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]

Who watches the watchdogs?

I wonder what that would be in Latin?

Eamonn Butler on the Adam Smith Institute blog makes some interesting points about so-called consumer watchdog groups set up by the state. On one hand the state privatises because markets work better… and on the other it actually refuses to let markets do what only markets can do.

10 comments to Who watches the watchdogs?

  • Qui canis praesidiarias vigilat?

    At least, that’s one way you could say it.

    You might say it: Qui cerebras vigilat? But, since Cerebrus is a proper name, I am not sure the plural accusative is a good idea (but it was a watchdog).

  • Antoine Clarke

    I think “Cave Canem” fits the bill.

  • The classical reference I think would be:
    Quis custodet istos custodes?
    I don’t know where it comes from exactly, though. It has to be some Roman law thing.

  • I know the classical reference Chris (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes: usually rendered as “who watches the watchmen”). That is why I wondered what my varient phrase would be!

  • It is times like this that I rue the fact I never went to a good school.

  • Tim Haas

    Chris, it’s from Juvenal’s sixth satire, an excoriation of female perfidy. Friends tell the narrator of the satire he can keep his wife chaste by locking her up at home with the servants, but he replies “But who will watch the watchers? She’ll just begin with them and buy their silence with her services.”

  • I was going to bet Martial, but Juvenal makes sense. I haven’t read much of his, however.

    Scott, you can always educate yourself. I’d be lost without Wheelock’s still today. Alas I didn’t really begin to learn Latin until my senior year of undergrad and I still stuble through it :-). It’s a lot of fun, though. Especially in law school when you know what certain things mean without spending the extra time to go look them up. (Except in property where all the stupid terms are French).

  • Tim Haas

    Actually, Scott, if you have any interest in learning Latin, there’s a free self-study list called Latin Study that runs multiple Wheelock (beginner) and more advanced translation groups. I myself will be coordinating the next beginner group starting this fall. Feel free to e-mail privately if you’d like details.

  • It appears that we are off on a tangent here, but that’s at least half the fun. But thanks to Tim for pointing me to where I’d never have looked for it in the first place!

    Back to the watchdogs, though. How about this? There is a bit of evidence that the public can play a more active supervisory role in the age of weblogs:

    Newspaper article