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

It is widely recognised that today’s generation of so-called snowflakes – with their Safe Spaces, microaggressions and ‘that’s offensive!’ tantrums – has its roots in an educational system governed by therapeutic norms. The same was true of the London riots. They emerged from the same assertive grievance culture, the same well of victimhood and entitlement, the same sense that it’s all someone else’s fault. One young rioter even justified his trashing of a local branch of Comet on the grounds he didn’t get a job there. Other kids gloated about how ‘we can do what we want’, a dismissive attitude to adult authority they no doubt picked up at school.

Now, five years on from the London riots, some commentators argue that welfare cuts and widening inequality mean that ‘many of the conditions that created the riots are still in place’. London’s Time Out magazine went further by arguing that the Brexit vote means that racism has acquired a new-found respectability, which will lead to greater poverty for, and ill-treament of, London’s ethnic minorities.

These cheap anti-Brexit jibes raise a question: why are marginalised rioters viewed with sympathy, while poor, marginalised Brexit voters are viewed with contempt? Why are the violent actions of looters and arsonists interpreted as a legitimate protest, while voting to leave the EU is seen as an exercise in brainwashed stupidity?

Neil Davenport

26 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Alsadius

    I’ve seen some interesting discussion lately about how the outgroup is the group that threatens you, while people who disagree with you even more but are too far away to threaten are just interesting and exotic. If you’re a journalist you can just stay home during a riot (or even go out into it and be pretty sure of good treatment), whereas the people who just overthrew your ideal successfully are a real threat to your dreams. On top of that, the left has always had a fetish for political violence, so rioting seems perfectly legitimate.

  • Johnnydub

    Its cultural marxism. Excuse the criminals and punish the ordinary. Anything to smash society further into pieces.

  • RRS

    For some further insights:

    Philip Rief’s

    The Triumph of the Therapeutic

    The Feeling Intellect

  • CaptDMO

    As the “snowflakes” lean more and more toward violence, theft, and destruction….
    I suspect it will NOT end well when they face folks with nowhere to seek refuge, and whose bridges have been burned behind them.

    Will modern anti-collision features of eco-friendly, bio-electric, driverless cars prevent them from driving into crowds of protesters, instead if crowds of holiday celebrants?

    How big IS “the mall” in front of (ie)the United Nations building?
    (It’s ALWAYS the relatively high density cities…isn’t it?)
    Awful lot of flagpoles there. And of course, SOME folks just can’t seem to put down their cell-phone digital broadcasting targets. As in the age of “apes”, the ones who know how to actually use tools tend to prevail.

  • “Within the intelligentsia, a derisive and mildly hostile attitude towards Britain is more or less compulsory, but it is an unfaked emotion in many cases.” (George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism, 1945)

    It is the same today or more so. Brexit voters are perceived as pro-British and, despite TimeOut’s jibes, as essentially law-abiding, whereas the rioters riot, and the ethnic minorities among them are perceived as essentially anti-British by the very intellectuals who would be furious at any public suggestion they were not as British as everyone else.

  • RRS

    In pursuit of Kilmartin :

    Such “jibes” of wordsmiths (aka “intellectuals) seem very often to be assertions or badges of a cosmopolitan status (as seen by them) preferable to any identification with their beginnings (and likely endings).

  • Paul Marks

    The lies and twisting of the left – is endless.

    For example the BBC this morning are talking about the “billions of Pounds” leaving the E.U. will “cost the government”, without mentioning that the British government pays more into the E.U. than comes out of it.

    As for “welfare cuts” (what welfare cuts?) justifying riots…..

    Just bleep these London “liberals” – if their own homes (in their comfortable areas) were burned by rioters, they might be less stupid.

    The “Radical Chic” of the wealthy left is a bore.

    And, yes, the education system is the source of it.

  • NickM

    Just a technical point. Now far be it for me to tell ya how to run a blog but… It would be handy if you didn’t run “Quote of the Day” posts so close together because when you look at “Recent Comments” it gets confusing. Jus’ sayin’.

