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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

Inculcating guilt as a tool of power and control. This is a time-honored tactic of manipulative mothers, of many religions, and of political ideologies, like socialism, progressivism, and environmentalism. It works because self-respect is one of our most basic psychological needs: We all need to feel that we are basically good, right, valuable, worthy of esteem. So if you can make someone ashamed of themselves and defensively wallowing in remorse, you can get them to do pretty much anything you want, because they’ll be desperate to make amends and redeem their self-esteem. And you can also cash in on their guilt-driven quest for redemption, as they surrender to you their money and control over their lives.
Call it the Guilt Racket.

As written by Robert Bidinotto on his Facebook page.  He links to this item about the current nonsense around “white privilege” – another of those daffy ideas which seem designed to fill the pockets of shakedown artists of various types.

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41 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    Attacks on “Western Imperialism” seem to have this effect – even though the various areas under the British Crown
    were vastly worse off before British rule than under it. And the same is true of French rule – President Macron with his ranting about French Imperial “crimes against humanity” shows himself to be a deeply ignorant young man.

    Even Sweden (indeed especially Sweden) seems to be crippled with guilt about Empire and War – even though Sweden did not really have much of an Empire in the “Third World” and Sweden has not engaged in war for centuries.

    Indeed the real guilt of Sweden is that it has not fought – for example when Denmark was attacked by Prussia in 1864 the Danes (naturally enough) appealed to Sweden with whom they had a treaty of alliance, the Swedes did-not-turn-up (at least the government army did not turn up – just a few volunteers). Yes I do know that the Danes had violated the internal self government of the Dutchies of S&H – but if anyone think that Otto Von Bismark really cared about self government, I have a nice bridge to sell them.

    It would be nice for the Swedes to feel guilty about that (if have to feel guilty about something) – rather than feeling guilty over mythical stuff.

    As for making us feel guilty in relation to ethnic minorities, women and the poor……

    Well I am poor – I was not standing at the gate of my place in employment yesterday in rather unpleasant pain (for hours) from the need to go to the toilet, because I like pain. I was standing there to earn some money.

    Women? The law is biased in their favour – not against them (check out “family law” for a start). And so is nature – after all women live longer than men.

    Ethnic minorities?

    Well my name is Marks (not Smith) – true I am Anglican, but certain people of a certain ward did not oppose the “fucking Anglican” a couple of years ago, they opposed the “fucking Jew” who had (supposedly) cut their beloved local government services to put the money in his personal Jew cave.

    So if anyone is really feeling guilty about the treatment of ethnic minorities they can send me a cheque.

    Better still they can get over it – and NOT feel guilt about the deeds of OTHER PEOPLE.

  • Paul Marks

    “Paul Marks” – you are really saying that you feel no compassion for the victims [what “victims” the people we keep alive?] of the Capitalist West because you are intensely selfish and only care about your own minor suffering”.

    Exactly “liberal” sweethearts – and I am very proud of it! Especially when my taxes help to pay for food aid for all your wonderful experiments – such as compassionate Social Justice North Korea.

    On a serious note – individuals who really did care about people in Asia and Africa included such men as Raffles and Lugard (the classic “Imperialists”) – many decades ago (when I was an undergraduate) I found that the academics denouncing the British Empire (which YES had its faults and terrible deeds – as well as its achievements) knew nothing about the lives of actual Imperialists. The struggle against such things as human sacrifice were a closed book to the “intellectuals”.

    Just as the chap teaching us about the First World War (in the third year) knew very littl about it – having not spent his summers in Lancing Sussex (since the age of 6) with veterans of that conflict.

    It was a general theme really – the academics (with a few exceptions) did not actually know very much – although it was a lot worse at York than it had been at Leicester.

    By “know very much” I do not mean that they did not know long words (they knew a lot of long words) and a lot of theories – they knew a lot of those as well (normally theories that were divorced from basic reason – even that denied reason). It was facts they did not know – basic facts. They would be talking (in a rather learned way) and then say something that just was not true (that was factually wrong) – and they did not know till it was pointed out to them.

    Tom Grandgrind (a character that Dickens created to attack) had a point – facts matter.

    I get things wrong sometimes, of course I do (especially now I am an old man whose brain is not what it was), but at least I care – I am certain (absolutely certain) that the education system crowd do NOT care (and the modern media crowd – not the old newspaper news hounds), that objective truth does not matter to them.

