7 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. And by the time that complacency is penetrated by reality, it is too late to be anything but a bad example for others.

    Subotai Bahadur

  2. “The sense of security more frequently springs from habit than from conviction, and for this reason it often subsists after such a change in the conditions as might have been expected to suggest alarm. The lapse of time during which a given event has not happened is, in this logic of habit, constantly alleged as a reason why the event should never happen, even when the lapse of time is precisely the added condition which makes the event imminent.” (Silas Marner, George Eliot)

    Or, as Mark Steyn put it much more recently:
    “‘Stability’ is a surface illusion, like a frozen river: underneath, the currents are moving, and to the casual observer the ice looks equally ‘stable’ whether there’s a foot of it or just two inches. There is no status quo in world affairs: ‘stability’ is a fancy term to dignify laziness and complacency as sophistication.”

  3. I think the term “complacence” varies by definition and degree. One of the remarkable things about Trump’s current stranding in the polls is that it comes from after not only more than 8 years of vilification but the threat of social ostracism for supporting him; if you place complacency on a continuum it would seem to me supporting Trump would be the opposite of complacent. See also all those who showed ip to hear Trump speak on Jan. 6, the Loudoun County parent protests…

    “Complacency” is not just a feature (or problem) with decadent Western civilization (as Steyn would have us believe). The Marxist and union organizers of the late 19th and early 20th Century had the same problem in getting the workers on board because the latter chose to see their situation as self-identified Catholics or Germans or anything but the oppressed proletariat that might be roused to action. We can draw lessons for their experience

    As far as definition? I think Steyn (and I’m a huge fan of him), Simchowitz, and others would define it as the mistaken notion that everything will turn out just fine… after all even the most harrowing fairy tale eventually ends on a “Happy Ever After” The real butch (to use a Steyn phrase) likes to think that applies to those cowardly people who would rather cling to their comfortable bourgeois lifestyles rather than see the evil that comes and that they (the butch) are some sort of far-seeing Gandalf trying to rouse the somnolent population of Gondor to the evil that awaits.

    However if we expand “complacent” to meaning not willing to leave one’s comfort zone the term becomes far more ominous. I hear a lot of chatter from red-hatted friends who decry the decadent cowardice of their fellow citizens who refuse to rise up against the approaching tyranny. Yet when something happens like the NM governor suspending concealed carry, an act her office admitted was unconstitutional, what happened? A hundred people showed up a single Saturday afternoon in Albuquerque to protest. I hear the excuse that the Right/conservatives/MAGA doesn’t do the protest bit … I don’t why, maybe, because it sounds too 60’s hippieish… but if people cannot rouse themselves to protest the suspension of gun rights, what will they do to break themselves out of their comfort zone?

    If you think that when the ball drops this summer regarding the approaching societal chaos this election that you can suddenly organize as an effective force around patriotism and guns at the drop of a hat then you are the very definition of complacent. I am afraid, and I hope I’m wrong, that we are about to go through a very sharp lesson this year in what a well-organized and motivated minority (the Left) can do when they think the stakes are high enough. The other part of complacency is the feeling that nothing can be done, that this is all part of some sort of inevitable historical/Strauss-Howe generational decline and that perhaps we can hunker down and like Dreher’s Benedict Option pass the seeds for eventual renewal onto the generation… not sure what to make of that

    As far as Simchowitz goes, I respect a man who comes to this country, makes something of himself, and wants to give back. A patriot. However Modern Monetary Theory? Really?

  4. Complacency is normalcy bias, which is a function of how humans perceive odds. We tend to over-discount outlier events that are likely over the long run, because they are unlikely in most arbitrarily short periods. It might not be a good idea to build your house in that flood zone. Steyn gets it. As Taleb might put it, “stability” is a fragile concept; we should not seek it as individuals, and as citizens we should prefer political systems that adapt well to cultural and geopolitical volatility. The US political system, as originally designed, adapted well. Our current system, which is a sclerotic descendant of the original system, not so well.

  5. I hear the excuse that the Right/conservatives/MAGA doesn’t do the protest bit …

    I’ll opine on this topic, having had discussions about it many times. First, I don’t protest because I have job. If you’re a paid government activist, an unemployed drifter, or a college student digging your way into debt you can never pay back, no doubt you’ve got plenty of time to wander around for a few hours holding a nice pre-printed sign, especially when you’re getting paid. Other folks not getting paid, not so much.

    In any case the first time I recall making that point was when someone commented that the various Tea Party protests tended to be full of old people. And how did those protests turn out? Well, Obama sent the armed might of the state after the Tea Partiers and the Gee Ohhh Peeeee did nothing at all.

    Hmm. Lesson learned. Protests are rather pointless if you’re a conservative, and the GOP isn’t your friend. Hence, later, the surprising success of Donald Trump, eventually leading to what you appear to advocate in the form of the January 6th event.

