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]

Samizdata quote of the day

Some social critics go on about The Permissive Society, but what we are really facing is The Priggish Society currently being created by busybody politicians and other authority figures… Going out for a night in a bar with close friends is now denounced as “binge drinking”. Smoking an occasional joint means you are a “drug addict”.

Alex Singleton

37 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Ian B

    …because like I keep saying, “progressive socialists” as we know and love them are beoregeoux borgeois beorg stuck up upper middle class moral conservatives oppressives who despise and are terrified of the heaving working class rabble. Which is why bootfaced bint Dawn Primarillo is now floating the idea of sterilising them, apparently. Eugenics is their love that dare not speak its name. It’s all a class based cultural panic, all this nightmare we’re living through.

    That’s why their campaigns are consistently against the pleasures of the masses- boozing, smoking, a fry up at the Greasy Spoon. The apparent inconsistencies in their approach come from the conflict of their crude desires- on the one hand the hope of eradicating the rabble by “reforming it” (everyone must go to Uni like us and become like us), on another hand the recognition that this won’t happen, so an attempt to divide the rabble into sheep and goats (sheep can be reformed, goats must be suppressed) and on a third hand various post-marxist deconstructionalist policies (eradication of the traditional family and cultural institutions, forced population intermixing to break the cultural coherence of the population, thus leading for instance to simultaneously trying to stop the indigenous rabble breeding while paying imported rabbles to reproduce prodigiously).

    But at base, they’re a bunch of toffee-nosed wankers stepping over the scum on the way to the opera a fringe production of The Seagull performed by disabled nudists at taxpayers’ expense.

    A class-based analysis, Marxist as it may seem, is the best way of approaching this, I think.

  • Nick M

    Or the miserablist fuckers ought to tortured to death in amusing ways on Sky for our amusement.

    Fuck class-based analysis, Ian, I can’t have a snout in my local and I want to hear these evil fuckwits howl for mercy in Dolby stereo which they won’t get.

    It’s well past time for them to be bowelled.

  • Ian B

    …and the ratchet slips another notch even as we comment.

  • Eric

    Jeez, even Winston Smith had his Victory Gin.

  • CountingCats

    CASTRO HAS RESIGNED as prez within the last hour.


    Yeah, I know. Off topic, but I beg your indulgence.

    And maybe not that too far off topic anyway, given that he is an icon to the control freaks who are the subject of this thread.

  • CountingCats

    …and the ratchet slips another notch even as we comment.

    The proposals would mean that any under-18s found by police with alcohol would receive a criminal conviction, which would have to be declared to future employers.

    Sigh, and this simply brings the law into disrepute.

    On applying for a job someone has to divulge a criminal past, and the crime is that he was found with a can of beer at age sixteen. Everyone laughs, agree that the government are control freak cunts, and the stigma of being a criminal is degraded further. Even becomes a badge of pride.

  • Nick M

    Just this mo seen the news on Sky.

    I wouldn’t worry about that being OT around here!

  • Ian B

    Everyone laughs, agree that the government are control freak cunts, and the stigma of being a criminal is degraded further.

    You give the general populace too much credit. Some people will react like that. For others, it’ll be proof that this person is or was some kind of “feral” teenager, murderous thug, etc, etc. Just as some will be unperterburbed by a bust for marijuana possession, while others won’t.

    A criminal record is always a serious matter.

  • Nick M


    Thresher’s own brand is actually called Victory.

    Your surname isn’t Blair, is it?

  • CountingCats

    Thresher’s own brand is actually called Victory.

    Yeah, I had a bit of a giggle the first time I saw that. And it still makes me smile.

    My suspicion is that this is a deliberate joke by the company.

  • Eric

    Hah, Nick. No.

    CC, one would hope, HOPE, it’s a joke. But one can never be sure these days.

  • Jerome Thomas

    The main thing that unites this class is a complete disregard for the idea that there is a sphere of life outside of the remit of politics. To these tossers the personal IS political. There is no aspect of your life in which they will conceed the sovereignty of the individual. None.

  • Pete

    The state employs too many ‘experts’ these days. Health and safety officers, diversity officers, dieticians, etc etc. They are all keen to display their importance and competence to the rest of us hence all the bossy new rules and restrictions.

