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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

I thought it was only the other lot who suffered from cognitive dissonance


  1. Naomi Wolf is a loony feminist.
  2. James Delingpole is a heroic leader of the resistance.
  3. The heroic leader of the resistance has recorded and published a podcast with the loony feminist.
  4. The loony feminist comes across as sane. I mean really sane. Thoughtful, informed, careful to stick to what she knows and prepared to be honest about what she doesn’t know.

My head hurts. Is this a weird departure from reality? Will the universe will right itself before too long? I hope so, but maybe it isn’t a departure. I am having dark thoughts here, but what if Naomi Wolf has other opinions that are worth listening to? What if other loony feminists have opinions worth listening to? What if some of them are sane? What if a majority are sane? Have I spent a large part of my life being… yernow… wrong?

19 comments to I thought it was only the other lot who suffered from cognitive dissonance

  • Stonyground

    Remember George Galloway, I had always considered him to be a bit of a fruitloop. But then he volunteered to appear before some kind of committee in the US accused of being best mates with Saddam Hussein. He was really brilliant and made them look like a bunch of hypocritical fools.

  • Rowdy

    Peter Hitchens had a public discussion with Owen Jones a while ago which went, according to PH, very well, with mutual respect being shown.

    The World turned Upside Down.

    It does make you wonder how genuine some opinions are, and how much is performance.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Naomi Wolf is wrong on many things but has an independent mind. She has broken ranks with other feminists in the past.

    She has also made remarks on abortion that did not win her many friends among the sisterhood. I get annoyed when lefties are praised for their so-called “bravery” in saying things that shock old fuddy-duddies whose opinion means nothing to them, but being ready to say things that shock your peer group is a good quality.

    Perhaps it has also helped her develop, as it has for many people, that she has experienced being wrong in a very public fashion:

    The release of writer Naomi Wolf’s latest book has been cancelled after a factual error was pointed out during a cringe-worthy interview.

    I was genuinely sorry for her on that occasion – it would have been a very easy mistake to make.

    This may be a false memory, but I could almost have sworn she once commented on Samizdata. Or at least someone with that name did, and I had no reason to disbelieve that it was the famous Naomi Wolf.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    My comment saying that for all her faults Naomi Wolf does have an independent mind, and giving examples thereof, has been smited.

  • Sigivald

    Thoughtful, informed, careful to stick to what she knows and prepared to be honest about what she doesn’t know.

    I mean … good for her? But utterly unexpected from past experience?

  • Remember George Galloway, I had always considered him to be a bit of a fruitloop.

    He is a fruitloop, a batshit crazy fruitloop. But he also occasionally makes some very sensible observations. Yes, it does sometimes boggle the mind when that happens.

  • George Atkisson

    I had the same reaction to Andrew Sullivan speaking out against both Cancel Culture and the excesses of Modern Feminism. I was gobsmacked to hear rational thought from someone I had always seen as a Lefty Loon. 🤷‍♂️😱😳

  • Generally, it is hard for anyone to be absurd about absolutely everything. When compared to the left-wing concrete brutalist school of the 1930s and post-war, Hitler’s architectural judgement comes across as relatively sensible. At a very much higher level, George Orwell’s many wise observations are sometimes interspersed with all manner of errors and even absurdities, typically the result of his deducing from his socialist economic or political theory what the facts ‘must’ be, without noticing that he does not in fact know them. (To be fair to Orwell, he does very occasionally say to the reader, “Also beware my prejudice, my mistakes”.)

    Specifically, a feminist of a certain age might have found food for thought in recent developments. Any feminist who was decreed ‘no longer relevant’ (in just the way she and her peers annulled others back in their day) because she dared to critique the trans-justified ideology that men make better women than women do (e.g. – I once heard a gay PC coder say this – it’s great some coders have transed because it remedies the lack of women in coding 🙂 ), might have been led to review what they thought they knew.

    As libertarians, we should be unsurprised that wise people sometimes say foolish things and idiots sometimes say sensible ones. Not only does the philosophical justification for such contrasts go all the way back to Aristotle (IIRC), but it’s another reason for freedom of speech.

  • Patrick Crozier (Twickenham)

    It’s not just that I agree with the conclusions but that she shows her working and that is good too.

  • Eric Tavenner

    2. James Delingpole is a heroic leader of the resistance.

    There’s your problem. Point 2 is incomplete. He may be a “heroic leader of the resistance”, but he is also a batshit insane barking moonbat, on his more lucid days.

  • bobby b

    I now regularly read Glen Greenwald and Matt Tiabbi. Current social theory seems to say that our socio-political Venn diagram consists of many discrete and untouching circles, and it’s often more comfortable to retain that distinction of “them” as being completely unconnected to us, but in reality our intellectual circles do continue to overlap.

  • APL

    Natalie Solent: “I was genuinely sorry for her on that occasion – it would have been a very easy mistake to make.”

    I think you have more compassion than she deserves.

  • bobby b

    In Ms. Wolf’s defense, I would have interpreted the phrase “death recorded” as she did, and not as the more accurate “officially listed but not pronounced.” It did gut that part of her argument, but her interpretation was understandable to me.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Shock jocks on radio say the craziest things, but seem normal when you see them on tv debates. I am thinking of Alan Jones here in Sydney. No doubt other cities have other examples.

  • Peter Briffa


    Here are some of Ms Wolf’s more recent greatest hits. I like her belief in time travel the best.

  • Paul Marks

    These things are relative Patrick.

    Someone can be on the other side in debate in various matters – but still be rational, but this only becomes obvious when real insanity breaks into the scene.

    “Let us lockdown everyone for the best part of a year and just finance everything by creating money from nothing” is a rather an extreme position, it is not part of normal debate. So it is not really a surprise that some people whom one normally opposes are still AGAINST this extremism.

    For example, the dictators of Nicaragua and Belarus have not suddenly become nice people – the dictator of Belarus just proved how nasty he still is. But they were both against lockdowns – because this is an incredibly extreme policy.

    What needs to be explained is not why such people as the rulers of Nicaragua and Belarus, and Naomi Wolf, were against lockdowns (most likely they also all agree with us that 1+1=2, and that water is wet – and agree with us a vast number of other ordinary things as well) the question is why the Western Establishment (with a few brave exceptions) thought it made sense to lockdown society for about a year – and to finance everything by creating money from nothing.

    When most “intellectual leaders” start screaming (at the tops of their voices) “I am a teapot, I am a teapot” and will not stop – the handful of such people who are NOT doing this (and are shocked by the behaviour) suddenly become allies – even if they were intellectual opponents before (and remain so).

    They are allies, relative-to the intellectual leaders screaming “I am a teapot, I am a teapot” constantly.

  • pete

    I enjoy Delingpole’s two podcasts but I feel he is going down the conspiracy theory route.

    As a fan of conspiracy theory podcasts, strictly for entertainment, I don’t mind that too much, but I get the feeling that James actually believes some of the things he and his guests say.

    It’s amusing to hear Toby Young politely distancing himself from some of Delingpole’s odder ideas.

  • itellyounothing

    It used to be same to think humans would die if they travelled quicker than 30 mph.

    Then boom, trains, planes and automobile.

    The fringe educates mid wits and redefines the middle ground continually…

  • 0xeb0de

    Disorienting AF – I’m meeting a lot of conservatives, libertarians and…I LIKE them. Former are ladies and gentlemen, and very hospitable. The latter are a pleasure as they don’t try to control your opinions or actions! What to do?? I was trained to fear, dread non-liberals…— Dr Naomi Wolf (@naomirwolf) May 26, 2021