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

Full government control of all activities of the individual is virtually the goal of both national parties

– Ludwig von Mises

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • veryretired

    When I was in college during the rise of the “new left”, one of the questions I used to ask the painfully earnest devotees of all the latest collectivist tripe was:

    “Name a human activity which is not touched upon by any governmental regulation?”

    When they could not, because everything was already entangled with statist rules and regulations decades ago, I would ask them why they believed more of the same would make anything better?

    The commited collectivist, naturally, always claimed not enough was being done, and more and ever more was still needed. I expected this response, and my purpose was to make the statist actually say it in so many words.

    I had no illusions about changing the mind of anyone so deluded that they wished to turn over their whole lives to the tender mercies of the state and its cadres—my point was to let the uncomitted onlookers, who might think this or that piece of the collectivist program was reasonable, hear the totality of the collectivist’s desire for complete control.

    Every once in awhile, the mask slips off, and the yawning, insatiable maw of collectivism’s voracious appetite peeks out, with all the sharpened teeth visible, and the blood of its victims dripping down its chin.

    The task of free men and women is to pull that mask aside at every opportunity. It won’t dissuade the true believers, but the ugliness of that picture can startle the naive and unwitting, and cause the questioning to begin.

    In the old vampire movies, it was always a little crack in the boards over the windows that let in the morning sun to begin melting the parasitical creature.

    Tear off a board whenever you can—sunlight is deadly to the parasites of the collectivist state as well.

  • Verity

    Not if David Davis, William Hague, John Redwood or another conservative were running the Conservatives.

    But, yes, as it’s the nightmarish Cameron.

  • JadedLibertarian

    I read in the paper today that after subjecting 500,000 people to mandatory face to face interviews, the government denied passports to 8 for fraud.

    This is the thing that most do not get. The big evil does not justify, never justifies, the small good. Causing inconvenience, misery and transgressing the privacy of half a million people in order to catch 8 fraudsters is absurd.

    And our society is full of such absurdities. Millions of adults are denied the “gift of giving” into their children’s lives by “child protection” policies. There is this assumption that any adult watching children swim is potentially sexually aroused, for example.

    I would contend that the people who make such laws have dirty minds. I find it nobler and better to live life as though perverted degenerates do not even exist, for they are thankfully rare. And on the rare occasions where monsters abuse society’s trust, why, we should quickly and simply hang them in the town square and then return to life as before.

    This is the model for transgressing only the liberties of the lawless, and not those of society at large. If you have to tread on the freedoms of innocent people to catch the lawless you’re doing it wrong.

    “If it stops one fraudster, if it saves one life and if it protects one child it will all be worth it” the statists cry. These thoughts are supposed to make us feel warm inside as we queue to be inspected by the passports office, as security cameras follow us down the street and as police demand to know what we are doing for no particular reason. We are to lay our personal freedom on the alter of society in the name of the common good, and feel heartened by our sacrifice. As bizarre as it may sound, there are “true believers” in this cult – I see them all the time.

    Down that road lies 24 hour policing of the entire population, and lives that are not worth living for all but the party elite. Basically 1984 made real.

    And it all began when we passed that first law that mildly inconvenienced many in order to wheedle out the wicked few…..

  • “Name a human activity which is not touched upon by any governmental regulation?”

    Hmm. Is bonking regulated in the UK?

    (It almost was in Ecuador: when they were writing the new Constitution, some of the illuminati, of the female persuasion I think, wanted an article to go in specifying a “right to sexual pleasure”. That this is not a joke is perhaps evidenced by the lack of a punchline. It didn’t make it into the final draft, for whatever reason.)

  • Paul Marks

    Verity I think you underestimate the power of “policy”.

    I will give you a small example:

    Last Thursday I sat in a box at a local park (about three miles away from the centre of my home town) watching double decker buses (the type of bus that Americans associate with Britain) arriving every few minutes.

    I was in the box by 0700 and the buses were well under way by 0800 – they carried on to 2200.

    I only stayed in the box to 1600 so I can only report what I experienced (although I am told that nothing much changed after I left) – but in my time each bus arrived empty (bar the driver – there were three drivers over the period I was there) and they mostly LEFT EMPTY (the ones that were not empty had only one or two people upon them).

    Also there were vast numbers of bags filled with government leaflets (town, county and NHS) – two small box buildings full of such bags (they were almost all still there the next day).

    All this was over some bycycle race in town (not a sporting event – some sort of health and environment event) – a race for which the town was virtually closed down. Car parks closed, roads closed (those roads that are not closed normally – for some roads are always closed, due to previous “policy”) and so on.

    I am so used to this nonsense that I was going to ignore it (in spite of the fact that one of the double decker busses actually crashed into the box I was in), but then I got a e.mail late at night boasting of what a wonderful success the event was – and how it was all going to be done again next year.

    At this point I “snapped” and sent back a reply describing (in perfectly polite language) the events above (although I did not mention the fact that one of the busses crashed into the box I was in) and asking how much the busses and leaflets cost.

    For this I am (of course) under attack.

    The Leader of the Council thinks I have made a personal attack upon him – which is nonsense (but it is an understandable political reaction) and, no doubt, I will have to pay a price for telling the truth (that is the way things are in politics).

    “But you have proved my point Paul – a wet Conservative council has done bad stuff”.

    No Verity – it is not like that.

    Do you think the Conservative group on the council came up with the above? No they did not (I am a member of the group – it was never even mentioned to us).

    Do you think the political leadership of the Council came up with this event (this “policy”). Of course they did not – neither the Executive or the Leader (the man who thinks I have attacked him) would come up with any of this crazyness in a million years. It would not even occur to them.

    “Policy” (whether it be “fair trade” coffee machines that do not work very well – or the events above) is not created by politicians.

    That is why having Redwood or Davis as Prime Minister might not make much difference (as for my fellow bald person Hague – having him as Prime Minister would certainly not make much difference, he tends to go with the flow more than the other two do).

    When “policy” appears before politicians (remember it is not made by politicians) it is very difficult indeed (sometimes actually ILLEGAL, due to various regulations and directives) to say “this is straight from the letters page of the Guardian newspaper – we are just not going to do this”.

    “But you should still make a stand” – I did Verity (in my reply late on Saturday night). My “stand” will do no good what-so-ever and will most likely mean I get forced out of the council, and what little good I have done (in blocking a few things from time to time) will come to an end.

    Now do you see why politicians do not speak and act as you would wish them to?

  • Paul – you were in a “box”, in a park, and a double-decker bus crashed into it and (or because?) there was a bicycle race which was not thought up by the local council but nevertheless your complaints about this will get you forced out of the council?!

  • @mike
    I was also curious.
    The bike race was the Halfords Series.

    Sitting in a box in a park is a new one on me.

  • Laird

    Perhaps it was this one.

  • Paul Marks

    Slightly bigger Laird – but not by much.

    Made of wood and glass (fun on a bright day – the skin used to come off my right ear, as that is the side of my head facing the glass part of the door , but there is a part shutter now).

    It was not a council race but it was approved – indeed welcomed (as it would be – that is the nature of policy) and “park and ride” schemes are all the rage in local government (and have been for years). And why would telling the truth get me into trouble?

    Oh my dear brothers and sisters – you claim to have a negative view of the state, but you have so much to learn.