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

Forty years ago, in 1978, 18 farmers from the village of Xiaogang in China, met at night in secret. They had seen subsistence and famine. Exhausted and emaciated, they lacked the energy to work the collective fields as Party discipline required. A few years earlier they had seen 67 of their 120 population starve to death in the “Great Leap Forward” Now they took matters into their own hands. By flickering lights (none had seen electricity), they came forward in turn to sign a document dividing up the collective farm into individual family plots, whose owners could keep most of the proceeds of their labours.

They knew the dangers, and added a clause to the contract pledging that if any were betrayed and executed, the others would raise their children until aged 18. Following that historic contract, the village produced more food next harvest than it had in the previous 5 years combined.

Madsen Pirie

Samizdata quote of the day

Even for The Guardian managing two logical fallacies in the one editorial is pretty good going. But that’s what they achieve in this one on funding the NHS. They manage both to get the Keynesian – and by extension, modern monetary theory – idea of deficit financing wrong and also the implications of the National Health Service being the efficient manner of organising health care. Actually, this is such a misunderstanding that I suspect it’s been written by Aditya Chakrabortty

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

Media breaths a sigh of relief that a raccoon climbing Union Bank of Switzerland building in Minnesota distracts public from Trump’s diplomatic success with North Korea. Next: IRS audits raccoon & announces he has a Swiss bank account & ties to Vladimir Putin #MPRaccoon

Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

If the Left could see themselves through the eyes of neoliberalism, they would see people whose motives might be laudable, but whose methodology is not. They are seen not only as economic illiterates, but as ones with no sense of history, no knowledge, or even concern, with what has happened before. They appear as people whose fixation with theory lifts them above the practicalities of the world as it is. Their proposals are just as impractical, error-strewn and doomed to failure as they were the last time they were tried. Human nature as it is, not as it might be, often thwarts their intent. It exists in the real world, where neoliberalism has its roots and works with the grain of human nature, not against it.

Madsen Pirie

Samizdata quote of the day

Oxfam America, who presumably are concerned they may have to pay the going rate for white hookers if Trump’s ban on admitting starving teenage waifs from third-world disaster zones is upheld.

Tim Newman

Aunt Agatha is in roaring non-diet extra added salt form today!

Undoubtedly you are a prima donna, but this is a good thing. Imagine if we had to depend for harmless entertainment on the likes of your mates, Nicola Sturgeon, Anna Soubry, and other pompous assholes. At least you are unashamedly a figure of much merriment. My advice is that you should trade on this. Start dressing up as some of the cartoon characters you want banned from cereal boxes. And imagine the fun if you burst into a Parliamentary Committee Room dressed appropriately and shouting, “The Milky Bars are on me!”

Agatha Antigone

Samizdata quote of the day

The Turkish cab drivers aren’t opposing Uber because it is bent. But because it is honest.

– ‘Chester Draws’ commenting on the Continental Telegraph.

Longrider does not react awfully well to virtue signalling

Fuck off! Seriously, just fuck off. We are not responsible for what happened before we were born. My own family, for example, comes from a mix of poor Irish, French and Scottish stock. One died destitute in a workhouse. So, sure, we did well out of the transatlantic slave trade. I do not feel guilty, I will not feel guilty and I’ll be damned if I apologise or give money to people as a consequence of something that happened hundreds of years before my birth and for which I have no responsibility. Whitten can go fuck himself with a pineapple wrapped in razor-wire, the vile little creep.

Longrider

The EU vs. the Internet

Never let it be said Aunt Agatha is not a lateral thinker…

After reading her advice to a pseudonymous reader who is clearly a MENSA member, I can only marvel at the sagacity of the suggestions.

Samizdata quote of the day

In fact, Oxford has a disproportionately high number of black students, although you wouldn’t know this from the comments made by Lammy and others last week. He quoted the seemingly shocking statistic that, between 2015 and 2017, several Oxford colleges had failed to admit more than one or two black British students. This set the tone of the news agenda, prompting Oxford graduates to tweet their scorn at their old university. But, as ever, statistics are the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Jon Holbrook

Samizdata quote of the day

At the end of a week in which the House of Commons defeated Labour’s draconian plans to regulate the press, the Tories revealed their own draconian plans to regulate the internet. The culture secretary, Matt Hancock, has pledged to make Britain ‘the safest place in the world’ to be online. But when the world’s ‘safest’ internet is currently found in China, where access is heavily restricted and censored by the state, it becomes clear how terrifying the government’s safety agenda really could be.

Fraser Myers