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]

The heart of darkness pierced by Samizdatistas

If Samizdata has been a bit quiet of late, you can blame it on the fact that so many of the contributors have been in Brussels for the Centre for the New Europe‘s 2005 Capitalist Ball. (Some of you may remember David Carr’s eye-pleasing entry about last year’s soiree.) Many of last year’s attendees were present this year – including the tall, glamourous Texan from David’s 2004 entry – and the whole event was nothing short of splendid. To be in a room with hundreds of people who broke into enthusiastic applause when one of the speakers quoted Father Juan de Mariana‘s assertion that any individual citizen can justly assassinate a king who imposes taxes without the consent of the people, seizes the property of individuals and squanders it, or prevents a meeting of a democratic parliament was, to put it mildly, very refreshing.


Without any collectivists in the room at whom they could snarl, Perry and Jackie were forced to smile


Brian was not pleased with his date’s smugness over forcing him into a dinner jacket and out of his beloved Birkenstocks


There was no prize for best posture or most regal attendee, but we had a winner for both of those categories on our table anyway

Brussels itself is a somewhat drab – if not totally miserable – town. Upon arrival, I was surprised to see a workman on a ladder in the train station, doing a bit of welding – without a properly fitted protective mask, and with sparks raining down mere inches from passersby. This total disregard for the cult of ‘health and safety’ was an oddly pleasing sight.

We took it as a good sign when the two flags flying right outside our hotel room window were the Union Jack and the American stars and stripes. Even more cheering was this sticker on a lampost near – I kid you not – Rue du Gouvernement Provisoire (Provisional Government Street):


It is the “as much as possible” that made us smile. Keep trying, scumbags.

And speaking of scumbags, it seems the local communists know they have a bit of a PR problem, to say the least:


Roughly translated, they are trying to sell the line that being against capitalism does not necessarily mean being in favour of the gulag. I suppose that may be true, in much the same way that being against breathing does not necessarily mean that one is in favour of a horrific death, but…Again, keep trying, scumbags. The pro-liberty contingent that gathered in Brussels this weekend are not the only people around who know you are full of crap. From the looks of the city’s Grand Place, a European stronghold of capitalism since the 17th century, it would appear that the denizens of Brussels have had that one figured out for quite a while. With any luck, and exposure to the free market principles celebrated at the CNE’s Capitalist Ball, the young communists of Belgium will get on the winning side of things any day now.

6 comments to The heart of darkness pierced by Samizdatistas

  • Brussels itself is a somewhat drab – if not totally miserable – town.

    Agreed. Being host to all those Eurocrats and their imposing buildings surely doesn’t help.

  • Alex Jacques

    Looks like the Jeunes Communistes need to go back to school and learn to spell…

  • Robert

    Lovely ladies! So many lovely ladies!

    God I love Samizdata!

  • Della

    As an aside according to “My disillusionment with Russia” written in 1923 the term used for the camps later called the Gulag in Russia at that time was “concentration camp”, they must have renamed them some time later when the Nazis gave that particularly synonym for “death camp” a bad name.

    Chapter 9:

    Together with the large numbers arrested as speculators or for possession of Tsarist money, they were put on the list of the Labour Distribution Department. Some were sent to the Donetz Basin, while the weaker ones went on to concentration camps. The Communists justified this system and method as necessary during a revolutionary period in order to build up the industries. Everybody must work in Russia, they said, or be forced to work. They claimed that the industrial output had increased since the introduction of the compulsory labour law.

    Chapter 6:

    They threatened with the Tcheka (secret police), with the concentration camp, even with raztrel (shooting). The latter was the most favourite argument.

  • Johnathan

    The picture of Brian in the DJ is worth the bandwidth costs of this blog. James Bond, eat your heart out.


  • Andrew X

    BOYCOTT USA (as much as possible)!?!?!?

    I honestly wonder if that was some sort of wacky pro-US sticker, just because I cannot fathom that any activist serious about opposing the US would sit around a table sloganeering, and decide to add that caveat. It sounds so pathetically plaintive.

    Kinda like Homer Simpson in the art museum…

    Homer: “Everyone adore my work or feel my wrath!!”

    *Patrons ignore him, no one cares*

    Homer: “Pleeeeeze, feel my wrath? AWWW!”