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

Perhaps it is as hard for those who are part of the Gaelic nomenklatura to imagine a world without subsidy as it would be for an Ancient Pict to imagine a discussion about aerodynamics. But BBC staff have the same problem in imaging life without the TV licence fee.

Mr. Ed, who may or may not identify as a horse of course.

Samizdata quote of the day

As noted elsewhere, the people here that are getting the vapors and seeing this election as a modern day Reichstag fire are the same people who spent the last 8 years weaponizing government. They have seen what happens to Christian bakers and pizza places who show badthink. They don’t want the tables turned and their angry and afraid.

– Commenter Duffy over on White Sun of the Desert.

Samizdata quote of the day

It has been argued that Brexit will make us freer. Not just in an economic or political sense, but also in terms of individual civil liberties. spiked’s Mick Hume wrote that ‘the referendum result is a triumph for free speech and a smack in the eye for the culture of You Can’t Say That’. And it is.

Post-Brexit Britain will no longer be bound by an EU Code of Conduct that seeks to police the online speech of over 500million citizens and ban ‘illegal online hate speech’. Or an EU law that encourages the criminalisation of ‘insult’. Or a proposed EU law that undermines fundamental freedoms by purging Europe of every last shred of supposed ‘discrimination’.

We can distinguish ourselves from our European neighbours that are intent on pursuing more and more censorship. Just over the summer it was reported that prosecutors in Spain initiated criminal proceedings against the Archbishop of Valencia for preaching a homily alleged to have been ‘sexist’ and ‘homophobic’. In the Netherlands, a man was sentenced to 30 days in prison for ‘intentionally insulting’ the king on Facebook. And in Germany a prosecution was launched against a comedian who made jokes against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

These kinds of cases have become normal on the continent. So much so that they barely generate news. And they are often willingly cheered on by the EU and other European institutions. Britain can tread a different path.

There is just one, small problem: when it comes to censorship and the quashing of civil liberties, the UK doesn’t need any encouragement from the EU, or anybody else.

Paul Coleman

Samizdata quote of the day

It has been delightful to wallow in the grief of triggered leftists. Yes, their candidate lost. And no, they have neither self-awareness nor irony and that is bloody hilarious. But for classical liberals/libertarians or even smaller state Conservatives, the man who won is by no means our guy. Not by the longest of long chalks. Nor were most of his voters motivated by even the faintest approximation of our views. If we were rationally assessing what ideas won in the presidential election, we would be crying into our beers as much as our authoritarian enemies.

Not that I suggest we do so. I am far from depressed by Trump’s victory, though I agree with him in so few respects. Not least because our statist foes are about to relearn a proper fear of excessive state power and in particular of such undemocratic and unconstitutional devices as presidential executive orders.

– ‘Tom Paine

Samizdata quote of the day

In 1992 Democrats won the men’s vote, and finished only 2 points behind with white voters. Support from both groups has plummeted since. Male voters and white voters have been hearing from Democrats how sexist and racist they are for 20+ years now — what did you expect would happen?

She knew what she was selling, and so did the American public. This was 100% an own goal: Hillary chose to run a far left “SJW” campaign pandering to Black Lives Matter, illegal aliens, and the most corrosive feminists & GLBT activists she could find. She gave white Americans and men the finger, and both groups responded in kind.

Neil Edmondson

Samizdata quote of the day

I have watched this play out on campus after campus. I have watched dissident student groups invite Milo Yiannopoulos to speak — not because they particularly agree with his views, but because he denounces censorship and undermines political correctness. I have watched students cheer his theatrics, his insulting behavior, and his narcissism solely because the enforcers of campus goodthink are outraged by it. It’s not about his ideas, or policies. It’s not even about him. It’s about vengeance for social oppression.

Trump has done to America what Yiannopoulos did to campus. This is a view Yiannopoulos shares. When I spoke with him about Trump’s success months ago, he told me, “Nobody votes for Trump or likes Trump on the basis of policy positions. That’s a misunderstanding of what the Trump phenomenon is.”

He described Trump as “an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness.” Correctly, I might add.

