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Samizdata quote of the day

“Turning ourselves into China for any reason is the definition of a cure being worse than the disease. The scolders who are being seduced by such thinking have to wake up, before we end up adding another disaster on top of the terrible one we’re already facing.”

Matt Taibbi

The whole essay will, I bet, resonate with all you freedom lovers in the comments.

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Democracy is a process of delivering cures that cause more harm than the problems they were meant to address.

    Good luck voting your way to obtaining the FULL freedoms that you had pre-Coronavirus.

    Democracy is where liberty goes to die, after all.

  • Excellent essay

    H.L. Mencken once said that in America, “the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head.”

    We have a lot of dumb people in this country. But the difference between the stupidities cherished by the Idiocracy set ingesting fish cleaner, and the ones pushed in places like the Atlantic, is that the jackasses among the “expert” class compound their wrongness by being so sure of themselves that they force others to go along. In other words, to combat “ignorance,” the scolders create a new and more virulent species of it: exclusive ignorance, forced ignorance, ignorance with staying power.

    The people who want to add a censorship regime to a health crisis are more dangerous and more stupid by leaps and bounds than a president who tells people to inject disinfectant. It’s astonishing that they don’t see this.

  • Democracy is where liberty goes to die, after all.

    Of course Shlomo’s solution is move back to a political order where people pray to their invisible imaginary friend by whose authority we must all kowtow to some oaf in ermine until the next dynastic succession war comes along 😆

  • APL

    PdH: “The people who want to add a censorship regime to a health crisis are more dangerous and more stupid by leaps and bounds than a president who tells people to inject disinfectant.”

    I think we need a link to Trump telling people to inject disinfectant. I’m not sure there is one.

    Those people who, on the one hand scream the President has suggested you inject yourself with disinfectant, are frequently the same people who, don’t care about drug or people trafficking across the southern border.

    Take Hydroxychloroquine. I doubt the President knew it was an ingredient of fish tank cleaner, but still less did he know that the the democrat woman who complained her husband drank it at POTUS suggestion was a potential murderer.

    This guy deconstructs the duplicitous propaganda the BBC presents as News.

    The BBC is rotten to the core and should be levelled to the ground.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I think we need a link to Trump telling people to inject disinfectant. I’m not sure there is one.”

    Transcript here. The comments were clearly uninformed speculation and questions addressed to the experts, based on the previous presentation regarding UV and disinfectant killing the virus on surfaces you might touch, not a suggestion or a statement that it was a good idea.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. So I asked Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of, if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that too. It sounds interesting.

    ACTING UNDER SECRETARY BRYAN: We’ll get to the right folks who could.

    THE PRESIDENT: Right. And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.

    So we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s — that’s pretty powerful.

  • Paul Marks

    SM – if you oppose voting to change policy, for example by voting out of office the pro “lockdown” State Governors in the United States, what line of conduct do you propose?

    Are you suggesting, as you reject democracy, that one of us should gather armed men to our banner and then SHOOT (for example) the Governor of Michigan, and proclaim ourselves King in her place?

    I am quite nasty fellow in some ways – but I much prefer voting someone out office rather than shooting them and proclaiming myself King.

    So I think I will reject your kind suggestion.

    What opponents of voting always forget is that the real alternative to voting is violence.

    If the King is a tyrant such as Louis XIV (the Sun King) or an imbecile such as Henry VI (and I am nut using the world “imbecile” lightly – it is what he was), how does one limit the power or remove from office such individuals?

    If the people can neither vote directly, nor vote for a body (a Parliament or Estates General)to act on their behalf (and be voted OUT if it does not act on their behalf) the only way to proceed is violence.

    Absolute Monarchy (as opposed to Constitutional,, limited, Monarchy – such as Liechtenstein) not only leads to tyranny – it, in the end, leads to revolts and Civil Wars.

