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Samizdata quote of the day

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable

John F. Kennedy

I am not exactly a fan of the late JFK but I find this quote timely.

29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I take it you are referring to attempts to subvert the EU referendum? Assuming you are, I have had that same thought, and referenced that same quote.

    I advise Samizdata readers never to forget to say that the quote comes from Kennedy when making this point. Without the prestige of his name those words coming from a Brexiteer or other Deplorable would be incitement to violence. Of course when left wingers say the same words, with or without Kennedy’s name attached, they revert to being a maxim of political philosophy.

  • Gene

    Let’s keep in mind that JFK, lifted out of 1962 and transported to the present day, would be drummed out of the Democratic Party in minutes … no, make that seconds. Not sure his name has any cachet left among 21st-century leftists.

  • Lee Moore

    I imagine millions have had the same thought as Natalie, and have not said it out loud it so as not to excite Plod.

  • paul owens

    Go tell it to Jo Cox.

  • Mr Ecks

    There are lots of options left yet.

    Help put pressure on scummy Tory MPs–the Liam Fox’s /Leadsom’s, that creep Raab who dares to tell us on Twatter to “back off” so he and the Bitch can deliver their sellout.

    They are trying to brass it out and hope it blows over. It won’t. And we need to use the spectre of Jizza against these MPs more effectively than the FFC can.

    Keeping up the pressure is key. Hundreds and thousands of letters, emails, twitters that just keep coming and coming without end will wear the buggers down. Not to mention surgeries and complaints if they won’t meet you at a surgery. And what about Official Complaints that MPs who take no notice of the voters are displaying Gross Misconduct.

    The summer recess will see many of them having to meet the members they are shafting. The fightback is only just beginning.

  • There are lots of options left yet.

    Yet again I agree entirely with Mr Ecks, we are most certainly not at the 1642 point yet by any means. That said, a great many things are no longer quite so unthinkable or unimaginable as they were just a few short years ago.

  • Jo Cox was an outlier… but she might also prove to be a warning wave. I hope not but fear so.

  • Bilwick

    I think JFK was echoing the standard Democratic defense of the welfare state, as promulgated by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and other Court Historians. Essentially it was “Surrender your wallet to us now, or surrender it to even nastier people later.”

  • terence patrick hewett

    The warning of Kipling’s poem The Gods of the Copybook Headings is about to become reality.

  • Without a doubt, Bilwick, which is why I for one am generally disinclined to quote someone like JFK, but I think readers of Samizdata with understand the context in which the quote was used by the Great Illuminatus 😉

  • Mr Ed

    What use, function or purpose is there now for Mrs Battenberg, if she does nothing about this situation?

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ecks has been proved to be correct – especially in relation to his language (long standing language) in relation to Mrs May.

    Now we are being told (by the supposed supporters of Leave that he mentions) that we “should not worry as the European Union will reject Mrs May’s offer anyway”.

    Relying on an enemy (and the European Union is an enemy) to reject any offer, no matter how much of a surrender it is, is bizarre.

  • Flubber

    If voting means nothing, then why obey laws? Or pay taxes?

    I do hope the pols realise just what a dangerous path they are walking….

  • Regional

    Seven in 10 Labour-held constituencies voted to leave the EU

  • Phil B

    And now you understand why you effectively cannot own firearms in the UK.

    Since Kennedy has been quoted, I will quote Chairman Mao – Power comes out of the barrel if a rifle. You reckon that the Government will give the proles that sort of power?

  • Regional

    Phil B,
    I seriously doubt there will be violence but Remainer politicians could be told by the local constituents to fook off, which seems more likely, but I’m an effwit.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Real credit should probably go to the clever speech-writer- politicians don’t seem to write their material these days.

  • The last Toryboy

    Ironically Jezza really is the voters vengeance on this one… “if you inflict the EU upon me, I will inflict Jezza upon you…”

  • Phil B

    @Regional,

    This is a long(ish) post but look at section 9.0 “Coming soon to a constituency near you” for a list of grievances from the population at large. OK, one, perhaps two would be tolerated and/or influence the votes at the next election but listed like that, most people would say that the legitimacy of the Government is non existent, having failed to protect the country, manage law and order and introduced a two tier system of laws and justice where certain favoured classes are ignored when they commit crime and the British people are zealously prosecuted for dropping litter, feeding the wrong kind of bread to ducks in municipal parks etc.

    https://wulfstansghost.com/2018/06/08/conservative-apocalypse-a-risk-assessment-for-conservative-constituencies/

    The blog has another two articles detailing the risk to sitting conservative MP’s and ists their names and their risk score.

  • Mr Ecks

    Phil B–Thanks for that link.

    Now we have a list of which Local Tory Associations to concentrate our fire on.

  • Fraser Orr

    FWIW, I looked up the original source of this quote. I suspect he was probably quoting some long dead Greek or Latin poet, as he often did in his Harvard educated manner, but I couldn’t find a source for that. However, the speech in which he actually said these words is linked below.

    It is from a speech to celebrate the aniversary of the founding of “The Alliance For Progress”. The name says it all. Although it had some reasonable goals, it also included these goals: “price stability, to avoid inflation or deflation; more equitable income distribution, land reform; and economic and social planning”. It was Kennedy’s idea of continuing the American Revolution in the rest of the Americas (which is why he is talking about revolution — you know in Argentina, and Columbia and Guatemala.)

