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

“Stay safe” and the little things we could do for each other were like linguistic pacifiers, offering us a reprieve from the endless media reminder that we were in ‘unprecedented’ and ‘uncertain times’ and that, despite this, we were ‘all in this together‘.

I started to think about the other phrases that encapsulate an overabundance of caution which masquerades as compassion. And at what point does overemphasising caution become its own form of harassment? Certainly, we are seeing rising incidents of shunning and neuroticism since the start of the pandemic. These are notions favoured by the laptop-class: people who want to live in March 2020 in perpetuity, clamouring for more lockdowns and ‘stimulus’. Some people in the United States seem convinced – quite literally – that they are going to die. This is a problem. They perceive themselves as being in great danger when they aren’t, and view others as a threat in an overstated way. This is dangerous. I noticed that they also seem to take a strange sort of glee in telling others what to do – adult hallway monitors run amok. There was something fundamentally pathological about the sheer pleasure people – usually women and men who seemed off the deep end into over-socialisation – took in events being cancelled for ‘the greater good’. When LCD Soundsystem announced, due to public pressure, that they were abruptly cancelling the last three shows of their reunion performance here in NYC everyone started talking about ‘the greater good’. Those who voiced their disappointment in various comment sections were ostracised, while those who were sanctimoniously, righteously having their ‘concern for safety’ met seemed pleased to have their virtue reaffirmed. To be clear, I don’t necessarily think they enjoy the ongoing restrictions: I think they enjoy the righteousness of their perceived sacrifice.

Nick Comilla

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Some people in the United States seem convinced – quite literally – that they are going to die.

    I presume it’s the context that makes that “untrue”? Or “the sky is going to fall in”?

    Ordinarily I’d agree, as the Immortal Ones rarely advertise their presence amongst us.

    “On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Being sensible and recognising one’s own mortality seems to have become deeply “incorrect”. The NHS has to “save us”, even if we don’t want to be saved.

  • Duncan S

    If, over the past 2 years, anyone told me to “stay safe”, I responded that the sky wasn’t falling and it was more important to “stay sane”.

  • Exasperated

    We’ve evolved from big brained creatures who were exquisitely attuned to the threats around them. The most heart racing thing, I do, is open the electric bill or drive on icy roads. Does the safety of the relatively benign world of suburbia account for the need to manufacture or amplify danger? We are stuck in a women’s magazine, with its first person accounts of danger and disease, presented earnestly all out of proportion to their likelihood. This stuff resonates. I don’t know how much of this neurosis can be attributed to self-absorption, navel gazing, hypochondria, social media bombardment, innumeracy, bandwagon effect, one upmanship, or if covid presents a focal point upon which many can cast their free floating anxiety. I often hear weird proposals for punishing the dissenters, I wish I had kept a list of them. Where do they find these nutters? I sometimes wonder if the enforcers are the nasty old crones of the ancient village reincarnated. Are they getting air time because they are bizarre and attention getting. Maybe it is just click bait.
    In America, we have a whole industry devoted to “prepping”. I am sympathetic, but I think it too emerges out of free floating anxiety, a distrust of the authorities’ ability to maintain the infrastructure, and a wariness of the level of interdependence required of us.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “The welfare of the people is always the alibi of tyrants.”

  • Bell Curve

    I presume it’s the context that makes that “untrue”?

    No shit, Sherlock

  • Paul Marks

    The measures have not saved lives – they have cost lives.

    And the true death toll is going to carry on.

    True, gloomy-guts people like me thought the world economy was heading for a crash anyway – but the lockdown governments of the world have made this certain.

    For example, the United States government has spent around five and a half TRILLION Dollars under the banner of “Covid”.

    I say “under the banner” as very little of this money was spent on the treatment of Covid 19 – indeed the Federal bureaucracy dishonestly pretended that no Early Treatment even existed, they lied and lied and lied, whilst hundreds of thousand of people died.

    Instead the government bureaucracy has spent TRILLIONS of Dollars on just about everything APART FROM treating Covid – but using Covid as an excuse.

    They have wreaked the economy – yes an economy that had a massive Credit Bubble anyway, but they made sure of economic collapse.

    The terrible policies in so many (although NOT all) Western countries have been on such a scale it is hard to believe that the wreaking of the West was not done ON PURPOSE.

    As Dr Klaus Schwab (the author of the Fascist, Corporate State, “Classic” – “Stakeholder Capitalism” some 50 years ago) puts it in his most recent book, the “Great Reset” – Covid 19 gives an excellent opportunity to do the things that the international establishment (government and corporate) wanted to do anyway.

    To introduce their new world – they first had to bankrupt the old world. “Build Back Better”, “Great Reset”, “Agenda 2030” – call it what you like.

    The World Economic Forum, the United Nations, and so on, are quite open about their totalitarian Collectivist objectives – there is no “conspiracy”, they are very much “in your face”.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course when it is said that “they knew” there was effective Early Treatment for Covid 19 – the “they” need only be a few people. The rest of the politicians and medical administrators following like sheep – without knowing anything (about anything).

    Never underestimate stupidity and ignorance.

  • Flubber

    It’s been reported that over 400 members of Congress and their staff were treated with Ivermectin.

    Its denial to the average Joe is a crime against humanity.

  • bobby b

    I will attest that, in the US, a tremendous amount of Ivermectin has been sold under other names by US doctors. Under the woke radar, for the most part.

    So the system isn’t completely wrecked, not yet.