  • Watchman

    The problem with inculcating guilt (other than having to use the word inculcating outside of a scientific labortory) is that it has very clear diminishing returns, as the more you come up against a model of good that excludes you, the more you begin to disregard that model. So the popular practice of any religion is never to the standard of the proper practices as defined by any ruling clique or bunch of reformers/extremists, incorporating superstitions, local variations and general laxity, and thus all religions are compromises between the small number of purists/the ruling elite on one hand and the actual practices of various local areas. Likewise, if parents rely only on guilt to control their children then their children run wild fairly quickly (see any of those parents who doesn’t discipline their child, but only ‘reasons’ with them). Basically their comes a point where each person realises that they are not buying this shit anymore, or that they are not actually guilty, or that the teachings that they have been following can be challenged – and whilst that point is an individual decision, each time the guilt is applied to a population, more people will reach the point of resistance or non-compliance.

    And so the guilt racket is, like most rackets, liable to collapse pretty quickly, as each application reaches greater and greater resistance. Which might be a problem for those ideologies (such as left-wing thought in the US) which seem to be entirely built on this logic, but history suggests that this won’t occur to the practioners of the guilt racket (see the general indifference of sixteenth-century popes to both the reformation and the aspirations of powerful rulers for wonderful examples).

  • rxc

    @Watchman – “history suggests that this won’t occur to the practioners of the guilt racket (see the general indifference of sixteenth-century popes to both the reformation and the aspirations of powerful rulers for wonderful examples)”

    I would argue that history shows that they actually DO collapse pretty quickly when communications becomes easier and more wide spread. The printing of the Bible in local languages, and the increase in the number of people who could read allowed people to actually see what the words said, instead of being filtered thru the “wise men”, and they decided that they did not agree with the interpretations. Today, we have a medium that connects the entire world, instantaneously, and it is considered to be a grave threat to elites everywhere. In countries where they can control it, we have all sorts of laws about hate speech and respect and the use of guilt to tamp down thought-crime.

    Even here in the only country with unlimited speech, we are under attack by the progressives for hate speech and thought crime, and they are determined to implement controls on internet content, by any means necessary. They recognize the threat that unlimited communications presents to their program of “all guilt and suffering, all the time”. If Hillary had won the election she would have really gotten the ball rolling with the appointment of the appropriate judges, but the elites pushed “a bridge too far”.

    And the ultimate bulwark against the “re-interpretation” of the First Amendment here in the US is the Second Amendment.

  • Laird

    rxc, the 2nd Amendment isn’t going to stand as a bulwark for much longer. We are regularly treated to the spectacle of supposedly intelligent and “educated” political leaders (most recent cases in point: the governor of Connecticut and the mayor of Portland, OR) asserting, in all seriousness, that the 1st Amendment doesn’t protect “hate speech”. Of course it does, as the Supreme Court has regularly held, but that doesn’t stop the continuing drumbeat for speech suppression and, ultimately, thought control. Eventually the idea that “hate speech” (whatever that means; the name is well designed as a vehicle for the insertion of any definition which suits a demagogue’s purposes) isn’t protected will have become so ingrained in the popular consciousness that arguing otherwise will be viewed as heresy (“hate speech” itself, probably), and the courts will mold the law to fit. They have already so grossly distorted the Constitution that it bears little resemblance to that envisioned by the Founders, let alone following its clear language; this will be merely one more in a long line of legal perversions. And once that day arrives almost no one will be upset enough to complain, let alone resort to violence. The left continues to boil the pot, and we continue to rest contented in it while we cook.

  • White privilege is another version of original sin: It makes you morally in the wrong without volitional action on your part.

  • NickM

    Do you know why the Second Coming won’t happen in Stockport? You’d need three wise men and a virgin…

    We do have a hat museum.

    I suspect some might think my first paragraph is somewhat oblique. It isn’t because that joke would be seen askance – though if you can find three wise men and a virgin anywhere in Greater Manchester my hat is tipped.

    I self-censor. I almost don’t think about it anymore. I was a bit pissed a couple of nights back and someone was claiming about a bad neighbour. I said, “So it was like a bunch of pikeys showed up?” I might as well have said, “That Herr Goering had the right idea”.

