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Samizdata quote of the day – a perfect summary of politics today

It’s going to be an interesting election: the party that deserves to lose versus the party that doesn’t deserve to win.

– Commenter Andy

27 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – a perfect summary of politics today

  • Fraser Orr

    I heard an interesting theory recently, namely that the democratic candidate for presidency will be none other than Nikki Haley. Her policies are largely indistinguishable from Biden’s, she is about as establishment as it gets, and she is a principle free “do what the establishment” want kind of a gal. She is getting a LOT of money from traditionally Democrat donors.

    So, since they can’t really get rid of Biden (because the only person less electable than him is Kamala, and they can’t pass over a black woman for toothy grin Newsom), so the plan may well be put up two democrats against each other, get rid of Trump then run Haley vs Biden, with the expectation that she will win. Not so much the democrats plan as the “people who want to keep the system that made them rich in place.” A kind of heads I win tails you lose type of a deal.

    Perhaps with the backup plan of Michelle Obama if this doesn’t work out.

    I don’t know if it is true, and I certainly don’t think it is a carefully worked out conspiracy of the Illuminati, but it is certainly an interesting theory.

    FWIW, it is a shame Ramaswamy doesn’t have a shot. He is one of the few people who could actually make a serious difference and significantly slow down (though not stop) the inevitable collapse.

  • Kirk

    Honestly? If they had a “None of the above are acceptable to me” option on the ballot?

    I’m pretty sure that line would win. Everywhere, in every contest.

  • Mark

    When was the last election when this wasn’t the case? 92?

    What actually happened between 92 and 97 to allow in a vacuous, vapid, clueless and infantilised, narcissistic, degenerate, euro/globo whore like B-liar?

  • Stonyground

    Longrider is covering the same subject while picking over an article from the Guardian. I spotted an excellent comment from Phil B.

    “So, to summarise, there is the square root of naff all difference between the Conservatives (who have comprehensively failed to conserve anything at all other than Labours policies implemented the last time) and labour (who have championed everyone else’s interests other than native British people and have the politics of Student Grant – a character from Viz comic). If you don’t like what either party stands for and what they are doing to the country, DO NOT vote for anyone different …

    OK, message received and understood.”

    That last part is a reference to what the article appears to be suggesting. Whatever you do, don’t vote for any independents or minority parties, the Status Quo must be preserved at all costs.

  • Sam Duncan

    When was the last election when this wasn’t the case? 92?

    ’87, I’d say. Major’s lot were infinitely preferable to Kinnock’s, but I struggle to say they “deserved to win”.

    I think it was reasonable to believe that Boris deserved his win in 2019. Totally wrong in retrospect (with, of course, the proviso that Corbyn deserved it even less), but forgiveable at the time.

  • Jim

    “What actually happened between 92 and 97 to allow in a vacuous, vapid, clueless and infantilised, narcissistic, degenerate, euro/globo whore like B-liar?”

    The wartime generation finally disappeared. Major’s first cabinet in 1990 contained a lot of people born in the 30s and early 40s, so had at least experience of that era as a child/teenager. By the first Blair cabinet in ’97 those born in the 30s had almost entirely disappeared, replaced by many (including Blair and Brown) born in the 50s, and others born post war, so absolutely no wartime experience. Those born in the early to mid 50s would effectively be children of the 60s. A very different type of person to a Depression born one.

  • APL

    “the party that deserves to lose versus the party that doesn’t deserve to win.”

    Neither of which are actually [capable of] governing.

    [] either or. Doesn’t matter.

  • The wartime generation finally disappeared.

    Not convinced the wartime generation’s post-war sensibilities of nationalisation, an ever bigger state & the infernal NHS marked them as anything to aspire to either.

  • Bulldog Drummond

    These people have their hooks into power and they aren’t going to let it go without a considerable fight.

    That’s right, but the fact Brexit actually happened shows they can in fact be beaten.

  • bobby b

    The world-war kids were all still mightily impressed with “what we can all accomplish together” and were scornful of limited-government types. Understandable given what had transpired, but obsolete in the new peacetime.

  • Kirk

    I think it’s a little bit nuts to either deify or demonize entire generations the way we often do.

    “The Greatest Generation” was never any such thing. It was just the same conglomeration of people that exist in every generation, no worse, no better. Their legacy includes beating the Nazis, sure… But, then they also are the enabling assholes that raised the self-indulgent Boomers, so it’s a wash, to me.

    As it is, all these so-called “generations” are a crock of shiite. I’m supposedly from among the last of the baby boomers, but I’ve got no affinity for them or their collective issues. As well, there’s a bit of category error here: You’re not really the product of your birth date so much as it’s where you got your primary cultural inputs from. I’m an offset; I was raised mostly by my grandmother, who was born in the late 1890s. She had my Mother in her 40s, and by rights, I should have been born in the 1940s, not the sixties. Instead, because of that offset, I’ve always been out of context with my peers, which means that whatever the hell I am, I am emphatically not a boomer, even from their last cohort.

