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]

More holidays in hell for Michael Totten

Michael Totten seems to be acquiring a taste for visiting totalitarian hellholes. This time he is wanding around the socialist paradise of Libya. As usual he paints an interesting picture.

7 comments to More holidays in hell for Michael Totten

  • Robert

    I forget why I don’t read more of this guy.


  • Verity

    I’d never run across him before. He’s good.

    God, what a dump! It sounds like N Korea with sand. And oil.

  • I was laughing and crying at the same time, especially the last part where the shopkeeper finally comments on the Dear Leader. Like the author so aptly put it: “Fuck him”.

  • Now we know what America would be like under Ralph Nader. Except no Land Rovers.

  • veryretired

    Totten’s article is terrific. He has written an entire series of descriptive essays from the ME, and they are usually very good.

    One of the things that always comes to mind when I read a description of the drab aridity of the various socialist’ “paradises on earth” is how relentlessly bleak they are, regardless of their location geographically.

    The apologists of the ’20’s and ’30’s were rhapsodic in their descriptions of the glories of the “new socialist utopia”, but later, more realistic assessments all mention the clunky ugliness and boring sameness, whether their describing Pyongyang or East Berlin, or Havana.

    It is an axiom of collectivist thought that capitalist society is destructive of artistic spirituality and vision.

    I might find a great deal of what’s peddled in a market economy tacky and vulgar, but at least the vibrancy of a free society is not so relentlessly dull and stupifying as “utopia” inevitably seems to become.

    Judging from what Totten and others have described, some big eyed cats or card playing dogs would be a distinct improvement.

  • Verity

    Even Keane’s tearful orphans?

  • veryretired

    If there’s one thing socialist “paradises” produce in abundance it’s orphans.