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-wing intellectuals treat Socialism similarly, defining it by its outcome. If it doesn’t succeed in bringing about the said fairness and harmony with production in the hands of the workers, then it can’t have been Socialism. And out of the window goes the real world, the one we live in. If we were to say that Socialism seeks to achieve these goals, we’d be able to judge if it has ever succeeded to any degree. Because it never has, we’d be entitled to conclude that it doesn’t work. Kristian says it’s like performing a raindance. If it is done as an attempt to bring rain, we’d be able to judge how effective it was in practice. But if a raindance is defined as “a dance that brings rain,” then any dance that didn’t do that was clearly not a raindance.

Madsen Pirie

8 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • George Atkisson

    Brilliant. Concise and fully explanatory of the mindset chasing rainbows. Thank you.

  • Mr Ed

    It’s a bit like the Russian Collusion issue in the US, that a former FBI Director with Special Counsel authority hasn’t found anything in 2 years is, to some (for political purposes) proof of just how deep the collusion goes.

  • Since history shows that so many raindances (in fact all of them IIRC) have been performed with no true sincere intent to bring rain, it is clear that believers must inspect raindancers very carefully, and withhold their votes from any who do not meet the most stringent standards. Only thus can they avoid all those sad past experiences that have brought the raindance into disrepute with the ignorant masses.

    Pursuing the analogy, we should demand they have stringent criteria for ‘true’ socialist leaders, to distinguish them from the false dancers – er, socialists – and denounce any who vote for the false profits, er prophets, as not true soclalists.

    As a mere minimal first check, I suggest demanding an absolute, pure-as-the-driven-snow absence of the least hint of anti-semitism. After all, if all true socialists agree that the National Socialists were not true socialists, then demanding there be no faintest odour of them follows as a matter of course. Let us therefore demand that all true socialists turn in horror from Corbyn and his party.

    When a (completely different) socialist party finally appears that passes this test, we can then consider what next should be demanded – to ensure that when the dance is done the healing rain will assuredly fall, so that taking time out from digging irrigation ditches will have no unhappy consequence.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed,

    How very perceptive of you! I’m going to petition the DNC to get you to come over here and be their Party Chair, and see that you’re elected to the position of Majority Whip in the Senate once you’ve gotten them a Democratic Senate. 😀

    Come to think of it, you’re a Legal Eagle, aren’t you? Would you prefer to be Attorney General and run the DOJ? That way you could make sure all the worms are shaken out of every reprehensible action committed by GOP supporter … except the ones that you insert, of course. :>)))

  • Stonyground

    Where the rain dance analogy falls down is that the periods of drought that cause people to want them danced usually come to an end eventually. The rain dancer can then claim that the dance worked but just took a little longer this time. As far as I am aware, the failure of socialist experiments is pretty much universal. These ideas are not going to start being successful if we carry on applying them for longer.

    It goes without saying that they have their definition backwards, failure is how you recognise socialism surely.

  • Paul Marks

    Socialism was refuted even in the 19th century (by Herbert Spencer “The Man Versus the State” – and other thinkers), and certainly after the works of Ludwig Von Mises (such as “Socialism” and “Human Action”) socialism is exposed as nonsense – incredibly harmful nonsense.

    Yet there are vast numbers of socialists – why?

    Two reasons – the (to use a Marxist term) “ideological hegemony” of the left, how they dominate the education system and the media (everything from the television stations to the book shop), so lots of well meaning (but horribly badly informed) people are attracted to the socialist (or “Progressive” or “Social Justice” cause). But what of the intellectual leaders of the socialists – they are well read and highly intelligent, to be blunt they know this socialist stuff is nonsense, so why are they pushing it?

    POWER – the lust for POWER. It is that horribly simple.

  • Julie near Chicago

    “Power is corrupting — and absolute power is absolutely delightful.”

    –I forget who said that. But I think lots of people agree. :>))

  • Doug Jones

    “Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.”

    John Lehman, Secretary of the US Navy, 1981-1987