Quote of the Day: The People’s Stick

 

When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called “the People’s Stick”.

— Mikhail Bakunin, 1873, Statism and Anarchy

Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian anarchist in the period when they were destroying any hope for Russia to modernize gracefully. I doubt I would have agreed with him on much of anything. The political philosophy listed in the article above is something I completely oppose. So normally you would never hear me quote an anarchist. ( Before I go further, we do not need to rehash the recent Libertarian Comment War like a team of reenactors. If we do, I call dibs on casting myself.) Worse yet, apparently Noam Chomsky is fond of this quote.

That said, even a stopped clock is accurate once or twice a day. Bakunin predicted that Marxism would lead to a tyranny as horrendous as the Tsar’s, and he was right beyond his worst imagining. 

Nowadays, we do not have People’s Sticks, aside from Bernie Sanders’s cane. We have Social Justice sticks, Children’s sticks, and Green sticks, but they all boil down to an implement to beat down your opponents for a noble cause. If someone takes your money or locks you up, it hardly matters if was for Social Justice or Mother Gaia or Allah or for the honor of the Tsar. Unless the punishment serves justice, it is just another beating.

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There are 13 comments.

  1. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin Post author

    I had initially thought this was a quote from the Russian philosopher Bakhtin. I attended an utterly impenetrable lecture on Bakhtin by a scholar who left even seasoned academics unable to follow her lightning-fast presentation.

    Since this quote is not from Bakhtin, I resume my general dislike of the man.

    Instead of beating people with a stick or giving an impenetrable lecture, why not contribute a Quote of the Day?


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. We have many open dates on the April Schedule. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #1
    • March 28, 2019, at 6:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. RightAngles Member

    Just wait till Maisie Hirono gets hit with the Green New Deal stick and can no longer get off her island when there are no more planes.

    • #2
    • March 28, 2019, at 6:47 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Don’t give ’em the stick!

    • #3
    • March 28, 2019, at 6:49 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. The Reticulator Member

    Stalin was able to make people like being beaten by Stalin’s stick when they wouldn’t have accepted it from anyone else. 

    • #4
    • March 28, 2019, at 8:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Randy Webster Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Just wait till Maisie Hirono gets hit with the Green New Deal stick and can no longer get off her island when there are no more planes.

    Hirono means to be the one wielding the stick, not the one suffering from it. She intends to be able to fly.

    • #5
    • March 28, 2019, at 9:11 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Just wait till Maisie Hirono gets hit with the Green New Deal stick and can no longer get off her island when there are no more planes.

    Hirono means to be the one wielding the stick, not the one suffering from it. She intends to be able to fly.

    Either that or she’s working up a plan for Hawaiian secession. No planes means no one gets in and no one gets out.

    • #6
    • March 28, 2019, at 9:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Randy Webster Member

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Just wait till Maisie Hirono gets hit with the Green New Deal stick and can no longer get off her island when there are no more planes.

    Hirono means to be the one wielding the stick, not the one suffering from it. She intends to be able to fly.

    Either that or she’s working up a plan for Hawaiian secession. No planes means no one gets in and no one gets out.

    I doubt Hawaii can feed itself; but then, Hirono won’t be one of the ones who starves.

    • #7
    • March 28, 2019, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Just wait till Maisie Hirono gets hit with the Green New Deal stick and can no longer get off her island when there are no more planes.

    Hirono means to be the one wielding the stick, not the one suffering from it. She intends to be able to fly.

    Either that or she’s working up a plan for Hawaiian secession. No planes means no one gets in and no one gets out.

    I doubt Hawaii can feed itself; but then, Hirono won’t be one of the ones who starves.

    I’ll admit I’m not up on Hawaiian history but they did manage to survive before they were part of the US. Although it’s also true that the economy has shifted since then.

    • #8
    • March 28, 2019, at 9:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. She Thatcher
    She

    OmegaPaladin: Worse yet, apparently Noam Chomsky is fond of this quote.

    The ultimate stopped clock. If ever there were an example of a guy who should have stuck to his ‘day job,’ it is he. 

    An elegant disclaimer.

    • #9
    • March 29, 2019, at 1:26 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Matt Bartle Member

    Yeah, but what if you call it a “Woke Stick”? Or maybe a “Social Justice Stick”?

    • #10
    • March 29, 2019, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Tex929rr Coolidge

    She (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin: Worse yet, apparently Noam Chomsky is fond of this quote.

    The ultimate stopped clock. If ever there were an example of a guy who should have stuck to his ‘day job,’ it is he.

    An elegant disclaimer.

    It’s even more delicious that it turned out that Chomsky may well have been wrong at his day job, too. While it’s apparently a subject of much debate, a lot of his theories on linguistics haven’t held up:

    https://corplingstats.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/why-chomsky-was-wrong/

    • #11
    • March 29, 2019, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Henry Castaigne Member

    I think this quote is totally wrong. People are happier if you can tell a story that their suffering is justified. For example, Mao killed more people than the Imperal Japanese military so Chinese should hate Mao more than they hate the Japanese. Black-Americans should hate black criminals more than cops because Black criminals are an absolute plague on hard working black folks.

    People are extremely receptive to abuse when it comes from your own race or own family. 

    I wish it were not so. I’d love it if this quote was true and that people hated who hurt them the most. 

    • #12
    • March 29, 2019, at 11:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin Post author

    Henry, I think you are missing the tribal element. If you can blame a group of people outside your tribe, it is easier to hate them.

    Black criminals are not a separate tribe from other blacks. This means that there is hate for individual criminals instead. Then you get conspiracy theories to blame Jews, cops, the Man, etc.

    • #13
    • March 29, 2019, at 12:56 PM PDT
    • Like