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

“Silicon Valley suffers from a classic case of Stockholm syndrome: Its leaders have developed sympathy for their government and social-justice captors.”

Andy Kessler, Wall Street Journal (behind paywall).

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • chip

    That’s not it.

    Wealth no longer signals status, hence Zuckerberg wearing a hoodie and not a suit. Virtue signals status, even if their ‘virtue’ isn’t a quiet act of good, but instead loud demands that others perform what they see as acts of good.

    The end of Christianity probably has a hand in this too. Whereas doing good was once recognised by an all-knowing God, today you need to tell everyone to gain the same moral traction.

  • Runcie Balspune

    It is simple elitism, forgetting your roots, pulling up the ladder behind you. These companies originated from a free market and a free exchange of ideas, and now willingly seek to restrict that market and limit expression and thought, they don’t like the competition as much as the next corporation.

    The end of Christianity probably has a hand in this too

    Christianity’s self-professed claim to moral superiority was destroyed centuries ago by enlightenment and humanism, but the wave of individualism that and self-determination that emerged from that period is rapidly being forgotten, if anything we are slipping into a social framework defined by modern ideologies much worse than any established religion ever was, one that ignores basic scientific, biological and historical facts, engages in collective punishment by identity and promotes visceral hatred of anyone not conforming to the group think.

  • A similar phenomenon is quite old. Early in the French revolution, Burke warned Pitt that ambassadors and advisors in various countries were becoming advocates for the revolutionary ideas that would destroy them, and warns that kings need to guard against the tendency in themselves:

    What cause produces in them a turn of mind, which at first one would think unnatural to their situation, it is not impossible to explain. The discussion would however be somewhat long and somewhat invidious. … if Princes and States do not very speedily attend with a vigorous controul to that source of direction and information, very serious evils are likely to befal them. [Thoughts on French Affairs, Burke, 1791]

    Or, as a modern would say it, drain the swamp before it drains you. (I have deliberately left unchanged some older spellings and capitalisations in the quote, just to emphasise that this is as old as the French revolution.)

    There is a good side to this: we have survived the like before.

  • neonsnake

    Runcie Balspone.

    I’m unclear which sentence of that post to quote before saying “I totes agree”. I’d have to quote all of them.

    That’s a post and a half, bruv.

    I agree with every sentiment in it.

  • Julie near Chicago

    However long and invidious Burke’s explanation might have been, I wish he’d included it in the op cit. I’d like his particular take on it.

    Thanks for the quote, Niall.

    .

    Not all virtue is for show (not by a long shot!), but virtue-for-show is hardly a new phenomenon.

    But in the case at least of Zuckerberg (who, I think, comes from a Progressive-minded family anyway), it may be at least as much a matter of following the obvious fashion of the Tribe of his clique of High Business persons.

    .

    I will observe that Doing Good for the Community is generally seen as good P.R., hence encouraging people to reward the business not only with good will but also with filthy lucre. I don’t see why that in itself is reprehensible.

    (It also doesn’t hurt when you need a zoning variance or other exceptions to the Rules from jurisdictional officials right up to the Federal level.)

  • However long and invidious Burke’s explanation might have been, I wish he’d included it in the op cit. I’d like his particular take on it. (Julie near Chicago, September 30, 2019 at 8:00 pm)

    I share your feelings but understand why in that memorandum (intended for the eyes of prime minister Pitt and a few others, not a mass audience) Burke minimised his discussion of background points. There are sarcastic references in his letter to WIlliam Elliot and material in the later “Letters on a Regicide Peace” that covers it, and stuff elsewhere, including the ‘Reflections’ where he already observes instances and (IIRC) possibilities – I will re-read and (maybe sometime, as work permits) try to pull it together and post.

  • Chip

    “Christianity’s self-professed claim to moral superiority was destroyed centuries ago by enlightenment and humanism, but the wave of individualism that and self-determination that emerged from that period is rapidly being forgotten, ”

    Christianity as an institution, yes. But not as a system of values because Christian philosophy underpins the enlightenment and our thinking today, from the idea of guilt versus shame, to turn the other cheek and the Good Samaritan.

    And individualism as well, because the emergence of Prostestantism and the personal relationship with a god largely shaped the dignity of the individual. It’s why Christians like Quakers led the fight against slavery and why the rugged individualism of America arose from the Puritans and other Protestants.

    I’m not religious myself but i recognise that my values often have religious origins.

  • Tedd

    Perhaps there’s a simpler explanation. The management (and most of the staff) of these companies go straight from college to a tech company–i.e., from one cloistered environment with a unified mindset to another. What would be the reason for expecting these two environments not to be predominantly of the same mind?

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Niall – the richest man in France, the Duke of Orleans, financed (for years) the people who created the French Revolution. And the Duke helped create it himself – even voting for the murder of his own cousin (that kindly but hopelessly weak man – King Louis XVI).

    The other Revolutionaries rewarded all this – by murdering “Citizen Equality” (the Duke of Orleans) himself.

    As “Stalin” was later to explain “gratitude is an emotion felt by dogs”.

    The d.com zillionares and Credit Bubble bankers who fund the far left (including the Marxist left) today, will find that the left has not changed.

    The “Progressives” will reward their benefactors (the dot.com types and the “Financial Industry” types) with robbery and murder.

    In his “Letter to a Noble Lord” – Edmund Burke tried to warn the British Duke of Bedford that the Revolutionaries he was supporting would rob and murder “His Grace”, but the Duke of Bedford refused to understand.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall, Burke sarcastic??!!! — Quoting a Smite-Cat: “Oh noes!”

    Heh. Now I really want to read it! :>)

  • Paul Marks

    The bankers and other corporate types think they have an answer to all this – if they keep the left concentrated on “Woke” bovine excrement (race, gender, sexuality….) then the left will forget about “economic matters” (i.e. forget to rob and murder the rich).

    However, the richlings who back the left are mistaken – the “wokeness” will not distract the left from robbing and murdering them. Indeed it will make it easier to do. At the bottom of the “equality and diversity agenda” is “Social Justice”, and “Social Justice” means vast piles of rotting human corpses.

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