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]

A quote for the day

“It is our obsession with avoiding any occasion for embarrassment which has rendered us virtually incapable of expressing any national feeling without apologising first. In a supposed age of uninhibited self-expression, this is the one emotion that dare not speak its name. And this repression, I think, bears hardest on those who have fewer other consolations in their lives. The snobbish refusal of the bourgeoisie to share in the patriotism of the lower classes is one more estranging element – and not the least important – in the growing gulf between them.”

Mind the Gap, page 306, by Ferdinand Mount.

A quote which I cannot help but feel applies in particular to our current concerns about alienated young men turned on by the nihilist posturings of radical Islam.

15 comments to A quote for the day

  • You mean that we should all start waving flags in a mindless fashion? Yeah. That’ll really help.

  • Mr. Phil, how could anyone derive what you said from the post? Why comment if you’re not going to make any sense? Or do you seriously believe that it’s not possible to express patriotic feelings without “mindlessly” waving flags?

  • John

    Phil’s comment simply proves the point of the post.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I would not worry about Phil. He is projecting his own strange ideas on to others. It is a common trait observable by psychologists the world over.

  • Julian Taylor

    In tonight’s Evening Standard there is a bit describing how the Oval Station bomber ‘got on the train, sat beside a woman and her baby, smiled at them and then set off his bomb’. When I read that I felt that the final nail got banged into the coffin as far as I am concerned, we need to start running roughshod over people’s sensitivities in order to isolate out the Al Queda/Islamic Jihad supporters from the stalwart Muslims in our community and then deal with them.

    By the way is it not rather odd that the [failed] Shepherd’s Bush bomber ran up the railway line toward the BBC TV Centre? Did he have instructions perchance to run into the BBC and ask for sanctuary? I think we should be told …

  • He’s back! “The Tripinator”

  • The “patriotism of the lower classes”? You mean the forelock-tugging obsequiousness of the ‘poor man at the gate’? The guy who has nothing, but can take comfort from his allotted place in the grand scheme of things? Patriotism is not a monolith. We can take pride in the progressive movements which have led to forums like this being alowed to exist; we can also rage against still-existing inequity – such as economic deprivation, racism, bigotry, imperialism, and discrimination.

  • Otis

    Err, is Phil actually commenting on the right post?

    I thought the point is – or could be – that by being more unapologetically conscious (and proud, where appropriate) of our own national identity, there will be less room, or call, for the vacuum created by the absence of the same to be filled by the sort of racist, self-righteous, master-race rubbish spouted by the Islamofascists.

    With less national self-flagellation young Muslims might see that being British is something to be proud of, not to be destroyed in some great Jihad.

  • GCooper

    Otis wonders:

    “Err, is Phil actually commenting on the right post?”

    Bugger the right post. I think he’s commenting on the wrong century. Haven’t heard such a load of tosh since the agitprop clowns of the 1970s.

  • “Err, is Phil actually commenting on the right post?”
    Is he commenting on the right blog? Our phantom progressive doesn’t seem to exist!

  • veryretired

    If you read the descriptions given by those who have gone throught the Wahhabi and Al Queda indoctrination and training, it is very clear that this is classical cultist behavior. In the US, the closest current analogy is with the process by which alienated urban youths are drawn to and enrolled in street gangs.

    One of the catastrophic consequences of a culture and educational system which doesn’t inculcate respect for, and the inherent dignity of, the individual are these mindless empty vessels wandering around waiting for something to fill up the void within.

    When you have no sense of yourself as a worthy entity in your own right, then being an appendage of a larger, controlling whole is often the only route to any semblence of self respect. That, and the desire for the 72 raisins. (now there’s a payoff)

  • Keith

    Is this “Phil” thing that keeps appearing here an invention of the administartors? Some kind of lowest-IQ benchmark below which comments get automatically deleted?

  • Keith

    Grrr… *administrators* damn typos.

  • Johnathan

    Phil, go read Mount’s quote again. His book is hardly arguing that patriotism is a solvent of all ills. (I strongly recommend his book, BTW). He is making the point that the middle classes have sneered at the “vulgar” patriotism of the “lower orders” for decades. This has created a gap, contributing to the cult of liberal self-loathing we see around us.

    The radical islamists sense this. They sense a lack of idealism, a lack of philosophical clarity among much of the populace. What FM is arguing is that patriotism, or if you will, national self esteem, is part of the mix we need to stifle the soil in which extremism grows.

    Right, back to the cricket.

  • pommygranate

    George Orwell writing in 1940…

    “The really most important fact about so many of the English intelligentsia – their severance from the common culture of the country….It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God Save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box.

    During the past twenty years, the negative outlook which has been fashionable amongst the English left-wingers, the sniggering at patriotism and physical courage, the persistent effort to chip away English morale and spread a hedonistic, what-do-i-get-out-of-it attitude to life, has done nothing but harm. It would have been harmful even if we had been living in the squashy League of Nations universe that these people imagined. In an age of fuehrers and bombing planes it was a disaster. However, little we may like it, toughness is the price of survival.