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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

And this is why so many people — people who are able to easily recognize totalitarianism in cults and foreign countries — cannot perceive the totalitarianism that is taking shape now, right in front of their faces (or, rather, right inside their minds). Nor can they perceive the delusional nature of the official “Covid-19” narrative, no more than those in Nazi Germany were able to perceive how completely delusional their official “master race” narrative was. Such people are neither ignorant nor stupid. They have been successfully initiated into a cult, which is essentially what totalitarianism is, albeit on a societal scale.

C. J. Hopkins, writing a mere 8 months in, this article has aged very well.

29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • The last toryboy

    Reminds me of this video released two weeks ago on mass psychoses…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=09maaUaRT4M&feature=emb_title

  • Snorri Godhi

    Very interesting video, toryboy.
    Between it and Jordan Peterson, i am beginning (barely) to think that there is more to Jung than meets the eye.

    But i still think that the “covidian cult” is way down the list of ‘psychic epidemics’ rampaging today. Even if we look only at the period after the Italian and British lockdowns, there has been much stronger evidence of mass insanity:
    * the notion that Joe Biden is fit to be POTUS;
    * BLM;
    * the notion that the last US election was “free and fair” (as the insane British PM put it);
    * the notion that the January 6th incident was a threat to democracy, and certainly not a false-flag operation.
    (Some more evidence might come to mind later.)

    Of course, i am biased because i see no clear evidence of the covidian cult in OUR government. (Or rather, governments, because we had a change in the middle of last year.)

  • Paul Marks

    Perhaps it is because most people associate totalitarianism with bad INTENTIONS.

    The intentions of someone can be good – and a total state (totalitarianism) are still just as bad.

    The intentions really do not matter. So the whole “New Liberal” obsession (which one can see in the reply that Keynes made to F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom”) that the unlimited power of the state must be in the hands of good people who “feel rightly” is irrelevant.

    This is why it is annoying when people argue over who should have the unlimited power of the state (a Thomas Hobbes view of state power as unlimited) – the basic PRINCIPLE is wrong.

    The power of the state must NOT be unlimited – regardless of the form of government (including democracy) and regardless of whether the ruler or rulers are nice.

    No one must have this sort of power – not because it “corrupts” them (although it will), but because control over the lives of human beings “from the cradle to the grave” is wrong-in-its-self.

    Morally wrong, and economically (socially) destructive.

  • Paul Marks

    A good example of a challenge to totalitarian thinking can be found in Sweden (of all places – I would never have guessed Sweden).

    The government of Sweden quietly approached lawyers to see if it has the Constitutional power (under the Constitution of Sweden) to close down business enterprises in response to Covid 19.

    Most certainly you do have such powers, the lawyers replied, you can close any business enterprise – if you prove that this business enterprise is spreading a dangerous disease.

    No – we mean close down all business enterprises without evidence they are spreading a dangerous disease, not an individual business with evidence, all businesses (or most of them) without evidence.

    That is crazy – no you do not have the Constitutional power to do that.

    That is the correct answer.

    Totalitarian control of society is crazy – and chanting “Covid 19” (or “Climate Emergency” or whatever) does not make it not crazy.

    Prove your case against a particular individual or a particular enterprise. No general Edicts.

  • Stonyground

    I like this quote that appears at the top of Paul Homewood’s Not a Lot of People Know That climate change sceptic blog.

    “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-bizarre-refusal-to-apply-cost

    Greenwald’s latest column is well worth a read and his column on Substack is well worth a subscription.

    In virtually every realm of public policy, Americans embrace policies which they know will kill people, sometimes large numbers of people. They do so not because they are psychopaths but because they are rational: they assess that those deaths that will inevitably result from the policies they support are worth it in exchange for the benefits those policies provide. This rational cost-benefit analysis, even when not expressed in such explicit or crude terms, is foundational to public policy debates — except when it comes to COVID, where it has been bizarrely declared off-limits.

