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

Certainly flirtation is gone from the workplace. Some years ago your humble correspondent was an intern at a National Public Radio affiliate station in Chicago. The chief engineer had a habit of referring to me as Legs, as in, ‘Woooah, here she comes. It’s Legs Gutmann.’ Dear Reader, I am not ashamed to admit I liked it. I flashed him a big smile and a giggle. He was a very decent chap and I have no doubt that if I had instead looked wounded and frightened he would have cut the ‘Legs’ thing faster than he could unplug a sound cable.

Now, of course, he wouldn’t even try such hijinks. The risk is too great. He could be fired for such ‘sexual harassment’. Or what if I had been fired by National Public Radio (if you can be fired from an internship)? I could have retaliated by claiming that NPR (of all places) created a ‘hostile work environment’ in allowing such a beast continued employment. At the very least I could get my internship back; at most, I might be able to snare a big payoff. Sexual-harassment allegations can make you rich.

Stephanie Gutmann

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42 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nimble Spemble

    A photo would help the credibility of this post.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    To all the female commentators on Samizdata, I withdraw any favourable comments that someone might decide were inappropriate flirting signals, and I take back any air-cards from Valentine’s day! I must have been on a sugar-high when I sent them. So, is all forgiven?

  • I’d like to echo Nicholas’ sentiment and say that I find you all deeply unattractive. That’s right, right?

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    I think we dodged a bullet, there, WhOOps!

  • Paul Marks

    There are real crimes – very serious crimes including rape. And those men guilty of these crimes should be prosecuted and punished.

    However, there is also madness.

    Partly Frankfurt School of Marxism “Third Wave Feminism” and partly old Puritanism – a toxic mixture. The universities founded by Puritans no longer believe in God – but they have a new religion, Frankfurt School Marxism which provides them with the “Holy” cause they desire.

  • Long before the latest scandal, I knew that the very industry that virtue-signalled its devotion to PC in public was certain to be the very place where vile conduct would abound. It’s no different from workers being much more oppressed in communist countries. (And, as we all know, despite the absurdities in the NYT, women were much more oppressed there too).

    A culture of free speech has many beneficial effects. A general conscious devotion to the idea that “people here should not be afraid to talk” is not always only of political benefit.

  • Watchman

    Niall,

    I have a theory, which it would seem possible to get evidence to support, that the reason so many left-wing women believe men are the carictures that they portray them as is because of the left-wing men with whom they associate (since most of these people are of the ‘could never be friends with a Tory’ brigade of close-minded idiots, they will only really associate with like-minded bigots, which therefore precludes meeting the majority of nice respectful men), who are indeed sexual predators and no great respectors of the wishes of others. Look at all the left-winger defending Julien Assange from rape accusations for example – they basically assumed he was a good guy in their book (despite the fact he is not really their ‘team’ – they ain’t bright, those boys…) and therefore could do no wrong. It is hardly a major logical leap to expand that logic to oneself either, and considering how often you get the grubby little stories of left-wing sexual abuse and misbehaviour dripping out, it seems this is indeed done.

  • Snorri Godhi

    A slightly different perspective: it’s a class issue.

    In the US, men in the ruling class (mostly White men) can be abusive towards women outside the ruling class, with impunity*. Men in the middle class (most of them White) not only cannot be abusive with impunity, but are guilty until proven innocent; and on a university campus they cannot even be proven innocent.

    And yet, what is the likely outcome of the Weinstein scandal? that the middle class will be oppressed with renewed vigor, while the ruling class will remain above the law!
    (Actually i am a bit less pessimistic with Trump in the Oval Office: although somewhat of an abuser himself — pretty mild compared to Bill Clinton or the Kennedys — at least he has given voice to the middle and lower classes.)

    * within boundaries, which H. Weinstein, D. Strauss-Kahn, and others, have trespassed.

  • Jamesgl

    I do wonder how progressives get laid. Perhaps lawyers correspondence s are involved?

  • rxc

    “…at least he has given voice to the middle and lower classes”

    He just cannot control his mouth, with regard to the things he is thinking. And the left has taken it up, as well. They seem to think that because he can Tweet in free-association mode, they should be able to do it, as well. And they are revealing themselves to really be the totalitarians we have been accuse them of. And it is really frightening what everyone is saying, as they unload all their inner, hidden thoughts. The lower and middle classes have no part in this dialogue – they are not as clever with words as the chattering classes that they do not inhabit.

    If we can survive Trump without starting to shoot at one another, maybe there will be a golden lining to this dark cloud of incivility.

