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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

“Rather than aiming for a better future, woke militants seek a cathartic present. Cleansing themselves and others of sin is their goal. Amidst vast inequalities of power and wealth, the woke generation bask in the eternal sunshine of their spotless virtue.”

John Gray

(As a reminder to readers, quoting a person does not imply I endorse everything that the writer in question says. Gray is a decidedly mixed bag of a thinker. Far, far too gloomy for my liking and he buys the whole Green deal, or at least he did. But this essay makes important points about the parallels between the culture war being played out in the West right now and the madness of the 15th and 16th centuries. Yes, I think those parallels are accurate. This is a rat with a long tail.)

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • lucklucky

    Disagree. Once again don’t understand the nature of the beast.
    It is simply weaponizing language as a power tool.They don’t seek a cathartic present, they seek power.

    These people don’t care for anyone, they are just exploiting others for the fact that appearing virtuous gives them a card to promote themselves over others.

    Minneapolis is damaged, several were murdered, do they care? No. Obviously not, they got the power they were seeking: IBM, CocaCola, Nike, and the “moderates of extremist political center” all recognized their power.

  • Revelation

    This is a confected race war. Any honest person examining the numbers would see that.

    So why dont the NYT, WaPo, Google, Facebook, Disney see it – why in fact are they doing their absolute best to exacerbate it? Why are they trying to set white against black and drive chaos and disorder?

    Well no noticing who runs those Media giants. No noticing who is pulling the strings.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Who is “pulling the strings”? Why so coy?

    Why do people who mention sinister actors not have the gumption to spell out whom they refer to? (In the past they meant Jewish bankers; there are echoes of that today with people who endlessly go on about George Soros).

    I get it that people such as African Americans are being played for political ends. Those ends are pretty clear to see: the electoral chances of the Democratic Party.

  • Mr Ecks

    Marxist scum are the instrument of power for a globo-elite of unknown composition–certainly large numbers of the rich.

    The Globo’s have made their Agenda 21 plans clear –mankind down to billion techno-peasants servicing the needs of the globos.

    They have to get there from here and the scum of socialism are the means chosen.

    The globos have no interest in the bullshit claimed goals of the left–they just want chaos economic collapse and mass death until it reaches a point that they can step in and offer new feudalism to the survivors.

    It is a stupid plan as rolling the wheel of progress backwards will not be easy or more likely possible to control. They have FAR more chance of Mad Max World than globo-paradise.

    But because a plan is stupid does not mean they won’t try.

  • Mr Ecks

    Also JP –how does a load of chaotic Marxist shit, rioting. violence and mass increases in gun sales (good) help scum like the Demos? Most of those already living badly under democrat rule must be questioning their loyalty by now let alone planning to vote for more and worse of the same.

    Over here every woke pile of shite that comes out has me and I hope many more emailing scum like Greene King to tell them to stuff their new Commissar-run virus Pubs as well as their Marxist cockrot. Next up is the Rugby arseholes wanting “Swing Low” banned at grounds. I don’t watch crap like Rugby anyway so I am truthful in my claim that I will never watch one of their matches again. Boycott the farce and let them play in front of a crowd of 10 for a few weeks. Comparing outgoings to income for that few weeks might give them the picture.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Mr Ecks: the Democrats think economic and social chaos is bad for Trump. They’re deluded but then deluded people can do a lot of harm.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Hasn’t someone written more extensively about “The New Puritan Age”? Along the lines of all the parallels with the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639-1651). Which includes the most well-known part, the English Civil War.

    The key players being the Puritans, who were never happy unless they were miserable. The current lockdown is a Puritanical expression. No theatres, no fun, no sex (away from home), contrition for sin, no pride in achievement, enforced poverty, and endless sermons full of doom and despondency.

    I can also see a role for SAGE and the Behavioural Insights Unit as the New Roundheads. Enforcing the witch hunts against unbelievers and sceptics.

    What say you?

  • John B

    If our wealth is built on the backs of slaves, then the current Blank Little Minds throwing their toys out the pram and smacking naughty statues, should be ashamed to be the inheritors of that wealth that we the supremacist, privileged, racist generations have passed on to them.

    So they should give up their places at ‘uni’, their smart phones, tablets, in fact all aspects of modern life and get back to the fields.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Revelation, I think I am going to pass up on dignifying your drivel with a response.