    The problem with the United Kingdom is not democracy – the problem is that the elected government is undermined by the bureaucracy (the “public servants” and “experts”) so that democracy has become, a least partly, an illusion.

    When Mr J.S. Mill suggested (more than suggested) that the people must be guided by the experts (himself – and his pals) the answer should have NO.

    And when Sir Charles Trevelyan (amongst others) offered to create a professional Civil Service for the United Kingdom, the answer of ministers should have been – “for a minister to really be in charge they must have the right to hire and fire the staff”.

    Otherwise we get into the absurd situation where, for example, whenever the Home Secretary (an elected person – Priti Patel) tries to give staff an order they dislike, they denounce her “bullying” and demand that she be “investigated”. Even though it is actually the elected minister who is ordering staff to enforce the law (for example on opposing Islamist Rape Gangs) and it is the Civil Servants who are SUBVERTING the law. Savid Javid (a man of Muslim background) was put into the same position – he would, for example, order an inquiry into Islamist Rape Gangs and the Civil Service (unelected) would subvert that investigation – or refuse to publish the results. Not very democratic S.M.

    Not being allowed to tell the staff to adopt the policy of the elected government (having to follow the policy of the bureaucracy) does not sound very much like a democracy.

  • Paul Marks

    The People’s Republic of China is indeed one conclusion to draw from S.M.s position.

    It gets round the problem of the hereditary ruler being incapable of ruling (like Henry XI – a man who for months did not even speak), by having a ruling bureaucracy instead – advised by the best educated experts in the land.

    If SM were correct then the People’s Republic of China would be a land of individual liberty (of Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Religion and so on) – but it is the opposite.

    If you support individual freedom then look to somewhere like South Dakota “Under God The People Rule” NOT the Dictatorship in China.

    Tragically much (most?) of Western Big Business thinks that the Dictatorship is the better system – and they (along with all the other “usual suspects”) are using the Covid 19 virus as an excuse (yes – an excuse) to push totalitarian control of the people.

    One might hope for opposition from the “liberal” intellectual elite – but one would hope in vain, as they are even more in support of tyranny (each “intellectual” thinking that they themselves will be in power and the “Red Neck Scum” population will have to kiss their boots).

    Truly the “treason of the intellectuals”. Which the education system and the “mainstream” media reflects.

    Given the choice between the system of Beijing China and Pierre South Dakota the “liberal” establishment elite would pick the former not the latter. And that includes the “liberal” Big Business types – whom Ayn Rand noted, long ago, were arriving on the scene.

  • Paul Marks

    Nullius – as you may know, ultra violet light treatment is a very old idea, used in the body as a disinfectant (when the President was a young man). Although I AGREE with you that this conversation should have been in PRIVATE – not in front of the media. The “mainstream” media can be relied upon to twist words – if given any opportunity to do so. We see this with our own BBC and every television news station that is allowed to broadcast to the United Kingdom. They serve the cause of Progressive Collectivism – and will do anything (anything at all) to further this cause.

    As for the President’s actual suggestion (not question – suggestion) of medicines (NOT disinfectants) that he made months ago. There is increasing evidence that a combination of existing medicines (no longer under patent – and thus of no interest to the establishment) can, if used early, sometimes prevent COVID 19 getting a death grip. And, yes it is the very combination of existing medicines that the President suggested – months ago.

    The media and establishment “experts” just mocked and sneered – and thus may have been responsible for many thousands of deaths (not that this will bother them – sadly they crushed the moral conscience within themselves, long ago).

    Not the first time the media and the “experts” have been responsible for mass death.

    Of course there is another factor at work here.

    Effective treatments for the virus would make it harder to justify totalitarian control of the populations of the world.

    It is increasingly clear that totalitarian control was not a tactic in the combating of the virus – the totalitarian control was the OBJECTIVE.

    Do not mistake me – the virus is real (very real), but it has been used as a excuse for things the “liberal” establishment elite have long desired to do – a vast international social experiment to see just how much control of the population they could achieve. NOT a matter of saving lives.