    Oh, and I remember when it was even possible to complement a woman about her clothing, in the office – that seems to have stopped a long time ago. Probably about the time that women started to sue men for having photos of their wives, in bathing suits that covered up any offending bits, on their desks.

  • Watchman

    rxc,

    It’s a bit of an assumption that the idiots tweeting away are good with words, or are even the ruling class (Trump is a rare case of a rich and successful person actually tweeting himself without consultation). There’s little evidence for that since Twitter is more about contracting messages than creating words.

    Although my most fun disagreement recently came with a colleague who is convinced that for the good of the world someone should have the right to oversee Trump’s texting – she seemed to think the elected leader of a democracy should not be able to text what he likes because it might have an effect on people. This sort of conservatism – we can’t do anything that upsets the happiness of people (presumably mostly the smug happiness of those expressing this sort of conservatism) is rather wierd to deal with, but it is not particularly persuasive or skilled, at least amongst proponents I’ve met.

  • Cliff Elam

    I am about 90% sure that I would not have been able to ask my wife out when we were both working at the same company lo these many years ago.

    Let me count the problems:
    1> We were drinking
    2> It were company sponsored booze
    3> She was in HR
    4> Her boss used to flirt me out of the HR department (ugh)

    In addition, she was (and is) way too hot for me so clearly I was leveraging my potential earnings advantage, which has got to be un-woke as heck.

    (Side note, I asked her if she was only after my manly physique and she replied that I made her laugh. Ouch.)

    I’m glad I’m neither in college or using Tinder.

    -XC

  • Alisa

    Watchman, I don’t remember who was defending Assange at the time, but I also remember no evidence giving the rape accusations made against him any credibility. Not that I necessarily think of him as a ‘good guy’ in that sense, just someone who slept with dogs and woke up with fleas.

  • Alisa

    [Trump] somewhat of an abuser himself

    Is there any evidence to support that (other than mere talk of grabbing stuff)?

  • bobby b

    My memory of the rape allegations against Assange are that a woman who had willing consensual sex with him several times over a period of about a week (while he stayed with her with her permission) accused him of knowingly using a torn condom during one session – either that he ripped it on purpose, or that he knew it was ripped and continued.

    Under Swedish law, this may well be rape. I have a hard time reconciling this aspect of the Swedish legal philosophy with their seeming acceptance of the Muslim rape invasion of their country.

  • Jacob

    A question for our wise comentariat:

    How were Harvey Weinstein’s acts different from Bill Clinton’s ? and Kennedy’s ?
    Why was he singled out for this outrage and harsh treatment?
    Maybe only because he grew old (65) and lost his power. That also answers the question: why now? if it was ongoing for years and everybody knew it.

    (by the way: that’s also what happened to Hosni Mobarak in Egytp a while ago: he grew old, lost his touch and was overthrown.) The laws of the jungle are harsh.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Is there any evidence to support [the claim that Trump has been abusive] (other than mere talk of grabbing stuff)?
    Good question. On 2nd thought, i should have expressed myself more cautiously.
    Via the Fount of All Knowledge i found a handy list of women who have claimed that Trump harassed them, on Vox. They complain mostly about the sort of behavior that one would expect from a guy who said that, being a celebrity, he can take consent for granted, as in the Access Hollywood tape; which makes their claims credible but isn’t evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Not sure that there is anything that could put Trump in jail, anyway. The main problem would be if Trump is vulnerable to blackmail, but that seems unlikely.

    Bobby:

    Under Swedish law, this may well be rape. I have a hard time reconciling this aspect of the Swedish legal philosophy with their seeming acceptance of the Muslim rape invasion of their country.

    You seem to believe that the Swedish police do not react to rape allegations if the rapists are Muslims; which happened in the UK, but not in Sweden afaik.

  • Watchman

    bobby b,

    Law and what you turn a blind eye to are somewhat separate issues. The actual accusation would be rape in the UK as well though I’d have thought – if sex was conditional on using a condom, deliberately using a non-functioning condom is non-consensual sex (obtained through deceipt), hence rape. Hard to prove I suspect but if it was somehow clear cut there would be no doubt.

    Alisa,

    At the time the number of the left-wing commentators trying to argue this was not rape, or was a fabricated accusation (despite lots of speculation, the actual complaint to the police seems genuine – and such a difficult to prove case would be a wierd choice for a false rape accusation, when it could just have been made after the first sexual activity), amused me greatly and sticks in my mind. Note also the prominent left-wing figures who put up (and lost) his bail. I don’t have the evidence available to the Swedish prosecutors (amazingly…), so I can’t speak of credibility, but disregard of the wishes of others would be fairly characteristic of Assange as far as I can see (again, I don’t have much evidence here) so the story was not exactly unlikely. It certainly fits with my precoception of men who see themselves as on the side of good being far more likely to sexually abuse women (we could apply the same logic to Muslims doing it).

