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

Given the actual, historical record of government behavior, asking government – simply because it possesses fearful power and expresses an interest in the assignment – to watch over “the poor” is akin to asking a gang of serial rapists – simply because it possesses fearful power and expresses an interest in the assignment – to watch over a dormitory full of unarmed co-eds.

Don Boudreaux

10 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ed

    That’s a bit harsh, it’s more like asking an arsonist to work in a burns unit.

  • Paul Marks

    It is quite true that government may have bad intentions.

    For example, the Fabian authors of the “Minority Report” on the Poor Law had utterly vile intentions (see the “Fabian Window” – for those who have eyes to see it and are prepared to understand what they are seeing, not dismiss with “they must have been joking”, they were not joking any more than George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells boasted of the millions of humans beings they wished to kill). And the people who actually concentrated on the details of American government welfare programs (rather than just basking in the publicity as President Johnson did) also had vile intentions – Francis Fox Piven (of Cloward and Piven) wanted to INCREASE dependency (and general degeneracy) as much as possible, in order to bring down “capitalism”.


    If government was made up of saints filled with GOOD intentions – the results of statism would be just the same.

    Take the example of Minnesota – there is no reason to believe these nice Swedes and Germans do not have good intentions, that they do not want to really help people.

    But the developments in the “Twin Cities” have step-by-step been turning these places (and the whole State) into places of economic and social decline.

    One does not have to believe government are “rapists” – their intentions could be good.

    But it does not make any difference.

    This (by the way) is why religious leaders should be careful in using words such as “justice” and “rights” when them mean CHARITY.

    Charity (compassion) is a noble thing – worthy of religious (and non religious) people.

    But if one says the poor have a RIGHT to XYZ, that it is an INJUSTICE for them not to have these things – then one opens the door to the use of FORCE.

    Either by governments (such as those of Argentina or the new one in New York City) or by mobs (as in Argentina and Chicago).

    Good intentions (even saintly intentions) do not excuse religious (or non religious) leaders using careless words.

    Engage brain before opening mouth – or picking up pen.

    And YES – if one opens the door to force to “distribute” goods and services it will not stop at robbery and looting.

    Murder and (yes) rape – will become the norm also.

  • Paul,
    As I have said before such evils did not stop with those writers. DH Lawrence was arguably even viler. He was the archetype of the socialist who utterly despises the working class. He fantasised anout getting a circus big-top with a band outside playing “popular” music to lure the proles in where they would industrially gassed. Lovely bloke DHL and his fiction is shite.

  • Mr Ed


    I recall reading that after the Soviet advance in 1944-5 re-taking formerly Soviet territory from the Germans, the NKVD wished to round up as many ‘unreliable elements’ as possible in the newly-liberated areas, and one tactic was to get the Interior Ministry troops to put on a military band in a town square to start a festival, and then to round up everyone who turned up, for sorting and deportation to the GULAG if necessary. Perhaps this idea came from D H Lawrence. I have never read any of his works, I had a ‘gut instinct’ that they were at best drivel. I feel vindicated.

  • Regional

    Drivel deleted by editor… get lost, not a request.

  • Mr Ed

    Regional, May I venture to suggest that here ‘You don’t know what day it is’? You seem to be commenting on a matter that is a different QotD.

  • Laird

    Mr Ed, somewhat related to your comment (the “drivel” from Regional was deleted before I saw it), it would be nice if the SQoTD had a date included in the title, so we could keep them separate.

  • Hmm

    I’m not sure whether it’s more funny/sad/ironic/deplorable when it becomes practically perfect analogy to compare Government to serial rapists.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Ever since Johnson declared this war on Poverty, I’ve often wondered- who won? Have they killed all the poor people yet?