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 slogan of the day

I must have liberty Withal,
as large a charter as the wind,
To blow on whom I please.
– William Shakespeare, “As You Like It” act II scene VII line 47

Another Samizdata contributor yields to demands to show himself

This picture of me was taken by a famous Italian archeologist a few years ago whilst we were off on a little ‘expedition’ to gather up a few bits and bobs in some out of the way places.

And to think some clown from the Third World part of the blogosphere thought I might look like “God as portrayed in Monty Python And The Holy Grail”. Pffff.

The true nature of stateless economics

If you want a glimpse of the future, here is a truly astonishing article that I must say confirms many of my views about spontaneous networks.

The online fantasy game EverQuest lets players create and control characters – or avatars – within a fantasy world called Norrath. Characters gain skills and possessions that they can then trade with other players using the game’s currency of “platinum pieces”. However, many EverQuest players have found this process too complicated and have instead opted to sell their assets for real money though trading web sites such as eBay

Read the whole article, it is thought provoking stuff with real-world implications.

Comments worth repeating

Over on Little Green Footballs (also see link under ‘posh blogs’ section in sidebar), there is a lengthy series of entries in the comments section under an article about globalization and the people who are heading to New York to protest against it. Someone called Michele stated that she was “strongly against world trade”. This astonishing remark was something that had to be answered and so I will repeat my remarks here:

To be “strongly against world trade” is to be in favour of poverty and against free association. It is to favour force over choice. It is to favour death and famine in the third world. Anyone who actually wants for the peoples of South America, Africa and Asia to prosper should be demanding not an end to world trade but the removal of all barriers to entry to the US and EU markets. At a stroke that would result in cheaper products for common working western people as cheaper African, South American and Asian goods become available. Immediately the economies of third world nations would improve as they could sell their products without immoral grotesque discriminatory tariff barriers.

Also, as a laissez-faire capitalist libertarian, I am strongly opposed to the World Bank, the WTO and the IMF… these are institutions that support crony capitalism and big-government. They subsidise neo-national socialist stupidity like that in Argentina and despotic kleptocratic regimes across the globe.

I am in favour of true free association and therefore laissez-faire and true globalization. I reject collectivism in all its coercive left and right wing forms and the violence and poverty they always lead to. Individualism and laissez-faire capitalism without borders is the only moral option and the only option that can actually work at all in the long run.

Bitter-sweet girls and fine lemon and whiskey toddies

I have a slightly sore throat so I am drinking what I always drink at such times. Take one large mug into which put:

· Fresh squeezed juice of one medium lemon
· One large teaspoon of English heather honey
· One hefty shot of Kentucky bourbon (Bulleit Bourbon)
· Fill with boiling water
· Stir
· Drink

But what makes this unusual tonight is the large mug in question, for on the side it says: I’m a BITTER Princess. www.bitter-girl.com

And the bitter Princess in question can be found here. She may be bitter, but she is also rather splendid in my not so humble opinion.

Where is John McEnroe when you need him?

There are some people in the world who will go to great lengths not to be taken seriously. One of these people is a certain Mr.Paul Clark who has contributed this stupendous bit of reality-subversion on Lew Rockwell’s website.

According to Mr.Clark, Libertarians and True Conservatives everywhere could do a lot worse than look to European Union for inspiration. Well, yes, they could always look to North Korea, I suppose. He goes on to state that the USA should seek to emulate it.

“In fact, the EU offers, in many ways, an example for the United States to emulate. The EU still is what the US is supposed to be: a federation of more or less sovereign states, united for economic and military cooperation.

For those of us who advocate a small, truly constitutional government basically the same as the US had in 1800, the common response is that the world has changed, and that it is now impossible to have the kind of weak central government that existed two centuries ago, when the population and area were a fraction of what they are today. In response to that, one simply needs to look at the European Union”

Yes, he actually says that! And, to add injury to insanity:

“If I were leader of an island nation in the middle of the Atlantic, and were forced to choose between joining the EU or the US, there would be only one choice. If one were concerned with preventing a deluge of tax collectors, bureaucrats, and regulators; and if one wanted to maintain traditional culture and laws, then one would not join the US”

Do you think he means us?

The whole article is a tissue of egregious distortions and outright misrepresentations. For example, Mr.Clark claims that the EU does not tax its citizens when it is common knowledge to every European that plans to do are already well-advanced. He also claims that the EU has no army when the European Rapid Reaction Force (a rose by any other name…) is being built around our ears and with a brief to do just about anything its political masters order it to do both internally and externally.

