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

Is it too much to hope that one day these uneducated and bigoted Yorkshire folk will understand that claiming benefits, fly-tipping, littering the streets, threatening people and playing loud music all night – these were the things of which they complained – are simply expressions of cultural diversity, to be warmly embraced? Why don’t they understand that we all have to get along?

- Rod Liddle

Libertarians – rough and smooth

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to make too much of this. But here it is anyway.

In a report about successful pop entertainer Frank Turner meeting successful pop entertainer Josh Homme, Turner is quoted saying, about Homme, this:

“One of the other things about him which I really enjoyed was that – without going into too much discussion about it – I’ve obviously copped a fair amount of shit for being a Libertarian in the press, and he was aware of this and said ‘I’m a fucking hardcore Libertarian, stick to your guns and fuck them’. It’s not very often that people say that to me, so that was nice – I enjoyed that.”

Thanks to Turner and Gigwise, and google sending me an email about it, I get to enjoy it too.

The shit in question is referred to in this earlier posting here by me, and I wrote some more about Turner here.

Fountain of the Future

A story in The Telegraph has brought to mind the following quotation, which seems doubly apt:

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

- Karl Marx, writing in “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon”

Samizdata quote of the day

We’re in a political campaign, and the candidate is Uber and the opponent is an asshole named Taxi.

- Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Gratitude to City A.M.’s Lynsey Barber for spotting this quote and supplying the link to it.

Samizdata quote of the day

Has this sublime tradition, the tradition of Edward Coke and John Hampden, of James Harrington and Algernon Sidney, of John Milton and John Locke, of Pitt the Elder and Edmund Burke, of Earl Grey and Viscount Palmerston, of Richard Cobden and John Bright – and, yes, of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson truly found its quietus in the person of Nick Clegg? The thought is almost unbearable.

- Dan Hannan

Samizdata quote of the day

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck”.

- Robert A. Heinlein

(As brought to my attention in a comment by “Plamus”.)

Samizdata quote of the day

I don’t know if (politicians) are enemies or more prey but I certainly didn’t go into Westminster to make friends and in that I’ve certainly succeeded.

- the ever splendid Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes)

Samizdata quote of the day

We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has

- Marcus Merz

Truly there is are few things more valuable than an honest enemy, for by their own words they are revealed.

The state has been astonishingly successful at “breaking people away from the choice habit” in the UK, where arguing for choice in medical care results in people looking as you incredulously as if space monkeys are flying our of your mouth.

Islam has no truly moderate wing

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in the course of being interviewed by Sam Harris:

The reason the so-called Muslim “extremists” are so successful at recruiting, keeping, inspiring, and mobilizing people – and then finally getting them to wage jihad – is that what they’re saying is fully consistent with the teachings of Muhammad.

My thanks to the ever alert Mick Hartley to alerting me to this interview. Hartley entitles his posting “The faith has no truly moderate wing”. That is certainly how Islam seems to me when I read its scriptures.

It may of course just be wishful thinking on my part, but I predict that, some time within the next hundred years or so, there will be a mass-abandonment of this horrible religion, by all those who find themselves being raised as Muslims but who just want to be human beings, rather than in a state of perpetual war – at best mere ceasefire – with all non-Muslims, and constantly at the mercy of lunatic preachers nagging them to actually do what they still go through the motions of saying they believe. The only truly effective way of shaking free from such influences is to say that the lunatic preachers are wrong about everything – about Allah, about the obligation to submit to Allah, about the whole damn thing. It is because they fear what I hope for that devout Muslims have always threatened such mayhem if anyone now proclaims themselves in public to have abandoned Islam, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The effort to establish the right to abandon Islam unmolested is a key locus in the righteous struggle to reduce Islam to insignificance and political impotence.

Christians often complain that atheists only complain about Christianity, rather than about Islam. This criticism does not apply to Sam Harris.

Samizdata quote of the day

I’m always curious why the killing of millions of kulaks by Communists is shrugged off as the price to be paid for the glorious socialist ideal, whereas Pinochet’s killing of thousands of avowed Marxist revolutionaries is the most eeeevil thing that ever happened.

When I was in Chile back in 2005, I asked a middle-class woman why Pinochet remained a revered political figure by all levels of Chilean society. After all, didn’t he cause the deaths of poets and folksingers? Her answer: “Those poets and folksingers owned AK-47s.”

The most confounding thing for the Left is that Pinochet was loved by common people, more so than the elitist and aloof Allende. I saw for myself that the general’s house in Montevideo (a small, modest bungalow in a working-class neighborhood) is a shrine — women passing by will make the sign of the cross, or place tiny bunches of flowers on the sidewalk in front of it. And they’re not just old women, either: they’re of all ages.

And the Chileans still drink toasts to Pinochet as “the saviour of Chile”. But of course, to the Left all these people count as much as the Russian kulaks.

- Kim du Toit, in a comment here on Samizdata.

Samizdata quote of the day

Surely it is the prospect of murdering people that Lefties like about these movements? As the old joke about the USA visa questionnaire used to go Q: “Do you intend the armed overthrown of the US government?” A: ‘Sole purpose of visit’, the sole purpose of these movements is tyranny and with that murder. If the movement did not support murder, the Lefties would regard them as soft, Mensheviks, Right Oppositionists, or whatever.

The Left always have a Socialist paradise one 5 year plan away, Cuba in the 1960s (until he was ‘pushed into the arms of the Soviets’ (my arse)), Chile in the 1970s, until the Congress declared Allende’s rule illegal and the military stepped in, Nicaragua in the 1980s until the election went wrong and the 1990s was spoilt by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Wall. Now we have Venezuela, which looked fine for the Left until they put a ex-bus driver in charge and he’s turning out to be an uncharismatic loony thug unlike his loony thug predecessor, like ‘Brezhnev’ Brown after Blair, and let us not forget that the Labour Party is far closer to these thugs than is good for us.

And never give Lenin a pass either, he was, in Victor Suvorov’s words, the most bloodthirsty degenerate who ever lived.

- Samizdata commenter Mr. Ed.

Samizdata quote of the day

Benefits should be a safety net for the most vulnerable, not a lifestyle choice.

- The TaxPayers’ Alliance

To be honest I am far from convinced tax funded safety nets can ever not end up becoming a ‘lifestyle choice’ for a great many people, but all journeys start with little steps and it is a nice effective slogan.