Thursday 29 October 2020

Inspirational Quotes: Politics 101

We’ve been socialized to believe that poverty is a personal failure rather than our systems failing us. (Mariah Carey for V Magazine)

For Jacob Rees-Mogg, the sovereign individual really is able to master their own destiny. Nothing – poverty, ill-health, institutional racism – can stand in the way of someone with the right attitude and work ethic. Most people grow out of this fantasy of omnipotence by the age of five, about the same time they realise that Superman isn’t real. (Guardian 2019)

One crucial reason why we have done so little to reduce inequality in recent years is that we downplay the role of luck in achieving success. Parents teach their children that almost all goals are attainable if you try hard enough. This is a lie, but there is a good excuse for it: unless you try your best, many goals will definitely remain unreachable. (Guardian June 2019)

Anything that offers success in our unjust society without trying to change it is not revolutionary – it just helps people cope. In fact, it could also be making things worse. Instead of encouraging radical action, mindfulness says the causes of suffering are disproportionately inside us, not in the political and economic frameworks that shape how we live.
(Guardian, 2019)

Both the World Health Organization and the United Nations have made statements in the past decade that mental health is a social indicator, requiring “social, as well as individual, solutions.” Indeed, WHO Europe stated in 2009 that “[a] focus on social justice may provide an important corrective to what has been seen as a growing overemphasis on individual pathology.” (

Stop commending people for being resilient and instead redesign the systems that inherently make people suffer. (@TweetsByBilal)

The most overused word over the last 15 years is resilience in terms of popular culture.(@LincolnTapper)

Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune, the cost of which should be shared by the community.
(Aneurin Bevan)

Whether it's claiming George Soros is paying protesters, or saying a student-conceived, student-led day of national protest is an insidious liberal scam, the right just can't believe anyone would stick their neck out for someone other than themselves. (@AndyRichter)

I dislike the hierarchy that determines how many oppression points each particular group gets. (AT via Facebook)

"Victim: a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action." I have no problem saying I'm a victim. It doesn't mean I'm weak or silent or passive... There's no shame in that. None. (@CIssyvoo)

No one knows how to be more of a victim than people who are always whining about other people being victims. (@ctk86)

One of the weirdest things about US culture is when people say things like "I am not a victim" or treat the status of victim as if it is morally reprehensible. It says a lot that this culture holds so much contempt for the harmed and so much justification for the harmer. (Kaitlyn Greenidge @surlybassey)

I find that a lot of my feminism is actually not about arguing that women are people, but arguing that men are—that men have moral agency, that they make choices, and that we can and should expect them to make better choices. (@MoiraDonegan)

Two feminist mantras that changed my life: Everybody has a choice. Go for what's winnable. 70s feminists talked as if men had no agency (unhappy childhood, anger problems). And their aims were very blue-skies. (@MagDods)

Feminism gained a bad name all by itself for getting snarled up in internecine warfare and bickering over linguistic use, which put people off. (LW)

Women have not, as a sex, or a class, the calmness of temperament or the balance of mind, nor have they the training, necessary to qualify them to exercise a weighty judgment in political affairs. (Lord Curzon, circa 1910)


So much of the "safe space liberal snowflake" thing comes down to asking people for kindness and consideration of others, in ways that are, by and large, almost entirely cost-free. How broken do you have to be to get angry at that? (@Mc_Heckin_Duff)

Not broken, I don't think. More a sense of a wound inflicted by people unlike you demanding the same safety and autonomy that you've always had, and it brushing up against yours. Since you never thought of it as domination (or at all), the contact of theirs with yours – the sense that there's a room you might not be welcome in, just as you've always maintained (intentionally or not, by explicit or tacit consent) rooms into which they might not go – feels like a threat to your own security, rather than a levelling-up. (@pdkmitchell)

Were I feeling generous, I’d suggest it maybe originated with a generation of people who were brought up being told to stoically maintain stiff upper lips, learn to stand on their own two feet, etc etc. And then they don’t know how to react to this sort of stuff because it’s whipping the rug out from under their entire worldview. (@RJMrgn)

90% of the time I’ve heard ‘trigger warning’ or ‘safe space’ it has been from the mouth or pen of an ageing, spluttering commentator who hasn’t been on campus for 40 years, and I am an actual lecturer. (@lottelydia. Someone in the conversation adds that her students say “What are trigger warnings?”.)

