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

“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”

– Toby Young, found via Guido Fawkes, who has video.

22 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • It also needs to be said that the people eating their own pets are the *survivors*. The ones who haven’t had their wrists tied to their ankles for weeks on end. The ones who haven’t frozen to death on a 43 day trip in a cattle train to Siberia where the guards have refused to give them water for weeks. The ones who haven’t killed themselves through fear.

  • bobby b

    So, cat ladies are really the ultimate preppers.

  • Rob

    Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man

    That’s the mask the sociopaths wear. The real driver is power.

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    I also put this up as an SQotD before realising Natalie had already. So: snap. But: apologies for the duplication and deletion.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    Agreed, but you missed out something in the middle. After the brotherhood of man and before the eating of pets, you get to watch socialist leaders actively destroying each other over tiny variations in ‘policy.’

  • The Sanity Inspector

    I also liked Richard John Neuhaus’ formulation: “Socialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion.”

  • Stonyground

    I’ve been an atheist since my teens. After I ditched my religion I never felt the need to replace it with another one.

    On the brotherhood of man thing, I think that the useful idiots start off believing in it and carry on believing in it long after it has become obvious that it’s never going to happen.

  • Jim

    “I’ve been an atheist since my teens. After I ditched my religion I never felt the need to replace it with another one.”

    Thats the point, none of the others think they have replaced it either (not saying you have of course!). They think they are being totally rational. And are utterly oblivious to the fact that they’ve just replaced one set of arbitrary rules and dogma for another. Instead of seeking paradise in the eternal hereafter, they’re looking for it in the here and now. But because no sky fairy is involved its not ‘religion’ at all, no not one jot…………..

  • Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man

    That’s the mask the sociopaths wear. The real driver is power .Rob
    June 15, 2019 at 8:00 am

    You can relate the two by noting that socialism is a vision of the power of man – a claim that ‘we’ can ‘of course’ achieve socialism’s goals if we have only the will.

    I am not the first to note that ‘the power of man’ begins – and ends – as the power of some men over others.

  • the other rob

    They typically murder the Jews, somewhere along the line. Every fucking time.

  • Jacob

    “‘we’ can ‘of course’ achieve socialism’s goals if we have only the will”

    I.e. – the will to exterminate those that don’t have “the will” or those who object (for example to expropriation). If “we” only kill enough opponents and skeptics, socialism’s goals (brotherhood and plenty for all) will be achieved.

  • Julie near Chicago

    There is this idea that socialists/lefties/proggies believe in the innate goodness of Man, whereas the dastardly conservatives believe that Man is flawed or Fallen or in any case not much of a decent Joe or Jane, and believe that men are inherently Bad, Evil. This is an article of faith with the hard-core Proggie crew. As has been explained to me by a close Proggie, Sanders-supporting relative.

    This really, really bugs me.

    If lefties really believed that, they would see no need to order Society so as to make men Good, since they are already Good. There would be no need for all these laws and so forth.

    Furthermore, our species does include people of various conservativish or libertarianish bent or beliefs; what, we are not legitimate members of the Mankind and therefore inherently Good?

    Surely all these laws are totally unnecessary from the leftist POV.

    I simply do not believe the idea that Lefties believe that Man is inherently Good.

    (I know, I know, they sometimes excuse this by saying something to the effect that the Goodness can only come out when everybody is forced to sing from the same hymnbook and live totally by the totally decency-insuring rules. But the belief as stated is what the Party Line insists on, at least when they are hammering us with the idea that we believe that Man is inherently Fallen and Flawed and just no damn good.)

    And I see these same ideas repeated ad nauseum on allegedly conservative websites. But illogic is illogic, no matter who is making the statement. To me, conservatives’ repetition of this nonsense is entirely depressing.

  • bobby b

    Julie, I think that that’s the fiction that the progressives like to believe.

    In reality, it’s simply that they’re more amenable to the idea that humanity CAN be composed of good, right-thinking people if we’re willing to find and eliminate those who don’t have the proper moral beliefs.

    Like, say, you and me.

  • They typically murder the Jews, somewhere along the line. Every fucking time.

    In fairness that was the National Socialists of the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) aka The Nazis that believed in the “Cattle Truck and Gas Chamber” solution to the “Jewish Problem”.