  • Revelation

    Editor’s note, get stuffed

  • Flubber

    Here’s a massive enlightening discussion between Joe Rogan and Bet Weinstein on whats going on, and the dangers inherent.


  • Paul Marks

    I am not a friend of John Gray, not that this will bother him, but this is not the time to have a go at him – in spite of the fact that the quotation is wrong. BLM and so on do (not do not) aim at what they consider a “better future” – Marxist Collectivism, and they certainly do care about “vast inequalities” – the Woke rich and Woke Corporations who give these groups money (“Social Responsibility” ) will be robbed and murdered. Duke of Orleans – French Revolution.

    Do they deserve it? Do the “liberals” deserve what the Marxists are going to do them?

    Well let us judge the “liberals” not by the rich kids in the streets (that would be unfair) – let us judge the “liberals” by the house journal of the Corporate Manager and Government Bureaucrat class – the Economist magazine.

    In this week’s issue of the Economist magazine – there is a longish article about the failures of the British government in the present Covid 19 mess – of course the government did exactly what the “liberal” “experts” (Economist magazine types) TOLD THEM to do – so let us just leave the “cover article” there.

    What about the other articles?

    Well there is a celebration of the United States Supreme Court violating the law and the Constitution (as it does in almost every decision it makes these days) – and the Economist magazine goes on to say that “Trump Administration” wants to “allow medical professionals to deny trans people medical treatment”.

    Translated from Frankfurt School of Marxism into English – “allow medical professionals to deny trans people medical treatment” actually means allowing doctors and nurses to NOT cut off peoples sexual organs if they do not wish to do so.

    Leaving that aside – there is an article on the Mayor of New York City.

    We are told that “some people” (the Economist magazine?) think the Mayor of New York should have shut down the city earlier – in short the Economist magazine is still wedded to the lockdown ideology, even though it has been utterly discredited. No doubt this socialism is “scientific”.

    But, we are told, the Mayor of New York City does have “achievements”.

    What “achievements”? The Mayor of New York has provided “universal free nursery care – which has been copied by the whole country”

    So the “whole country” wishes to undermine traditional families even more than they have already been undermined – and “free” means at the cost of the taxpayer or employers.

    The Mayor has also pushed illegal immigration – libertarians please note this means “Food Stamps” and “emergency healthcare” illegals.

    And there is now paid sick leave for everyone – and this added cost will not increase unemployment at all, because the Economist magazine knows nothing about economics

    The Mayor has also greatly increased government spending on just about everything – this is an “achievement”. Apart from the police (the police are evil – thinks the Economist magazine) the Mayor is taking money away from the police (the plain clothes division was abolished the other day) to give to “communities”.

    These “communities” are lovely – the Economist magazine knows this, it is totally on their side.

    So when the Economist magazine types are robbed and then skinned alive, why should anyone care?

    Why should anyone care when this is done to the rest of the “liberals”?

  • Teresa

    JP, people mention George Soros because he has bankrolled many of these “movements”. If anything, they despise him because he collaborated with the Nazi’s to save his own a** in WW II, not because he’s Jewish.

  • bobby b

    Personally, I wouldn’t care if Soros was lime green, worshipped volcanoes, and spent his early years buggering small children. I despise him for what he bankrolls, period. His Jewishness is his shield, not my sword.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    June 19, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    “Well there is a celebration of the United States Supreme Court violating the law and the Constitution (as it does in almost every decision it makes these days) . . . “

    Let me jump in here with a lawyer’s overly-technical view of what you just said.

    The SC is tasked with addressing the questions that are explicitly placed before it, and going no further. That’s its remit, and that’s its limitation. That’s how we avoid a political Supreme Court (in theory.) The Justices are not supposed to make decisions as to “would this be better?” They address “what is?”

    The question presented to the SC in this case was, in essence: in the explicit Congress-drafted language in Title VII of the ’64 Civil Rights Act, discrimination “based on sex” was outlawed – so, does this thus prohibit discrimination based on affectional preference?

    They performed a very Scalia-like textual analysis, and a logical but-for analysis, of the language that the Act contained. It came down to, “do we get to decide what Congress really meant when they said “based on sex”, or do we need to merely apply the words as written using common English analysis?”

    The COULD have decided that the drafters of the Act didn’t mean anything except male/female differential discrimination, but that would have been the USSC putting its own words in Congress’s mouth.

    What they DID do was logical and correct. They said that, if you fire a man for preferring men, but you don’t fire a woman for preferring men, then you have discriminated “based on sex.”