    And, from the point of the view of the establishment elite, the international social control experiment has been a brilliant success. It has shown that they can get away with just about any level of totalitarian control.

    I do not share their objectives – but I must commend the efficiency and hard work they show in trying to achieve their objectives.

  • APL

    Paul Marks: “There is increasing evidence that a combination of existing medicines (no longer under patent – and thus of no interest to the establishment) can ….”

    I had a spell under NHS care some ten years ago for pulmonary embolism. Of the symptoms is chest pain, which oddly I didn’t exhibit, just a progressive shortness of breath culminating in an inability to walk up twenty steps in one go.

    Anyway, upon discharge, I was prescribed Warfarin. A long established blood thinner which if fed to pests in high concentrations causes them to bleed to death. I was on a strict medical regimen to make sure that didn’t happen.

    But that didn’t stop the GP from attempting to persuade me to try a new medication which apparently was much better and didn’t have the side effects that Warfarin is prone to.

    I declined, on the basis that Warfarin was cheap and I was not experiencing any side effects.

    But I couldn’t help but suspect the GP wanted me on the new medication, because his Pharmaceutical rep., was pushing it. Higher profit margin, you see.

    Here is an interesting alternative proposal to deal with COVID-19 patients, which doesn’t involve ‘intubation’ or ventilators – which the BBC was pushing in the early stages of the crisis hysteria.

    Zero success of intubation.

    While there is very limited data (and none specific for COVID-19), the following “cocktail” may have a
    role in the prevention/mitigation of COVID-19 disease. While there is no high level evidence that this
    cocktail is effective; it is cheap, safe and widely available.

    ‘Cheap, safe and widely avaliable’.

  • APL

    Here we discussed the condition of paitents who have been treated in what the BBC considered to be the correct conventional manner, ventilation. Well, now we may understand why patients suffering from COVID-19 but eventually weaned off the ventilator, are often in a very poor condition.

    Page 9 of the document:

    “Hyper-coagulability (increased clotting) – the dysregulated immune system damages the endothelium and activates blood clotting, causing the formation of micro and macro blood clots. These blood clots impair blood flow.”

    A blood clot occurring in the brain is usually called a stroke.

  • I read the article, thought it good to be said and useful that such as Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone said it, and noted in passing (with no great annoyance – it comes with the territory of ‘useful that such as Matt Taibbi said it’) that he has a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome – perhaps less severe than some. The silliest of several revealing asides was

    between the stupidities cherished by the Idiocracy set ingesting fish cleaner, and the ones pushed in places like the Atlantic,

    It is well established that the woman who gave her husband a lethal does of fish cleaner and ingested a non-lethal amount herself was a Trump-hater, tweeting and saying all the usual ‘orangemanbad’ stuff, the last person in the world truly to believe or do something because Trump said it, and the first person in the world to agree with Trump-hating Atlantic writers urging that the president be silent and silenced. These are not two contrasting groups between which Matt can imagine himself poised like a sensible man. They are members of a single group!

    If Matt had made a conscious decision to include some TDS remarks in his article, lest otherwise his target audience stop reading it, I could sort of sadly see where he was coming from. But my bet is that Matt was unconsciously demonstrating a habit to which egotistical intellectuals are especially prone, that Robert Conquest defined as “a mediocre compromise between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong.”

    But to return to my start, it is good when such as Matt Taibbi say that western free speech has something on Chinese censorship. And I meant what I said about spotting the TDS with little annoyance – don’t look such a gift horse in the mouth more than one needs to to avoid catching its foot-in-mouth disease.

  • Paul Marks

    Interesting comments by both APL and Niall.

  • Paul Marks

    On the essay.

    I think there are two issues here.

    There are principled anti democrats – SM is a principled anti democrat, he does NOT oppose democracy just because his side lost a vote (like some degenerate College Professor) – SM is principled and I was too hard on him (but then I am too hard on everyone. I have become a bitter old man, and I must fight against my bitterness and cruelty).