    I think you use of good guy is perhaps the key – for those of a libertarian bent, the concept of good guy is quite limited, as we mostly disagree with everyone about something (there is a lack of schools of thought around here), so we are happy to accept Assange did some good in showing the overreach of government and freeing up information, without feeling that has to make him a good guy we have to support unconditionally. But for some reason (tribalism?) many of those who advocate politics with a strong communal rather than individual stance tend to take a view about people on the basis of their political actions and then try to excuse their failings. An example – a prominent member of the Liberal Democrats (Lord Rennard), the third party in the UK and one made up of a continuum of views from liberal to social democrat (so individualist to collectivist in a limited range), has been accused of sexual abuse in the past, albeit never convicted, and was removed from his party roles. It appears that the current leader (a social democrat) is happy to have him back in a party role, whilst many of the actual liberals remaining in the party are opposed to this (a friend from that wing of the party can be brought to an enjoyable level of fury by mentioning it over a pint…) on the basis they care about his actions, whilst to the leader his alignment and work for the party outweigh the individual things he does.

    So I suppose a hypothesis here would be that collectivist thinking tends to encourage the mitigation or ignoring of misdeeds, including sexual misdeeds, of people they feel are aligned to their cause (as the cause outweighs the individual), and therefore this also breeds an increased tendency for those promoting these views to act in an unacceptable way in the knowledge they are likely to be shielded because they have the correct views. This hypothesis has the added bonus that it neatly covers religion as well as political views, there being a lack of individualistic religions.

  • Snorri Godhi

    rxc:

    He just cannot control his mouth, with regard to the things he is thinking.

    I think that there is logic to his apparent madness; which is the inverse of what i would say about the “””resistance”””.

    The lower and middle classes have no part in this dialogue – they are not as clever with words as the chattering classes that they do not inhabit.

    The ruled classes have never any part in any political dialogue: those who have a part, are in the ruling class by definition. But some members of the ruling class are outside the party of the ruling class, if you allow me a subtle distinction. The party of the ruling class is the party that wants to increase the power of the ruling class: not all members of the party are in the ruling class, and not all members of the ruling class are in the party. Reagan definitely was not in the party. It is people like Reagan and, hopefully, Trump, who give a voice to the ruled classes; and not just a voice, see how Betsy DeVos is trying to make American universities safer for men.

    Actually, just by voting for Trump, the ruled classes have sent a clear message to the media: F–you!

  • bobby b

    Snorri Godhi
    October 20, 2017 at 10:37 am

    “You seem to believe that the Swedish police do not react to rape allegations if the rapists are Muslims; which happened in the UK, but not in Sweden afaik.”

    Given that Sweden is being called the Rape Capital of the West, and has a rape incidence second only to Lesotho (of Southern Africa), and a number of years ago got called out by Amnesty International for its very low conviction rate, I’m amazed at the resources Sweden has used towards prosecuting this very technical violation of the rape statute.

    It may be that Swedish police do react to rape allegations if the rapists are Muslims, but they don’t seem to be very good at it, and their priorities seem skewed.

    It all makes me think they have reasons for prosecuting Assange beyond the facial ones.

  • Watchman

    bobby b,

    If Sweden has, as you seemed to suggest earlier, a wide definition of rape compared to other countries, then the blunt instrument of comparing crime rates without context will tend to increase the rape reporting. I think this is actually the case – Sweden is a bit of a feminist icon in its treatment of rape, which suggests it has a wide meaning. It would be interesting to know if other sexual assualt figures for Sweden are high as well, or are low as the rape rate covers a lot of offences included in these elsewhere. I certainly refuse to believe that Sweden’s rape incidence is really higher than most African countries – it may be Lesotho is just honest in its reporting.

    The conviction rate will inevitably be low for a wide-ranging definition of rape, as this takes the crime into increasingly difficult to prove areas.

    And Amnesty has its uses, but I would never treat their pronouncements on the failures of western European countries seriously without some useful backing evidence as these declarations always seem political and generally seem to be driven by left-wing hobby horses, and I can’t see any widespread outcry that Sweden ignores sex crimes beyond the recent narrative (mainly carried forward by our anti-Muslim friends (I suppose some of them may not be islamaphobes…)), which is based on particular urban localities where an immigrant population is clearly causing serious issues, but doesn’t even reflect the situtation in other parts of the major cities.

  • Mr Ed

    The conviction rate will inevitably be low for a wide-ranging definition of rape, as this takes the crime into increasingly difficult to prove areas.

