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

There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.

Jane Jacobs.

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • An even worse quality is that pretended freedom, disorder, anarchy of those whose dearest but most hidden vision is to impose a vicious uniformity on everyone’s perceptions.

  • John Rippengal

    The ‘dishonest mask of pretended order’ is YOUR order.
    The ‘real order that is struggling to exist’ is MY order.

  • mike

    The ‘dishonest mask of pretended order’ is the STATE’S order.
    The ‘real order that is struggling to exist’ is that emergent order belonging to no-one.

  • nic

    And how do you make the distinction between the action of a state and a naturally emergent action? Surely even the state arose naturally out of something else?

  • Raw Data

    “Surely even the state arose naturally out of something else?”

    I thought that the State had been created in a coup by do-gooding liberal intellectual nanny-state socialist planners who wished to take all the spontaneity and joy out of life and place it in a cocoon of Consumer Reports’ safety and prudence in which everything must be certified, regulated and vetted though community consultation.

    (Just joking, if I need to say that.)

    In fact, seriously, I think that the state arose out of gang-leader take-over of simple tribal authority. No one knows any of this for sure, of course, as it is all beyond the earliest mysts. But it seems like one reasoinable scenario is that the state was imposed largely one stronger clan on all the surrounding ones. The ‘justification’ myths — 1066 and all that — come later and later still comes the softening of the state as the heirs to the original tyrant-gangsters (now gilded Dukes and Barons) are bribed off by others.

    It’s all very complex and yes while I do agree that it ‘arose naturally,’ I suspect that it also involved a lot of imposition and force and blood, though of course there are many stories of Kings — the leaders of incipient states — being voted-in, so to speak. But that was probably of only one clan, which they then took and made into the nucleus of a state..

    In due course, Tony Soprano becomes the State.

  • ian

    …and with the ‘withering away of the state’ (whether in the Marxist or the Libertarian formulation of that myth) he returns.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    “In due course, Tony Soprano becomes the State”

    Dammit, that was brilliant.

  • Midwesterner

    The state is a farther progression of natural alliances for defense against stronger foes. When any particular alliance becomes strong enough, it is able to forceably absorb weaker ‘foes’. The term “state” is just an indicator that the alliance controlling a hunk of turf has the legal recognition of other ‘states’.

    The imposition of order is a rationalization for usurping of order contrary to the existing state.

  • Midwesterner

    Maybe that last sentence will read easier with quotes.

    The ‘imposition of order’ is a rationalization for usurping of ‘order contrary to the existing state’.