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

When Corbyn is challenged on his beliefs and his record, he tends to respond by characterising a political challenge as a personal attack. He treats it as intrusive, rude and vulgar. In so doing, he accomplishes three things. He paints himself as the innocent victim of unjust aggression; he avoids responding to the detail of the challenge; and he bolsters the distinction between the good people inside his tent and the bad people outside of it. Howard Jacobson writes:

There was something ‘How very dare you’, about Jeremy Corbyn’s recent temper tantrum in rebuttal of the charge that the company he kept reflected badly on him. ‘The idea that I’m some kind of racist or anti-Semitic person is beyond appalling, disgusting and deeply offensive,’ he said (Jacobson 2015).

‘Alarm bells ring when a politician stands haughty upon his honour,’ observes Jacobson. When Jeremy says he doesn’t do personal what he means is that he will not deal with criticism in the normal way. He will not respond to it by means of reason or argument; he refuses to enter into serious engagement over worldviews, over ideas or over his record. He is less interested in trying to persuade than in making criticism appear as personal insult. ‘Jeremy doesn’t do personal’ does not mean that he refrains from insulting others; it means that he refrains from responding to that which he is able to construct as insulting.

David Hirsh

My thanks to the invaluable Mick Hartley for flagging up Hirsh’s paper, entitled “The Corbyn left: the politics of position and the politics of reason”.

29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • The facts, not his worthless words, speak for themselves. He is not just anti-Semitic, he wishes every Jew in Israel dead, and this can be deduced by the fact he openly and fulsomely supports terrorist organization who want precisely that. And thus anyone within the Labour party who does not want that has two options: promptly depose Jeremy Corbyn from the leadership of that party by fair means or foul, or bail out. Several notable Labourites have done the later, to their credit. If a Labour party member does neither, one can reasonably assume they too harbour desires for mass murder, and they should be treated as a pariah accordingly.

  • bloke in spain

    I find the Corbyn response familiar from dealing with a whole swath of people. And yes, mostly from the left. Disagree with them on any point and, rather than argue the point, they take it as a personal attack & question one’s right to make it.
    I suppose you could call it the “reverse ad hominem”

  • lucklucky

    I don’t understand this novelty and even less taking Corbyn words of “not do personal attacks” at face value, it is a PR handle. He is dishonest like a Marxist can be.

    Because Marxism always have been that way, a play with words that Orwell it seems now not so well exposed.

    The only Marxist cause is to take Power in Western World. All other so called causes are false. If useful to be exploited and sent to trash when not.

    For example if an Arab country defeated Israel and occupied all remaining territory of British Mandate, the Palestinians would disappears from the news and we will never heard of them again. Palestinians only exist for the Marxist Left because Israel exists. Without Israel they would be like Assyrians, Druzes, Zoroastrians, Copts…

    So when Corbyn says he does “not do personal attacks” it is like when he says he supports Palestinians. He does not. He only appear to care for them if they are useful. Like a Marxist.

  • Cristina

    Whatever it takes to solve the “Jewish Question” is OK from the Marxist point of view. Needless to say that the mere fact of calling it a “question” presupposes that something is wrong with the Jews. Who better, then, to fix this “problem” than the Marxist and every other progressive? After all, they are the creators of the New Man, the block with which to build the New World to come.

  • CaptDMO

    When faced with “How DARE you impugn my honor!” for the audience, in response to fact based criticism, or simple exposure as a demonstrable outright liar/thief, I find it useful to look such folks in the eye while I (ahem, metaphorically, of course)haul out Mr. Happy and piss on their shoes.
    Apparently, this ESPECIALLY does NOT placate folks wearing open toed sandals.
    “But…but…(X) is an “important” person! One simply does NOT DO that!”
    Yeah, well, one simply does not expect the Spanish Inquisition.
    (Admittedly nonsensical, but effective.)
    There’s no point in expecting a sudden epiphany in integrity, or pattern recognition, fromsuch folks with a “history”, now IS there?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Am Yisrael Chai

  • Veryretired

    Why would you ever expect honest debate from someone who’s entire personality is built upon a massive and comprehensive form of willful self-deception?

