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]

There are collectives and there are… COLLECTIVES

David Carr asked:

If there are any talented graphic designers out there perhaps they might want to grasp this opportunity to design a symbol that will, from now on, represent the ‘Country formerly known as Britain’.

…and sure enough, a reply has come from the arse end of the Anglosphere.

Oh joy.

18 comments to There are collectives and there are… COLLECTIVES

  • Perfect. Muchos kudos to the ‘arse end of the Anglosphere’.

  • mad dog barker

    Just to show that we are a cynically balanced group one might also say the logo would be equally accurate if you replace the stars with the stars and stripes. Especially if you happen to live in Iraq…

    …in time gone by just the Union Flag would have sufficed. But in that particular case at least we all got to learn English. The real problem with Europe is that everyone declines their verbs and most their nouns as well. And I still have no idea why a table should be femail but a chair male. I’m not joining that malarky until they learn to speak proper!

    But I digress….

  • Snide

    Funny that, Mad Dog, but I was not under the impression the USA was looking to regulate the Iraqi economy, harmonise their trading standards and spend billions on boondogles like Cow Flatulance Studies. No, those sort of horrors are reserved for hapless American taxpayers, not the Iraqis.

  • mad dog barker

    On recovering from temporary intoxication I discovered the “European Anthem” hiding behind the “Oh Joy” link. In a frightening moment of alacrity a vision of Stanley Kubrick’s famous social commentary “A Clockwork Orange” came to mind. Ode to Joy rendered on a early Moog synthesiser was its most recognisable theme tune.

    Perhaps Kubrik saw something even back then and was trying to warn us? Ah well druges, back to my moloko and Heaven17 album.

  • Simon Austin

    Yeah, All very well

    But where is Locutus of Blair

    The EU Borg’s chosen representative to ensure our complete assimilation into the collective.

    Someone should do a BlairBorg Photoshop Jpg.

  • T. Hartin

    Mad dog likes to pretend that what the US is doing in Iraq is comparable to what the EU will do to England. A few discrepancies:

    (1) Iraq will remain a sovereign nation after its new government is installed. England will not be a sovereign nation in any meaningful sense if it joins the EU.

    (2) The Iraqis will not be subject to regulatory and other decrees from the US. Would that this were also true for England with respect to the EU.

    (3) The Iraqis will be more free and will have a more accountable government as a result of the US involvement in their affairs. Would that this were also true . . . .

    That should be enough to make the point. For those who like words of one syllable, try this:

    US good for Iraq. Leave Iraq better than it was. EU bad for England. Make England less than it is.

  • sick puppy

    I don’t neccesarily agree with “mad dog’s comment but even I couldn’t resist a quick quip at T.Hartins comment above. I agree with the sentiment and wish that it turns out so, but:

    1- do you know something we don’t. INSTALLING a government doesn’t in the first instance bode well for democracy. After all, was it not CIA involvement that got the Ba’ath party INSTALLED in the first place? I am more in favour of voting in a government with a clear mandate from the population. Having said that – it might not turn out the way we might like.

    2- No regulatory decrees from the US? Apart from not selling guns, obviously. And I presume that the new Iraqi government will still not be able to manafacture long range missles and the like. Even if there is a market in weapons systems I doubt Iraq will receive American encouragement to get involved. And can (for example) the Iraqis decide to sell all their oil to, err, France or Russia without the American administration blowing a fuse? Again.

    3-The Iraqis will be more free than before. This is an Orwellian statement of some magnitude. How do you know this. Have you talked to any Iraqis. To my mind this statement has yet to be proved in vivo. I suppose the people shot by the forces of, err, liberation are free in a way. But I suspect there are quite a few who are alive that still wonder how the new “freedom” differs from the old “freedom”.

    However from all accounts I will agree that the television service is better and advertising revenues are rising! So something good must have happened somewhere…

    …but apart from all this I wasn’t under the impression that we invaded Iraqi on some sort of social resposibility ticket. I thought we invaded to find and distroy the “weapons of mass distraction”.
    I find the idea of the American Armed forces being used as a force for social reorganisation a bit “revisionist”.

  • S. Weasel

    Good heavens! I’ll be delighted when Iraqi television service is better and advertising revenues are rising. That’ll mean they have goods to sell and disposable income to buy them with (not much use for advertising without markets, after all).

    What is it about the trappings of good old-fashioned middle-class consumerism that gives some people a case of the hives?

  • T. Hartin

    Alright, sick puppy:

    1: “INSTALLING a government doesn’t in the first instance bode well for democracy.” It does if you install a liberal democracy, as the US has done in the past and announced its intentions of so doing in Iraq. Do you have any basis to beleive that we plan to permanently occupy Iraq, rather than cutting it loose as soon as we can?

    Your argument here would seem to be that democracies can never be “installed” by a foreign power. There are numerous historical counterexamples, and I have every reason to believe that we are about to provide you with another in Iraq.

    2: “No regulatory decrees from the US?” What I meant was, not after the new government takes over and we withdraw as the occupying power. Tell me, have you noticed the US imposing laws and regulations on Japan, Germany, or for that matter France or the other nations we saved from the Nazis? Thought not.

