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

Besides Yiannopoulos, his publishers and the concept of free speech, the big winners here are booksellers. Or at least you’d think so. But at least one Sydney outlet says it won’t stock Dangerous.

“Jon Page, owner of Pages & Pages, Mosman, and the online retailer Boomerang Books, became the first Australian bookseller to publicly declare he would not stock or promote the book by Yiannopoulos,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported last week, describing the author as “a mouthpiece of the hard right and a figure of controversy for his anti-immigration, anti-Islam stand”.

Page is wrong to say he won’t promote Yiannopoulos’s book. He just did, and in a far more effective way than if he’d filled his bookstore’s windows with Milo posters.

By taking his anti-free speech stand, Page ensured further publicity for Yiannopoulos and even more sales — but Page won’t be sharing in the profits.

Tim Blair

19 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Alsadius

    I suspect it may well be better for his profits than stocking it, though, because it panders to a big chunk of society who think Milo is actually a racist/sexist/etc.-ist jerkbag, instead of just being a complete attention whore.

  • Alisa

    Pace Paul Marks, are there still people who buy books in bookshops?

  • bobby b

    ” . . . but Page won’t be sharing in the profits.”

    These days, it takes a very careful measuring and balancing of your customer base to navigate the perilous waters.

    If I condemn this right-wing book, will the extra loyalty and appreciation and spending of my leftist customers make up for – maybe even overwhelm – the loss of business from people on the right plus whatever people on the left believe that a bookstore should stock everything out of principle?

    It’s a balancing that’s worked for Ben and Jerry’s, but not so much for the NYT.

  • Rob

    “While I am a passionate believer in free speech”


  • JohnW

    They need to destroy Milo, PJW, Cernovich, McInnes, and Molyneux asap.

  • Watchman

    Looks to be a potentially smart bit of marketting if he has the right clientelle (which a city like Sydney could support to the level that a bookshop could seek to appeal to them as a strategy). Wouldn’t work in a provincial town though.

    It’s a lovely example of creating value in a market though – his action potentially creates additional value for both him and Mr Yiannopolus (damn my tendency to use formal names…). Wierdly, therefore, by this logic we should be encouraging private individuals to do this sort of thing to allow market differentiation…

  • They need to destroy Milo, PJW, Cernovich, McInnes, and Molyneux asap.

    The Djinn(s) are well and truly out of the bottle, so good luck with that 😆

    But of course they will try. Twitter kicked Milo but this proved remarkably ineffective at lowering his profile

  • Mr Ed

    I am reminded of an apocryphal story from the UK in the 1970s of some censorious chap who said that a certain film was so racy that it ought to be banned, and he had watched it twice to make sure that he was not mistaken.

  • JohnW

    Perry, indeed indeed.
    I anticipate a coordinated campaign with the GOP grandees who have some experience in back-stabbing.

  • bobby b

    “Twitter kicked Milo but this proved remarkably ineffective at lowering his profile.”

    Looks like the wrong kind of Republicans are taking their best shot at Milo today. Got him disinvited as a speaker at CPAC, labeled a pedophile – it’s the angry Jeb contingent getting their revenge.

  • Laird

    Rob, Tim Blair made exactly that point, if you had read the whole article. In fact, he pushed it farther. A follow-up excerpt:

    “Two things: one, a passionate believer in free speech would not refuse to stock a book. And two, Page hasn’t even read the book. It isn’t available until mid-June.

    “Page is the modern equivalent of a 1950s church lady holding firm on the Lady Chatterley’s Lover ban, without reading a single sentence.”


  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Alisa, yes, of course, there are! i regularly go to book shops, exclaim, “Great Guttenburg’s Ghost, they’re still printing books!!”, browse, and buy a book or two. Lots of good books are out there, waiting for you to find them by browsing. I did that today, and came across, ‘Misquoting Jesus’, about who they think put what into the new Testament. I bought it.
    I suspect that Authors prefer printed books, so they can get royalties from the copyright. Probably publishers prefer that as well. And those ‘hunger-games’ movies were based on printed books.

  • PaulH

    Presumably the announcement that Simon & Schuster won’t be publishing the book will lead to even more publicity and consequent sales. I confess it would never have occurred to me to use pedophilia as a sales booster though; this Yiannopoulos is clearly operating at a different level to me.

  • James Strong

    I know who Milo and Molyneux are, but who are PJW, Cernovich and McInnes?

  • james g

    Mostly Twitter based elephant in the room pointerers. Brit Paul Joseph Watson does short millenial style facepalming youtube videos which are technically impressive. He has +500,000 followers on Twitter.

  • Watchman


    I think that’s a case of misunderstanding (when I saw the apparently offensive comments, as a Briton I saw no suggestion of paedophilia – try it with femine nouns instead and it looks even more harmless) probably fuelled by the jealousy and dislike from some conservatives (he is hardly the ideal conservative for a lot of traditionalists for a start) and the constant desire to overthrow him from the progressives (who kind of miss the fact that he is the symptom, not the cause…).

    Basically there’s a lot of people out to destroy Milo. Mostly vested interests (and I say that not particularly liking his conservative stance).

  • PaulH

    @Watchman – It may well be that what he said was harmless, or misinterpreted, or comedy. The issue is that *everything* he says he means passionately, unless it gets him into trouble, in which case it was clearly harmless, or misinterpreted, or comedy.

  • damaged justice

    I started buying books in brick and mortar stores again, because fuck Jeff “Get Trump!” Bezos.

  • Julie near Chicago

    dj, the problem is finding such a creature. *frown*