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

How did Socialists light their homes before candles? Electricity.

Conscious Caracal

Samizdata quote of the day

It occurs to me that there’s perhaps a bit of guilt on show here. You see those pregnant 11 year olds in Telford got in that state because the local authorities, in fear of being branded racist and/or islamophobic, allowed gangs of muslim men to groom and abuse white girls for decades and ignored complaints/reports etc. that this was occurring. One suspects that the distaste for this joke is more because it reminds readers of the failures of the Briitsh Nanny state than actual concern for the feelings of 11 year old sex abuse victims. If the writer actually cared about the victims and subsequent potential victims he’d be campaigning to have the perpetrators and their facilitators in the police/social services punished appropriately (personally I think being nailed to a fence by their genitals would be reasonable, but I can see that people might differ on the details. Would a bit of rebar up the bum be better? both? or how about the traditional English hanging, drawing and quartering?) so as to make clear that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable in the UK.

Francis Turner

Samizdata quote of the day

What I found particularly annoying is the degree to which certain commentators elevated the importance of Meghan Markle’s race. If the media hadn’t told me, and then not shut up about it for months, I would never have guessed she was the daughter of a black mother and white father. To me, she looks as much Spanish, or Italian, or Lebanese as mixed-race American. Her mother simply looks like someone you’d see shopping in Marks & Spencers in Croydon, so why anyone should think her race is even worth mentioning I don’t know. Actually, I do: it’s because some people think race is the be-all and end-all (e.g. David Lammy, Katie Hopkins), and others simply took the opportunity to virtue-signal, rubbing people’s nose in the subject of immigration.

Tim Newman

Samizdata quote of the day

I am a radical on Town & Country planning as on other economic issues. I would abolish it. To me it is offensive that the value of a man’s land is stripped from him by laws that deny him the right to put it to its highest and best use without grovelling to local politicians in thrall to his envious neighbours.

‘Tom Paine’

Samizdata quote of the day

As any big city mobster will tell you, shaking down small businesses for protection money is a profitable line of work. The government gets into the same lines as the mob and every branch of government wants a piece of the action until the number of permits gets to the point that no one can afford the protection. Mobsters understand this, which is why they have a capo who decides which local thugs get to shake down which neighbourhoods. Sometimes the Capo is referred to as “Mr. Mayor”.

Bill Llewellin

Samizdata quote of the day

I’m not making up my mind on Gaza until I’ve heard what Gary Lineker and Lily Allen think

Jeremy Briar offers sage words of advice 😜

Samizdata quote of the day

Being easily offended used to be a character flaw. Now it’s a job description.

Hugh MacLeod

Samizdata quote of the day

There’s a conference called A Conservative Renaissance in London today. But I can’t see any renaissance coming to pass whilst the Conservative party is being run by a Blairite. Before any rebirth, the old order needs to die, and given the dire threats we face from within, we don’t have the luxury of waiting for them to literally pop their clogs, so the sooner the better.

– A certain Tory who shall not be named. I made a somewhat similar observation myself.

Samizdata quote of the day

For [Adam] Smith, the dangers that natural liberty faces are not a result of the system of free markets itself, but of mankind’s flawed human nature, particularly the desire of those he called “merchants and manufacturers” (among others) to “rig the system.”

The natural desire to “better our condition” motivates us to strive for a better life. This is the motivation that underlies the success of natural liberty. Yet this same natural desire also leads to cronyism and corruption when businesses and others use the power of government to procure for themselves “systems either of preference or of restraint.”

In so doing, Smith said, they impose an “absurd tax on the rest of their fellow citizens,” retard growth, and increase inequality.

As a result, free markets are neither self-establishing, nor self-sustaining. If we are to continue to reap the very real benefits of natural liberty, we must be prepared to defend against cronyism.

Lauren Brubaker

Samizdata quote of the day

I wanted to support the Daniel Hannan classical liberal faction within the Party as it (I hoped) took control.

I have been disappointed so far. The nature of the beast is still just as I remembered it and Teresa May – possessor of a second-rate mind untroubled by principle – is its archetype. I was a Conservative Party counting agent at my local authority elections this week and spent a few hours in the dejected company of candidates and volunteers in a solidly Labour London Borough. My impression was of a Party that sees Labour as the engine and itself as the brakes. Or perhaps more kindly Labour as the arsonists and itself as the Fire Brigade. No Marxist ever subscribed so thoroughly to his doctrine of “historical inevitability” as these people. A consumer regulator might usefully force both parties to change their names to the “Let’s Fuck it Up” and the “Let’s Fuck it Up More Slowly” Parties. The only encouragement I took from the evening was when I wandered off and mooched around the Labourites. My God, what an unappealing bunch they are, at least in London.

Tom Paine

Samizdata quote of the day

Political and economic theories are never implemented in pure form, and their adherents are rarely impressed by politicians who claim to be inspired by them. That’s just par for the course. Marxists, however, are pretty much the only thinkers who accept no responsibility whatsoever for real-world approximations of their ideas. Third-Way advocates may have despaired over Blair, Hayekians can – and do – rant all day about Thatcher’s shortcomings, and ordoliberals have written scathing condemnations of Konrad Adenauer. But ask them whether they think those respective governments did more good than harm on balance; ask them whether they think those governments were preferable to the next likely alternatives – and you will get an unambiguous and unqualified “Yes!” as an answer.

In contrast, hardly any contemporary Marxist would accept that whatever ‘real’ socialism is – surely, East Germany was at least closer to it than West Germany, North Korea is at least closer to it than South Korea, Venezuela is at least closer to it than Peru, Maoist China was at least closer to it than Taiwan, etc.

And why would they? It works for them. Every other idea is judged by its necessarily crude, incomplete and imperfect real-world approximations, warts and all. Only Marxism has the luxury of being judged purely as a set of ideas, which something as mundane as real-world experience could never blemish.

Kristian Niemietz

Samizdata quote of the day

If we’ve got to apply the full nelson to get the governmental apparatus to do something obviously both morally and pragmatically correct then why in buggery would we give them more power over our lives? This is something that could and should have been settled before even the decision to go in. That it wasn’t is evidence that government ain’t very good at doing things, isn’t it?

Tim Worstall