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

“There’s also the problem of, as our liberal friends would put it, power dynamics. At least when Stewart was battling the Bush administration, you could make the argument that liberalism was a minority persuasion in America. Today, the left is a political and cultural juggernaut, dominating the elected federal government, the civil service, the mainstream press, Hollywood, Big Tech, increasingly even the corporate world. It’s our new civic religion, which has turned its comedians into something like high priests, mouthing its tenets and ridiculing its apostates. All the old rules of satire — don’t punch down, afflict the comfortable — amount to a generally anti-authoritarian and iconoclastic mindset. Yet Stewart’s imitators exist only to reinforce the existing authorities while at the same time pretending they don’t have any authority at all.”

Matt Purple. He is writing in the US edition of the UK-based Spectator, so usual health warnings apply to the American misuse of the word “liberal”.

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Ferox

    don’t punch down, afflict the comfortable

    One problem is that those “rules” are horseshit. Humor calls out absurdity regardless of its provenance; satire afflicts, not the comfortable, but the cultural assumptions that masquerade as axiomatic truth.

    The Wokies today sit in the seats of power and pretend that they are the Rebellion; they stand on the top of the heap and pretend that they are all the way down on the bottom. And they use the “rules of humor” as armor against criticism.

  • William H. Stoddard

    The word “liberal” has an honorable history, but in the United States, at least, it’s long been past the point of salvageability. This has only become more true in recent years, when the attachment of liberals to identity politics has made them pro-censorship, in place of the anti-censorship views they used to hold. Even “classical liberal” has fallen out of currency in the United States.

  • bobby b

    “At least when Stewart was battling the Bush administration, you could make the argument that liberalism was a minority persuasion in America. Today, the left is a political and cultural juggernaut, dominating the elected federal government, the civil service, the mainstream press, Hollywood, Big Tech, increasingly even the corporate world.”

    This is a problem when the counterculture wins. This is partially why the left works so hard to maintain racial and sexual and economic divisions in society.

    If they never come together as one big team, they can maintain the idea that they are still the downtrodden minority – by being a collection of small downtrodden minorities instead of merely the dominant majority. They can remain victims so long as they stay separate, and this has been a very profitable victimhood.

  • Ferox

    Even “classical liberal” has fallen out of currency in the United States.

    The philosophy which would once have been described that way has been renamed. In the modern classification system, the person who holds a belief in individual rights and who supports freedom of thought, expression, and association is referred to as a “Nazi”.

  • William H. Stoddard

    Ferox: In my experience, “racist” is a more common epithet.

    But I’d also note that it’s not a specific epithet for classical liberals/libertarians/individualists. The same labels are applied to king/army/church/land conservatives, to American constitutional conservatives, to nationalists, to actual racists, and to actual fascists, and occasionally even to neoliberals. So there isn’t any word that refers specifically to the “free minds and free markets” point of view. All the common labels mean only “Wrongthink.”

  • Sam Duncan

    The Wokies today sit in the seats of power and pretend that they are the Rebellion; they stand on the top of the heap and pretend that they are all the way down on the bottom.

    The Left has been doing that for years. Decades. Certainly here in Britain. As I’ve always said, the switch from the Times to the Guardian as the newspaper that’s little-read but read by all the Right People was the bellweather. And that goes back to at least the ’70s.

  • Phil B

    Well, the Babylon Bee is being fact checked by Snopes for the truth and condemned for spreading false news. Apparently, they are having real difficulty in thinking up stuff so ridiculous that doesn’t become reality a while later. Just short of 5 minutes of your time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISHGeiXPh68

    I look back with nostalgia at the stories that were published in the Sunday Sport back in the day.

  • Paul Marks

    The Bush family were always “Progressive Lite” – in that they believed in an active government “helping” people, they were more Disraeli and Bismark than Edmund Burke or Calvin Coolidge.

    George Walker Bush cam into office in 2001 pushing things such as “No Child Left Behind” and Medicare Part D. – he was not in office to change the direction towards ever bigger and more interventionist government, the only real difference between him and his father (George Herbert Walker Bush) was that his father increased taxes (after promising he would not – some “dividend” for the end of the Cold War, taxes actually went UP), the younger Bush at least understood that ever higher tax rates mean LESS revenue for the government (something that absurd puppet in the Oval Office now does not understand).

    The media hated George Bush – not because he was “right wing” (he was anything but), but because even then the media represented the EXTEME left – they just did not go around chanting Frankfurt Marxist slogans about race and gender back then.

    By the way – J. Stewart had some real talent as a comedian, he was more than just politics.

    The modern “comedians” read out political statements and that is it – the fake nature of the audience laughter is obvious.

    I have no idea why anyone, no matter how left wing, would bother watching the boring television “comedians”.

  • itellyounothing

    While the right people supported the Paedophile Information Exchange and managed decline no less…..

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