  • Jim

    “But i still think that the “covidian cult” is way down the list of ‘psychic epidemics’ rampaging today. Even if we look only at the period after the Italian and British lockdowns, there has been much stronger evidence of mass insanity:
    * the notion that Joe Biden is fit to be POTUS;
    * BLM;
    * the notion that the last US election was “free and fair” (as the insane British PM put it);
    * the notion that the January 6th incident was a threat to democracy, and certainly not a false-flag operation.”

    Those items you list are matters for political wonks, not the man on the street. You could go into your average UK housing estate and the majority of people you asked would either know nothing about those subjects, or in fact be opposed to them (as is probably the case with BLM in the UK at least). Its the political class who are in thrall to such ideas, either because they have genuinely fallen prey to a psychosis or (more likely) because they are using such matters as a lever to gain personal power and prestige. We see it everywhere because the political class hold all the levers of power, but mass psychosis it is not. Its a dictatorship of the political elite.

    Whereas everyone has a stake in the covid crisis, and there would not be a single person in the UK who didn’t have a good idea of what was going on (or at least their version of it). As such mass psychosis on the issue of covid is not only possible it has almost certainly occurred, whereby its not the elites dictating to the masses, the masses are demanding the elites act. That (to me at least) would be the litmus test for a mass psychosis – are the demands for certain things to happen coming from the masses or being dictated to them? In the cases you highlight I would argue its the elites telling the masses this is what you’re going to have, while in the case of covid its the other way around.

  • Those items you list are matters for political wonks, not the man on the street. You could go into your average UK housing estate and the majority of people you asked would either know nothing about those subjects, or in fact be opposed to them

    Agree entirely.

    Whereas everyone has a stake in the covid crisis, and there would not be a single person in the UK who didn’t have a good idea of what was going on (or at least their version of it). As such mass psychosis on the issue of covid is not only possible it has almost certainly occurred, whereby its not the elites dictating to the masses, the masses are demanding the elites act.

    Indeed. But that said, I think it is a two-way feedback loop.

    That (to me at least) would be the litmus test for a mass psychosis

    I think that is indeed the litmus test. The elite being utterly self-serving and amoral is to be expected; see for example the Green Climate scam, the very essence of a top down power play, that is not mass psychosis. Covid, that is truly mass psychosis, gripping societies worldwide from top to bottom.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Jim:

    In the cases you highlight I would argue its the elites telling the masses this is what you’re going to have, while in the case of covid its the other way around.

    Interesting point, but i tend to disagree.

    There is a limited truth to it here in Estonia: in the 1st wave, opinion polls showed that there were more people wishing for stricter measures than people wishing for laxer measures, but only by a small margin. The government did not budge.

    (Are there similar opinion polls elsewhere? I don’t know of any; but then, i didn’t look.)

    In any case, when the government is honestly doing the will of the people, that does not scare me, not as much as the government ‘manufacturing consent’, to coin a phrase.

    –As for my other points:
    * No matter how much fraud there has been, tens of millions of Americans voted for Biden. That is enough for me to declare an EPD (extraordinary popular delusion).

    * BLM: this EPD might involve a much smaller percentage of Americans; but it is the fact that most Americans get their news from media that buy into this BS, that makes me worry about the mental health of the median American.
    See also: Gell-Mann Amnesia.
    (I cut some slack for non-Americans, because they have no incentive to find out what is really going on in the US.)

    * the last US election: a majority of Americans believes that there was extensive fraud (even more than usual); but that still leaves tens of millions of Americans who believe that there wasn’t.
    (Again, i cut some slack for foreigners.)

    * The January 6 incident: see what i wrote about BLM.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Snorri,

    But i still think that the “covidian cult” is way down the list of ‘psychic epidemics’ rampaging today. Even if we look only at the period after the Italian and British lockdowns, there has been much stronger evidence of mass insanity:
    * the notion that Joe Biden is fit to be POTUS;
    * BLM;
    * the notion that the last US election was “free and fair” (as the insane British PM put it);
    * the notion that the January 6th incident was a threat to democracy, and certainly not a false-flag operation.
    (Some more evidence might come to mind later.)

