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

The left talks of a reality-based consensus – but they’re actually living in a consensus-based reality


29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Włodek P.

    It would be funnier if it wasn’t actually true, but unfortunately it is.

  • Thailover

    Quite true. And of course they want no diversity at all. They mandate conformity and try to destroy you if you don’t conform.

  • John Galt III

    Start listening to the smartest and most courageous intellectual on the planet: Jordan Peterson


    You can save thousands and listen to his online courses rather than fighting the zombies and idiots at 95% of the West’s institutes of “higher learning.”

    …and if you like Canada, liberty and freedom you will adore Kate’s website above: http://www.smalldeadanimals.com
    a lonely voice on the Canadian prairie.

  • We have linked to Small Dead Animals in Samizdata’s sidebar for as long as Kate has been blogging 😎

  • bobby b

    Long live dog shows! Congrats, Kate!

  • bobby b

    ” . . . but they’re actually living in a consensus-based reality.”

    – Ellen

    I’ve used this quote several times – with attribution – since you made it. Very nice.

    Yesterday, they voted on whether there are two sexes or many.

    Tomorrow, we vote on gravity. Just imagine how easy life will become once the vote is announced!

  • Alisa

    Must concur with JGIII above about Jordan Peterson.

  • Alisa

    Tomorrow, we vote on gravity.

    A vote best held on top of a local high-rise, with all those voting against putting their feet where their mouth is.

  • Paul Marks

    The denial of objective and universal principles of reality is rightly associated with German “Historicism” – both of the “right” (Hegel) and the “left” (Karl Marx). Indeed the President of France correctly pointed out that the German Declaration of War upon France was really a Declaration of War upon the very idea of universal principles of reason and justice themselves – this is because normally lies are meant to be believed, but the German lies in the 1914 document (that the French were bombing Bavaria and….) were DELIBERATELY absurd, the German government (and the academic elite that was joined-at-the-hip with it) were expressing their contempt for the very concept of objective truth.

    However, this relativism (moral relativism and relativism in general) is not just associated with German Historicism – American Pragmatism (from which the modern American left comes) was not a “development” (as the lying text books claim) of the Scottish-American Common Sense school (basically Thomas Reid to James McCosh), it was the radical rejection of it. The Pragmatists were Relativists – to them both moral good and evil and reality itself were relative, to suit their objectives (their whims) at any given moment, “the truth is just the expedient in our way of thinking” (William James – and he was far from the worst of the Pragmatists), the idea of universal and objective principles of truth was rejected by them.

    So, for example, when a “Progressive” judge looks at the Constitution of the United States (or a State Constitution) they are not looking for an objective understanding of the text – as, to to them, there is no objective understanding of a text, the judge is just seeking to present the text in such a way as to back up their own whims. I recently came upon a young German thinker who denied there was an objective reading of the Koran and the Hadiths, so Islam could not be attacked as it means whatever one wants it to mean, this way of thinking could be straight from the Germany of 1914 or 1939 (it is relativism), but it is also the way of thinking of the Pragmatists and Progressives, by and large the same people – as those who were Pragmatist in their philosophy tended to be Progressive in their politics.

    “Ho hum Paul, this explains the collapse of the humanities and the “social sciences”, but we in the physical sciences are safe” – no you are not safe, as the relativists are going to apply their denial of objective and universal reality to your subjects as well. Hence “feminist physics” and …..

  • Paul Marks

    For example.

    In economics someone like the American economist A.L. Perry might show that a given government intervention would be harmful – that the universal and objective laws of reason showed this to be so. But that would not interest someone such as Richard Ely (founder of the American Economics Association) as the latter did not believe in universal and objective laws of reason. Professor Ely (like modern academics, who his Orwellian named “Association for Academic Freedom”, formed to crush dissent, made sure controlled most universities – the Association for Academic “Freedom” is now targeting the handful of universities that the left do not yet control, such as Hillsdale) – wanted state intervention to be a good thing, so it was a good thing. And with the followers of Richard Ely, such as President T. Roosevelt and President Woodrow Wilson, it was useless to appeal to laws of objective reason, as they did not believe that any such things existed. “Truth” was just whatever they wanted it to be – at any given time (“historical stage”), and different “classes” and (yes) “races” could have different “truth”.

  • Jacob

    From Mencius (2007):
    “… the postwar Western university is our true Valhalla of quack. Quackologists will be studying this system for decades, and they will certainly not get bored. ”

    “Pretty much everyone thinks of 20th-century economics as a seething nest of quackery. Including most 20th-century economists. All they disagree on is who the quacks are.

    It is incontrovertible that quack economics is alive and well in the world today. It is possible that the Austrian, Chicago, George Mason, New Keynesian, and “post-autistic” schools of economics are all quack. It is certainly not possible that they are all nonquack.”

  • CaptDMO

    Reality based consensus?
    Once upon a time five blind travelers came upon an elephant…..

  • NickM

    From John Keegan’s “History of Warfare”…


    Sorry, it’s a PDF but the second quote on the page is remarkable. Note that is a joint statement by the rectors of the Universities in Bavaria.

