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

“Over the past two or three years people have finally started waking up to the fact that conspicuous consumption is now about useless degrees, not SUVs.”

Adam Smith Institute. The comment comes from a new monograph by the ASI, entitled The New Aristocrats: A cultural and economic analysis of the new virtue signalling. 

Well, I am really old school, then. I drive a Jag.

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • pete

    For real conspicuous consumption many people who are very fat drive huge SUVs.

  • lmda

    Wern’t they always? A gentleman was able to study classics and do the grand tour precisely because he wasn’t going to have to earn a living afterwards. The universities started going downhill as soon as they began to teach medicine and law, then there was public funding and the government and the tax-payer now want their moneysworth…

  • I sneeze in threes

    Could it be that all that most of these people will attain is a useless degree and a SJW complex, so that is all they can signal about. Meanwhile the world continues as it always did. Old money shows off discreetly or in the approved ways, new money apes old money but tends to the vulgar. Even those with “no money” can still consume conspicuously, as noted by the excellent Theodore Dalrymple.


  • bob sykes

    A classic XKE with 12 cylinders I hope.

  • CaptDMO

    “A classic XKE with 12 cylinders I hope.”
    Meh. That’s ONE of mine. Mark IX is another. I have two others. Nice set of Tatas no?
    DISCLOSURE: My “daily beater” is a Saab, until I finish repairing the rusty frame of my Wrangler.
    (We all know that Jag is NOW a Tata company, RIGHT??)
    To me, conspicuous consumption is paying someone ELSE to change the oil, or fill the tank (NJ excepted of course)
    And I live in the US. Oh, wait, I DON’T have a college degree.
    I’m pre-emptively DENIED employment in certain “humanities” jobs.
    I DO have a Mensa membership!
    (*sigh*, MOST Mensa folks ’round here say “Meh” to THAT as well, except for the food and drink)
    I learned from “progressive” private high school, when anyone initiates the term “conspicuous consumption”, I’m almost OBLIGATED to respond with “penis envy”.

  • CaptDMO

    Have I mentioned that I spend a lot of time repairing things my college Degree (or two) bearing brethren have F-ed Up Beyond All Recognition?
    Usually for barter.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    mike, Clarkson drives a Mercedes. In my experience, they leave a lot to be desired (the drivers, that is)

  • mike

    Agreed. Mercs are for gangsters and African leaders.

  • Laird

    Hey, I like the look of the big Mercedes. (Of course, I actually drive an ancient Ford F150 with a zillion miles on it.)

    CaptDMO, I let my Mensa membership lapse years ago. Wasn’t getting any value out of it. But I do have lots of college degrees, and actually do get value out of them (at least occasionally).

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    Jonathon “One Jag” Pearce …


  • Paul Marks

    Good post.

  • Mary Contrary

    Obligatory Top Gear link. (sorry, couldn’t resist).

  • The Jag as conspicuous consumption:
    A Jag tells your neighbors that you can afford a car that looks good and spends 1 week a month in the shop.
    I have an XK-8. Nicest looking Yugo ever. It’s for sale. Switching to a Subaru.

  • Where I live, a Jag is about as conspicuous as a Toyota Corolla. Now, a vintage Jag…

    An old game used to be “Parking Lot Bingo” (where you get to pick a car from the lot you’d like to own). Around here, that only works if you want to drive a truck or SUV (although the SUVs do tend to be Mercs, not Ford).

    I only play the game when driving past the doctors’ parking lot at any Plano hospital… yowzer. Now THAT’S conspicuous.

  • Adam Maas

    Billll: I think you mean 1 week a month in your garage.

  • In all fairness I have been able to take care of most of the quirks myself. In case anyone here is thinking of getting one, I recommend an OBD2 code reader from Harbor Freight. It’ll pay for itself in 2 months tops.