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]

Chimpocracy is clearly the way forward…

California Would Be Less Stupidly Run If We Let Chimps Vote Instead Of People.

Because chimps would vote at random, we’d at least have some chance of having sensible choices made — unlike those so often by our idiot electorate.

Amy Alkon

Of course, the same is true pretty much everywhere, not just California…

Chimpocracy clearly has much to commend it.

Samizdata quote of the day

[Corbyn’s] Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and his Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith both saw that briefing and agreed there was “prima facie evidence” and said the party “fully accepts that Russia is responsible”.

Corbyn said he didn’t trust British scientists and British intelligence services, and suggested samples of the nerve agent be sent back to Russia because he DID trust them and Russia had asked to see the evidence.

Fleet Street Fox

The article is ‘all over the place’ regarding the USSR (to be charitable) but it does make this rather good point.

Samizdata quote of the day

In Britain in the 21st century you can be punished for mocking gods. You can be expelled from the kingdom, frozen out, if you dare to diss Allah. Perversely adopting medieval Islamic blasphemy laws, modern Britain has made it clear that it will tolerate no individual who says scurrilous or reviling things about the Islamic god or prophet. Witness the authorities’ refusal to grant entrance to the nation to the alt-right Christian YouTuber Lauren Southern. Her crime? She once distributed a leaflet in Luton with the words ‘Allah is gay, Allah is trans, Allah is lesbian…’, and according to the letter she received from the Home Office informing her of her ban from Britain, such behaviour poses a ‘threat to the fundamental interests of [British] society’.

This is a very serious matter and the lack of outrage about it in the mainstream press, not least among those who call themselves liberal, is deeply disturbing.

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day

In general, escapism of any sort interferes with cultish indoctrination. Once people start imagining things, they might start imagining alternatives to your totalitarian utopia. Or they might start asking ‘counterfactual’ questions and discover the sheer incoherence of the worldview they had previously accepted by default. There are many features of modern culture (even apparently secular ones) every bit as poisonous as the most all-consuming cults.

Fun is also a reliable indicator that something is deeply wrong: The peasants must have some bit of spare time and energy to themselves which hasn’t been dedicated slavishly to the one true cause.

– Commenter Madrocketsci

Samizdata quote of the day

Key to the party’s operations in Australia is collapsing the categories of Chinese Communist Party, China, and the Chinese people into a single organic whole—until the point where the party can be dropped from polite conversation altogether. The conflation means that critics of the party’s activities can be readily caricatured and attacked as anti-China, anti-Chinese, and Sinophobic—labels that polarize and kill productive conversation. And it is only a short logical step to claim all ethnic Chinese people as “sons and daughters of the motherland,” regardless of citizenship.

John Garnaut

Steven Pinker on how ‘progressives’ aren’t

Steven Pinker is quoted by John Tierney at the start of his review of Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, saying this:

Intellectuals hate progress. Intellectuals who call themselves ‘progressive’ really hate progress.

The mis- (I would say) -use of the word “progressive” to describe people who hate progress is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. I am delighted that intellectual mega-celeb Pinker seems to have found such excellent words to hit this point home.

Samizdata quote of the day

“Versed in issues of social justice”? Oh? What if students protested against abortion? What if they protested in favor of gun rights? Or what if their social activism included mission trips with their church? Would these things hurt their Yale applications? I am certain that any student who wanted to get into Yale, and thereby join the American elite, would do well not to mention any non-progressive activism. The gatekeepers know the kind of people they want, and do not want. The message they are sending is coming through loud and clear.

Just two glimpses into how the culture and institutions of the elite Left make Trump voters…

Rod Dreher

Samizdata quote of the day

It’s clear that the wet Tory establishment is not keen on Jacob Rees-Mogg. On the surface that appears to be because he holds robust views that are at odds with theirs: he’s an actual Conservative, and they are, of course, anything but. But I wonder if there’s a deeper fear there as well: do they worry that if Rees-Mogg becomes leader then the party will slip out of their grasp in the way that Labour was taken over by hard-left, Momentum commies?

Hector Drummond

Samizdata quote of the day

Raskolnikov, the main character in “Crime and Punishment,” is not much of a role model.

But not to worry, because nobody whines about how literature has led them into ax-murdering or body dysmorphia or about how poorly the page represents reality.

They save those accusations for movies and TV.

Amy Alkon

Samizdata quote of the day

Recent reports only help raising more questions, and eyebrows, as a staggering 87% of Venezuelans are reportedly now under the poverty stats. When it comes to food, 6 out of 10 lost an average of 11 pounds of body mass in 2017, not for fitness purposes (don’t go getting any ideas, NHS, Corbyn) and 9 out of 10 are unable to afford daily food.

Tamiris Loureiro

Samizdata quote of the day

In North Korea they jail entire families because of one person’s alleged crime. Outside of North Korea we simply mob people with problematic parents on social media and get them fired.

Damian Penny

Samizdata quote of the day

The real shock today would be if Meghan Markle came out and said she wasn’t a feminist. There were some slight rumblings when the royal-to-be announced she was swapping her acting career for marriage. But this pales into insignificance in comparison to the ugly insults and criticisms levelled at Katie Roiphe, Germaine Greer, Catherine Deneuve and other women who have criticised #MeToo. No, today it seems as if royalty and feminism are perfectly suited to each other: both are posh, prissy and condescending.

Joanna Williams

Personally I think Meghan Markle would be a catastrophic addition to The Firm if she does not understand why it is a terrible idea for the Royals to get political. Do that and they stop being symbols (essentially endearing living flags whose job is to wave strangely and act as a navigational datum for flypasts) and become legitimate political targets. There is no surer route to a republic and I would regret that (as I do not share Spiked’s democracy fetish) but not necessarily oppose it if the House of Windsor does indeed go full retard.