  • Slartibartfarst


    It would be handy if you didn’t run “Quote of the Day” posts so close together because when you look at “Recent Comments” it gets confusing.

    Since you mention it, I’d second that. I have found it a tad annoying for quite a while, and it quite literally puts me off reading the comments, so I probably miss some pretty useful ones.

    It’s really a matter of simple ergonomics. I read an awful lot of stuff via my Bazqux feed-reader. Due to time-pressure, I tend to be very impatient, so that when I read, I don’t give anything more than a second or two, at most,to justify commanding my further attention to read more, and if I don’t get that justification – e.g., from a topic headline or the first line or two of a post – then I just dismiss it and move on to the next item in the queue. I have the same approach when reading a newspaper or magazine. Newspaper and magazine editors know all about this sort of dynamic.

    Similarly, if I find that some websites have a tendency for attention-grabbing headlines/titles to their posts, but that on reading seem to be vapid – i.e., empty of stimulating or real/intelligent/useful content – then I just skip onwards to the next item and mentally devalue that website so that I probably give it a miss or just a cursory viewing, at best – if I have the time.

    It might help if the thing was left as “Samizdata quote of the day” but with (say) the date appended (in ISO format) – e.g.:

    “Samizdata quote of the day – 2016-08-13”

    That way, the comments for each quote would be uniquely and more readily identifiable and not so easily lost amongst the noise of the other QOTD comments, as they are at present.
    I’d personally find that to be a great bonus, and it would probably end up making it easier for me to justify spending more time reading more Samizdata content, at the expense of some other website. As it stands at the moment, however, I’d not do that.

  • Alisa

    I also found this very annoying. However, I find a lot of things annoying, all the time = and what I tend to do in such cases is ask for a refund 😀

  • I don’t know how it is in the UK, but in the US, there’s a two tier schooling system with specialized schools teaching the teachers and general schools teaching the great majority of the population in primary/secondary schooling. There are occasional efforts and good work being done in the general schools to reform and improve them as parents rebel against the miseducation of their children but I can’t ever seem to find any serious effort to take control of the teacher education system which was long ago captured by the cultural marxists.

    It’s a curious, and losing, strategic picture. Is UK education similarly in trouble to generate these special snowflakes?

  • NickM

    Thanks Slarti and Alisa. It is good to know one is not just one.

    And can we can “snowflakes”. That is an arts and social “sciences” term. It has fuck all to do with my university experience (not that long ago). It has nothing to do with Maxwell’s Equations or ergodic theory or formal logic. When I was at Nottingham University (’92-’95) we were all automatic members (it came on the SU card) of the ‘rish. We got pissed and danced on broken glass amidst occasional fisticuffs. There were no “snowflakes”.

    We did “hard sums” by day and what we did by night…

    I once broke a sink in my flat after a night at the ‘rish. That is another story. It was an accident but one of my flatmates went fucking mental. Maybe he was a “snowflake” but the rest of us preferred the term “twat”. And he could twat for Team GB in Rio. I mean he didn’t have the blood in him to be a cunt.

  • Laird

    NickM/Slarti/Alisa, I agree, and I’ve commented on that before. It wasn’t an issue until they migrated to the current webhosting site. Simply putting the date or the number (they’re all numbered; we’re presently up to 738, which you can see if you hover your mouse over the title or a particular Recent Comment) in the title is all it requires.

  • Laird

    NickM (good to see you back, by the way), I find the term “snowflakes” to be quite useful. It captures the essence of these “crybullies” and their enablers in a single, and utterly dismissive, word. Personally, I hope it achieves such wide acceptance that it no longer requires the quotation marks.

  • Alisa

    Actually, my point was not to join the complaints, but rather to hint that, as a certain blogger once put it, ‘you give people free ice cream, and they complain about the flavors’.

