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

“What all of this points to is a new kind of protest. There is a new generation for whom protesting is largely indistinguishable from a music festival. It has the same vibe, the same style, and the same constituency: the non-working classes, who define themselves through culture rather than labour, and who see themselves as having more in common with global technocratic institutions like the EU than they do with some of the people who live in their own towns (but on the other side of the tracks). If this is radicalism – which it isn’t – then it is passive radicalism. It is an entirely contradictory phenomenon, where on the one hand protesters are telling us actual Nazism is making a comeback, but on the other hand they’re not going to do anything about it except chill out in Trafalgar Square and post to Instagram a photo of them and their friends holding a ‘FUCK TRUMP’ placard.”

Brendan O’Neill

I avoided all this dreck by spending the weekend in South Devon, drinking local beer, swimming in the sea and walking on the hills above, with no internet access, no TV (which meant not watching the World Cup final). Heaven.

20 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Schill McGuffin

    Doesn’t really seem much different from the ’60s to me.

  • EdMJ

    Sargon of Akkad has a video up interviewing a bunch of them, and apart from the odd exception, it’s exactly as Brendan says – a bunch of LARPing, virtue signalling twats who struggle to string a coherent sentence together, let alone cogently explain the very placards they are holding.


    In some of the news videos the aftermath looked very much like the end of a concert or festival, a whole heap of mess strewn everywhere – I thought they were meant to be about ‘the environment’ and leaving a ‘zero footprint’? Hypocritical wankers.

  • Sam Duncan

    I don’t think it’s new. I recall back in the ’80s, hanging out with one of my mates, when his mum stuck her head round the door to ask if he wanted to come to “the demo”, rather in the manner mine would have asked about a family event, church outing, or something. I still don’t know what the “demo” was about to this day. I got the distinct impression, even then, that it didn’t really matter. It was a day out with the bonus of signalled virtue, nothing more.

    (To my friend’s credit, he decided to stay at home playing videogames with the rest of us.)

  • Mr Ed

    EdMJ, That video of Sargon’s has to be the most excruciating thing on YT, horribly watchable. I used to say that Sartre was wrong, ‘Hell is other people’s children’, but it is ‘those people’. Yet the media report their antics and blow them up into proportions that vastly outweigh their importance, relevance or sanity.

  • Paul Marks

    These demented young people do not come from no where – the education system and the “mainstream” media brainwash and twist them. For example the main-stream-media response to President Trump’s, reasonable, comments after meeting with Mr Putin was demented – just as demented as anything to be seen among the “protestors” of Trafalgar Square.

  • Alisa

    horribly watchable

    Indeed, sort of like a series of car wrecks.

  • AndrewZ

    I went to London on Saturday and spent the afternoon watching a light-hearted romantic musical about a grave-robbing maniac. But no matter how mis-judged the tone and no matter how great the dissonance between the subject matter and the presentation it still takes enormous skill to put on a show like that. There was something fundamentally wrong about it but there were also good jokes, sympathetic characters and catchy tunes. It was way more fun than it had any right to be.

    But that is the kind of mistake that can only be made by highly capable professionals working diligently at their craft. It took a great deal of professional skill to stage it and an equal degree of déformation professionnelle to avoid noticing why it would be better to not stage it at all, and one cannot experience the “déformation” without first acquiring the ”professionnelle”.

    The silly screeching children with their little orange balloon looked utterly absurd even in comparison to this artistic misadventure. They had nothing to say and no ability to express themselves. There are so many more real and important things happening every day in the life of a great city that even the dust blowing in the streets should dismiss such nonsense as beneath its notice. The fact that the legacy media did not tells you everything you need to know about its ability to tell the difference between genuinely important events and loud but meaningless noise.

  • Brian Swisher

    To the extent that Trump is a praying man, he must be using Voltaire’s: “O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous”.

  • pete

    With their constant accusations of Nazism and fascism the rentacrowd people seen on all sorts of ‘liberal’ demos are behaving like angry middle class teenagers who rant at Mum and Dad while expecting lots of money from them for their student fees, cars, iphones and computer games.

    Their immaturity is explained by the fact that most of them have little experience of having to please others in order to make a living.

    In their world there is easy access to other people’s money, and obedience and silence is expected from the people who pay their wages.

