul Marks

    A few years ago I would not have believed that the “liberal” left establishment would betray people who supported all their pet causes (feminism, gay rights, and on and on) just to please the forces of Islam.

    But that is exactly what they are doing – in Holland and elsewhere.

  • Alex

    Paul, this is because they, with very few exceptions, do not really believe in these causes but use them purely to create a support base that will not desert them. Labour deserted the working class once it realised that this support group was now far too small to give them significant support. The conservatives are busily deserting their core constituency in the present day.

  • Paul Marks

    Alex – certainly the Frankfurt School people never really believed in “the rights of women” or “gay rights”, they just created “victim groups” for their war on “capitalism”.

    But I did not believe that the mainstream “liberal” left were under so much under the thump of the Frankfurt School types as they have proven to be.

    As for my life time “tribe” the Conservative party.

    It has gone from three million members to about one hundred thousand – yet the leadership persist in their “Progressive” fantasy.

    As if “Progressive Lite” would win support – rather than fall between two stones (the real leftists will not vote Conservatives and the people who oppose Progressivism will be disgusted by “Progressive Lite”).

    Whom the Gods wish to destroy – they first make insane.

    Although, to be fair, Mr Cameron and so on are only following the ideas they have been taught their entire lives.

    They are intelligent people – good at absorbing ideas and taking them to their logical conclusions.

    However, it never occurs to them that the fundemental ideas they have been taught are wrong. Not wrong in this or that detail – but fundementally wrong.

  • Snorri Godhi

    It takes some chutzpah to cajole the Dutch and the Danes to produce a “mildly principled Tweet” or a “tepidly supportive fax”, when one is associated with 3 of the most cowardly nations during the cartoon jihad, as Mark Steyn is.
    Mr. Steyn, if you are reading this, the Dutch and the Danes published the Mohammed cartoons in major national newspapers, and so did the Germans, the French, the Italians, and pretty much every country in continental Europe. As you know, things went differently in the UK, Canada, and the US.
    From this fact, anglo “conservatives” like Mark Steyn drew the counter intuitive conclusion that freedom of speech is dying…in Europe.

  • Snorri Godhi, I don’t think you actually followed the link and read the whole article, did you 😀

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perry: no, not the whole article, but i did follow the link. I basically looked for support for my preconceived view, see above, and admittedly i did not find it; but i found nothing to contradict it, either. Should i look harder?

  • Snorri Godhi

    PS: I should add that my preconceived notion is based on previous writings by Mark Steyn and others.

  • Should i look harder?

    Yes. He is plenty critical of Canada as well and he is also correct that free speech is very much under attack in Europe… and he is fulsome in his praise of those in Europe who are making a stand (indeed that was the topic of the article). And yes, the Guardian reading classes who imagine themselves as being ‘civil rights supporters’ have indeed been the ones describing anti-Islamic pinkos as ‘right-wing racists’. I would add Google links to various examples but I am on a very tenuous internet connection in Indonesia at the moment.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Perry: thank you for the clarification. In turn, I wish to clarify that I already noticed that Steyn was critical of Canada (as he should, given what they did to him) and I suppose the UK is included under “Europe” (which in this case is more offensive to continentals than to Brits). But I see no mention of the US.

    Most important, when Steyn says that a “mildly principled tweet” would do, that seems designed to hide the fact that the Dutch and the Danes did much more than tweeting.

    That is not to deny that there are loony elements of the “left” in both countries: after all, Fortuyn was murdered by a so-called “leftist” (actually a henchman of the Dutch ruling class). But that is the game that Steyn seems to play: he implicitly defines the “left” as the anti-anti-islamophobes, and then he complains that the “left” has come to include only anti-anti-islamophobes.

    Including Nekschot, Geert Wilders, Miss Ali, Fortuyn, and van Gogh into a single rubric is also deceptive. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not “forced into exile” any more than Geert Wilders is being forced into exile. Unlike Fortuyn, van Gogh was not demonized by the Dutch ruling class (and was not murdered by a “leftist”) because he posed no direct threat to their status.

  • Snorri Godhi

    PS: in my last comment, “anti-anti-islamophobes” should have been:
    anti-anti-islamists = anti-islamophobes.
    Sorry about that.

  • Rich Rostrom

    IMO – the syndrome is that leftists have elevated “anti-racism” to the supreme virtue, and “racism” to the supreme evil. European leftists and even moderate liberals and centrists are deeply fearful of anything that is even slightly reminiscent of Nazism or of WW I-era nationalism. They are also marinated in the “white guilt” view of modern world history.

    In From Bauhaus to Our House. Tom Wolfe described the way modernist academic architects were conditioned, even brainwashed, so they could not even draw a traditional decorative cornice.

    Contemporary leftists are conditioned to be incapable of any thought on these issues other than “white racism bad!”