  • Maximo Macaroni

    I am strongly reminded of John Kerry’s response to any criticism: “Don’t you know who I am??”

  • thefrollickingmole

    It does take an important point and ram it home.

    If you can “prove” by some metric (tone of voice, a ‘trigger” word etc) the person arguing with you is evil then you can ignore anything they say.
    Indeed you can go straight to attacking them for their transgression without ever engaging with their criticisms.
    Deliberate, wilful and pathological ignorance explains most far left viewpoints.

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly the post is accurate.

    Mr Corbyn treats attacks upon his ideas and associations as “personal” attacks.

    The assumption is that, because he is on the left, he is automatically a “good person” – regardless of what or who or what he supports.

    Any attack upon what or who Mr Corbyn supports is therefore, automatically, wrong – indeed just reactionary personal abuse.

    A sealed mind.

    For example the question “is socialism mistaken” would be considered a non question.

    Socialism is correct (to Mr Corbyn) by-definition.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the specific point about “the Palestinians”.

    Of course neither Islamist organisations, such as Hamas, or the Marxist left are really interested in them – at least not for their own sake.

    According to the Islamists they are simply part of Islam – and the land “between the river and the sea” (translation – six million dead Jews) is Muslim, but only in same way that the whole world should be Muslim.

    And the Marxist left just see the Palestinians as cannon fodder for their world-wide attack on the “capitalist West” and its “exploitation of the Third World”.

  • Stuck-Record

    This was just favourited by one of my gormless Facebook ‘creative’ friends. It’s Corbyn’s statement about his plans for Remembrance. Note the use of one word in particular…

    “Today we remember the fallen in all wars, both servicemen and women and civilians. On the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, we honour in particular those who gave their lives to defeat fascism. In their memory, and that of all who have suffered or lost their lives in war, let us resolve to build a world of peace.”

    We’re not remembering all those who gave their lives to defeat Communism, or Irish Nationalism, or Islamism.

    Those sacrifices don’t count.

  • bloke in spain

    It’s always that tricky little historic detail, Nazi Germany being allied with the Soviet Union for the first years of WW2. Do the lives lost before Barbarossa count or not?
    Maybe Corbyn should clarify this point?

  • Mr Ed

    The USSR and Nazi Germany were not allied, but were in a non-aggression pact, clearing the way for Poland to find that distinction rather unhelpful. The Red Army really started WW2 with an attack on the Japanese at Khalkhin Gol in Mongolia, where Zhukov destroyed the Japanese forces, executing a Soviet Schlieffen Plan, letting them concentrate on the West. Thence they attacked Poland and Finland, and occupied Bessarabia (Moldova more or less), Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

    Then they found that their timing was wrong on 22nd June 1941.

  • Johnnydub

    The reason the hard left hates Jews – and it hates Jews, Israel is just a proxy, is because they believe deep down that the Jews run everything. Hence to smash the west, the Jews must be taken care of. Permanently.

    They really are mad, evil fucks.

  • lucklucky

    We just have to look to Peter Seeger the american musician,a Communist, released a pacifist album when UK, France were fighting the Nazis, criticizing the West fight against the Nazis as imperialism. This while Communists were in the Pact with Nazis.


    When Nazis attacked Soviet Union everything changed, this album was taken out from the market, and pacifism gave place to a pro military album entitled Dear Mr. President…

  • Mr Ed

    When Nazis attacked Soviet Union everything changed

    Well Pete Seeger gave us this song, more or less.

    To everything there is a Season,
    And a time to every purpose under Heaven,
    A time for Adolf, a time for Joe,
    A time for lies, a time for show,
    A time to purge the enemies of the People.

    But the A and R man coughed and they went closer to King Soloman’s words per the King James bible.

  • Rob Fisher

    So this is how he does it. Corbyn is bloody annoying to pin down. Makes it hard to convince people on the fence that he is what I think he is.