    What a pity so many jobs in manufacturing and mundane office work have disappeared because of computers, automation or cheaper labour abroad. If this hadn’t happened many ‘experts’ would still be needed to do proper jobs.

  • Nick M

    Cart & horse Pete – unless you’re being sarcastic!

  • I was in a pub yesterday in which there was a sign stating that customers were required to go outside if they wanted to smoke. However, if they did this, they were required to leave their alcoholic drinks inside, as local regulations did not permit drinking alcohol in the street. Thus one vice was only permitted inside, so as to presumably protect the people outside, and the other vice was only permitted outside, so as to presumably protect the people inside. Dare I say it, this is getting silly.

  • Nick M

    And best not binge drink bottled water – that’s double-plus ungood.

    (see earlier Samizdata post – just scroll down).

  • not the Alex above

    ‘The proposals would mean that any under-18s found by police with alcohol would receive a criminal conviction, which would have to be declared to future employers’

    the really stupid part is that the very kids who cause trouble whilst underage drinking are exactly the ones who don’t care if they get a criminal conviction or ever even bother looking for employment.

  • hovis

    “one vice was only permitted inside, so as to presumably protect the people outside, and the other vice was only permitted outside, so as to presumably protect the people inside”

    What is needed ire very large door arches which are neither in or out …

  • Brian

    It gets worse. In the Times today, in their somewhat pale imitation of the Grauniad Society…

    Dr. Michael Nelson (could someone find out where this scum lives)…

    Fancy a cuppa? Well, spare a thought for youngsters who may soon be deprived of the pleasure. The Government’s School Fund Trust is considering banning schools from selling tea and coffee to under-16s.
    The rationale is that soft drinks are already banned. And, the trust says, because tea and coffee have minimal nutritional value there is an “obvious inconsistency” here.
    “If you want children to eat more healthily, then the range of choice in schools needs to be restricted to the healthier options only”.

    Dr Nelson also says there could be health and safety concerns about serving hot drinks in school dining rooms.

    I am not making this up.

  • RAB

    Um, I hope they are not allowing the little shavers to use “real Cutlery” as well, are they?
    Recipe for mayhem! Mark my words!!

  • Alcoholiday

    Charlie Booker’s has an amusing little column on this subject…

    The good news is that a Smoker’s Permit will cost only £10. The bad news is how you apply for it

    You still have freedom of choice. Provided you’re carrying a valid Freedom of Choice Permit


  • Using a survey of the publications since 1980 of avian ecologists from the Czech Republic, which has the highest per capita beer consumption rate in the world (157 litres each year, or 176 pints), he discovered “that increasing per capita beer consumption is associated with lower numbers of papers, total citations, and citations per paper (a surrogate measure of paper quality).”

    I wonder how they compared to teetotaler nations like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Those should be scientific powerhouses, right?

  • Brad

    Squarely on the quote, it seems perfectly obvious that the prigs derive their power by dangling out the worst case scenerio to the fear laden public “to do something about it”.

    Can’t help reference another comment I made in the “what use is math” topic, but when a society has made all Good Laws it possibly can, and power is still sought and “progressions and advancements” must to be made, one has to resort to wagging the statistical tail and say “See what assails us? We cannot tolerate this!” Most of the laws made in the last half century have gone well beyond common sense – those made to address the bulk of the statistical population – but to take extreme examples and make the rules to fit it. Ultimately we’re all getting jammed into the upper part of the curve. A prime example? Prisons filled to the brim with people whose “crime” was selling or possessing chemicals. We’ve waged a whole quixotic War on Drugs believing we can cram everyone into the upper tail, when the real concern is those addicts who populate the lower tail. But Statism is all about black and white. Good or Bad. Good or Evil.

  • nick g.

    You are all binge-drinking drug addicts! What is wrong with the state telling people how to live their lives? If you don’t like what they’re doing, just don’t vote for them! They’ll get the message!

  • Nick M

    I don’t drink coffee but tea certainly is full of good stuff.

    In anycase, what can the kids therefore drink. Beer, obviously no; Coke, banned; bottled water, eviiiil!!!!

    Let them lap at puddles!

    Avian ecologists can go er… feather their own nests. Bunch of Bill Oddies that they are. What nonsense!