    Didn’t Vishinsky say ‘Arrest is the primary proof of guilt‘? Just wondering how far down that road we are going.

    In his Theory of Judicial Proofs in Soviet Justice (Stalin Prize in 1947) he laid a theoreticial base for the Soviet judicial system, based on Marxist–Leninist principles, giving it a strong bias towards dialectical and collectivist thinking. Vyshinsky recommended that investigators and judges consider “the wider social perspective” of each individual case in the context of class struggle. As a result, an actual committing of a crime was not required for conviction:

    Or as he put it earlier:

    In 1936, Vyshinsky achieved international infamy as the prosecutor at the Zinoviev-Kamenev trial (this trial had 9 other defendants), the first of the Moscow Trials during the Great Purge, lashing its defenseless victims with vituperative rhetoric:[25]

    Shoot these rabid dogs. Death to this gang who hide their ferocious teeth, their eagle claws, from the people! Down with that vulture Trotsky, from whose mouth a bloody venom drips, putrefying the great ideals of Marxism!… Down with these abject animals! Let’s put an end once and for all to these miserable hybrids of foxes and pigs, these stinking corpses! Let’s exterminate the mad dogs of capitalism, who want to tear to pieces the flower of our new Soviet nation! Let’s push the bestial hatred they bear our leaders back down their own throats!

    He often punctuated speeches with phrases like “Dogs of the Fascist bourgeoisie,” “mad dogs of Trotskyism,” “dregs of society,” “decayed people,” “terrorist thugs and degenerates,” and “accursed vermin.”[26] This dehumanization aided in what historian Arkady Vaksberg calls “a hitherto unknown type of trial where there was not the slightest need for evidence: what evidence did you need when you were dealing with ‘stinking carrion’ and ‘mad dogs’?”

  • Watchman

    Mr Ed,

    Amnesty’s European work does seem to share a tendency with the Guardian and its ilk of assuming that reports and arrests are statistics with significance for telling us about the prevalanec of acts rather than the report-rate and arrest-rate for the given act. I am not sure it’s actually going down the Vishinsky road though so much as showing a very poor understanding of the concepts of reporting and numbers. Although there seem to be a number of male ‘feminist’ journalists who have outed themselves as sexual predators (one once touched a woman’s clothed breast with his elbow! Seriously!) does suggest we have the compliant defendents in place. Which is good for the rest of us who aren’t sexual predators (my elbow may however have unintenionally touched a clothed female breast – it’s called commuting round here…) and don’t need to virtue signal ourselves out of a job, as it means the purge can concentrate on eviscarating (emasculating?) their own and leave people with good manners and good sense alone.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed.

    If only Vyshinsky was still about – he could help with Mrs May’s “Racial Audit”.

    The BBC would love it.

  • bobby b

    Watchman
    October 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    “I certainly refuse to believe that Sweden’s rape incidence is really higher than most African countries – it may be Lesotho is just honest in its reporting.”

    All I can suggest is that you Bing “rape statistics Sweden” or some such list. That’s what I did, and the first entry was entitled “Sweden: Rape Capital of the West”. From what little I’ve read, it’s getting harder to find statistics released by Sweden after about 2010, but it sounds quite dismal.

    Keep in mind that my main point was that, in light of what many people are calling a rape epidemic in Sweden, it seems unlikely that Swedish prosecutors would expend the resources they’ve put towards Assange’s torn condom unless they had some underlying agenda against him.

  • It is notorious that in cases of murder, let alone lesser crimes, the Swedish police no longer issue descriptions of the suspect to the public. Institutional racism in the Swedish police force was of course the reason why, some years ago, the statistics of these descriptions became so increasingly and disproportionately non-nordic that it was necessary for the authorities to impose this restriction.

    Or at least, that’s what the usual suspects said.

    Bobby b, I agree with you about the at-first-glance disproportionate-seeming allocation of resources to the Assange case, but IIRC Mr Assange is of nordic appearance. The mere acceptability of the narrative in Sweden could be a factor.

    Like others in this thread, I think it good that facts about deep state spying on us were revealed without feeling any special need to think well of Mr Assange in general.

  • Mr Ed

    This might be slightly OT, but Oxford University and others may have inadvertently produced an argument for leaving the EU with research showing that in Great Britain, great tits are on average 0.3mm longer in a certain area than their European counterparts.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Terry Pratchett wryly observed that two of the few benefits of age are that “…you’re allowed to take a nap in the afternoons and twinkle at young women.”.

  • Alisa

    Here’s a good summary on Sweden’s attitudes and stats (not a lot of those as has been mentioned above here) regarding rape/”rape”, as well as other violent crimes, from a woman who actually lives there.