    “But i still think that the “covidian cult” is way down the list of ‘psychic epidemics’ rampaging today” in terms of what? Information indicating the mob is wrong? Perhaps you are right. But if you mean in terms of the long term consequences to society and long term consequences of basic individual rights and long term consequences of liberty….

    BLM, 2020 US election, Jan 6 insurrection are even combined much less consequential than the Covidian Cult.

    Of course, i am biased because i see no clear evidence of the covidian cult in OUR government. (Or rather, governments, because we had a change in the middle of last year.)

    Your de jure government may be elected. But not one member of your de facto government has ever been elected. And this is true of basically every western country.

    Me voting for Trump in 2020 did not impact the actions of Fauci or anyone in CDC, WHO, Pfizer, Moderna, a “certain” foundation, or FDA. All of these operated while Trump was POTUS and all operate while Biden is POTUS today. And those are basically much of the unelected de facto government responsible for the response to COVID. Does who sits in the Oval Office as POTUS impact the COVID response? Yes. But does it have a big impact? No.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Does who sits in the Oval Office as POTUS impact the COVID response? Yes. But does it have a significant* impact? No.

    You will likely disagree, but ask yourself: if I am correct… then how would you know?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Shlomo: there is one thing that you don’t seem to grasp: there is no evidence of a covidian cult, that i have seen, outside the English-speaking countries.

    If you have seen any evidence, please show it to me.

    And if there isn’t a covidian cult outside the Anglosphere, then i do not believe that the cult will last for long in the Anglosphere.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    there is no evidence of a covidian cult, that i have seen, outside the English-speaking countries

    This literally lifted my mood up considerably. Really, so great to hear. Happy feelings.

    Israel looks like a shit hole when it comes to oppressive government over-reaction to COVID but I hope that you are correct generally speaking.

    PLEASE STAY STRONG IN ESTONIA!

  • Snorri Godhi

    I’d like to know about the covidian cult in Israel if it isn’t too much trouble.

    Just to be fair (and for comic relief), here is some insanity outside the Anglosphere. But it has nothing to do with covid: in fact, it requires people to get out more often.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I’d like to know about the covidian cult in Israel if it isn’t too much trouble.

    Well, I am actually in NYC. However, I know people in Israel and based on my understanding it’s roughly similar to NYC.

    Basically, the majority of people here in NYC are vaccinated and many believe that unvaccinated people are a threat to public health. I officially need proof of having received the vaccine to enter any bar, restaurant, gym, store, concert hall, movie theater. And no – a negative test will not cut it.

    New York is a shit hole. People are leaving the city.

    In Israel they have similar law with green pass, though I have heard varying reports regarding both its applicability in different cities and also how consistently it is enforced.

  • staghounds

    Some of the people who see this nod and agree. Some of them think it’s insane.

    But EVERYONE in Oregon has an opinion, and a strong one.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1430270923186315266

  • Snorri Godhi

    Shlomo: thank you for your reply, but i am afraid that i’ll have to disappoint you about Estonia.

    Basically, the majority of people here in NYC are vaccinated and many believe that unvaccinated people are a threat to public health. I officially need proof of having received the vaccine to enter any bar, restaurant, gym, store, concert hall, movie theater. And no – a negative test will not cut it.

    Starting today, the situation here is similar.

    A crucial difference is that one can enter any store (or government office) without proof of vaccination. But, starting today, we do need to wear masks in any indoor venue where proof of vaccination is not required.

    Another important difference is that a negative test will do as a substitute for proof of vaccination.

    I am also optimistic, from what i see reported about the dynamic in the Parliament, that this won’t last forever … as long as it is not mandated by the EU.

    –But is this really relevant to the issue of extraordinary popular delusions?

    The run on toilet paper* was a true (if short-lived) mass psychosis. Right now, i do not see any sign, here, of anything comparable. Most people do what they are told, but the requests are not too much of a burden: we had no stay-at-home orders, no mask mandates outdoors, at any time. Might as well comply. For now.