    3: “The Iraqis will be more free than before. This is an Orwellian statement of some magnitude. How do you know this.” Based on ordinary news reports, I would say that this is already true. Apparently, sick puppy is having a hard time comprehending the totalized tyranny of the Saddam regime. They already have more of a free press, for example, under the “occupying” Americans than they used to.

    In short, it would be nearly impossible to leave the Iraqis less free than they were under Saddam.

    Don’t whinge to me about the casualties of the war being “less free.” The Iraqis and others who died defending Saddam got what they deserved, and my concern for them is zero. As for civilians, this war has already probably saved more civilians who would have died under Saddam than were killed by coalition action. I don’t think you want to go down the road of arguing that this war wasn’t morally justified – at this point, the only interesting arguments are about how to extract the most geopolitical advantage, and how best to set up the Iraqis with a stable liberal democratic government.

  • That’s my chat up line.

  • Bother!

    1. mad dog barker luvs kiddie prisons.

    2. omg, this borg cube is fucken HILARIOUS.

  • Larry

    One more thing about Sick Puppies predictions for Iraq.

    Iraq will likely sell oil to France. Absurd to think that the US will insist that it all be shipped to the US, or sold to “allies.” Or just stolen by the US, as some of our enemies predict.

    It’s as likely to be sold to Russia as Kuwait. Russia exports oil.

  • I have borrowed this image w/o permission, though I can’t imagine it will affect your bandwidth too much. Too good not to.

    Let me know, please, if you’d prefer I take it down.

  • Hey! This is giving the Borg a bad name!

    If the EU were the Borg, a takeover might not be such a bad idea. In that case, they will take the British distinctiveness of fair trials and a free press and add it to their own.

    The bad news is that they probably aren’t the Borg and will throw a free press etc. in the trash.

  • David


    When we join the Euro you guys might as well EAT those dollar bills of yours for all the good they’ll do you!

    If I were you I’d start pointing all your nukes at Europe!

  • sick puppy

    sick puppy does a loop de loop…

    I am glad I managed to prompt a discussion that drew some fire from those libertarians that still think war is a “good thing”. War is never a “good thing” as it destroys property and life. If one tends to think death is a “good thing” then I suggest that one is tending towards being a psychopath. That is not to say that war does not happen or that it is not acceptable to undertake military campaigns. Some times these are unavoidable, inevitable or even neccessary in persuit of a greater goal. But to say that it is always a good thing is perverse.

    So I state clearly that the war in Iraq was not a “good thing”. That is NOT to say that it did not achieve anything useful or that by saying war is bad I imply support for the old regime. I do not. I never did. I did not support Saddam even when Mr D. Rumsfeld was cosying up to him and shaking his hand. Yes, THAT Rumsfeld- the beloved American slayer of dragons and scorge of all dictators everywhere (except Manyamar…). No doubt at the time he saw a “nice side” to Saddam. Or was it (as usual) that Saddam was busy murdering Iranians and “that was OK by us”. Come to think of it I can’t remember many of our present libertarian friends shouting about it at all. No doubt we were all denied a voice as the web hadn’t been invented then.

    Another thing to note is that I made no predictions about the future only observations about the current situation. I do not hope that the situation in the middle east will get worse. Quite the contrary – I hope my taxes are being spent to produce something useful. And hopefully something that doesn’t blow back in my face, as our dear leaders seemed to have thought of their own protection already.

    The problem with American foreign policy is often that the left hand and right hand, of the people implementing it, are disconnected. There is usually a creadbility gap between what is said to happen and what actually happens. To be fair this is a big problem with every government I have seen. According to our commonly held libertarian principles the best thing the American Administration can do is give every Iraqi a gun and some ammunition. If they can count to ten give then a grenade and if they can spell give then them a map of teh area. Then when all and sundry are armed – leave. Pronto. Like yesterday. Perhpas even lik ethe British did.

    Saddams not there. If he comes back they can have a fight in their own back garden. If he doesn’t come back they can have a fight in their own back garden. In fact I don’t care what they do. If they attempt any aggression against us they know what to expect.

    So why is the US army still in Iraq exactly? Obviously it is not proping up an installed power base, there are no WMDs in the vicinity. So what is it?

    And finally. Why is it that the United States of America a federal institution to which so many positive values are atributed, is so desirable. While a United States of Europe is so obviouly destined to fail miserably. Well according to the doom sayers amongst us thi smight be so. There are far more states in America that members or potential members in the EU. Within th ebody politic and economic there is as much discord in America as in Europe. If America can become “e pluribus unem” why not Europe. After all they are not asking us to stop speaking English. I have used the Euro it is subject to the same market forces as any other currancy and seems to be doing as well as the dollar at the current point in time.

    To my mind the people of the UK already have to live with dictats from the US. Why will they be any less able in dealing with dictats from Europe? In th elong run the people of the UK have a choice between adopting the dollar or adopting the euro.

    I know which I would choose…but “both” seems not to ba an option.!

  • Sick puppy,

    Well, I would abolish state-monopoly currencies anyway but, until such time as that can be achieved, Sterling is one of the most stable and reputable of all state currencies and it is nonsense to suggest that it’s demise is inevitable. Far from it.

  • I have a Locutus of Blair on my blog (2nd rate Photoshopping) if anyone’s interested.