    Let’s call it as it is shall we. My wife is bisexual. Her best chum is a gay man (she’s known him for over thirty years). I am friendly with the local Pakistani family that run (very well) our corner shop. Before I met my wife my longest sexual relationship was with a Jewish American woman. The Atlantic got in the way. Awkward that thing. I have car-shared with a Bangladeshi – I know that sounds like a truly depraved act. I have slept with a girl who didn’t shave her legs – that was in Leeds – and she was a vegan lesbian. But she helped me with the Godunov Scheme. I have hugged a bull in Asia (guess where?) and been to Graceland. I’ve even flat-shared with a Deep Green. I once shagged a Finn against a statue of Sir Walter Raleigh. I also had a Raleigh bike as a kid. I have though never planted pampas grass (look it up).

    My point? That is a fairly normal life. And that ain’t the tenth of it. I once seriously threatened a Londoner with a steam iron. He was admittedly trying to rape my then girlfriend at the time. If he’d touched her he would have died. I told him that whilst swinging the iron on the cord. And I fucking well meant it. There was also a canal just outside.

    I have done sometimes questionable things and mainly got away with them.

    But I’m a married middle-class heterosexual IC1 English male with a Russell Group university education so my variety of antics counts for nowt in the diversity circus. Why not? I am not officially discriminated against. I won the lottery of life didn’t I?

    I guess I wasn’t dull enough. Is “dull” the right word or is it “Corbyn” now? Can’t we just rip off and have fun? Why not?

  • NickM

    WHS,
    I spent quite some time writing my comment. I shouldn’t have bothered. I wrote an essay but you nailed it in a txt. Respect.

  • “White privilege” is utter bullshit and I refuse to acknowledge it. Therefore, I don’t feel guilt. None whatsoever.

  • NickM

    Yeah, Longrider.
    National Socialism was bullshit as well. Try telling it to the Jews of Krakow.

  • staghounds

    Rich/White/Male guilt appear to be endless seams. They have been producing for well over a century now in the West, and will certainly outlive us all. I recently saw the proclamations put up by the Tate Gallery at its entrance, blaming founder Henry Tate for the Slave Trade, with which he had nothing at all to do.

  • Chip

    The example of the Portland mayor is quite instructive. In seeking to ban a Trump rally he invoked the example of the recent stabbing spree by someone who supported Bernie Sanders and voted for the Green Party.

    See how that works?

    Hate speech is just speech that people hate, or dislike, and the excuses to dislike something are insatiable. Much like the Left’s hunger for power over the individual.

  • bobby b

    Unless I’m doing something wrong – always a good possibility – Facebook has removed the offending page.

    I’m guessing that this Robert Bidinotto is a guilty shade of white?

  • Martin

    White privilege exists, I just don’t feel a shred of guilt for it. I could care less what the great and good think of me for this. They are ants and their morality only has power while the sheep feel cowed by them. Once European and Americans refuse to do be cowed they can destroy this degenerate morality and the elite that created it, and replace it with something more noble and sustainable. Something that prepares us to conquer space, not prepare for the world to become a giant amalgamation of Brazil and Somalia.

  • bobby b

    “Once European and Americans refuse to do be cowed . . . “

    But the entire point of white guilt is designed to forbid us to think of ourselves as a discrete body – to consider us as a “we” fighting a “them.”

    Anyone speaking against “white guilt” is immediately labeled a racist white supremacist.

    So we have group guilt in a situation where to speak of ourselves as a group confirms the accusation.

    It’s the new racial Catch 22.

  • NickM,

    Thank you. I’m complimented.

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby, I tried to say it as a mock-sarcastic, humourous response. Didn’t work. So: nomination for SQOTD:

    We have group guilt in a situation where to speak of ourselves as a group confirms the accusation.

    .

    Yes. Of course. (By the way, I may be old and I may be Caucasian, but I’m definitely not an OWG!)

  • Alisa

    Bobby, at the moment the page and the post are still there.

  • Alisa

    Julie, as far as I can tell, you and I are both YWGs 😀

  • bobby b

    Huh. Alisa, when I click on the “Facebook Page” link in the OP, i still get this:

    This page isn’t available
    The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.
    Go back to the previous page · Go to News Feed · Visit our Help Center

    Maybe because I’m not a Facebook user?

    Julie, thanks!

    OWG is used in the same manner “Deplorables” is now used – as a badge of honor. They want to call us that to shame us, but the very qualities they see as our shame are actually our strength.

    I have no desire to be a white supremacist. But they’re making me into a white non-inferiorist. That they refuse to see a difference will, I think, be their downfall.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa: AGREED !!! (I do say, you have an upbeat way of putting things!) 😉

    bobby, I sure-to-goodness hope so!