    The Islamosphere is now so indoctrinated in madrassahs that they will never create. Their record on Nobel’s is dismal. And of the three they’ve won, one went to Arafat. Has Hammas put that on eBay yet!

  • Ernie G

    In a Law & Order rerun I saw a while back, Detective Lenny Briscoe (the late Jerry Orbach) told a suspect who was going to plead not guilty by reason of mental defect, “So now they’re going to sent you to a place where you butter your toast with your finger.”

    I didn’t realize that he was talking about England.

  • Janie4

    I think what gets me is that they aren’t anti-drinking so much as they are anti-anyone but them drinking. It’s perfectly ok to go to a restaurant and drink wine, or go to the hipster bars and drink – as long as you’re just like them. People who drink a lot of beer, or hard liqour, or drink at sports events or the park – those are the bad guys.

    And the impression that I get from the nanny-staters is that they disapprove of your right to make choices such as not drinking – if you do it for the wrong reasons. My friends are christian, and choose to keep a dry home as part of their faith. For this reason, we don’t tend to go there for parties, rather dinner or something. And yet, somehow that decision isn’t valid because they made it for religious reasons.

    You’re expected to sleep around (because choosing to wait for whatever reason means that you have a mental issue), but not too much, because then you don’t have self-respect. Then you’re supposed to partner up, and continue to have marital sex because it has health benefits – although they never say that nonpartnered sex has health benefits. You’re supposed to have a wild time, but not by smoking, or doing drugs, or driving too fast, or whatever.

    I have no clue what the rules are anymore, and frankly, I don’t care. Just let me go my way and you go yours.

  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater


    It’s the quality of life that counts… The QUALITY.

  • mezzrow

    Lock the lousy bureaucrats in a Sheffield pub with a couple dozen Blades supporters. Regale them with an endless loop of the greasy chip butty song and giant clouds of smoke to go with it..

    Repeat as long as necessary. It’s everything they hate, in distilled form.

    “come thrill me again…” THAT would thrill me, for sure.

  • Don’t call it beer.

    It is tincture of B vitamins.

  • My friends are christian, and choose to keep a dry home as part of their faith.

    Jesus turned water into grape juice. Why? There was a special on powdered grape flavoring.

  • As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of the Puritans of 17th century New England:

    “The code of 1650 is full of preventive regulations. Idleness and drunkenness are severely punished. Innkeepers may give each customer only a certain quantity of wine; simply lying, if it could do harm, is subject to a fine or a whipping. In other places the lawgivers, completely forgetting the great principle of religious liberty which they themselves claimed in Europe, enforced attendance at divine service by threat of fines and went so far as to impose severe penalties, and often the death penalty, on Christians who chose to worship God with a ritual other than their own.

    “Finally, sometimes the passion for regulation which possessed them led them to interfere in matters completely unworthy of such attention. Hence there is a clause in the same code forbidding the use of tobacco. We must not forget that these ridiculous and tyrannical laws were not imposed from outside — they were voted by the free agreement of all the interested parties themselves — and that their mores were even more austere and puritanical than their laws. In 1649 an association was solemnly formed in Boston to check the worldly luxury of long hair.

    “Such deviations undoubtedly bring shame on the spirit of man; they attest the inferiority of our nature, which, unable to hold firmly to what is true and just, is generally reduced to choosing between two excesses.”

  • CJ

    Attention Ian B:

    The spelling is boojwah. I first learned it around 1970 in Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comic books. Example usage:

    Screw that. We’re gonna show those boojwah campus radicals what revolution’s all about.

  • Prohibition was the perfect storm of American social policy. The great-grandparents of today’s “progressives” and social conservatives joined forces to give us one of the greatest social policy disasters of modern history.

    It isn’t that today’s busybodies have learned nothing, it’s just that they’re convinced that they will “do it better.”

  • Ian B

    And right on cue, Tescos seek some rent.

  • Paul

    Sorry Ian, that analysis strikes me as too Marxist. Here’s how I see it: authoritarians in the government are creating a nanny state that is infringing on our freedoms and rights. See, no class-based bull necessary.

    nick, are you serious? The fallacy that “the government is democratic” so we should let the state control our lives is foolish. Just because the majority of people believe in something doesn’t make it right. People should be able to don whatever the want, so long as they don’t infringe on others’ rights. That’s the essence of libertarianism and the free market. We’re free to do what we want.