    * For the record, before the run on toilet paper i already had a month’s supply of food at home. And plenty of toilet paper. Better to be safe than sorry.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Snorri,

    I see. Yes, that is not so good in Estonia. I am a bit disappointed but not at all surprised.

    All things considered, at least it’s not as terrible as NYC.

    Thanks for passing along the information.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/covid-19-vaccine-passport-79652112

    Denmark, Greece, France, Italy, some Canadian provinces and the U.S. cities of New Orleans, New York and San Francisco are among the places that have vaccination requirements to get into places like indoor restaurants or theaters.

    Very, very bad situation. Once lost, I highly doubt the freedom of a business owner to permit entry to a customer without proof of vaccination will be regained for a VERY long time. Centuries is my prediction (if ever). So terrible.

  • Beedle

    I believe Denmark just ended *all* covid-19 measures. All of them. Excellent.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Shlomo: in spite of everything, i am happy to be here. Sure, Nordic countries other than Sweden, as well as the most Westernized East-Asian countries, did much better than the Baltics ***in the 2nd wave***; but considering my experience in Denmark, i still prefer to be here, for reasons unrelated to covid. (As long as Putin does not get ideas…)

    One reason is that the government was planning to react to the recession by actually cutting spending (to compensate for decreased tax revenues), rather than implementing a “stimulus”.

    Another reason is that, thanks to the intelligent lockdowns, the depression was less than expected (to the point that tax cuts might not be needed).

    Yet another reason is that the 2 parties at the top of the polls right now are the libertarian (although, alas, globalist) Reform Party and the “”xenophobic”” Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE). If only they could find a way of getting along!

    A personal reason is that i live in a flat with its own sauna, and it’s getting colder.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In my previous comment:
    tax cuts –> spending cuts.

    Apologies about that.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Snorri Godhi
    to the point that tax cuts might not be needed

    Question: is there ever a time in history when tax cuts are not needed?

  • bobby b

    “A personal reason is that i live in a flat with its own sauna, and it’s getting colder.”

    In all of the places I have lived in the northern USA, I have always made it a point to build (or find) a sauna.

    Seems to improve both mental and physical health and well-being.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    I have always made it a point to build (or find) a sauna. Seems to improve both mental and physical health and well-being.

    It is 91 degrees in Chicago area, and my AC went out last weekend, so it was kind of like a sauna. I assure you it did not improve either my mental or physical health and well being. 😀

  • Snorri Godhi

    In all of the places I have lived in the northern USA, I have always made it a point to build (or find) a sauna.

    Seems to improve both mental and physical health and well-being.

    True — with the caveat that i found it necessary to take potassium+magnesium supplements, and to be less sparing with table salt, to avoid getting cramps.

    An Estonian Army officer who served in Afghanistan told us how grateful the Gurkhas were, when their Finnish commanding officer made them build a sauna.

    After discovering the pleasure of the sauna, i tried substituting for it with hot baths. But it’s not the same, and it might impair gonadal function. (By contrast, Finns have pretty high sperm counts iirc.)

  • bobby b

    “(By contrast, Finns have pretty high sperm counts iirc.)”

    And yet they remain depressed. 😉

    (I blame it on their vitamin D deficiency.)

  • bobby b

    Fraser Orr
    August 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    “It is 91 degrees in Chicago area, and my AC went out last weekend, so it was kind of like a sauna. I assure you it did not improve either my mental or physical health and well being.”

    Ha! I’m currently sited on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Badlands. 95 and sunny. No AC as I’m on batteries. I can empathize. But a real sauna would overcome this, make me feel alive and well, and would make me experience this heat as something bearable. A 190 degree dry sauna followed by a cold plunge just . . . cleans you out. Restores you. Fosters optimism and energy and . . .

    (OK, yeah, I’m a fanatic.)

  • Snorri Godhi

    A 190 degree dry sauna

    Hah! call that a sauna?
    That is a miserable 88 Celsius!

    (And thank you for reminding me to take my vitamin D supplement,)

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