    Seems clear to me.

    As I said above, they could have gone the other way and “fixed” the sloppy language of the Act. But that’s not supposed to be their role. They took Congress’s language at face value, and worked from there.

    It’s up to Congress to fix things if there are problems with legislation and law. If we don’t want a liberal activist Court, we ought not fight for a conservative activist one.

    If the outcome is displeasing, blame Congress. Scalia once pointed out that Congress has a right to pass stupid legislation, and it’s not the USSC’s job to fix that stupidity.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – it is not one case, it is case after case. Chief Justice Roberts utterly despises both the law and the Constitution.

    By the way I do not consider Religious Liberty (a boo term – to the Economist magazine “liberals”) to be a problem that needs “solving”, by the courts or by the Congress.

    See the speech of Ted Cruz (which I give on my Facebook page – and I have “tweeted”) on the textual analysis you mention.

    Nor is it “just” religious liberty – in case after case (from Obamacare to illegal immigration) Chief Justice Roberts has shown utter contempt for the law and the Constitution.

    One does not need to be a lawyer to know this – just read the laws and the Constitution, and then see how he violates them (and his OATH to unhold them) again and again and again.

    The four “liberals” (read totalitarians) on the court are supposed to behave like this, they have an evil belief system – so one expects them to act accordingly. But Chief Justice Roberts must be held to a higher standard. Hence the hard words of Senator Cruz directed specifically at Chief Justice Roberts.

    Do the media (and the education system) condemn this wickedness? No they do not -they CELEBRATE this evil.

    It the laws and the Constitution mean whatever the left want them to mean (which is the situation that is developing) then people will have to resort to force of arms – as they will be no chance of justice in the courts.

    I do not believe this to be a good thing. And one more “liberal” (i.e. totalitarian) justice on the Supreme Court and the 1st Amendment and the 2nd Amendment will be totally dead.

    For example, everything I have just typed will be called “Hate Speech” and banned.

    You mention Justice Scalia – he rightly said that “Viewpoint Discrimination” was the real discrimination in the United States and the rest of the West.

    If the Supreme Court can just make stuff up (the Roberts position – when one strips away his lies) why do they not ban Viewpoint Discrimination? Why do they not ban government and private employers from acting against people for expressing (outside work time) whatever political and cultural opinions they want to express?

    We both know why.

  • Paul Marks

    Turning back to the “liberal” Economist magazine – journal of the “Woke” Corporate Managers and Government Bureaucrats.

    There is an article on State finances – how they have been hit by Covid 19.

    Nowhere in the article is the basic information that the lockdowns were SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS even mentioned.

    Covid 19 did not go around closing down business enterprises and putting people such as GEORGE FLOYD (and me) out of work.

    GOVERNMENTS did this – under the advice of “liberals” such as the Economist magazine.

    States that did not do this, for example South Dakota, are not facing bankruptcy – and their death rates are not worse than lockdown States.

    None of this is mentioned by “liberal” “scientific” journalism.

    Did John Gray CONDEMN the lockdowns?

    If not – what is the point of John Gray?

  • Paul Marks

    Almost every United States Census has had the question “are you a citizen of the United States?” or wording that meant the same thing.

    But not that of 2020 – because of the Roberts court.

    Chief Justice Roberts did not deny that the Federal Government can ask that question – he just said that they had not got the paper work quite right, that there would have to be a little delay till…. till after the census was DONE.

    In Jewish culture there is a word for a lawyer who behaves in this slimy dishonest way.

    That word is SHYSTER.

    That is what Chief Justice Roberts is – he is a shyster. He does not believe in the Collectivism the four “liberal” Justices believe in, he does not believe in anything. He is an intellectually corrupt nonentity – who will go in any direction the wind is blowing (and he thinks that is good – it is “pragmatism”).

    And we have seen nothing yet – if the Democrats win in November, the Constitution will be turned on its head.

    What was meant to be a document to limit government – will be turned into a document that mandates totalitarianism.

    I know what I am saying – and I mean it.

  • bobby b (June 19, 2020 at 10:44 pm), while I take your textual point, it seems at first glance that the ‘original meaning’ aspect of the thing has been very ruthlessly gutted.

    They COULD have decided that the drafters of the Act didn’t mean anything except male/female differential discrimination, but that would have been the USSC putting its own words in Congress’s mouth.