Well, there's also the issue that freedom of speech has never meant 'freedom of speech anywhere and anytime you choose and expecting no consequence', which is what a lot of people shouting 'censorship' from the rooftops absolutely think it means. (@R3v0lvr0shawott)

It's easy to defend 'free speech' when the speech in question doesn't directly affect you. Yes, people may defend those they disagree with, even people who mean them harm, but show me someone happy to defend words with the power make their own life harder and you'll show me a fool. (@parislees)

I really hate this woke climate where it is so forbidden to utter something offensive that you have to say it in quiet shadowy tucked away places like
Question Time and breakfast TV and every mainstream newspaper. (@matthaig1)

Cancelled is depicted as if it in some way places a barrier across the flow of your entitlement to say what you want without consequence ... If we can hear you whine, you're not cancelled. (@oxymoronictimes)

Every harm-reduction org always gets public outrage for "encouraging immoral behaviour," be it drugs, safe sex, or anything else. Deep down, this is because those doing the moral policing need the harms to stay in place to make their points. (@Mc_Heckin_Duff )

Training as a historian teaches you quickly that to find the oppressor, just find who is most strenuously insisting everyone be polite. (@meakoopa)

There is a certain politics of ineffectiveness that some people refuse to let go of. It's a politics that assumes rules and decorum will be enforced even without a governing body in power that cares about those rules.

People tend to vote the same way as other people like them. Social groups make rough judgments about whether a party will govern in the interests of people like them. And they look around to see if other people like them agree, before the whole lot of them jump together. (Danny Finklestein, Times 2020)

The more power the right has, the more it thinks the left controls everything. (@PaulbernalUK)

After the war a nation that had got used to doing what it was told through things like rationing and blackout curtains believed for decades in public control: council houses, not slums; the NHS, not charity hospitals or hard cash; bodies like the Milk Marketing Board. Nowadays the unshakable faith resides in the exact opposite: in competition and privatisation. It's believed with fundamentalist zeal that making people compete, preferably for money, must work better than people trying to co-operate. (Katharine Whitehorn)

The Tories in England long imagined that they were enthusiastic about monarchy, the church, and the beauties of the old English Constitution, until the day of danger wrung from them the confession that they are enthusiastic only about ground rent. (Karl Marx, 1852)

The notion that anything funded for queer and/or people of colour is a frivolous waste of money is a pernicious theme the Mail has loved to push
. (@marcusjdl)

The left say that there's no certainty - there's always a get-out and logic doesn't apply - while the right says that there is certainty and then goes further by pushing its own view of the universe. (MT)

Pay-gap deniers are the new flat earthers.
(@hansmollman. The pay-gap deniers have gone quiet, 2020.)

From the open nepotism of the East to the slightly more concealed nepotism and ‘old boys’ club’ of the Western democracies. (Agatha Christie, An Autobiography)

One cannot pretend that differences in income do not separate people. (Agatha Christie, An Autobiography)

Most people who identify as 'centrist' have absolutely no concept of a political spectrum and just assume their personal views are the views of a sensible, non-extreme majority. (@mrdavidwhitley)

It is often said that people on the left judge purely on whether others are for and against America and the West in general. (JP)

You only look at masks as oppression if you’ve never experienced any. (Via the Web)

It's always other people who are the 'powerful elite', isn't it? (@WhenisBirths)

The abstract goods of “freedom” and “control” are, at every point, put above the concrete goods of people having jobs, food on supermarket shelves, peace in Ireland, people not dying for lack of medicine etc. And instead of admitting they goofed, they’re — backfire effect! — doubling down.
(Sam Leith on Brexit)

So far, this thread on the Remain and Leave campaigns has extensively considered the nature of truth, metal fatigue in aeroplanes, proprioception, the shape of our planet, the use of Aramaic in the New Testament, and jelly. (SP at

More here, and links to the rest.

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