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

Cowardice is the main and the worst sin on Earth. Betrayal is a personal form of cowardice… All of your propaganda is working excellently. Most of the Russian population believes what they are saying: Putin is great. There are fascists in Ukraine. Russia is never wrong. There are enemies everywhere… But I also understand that there are people who are smarter—such as you, for instance, here—who support the government. You perfectly well understand that there are no fascists in Ukraine. That Crimea was annexed illegally. That your troops are fighting in Donbas… These are facts that are on the surface… the troubadours of your regime… know everything as it is, but they continue to lie. Just as you continue your work, finding some sort of rationalization within yourself. Probably, they also rationalize to themselves: “We have to feed our children; we have to do something.” But, guys, what is the point of raising another generation of slaves?

Oleh Sentsov

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

20 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Probably OT, but cowardice doesn’t even begin to qualify as the worst sin in modern bureaucracies – embarrassing your boss, or worse yet your boss’s boss – that is the ultimate evil.

  • MilGeek

    Fuck modern bureaucracies, that’s exactly what this guy is saying right to the faces of the modern bureaucrats sending him to jail for 20 years.

  • Pardone

    But the Ukrainian nationalists are fascists. That’s pretty much fact.

    Sorry, there are no good guys, only bad and worse guys.

  • But the Ukrainian nationalists are fascists. That’s pretty much fact.

    And the BNP are fascists, ergo the United Kingdom are fascists, right?

    Sorry but that is complete horse shit. Out of 450 seats, the Right Sector, who really are fascist, have… 1. Svaboda who kinda sorta are a bit fascist, have 7.

  • Alisa

    Sorry, but this is not about good guys vs bad guys, this is about aggressors vs non-aggressors. Ukraine did not invade Russia, that much is clear.

  • Laird

    There is a subsequent quote which I quite like:

    “But besides all these people, there is yet another part of the Russian population that knows perfectly well what is going on. That does not believe in the tales of your agitprop. That understands what is happening in the world—what horrible crimes your leadership is committing. But these people are afraid of something. They think that nothing can be changed. That everything will continue as it is. That the system cannot be broken. That they are alone. That there are few of us. That we will all be thrown into prison. That they will kill us, destroy us. And they sit quietly as mice in their holes.”

    That may describe Russia today, but I fear it also describes the US tomorrow.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    There’s nothing wrong with fascists. Making use of WW2 to make it an derogatory term, and then pasting it on opponents (whether or not they really are fascists), is a favorite tactic of the left.

    Fascists do not dominate Ukraine politics, but they do comprise a key constituency, so Sentsov’s statement is unfortunately false. The rest of his points still stand though.

    If you really want a neo-fascist state, a close equivalent would be my own country of Singapore. That’s also why I personally feel fascism is overly vilified.

  • Veryretired

    The uniform tendency of all states is to move toward some variation of an authoritarian feudal structure. This describes nearly all pre-modern political entities, and very neatly sums up the many collectivist experiments of the last century plus.

    As Havel described in “Powerless”, many citizens caught up in these repressive systems fear being exposed as doubters, or, worse, opponents, because the constant din of state propaganda not only drowns out any outspoken opposition, but also conveys a very effective threat of the danger to those who dissent.

    The defunct Soviet Union, as well as any number of other collectivist nightmares described as being “left” or “right” depending on which Orwellian talking points were in use at the time, was nothing more than a feudal gang who seized power from a hapless attempt at a parliamentary system, and dressed up their ongoing criminal conspiracy in the fancy double-talk of Marxist class struggle.

    The current regime in Moscow is little better morally, although, as most socialist regimes eventually do, they have allowed some market based reforms to revive their moribund economy, and assuage many citizens with a better economic situation. The same story, with localized variations, is ongoing in China and most of the other past socialist governments around the world, with a few impoverished exceptions still struggling on, as if to dramatize the the sanity of those who have abandoned the hard-lined ideology of Marxist-Leninist claptrap, for a softer form of authoritarianism.

    As for the U.S., (And much of the former”free world”), we are currently dancing ever closer to an authoritarian form of administrative corporatism, which is, surprise, surprise, just a further variation on the feudal theme.

    The ruling elites, regardless of national or extra-national designation, are trying desperately to consolidate their positions into the kind of ruling nobility that any of our ancestors would recognize immediately as an aristocracy, complete with all the prerogatives and immunities that such a class enjoys.

    The interesting aspect of the current Trump mania here in the states is the manner in which this character has managed to “articulate the popular rage”. In “Network”, the mad prophet of the airwaves was a deluded loony who heard voices from God in his sleep.

    In this current incarnation, he’s a well-known democrat pretending to be something else.

    Putin is every inch the authoritarian KGB operative he always was, and all the posturing and circuses he routinely uses to manufacture his “image” can’t hide that criminal reality.

    And the dancing bear on this side of the Bering Strait won’t be able to disguise his true nature much longer either.

    Isn’t politics fun?

  • Runcie Balspune

    they have allowed some market based reforms to revive their moribund economy

    What, like banning cheese imports?

  • There’s nothing wrong with fascists.