    Regarding Assange, not long ago I went to the Wikipedia article about him, following several of the many links to media reports from the period when those allegations were being raised against him, plus police reports, etc. I was left with the exact impression Bobby seems to have put forward.

  • Interesting article Alisa (October 21, 2017 at 1:20 am), agreeing with my own knowledge. You may already know, and if not will not be surprised to learn, that the police force that lacks resources to even interview a rape victim till over a month after the assault has very little time to address burglary, leading Swedish firms to despair and/or much more extensive private security arrangements that take it for granted the police will never come.

    However, the exact link between sex crimes and immigration is not known, since the Swedish government will not update its statistics, and the data, which are still being collected, have not been made available to the public.

    I think it is very known from the above. Determined official concealment is evidence. (Or, as the joke has it, “Nothing is ever true until it’s been officially denied.”)

  • rxc

    Actually, just by voting for Trump, the ruled classes have sent a clear message to the media: F–you!

    I agree that they sent a clear message, but it was not necessarily a message in favor of Trump – I think it was more of a message that they did not want more like Hillary Clinton. The “ruled” who are so disgusted with the current choices that the chattering classes have offered up used to just drop out and not vote. They have learned about voting their interests now, and they don’t think that Hillary would act in their interests, so they voted against her. Not for Trump – AGAINST Hillary. An empty ballot paper or a third-party vote would be wasted, in terms of sending a message. But a vote for an idiot like Trump is a clear message, even though they don’t want to admit it.

    It will be a painful and unpleasant 3 (more) years, and maybe even 7, if the rulers do not learn their lesson.

  • Snorri Godhi

    it was not necessarily a message in favor of Trump – I think it was more of a message that they did not want more like Hillary Clinton.

    I don’t presume to know what their message was (apart from a 1- or 2-fingered salute) but i certainly hope it was against Hitlery: she was an existential threat to Western civilization.

    It will be a painful and unpleasant 3 (more) years, and maybe even 7, if the rulers do not learn their lesson.

    Don’t know about that: from a distance, i am very much enjoying it, and hope for at least 7 more years of the same. (Which is not to say that i blindly trust Trump to provide as much fun to the end of his 2nd term, i just hope he does.)

  • bobby b

    Snorri Godhi
    October 21, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    “Don’t know about that: from a distance, i am very much enjoying it . . . “

    Ditto, and directly from the crime scene. After four boring Bush years, eight stasis Clinton years, then eight disappointing Bush years, followed by the eight bleak Obama years, I’m having so much fun now that it really ought to be illegal. My joy may not be productive, but it is certainly retributive. With additional Supreme Court appointments, productivity will rise (as that is where current USA political power is centered), but for now, the sheer schadenfreude has brought political enjoyment back into my life.

    “Painful and unpleasant”? Hardly. Maybe for rxc. Not for me.

    And, it certainly was an anti-Hillary vote. A strong one. I originally pictured my Trump vote as a non-productive protest vote – nothing about “yes, this”, but instead “no, not that.” I have been pleasantly surprised that Trump turned out to be a good choice.

  • Alisa

    I didn’t know that, Niall (and am not surprised either).

    Thanks for the link, Snorri.

  • Laird

    I second every word bobby b wrote.

    Of the 28 (!) years pre-Trump, a good argument can be made that the most productive nationally were the Clinton ones. Which is pretty sad.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Of the 28 (!) years pre-Trump, a good argument can be made that the most productive nationally were the Clinton ones. Which is pretty sad.

    Indeed. (I assume that by “productive” you do not simply mean GDP growth, although that might also be true of GDP growth.)

    According to the EFW index, the US reached peak economic freedom in the year 2000; though i suppose that more of the credit goes to Gingrich than to Clinton.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Alisa: thanks to you too, for the link about policing in Sweden. Now i see that bobby b raised valid questions about the priorities of the Swedish police; though i read on Wikipedia that they have now dropped the case.

  • Alisa

    A photo would help the credibility of this post.

    You go first.

  • Laird

    Alisa, I already did (look to the left). Your turn.

  • Alisa

    Ditto, Laird 🙂

  • Thailover

    THIS is the real reason men in the Armed Forces like the US Air Force dislike the influx of females doing jobs that used to be primarily or completely performed by males workers. IT IS NOT sexism or bigotry on the men’s part…it’s the terror of possibly saying the wrong thing, making a “dongle” joke or the like, or looking the wrong way or at the wrong physical part of a co-worker. Something relatively innocent can ruin a 2-decade (or longer) career. I say this from experience as a war veteran.

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