    PS. FB won’t let me in either, and like you I don’t play there. I think your suspicion is correct.

  • Alisa

    Could well be – I’ve been a user for so long that I have no idea what it shows to non-users…

  • Martin

    But the entire point of white guilt is designed to forbid us to think of ourselves as a discrete body – to consider us as a “we” fighting a “them.”

    Anyone speaking against “white guilt” is immediately labeled a racist white supremacist.

    So we have group guilt in a situation where to speak of ourselves as a group confirms the accusation.

    It’s the new racial Catch 22.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAt_OzAW0AE4DPz.jpg

    Look at the image, that’s the mentality we need. Stop caring what the SJWs and press think. Feel no guilt, concede no power to them. Once they are unable to use shame against us their power begins to collapse.

  • Bruce

    Or, as Ayn Rand put it in “Atlas Shrugged”:

    “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

  • Looks like his facebook page is no more,

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Works fine for me

  • Laird

    Works fine for me, too, and I’m not a “user”.

  • I get:

    “This page isn’t available
    The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.”

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Paul, I could always use a new bridge, but I don’t know if you are qualified to sell bridges. Do you have a current bridge-seller’s licence? Everything needs a licence these days, so where is yours?

  • Runcie Balspune

    I have hereditary genetic hearing loss, which has blighted my ability to socialise and has barred me from a swathe of employment options, with the annoying habit of others assuming you didn’t understand what you didn’t hear. If anyone accuses me of “white privilege” I’ll remind them of their own “hearing privilege” that allowed them to accuse so freely in the first place (after asking them to repeat the question, that is).

    It is wretched to assume that somehow the colour of your skin trumps all other disadvantages you were born with or accumulated on the road through life, in my case I would gladly trade the melanin control genes I inherited with the inner ear ones.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    With the rise of China, I wonder how long it’ll take before the guilt racket starts on ‘male chinese privilege’?

    I hope the ‘baizuo’ anti-left movement has taken a strong enough hold that the Sinosphere is more resistant to the antics of the insane left.

  • Stuck-record

    One of the reasons I look forward to the Chinese hegemon (sarc) is that they are going to make the heads of SJWs explode. The Chinese couldn’t give a s**t about guilt or accusations of racism. They’ll just stand there and laugh at them.

  • Darin


    Paul Marks

    It would be nice for the Swedes to feel guilty about that (if have to feel guilty about something) – rather than feeling guilty over mythical stuff.

    You do not have to go back to 17th century, when the Swedes burned and pillaged all from Rhine to Dnieper and from Baltic Sea to Alps.

    After the Bolshevik revolution, the Swedes kept Soviet Russia afloat by buying the looted gold and other treasures and supplying the Bolsheviks. Capitalism at its best.

    History’s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2009/03/we-can-only-hope-title-of-this-2008.html

    Although an enormous amount has been written about “Nazi gold” laundered through Switzerland, the much larger amount of “Bolshevik gold” laundered through Sweden in 1918-1923 has previously received little attention. Lenin’s problem was that gold ingots stamped with the tsarist Russian seal were obviously stolen by the Bolsheviks, so they traded at a large discount. He found a capitalist, Stockholm bank Olof Aschberg, to sell him the rope. Aschberg would buy Russian gold in Estonia, ship it across the Baltic, and have the Swedish Royal Mint melt down the gold and put its own insignia on this. In return, Aschberg would sell the Soviets weapons needed for their civil war and subsequent 1922 war with their own peasantry.

    The British were not missing any business opportunity eithere.

    On the political front, British PM David Lloyd George tired of blockading the Baltic, and legitimized Soviet trade representatives in order to get orders for British factories. The British signed a trade agreement with the Soviets in 1921 and the German Foreign Office, which had done so much to put Lenin in charge of Russia in 1917, signed a loan deal with the Bolsheviks at Rapallo in 1922, just as their gold stock was running out.

  • Watchman

    I’m with Martin here, in a qualified way. Statistically white privilege exists (albeit a child of any other skin colour born in the same circumstances as my son would probably do as well). But it is a historic fluke.

    And I do agree with the idiots who promote white guilt in that we do need to try and even out the situation. But I disagree how to do this – me, I want to make everyone as wealthy and happy as me. They want to reduce my wealth and happiness for no obvious benefit.

    So I adopt a stance that attacks the main cause of people not being wealthy and happy, government. They, for reasons I still can’t fathom, adopt a stance where government can help.