    You know how that turned out for the protesters, right?

    …some sort of inevitable historical/Strauss-Howe generational decline…

    Decline? That’s what you took away from that book? Well, your call. But my take is that the leftist regime set up by FDR is now on its last legs and is resorting to every trick in the book in a flailing desperate attempt to avoid obliteration. I expect this will inevitably include more violence, possibly a lot more.

    I just don’t think showing up for a protest rally or two is going to change that.

  6. Xennady, I think I can appreciate your skepticism about the utility of protests. I am not sure about your experience with the Tea Party movement but the protests I went to Phoenix back then had a pretty good percentage of people in their 20s and 30s

    As to the value of protests….

    I admit I spend time studying leftist tactics and strategies because, well… they have been at it for 100+ years and they have been successful. Leave aside that the 60s has seemed to come back with a vengeance, the Left in the 2000s and early 2010s felt the same way about the Democrats that people on the Right feel today about the Republicans and based on the past 4 years those leftists have done pretty well for themselves.

    I have found that their tactics and strategems often have more than 1 dimension. Take protests, it’s not just about protesting someone or something but it is also a political rally that broadcasts out to the world that there are people here who believe this and come join us and those who do feel that they have become part of something larger. I saw that last November when we were in DC and happened across the big pro-Hamas demonstration that drew close to 100,000. Besides the tight messaging the one thing we noticed was the large number of young, middle-class people and yes families. When we talked to some of them they mentioned they had left Michigan at 2:00 that morning to be there; as the missus said, it’s the political coming out party for Muslims in America. The people were jazzed and enthused in a way you could never get from social media. They came for the protest but they were leaving as feeling part of something larger and ready to go to work. I wish I was there for the pro-Israel protest that happened a few weeks later where they drew 200,000+ on a weekday.

    A friend of mine drove from Phoenix to the fore-mentioned Albuquerque 2nd Amendment protest that drew a couple of hundred people. He said he had a good time, met good people, but said you could feel the energy dissipate as the people left for their cars. What started with that day, died with its end. What the deep state did to the Jan. 6 protesters with the legal brutality and the leaking that the crowd had been seeded with informants and provocateurs was to turn the energy of that day against itself by having pro-Trump people turn away from one another. That’s how totalitarian states win, by atomizing society and isolating people from another.

    It’s those connections and development of a spirit of solidarity both felt and broadcast to the world that is the real value of a protest. It’s the basis for larger political action. If people think that when the ball drops this summer/fall that some magic army of patriots will emerge from the ground they are fooling themselves (complacent?) As a lefty acquaintance said to me, Albuquerque showed everyone that the MAGA folks couldn’t even show up on a weekend for one of their most sacred rights so what did he have to fear? As he remarked even Canadians got more than that to show up in Ottawa in the middle of winter; that one hurt.

  7. …it’s not just about protesting someone or something but it is also a political rally…

    I agree completely. The problem is that the putative political party that conservatives would be protesting for and attempting to get people to join regards this sort of political rally as a terrible threat to be shut down by any means possible. The GOP has worked hard over my lifetime to dampen down enthusiasm by its supporters in the same way the left has continually striven to work theirs into a continuous deranged frenzy.

    This is why we have mentally ill transvestites murdering schoolchildren because they imagine they are being persecuted, while J6 protesters get sentenced to decades in prison with almost no reaction from the GOP.

    When we talked to some of them they mentioned they had left Michigan at 2:00 that morning to be there…

    Interesting. I presume these folks were democrats. Hence, their protests work and have actually already succeeded. That is, the regime is now attempting to force Israel to recognize a Palestinian state and give up on destroying Hamas. But that’s what the regime wanted to do anyway- and now the protests have given them an excuse.

    Anecdote time. I remember back when George Bush was president and illegal immigration had become such a boiling issue that he was forced to give a primetime speech to discuss it. A lot of folks expected him to announce measures to stop the invasion, etc, but in the event he made some mealy-mouthed remarks that made it clear he would do nothing. And he did nothing, except attempt to push through an amnesty bill that split the GOP and helped make Barry Obama president. That’s how the GOP reacts to protests- an upraised middle finger to its supporters, followed up by a stab in the back.

    …was to turn the energy of that day against itself by having pro-Trump people turn away from one another…

    I don’t think the pro-Trump people turned away from each other. I think they turned away from the regime, even more. This comment is long enough so I’ll stop with that.

    …so what did he have to fear?

    My God. These people are the complacent ones, not the “MAGA folks.” He imagines he has nothing to fear from the heavily armed people he hates and wishes to destroy. I would suggest he ponder that and perhaps learn a little history. Of course he, she, or xe, won’t.

    I’m reminded of the Southerner who offered to soak up all the blood that would be spilled by secession with his handkerchief.

    Alea iacta est. Our divisions will not be solved by protests.

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