    This is a fundamentally foolish and essentially stupid way of looking at things, anyway. I believe it’s mostly come into use because it’s a good tool for creating division between generations, and “othering” people.

  • Stuart Noyes

    Or, a plague on all your houses.

  • I have no idea how one submits possible quotes of the day, so here is mine:

    Proponents’ related claim that carbon taxation will stimulate foundational innovation is, to put it diplomatically, a novel theory of innovation. Airplanes weren’t invented because of taxes on ships, nor the transistor because of taxes on vacuum tubes, nor the car from taxing horses. Taxing whale oil would not have led to coal-derived kerosene (which, by the way, is what saved the whales), nor would taxing coal have led to nuclear energy.
    — Mark P. Mills, “The Carbon Tax Cliff”, https://www.city-journal.org/article/the-carbon-tax-cliff

  • Jim

    “Not convinced the wartime generation’s post-war sensibilities of nationalisation, an ever bigger state & the infernal NHS marked them as anything to aspire to either.”

    They were wrong, but their aim was good. They wanted their children to have the benefits of things they had not had. They thought that socialism was the way to achieve that. After all the USSR had gone from a peasant society to an (apparently) highly industrialised nation inside 25 years on the back of it. Yes we all now know the realities of how that was achieved, but at the time (1940s) it wasn’t obviously apparent that socialism wasn’t the answer. With the evidence of another 50 years behind us we all knew the answer, but it wasn’t a slam dunk at the time.

    “the fact Brexit actually happened shows they can in fact be beaten.”

    They slipped up. They believed their own BS, living in echo chambers. It just never occurred to the likes of Cameron et al that there were swathes of people out there who would turn out to vote Leave, who never went near a voting booth in normal times, so never featured on the political radar. Ditto Trump voters. Both were slips by the Establishment that they intend never to repeat. They won’t ever be stupid enough to give us a vote on Net Zero for example, and they will move heaven and earth to make sure Trump never makes it back into the White House. If all else fails they’ll have him shot.

    The sad thing is that Brexit and Trump alerted the Establishment to the danger that lurked below, which they had been unaware of, and neither achieved a knock out blow. Now they do know about it, and are prepared. There will be no more gimmes.

  • David Roberts

    Musings about your They; along the lines of knowing your enemy. For a long time this has puzzled me. Who are they or what is it? Some who are aware of this entity, believe it to be some cabal of psychopathic people who plan, conspire and act for their benefit regardless of any harms caused to the rest of us. The problem with this is that, intrinsically psychopaths are not good at cooperating at all with others, particularly over the long term. So not psychopaths. OK, what about a group who see themselves as a tribe at war with the rest of us? For this to work many of the various leaders around the world, which includes dictators, presidents, prime ministers, business moguls etc. etc. co-operating to implement a grand plan. That’s not going to work.
    So what else? Maybe it’s not a group of people but a set of notions which play to proclivities in some individuals in positions of power. This means that the entity is nebulous, changing and is eventually self destructive but is fed by built in human vices.
    So sorry, the best I can do is: mitigate the harms by fighting the good fight and believing that virtue will prevail.

  • SteveD

    If they had a “None of the above are acceptable to me” option on the ballot?

    I’m pretty sure that line would win. Everywhere, in every contest.

    I am fairly certain that: “None of the above are acceptable to me” has better policies and leadership skills.

  • Roué le Jour

    David Roberts,
    I don’t see any mystery. The police, for example, naturally want laws that make it easier to police. DNA everyone at birth, chip the population like we do pets, removing internet anonymity would obviously make policing easier. The tax department would obviously like laws to make extracting tax easier. Insist everyone has an employer responsible for tax collection, get rid of cash to eliminate the black market, ready access to bank accounts would aid this.

    How it is supposed to work is that our elected representatives defend our rights against the natural desires of The Bureaucracy, but they have abdicated this role, no longer having any concern for our well being.

  • Paul Marks

    Government spending has massively increased – which means that those who talk of it it having been “cut” rule themselves out of serious discussion.

    Taxation has also been increased.

    Immigration has massively increased – against the wishes of the British people and the promises of the Conservative Party. And this is NOT “free migration” into a libertarian society – it is mass immigration into a Welfare State. That does not work – mass immigration into a Welfare State is a disaster.

    Regulations have continued to increase.

    The “C02 is evil” agenda has continued – heaping massive costs on economic life

    And the “Woke”, Frankfurt School “Critical Theory” Marxist, agenda has continued – under such pieces of legislation as the Equality Act of 2010. Most Public Servants and Big Business types do NOT know what they are doing – but the fact remains they continue to push this stuff, even though they know not what they do – they are blindly following doctrines they do not understand, because the regulations and policies push them that way.

