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

The hold of mass psychosis on individuals in a crowd is not through logic or private incentives but through an emotional narrative. Therefore, it is through undermining that unifying narrative in the eyes of an individual that one loosens the bond between individual and group. It can be done through mockery or by persuading an individual to consume less (or no) mass-media messaging. The less propaganda is consumed, the easier one builds distinct communities and follows personal goals. The values of the crowd are often barbaric and contrary to those of individuals who join it; by encouraging the individual to return to acting as a moral agent, the individual will come to distinguish himself from the mass. However hackneyed and largely unexamined an individual’s personal ethics, they are at least different from those of the masses. Differentiation is done by making the individual aware of conflict between his/her morality and what the mass believes. It is possible to point out exceptions, especially relating to close relatives or friends or even inconsistencies in his/her own actions.

Here are some angles of persuasion that will help deprogramme the Covidian. Often, success rests on reminding people of their core values. Those mantras held up to March 2020 may have been unexamined and faulty but they were not worthless and their old shapes remain in the psyches of those currently under the sway of mass psychosis. Appeal to a person’s core values rather than presenting statistics, unless statistics are used to back up a moral argument.

– Alexander Adams, Deprogramming Covidian mass psychosis

12 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Most people I know are part of the mass psychosis.

    I feel very alone. Despondent and isolated.

  • Mass psychosis seems to explain a lot of political phenomena these days. Like the press gullibility over the Steele dossier, which charged (among other things) that Russia sent agents to meet with members of a slapdash presidential campaign to discuss leaking hacked emails to Wikipedia – as if the Russia who’s top boss was a KGB careerist needed anyone’s help leaking sensitive information, as if any state spy agency would reveal the existence of an espionage operation to anyone outside its own highest security clearances. Both impeachment circuses were profoundly psychotic – the first resting on the unsupported claim that Trump strongarmed another head of state in a phone call, the second conducted without even a pretense of investigation.

    IMO, one of the great examples of mass psychosis is the propagation of the belief that gender is a social construct not related to chromosomes. It seems to be the logical conclusion of a much older notion, that there is no psychological difference between biological males and females. It is a minority opinion that has vast influence within elite institutions in the behavioral sciences and elsewhere, and few in the dissenting majority know how to even discuss the issue. The most difficult things to explain are those perceived as self-evident, because we never think we’ll ever be in a position to explain such things. The crazies have forced us in a position to explain what “male” and “female” mean.

  • Exasperated

    I thought the push back would occur when they came for the children. On the one hand, I’m sorta disappointed that Dr. McCullough and Dr. Malone bought into the mass psychosis gig but how else to explain Canada and Australia. Those governments couldn’t get away with this without significant support from the public. This authoritarian mindset seems to have taken hold in most of the industrialized countries, but it is hard for me to accept that the governments of Israel or Denmark are committed to this level of public harm. Who knew that Japan would step up?

  • Sam Duncan

    It can be done through mockery

    I’ve been saying for months that if you’re confronted for not wearing a mask, you shouldn’t argue; apologise profusely, say you forgot, put one on, then whip out a tinfoil hat, saying, “Better safe than sorry, right? Where’s yours?”. For too long, they’ve been calling the sceptics “conspiracy theorists”, but they’re the ones wandering around in public openly wearing pointless headgear. It’s long past time for mockery.

  • I’ve been saying for months that if you’re confronted for not wearing a mask, you shouldn’t argue…

    I typically say “I’m exempt on the basis I’m not a chickenshit.”

    When more polite, I just say “I’m exempt and in any case, it’s like trying to keep out mosquitoes with a chain-link fence.”

    However a chum of mine has been using the tinfoil hat analogy for a while now: “I don’t wear a mask for the same reason I don’t wear a tinfoil hat.”

  • Shlomo Maistre


    “Just got the announcement that Berkeley Unified School District will demand all students wear N95s all day.”

  • APL

    Shlomo Maistre: “I feel very alone. Despondent and isolated.”

    I’m ok being alone and isolated, if that’s the price to pay for sanity.

    One guy at work had held out until very recently, and now he’s an evangelist for the !vaxx. I guess that’s peer pressure for you.

    I’ve probably mentioned this before. On one occasion, I went to the optician to get my eye test. I’d not walked through the door before the fourteen year old assistant handed me a mask and asked me to put it on, ‘to be safe’, I regret to say, I complied. But, what made this scenario utterly ludicrous was that once in the very small back room for the actual eye exam, and while in very close proximity to the optician, she asked me to take it off because my breath was steaming up the lenses.

    I suppose I must have been responsible for her untimely demise.

    The guilt, the guilt!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Fascinating. I am watching this interview with Dr Robert Malone, who comes across as a very smart chap.

    It is funny how part of the old liberal-left – think people such as Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog – are very different from today’s statist Left. At least some of the old “hippies” had a certain level of anti-statist, creative gusto. Give me Joni Mitchell over Greta Thunberg any day.

  • Duncan S


    Similar happened to me in 2020 when I had to go for eye-test. I put on the offered mask and sat down to wait. As a different staff member came over to me to take my details, my glasses immediately fogged up. I whipped the mask off muttering “I can’t see with this damn thing on” and spent the rest of the time in the opticians without covering my face. No-one batted an eyelid.

    I’ve spent the last two years without a mask: I don a ski-neck when I enter shops, but it’s so loose that it gives the illusion of a covering, whilst stopping my glasses steaming up.

    During last summer, I was regularly manning an art exhibition at my local stately home. Any time I noticed a punter’s glasses steaming up as they tried to view the art, or read the labels, I shouted across “if you’re steaming up, just take the mask off”: a delighted “thank you” was the frequent reply.

  • Paul Marks

    The areas of the United States that most supported liberty, that were most hostile to the Federal Government and the “Woke” Corporations who depend on the Credit Money flow from the government, are (by and large) the areas of the United States that are most hostile to the Covid restrictions.

    The conflict remains the same.

    As for the United Kingdom – the part of the Conservative Party that is opposed to the Covid restrictions is also the part of the Conservative Party that I agree with on other matters.

    Again – the conflict remains the same.

  • Rob Fisher

    I’m not sure I have met anyone who needs “deprogramming”.

    People blindly following rules, submitting to authority, allowing themselves to be told what to think — none of this is new. People putting themselves into categorical boxes and taking on a shopping basket of opinions that aren’t logically connected is also not new (there is no logical connection between whether the case fatality rate of covid is high or low and whether taxes should be high or low).

    It is quite possible to hold all of the following opinions simultaneously without contradiction: that covid is a serious problem and dangerous to a large number of people; that it is relatively harmless to most people; that if enough people get ill at once it is more of a problem than if people get it slowly over time; that reducing one’s chances of contracting it might sometimes be a good idea; that masks probably reduce transmission in some situations; that taking a vaccine is probably safer than not taking it for a large number of people; that government interventions have mostly made things worse; that vaccines and masks should not be mandated by the state; that Brexit was on the whole a better idea than remaining in the EU.

    I’m not convinced there is much more going on than just states making a bad situation worse, as usual.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Johnathan Pearce,

    Fascinating. I am watching this interview with Dr Robert Malone, who comes across as a very smart chap.

    Your link leads to a wealth briefing picture, not to the actual interview with Dr Robert Malone. Just FYI.