  • bobby b

    I wonder if the Russian Whites sat around amused in their shops discussing the radical, immature, disruptive, seemingly nonsensical Reds activists in the same manner and tone as we discuss the loony radical disrupters who flock under the Trump balloons?

    It must have been difficult to treat them as a viable threat to their way of life, just as it’s hard to feel threatened now by the vile trans-activists I keep seeing in the British press mugging for the cameras below the balloon with their spread-legged poses designed to shock.

    But those Reds won, and they ushered in an era of hundreds of millions of deaths, and of a halt to human progress, and to Hell on Earth.

    I wonder if we fail to fear them sufficiently.

  • Regional

    Remember Greenham Common?

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    I will confess that I found one billboard amusing- “I’m an ex-pat for a reason”

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    The Bolsheviks and others had been murdering in Russia for decades before they took power. The Whites must have known. The common people too. Here, those protesters are just a diversion, the ‘useless idiots’, but props and extras for the coming theatre, The Communists, the future murderers of millions are already in control of the Labour Party and are around 62 MPs short of power.

  • The problem in Russia wasn’t the Whites or the common people, it was the liberals who indulged the Reds so much that they ended up their enablers.

    (Not so different to here, then.)

  • CaptDMO

    Gossh, SURE I’m a radical. I’m WITH “the cause”.
    But I have a note from my doctor saying I can’t do any heavy lifting.
    Now, direct deposit my check, and where do I get my 10:00 breakfast sandwich?

  • “I’m an ex-pat for a reason”

    In most cases that will be down to the IRS & the USA’s insane approach to taxation rather than Trump 😉

  • the other rob

    In most cases that will be down to the IRS & the USA’s insane approach to taxation rather than Trump.

    Indeed, Perry. On the other hand, while that is an onerous burden, it is one that I was willing to shoulder in exchange for living in a community where everybody is suitably heavily armed, when the SA come calling.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b, Mr Ed and Hector Drummond.

    Even some Russian Army Generals failed to take the Marxists seriously – “after they have restored order” (so the thinking of some went) “they will give up insane ideas such as taking over all factories and farms” – but they did not give up these insane ideas.

    As for “liberals” – President Woodrow Wilson and his associate “Colonel” E.M. House were not Marxists (they were collectivists – but of a different faction to the Marxists) refused to help against the Marxists fearing that “Reactionaries” might return to power in Russia.

    E.M. House wrote “Philip Dru: Administrator” (a wildly collectivist work) and Woodrow Wilson supported the book – which shows that “liberal” (if these men were “liberals”) meant neo insane collectivist – even in 1912. Although, to be fair, these men actually called themselves “Progressives” not “Liberals”.

    Contrary to what is often claimed – there was no excuse for Collectivism in 1912. Living standards had never been higher and poverty had never been less (yes there were poor people – but a smaller proportion of the population than ever before) – the de facto claim “things would be even better if the government took over most things” was based on NOTHING. No evidence and no rational argument. And yet it swept the board in academia (thanks to Richard Ely and co) and in politics – with “Teddy” Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson leading the charge to make America more like Germany (indeed their dream was to make America MORE statist than Germany) even though most migrants were moving from Germany to America in 1912 – not the other way round.

    Britain was much the same – living standards here (before the First World War) were much higher than Germany, but the de facto cry of everyone who was “advanced” in their political opinions was to make us more like Germany than Germany was.

    Indeed we had already started to make Britain “more Germany than Germany is” with such things as the 1906 Trade Union Act (an insane measure that put unions above the Common Law) and the Unemployment Pay of the 1911 Act (which Germany did not have at the national level in 1911) – ready for all the unemployment putting unions above the law would cause.

    As early as 1883 (Man Versus the State) Herbert Spencer was warning of the change in “educated” opinion towards ever greater statism. Bismark in Prussia-Germany led this change – but he was part of a general movement in the world.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Let’s face it, Paul- people like planning! We’d regulate the weather if we could! And a lot of megophilia (love of bigness) was inspired by the success of big companies. So I think we need to build decentralism into whatever polity we are living in. I regularly point to Switzerland as an example that a strong central government is NOT essential. If people have big plans, let them grow their own companies into conglomerates!