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

It is manifestly clear that the idea that the EU equals security and Brexit equals isolation (splendid or otherwise) for Britain is complete bunkum. It should be perfectly possible for the major players to cooperate against ISIS as national governments, within or outwith the European Union, and to work together closely, without the need for an ever-expanding and self-serving EU superstructure.

Iain Martin

Samizdata quote of the day

“Labour does indeed have a problem with Jews. It can acknowledge that problem’s existence, confront it and deal with it. Or it can shrug, mutter something about UN Security Council resolutions and continue to court the support of those on the far Left who are the source of the problem. Jewish members of the party have scant reason for optimism about which course will be pursued.”

Tom Harris

As is said about certain behaviours, such as drug addiction, to deal with a situation it is first necessary to acknowledge that you have a problem. The Labour Party has a problem in that a number of its members hate not just Israel, but they hate Jews as well. (Without accurate data, it is difficult to know what the percentages of such bigots there are in the party as a whole.) With Jeremy Corbyn in charge, a man who seems to find it easy to hang out with guttersnipes of various stripes, a solution to this situation is not yet in hand.

I can recommend this bracingly-written book by George Gilder, the Israel Test, by the way.

Samizdata quote of the day

Whatever one thinks about Trump, and I certainly don’t always agree with him, he is the first major American politician (something he clearly is now) to name directly the entity that seeks to destroy Western civilization. He didn’t even cloak it in “radical Islam.”

The assumption of the “good people” is this will only make things worse, alarm the Muslim world and stir it up (as if it could be any more stirred up). Perhaps, however, it’s the contrary. Perhaps people are sitting in the Islamic world and privately sighing in relief. At last America has a leader (a “strong horse” in their parlance) who isn’t a fool, who is willing to stand up and say what so many already think.

Roger L. Simon

Samizdata quote of the day

Russia’s main problem is that no one smart or rich wants to live there. Their talent has been drained for 80 years. Their chief export now is herpes and orphans.

– Commenter ‘Solidar’ on an article over on Reuters called ‘Do you suffer from Russophobia? The Kremlin thinks you might‘.

Samizdata quote of the day

The problem of poverty is not a shortage of experts; it’s a shortage of rights.

– On December 6th 2015, William Easterly gave the most recent Hayek Memorial Lecture, on the subject of “The Tyranny of Experts: Foreign Aid versus Freedom for the World’s Poor”.

Just after 13 minutes and 40 seconds into his lecture, Easterly said the above words, twice.

Samizdata quote of the day

Claims of dire consequences by business executives are particularly unreliable. In 1999, Adair Turner, then director general of the Confederation of Business and Industry supported Britain joining the euro. Now the number crunchers torture the data to show that British productivity could decline precipitously. This is economic nonsense.

Ashoka Mody

Indeed and it is comical how many end-to-end lurid scare stories Reuters has been running on Britain capsizing if the vote is in favour of Brexit. It is at times like that it becomes clear who is on the payroll of whom ;)

Samizdata quote of the day

Developers cannot build software that allows law enforcement to access encrypted communications but prevents malicious actors from exploiting that access. Cryptography cannot distinguish good people from bad, so a backdoor for one is a backdoor for all. Undermining the encryption used by U.S. companies would place the average consumer at risk of attack by malicious third parties, and merely motivate criminals and terrorists to use one of many alternative options. Powerful cryptography tools can easily be built outside the United States; as the self-declared Islamic State’s use of German messaging service Telegram demonstrates, software rarely respects borders.

Sara Sinclair Brody

Samizdata quote of the day

Civil Society is what a Constitutional State protects – not what it is

– Paul Marks

Samizdata quote of the day

“It turns out Lenin was wrong. Debauching the currency is actually the best way to destroy the socialist, not the capitalist, system.”

Matt O’Brien, from the Washington Post. (The fact that such a comment can be made in a liberal-leaning publication such as the Post is interesting in itself.) Via Business Insider. He is talking about the disaster that is Venezuela.

Samizdata quote of the day

The continuing plunge in the price of oil from $115 a barrel in mid-2014 to $30 today is really, really good news. I know just about every economic commentator says otherwise, predicting bankruptcies, stock market crashes, deflation, political turmoil and a return to gas guzzling. But that is because they are mostly paid to see the world from the point of view of producers, not consumers.

Matt Ridley.

Samizdata quote of the day

“Over the past two or three years people have finally started waking up to the fact that conspicuous consumption is now about useless degrees, not SUVs.”

Adam Smith Institute. The comment comes from a new monograph by the ASI, entitled The New Aristocrats: A cultural and economic analysis of the new virtue signalling. 

Well, I am really old school, then. I drive a Jag.

Samizdata quote of the day

In a way, then, Palin’s speech was the perfect endorsement for Donald Trump’s campaign: an incoherent mess of angry, resentful sentiment, delivered in a way designed to provide the maximum in media spectacle. Palin effectively—and, okay, somewhat poetically—captured and amplified the identity-politics-driven nonsense that feeds both the candidate and his supporters.

Peter Suderman