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

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can

– Barry Goldwater

25 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Eric

    It’s really a shame he wasn’t able to bring the electorate along on that sentiment.

  • Indeed Eric, but he was right and times change.

  • Verity

    He had plenty of support but it was the shrieking, rabid lefties who killed him off (metaphorically).

    Socialism is a sickness of the soul. Intolerant. Unforgiving.

  • cjf

    His house was out in the desert, I think.
    Know the feeling.

  • Eric

    Indeed Eric, but he was right and times change.

    Yes, he was right. I just hope my countrymen realize it before the second coming of the dark ages.

  • Michael Staab

    Are there any like him today? The silence is deafening.

  • Reminds me of one of my mother’s favorite stories.

    After the 1964 election a woman came up to him in the street and said “Didn’t you used to be Barry Goldwater?”

  • Robin Goodfellow

    @Michael Staab “Are there any like him today? The silence is deafening.”

    Fred Thompson perhaps?

  • Fred Thompson maybe be the closest in existence, but ‘like him’? Not really. Still, if he runs, I’m there.

  • Are there any like him today?

    Perhaps Ron Paul as far as the small government stuff goes, but Paul lacks both Goldwater’s robustness on national security and his social liberalism.

    So there really isn’t anyone like Goldwater active today, more’s the pity.

  • Millie Woods

    Socialism is a sickness of the soul. Intolerant. Unforgiving.

    It’s also incredibly idiotic because it fails to take into account wealth creation. Government does not create wealth but rather consumes it. People in a variety of ways create it.
    To my mind the greatest threat today is that our political systems have few representatives from the wealth creating classes and far too many from the wealth consumers.
    One of the reasons for the success of the Reagan revolution was that his cabinet was stocked with Bechtel personnel.
    One of the reasons for the doleful performance of the Obama regime is that his advice mongers come from the poli-sci and sociology pseudo ideology of talking the talk but never walking the walk.
    They are all be-ers and not do-ers.

  • Siha Sapa

    An echo from an unimaginably distant age of just a few years ago that shames us all with it’s decency, clarity, and integrity.

  • korblimee

    Perry I was just thinking as i read it that Times have indeed changed.

  • RRS

    The times that shaped Barry Goldwater (and many others of the Cincinnatti) were different from the times that shaped a newly entering electorate that chose instead Lyndon B, Johnson.

    Those times differ drastically from the times that have shaped today’s aspirants and even moreso for today’s electorate.

    Shedding the “burdens” of individual obligations, especially identifiable personal responsibilities (duties), has become more important than the dangers from accepting increasing, though subtle, degrees of tyrannies.

    Read Cicero on the popular adulation of Gaius Julius – another “constant campaigner.”

  • Verity

    Millie Woods, you are correct. I would add those who cling to the Holy Grail of mythical “climate change”, which is so patently and provably daft, yet there’s now a whole international industry based on this chimera.

  • Paul Marks

    There are plenty of Republicans who are still like Barry Goldwater in their opinions, their voting records and even in their moral character.

    Mike Pence of Indiana and Midwesterner Congressman (Ryan) spring to mind.

    However, Goldwater had something they do not seem to have – he had a presense.

    When the man entered a room every head turned. He had that even in World War II (those long recon flights over China) and he carried it on – he still took piloted an aircraft of course (not just in the Grand Canyon, to scare journalists, – but also Vietnam to see what was going on for himself). But it was not just that – it was “something”. Chrisma, whatever.

    It meant that Barry Goldwater in the face of a totally united media (NO FOX NEWS IN THOSE DAYS, AND NO CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO, AND NO INTERNET) that argued that he was not only wrong but insane (the mad bomber adds, the letter signed by hundred of head docs, none of whom had ever met him, trying to explain his “mental illness” and so on) managed to get 40% of the vote – oh yes and NO DEBATES EITHER.

    A man who went to farmers and told them they should get no subsidies, went to the old and told them that Social Security did not make sense, and even went to the military (the only group that supported him) and told the top brass that the draft was wrong – such a man (buy all the rules of politics) should not have got 4% of the vote – not 40% of the vote.

    To bring it up to date – Barry Goldwater would have crushed Comrade Barack in 2008 (and I do NOT mean he would have shot the Cong scum in the head). Barry Goldwater would simply have gone where he was allowed to go (to Fox News, to talk radio and to the internet – youtube and so on) and said……

    “I have always opposed the wild spending policies of President Bush – and my opponent’s only problem with them is that President Bush does not spend even more money.

    Now we face the ultimate obscenity – almost a TRILLION Dollars in bailouts for the banks, a corrupt scheme being pushed into effect by the-sky-is-falling scare tactics that are utterly shameful. I OPPOSE this corrupt bailout and my opponent SUPPORTS it”.

    After than Comrade Barack could have said “Goldwater will cut up your Social Security card and BLOW UP THE WORLD” as much as he liked.

    And he still would have lost every State in the Union.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Paul, I’m sorry to say that you’re wrong, and the big Zero would still have a good chance to win. Between campaign fraud, media complicity, and the simple fact that the American people have become infantilized, Goldwater would have stood no better chance than Sarah Palin would have. The attacks on him would have been even more vicious, calls of racism and male chauvinism, ever the stronger.