    Well as long as they are dead, yes, I agree. Ditto communists. Only good ones are dead ones.

    Making use of WW2 to make it an derogatory term, and then pasting it on opponents (whether or not they really are fascists), is a favorite tactic of the left.

    It is a favourite tactic of anyone with a functioning brain.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Well as long as they are dead, yes, I agree. Ditto communists. Only good ones are dead ones.

    In the free marketplace of ideas, isn’t it interesting that so many people seem to want fascists and commies dead even when that hatred is not necessarily reciprocated? I doubt Lee Kuan Yew wanted his opponents dead (he only wanted them jailed, and kept silent, but I digress).

    I think the ultimate test of ideas is, ‘Do they work? Do people want them to work?’

    And in the broad overview of history, libertarianism fails harder than communism for the simple reason it never really existed. Of course, communism failed in the USSR, in China, and failing now in Venezuela.

    Fascism? Well, my opinion is that the jury is still out on whether it works, or can last. Of course, the restrictions chafe, and people eventually want to get out, as we can see in China.

  • In the free marketplace of ideas…

    That is where your comment descends into utter absurdity. Since when have Fascists or Communists allowed a ‘free marketplace of ideas’?

  • CaptDMO

    Perry:
    Well as long as they are dead, yes, I agree.
    Do you have any idea how much it’s going to COST to remove the symbols (SEE: Confederate Flag) of Fascism (bound wooden rods)
    JUST from (ie)the “trim” of judicial podiums/legislative chambers in the US? That’s going to take SKILLED craftsman labor!
    I’m not convinced Social justice Warriors could POSSIBLY produce such a workforce amongst the folks choosing cowardly anonymous riot throngs over pulling their own weight, “collective bargaining”, or migration toward “refugee coward immigration status”, rather than (ie.) picking up a rock or two, and throwing it in the general direction of their violent home invaders!
    Mindful, of course, that a Bell Curve has two ends, and a middle.
    Why it’s not a circle is beyond my pay grade.

  • Paul Marks

    And the “clever” people in the West nod with agreement to Mr Putin’s propaganda machine.

    And not just leftists – some “conservatives” and “libertarians” also go along with the Putin stuff.

    And feel themselves “rebels” for doing so.

    These people have no excuse for their moral nothingness – none.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Very: Well said. (And let’s not vote for The Trumpster, shall we?)

    Perry: Very good quote, thanks.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Since when have Fascists or Communists allowed a ‘free marketplace of ideas’?

    They never did, but it happened anyway. Just like if libertarians try to insist the best fascists and communists are dead ones, their ideas will still propagate.

    Kinda hypocritical of you, isn’t it?

    Me, I prefer them alive and nice juicy targets to make fun of, all the better to discredit them. Ridicule is always better than death at discrediting ideas, which is how the left and the Alinskyites have been beating your ass all these years. Calling Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn…

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Nah, Wobbles, I’d prefer a world without such strong central governments. Perhaps we need one somewhere, like North Korea, to remind us of how bad things can get, so we don’t indulge in stupid fantasies about the General Will, etc. Perhaps a better way would be to encapsulate all this in the way you raise your children (be an authoritarian adult), so they are immunised against these pernicious political viruses, so they only embrace personal freedom when they become adults, not ‘group freedoms’.

  • Kinda hypocritical of you, isn’t it?

    Have I ever given the impression of being a pacifist? I have always said it is a good idea to do whatever it takes to stop such people gaining power, up to and including a bullet in the head when needed.

    Me, I prefer them alive and nice juicy targets to make fun of, all the better to discredit them. Ridicule is always better than death at discrediting ideas, which is how the left and the Alinskyites have been beating your ass all these years. Calling Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn…

    Yeah yeah great wonderful. That only works when they are not actually in the position to kick down your door and drag you away. Try discrediting their ideas then and see what happens. And every time you post your comments on the internet, you are actually demonstrating that is is not my donkey who has been beaten but rather the communists, and indeed the fascists you admire. Libertarianism is not a system of government, it is a system of values that argue for an absence of government action.

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Wobbles, if it came to a choice between Commies and Fascists, the Commies would have a slight advantage, because communism claims to be universal, for all types of people (even women!), whilst fascists are explicitly racists and sexists. Both are centralists, and believe in numbers, and therefore anathema to me, but I can understand why communism is never believed to be as bad as fascism.

  • Rich Rostrom

    The Wobbly Guy
    August 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm:
    Of course, communism failed in the USSR, in China, and failing now in Venezuela.
    Let’s be fair. Chavismo is not as murderously destructive as Communism, but it is possibly the most incompetent regime in living memory. Communist regimes, even North Korea, executed their misguided programs effectively, and also carried out ordinary functions of government.

    Chavismo has ravaged Venezuela with half-assed socialist impositions, while largely bungling everything else. The USSR survived for 70 years, and withstood the terrible assault of Nazi Germany. Chavista Venezuela is collapsing, despite a colossal jackpot of oil revenue.

    Lenin, Stalin, even Krushchev and Brezhnev would be offended by comparison to the gang of clowns and thieves in Caracas.