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Samizdata quote of the day

Roger Waters, a co-founder of the rock band Pink Floyd, is protesting Twitter for censoring the youth and student movement of the Socialist Equality Party.

It’s funny to see the Left suddenly upset about censorship. I applaud Waters’ stance about the importance of free speech, but where was his activism when social media was (and is) censoring the other side?

– Zilvinas Silenas pointing people at an article by Jon Miltimore

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Surellin

    Testify, Brother Roger! And how’s it going with the Joooos?

  • Allen

    Now that it looks like Biden’s going to be president, it’s safe to shut down any potential leftist insurgency.

  • GregWA

    Allen, agree with your comment, but regarding this bit, “…Biden’s going to be president, …”, no, the CCP, Soros, Venezuelans, Dems, and fellow travelers have stolen this election. Maybe not all these groups, but enough that they could mount a nationwide effort. That does not make “plugs”, “biteme”, POTUS in my mind, notwithstanding that he will have at his disposal all the police powers of the State with which to disagree with me, tax me to death, and outlaw my Rights under the US Constitution (RIP).

  • Allen

    I don’t disagree with your point Greg.

  • Lee Moore

    Chomsky is not one who I would normally look to for common sense, but this seems about right :

    “If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise,” the American philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky once observed. “Otherwise you’re not in favor of freedom of speech.”

    You can read this as a way of showing people who are in favour of free speech that they are being untrue to their ideals. Unfortunately what it really is, is a simple statement of the obvious – that remarkably few public lefties are in favour of the freedom of speech.

    It’s much the same as the public lefty approach to war. They’re not actually against war, they’re just on the other side.

    I’ve been rewatching some old wartime* episodes of Foyle’s War, which is great fun. The Nazi sympathising Brits are revolting, and Foyle not only nails them, but in his quintessentially understated English chap way, shows us that he has total contempt for them. Meanwhile (in the wartime series) the occasional Commies we come across are fundamentally decent folk.

    I watched Bleak Midwinter last night, and the “hero” was a German lawyer who was a mate of Foyle’s who was about to be dropped into Germany to do some SOE work. His sad family tale included a bit where he admitted to Foyle that he had “lost his son to the Nazis”- ie the son had joined the Nazis. Foyle was suitably foylish – he could see that ths was a cruel personal disaster for the father. But a few lines on we have this heroic German lawyer telling Foyle that he’s going to be dropped into Germany to meet up with his old communist contacts. Foyle totally unfazed.

    It illustrates the problem. There are exceptions of course, but an amazing number of lefties, even the ones who seem sane and considerate are just very very unfazed by the totalitarians on their side of the fence.

    * there are also post war episodes where the Soviets are the enemy, but they’re basically just foreign hoods. The few Brit commies you come across always get the chance to give their spiel about equality and protecting the poor and disadvantaged. They’re never evil totalitarian scum like the wartime pro-Nazi baddies.

  • bobby b

    I remember when the ACLU fought hard for the right of the American Nazi Party to march through the heavily-Jewish suburb of Skokie, Illinois.

    That was, to me, the sign of a true commitment to free speech – to fight for the rights of people you hate.

    But their funding took a huge hit after that – because of that – and so they stepped back slowly over time until they became every bit as venal as Roger Waters is now. Now they fight for their own speech, and fight against speech they dislike.

    The Left hasn’t suddenly become upset over censorship. The Left is, as always, upset when the Left is censored. It just happens so seldom that we don’t get to see it.

  • The few Brit commies you come across always get the chance to give their spiel about equality and protecting the poor and disadvantaged. They’re never evil totalitarian scum like the wartime pro-Nazi baddies. (Lee Moore, December 6, 2020 at 9:55 pm)

    And IIRC they get not to talk about how, from late 1939 to mid-summer 1941, they were speechifying, writing, marching and “Peoples’ Conference for a People’s Peace”-ing about how more-sinned-against-than-sinning Mr Hitler was the victim of evil British capitalism fighting for loot. From their greater position of power in UK society they did more than the actual British Fascists to help Hitler get his peace deal. (Not being locked up helped them be more effective, of course.)

    A friend of Robert Conquest encountered three communist acquaintances in New York on the morning of Sunday 22nd June 1941. He asked them what they thought of Hitler attacking the USSR. They replied that the idea was a typical capitalist provocation. He then showed them the morning paper. (The wicked capitalist morning paper that is; several communist party papers that day had morning and evening editions that presented the most comical contrasts.)

    Many of the most treacherous British wartime communists then went on to comfortable post-war careers in the public eye – a public eye with an immense blind spot to that episode in their lives.

  • Lee Moore

    There is actually a wartime Foyle’s War episode – A War of Nerves – in which we do get an upper class commie and his girlfriend coming to Hastings to foment industrial unrest at a shipyard, and spread the theory that a bayonet is a worker at each end (this is pre 22 June 1941.) The girlfriend’s dad turns out to be Foyle’s boss, who demands Foyle investigate the commie boyfriend for subversion, and who even plants evidence to help stitch him up. Foyle is much more interested in fraud at the shipyard by the capitalist bosses, and is very embarrassed about going through the motions of investigating the commie, when he’s just exercising his freedom of speech.

    And the right at the end, the news arrives that Hitler has invaded the Soviet Union, and the commie does the requisite 180 and there is much shaking of hands and patting of backs in a hotel lobby as the commie and Foyle celebrate the fact that they’re all in the fight together now, and Hitler is doomed.