    I will be watching the US with interest over the next few years. My guess is that the US has passed the point of no return towards disaster, but I may be wrong.

  • In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimurm Igni

  • Obama didn’t win because of his superior policy understanding. He won because he’s a handsome well-spoken guy from the other party than Bush.

  • mac

    Wobbly Guy,

    Your analysis is even more unbalanced than your axis. Obama is Carter 2.0. The fools who voted this character in are now being inoculated against his politics by the best of all methods: personal experience.

    I’ve read your cynical comments about America’s future being California or Detroit. You’re wrong about not only that, but many other things about America. Your infantilized, nepotistic, one party police state of Singapore will go under first. Bet on it.

  • The Wobbly Guy


    Haha! You’ve basically agreed with me! Before Obama, the fools who voted for him are exactly that: fools. Those fools wouldn’t have voted for Goldwater. But after Carter, I thought a huge chunk of the voting electorate would have known better from your much vaunted ‘personal experience’. Oops, perhaps not. What is it about the US public that seems to get taken in by the democrats time and again (Carter, Clinton, Obama)? Are they THAT stupid? Why, I think they are!

    On a less snarky note – After Obama is through with the US, things may be different, but I wouldn’t hold too much hope for a peaceful resolution.

    I believe things will change for the better, but the key point is whether that change will involve some form of actual physical conflict or destruction, in which case defining it as a disaster is, I think, an accurate depiction.

    As for my country, we’re stable, rich, and prospering. You could even say our bureaucrats are a lot smarter than most around the world and actually know how to get things done. Nepotism? Haha! The current PM Lee Hsien Loong is scary smart in ways Obama and rest of the US elected officials can only dream of. We’ll last as long as we can keep our fundamentals in place, don’t worry about us.

    Snark is back on – Feel free to come over and enjoy our cheap and high quality healthcare when Obama pushes through his death panels!

  • Brad

    I agree that the closest we have today is Ron Paul who does come off as a bit meek comparatively, though I disagree that he has a flaw as far as his stance on National Defense. He simply wants war to be declared Constitutionally with the Congress taking its Constitutionally appointed role in the process and take responsibility for it, not effectively abstaining and giving a blank check to the executive branch. War to him isn’t just another bureaucratic function of the executive branch like any other.

    The parallel between the two shows just how far leftward and statist the Republicans have become and when it started. For the Republicans of the late 70’s and 80’s Goldwater became the “embarrassing” uncle they tried to keep quiet when his Old Right Libertarian streak came to the for. It didn’t fit with the plan. And the inexcusable treatment of Ron Paul last November shows just how bad it has gotten since.

    It’s not too coincidental that the very same Republican/Conservative pundits who were cutting the Old Right Libertarians out of the picture just a year ago are now revisiting and praising (as best as their Statist bent allows them to) the likes of Nock. Now that they have lost the White House and are in the minority they are trying to re-corral righties of any kind. They had better mean it – we won’t get fooled again.

  • Sunfish

    The election is over. Ron Paul’s fanboys still have yet to explain the “we gave them the gas” remark. Other than the obvious one, that being “Ron Paul is a lying sack of crap.”

    You can get your face out of Ron Paul’s lap. He will never be elected President. And I had hoped that the incessant “Did you know that Ron Paul took a crap every morning when he was a doctor in the Air Force?” shilling would have ended last November.

    Carter was a generation ago. Maybe more. When he was ruining the country, plenty of us (myself included) were still learning to walk.

  • The Wobbly Guy


    True enough. Does anybody know the voting patterns of those above the age of 54, who WOULD have voted in the election that made Carter President? How many of them voted for the Big Zero?

    And even if we disregard Carter, there’s also Clinton. Now, don’t get me wrong, Clinton was nowhere as bad as Carter, but he essentially enjoyed the cessation of the cold war, and if the situation was tougher, he might not be as fondly remembered as he was now.

  • Paul Marks

    Mac – James Earl Carter may support Barack Obama now, but there is no comparision between a European style Social Democrat (which is what President Carter was as President) and Barack Obama.

    “Obama wants to turn us into France” say many people. No – that is what Carter wanted to do, Barack Obama has a different objective in mind. An objective that makes France look like a stronghold of freedom.

    Many Americans (perhaps approaching a majority now) are starting to see that Barack Obama is a leftist. But most people still have not got a clue just how far left he is.

    They are in the position I was in January and Febuary of 2008 – I know there was a guy called Barack Obama (a nice sounding person). I assumed he was a big government person because he was a Democrat, but I did not look into his background and record (I was more interested in seeing how much damage he would do to Hillary Clinton).

    I did not research Barack Obama for months – and I bare the shame of my failure.

    As for the fate of the United States.

    There is no need to speculate about whether people have woken up or whether they are all infants calling upon the God Emperor Obama to give them “Obama money” from “his stash”.

    The votes next Tuesday will tell us – both the votes for Governor and the votes on the various propositions in Maine and other places.

    Economics is not empirical – but politics (not political philosophy, but politics as the battle for votes) is empirical.

    With only a few days to wait for the facts speculation is not needed.