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

Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money, only for wanting to keep your own money

– Joseph Sobran

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • revver

    Theft is easy when one doesn’t believe in the concept of ownership.

  • Pardone

    They are quite content to waste your money on culling Badgers for no logical reason.

  • Lee Moore

    Covetousness (wanting other people’s stuff) is explicitly condemned in the Ten Commandments, while jealousy (wanting to keep your own) is not only not condemned, but explicitly endorsed – God admitting to jealousy himself. Yet we are knee deep in priests and bishops demanding “social justice” aka redistribution of wealth by the state. How is this ?

  • Regional

    The thieves decide what larceny is Parliament.
    Remember never to stand between the trough and a politician.

  • RickC

    @Lee Moore – The idea of “social justice” and of the redistribution of wealth, not through voluntary charity but through the force and violence of government intervention, has trickled down to and been accepted by so many within my extended Catholic family that I’ve come to the conclusion they’ve read a different version of the Bible than me. I’m not even a practicing Catholic and haven’t been in a long while but if memory serves this stance is a deviation from the teachings and downright heretical. You seem more up to speed than I. Am I wrong about this?

    @Regional – It’s not just politicians stampeding over me to get to the trough, but a majority of my fellow citizens. From top to bottom, rich and poor, businessmen and politicians, all seem to hell bent to, as Bastiat explained, live at the expense of everyone else. To echo Lee Moore, how did this happen?

  • Wealth brings with it its own checks and balances. The basis of political economy is noninterference. The only safe rule is found in the self-adjusting meter of demand and supply. Do not legislate. Meddle, and you snap the sinews with your sumptuary laws. Give no bounties, make equal laws, secure life and property, and you need not give alms. Open the doors of opportunity to talent and virtue and they will do themselves justice, and property will not be in bad hands. In a free and just commonwealth, property rushes from the idle and imbecile to the industrious, brave and persevering.
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860

  • Rich Rostrom


    I’ve seen politicians attack subsidy-hunters and alleged profiteers off the public purse, such as defense contractors; also, on occasion, government employees regarded as overpaid.

    Also, recently, pharmaceutical companies for charging high prices. That to me is “wanting other people’s money”.

    Sometimes the allegation of greed is subsumed in an allegation of stealing; but it is still part of the indictment.

    Whether these accusations are just or not is another question.

  • Paul Marks

    It is a good, true, post.

    It must also be remembered that the vast majority of government spending (in all Western countries – including the United States) is on the Welfare State – defended on grounds of “compassion” and “social justice”.

    The proportion of the economy taken by defence spending has been in decline for 50 years or more.

  • Regional

    Defence spending is contrived to ‘creating’ jobs, on Coast the Scots Commo was getting all wet between the knees about unionism in ship building on the Clyde which now is reduced to building ships for the Royal Navy.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    It is a good quote. By the way, is this the same J Sobran, who, however, had a decidedly unsavoury set of views that got him booted out of National Review by the late Bill Buckley some time ago.

  • Jim

    “They are quite content to waste your money on culling Badgers for no logical reason.”

    If the State would allow it, farmers would happily shoot plenty of badgers for nothing.

  • No idea JP, but being unsavoury has never precluded a person from getting quoted here if the quote is interesting 😉

  • John K


    I think you will find that farmers are having to fund the badger cull themselves.

  • Very retired

    How can I describe the charm of a site in which a fairly serious and contentious discussion of a major statist initiative turns to the subject of culling badgers?

    Oh yes, samizdata!

    Love it.

  • Is there anything non-serious or non-contentious about badgers and culling thereof? I think not.

  • Mr Ed

    I always wonder if a State-organised, funded or incited extermination campaign might not be a dry run for the more enthusiastic socialists in the State apparatus.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed.

    Judging by the comments of Labour party candidates (such as the person in Cheltenham – who thinks that living standards went up in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, in fact tens of millions of people starved to death, and holds the Berlin Wall to have been a good idea) and of “Ed” Miliband himself (invoking his father, the Marxist Ralph Miliband, in his first speeches as leader of the Labour party) and of the “Guardian” newspaper (the Bible of the establishment left) defended the Marxism of Ralph Miliband (in a front page story) as “justice”.

    The left have not changed – given the opportunity they would murder tens of millions once again.

    And it is not just the Marxist left.

    Remember the followers of the Black Flag cooperate with the Marxists – in everything from the world (and it is world) “Occupy” movement to the Chicago Teacher union.

    The “libertarian” left (the so called “anarchists”) are, in practical terms, no different to the Marxists.

  • Paul Marks

    As for badgers and T.B.

    I have never understood the attitude of “never vaccinate cattle – just kill them” attitude in Britain – and it is not just TB.

  • AndrewWS

    Paul Marks: Chippenham, not Cheltenham, but likewise a seat he stands little chance of winning.

  • Paul Marks

    My apologies Andrew.

    However, Ed Miliband will still be Parliament.

    If only my own “tribe” had better leadership…..