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]

Brexit was never more than picking a different battlefield to fight on

My lack of enthusiasm for Theresa May is long on record, so there were no real surprises for me in her typically Blairite speech. But I am very happy is was poorly received (and predictably so).

Mrs May’s speech was the opposite of pragmatic. We call on the Prime Minister to abandon her ideological attachment to interventionist economic policies, look at the evidence, and accept that it tells us that markets, not the state, are the solution to our problems.

Sam Bowman

Never forget that May opposed Brexit and has been consistently terrible on pretty much every issue. But once we are out of the EU (and realistically long before then, as the underpinning assumption on all sides of the spectrum have now shifted to trying to shape the post-EU realities), there is one less massive Brussels-sized shield between the British state and the people who wish to roll it back, compared to the situation on June 22nd of this year. The battle we won over Brexit was not the end, it was merely the end of the beginning. It was essential so that we can now fight on a battlefield where the arrows we shoot rain down on our real enemies, the ones in Westminster. And sooner rather than later, one of those arrows needs to end up in Theresa May’s eye, ideally whilst the disarranged Labour Party is still lead by an unelectable anti-Semitic Worzel Gummidge clone.

The Internet-of-Things! What could possibly go wrong?


I admit I LOL’ed when I saw this 😀 What else could go wrong, I wonder?

Samizdata quote of the day

Of course, those left-wingers, Labourite or otherwise, fingered as anti-Semitic never think of themselves as such. They’re anti-Zionist, they say. It’s the Israeli state they’re opposed to, not Jews as a whole. Yet the distinction rarely holds up, not least because their opposition to Israel, indeed the obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is so overdetermined. It’s not born of some actual, let alone vested, interest in this one particular conflict out of all the other conflicts in the world. No, it’s fuelled by their opposition to what Israel represents – its nation-building futurity, its embrace of liberal capitalism, its sheer modern-ness. And ultimately, that image of Israel, as the exemplar of capitalist modernity, both feeds into and draws on what anti-Semitism has always held Jewry to represent: the moneyed power behind the throne, and the source of the world’s problems.

Tim Black

Samizdata quote of the day

I was at the UN general assembly in New York the other day and talking to the foreign minister of another country. I won’t say which one, since I must preserve my reputation for diplomacy. But let’s just say they have an economy about the size of Australia (though getting smaller, alas), plenty of snow, nuclear missiles, balalaikas, oligarchs, leader who strips to the waist… you get the picture.

Boris Johnson, in fine form as usual 😀

Samizdata quote of the day

The concepts that we need to grasp here are folk marxism, oikophobia and conservatism by proxy.

Most modern leftists haven’t read a line of Marx. But his odious creed has passed down to them in a diluted form in which people are to be divided onto groups and all relationships are to seen as being between oppressor and oppressed. Needless to say that the oppressed are always noble and the oppressors all evil. This gives us identitarian politics.

Oikophobia then comes into play, as the leftists see their own culture as an oppressor culture.

Another symptom of leftist thinking since the time of that scoundrel Rousseau is the admiration of the noble savage which I call ‘conservatism by proxy’. This has a religious element in that it is often given voice by those tiresome people who’d never go near a church in their own countries, but will wax lyrical about the ‘spirituality’ of monks in Cambodia, Laos or some God-forsaken place like that. In Australia the modern leftist’s conservatism by proxy is usually satisfied by the simple expedient of admiring Aboriginal culture because: “It has been around for 40,000 years.”

Thus do lefties satisfy their need to admire tradition and obtain the joy that conservatism brings, without suffering the awful fate of having to be labelled ‘conservative.’

Add to these three, the zero sum fallacy view of the economy, the inability to understand the distinction between speech and deed or between ought and is and you have a good summary of the neuroses and intellectual bigotries of many leftists.

Peter from Oz

This is a comment I saw on Sp!ked that I thought was right on the money (reproduced with a few typos corrected).

Experimenting with user comment editing

We are trying out a plug-in that lets people edit their comments on Samizdata for five minutes after posting them… no more eye watering typos, right? This is just an experiment to see if this causes anything else to break.

A moment of profound self-discovery! I am an LGBT activist!

Liberty, Guns, Beer & Totty.


The desired end-state

Finally it all makes perfect sense.

What is that sound I hear off in the distance?

Hurrah! The struggle for the leadership of the Nationalsozialistische Britisch Arbeiterpartei has been won by Jeremy Corbyn, and the re-branding as the Party of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists is now complete! I look forward to reading of this momentous moment in the Great Leader’s memoirs, which I assume will be titled “My Struggle”. Our friends from Hamas and Hezbollah are thought to be very happy with this outcome, as well they should.

But what is that sound I hear off in the distance? Gunfire? Has the revolution started already? Ah, no, it is the pop of champagne corks coming from 4 Matthew Parker Street in London!


Update: strangely not everyone is happy 😉

Regret is not a policy

I just heard, on the telly, the leader of the Lib Dems repeat his support for a return by Britain to the EU. Other Lib Dems on the same show are echoing him. The Empire Loyalists of our time. They’ll attract a small lump of enthusiasts, who will spend the rest of their lives insisting that they were right to oppose Brexit. And everyone else will watch and say: so what? Even most of those who voted Remain themselves. Regret is not a policy.

Brian Micklethwait

This was too perfect not to warrant a little post of its own.

Samizdata quote of the day

Let’s be clear: No deal is better than a bad deal.

Richard Tice, discussing Brexit.

As a Londoner myself, this resonates rather strongly


Trade does not require trade agreements

Douglas Carswell makes some excellent points about the perils of any post-Brexit trade agreements with the EU:

So let’s spell it out. Access to the single market means being able to trade with single-market countries. Membership means being bound by single-market rules.

Why is this difference so important?

Because access is consistent with the vote to leave the EU. Membership isn’t.

Access clearly doesn’t require membership. Countries around the world trade with the single market. Many do so freely, with no tariff barriers, via bilateral free-trade agreements. Britain can do the same. We don’t need to be part of the single market to trade freely with it.

In fact, we will have freer trade once we leave the single market. Because the single market doesn’t enable commerce, but rather restricts it.

The single market is a permission-based system. It stops suppliers from selling things people want to buy unless they conform to standards set by bureaucrats in Brussels. Rather than remove trade barriers, the single market creates them. Not between countries, but between producers and consumers.

The effect is to limit competition. Big corporations with expensive lobbyists rig the rules to shut out disruptive innovation from upstart rivals. Economic progress is impeded.

Indeed, and as Peter Lilly wrote not all that long ago:

How important are trade deals? As a former trade minister it pains me to admit – their importance is grossly exaggerated. Countries succeed, with or without trade deals, if they produce goods and services other countries want. Thanks to the Uruguay Round, tariffs between developed countries now average low single figures – small beer compared with recent movements in exchange rates. So the most worthwhile trade agreements are with fast growing developing countries which still have high tariffs.

Quite so. The sooner we are out of the EU the better.