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

Now, on top of all of that, if some Muslim goes ahead and dares to criticize her religion, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you also see a lot of liberals turn against her. I have my political differences with Ayaan, but really, if someone is rejecting Islam because she likes liberal Enlightenment values, because she believes in gender equality and human rights and freedom of speech, then you’d like your Western counterparts to support her. But often they don’t. When Salman Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses, which was his right to do, many liberals just shunned him.

Ali Rizvi

21 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • pete

    The sisterhood and other ‘liberals’ don’t care about certain women.

    Examples include the sex abuse victims of Rotherham and Rochdale and the victims of FGM. The 0% conviction rate for FGM in the UK is rarely mentioned by ‘liberals’ while they complain bitterly of a higher conviction rate for rape.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali can be added to the list because she has broken the rules of political correctness which means we cannot mention anything bad in relation to a certain religion.

  • Snorri Godhi

    This is just the same as the attitude of Western labor unions to Solidarność.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Whether King Arthur and Robin Hood ever existed is debatable: but it does not matter – they were expressions of an intense desire for freedom that have echoed down the ages – and those that wished to enslave us have found that is not an easy proposal – Robin and Maid Marion – Arthur, Mordred and Merlin are with us still.

  • terence patrick hewett (July 28, 2018 at 6:11 pm), the evidence for the historical existence of Artorius is good. It has always amused me that the later romances about him cause a certain kind of historian to demand a much higher standard of proof for Arthur than for people without a legend – to see the legend as positively evidence against. The attitude has its similarities to PC, as if a professional historian can virtue-signalled their status by not believing what interests the common people.

    Obviously, once we grant that Arthur existed and won the battle of Badon, we find we do not know that much more. 🙂

  • bobby b

    “Now, on top of all of that, if some Muslim goes ahead and dares to criticize her religion, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you also see a lot of liberals turn against her.”

    Progressives – who are the actual racists in the world – view brown and black and exotic peoples primarily as their (sometimes messy) pets who would be best locked away in a zoo and preserved in place for their quaintness.

    They’re always willing to call a black person who has done well an Uncle Tom. They’re always willing to amplify Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s status as an outlier – an apostate – and deny her respect. This is because, by raising themselves up, these people have no need for progressive protection and patronage. If everyone did that, what cause could the poor progressives fasten upon?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Surely the “common people” are a credulous lot, to the point that speaking of them as a group one might almost call them “simple,” incapable of distinguishing between the stories, the legends, the myths that constitute the background against which they see the real world, and the actual mythbusting truths that modern scholarship and the resulting truthspeaking iconoclasm that results from it?

    [Just sayin’. *g*]


    On the other hand, to be more serious, some people here have noticed that it really is terribly difficult for interested minds to tell which claimed “facts” really are facts. I agree. It is disheartening. And because one wishes not to report falsities as true facts, one ends up larding one’s statements with so-called “weasel words” and outright disclaimers. I cannot of my own knowledge attest that Mum & Dad were married when I was conceived … nor, indeed, that either of them had anything to do with my conception.

    I can, however, state with absolute authority who gave birth to the Young Miss, and who were the folks involved in her conception.

    There are some things that are unquestionable, at least by certain persons, unless we really are a brain in a vat (well, we are in fact at least partly a brain in a vat — cranium, cerebrospinal fluid, brain floating about languidly therein … although I can’t claim direct personal knowledge of this myself) or else we all live in an entirely fictive world of fantasy.

    I do hope everyone finds the foregoing helpful, or at least that it doesn’t make anyone’s head hurt.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . as a group one might almost call them “simple,” incapable of distinguishing between the stories, the legends, the myths that constitute the background against which they see the real world, and the actual mythbusting truths . . . “

    One might also call them “Oliver Stone fans.”

    ” . . . it really is terribly difficult for interested minds to tell which claimed “facts” really are facts.”

    Agree with all that you said, which is why “historical” movies that fudge history are one of my pet peeves. How many millions of people remain convinced (by Oliver Stone) that JFK was killed by a huge conspiracy? How many millions of people don’t know (because of Peter Jackson) that Tom Bombadil’s neutral goodness was an important balancing power in the true history of Middle-earth?

