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

Do you want to help to kill an African? It’s very easy. Just sign Christian Aid’s petition against free trade.
Stephen Pollard

8 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Sadly, this is amazingly on target. Of course, we don’t need to help them die — their governments are happy restricting trade on their own. 🙁

  • I was disgusted when i saw the advert in the press.

  • Jacob

    Free trade is bad for us, for those who impose the restrictions. Who cares about the Africans ?

    The attempt to deflect the argument and frame it as a debate about the welfare of Africans is wrong and dishonest.

  • Jacob

    That was: “Un-free trade”.

    Sorry for the mistake.

  • I wrote to the ASA saying the ad was misleading about Free Trade and that in fact un-free trade was the problem.
    Care to rate my chances of the complaint being upheld?

  • Unsubtle but to the point and accurate.

  • Dr Eric

    Yes, I disliked the ad, and disagreed with it too. I thought it was singularly misguided, and still do.

    But on further reflection, to work properly freedom in trade must be complete, including trade in services and labour, so no keeping ‘economic migrants’ out in the cold, because they are such a darned nuisance, even though they sometimes are!

    That’s protectionism, just as much as keeping out Windward Isles bananas! [I write as the Nth generation descendant of a guy who fled the Irish potato famine 150 years ago.] I certainly welcome the out-sourcing of call-handling &c to India – wonderfully enterprising that!

    Entirely free markets are also a bad idea. They are too easily exploited by the bold, bad and powerful. Right back to Babylon and before, to clay tablets, one of the prime concerns of law-makers, after murder, adultery and worshipping the wrong god, has been to regulate markets.

    ‘Free trade’ demands that we permit the 3rd world the full advantage of their low costs, to undercut our prices, but either that we don’t destroy their enterpises by dumping our surpluses on them at artificially low prices, or if we do, that we accept their surplus population which can no longer support itself in situ.

    That leads on to my belief that historically this is inevitable, that [failing global meltdown through plague, asteroid or whatever] the future of advanced nations is to become like the cities of old, with the 3rd world the new countryside, eventually largely depopulated and becoming a dormitory zone/playground/food-producing area, largely externally owned and controlled: economic neo-colonialism in other words, and no bad thing if it sorts out the murderous politics of the Sudan, Zimbabwe, etc. etc. etc.


  • Gambis

    The quote is as misleading as it can be, having been in Africa on development programs to feed the children, I can tell you that blaming Africa’s tragedy on others is quite easy, you should begin at home, the problem I saw was a disturbing lack of birth control, young women having 10 to 15 children, most likely they will die before age 10. If they had 2 children their survival chances would be 80% higher, at this point free trade has not even come into the equation. Reconsider your thoughts.