  • NickM

    I never really went away 😉 but thanks. It was a minor quibble on a site I visit every day (apart from when I’m on holiday – then I don’t because there’s too much to see and do and getting Sami-tracked would get in the way).

  • Laird

    OK, Alisa, you’re dismissed from the committee!

  • Alisa

    I was on a committee? Why didn’t you say so in the first place? I take it all back now – down with the SI interface, We the Readers demand better!

    (How soon can I expect to find my check in the mail?)

  • lucklucky

    They are not snowflakes they are precisely contrary of it.

    Lots of text but it is just Victimization Industrial Complex is a Marxist tactic based on exploitation of good will of other people.

  • Laird

    Sorry, Alisa, too late: I’ve voided your check.

  • Thailover

    “These cheap anti-Brexit jibes raise a question: why are marginalised rioters viewed with sympathy, while poor, marginalised Brexit voters are viewed with contempt? Why are the violent actions of looters and arsonists interpreted as a legitimate protest, while voting to leave the EU is seen as an exercise in brainwashed stupidity?”

    Because Brexit means hard work and individual responsibility, whereas rioters leads to a statists response to rioters. Leftist leaders don’t just want herds of human chattel they want catagorized herds of human chattel engaged in Identity Politics, i.e. crybullies. They WANT rioters and civil unrest. They WANT muslims to publically protest about how much they hate their host country. AND they can’t wait to surrender all that you have to those who are out of line.

  • Thailover

    Well, once again I’m the fly in the ointment.
    I love the quote of the day posts and I don’t care if they come, well….daily.
    ‘Confusion about Samizdata because one is busy? ‘Sounds like a personal problem to me.

  • Thailover

    Johnnydub wrote,

    “Its cultural marxism. Excuse the criminals and punish the ordinary. Anything to smash society further into pieces.”

    Indeed it is cultural marxism, but the participants don’t recognize it to be so as much. Their heads have been filled with communist garbage and they’re not even aware of it. They hate the modern world they depend on and blame the modern world for becoming great “at the expense of the unfortunate” i.e. the lazy, the criminal, the scum of the earth and even (supposedly) “at the expense of” those who don’t know how to create and keep their own wealth, i.e. the poor.

    These are the types of people who would rather everyone be dirt poor (except for a few king-like dictators of course) than for everyone to live well with some people, the wealth creators, living in luxury because they offer something of worth to everyone else for a mutually beneficial price.

  • Peter Simmons

    It falls back to the crabs in a bucket mentality, which London in particular (where I live) is riddled with.

    Sorry to personalise this, but I am from a *really* rough council estate in South London. But from a young age,I worked 30 hours a week and studied full-time on a self funded law degree, masters and legal training. I funded it using my brain and hard work. I didn’t get a day off for months, I had no time for useless “societies at university” as I was working. I have worked for 20 years now aged 35 and never been out of work in my life. I am not blowing my own trumpet but I worked really hard, and now I am reasonably comfortable, 20 years on. I do not mean to come across as smug, nor is this something I shout about but I had no one in the world to help me and I think it honestly helped me to get off my own backside and stop looking for handouts and excuses for my “bad” lot in life.

    Now that I have done well, my own family have turned their backs on me, friends have lost touch and are sick with envy, doing anything to deride or take away from me and my young family. I have moved social circles because those in my age group deem me to be “posh” or something to hate – why? because I did alright for myself by working hard.

    I was stupid to ever think that in London that anyone could really be truly happy and say well done to me. Well I will enjoy my nice office in canary wharf and driving in my car whilst they can take the rat-hole tube home 😉

  • I was stupid to ever think that in London that anyone could really be truly happy and say well done to me.

    I live in London too, Peter, and I think you are well shot of those ‘friends’, because ‘friends’ who are ‘sick with envy’ were never really friends at all. Fuck ’em. Ditto in spades for any family who begrudge your success. Not everyone in London thinks like that.