    But the fact that people had to get this treatment only through others being willing to risk professional censure doesn’t speak well of that system.

  • Mr Ed

    I was using St. Pancras Station in London last week, (one of the main railway termini), it was almost deserted but around 60 people came off my train. As I walked through the station, there was a broadcast of a child’s voice purporting to be a child of one of the staff, bleating about safety and it ended with ‘…because everyone should get home safely’.

    It was, of course, the ‘child bomb‘, to use the late Brian Micklethwaite’s term, the ultimate device to show you have no argument but want to close it down. I recall muttering to myself, ‘No, you can’t all get home safely, because life is not like that.‘.

    I have written before on here about risk, or rather, actions in the absolute certainty of staring death in the face. Looking back at that example, there was someone, one of millions, who risked his life to stop those for whom one of their slogans was ‘Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz’, ‘The Common Good before the Individual Good’, and left a temporarily better World.

  • Stonyground

    The Child Bomb, that is a concept that I’m familiar with, now I have a name for it. Would it include a collection of kiddies standing on a rubbish dump singing What a Wonderful World?

  • Non Emus

    When I was younger, it was “have fun” not “stay safe”. How the world has changed.

  • Sam Duncan

    Some people in the United States seem convinced – quite literally – that they are going to die. This is a problem. They perceive themselves as being in great danger when they aren’t, and view others as a threat in an overstated way. This is dangerous.

    Been there, done that, 30-odd years ago. And yes, it is. That road leads, absolutely literally, to madness. Believe me.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Living the life of a human is not the same as just avoiding death. Funnily enough, although I did not greatly like the recent Bond film, No Time to Die, there is a point at the end where M reads out some lines to honour the late 007, and it seems very apt for our time: “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” The quote is by American author, journalist and social activist Jack London.

    I am in Malta at the moment. You have to wear a fucking mask when walking along the road or next to the sea. Fines are handed out for non-compliance. The locals are terrified. It’s disgraceful what the authorities have allowed to happen.

  • Exasperated

    We live in a world that lends itself to increasing neurosis, feminization and infantilization. Many seem cocooned from reality and lack any sense of historical perspective. News flash, before electricity, railroads, and mass production, everyone’s life pretty much sucked. Before vaccines, antibiotics, and clean water everyone, regardless of status, lived with pain, suffering, tragedy, and loss. People of my generation know about the Depression from our parents; we have some awareness of the tragedy and loss experienced by previous generations. The cocooned generations have no concept of real life threats and can’t conceive of a world where really bad things, like dying of a tooth abscess, happen to anyone. Anyway, I’m not sure that it is their fault, since routine tragedy and suffering is something outside their keen, excepting children living in a neighborhood of warring gang bangers. They seem to overcompensate by over dramatizing and exaggerating mundane risks.

  • PaulF

    I am in Malta at the moment. You have to wear a fucking mask when walking along the road or next to the sea. Fines are handed out for non-compliance. The locals are terrified. It’s disgraceful what the authorities have allowed to happen.

    Johnathan, what are the locals terrified of? Catching covid, or getting fined? Or both, of course…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    We live in a world that lends itself to increasing neurosis, feminization and infantilization

    Yep. I will catch hell from feminists for this, but I am convinced that feminisation of our culture is an element here. Those who have studied evolutionary psychology would argue that women are innately more cautious and risk-averse than men because they had to be. I am not an expert on this, though, and there is a risk in stretching some of these theories too far. Check out this calmly argued piece by Arnold Kling.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    @Mr Ed

    actions in the absolute certainty of staring death in the face.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Coincidently, just been reading George MacDonald Frazer’s “Quartered Safe Out Here”, his account of being part of the “Forgotten Army” that fought its way from India to Burma after VE Day. He very pointedly remarks that were no narcissistic interviewers asking how scared they were, or how they felt after each deadly event, or asking them how traumatised they felt. Frazer’s take is that was a very good thing, because it would have induced a kind of psychological paralysis and massively undermined moral. What they needed to do was what they did.

    Different times.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    Worth mentioning in despatches, re the ongoing MSM fuss re the Number 10 Parties.

    Laura Dodsworth makes the real point very well (the elephant in the corner that the media is ignoring)

    Were government officials wilfully reckless, or did they actually possess a reasonable understanding of their risk, while conveying an entirely different sense of risk to the population? I suggest the latter, since they had the best available data. After all, we know that they knew that we knew we weren’t all at equal risk. Exhibit A in the thesis of my book A State of Fear is the set of SPI-B minutes, dated 22nd March 2020:

    “A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened; it could be that they are reassured by the low death rate in their demographic group… The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.”

    The perceived level of threat is not the real level of threat.

    Laura Dodsworth: “All those people at Downing Street had the data. So what does that tell you? The data didn’t terrify them.”

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Johnathan, what are the locals terrified of? Catching covid, or getting fined? Or both, of course…

    Both. They actually buy the narrative. My relations do. I cannot reason with them.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Johnathan Pearce,

    I cannot reason with them.

    I relate to this.

    Witnessing so many otherwise intelligent people become entirely beholden to their own emotions is… very disturbing to me.

    I feel a foreboding sense of profound sorrow.

    How can we as a society extricate ourselves from the clutches of spiritual death if we fear life?

  • James Hargrave

    Encourage all those who are so fearful to take a nice painless exit – and that way they will not be a burden on the NHS etc. A modest proposal from someone who was sceptical of the policies adopted from the outset and who hasn’t indulged in the mask-wearing and other follies throughout.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>