As someone who has many friends in the USA so I am only too well aware of the exasperation they feel when dealing with their bloated and blundering Federal Government but to compare it unfavourably with the EU requires not just gall but a breath-taking turn of relativism.

It seems that Mr.Clark is yet another of that curious breed of American Libertarian that is so convinced of the irredeemable iniquity of their own government that any ANY alternative is better, be it the EU, Latin American Caudillos, the Moonies or Pol Pot for that matter. Perhaps Mr.Clark should be directed to this Blog for some clarity about the ‘laissez-faire’ credentials of the EU. He could start by trying to explain away the post below.

But maybe I am leaping to judgment. Maybe Mr.Clark has merely written a ripping satire. Maybe he is deliberatly trying to be provocative in order to make some other subtle point. But, if not, then I regret to say that it isn’t just the prisoners at Camp X-Ray who are hooded and goggled.

Krugman Loses Touch With Reality

The Opinion Journal daily e-mail newsletter reported today that New York Times op-ed writer and former Enron adviser Paul Krugman has gone over the edge:

I predict that in the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will come to be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.

Paul, I don’t know what it is you’re smoking, but would you tell me where I can get some too?

A rear-ender from Brussels

My considerable thanks to Iain Murray for bringing to our attention this crass bit of wealth-destroying codswallop courtesy of our enemies, the Eurocrats.

Ever more wedded to discredited enviro-mental ideology, the EU has now passed laws forcing all EU motor vehicle manufacturers to pick up the tab for the recovery and recycling of old vehicles and has drafted a raft of pettyfogging regulations that they have to comply with in the process.

Thus they have not only delivered a legislative hammer-blow to the fruitful and wholly organic (in the best sense of the word) car-recycling industry but heaped a wholly unnecessary cost burden onto industry and, therefore, European consumers. Oh, and we ain’t seen nothing yet.

“Where will it end? Not content with cars and fridges, the EU has now moved on to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, covering televisions, toasters and the like. The concept of ownership is thus undermined, property rights are violated, industry is put at a competitive disadvantage and – to top it all – illegal dumping is encouraged”

Do these people have the first inkling of how an economy actually works? Are they cretinous or malevolent or both? Do we have to rely on a kindly asteroid for salvation?

A possible explaination for the “America snubs Britain” stories

As I noted in a previous blog article, the British media have finally turned seriously nasty with the Labour government. Why? Search me. Could it be that they (a) now believe that “New Labour” is running seriously out of steam and that, (b) knowing new Conservative Opposition Leader Ian Duncan Smith better than the rest of us yet do, they believe he’s got something going for him? (a) and (b) feeding off each other, of course. After all, if Labour’s now mountainous majority is seriously reduced at the next general election, then the Labour government that follows will be a lame duck, in the manner of the John Major regime. And if the next Labour government is going to be a lame duck, their threats and promises of advancement already, now, count for less than they used to, and Ian Duncan Smith’s threats and promises now count for somewhat more. In politics, perceptions of the future are facts in their own right. Therefore, the media are now switching their loyalties.

I think this may make sense of this bizarre America snubs Britain stuff that Our Great Leader (the Owl Man I mean, not Tony Blair) has been complaining about. He’s right. I don’t feel snubbed either, and I don’t know anyone who does.

But, there could be a subtext, as they say in the theatre. Isn’t one of the implied messages of this America-snubs-Britain spiel that all Tony Blair’s recent World Statesman performances count for very little if he and his mates can’t get so much as a pair of handcuffs and a blindfold removed from one Al Qaedist in US custody, and that the Bush White House doesn’t give a damn what Tony and his Cronies think about this, that or anything else. Ergo Blair’s a twat. I’m not saying Blair’s a twat myself. I’m saying that the Daily Mail and the rest of them are saying it, in a slightly roundabout way.

Could that be part of what’s going on?

Samizdata’s photo frenzy spreads across the blogosphere

Manly philosopher Will Wilkinson over on The Fly Bottle has posted a picture of himself getting in touch with his, um, feminine side.

More mug shots

Three of Samizdata’s intermittent guest contributors are revealed (but not reviled)

The sinister Andrew Dodge of Dodgeblog infamy.

The mysterious Lagwolf

The ubiquitous Mommabear

Samizdata slogan of the day

Great Moments in Capitalist History: on this day in 1924 the first ice cream cone rolling machine was patented by Carl Taylor of Cleveland Ohio.