    It’s such a perfect illustration of the commie’s tactical morality that you could almost claim the writer is doing it deliberately. But only “almost.” Because there’s no whimsical foylian eyebrow raised at this blatant 180, Foyle’s happiness at the new found common cause is quite genuine. Foyle and his writer have simply not noticed that the commie has just performatively contradicted everything he has said prior to that moment.

    Still it’s excellent TV and I don’t think the writer is a communist sympathiser. It’s just that he has the traditional lefty blindspot.

  • Sigivald

    “Roger Waters, who ruined at least two Pink Floyd albums with his father issues…”

    (I can’t stand to listen to The Wall anymore, and I NEVER liked The Final Cut.

    And this is not even taking into account Waters’ anti-Semitism*.

    * Or if it’s “just anti-Zionism”, well, I can’t see any difference in how he performs it; he’s neither subtle nor thoughtful.

    Gilmour’s a far better guitarist, and Waters isn’t exactly an amazing vocalist. Waters managed some fine lyrics, but his solo work has been unimpressive, so IDK if maybe Gilmour and the others were key to making it all work.)

  • Paul Marks

    Sigivald – Mr Waters would take one look at my DNA (on a whim I had it checked by “Ancestry” a couple of years ago – back came the no surprise “mostly Jewish”) and he would hate me as a “Zionist”.

    Actually I do believe in Israel’s right to exist – but Mr Waters would not need to ask me my political opinions in order to hate me (my DNA would be enough).

    As for the left and censorship – Lee Moore raises some interesting points.

    The television shows (and Corporate pushed books and films) show Western Communists as, at worse, a bit misguided – not as the evil totalitarians they actually were and are.

    And it is true that Noam Chomsky does NOT follow the Frankfurt School orthodoxy that tolerance is “repressive” and censorship is “liberating” (Herbert Marcuse and the rest of the Legion of Devils).

    Chomsky is often on the side of the Marxists (most infamously that of Pol Pot who wiped out one third of the people in Cambodia) – but he does reject their view of speech (that censorship is GOOD as long as it is against “reactionaries”).

    This makes Noam Chomsky (of all people) superior to most of the modern establishment elite (with their pro censorship opinions) – including the headmaster of Eton, who dismissed a teacher for the opinion (not even expressed during work hours) that men and women are biologically different – which is TRUE (the Marxist idea that the difference is a “social construct” being FALSE, egalitarian drivel).

    Or the Provist of Eton – William Waldegrave, the ex Conservative Party minister (a friend of James Cleverly?).

    When Noam Chomsky is more in favour of Freedom of Speech for “reactionaries” than the Western establishment (including the British establishment) is – then Western Civilisation is nearing its end.

  • Paul Marks

    “But Paul – Progressives want to help-the-poor”.

    Do they?

    Then why has in my lifetime, for example, California gone from the most prosperous society in the history of human beings, to having now (adjusted for the cost of living) the HIGHEST level of poverty in the United States?

    Was it an accident? Unintentional? Did the Progressives not know what all the wild government spending and endless REGULATIONS would do?

    “Yes Paul – it was an accident, it was unintentional”.

    Then why are they still pushing the same line of policy? Why do they undermine education with Progressive doctrine that leaves many children even unable to read? Why do they choke off every effort poor people make to improve their condition – choke it off with Occupational Licensing, Business Licenses and a thousand other insane edicts?

    And not just in California – they do all this where ever they take control. And the worse things get – the MORE they do it all.

    After all one can not claim to represent the “desperately poor masses” if they are no desperately poor masses – so they have to CREATE the poverty.

    In local government it is called the “Curley Effect” – after Mayor Curley of Boston a century ago.

    Mayor Curley created as much poverty as he could (by driving employers out of Boston) – so the poor would depend on the dole (i.e. depend on HIM).

    The Marxist husband and wife team “Cloward and Piven” took this to its logical extreme in the 1960s – they were “expert advisers” on the Great Society welfare programs – which they supported NOT to reduce poverty, but to INCREASE poverty as much as possible.

    Crush the economy with taxes and have a vast welfare underclass that one could use for to “bring down capitalism” – that is the Cloward and Piven plan, and it is most certainly not “unintentional” or an “accident”.

  • Allen

    Maybe his support of freedom of speech is why I’ve been seeing comments denouncing him lately.

  • lucklucky

    Chomsky supports freedom of speech because being old he knows he is next in the guillotine. I am sure he did not supported any freedom including of speech for Cambodjans.

  • lucklucky

    “And the right at the end, the news arrives that Hitler has invaded the Soviet Union, and the commie does the requisite 180 and there is much shaking of hands and patting of backs in a hotel lobby as the commie and Foyle celebrate the fact that they’re all in the fight together now, and Hitler is doomed.”

    Pete Seeger for an American example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_for_John_Doe

    Dashiell Hammett the crime writer was another, very active in isolationism movement due to his Communist sympathies. All changed in 22 June 1941. Pete Seeger and his band even asked for all sold music to be returned, they released the “Pacifist” album in May, June 1941 Nazis invaded Soviet Union and changed in one day to be the bad guys instead of the good ones that resisted capitalist imperialism with national socialism…

  • Dr.Caligari

    I remember the essays of Eric Blair (George Orwell) about the british communist party of the 1940 years.
    During the Hitler-Stalin-agreement (Hitler-Stalin-Pakt), Orwell wrote, the commis only talk about the Germans. The word “nazi” was deleted from the vocabulary.

    But, to be frank, the right-wingers have they Double standards, too.

    There is a word for in German “Doppelmoral”, which describes this kind of hypocricy. It is unfortunately only too human.