    And a Labour Government would not only not reverse any of the above – it would make it all WORSE.

    “And the solution is….”

    I doubt there is any solution – I suspect that Labour will win the election and that will finish off a country where both liberty and society (Civil Society) have been in decline for very many years. It is NOT that Labour will be taking over a healthy society – on the contrary they will be taking over a society where rabid “Progressivism” has done its evil work for many decades already.

  • Kirk

    It has occurred to me that there’s a huge blind spot in our current “theory of governance” across the West.

    Consider all this ESG bullshit and similar sorts of things that are being enacted without the slightest amount of civil consensus being achieved. Entities like Blackrock and the WEF are imposing these ideas, and they’re just doing them without any discussion or social buy-in. These changes are coming in on a vector that our system does not consider; there’s zero way to vote these bastards out.

    The Founding Fathers here in the US never considered the impact that a bunch of assholes with money could have simply by funding all these fun little organizations like George Soros did. Did anyone formally propose any of his policies, and then vote on them? Was Soros elected by a vote of the people, and could he be removed by another one?

    Nope. Nobody ever considered that these entirely anti-representative republic and anti-democratic entities could come into existence, let alone emplace a means of controlling them. They’re beyond the control of the electorate, just like the unelected bureaucracy.

    As such, this crap can’t last. Piss off enough people, motivate them? You’re going to see the system burn. The French aristocracy thought its position in the system was unassailable, right up until the tumbrils started rolling. Same with these idiots… They think to rule the world, but they forgot to get anyone’s consent or buy-in before doing their thing, and since they keep f*cking it up by the numbers, the inevitable blowback is going to be ugly.

    Friend of mine once made the comment that he could live with a corrupt politician, a guy that enriched himself. What he couldn’t live with was a stupid one, whose policies and acts didn’t work, and which were self-serving and venal. Tammany Hall had the good sense to make sure things worked

    I keep coming back to this for a lot of you folks who’re despairing, but you seem to keep ignoring it: What doesn’t work, doesn’t last. The only thing these idiots who’re reaching out to control the world are doing is hastening the day when they’re dangling from lamp posts worldwide. They might also wind up the way a certain Dutch prime minister ended.

  • Ferox

    I keep coming back to this for a lot of you folks who’re despairing, but you seem to keep ignoring it: What doesn’t work, doesn’t last.

    As one of the despairing ones, I agree with you that eventually these failed systems will collapse. But the Soviet Union took about 75 years to collapse, and I happen to care somewhat about the intervening time. There are children, not mine, but I care about them like they are mine. I don’t want them to grow up in a Soviet-style leftist utopia.

    Nor am I eager for the bloodbaths which seem to be inevitable; waves of BLM-type riots with bolder and bolder lynch mobs followed by waves of reaction, also bolder and bolder. It seems impossible to stand by and watch, but what to do? Something. And it doesn’t seem likely that talking is very relevant now. The Freaks have taken away voting as a pressure valve, since our election process is now hobbled. Tell me Kirk, do you think we will ever again see an election result that the Freak party dislikes in our state? When all the ballots are mailed in and there is always a “forgotten” box of ballots ready to be found at the 11th hour?

    And if we can’t vote them out, because voting no longer matters, then what else is there but the sword?

  • David Roberts

    For those in despair, I say apply your brain to learn from our predecessors. To date all known civilisations rise and fall. Also it would appear that the human animal for evolutionary reasons always assumes the worst.
    We now know about the cyclical nature of civilisations and our own instincts. So maybe we can buck the trend.
    How, not by gloom and doom, but by going boldly where no man has gone before.
    Call me Pangloss or Kirk if you like, but what else are we going to do?
    As an aside some granite vases may be about to add to the known civilisations that have risen and fallen.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Kirk, I keep thinking that Americans seem to assume that non-Americans know as much about American history as do Americans. What, for instance, is Tamminy Hall?

  • Ferox

    Tammany Hall, a famously corrupt New York political machine.

  • Snorri Godhi

    it would appear that the human animal for evolutionary reasons always assumes the worst.

    I am a born optimist myself.
    I still remember when Europe, East of (West) Germany & Austria, was under tyrannies arguably worse than Putin.

    I also remember when the 2nd largest party in Italy were the Commies, the 3rd the Socialists, and the 4th the crypto-fascists.
    (Crypto, because fascist parties were unconstitutional.)

    I also remember when people trusted the Ivy League, the NY Times, and the BBC.

    There is also the fact that the temperature here tonight won’t go below -20C for the first time in almost a week; and on Odin’s day it will go as high as zero!
    Still, we are in for a tough couple of months; but with a sauna in my flat, i am not worried.

  • Kirk

    All y’all weird little monkeys have puzzled me all of my life, and I’ve thus had to pay very careful attention to what you do and what you say, always comparing the two.

