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]

Come to think of it, comrades, I do want Jones back

George Orwell, Animal Farm:

“Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?”

Once again this argument was unanswerable. Certainly the animals did not want Jones back; if the holding of debates on Sunday mornings was liable to bring him back, then the debates must stop. Boxer, who had now had time to think things over, voiced the general feeling by saying: “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.” And from then on he adopted the maxim, “Napoleon is always right,” in addition to his private motto of “I will work harder.”

(Credit to, um, www.marxists.org actually, for providing the link.)

The Times yesterday, “Donald Trump praises Vladimir Putin’s ‘genius’ move on Ukraine”. The headline worked; there are more than a thousand outraged comments about how Trump is “supporting Putin”. I knew before I read the first line that the point he was actually making would be something along the lines of this:

He claimed that Putin, 69, would not have dared invade had he still been in the White House, rather than Biden. “This never would have happened with us,” he said, dismissing Biden as a “man that has no concept of what he’s doing”.

He told the radio show: “Had I been in office — not even thinkable. This would never have happened. But you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn’t have one for that. No, it’s very sad.”

The BBC, this morning:

BBC LIVE: Russia launches invasion of Ukraine

13 comments to Come to think of it, comrades, I do want Jones back

  • Was Trump deliberately trolling the MSM in the manner of Breitbart, knowing they would rush to claim he was supporting Putin and so provide many quotes that will read worse as Durham reports more? Or was he being how I interpreted him in late January 2016, when I first began taking him seriously?

    The key to my beginning to change my mind about Trump at the start of 2016 was the idea that the way for any Republican to be heard over the MSM’s caricature of them was not to be intensely aware of their MSM listeners, policing each sentence to make it hard to misquote, but, on the contrary, to have the temperament that, at a level much deep than the mere conscious will, can ignore them and treat the audience of potential voters to whom all politicians pretend to speak as if it were the speaker’s actual and only audience.

    It could be both of course. If it turns out well for Trump, as I hope Durham will, he and his supporters will praise his three-dimensional chess. In a sense, I will too – while continuing to think that victories of that kind are so much part of the inevitable interaction of Trump’s temperament with politically-correct MSM temperament that they commence “at a level much deep than the mere conscious will” as often as from anyone’s three-dimensional chess.

  • Martin

    It’s obvious that this wouldn’t be happening if Trump was still president. ‘The grown ups back in charge’ under the senile moron in Washington now in the White House have been exposed as both lunatics and losers repeatedly.

  • Duncan S


    George Orwell, 1984:

    Shouldn’t that read

    George Orwell, Animal Farm:

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Eeek, you’re right of course, Duncan S. Thanks for saving my blushes, I’ll correct that now.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I just made the following comment to a post by Sarah Hoyt on Instapundit:

    Unfortunately the Russian army has become a lot more of a competent fighting force in recent years, and the US army a lot less. The leadership of the military forces of most Western countries (including the UK, where I’m from) are only slightly behind that of the US in prioritising other things above fighting wars. Leaders do what they are rewarded for doing. For a Western general it is worse to fail to achieve diversity targets than to lose a battle.

    Sarah Hoyt’s post linked to this essay by Stephen Daisley in the Spectator: “Putin must look at the West and laugh”.

  • The current misery of the Ukrainians notwithstanding, but some actual good might come from all of this.

    1. We start being honest about Russian money and Russian Oligarchs hiding out in Belgravia.
    2. We recognise that reliance on Russian gas is a threat to Western European energy security and this feeds back into both the prioritisation of our own energy security (“Let’s get fracking”, MOAR Nuclear!) and the abandonment of the Net Zero idiocy which has led us down this route.

    Dependence on Russian gas is a Mephistophelean bargain.

  • John B

    Reliance on Russian gas is key to Net Zero Carbon. With it, no need to frack; without it, we get Net Zero Carbon. A win all round for the EcoFascists.

  • Kravchenko’s “I chose freedom” contains a couple of interestingly contrasting examples – too long to quote with all their essential context – of Kravchenko trying variants of ‘You don’t want Jones back!’ on his father (who had been an active revolutionary against the Tsar).

    During a visit to his son, the father toured his factory and then had a private talk in which he detailed how far worse off in money and freedom the workers were compared to before the revolution.

    At first, the son responds that

    As compared with their miserable existence under the Tsars,

    the workers are better off, to which the father robustly replies

    Vitya, why must you fool yourself?

    He then gives facts and figures showing that inflation means his son’s workers earn a quarter of what they did before the revolution, that the ‘free’ health care is not free and the son knows to “send for Dr Gorkin privately” when ill himself, that all 1500 workers at the factory paid out of those pitiful wages for ‘benefits’ that only 57 of them had received (the first-in-queue communist bureaucrats taking the rest), and the point I quote here, etc. (Later, after the son’s being targeted by the great purge brings them together again, the father describes the Tsar’s Okhrana as “a philanthropic organisation compared to the NKVD”.)

    But the son’s second challenge,

    “Well, if everything was so lovely, father, why did you go to prison and make a revolution.”

    is tougher for the father, who instantly responds, “I regret nothing and would do it over again” – and then has to defend his views in that constraining context. He makes the valid point that the same evils can have different names in different ages (Burke would agree) and the invalid claim that capitalism is oppression so in fighting for socialism he was fighting against an economic evil – but at the cost of momentarily retreating to talk as if something he knows is far worse were in fact merely the same. He emphatically rejects a Boxer-channeling “Comrade Stalin is always right” but he claims he’d do it again despite knowing Comrade Stalin lies at the end of it. Needless to say, the son does not respond, “Father, why must you fool yourself?

  • bobby b

    “Unfortunately the Russian army has become a lot more of a competent fighting force in recent years, and the US army a lot less.”

    I doubt that we’ll see the American fighting machine in action in this mess. Maybe a few superman advisor types or a helicopter, but no ranks of grunts.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    You are almost certainly right, bobby b, but the wokification of the US army made it distinctly more likely that we would get to see the Russian fighting machine in action in this mess.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Even after providing the full transcript and audio of Trump’s interview, most people still believed he supported Putin.

    Cognitive dissonance is a powerful thing. And people are that stupid or easily misled by prior brainwashing.

  • Paul Marks

    No Niall – President Trump was not trolling the media.

    The sick bastards who influence the Times (of London) knew they were twisting what President Trump was saying, twisting it 180 degrees.

    They lie without shame – like so much of the media.

    I remember back 2017 when the first words out of the mouth of President Trump were to condemn the Nazi types (enemies of his own blood – his own family) who had tried to take over the protest against the removal of a statue of General Lee (who BOTH sides in the American Civil War admired) – and the media…

    The media pretended that President Trump had said the Nazis were “good people” – not that some of the people who wanted to keep the statue of General Lee were good people, no they pretended he was saying that the Nazis were good people.

    Much of the media are lying scum – it is just that brutally simple.

    They are taught by the education system that any lie is justified if it furthers the “Progressive” cause.

  • […] the media travestying Trump’s remarks about Putin’s ‘genius move’ into approval of the invasion, […]