  • Laird

    There’s always a silver lining, right Stuck-record?

  • Mr Ed

    Well Mr Trump, rejecting the politics of guilt, might have taken a leaf out of the Gipper’s book today and said ‘My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve scrapped the Paris Accord forever, we begin bombing in 5 minutes’, but he left the door open to a new deal.

    However, it’s a good start.

  • madrocketsci

    I suspect this is one of the reasons why Ayn Rand is so hated: She immunizes people to the influence of the guilt-predators. After their first minuscule exposure to any sort of affirmation for independent self-esteem, people are no longer prey. She let people of a certain sort of mind know that they didn’t have to feel *guilty* for who and what they were.

    I once made an environmentalist go stark-raving-apoplectic crazy by simply saying “even if your Malthusian doomsday scenario is entirely true, I’ll never feel *guilty* for civilization having existed, or for mankind having had this shot at rising above the animals. You will never have my *guilt*.” That, more than any other argument made this guy flip out.

  • Thailover

    Martin said,

    “Look at the image, that’s the mentality we need. Stop caring what the SJWs and press think. Feel no guilt, concede no power to them. Once they are unable to use shame against us their power begins to collapse.”

    In order for them to induce shame and guilt in me, I would first need to subscribe to their racism and sexism. Not much chance of that. Other white people did bad things in the past. What has that to do with me? Oh yeah…racism. I almost forgot.

    Blacks can’t do well? Which blacks? (Cue to ignore the ones that excelled whose humble beginnings were to single mothers in the ghetto).

    Minorities are held back by white bigots? How then do you explain the financial success of first and second generation Asian Americans who make, on average, about $10,000 more than white people and about twice as much as blacks?
    Do the racist “bigots” love “chinks” all of a sudden? ‘Just asking.

    Cultural appropriation? OK, convince non-whites, and non-asians to stop using 99% of the technology and medical developments in the western world, then you can talk to me about cultural appropriation.

    They have no answers…because they’re full of it.

  • Thailover

    “Feel no guilt, concede no power to them.”

    It doesn’t seem widely understood that “empowerment” means to accept their narrative, then agree to surrender your power to them. Women in America require me to “empower” them? Ah…you mean we should accept they can’t compete on a level playing field and I rig the game in their favor, eh?

    Except in the legitimate case of electing a representative in a western democracy, the concept of empowerment nauseates me. It’s a despicable idea in camouflage.

  • Thailover

    “I suspect this is one of the reasons why Ayn Rand is so hated: She immunizes people to the influence of the guilt-predators.”

    A great way of finding out just how vacuous of value and full of sh*& these collectivists really are is to talk to them about Objectivism and Rand. As soon as they say that she was a right wing nazi, you know you’re talking to a complete idiot. In all my years as an Objectivist, I have yet to meet a single detractor that had the slightest idea what her philosophy really was or is. They know they hate her, but can’t even begin to explain why. What I suspect is that they recognize themselves in her fictional villains, but don’t understand the arguments against them. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe they’re just idiots. LOL.

  • Thailover

    rxc wrote,

    “I would argue that history shows that they actually DO collapse pretty quickly when communications becomes easier and more wide spread. The printing of the Bible in local languages, and the increase in the number of people who could read allowed people to actually see what the words said, instead of being filtered thru the “wise men”, and they decided that they did not agree with the interpretations. Today, we have a medium that connects the entire world, instantaneously, and it is considered to be a grave threat to elites everywhere. In countries where they can control it, we have all sorts of laws about hate speech and respect and the use of guilt to tamp down thought-crime”

    Yes, “the church” burned people at the stake for translating the Latin bible into common English because they perceived that it was a threat to their power-base, but what they found out is that they underestimated people’s LAZINESS!!! People have the gospels, say, at their fingertips yet go listen to expert Dr. Deacon Doug give his half-ass interpretation of one verse, offering a few fictional yet allegedly true stories, allegory and metaphor filled sermon that lasts two hours. There are over 33,000 Christian denominations and sects of Christianity world wide today, and in regard to roughly the same small limited text. Most of these denominational interpretations can be dismissed by simply reading the text with average comprehension. Yet, they aren’t.

    I think the same is true of the power mongers, the globalists that fear the truth getting out. What they underestimate IMO is that most people simply don’t want to know the truth. Example, how more obvious can it be that CNN is nothing more than a propaganda mill? And yet…