    The big thing I’ve noted from observation, personal experience, and my reading of history is that people that seek control always lose it. You cannot impose your will on the universe or the entities within. You may try, you may lust for it, but in the end? You ain’t God himself, you are not omniscient, and you’re not all-powerful.

    Every time someone has reached for this crap, they wind up failing, often taking their “system” down with them. Observe the fate of the Chinese Imperial mandarins who chose to shut down China’s international trade and exploration efforts back during the early 1400s. Few years of success, getting as far as Africa, and then the powers that ran the Imperial throne from the shadows decided it was useless endeavor and even a threat to the dynasty. They shut it all down, and within a generation, European “barbarians” were knocking at their doors, beginning the long, slow destruction of China’s power.

    Seek control. Go ahead… The universe laughs at you, just as it laughs at this latest round of idiots calling themselves the WEF. They don’t even have a vision much past locking everything down and controlling it; it’s not like they’re trying to bend all their efforts towards something somewhat positive, like Elon Musk and his ideas to colonize the solar system. The Klaus Schwabs of the world just want power and control, to tell the most chaotic and insane species on the planet exactly what to do, when to do it, and how. For what purpose? What do they think they’re going to get out of it, when they own everything? Will people bow to them, or will people simply do what they did to the French aristos?

    End of the day, it’s all going to rebound on them, in very ugly, ugly ways. I dare say the Swiss will likely throw the lot of them out, if they’re thinking they’re going to hole up in the Alps.

    The whole thing is insane, on the face of it. What’s the point of destroying all of Western culture, if there’s nothing to rule over…? Do these arseholes really think that they’re the natural leaders over the hordes they’ve brought in to replace their own, or that they’ll somehow personally avoid the consequences and fates of their own kind that they hate so much?

    I had this conversation a lot, growing up with all the socialist college-educated morons I ran into. It was all “I’m not an American, and I work for the destruction of this corrupt AmeriKKKa…” My question then, as now, was “What the hell do you think comes after? Do you suppose that the “New Regime” you so badly want to bring in is going to put you, a proven traitor, in charge of anything other than breaking rocks in the camps…?”

    I’d be concerned if the dumbasses had some sort of plan beyond chaos and destruction, an attractive “end-game” they could sell. What they’ve got is “none of the above”, and the inevitable blow-up when they manage to attract enough of the attention of the body politic to the actual effect of what they’re doing…? It won’t be pretty. The environmentalist loons are in this vise-trap right now; so long as they were luxury-beliefs, environmentalism was something nice everyone could play lip-service to. Now that people are freezing in the dark and can’t afford to heat or light their own homes, watching their parents freeze to death in their old age…? Ya really think this “Net-Zero” bullshit is going to last? It’s just like the arseholes with Brexit; why did that happen? It’s because the morons never ever thought to find out from the electorate whether or not they really wanted to cede national sovereignty to the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, and simply never considered that nobody would vote for that. Now, they know a little better, but the problem is that you can’t change public opinion by suppressing and ignoring it; it will eventually and inevitably come out, and the longer you try to suppress it, the worse it will be. People are going to do what people are going to do, and getting them off the base-line alignment of what they perceive as their own best self-interest is an exercise fraught with failure and peril. Don’t be real surprised when the whole thing blows up, because these morons have been stoking the fires underneath the boiler and tying down the safety valves for decades, now. Much like the aristo class during the long run-up to the French Revolution…

  • Paul Marks

    Edmund Burke, one of the first thinkers to defend the concept of a political party, defined a political party as a group of people who shared certain basic principles (this was long before membership cards and all that) – they did not have to agree on every detail, but they did need to agree on key principles.

    There are Conservative Members of Parliament who have good principles – there really are.

    But what do these men and woman have in common with Damion Green MP and his “One Nation” group of Members of Parliament?

    After long consideration (very long consideration) my view is that they share no principles in common.

    For example, it is my opinion that Mr Green and his group would sell us out to the proposed tyranny of the World Health Organisation (on censorship, lockdowns – everything), and they would so with a light heart. It would not be a big thing for them – as they do not value national independence or individual liberty, they want us to be “Global Citizens” the totalitarian agenda of the International Community.

    The Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish and Welsh “Nationalists” (who are not really Nationalists at all) all agree with the 100 strong group of “Conservative” “One Nation” (or rather no nation – because they oppose the nation and support international agreements and organisations designed to destroy both national independence and individual liberty) Members of Parliament – they also back the totalitarian agenda of the International Community.

    This unfortunate situation is one of the reasons that I fear that the future of the United Kingdom is without hope.

    I very much hope that I am WRONG.

  • Snorri Godhi


    I also remember when people trusted the Ivy League, the NY Times, and the BBC.

    I forgot to mention the FBI, and British police.

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