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

Mr Kim and his elite did not wilfully seek the deaths of ordinary North Koreans, but they accepted them as collateral damage resulting from their need to maintain power.

– from the Economist yesterday

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • No wonder Paul loves the Economist so much.

  • Paul Marks

    “collateral damage”

    By using this term the Economist is making a not-so-hidden hit at the Bush Administration and the United States generally. The old lie that the American military kills loads of civilians and…..

    But if attacked the Economist people will say they doing no such thing “we are just attacking the North Korean regime – which we have always opposed”.

    It is especially disgusting as the Economist supported the judgement to go in to both Afghanistan and Iraq – so (unlike, say, the Ludwig Von Mises Institute people) they can not truthfully claim to have been against the operations. As for the implied claim (that one hears so often) that the Americans have been careless about civilian casualities – the claim is a lie.

    Of course the Economist is not really in favour of a strong line against the North Korean regime – on the contrary it favours the absurd talks and endless amounts of aid that has been American policy both under President Clinton and President Bush.

    It is a similar story with Iran.

    The Economist pretends to be against the Iranian regime getting atomic weapons – but it opposes any real American action to prevent this, and support the a candidate for Prime Minister of Israel who will do nothing to prevent this either.

    Alisa is correct in her implied claim that I hate the Economist people.

    I do hate them – and with good reason.

    I wonder where they will stand on the Bush/Paulson proposal for another 700 billion Dollars in corporate welfare for the financial services companies (on top of the vast sums already spent).

    I suspect even the Economist will draw the line at such a plan – although its sister publication the “Financial Times” supported it.

    I doubt we will see much reporting of the fact that the Democrats (in both Senate and House – Senator Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank) demanded that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support the “homes for the poor” plan (with all the FRAUD this involved by the Democrat managers of these organizations) and then the home loans were turned into securities that everyone was told the U.S. government backed and……

  • I’m opposed to poverty.

    I’m also opposed to counterproductive government programs to end it.

    I’m opposed to Iran having nuclear weapons.

    I’m also opposed to counterproductive government programs to prevent it.

    The fact that one is opposed to a given evil does not imply that he will support any given government program to eliminate that evil. As a matter of fact, if he understands government, it may well be that he will support none of the government programs to eliminate it.

  • Rich,

    Poverty isn’t threatening to nuke Israel the very second it has the capability to do so, as well as generally call for the destruction of the west in general.

    This is the issue I always have with the libertarian party in the US.

    I would love to be an isolationist but those days are over.

    The Economist is truly an insult to intelligence at this point. There is no such thing as “collateral damage” in a Fascist regime, there is no “collateral” to begin with.

  • Gordon Marock

    I just posted this to the article in the Economist: “The Author makes a curious, suppsedly factual statement :”Mr. Kim and his elite did not willfully seek the deaths of ordinary North Koreans, but they accepted them as collateral damage resulting from their need to maintain power.”

    Ah, to be wise enough to know the mind of Mr. Kim and his elite. Perhaps the Author dined on truffles and rare Cognac while posing the question to the Dear Leader. We all know how unavoidable collateral damage can be when seeking ones goals. I am often disgusted by the Economist’s cravenness in standing up to dictators, but this is simply repulsive.”

  • Sigivald

    Reading it on its face, it doesn’t sound incorrect at all.

    I’m sure Kim and his elites didn’t plan policies specifically to kill North Koreans – just as they didn’t care at all if those policies killed any number of them, so long as they remained in power.

    “Collateral damage” describes damage done – without specific intent to cause it – in the course of achieving some other goal; it is thus, lacking some evidence of a desire on Kim’s part to kill North Koreans as an end in itself, a facially reasonable term to use.

    (I do not see it as a “hit” on the United States, but I suppose that must be a matter of perspective. I’ve read enough military history and military theory to accept the term “collateral damage” as completely neutral. But I know other people don’t always use it that way… I’m just not sure that I’d assume The Economist is as prone to that usage as a Kos diarist.)

    That The Economist doesn’t scream “also, the late Mr. Kim was totally evil and bad” is a paltry thing to attack them for; it seems reasonable to assume that they and their audience are already aware of that.

  • Virtue Brothers

    Sigivald –

    I have to disagree. This is a perfect example of the kind of euphemistic language that Orwell highlights (and criticizes) in his essay Politics andthe English Language.

  • Robert Speirs

    How can a man who plays such good golf be so evil?(Link)

  • Gabriel

    Not even remotely true. At one point something like half of the North Korean population were classified as class enemies.

    If they were only concerned about power, things would be a lot better.