    (Of course, while I would shun and despise Stone, I remain a Peter Jackson fan, simply because what he did far outweighs what he skipped. But, still . . .)

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby, count me in on the “historical movies” peeve.

    By the way, while it is true that even some of the dust-bunnies have abandoned the holes wherein my marbles used to reside (not so nice as hobbit-holes, of course) and thereby have left them completely empty …. Ahem.

    Notwithstanding that, I’m sure that sometime in the past couple of decades that bastion of historical accuracy ran a “documentary” proving that LBJ was behind the assassination, or at least was complicit in it.

    Friends, don’t believe everything you see on TV.


    Tom Bombadil. The Professor himself said he had no idea of where Tom came from, nor of what, if anything, he “meant.” Again, I’m sure I read this, but I can’t say just where….

  • bobby b

    But he did defend putting Bombadil in, and stated that he wouldn’t leave him out. (I was sure I remembered this – I had to go searching for it, and I find that I do have this one small cracked marble remaining.)

    “Check out Tolkien’s discussion of Tom Bombadil’s character:

    “I would not, however, have left [Tom Bombadil] in, if he did not have some kind of function. I might put it this way. The story is cast in terms of a good side and a bad side, beauty against ruthless ugliness, tyranny against kingship, moderated freedom with consent against compulsion that has long lost any object save mere power, and so on; but both sides in some degree, conservative or destructive, want a measure of control. But if you have, as it were, taken a ‘vow of poverty,’ renounced control, and take your delight in things in themselves without reference to yourself, watching, observing, and to some extent knowing, then the questions of the rights and wrongs of power and control might become utterly meaningless to you, and the means of power quite valueless. It is a natural pacifist view, which always arises in the mind when there is a war.” (Source, 178-9; letter to Naomi Mitchison, 4/25/1954.)

    In other words, even if Tom Bombadil seems kind of random – again, there is literally no other character like him in the whole series, and we never really see him again in the rest of the novels – Tolkien feels that he has a purpose. Tom Bombadil’s function is to represent a particular wartime perspective. His presence in these novels acknowledges his totally neutral, hands-off perspective on the war as a legitimate one, even if the rest of the Lord of the Rings is concerned with the fight between Good and Evil.”

    (Found it here.) RTWT.

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby, I think your remaining marble, however cracked, is still on duty and serving you well. I did follow your link; very interesting, although the link it gives to the source letter doesn’t work.

    Still, there does seem to be a lot on the WWW supporting the idea that Prof. Tolkien was not as flummoxed by the appearance of Tom B. as I had been led to believe. Some month when everyone is out of town I’ll see if I can dig up my quote.

    On the other hand, people do report things differently from time to time, and not always out of intent to deceive. Sometimes one just wants to give a short answer and move on, for instance. And also, memories unfortunately change. And as we go along, we sometimes interpret what we ourselves have said or done differently on further thought.

    So, thanks for the info and the link. ;>)

  • Runcie Balspune

    Menu -> Bookmarks -> Add -> Muslim-Hobbit Connections.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Sigh. Maybe at this late date I should make it explicit that my remark above at July 28, 2018 at 11:50 pm was intended as a dig at the Educated-Elite crowd who, gullible as the dickens themselves, seem to consider the “common people” as “simple.”


    Also, I forgot to name the Bastion of Historical Accuracy. That would be the History Channel. But you all knew that, didn’t you.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    I prefer the theory that JFK was accidentally killed by the FBI. Saw a book and a movie that explained the FBI used to have loaded guns/rifles in the cars for immediate use, and after Oswald had fired and missed, an exciteable agent inadvertently tried to grab a gun, and it fired, into JFK. Then the FBI initiated a cover-up, and never had live weapons in their cars again.

  • EdMJ

    Some more discussion on Bombadil:


    I remember being incredibly bored with his chapters in the first book and nearly stopping reading it at the time, so I was never bothered that PJ left him out in the film. However I was young when I read it, so would be interesting to see if I got more value from it now.