Robby Soave

Samizdata quote of the day

And as I said above, if he can send the Clintons to jail that will be extremely beneficial for the country. Not out of any malice to the Clintons (well deserved though it might be) but simply as a marker to say “corruption in politics has at least an outside chance of ending you in the big house.” I think that would send shivers through the political establishment and make them a little less careless and a little less greedy as they milk the public for their own self enrichment.

But I could be entirely wrong. And he might also fire a nuclear weapon at Paris if a Hollande statement is carelessly translated to suggest his penis is of inadequate length. It is a dice roll.

– Samizdata commenter Fraser Orr

Samizdata quote of the day

By obsessing over politics above all else, identitarian artists of the twenty-first century resemble the Socialist Realists from the Soviet Union in the early- to mid-twentieth century. One could charitably call Socialist Realism an artistic style, one that glorified peasants, factory workers, and Communist values, but it was nurtured by a totalitarian police state and was the only “style” allowed by the government lest hapless artists wished to live out the remaining days of their lives in a Siberian slave labor camp. “Like Socialist Realism,” Ahmari writes, “identitarian art claims to be revolutionary, but in fact rigidly adheres to a set of political dictates. Master its political grammar, and you can easily decode any piece of identitarian art. For all its claims to ‘transgressiveness,’ identity art is drearily conformist.”

Michael Totten

Samizdata quote of the day

Yes, government’s increasing involvement in the economic and moral lives of citizens have made political stakes high. It’s true that 2016 features the two suckiest candidates probably ever. It’s also true that our collective vision of the American project has frayed, perhaps beyond repair. With the intense scrutiny of contemporary political coverage, more people are invested in the daily grind of elections, which intensifies the sting of losing. This anger compounds every cycle (although winning brings its own disappointment with its unfulfilled promises).

That’s not to say our constitutional republic isn’t slowly dying. It probably is. This condition isn’t contingent on an election’s outcome, but on widespread problems with our institutions, politics, and voters. Whatever you believe the future of governance should look like, one election is not going make or break it.

David Harsanyi, writing “This is the least important election of our lifetimes”

Samizdata quotes of the day

“Believe you me, if the people in this country think they’re going to be cheated, they’re going to be betrayed, then we will see political anger the likes of which none of us in our lifetimes have ever witnessed in this country.

[…]

“I heard you talking to Gina Miller earlier about the nasty things that have been said about her. Believe you me, I’ve had years of this, I’ve had years of hate mobs – taxpayer-funded hate mobs – chasing me around Britain.

“The temperature of this is very, very high.

“Now, I’m going to say to everybody watching this who was on the Brexit side – let’s try and get even, let’s have peaceful protests and let’s make sure in any form of election we don’t support people who want to overturn this process.”

Nigel Farage

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.

John F. Kennedy

Samizdata quote of the day

There are feminists and other liberals (in the American political sense) who want to portray American campuses as being hotbeds of rape and sexual assault which gets overlooked by college administrators and law enforcement officers alike because they are in thrall of the Patriarchy. Anyone sensible knows this is bullshit: women on American college campuses are not raped and sexual assaulted at a rate only ever seen by women in African war zones, and hundreds of thousands of bright, middle-class women would not borrow so heavily to live in them if this were the case. But third-wave feminists and their supporters know this, of course. They just hope that by spinning this narrative often enough they can usher in oppressive regulations and laws with which they can control people who harbour thoughts they don’t like.

Tim Newman

Samizdata quote of the day

This argument is illogical and does not hold water. There are many acts which the government can carry out on the international plane under the European treaties which have the effect of altering UK domestic law, and in doing so either confer rights on people or deprive them of rights. Whenever the UK representative on the Council of Ministers joins in passing into law a directly applicable EU Regulation then the Crown in using the prerogative power to alter internal UK law without that alteration of the law going through Parliament. This is simply a consequence of the direct effect machinery of the 1972 Act.

So why should it be OK to have “more Europe” through exercise of the prerogative power, but wrong to have “less Europe” as a result of Article 50 being invoked and the direct effect parts of EU law ceasing to apply within the UK? Nothing in the wording of the 1972 Act supports such a distinction.

– Martin Howe QC, Thomas Sharpe QC, Clive Thorne, Francis Hoar from Lawyers for Britain