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

“Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. No one can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the real historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.”

Ludwig von Mises, Socialism, (as quoted in The Wisdom of Henry Hazlitt, page 347, also well worth reading).

That passage, while written in the 1940s, carries a certain resonance now, I think.

5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so.

    And even people who will not be in this world if freedom takes a few years to die, still resist the tide of statism.

    It does not make someone a follower of Kant to accept a duty. And, besides, it is good (perhaps even fun) to go out fighting.

    Both Von Mises and H.H. resisted to their last days.

  • What is the decisive battle of which he speaks?

    Oh, BTW, something in this post has made the rest of the posts appear in italics. In my browser, anyway.

  • It is stirring, but it does remind me of the old Marxist ‘everything is politics’ when the real function of politics is not to be noticed that much. I must admit, I like to thrust myself vigorously, but many people don’t, and they are not, therefore, class or ethnic or national traitors.

  • SK Peterson


    Mises is talking about the titanic struggle against totalitarianist socialism exemplified by the Hitler-Mussolini fascist variants and the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist variants by the free-market oriented, rule-of-law nations of the West during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The book is an excellent introduction to political economy, comparative economics and an analysis of socialism and its anti-civilization dogmas in all stripes and shades.

  • For me the decisive battle was not decisive, but one of many many battles in the war, going back to Platos attacks on the open society (or even before), of the individual against collectivism, of freedom against coercion, of the right to determine your own life against the prescription of others.
    These battles have taken many forms, the struggle against ‘hot socialism’, that against fascism, the battle against the statism of the current government and the neo-conservatives. In some parts of the world its a more obvious struggle against a dictator, or a ruling group. In south america its increasingly against the socialist, statist governments of Chavez and his friends.

    (yes, I am a fan of Popper and Hayek..)