    Would it not have been putting the original meaning back in congress’ mouth, especially as Congress has considered (has voted on, IIRC) laws to provide precisely such explicit expansion of the meaning and, in not passing those proposals, has demonstrated what it sees the original and current meaning as being?

    As I said above, they could have gone the other way and “fixed” the sloppy language of the Act.

    It seems very unfair to blame the 1964 (IIRC) congress for failing to foresee and guard against a meaning that back then would have been seen as excluded by the words used and requiring other words to be suggested. How on earth are laws to be written if future USSC’s can ignore the meaning at the time and substitute an unforeseeable meaning? Imagine what ‘silence is violence’ could do to many laws whose drafters intended them to punish violence, not silence.

    You are a lawyer and I am not, but I find it strange anyone would claim they did not impose a new meaning when they so clearly did impose a meaning not foreseen or reasonably foreseeable in 1964.

  • Flubber

    That is what Chief Justice Roberts is – he is a shyster. He does not believe in the Collectivism the four “liberal” Justices believe in, he does not believe in anything. He is an intellectually corrupt nonentity – who will go in any direction the wind is blowing (and he thinks that is good – it is “pragmatism”).

    Its also in indication that Roberts may have been horribly compromised. Isnt there some story about his adopted children?

  • bobby b


    If it seems the “original intent” aspect was given short shrift, it was, for a sound textual-analysis reason. We only allow the seeking out of intent – “true meaning” – when the actual words being examined allow for confusion.

    There are rules of statutory construction that govern how the courts parse laws and rules and regs. A court does not write legislation, nor does it re-write it. It reads the words chosen by the proper law-drafters, and works within those words.

    If a law is passed that says we must all wear “light-colored pants”, then a judge hearing the case of someone charged with wearing dark-colored pants is going to have to figure out what the legislators meant by “light-colored.” The term is unclear. In such a situation, a court can look to “legislative intent” to figure out what they really meant.

    But if a law says your pants must weigh no less than 12 grams, it is clear and self-sufficient. There is no room for confusion in such a law. In that case, a court can not look to legislative intent – it must simply use the law as written. You cannot rule that the legislature clearly intended to allow some 13-gram pants, because fabrics are heavier today. They may be heavier today, and the law may no longer work – but the court isn’t the place to seek a change of legislated law.

    The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination “based on sex.” The but-for analysis that Gorsuch carried out early in the opinion – if you fire a man for having sex with men but you wouldn’t fire a woman for the same offense, you are clearly firing him “based on sex” – is sound textual analysis.

    One might argue that meanings of words change, and thus we should always be free to examine that intent. Whatever the merits of that argument, the legal world hasn’t embraced that logic – it would gut all legislation, because every word would be open to re-interpretation according to some judge’s new attitudes.

    Back when the CRA was drafted, the legislature knew that gay people existed. They had the word “gender” in their dictionary. Drag had been a big thing since the thirties. They could have addressed this “confusion” then, but they didn’t. So, given all of that, it wasn’t “confusion” – it was merely the words they knowingly chose. Some may decide they choose poorly or carelessly. Others will like this outcome. But it’s the legislature that drafted the CRA that ought to get the credit and the blame, not Gorsuch et al.

  • it’s the legislature that drafted the CRA that ought to get the credit and the blame, not Gorsuch et al. (bobby b, June 21, 2020 at 12:07 am)

    Would Phyllis Schlafly’s campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment be a good test of this issue, or were the wordings of the ERA and CRA too different to support the comparison? Many issues were warned about by opponents of the ERA back then – and mocked as absurd and invented concerns by its supporters.

    – If people so motivated to find problems did not warn of this one, that would support my specific claim above.

    – If they warned about this one then that shows it was foreseeable (and my specific claim above would be wrong).

    However, in that case, is it instead an example of the well known law of ‘merited impossibility’: “That will never happen (and when it does, it will be just and you’ll deserve it).” [For a good recent example see the clip of John Oliver in 2017 mocking Trump for saying that Jefferson and Washington statues would be targeted.)

    Is there a Heads-PC-Wins, Tails-Bigotry-Loses effect? If the law’s supporters said in the debate on it that Phyllis was just making stuff up and “that will never happen” then that gives no protection when the court rules it has happened, but if there is not a hint of anyone at the time even imagining the law could mean that, that gives no protection against its happening either.

  • thefat tomato

    On a different note: if COVID 19 reverses urbanism, does that not work against the Dems?