    In that short paragraph is encapsulated an extremely large part of the reason for WWI and the deep cause.

  • PeterT

    putting their feet where their mouth is

    Ah, very good, very good. The ultimate result of powerful g (unless of course, your body is 90 degrees to the ground)

  • Sam Duncan

    Case in point:

    Google has denounced an engineer’s memo blaming biological differences between sexes for the lack of women in leadership roles.

    Bad enough, but what it actually said was,

    Distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we dont see equal representation of women in tech and leadership

    Emphasis added, and I don’t doubt for a moment that those words were carefully chosen. Even suggesting that biology might play a role in women’s preferences, and that these preferences might explain the sexual bias in the technology industry, is enough to see you denounced by the PC police. You’re “advanc[ing] incorrect assumptions about gender”, see.

    Not to worry though, because Google assures us that “Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions”. Phew, eh?

    “But … ”


  • bobby b

    Well, of course Google wants you to feel safe expressing your views.

    How else are they going to learn what those views are and fire you for them if you don’t express them?

  • I’m actually six hours into Jordan Peterson’s lecture series on the psychology of the Bible stories… Six or so hours and he’s just got to Cane and Abel. Fascinating stuff.

  • bobby b – Thanks for re-using the quote, with attribution. I’m fond of it, and as far as I know, I originated it. Nor can “they” get me fired, because I’ve been retired for over a decade.

    “Tomorrow we vote on gravity.” And will the antigrav folks be surprised when the atmosphere leaves even more rapidly than they do.

    Captain DMO – Once upon a time I put together a panel on the proper domains of religion and science. I was fortunate enough to know a blind man who had, in fact, felt an elephant. In addition, he was both intelligent and wise. Of course I snapped him up to be on the panel.

  • Laird

    Wh00ps, I cannot imagine devoting 6 hours (and counting!) to that topic! I don’t have enough hours left in my lifetime for that. Can I have the Cliff Notes version instead? I might be able to summon up 30 minutes or so.

  • Laird

    NickM, what you linked to was not a pdf of some quote, but a Google site where I could buy the book. So I have no idea what quote you’re referring to.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The news today is perpetuating Vince Cable’s doom and gloom over Brexit and how “the old”, wishing for a return to some mythical glory days of empire, have screwed “the young” once we leave the yoke of the EU and it all falls apart – of course this does not have to be explained why this would actually happen, or even proven, it is just a consensus opinion, and now slowly being perceived as one of those “alternative facts”, after all, the previous predictions about a post-Brexit future haven’t exactly been accurate, the good news can all be washed away with “despite Brexit” rather than “due to Brexit”.

    Distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes

    Isn’t this well known anyway, in IT particularly, many techies are nerds somewhere on the autistic spectrum* and it’s a fact that more males than females demonstrate this personality trait? You wouldn’t have an issue describing the same for social care, teachers and nurses being mainly female? Does anyone not realize you may well be able to resolve the STEM gender imbalance by addressing the opposite “caring profession” gender imbalance towards men, which, considering the relative size of those industries against technical/engineering, need a lot more re-balancing.

    Whilst our self-proclaimed wise and wonderful “progressive” elite continue to stare at the problem, they avoid providing the actual solution, because there is no “consensus”.

    * I know I am.

  • Stonyground

    There is a quite good take down of a visiting lefty on the Longrider blog just now.


  • NickM

    The extract was in pdf format. But if you click it you can read it.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes NickM.

    French thinking was flawed (very flawed) – but at least it accepted the existence of universal principles of truth and justice. German thinking, in 1914, utterly rejected the very existence of such principles – even the academics of Catholic Bavaria rejected universal principles or reason and justice.

    And look at the specific lies. One would think that, from reading the statement of the German academics, that the Russians and the French had declared war om the Germans – actually it was the German government that had declared war on the French and Russians.

    The excuse for war with Russia was supposedly Russian mobilisation – yet the German Ambassador accidentally handed over two letters (not one), he accidentally handed over the letter that said even if the Russians agreed to stand down GERMANY WAS DECLARING WAR ANYWAY.

    As for the French – the German Declaration of War on France was just a blatant collection of lies, it has the French bombing Bavaria and so on.

    They might as well have accused the French of being in league with Ming the Merciless of the Planet Mongo.

    Do most textbooks contain the basic fact that the German Declarations of War on Russia and France in 1914 were absurd?

    Sadly they do not.

  • Darin

    August 8, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    This is link to Google Book page, one that displays nothing than front page of John Keegan’s book, regardless what VPN proxy I use to access it.

    What the original poster wanted to cite was statement from the Rectors and Senates of Bavarian Universities on August 13, 1914

    Students! The muses are silent. The issue is battle, the battle forced on us for German Kultur, which is threatened by the barbarians from the east, and for German values, which the enemy in the west envies us. And so the furor teutonicus bursts into flame once again.

    cited, among other places on the net, on


  • Laird

    Thanks, Darin.