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

I mean, really, why does everyone believe the president is the leader of our country? What he is, is the head of our government, i.e., he is the leader of the least part of our country. We have two groups in America: the people who work hard and create businesses and jobs and all the things that make our country great, and the screw-ups who get in the way of that. Government is by far the greatest force of the latter. So why do we as citizens think the guy we put in charge of the government and all the bureaucrats — “King Idiot,” basically — is our leader? That’s like saying a pothole is in charge of the road.

Frank J. Fleming

I stuck that paragraph up here just as soon as I read it, and before I had read the rest of Fleming’s piece. But honestly, every paragraph is SQotD material. Read the whole thing.

10 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Darrell

    We need Silent Cal, now more than ever.

  • Paul Marks

    No – what is needed is someone who can reverse all the expansion of government that has happened since the time of silent Cal (Calvin Coolidge) and many interventions (such as the Federal Reserve and the National Banking Acts of the 1860s – and the ban on PRIVATE MINTS in the 1850s) long before the time before the time of silent Cal.

    Could even silent Cal have reversed such things as President Johnson’s “Great Society” (the entitlement programs that have grown like cancer)?

    I doubt it.

    What people do not understand is how similar Mitt Romney is to Calvin Coolidge – in terms of beliefs and character.

    “That is absurd Paul” – not it is not, but it is not good either.

    For a calm Calvin Cooldge figure is not what is needed now – what is needed is as COUNTER revolutionary. And Romney is not that.

    “But you support Romney”.

    Yes – but with clear eyes.

  • David Crawford


    I’d take a Silent Cal now just because, for last two decades or so, the only choice I’ve had is either FDR-Redux or FDR-Redux-Lite.

  • Damn, is that all you need to say to get into a SQOD?

    Why didn’t anyone tell me? I have been making precisely that claim for years now.

    Free societies don’t have, or need, leaders. Julia Gillard is not my leader, she is leader of the government, but I am not a member of the government. She is also leader of the Australian Labor Party, but I am not a member of the ALP.

    In fact, she has no leadership role in any enterprise I am engaged in, therefore she is not my leader.

    The country as a whole is an abstract concept, with no concrete existence outside the people, property and disparate activities they are engaged in. Government simply being one activity amongst many.

    This is a direct derivation of the quotation I keep on my front page:
    Pulling together is the aim of despots and tyrannies. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.

    paraphrased from Lord Vetinari

  • Bruce

    Silent Cal would be an improvement, as would most pre-New Deal Presidents. Likewise, Eisenhower is significantly underrated.

    Dismantling the entitlement-state will be a challenge. I think the first step must be to defang the public unions, because they they are powerful and will thwart any attempt to reduce the size and scope of government.

  • Allan Ripley

    Representitive democracy being what it is, a con game, it doesn’t really matter who gets to be President. One or the other, sooner or later, we will be France. Without the pate.

    Very close to 80% of the population, more or less, firmly believe the government will, somehow, sometime, under some Party, fix all their problems and bring certainty to their lives- as well as a large bag of presents to which they are entitled by the event of their birth.

    There is a certainty in their future but it will not be pleasant. No crop of pols, in the current order of things, will change this.

    Hmm. Time for a touch of Black Bush, I think. Sheesh.

  • James C Bennett

    I think 4 years of Black Bush is just about enough, Allan.

  • Paul Marks

    Understood David.

    As for the actual post – the confusion of GOVERNMENT with “nation” or “people” is terrible. The consequences of this confusion are dreadful.

  • Stephen Willmer

    To some extent, the pothole is in charge of the road. It’s up to us to decide how control we allow it.

  • Paul Marks

    And the judgement is…..

    Yes the pothole shall control the road.

    If there must be politics (and Brian would say no – he is no Black Flag person he is a anarchocapitalist a very different thing) then this form of politics must be changed.

    There must be a different “we”.

    No more “United States of America” with its one trillion Dollar deficit, and 16 trillion national debt, and endless zillions of unfunded liabilities.

    The “United States of America” is bankrupt – and not just financially.