    Here is the quote in context:

    For too long my country, the wealthiest nation in a continent which is not wealthy, failed to carry out its full responsibilities to its sister Republics. We have now accepted that responsibility. In the same way those who possess wealth and power in poor nations must accept their own responsibilities. They must lead the fight for those basic reforms which alone can preserve the fabric of their societies. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    Link Here

    It reminds me of that Mao quote about a diversity of opinions “let a hundred flowers bloom”, sometimes misquoted as “let a thousand flowers bloom”. Problem is that, when those voices bloomed into disagreement with the Chinese authorities, the people who disagreed were taken by his secret police and shot.

    Hundred Flowers Campaign

    I suppose though there is some utility in quoting icons’ pithy sayings to make our point, even if we are rather misrepresenting their original meaning. Whatever it takes, I guess.

  • Fraser Orr

    One other thing about this “revolution” thing. I think that we, who may seek liberty, often relish the idea of a revolution to liberalize our countries, in fact in the USA it is not uncommon to hear calls for constitutional amendments to “balance the budget” or some such thing. However, I think we forget our history. Russian revolutions and French revolutions are far more common than American revolutions. And if the people really got what the majority wanted we’d all be in a fine pickle indeed. One need only remember that, Venezuela, one of the richest nations in South America voted for their revolution, and they are still crying “vive l’Empereur, vive La Republic” as the scrabble around trying to buy some toilet paper for their kids.

    I just read this great article in the Gruniard. The fascinating thing is that they seem rather more concerned that Trump will be crass or rude than that he might actually be right.

  • bobby b

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    – John F. Kennedy

    I believe he was quoting an early Jeremy Corbyn. It was a threat addressed to those damned non-progressives.

    ” . . . we are most certainly not at the 1642 point yet by any means.”

    Maybe not, but the new article by Caroline Glick makes it seem much more likely that you ought to be. Is the EU on the brink of an open Russia-Iran-EU axis? Is that where Ms. May sees British safety?

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – Mrs May is an establishment “liberal” (the same misuse of language as in the United States), she is not going to ally with Russia, because “liberals” have decided they hate Mr Putin (even though his television station, “RT”, actually pumps out leftist propaganda very similar, on economic and social matters, to the “mainstream media” in the West).

    The “liberals” love “institutions” – they include elections in that, as long as the elections can not change POLICY (which is set by the Civil Service and academic “experts”).

    Mr Putin is seen as someone who violates “institutions” by demanding that they obey him (not the other way round) – and that is an outrage to “liberals”.

    Personally I despise BOTH Mr Putin and his “liberal” enemies.

    I do not want dictatorship by one man – but I do not want dictatorship by the “institutions” either.

    For wanting voting to actually change policy I would be a called a Fascist by (for example) the Economist magazine (which thinks that an educated elite, themselves, should make policy – regardless of who wins the vote), I would argue that they have no idea what the word Fascist means.

    By the way behind both Iran and Russia is the People’s Republic of CHINA – which is the real long term threat.

    One thing I agree with the Economist magazine about – as they are aware that the Chinese regime is no friend of woolly “liberals” like themselves. That the PRC leadership would, most likely, use them for spare part surgery is something the “liberals” have yet to work out – but they are aware that the PRC is not controlled by nice people.

    Even when arguing for even more Welfare State spending “liberals” still pay lip service to the Classical Liberal view of the importance of the individual – the PRC does not.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b.

    Mrs May is, as you know, a “liberal” (in the American sense – which is also the sense of the British sense these days). “Liberals” have decided that they hate Mr Putin – even though his “RT” television station spouts much the same leftist nonsense, at least as far as economic and social matters, as their own “mainstream media”. So why do the “liberals”, such as Mrs May, hate Mr Putin? They hate him because the “liberals” believe in “institutions” – they believe in the rule of an educated elite (themselves) in a bureaucracy informed by the mainstream media and university “experts” – not a one man (well one man and gang) rule as with Mr Putin.

    I oppose BOTH sides – the Putin dictatorship and the disguised dictatorship of the “liberals” (people like Mrs May or the Economist magazine – who believe that the results of a vote DO NOT MATTER, that “liberalism” should continue to rule, regardless of the vote).

    Iran is indeed backed by Russia (partly because Mr Putin hopes for a major war that would close the Gulf and put oil prices into outer space – as Russia is a major oil exporter.

    And behind them all is the People’s Republic of China – to whom even Mr Putin is just a pawn.

    The “liberals” are aware that the PRC is not actually their friend (it is one thing I even agree with the Economist magazine about) – they most likely do not understand that the PRC leadership would have the woolly minded “liberals” used for spare parts (or just cut up for fun) – but they do understand that the PRC leadership is not nice.

    The “liberals” still tell themselves that they believe in individual rights – even when they are pressing for things that destroy both individuals and communities. The state as the liberator of individuals – by changing the Welfare State in such-and-such a way. And they know that neither Mr Putin or the People’s Republic of China believe in such individual rights.

    Of course it is all madness – people like Mrs May or the Economist magazine types destroy the very things they say (even to themselves) that they love (such as Freedom of Speech). But they believe themselves to be good (they really do) – and they know that Russia, Iran and the PRC are not good.

  • Regional

    The ‘liberals’ are like how Hitler boasted about treating their Jews in concentration camps before the War and stealing their assets to give the Germans.

  • Alisa

    Nailed it, Paul. Still, a question: in what way is China behind Russia?

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks – when I said “Is that where Ms. May sees British safety?”, I wasn’t referring to an alliance of friends.

    What I meant was, in light of the information contained within Ms. Glick’s article, are the EU (and Ms. May) looking to appease promised Iranian terror as apparent hostages to it? Is she recognizing that, if the EU finds some way to keep the Iranian monster from the door, the UK needs to be inside that same door for its own safety?

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