    “Old Man McCoy” was, I firmly believe, in the right in the Hatfield versus McCoy feud (it was NOT “six of one and half a dozen of another” and the feud did NOT start over a petty matter) – but that did not stop Mr McCoy being a horrible man to meet, nursing his hate and bitterness into his old age (running that ferry of his) till he finally burned to death in an accident – and died, missed by no one. Ironically “Devil Ance” Hatfield (whose side started the feud by killing an unarmed man whose “crime” was coming home wounded from the Civil War, having worn blue rather than gray, and whose side attacked women and children – which the McCoys did not do) had a well attended funeral – for he was a popular man, always with a witty story and so on.

    Perhaps it is is possible to be in the right without making “everyone but God hate you” driving everyone away with coldness and bitter words. And, in the end, Old Man McCoy was so full of bitterness he could not even pray – he turned his face away from everyone (including God).

    Leaving aside arguments over democracy, there is the other issue in the short article – Freedom of Speech.

    There is no excuse, none, for the pro censorship line of these “Law Professors” – they are Legion in academia (and the rest of the intellectual elite) – and it is indeed a “Legion of Devils”.

    Sometimes (sometimes) the attitude of Old Man McCoy is justified. And against such Devils as these academics (these children of Plato – the first totalitarian) it is justified.

    Then one just has to fight, and fight, and fight – till one can not fight anymore.

    One can not fight anymore in the long sleep of death – but try and take as many of the Devils with you as you can.

    At least that may give other people, who live after you, some room to breath – and to speak, and live, freely.

  • Flubber

    It is well established that the woman who gave her husband a lethal does of fish cleaner and ingested a non-lethal amount herself was a Trump-hater, tweeting and saying all the usual ‘orangemanbad’ stuff, the last person in the world truly to believe or do something because Trump said it

    Its worse than that; she likely murdered her husband, is being investigated for such, and the cries of “Drumpf said do it” parroted by the media are in fact her alibi.

  • I have become a bitter old man, and I must fight against my bitterness and cruelty (Paul Marks, May 2, 2020 at 9:02 pm)

    Paul, I have never seen the slightest sign of cruelty in your comments.

    Feeling absolutely no bitterness whatever at CCHQ’s dealings with you would be astonishingly Christian but also astonishing in a human being. (I hope the rumoured plan to move CCHQ north, out of the London bubble, gets done and teaches them a thing or two.) Meanwhile, your advice to yourself to fight the bitterness and move on, not let it define you, is excellent and you have my warm encouragement to follow it.

    My advice to you is to get in the habit of using a couple of HTML tags (italic and bold, for example) so you can vary and lessen the use of block capitals. It is great impertinence for me to advise you on the virtue of brevity – but one can praise virtues one is poor at practicing. 🙂 I also note that while a keen eye can see how much of what objectionable in the modern world was prefigured in the Frankfurt school of marxism, it is unnecessary to point this out on every occasion (and the line of development from then to now can be tortuous and/or unconscious, and when it comes to those cheap tricks of stealing power that alone of all the methods of socialism actually work, I suspect they have been rediscovered by yet another socialist agitator at least as often as they have been studied and practised out of the works of Alinsky et al.)

    Having said this, I am obliged to be (and promise to be) gracious if you tell me of any tricks in my own writing that I am apt to use beyond their sell-by date in a thread.

  • Gary

    I have a sneaking suspicion that giving Wall Street (who are to Trump what the CCP are to Xi) huge multi-trillion dollar welfare handouts isn’t going to stop the microbe. Giving your Wall Street friends shit tons of taxpayers money just seems a bit short sighted and corrupt.

    Just a hunch.

  • bobby b

    There can be no intelligent discussion about the insidious connection between Trump and Wall Street without talking about the grasping Amish!

    Damn them and their Amish-supremacist agenda.