  • Mr Ed

    Makes it hard to convince people on the fence that he is what I think he is.

    1. Beard.
    2. Hangs out with Hamas and the IRA, yet won’t talk to The Sun newspaper on moral grounds.
    3. Life-long member of CND and senior in it.
    4. Wears a Soviet-style cap.
    5. Appoints fervent Marxists to key positions.
    6. Doesn’t sing the national anthem when he thinks no one is looking.
    7. Hasn’t got a car.
    8. Went on holiday in East Germany.
    9. Big fan of Mr Putin.
    10. MP for Islington.

  • Rob Fisher

    Yeah, I know it, Mr Ed. But take number 9. You try finding incontrovertible proof he’s a fan of Putin. A quick Google at least gets me a Daily Mail article which will be automatically dismissed, and a thing in the Guardian about how Corbyn didn’t even mention Russia in his Russia Today interview, just said “Britain should try harder to get on with its international opponents and treat them with more respect.” http://www.theguardian.com/media/mediamonkeyblog/2015/aug/13/british-press-putin-the-boot-into-corbyn It’s all just so *reasonable*.

  • Mr Ed

    Well Rob, get yourself away from the Guardian/Daily Mail Axis:

    Mr Corbyn’s views on the Ukraine and its problems were aired during the leadership contest at yahoo.co.uk.

    And anyway, the Labour Party went from a Gorbachev in Blair as leader to a Brezhnev in Brown, and having had its Khrushchev in Mr Milliband it is now firmly in the Soviet 1920s in its choice of leader, until he is overthrown as a Zinoviev-Kamenev Deviationist by the Stalinists around him.

  • Mr Ed

    Or, if you like, remember that this lot take their inspiration from events like a speech of Andrei Vishinsky:

    Lenin taught us that “there has never been a single deep and mighty popular movement in history without filthy scum,’*

    rounding off with

    I demand that dogs gone mad should be shot – every one of them!

    For this is what they long for.

    * Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XXII, p. 457, Russian edition, “Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government.”

  • Rob Fisher

    That’s a pretty interesting and useful article, Mr Ed. Still:

    He argues that Ukraine has been “put under enormous pressure to come into the EU and Nato military orbit” and condemns EU leaders for failing to mention “far-right and racist involvement in the [Maidan] uprising.”


    In an interview with RT yesterday (August 11), Corbyn seemed to call for closer ties with Russia. “What is security? Is security the ability to bomb, maim, kill, destroy, or is security the ability to get on with other people and have some kind of respectful existence with them?” he said.

    He’s not arguing for closer ties with Russia at all! He’s a peaceful man, using plain common sense. He’s Doctor Who from the most recent episode, where The Doctor Wisely points out that all sides in all wars are the same and Why Can’t We All Just Agree To Stop Killing Each Other. Hurray for Corbyn!

  • Mr Ed

    Yes Rob, and that nice Mr Lenin offered Peace, Bread and Land, before ‘rationing’ all three along with liberty and life itself.

  • the frollickingmole

    where The Doctor Wisely points out that all sides in all wars are the same and Why Can’t We All Just Agree To Stop Killing Each Other.

    Then hes shot in the face, or forced to kneel down and have his head sawed off by someone who is allready convinced they are completely right.

    Only one thing worse than a fanatical warmonger, thats a fanatical peacenik.

  • Laird

    I have to say, Rob, that was one of the worst Doctor Who episodes ever. (And I still don’t like Capaldi.)

  • Nicholas (Andy.royd) Gray

    That’s rich coming from the Doc, the well-known dalek-phobe! Just let a dalek move in next door, and the Doc would be handing out ‘information’ booklets, listing all their supposed ‘crimes’, and trying to galvanise the neighbourhood against them! Even the Matt smith Doc would hate daleks, and i think he’s the best of the current mob!

  • Laird

    The key to watching Doctor Who seems to be to avoid the ones written by Steven Moffat. He’s less interested in telling a good story than in preaching.

  • lucklucky

    “Corbyn is bloody annoying to pin down.”