    The Communists under Stalin preferred to just use cattle trucks to send them to some godforsaken Siberian gulag in the hope that they will contribute a bit of slave labour before dying of some combination of cold, starvation or sickness.

    Post Stalin, everyone was treated a bit better, but even under Khrushchev, Brezhnev and the other Communist waxwork leadership the Jews were routinely denied positions and promotions in the Soviet system.

    …and here we are in 2019 and yet another Marxist/Leninist wannabe dictator, our very own Jeremy Corbyn has “anti-Israeli” views which even the most pro-Labour supporter would acknowledge as being a gnats hair width from full-on antisemitism.

    I can understand why British Jews keep a suitcase packed and ready to go. God help us all if Jezza gets into Downing Street.

  • Julie near Chicago (June 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm), the left believe that humans are perfectible – not currently good but capable of being made so – and that some (themselves) are already close to this happy state while the rest (us) are tragically far from it. Some lefties think we can be saved by the right education. Others (like George Bernard Shaw) “would despair if I did not know that they will soon die and there is no reason they should be replaced by people like themselves.”

    Either view demands that the prejudices that alone bar the human race from its glorious perfected future be eliminated. Whether this is done by the education of those holding them or the elimination of those holding them is usually a matter of time in the lefty’s life. Like Mohammed, they usually start thinking their obviously true doctrine will soon be accepted by almost all, and end by killing those so very prejudiced as to prove them wrong.

  • They typically murder the Jews, somewhere along the line. (the other rob, June 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm)

    They typically murder some Jews while trying but failing to murder the Jews, leaving e.g. Arabs during the Eichmann trial complaining that he “hadn’t finished the job”, and where was all this boasted German efficiency they’d been promised.

    Stalin fortunately died a month or two before unveiling his extensively-prepared anti-Semitic pogrom.

    I guess it’s different in the far east – Mao’s huge murder total includes few Jews.

  • Stonyground

    I’ve often wondered if the type of society that is practiced by social insects such as ants and bees would qualify as socialism. If so, maybe they are proof that it could actually work if everyone could just be persuaded to mindlessly work their arses off for the common good.

  • Revelation

    “They typically murder the Jews, somewhere along the line. Every fucking time.”

    Except for the Holodomor, you know, where the Jews did the killing.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Revelation writes, “Except for the Holodomor, you know, where the Jews did the killing.”

    WTF?

  • Revelation

    There’s some wonderful historical revisionism out there. So I’ll set you some homework.

    Look at who surrounded Lenin during and after the Russian revolution.

  • Revelation (June 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm), Stalin, not Zinoviev, was Lenin’s successor. Stalin was nominally a Georgian but is often thought to be an Ossetian. One thing he was certainly not in the slightest was Jewish.

    Stalin began his career in the communist party by joking about having a pogrom in the party. He ended it by preparing a mass pogrom against the Jews. In between, he mass-murdered during the Holodomor, then killed millions – but not quite as many – during the great purge (one of them was Zinoviev).

    Stalin’s final great purge plan began with the ‘Doctors plot’ – which attacked Jews. The preliminary stages – Jewish victims chosen and confessions extracted – were completed. Luckily Stalin died shortly before the next stage was to start: publicising the ‘wicked Jewish plot’, then killing Jews in ‘spontaneous’ pogroms, then having surviving Jews ‘request’ evacuation to an NKVD-run zone. Jews in Russia were having their signatures to this ‘request’ letter extracted as Stalin died.

    There is no excuse for swallowing assertions that Jews were proportionate, let alone disproportionate, in the communist purgers. On the contrary, the most prototypical eastern-European Jewish left-wing organisation, the old social-democratic bund, were notorious to the NKVD as being particularly refractory in interrogation, having been hardened by a tougher underground life in Tsarist Russia than the communists, and being better educated in Marxism than their interrogators.

    Stalin’s joke was that the Mensheviks were more often Jewish whereas the Bolsheviks were a native Russian faction “so maybe we should have a pogrom in the party”. Some four decades separated the joke from the reality.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Stonyground: “I’ve often wondered if the type of society that is practiced by social insects such as ants and bees would qualify as socialism.”

    Long time ago (sorry, I don’t have the reference), I was amused by a report on some very patient work done by entomologists which demonstrated that about one third of bees were not “busy as bees”. Instead, they hung around and did not contribute much to the hive. Maybe social insects do indeed qualify as socialists.

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