  • SacSlicer

    Again on Bombadil, I like this theory very much: that he is the most evil creature in Middle Earth.


  • Paul Marks

    Either we are human beings (beings) who have the right to exercise our Free Will to choose to oppose Islam or we do not.

    The answer of the establishment, certainly of Mrs May, is essentially “not”. To the establishment “happiness” is more important than any right to Freedom of Speech – and “happiness” is promoted by “peace” and “peace” means SHUT UP.

    The establishment do not really consider us Free Will Human Beings at all – they consider all of us (not “just” people of certain skin colours) as their pets, or their clockwork machines. Incapable of real freedom of choice – Free Will.

    Britain has fallen so far from the days of the Old Whigs – such as Sir John Holt, Chief Justice from 1689 to 1710. First the philosophy of the Old Whigs was removed – then it was only a matter of time before their politics went as well.

  • Mr Ed

    Is Bombadil a representation of the Pacifists who, in WW1, would have sat idly by, effusing moral superiority and smugness, at the Rape of Louvain in the summer of 1914, as fresh German troops started the war with a wave of atrocities? As the British Library puts it in the link above.

    Dynamic of violence

    Germany invaded neutral Belgium on 4 August 1914. From the next day, civilians were executed en masse, as the invasion force advanced on its first obstacle, the ring of forts around Liège. To retaliate for the shelling from these forts, the German troops rounded up inhabitants of surrounding villages. Victims were selected and shot, those still alive being killed off with bayonets. By 8 August, nearly 850 civilians were dead. By then, several of the dynamics of this particular type of violence had fully emerged. First, the massacres occurred where the invading army suffered setbacks; the German military did not consider Belgium’s military defence to be legitimate. Second, the victims were accused, incorrectly, of being franc-tireurs (civilian snipers). Most of the German rank and file genuinely believed that the locals were attacking them; this sniper delusion was sometimes countered by the commanding officers, sometimes not. Third, there were women, children and old men among the victims but the vast majority were men of military age. These were more likely to be suspected of sniping; moreover, the invading troops resented them for still enjoying the civilian life that they themselves had so recently been torn from. Fourth, and last, the massacres went together with rituals designed to show civilians how helpless they were. People were made to cheer the troops; local dignitaries (mayors, priests) were publicly mistreated, in some cases killed.

    To me, Bombadil is a sort of Prester John, but one who is actually real, and powerful but useless, as he is not engaged in the World. Perhaps his function is to let Tolkien let off some steam about these types, to me Bombadil is not bad, he saves the Hobbits and helps them with supplies, he is a bit less involved in defeating evil than the Chileans were in the Falklands War.

  • bobby b

    I always thought that Bombadil was JRRT’s conception of God. I also thought he might have regretted this later, after publication.

    A constant refrain through history has been “if God is good, why does he allow for {disease/misery/ugly children}?” Bombadil, powerful enough to have made a difference in the struggle against Sauron, declines to participate, as if the struggle ultimately makes no difference, and must be played out. When I see two ant armies warring in the dirt, it never occurs to me that one side might be good and one evil, but it might be so in the ants’ minds.

    How would God react to Allies and Germans both praying to him for righteous victory? Much like Bombadil reacts to pleas for help – he simply takes no side and stays away, and the butchery goes on.

    I can’t imagine a situation that would more effectively foster such a cynicism than JRRT’s experiences in the trenches of WWI – I can see this formulation growing out of that time. I can also see him declining to explain this in later life, knowing that it might provoke a reaction that he wished to avoid.

  • lucklucky

    It is time to stop using word “liberals” to designate Marxists.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    In the Silmarils, the All-Father is outside the Solar System, as we call it, and He lets His Children build the Earth together. Some of these beings don’t play nice, and one, Melkor, goes on to become Evil Incarnate. Sauron started out as a lieutenant of Melkor. Humans are bit-players, at first. Tom Bombadil might have been one of the Children, as might his wife.

  • Confused Old Misfit

    Bobby B’s quote is accurate.
    I have the book The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien beside me.