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… er… Chinese word of the day: Baizuo

The word baizuo is, according to political scientist Zhang Chenchen, a Chinese word that ridicules Western “liberal elites”. He further defined the word “baizuo” with the definition “People who only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”. The term has also been used to refer to perceived double standards of the Western media, such as the alleged bias on reporting about Islamist attacks in Xinjiang.

The use of the word “Baizuo” could be an insult on the Chinese Internet.


Noted 😀

Samizdata quote of the day

Over the past 100 years, women have gained so much. Unlike those in 1918, we can vote, work, live independently, divorce, have sex without getting pregnant; we are free agents. Yet too much of contemporary feminism and mainstream politics seem determined to row back some of these hard-won freedoms. To mark the centenary of votes for women, prime minister Theresa May promised to make it illegal to intimidate politicians. She was largely spurred on to this by female politicians’ complaints in recent years that they face abuse online. In the name of ‘protecting women’, May is seriously threatening our right to protest against powerful people.

Ella Whelan

Samizdata quote of the day

In South Sudan, food aid is used as a weapon and is either looted and destroyed or blocked from reaching those in areas controlled by the opposition. Similar instances occur in Somalia where aid organizations are heavily taxed, which results in additional funds that are used to perpetuate the conflict. In fact, receiving U.S. food aid literally feeds the violence and is positively correlated with a higher probability and increased duration of civil war.

Tirzah Duren

Samizdata quote of the day

Yet the involvement of sitting intelligence officials—and a sitting president—in such a campaign should be a frightening thought even to people who despise Trump and oppose every single one of his policies, especially in an age where the possibilities for such abuses have been multiplied by the power of secret courts, wide-spectrum surveillance, and the centralized creation and control of story-lines that live on social media while being fed from inside protected nodes of the federal bureaucracy.

Lee Smith

Emphasis added.

Samizdata quote of the day

Well, the memo was released. You can read it in full here, and I recommend you do so because, on the evidence of much of Friday’s TV and radio coverage, most commentators only want to talk about it in the most shallow political terms. Whereas the questions it raises about state corruption in an age of round-the-clock technological surveillance are far more profound.

Mark Steyn

Read the memo.


Samizdata quote of the day

But Justice Gorsuch took not an “expectation of privacy” approach to the question but a property rights approach. Under common law, he said, “possession is good title against everybody except for people with superior title.” Absent probable cause, a trespass action would be available against anyone searching the car. Thus, “by virtue of his possession,” Byrd would have a right to resist a carjacker or throw out an overstaying hitchhiker. “So why not the government?”

Roger Pilon

Samizdata quote of the day

This story is not alone. Elsewhere it was reported this week that ‘one in eight Swedish women will be raped in their lifetimes’. Never mind the dubious use of the future tense in this headline, when it comes to stories about rape in Sweden, beware ‘fake truths’. Sweden already has the second highest incidence of rape in the world – another actual fact – but this is because it has one of the broadest definitions of rape and most meticulous method of investigating it and correlating related statistics. Sweden has consequently one of the lowest conviction rates of rape in Europe – another fact thrown about with much alarm by people such as Naomi Klein – but this isn’t something we should be unduly concerned about. It’s a reflection, paradoxically, of just how seriously Sweden takes the crime of rape.

Patrick West

Samizdata quote of the day

If only the people writing the newspapers knew things, eh?

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

As those regimes demonstrated, Peterson’s claim that identity politics is “genocidal in its ultimate expression” is no exaggeration. Hitler’s military invasions and death camps were the ultimate expression of the racialist and nationalist identity politics that spiritually drove Nazism. And Stalin’s weaponized famines and “gulag archipelago” were the ultimate expression of the class warfare identity politics that spiritually drove Soviet communism.

Dan Sanchez, discussing Jordan Peterson

The trouble with Theresa May

There’s a problem Theresa May has, which may be fatal (politically fatal, that is.) The problem is this.

She comes across as a Thatcherite to people who don’t like Thatcher. So they will never vote for her, even though she’s much closer to them politically than they realise.

But she doesn’t come across as a Thatcherite to people who do like Thatcher. She comes across as a pathetic Euro-elite wet. So they’re reluctant to support her. A lot of them voted for her grudgingly in the last election, but only because the Conservatives were supporting Brexit. They’re even less keen on her now.

Hector Drummond

Samizdata quote of the day

A defendant who makes the wrong choice will wind up in jail; a prosecutor who charges improperly will suffer little, if any, adverse consequence beyond a poor win/loss record. Prosecutors are even absolutely immune from lawsuits over misconduct in their prosecutorial capacity.

So I think we should give prosecutors some skin in the game. Let juries be informed that they may refuse to convict if they think a conviction is unjust — and, if that happens, let the defendants’ attorney fees and other costs be billed to the government. Also, let juries be informed that, if they believe the prosecution itself was malicious or unfair, they can make that finding — in which case the defendants’ costs should come out of the prosecutor’s budget. (If you want to get even tougher, you could provide that the prosecutors involved should be disqualified from law practice for a year or stripped of their immunity from civil suit. But I’m not sure we need to go that far).

Glenn Reynolds

Samizdata quote of the day

Rather than having a “Minister for Loneliness“, how about not having one? How about the state just maintains basic order, fills in a few street potholes & then minds its own frigging business? The state is not your friend

– Perry de Havilland