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

Of course, England has been here before. The EU (that’s the Pope and the whole of Catholic Europe) excommunicated Queen Elizabeth and barred all trade with us; not even a WTO-terms deal, only a bit of state-sanctioned piracy and smuggling kept us going. In reaction we went further afield to find new trade partners and accidentally founded the British Empire, established dominance of the seas and oceans and led the world in trade and commerce. They did us a favour, really.

Raedwald, taking a few liberties but making a great point 😀

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16 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • rxc

    Now that I have been recognized as an EU citizen by the Italian Government (I am also an American), I have been talking to my French and Greek fellow EU-citizens about the British Problem (all those Brits who want to continue to live in the EU). We agree that any solution for this problem MUST start with a tax. Something large, on both wealth (worldwide) and income (from all worldwide sources), for everyone from the UK who wants to continue to live here. Maybe even an exit tax, too, if they decide to leave – the Americans have some very smart ideas about this. We have made a true paradise on earth here on the continent, and we are not going to let you Brits just take advantage of all our hard work.

    And there have been rumblings that our German colleagues have been dusting off some old (very old) plans to help out the oppressed people of Scotland, by occupying and annexing Scotland into the EU. Something about protecting them from the evil government in London……

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    The correct term for a citizen of Europe is Euro-peon, rxc.

  • JohnW

    The most striking thing about the EU attitude to Britain is the unquestioned assumption that all wealth in society must somehow spring from the ink of a legislator’s pen. They do not seem to realise that it is precisely that attitude which is so repugnant to so many people of these islands, indeed it is odds with the basic principles of British history and identity.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Does this mean that Britain will seek colonies in the new world? Or will this be a great age of Space colonisation? Another race for land, on Luna or Mars? Or even tropical Venus?

  • Regional

    Niicholas,
    Britain will regain her counties in France that were ripped from her by the Frogs.
    Also there’re a lot of Forreners from Europe living and working in London, that question mark over their heads is not mentioned.

  • We agree that any solution for this problem MUST start with a tax. Something large, on both wealth (worldwide) and income (from all worldwide sources), for everyone from the UK who wants to continue to live here.

    That applies to any resident anyway insofar as income is concerned, at least in France and most other countries. Wealth tax? They tend not to work out too well, as France discovered when they tried to tax their own citizens’ wealth.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The most striking thing about the EU attitude to Britain is the unquestioned assumption that all wealth in society must somehow spring from the ink of a legislator’s pen. They do not seem to realise that it is precisely that attitude which is so repugnant to so many people of these islands, indeed it is odds with the basic principles of British history and identity.

    Best comment on this site in weeks.

  • JohnW

    “A nation of shopkeepers” where “an Englishman’s home is his castle” would be sufficient – all the rest would follow from that enlightened attitude.

  • rxc

    The most striking thing about the EU attitude to Britain is the unquestioned assumption that all wealth in society must somehow spring from the ink of a legislator’s pen.

    Considering that all money in the west now comes from decisions by Central Banks to just print it (or make an entry on an electronic ledger), I would say that this idea is actually well founded. Individuals are able to produce new stuff, but without the money to lubricate the wheels and act as a medium of exchange, there can be no “wealth” produced without the government. This is what happens with the creation of a system of currency that is not based on anything tangible. I am not saying that it is good or bad, but you have to admit that there is a certain element of truth to it, and it is likely a deliberate decision by our masters to make the system work this way. It certainly helps cement their power and control over us peons…

  • Mary Contrary

    Starkey was on the Today programme this morning, making much the same point ( but citing Henry VIII)

  • I have a recollection from some time ago (like Maastricht) that various pollsters had computed that Roman Catholic Britons were measurably more pro EU than C of E Brits, other prod Brits, and heathen Brits. If the recollection is not apocryphal, perhaps this is an attitude patchily inherited from the sixteenth century Brexit.

    The Statute of Praemunire, by the way, long predates Henry VIII, so English suspicion of being ruled by foreigners is of quite long standing. As, necessarily, must be the contrary point of view. Or treason, according to political taste.

  • Laird

    rxc, you are making the common error of conflating “money” (actually, currency, but I’ll let that slide for now) with “wealth”. Governments never create wealth; the absolute best they can do is be neutral, but the sad reality is that they always destroy it, and the only question is by how much.

  • rxc

    Governments never create wealth; the absolute best they can do is be neutral

    I don’t entirely disagree. I just think that it is important to have a stable medium of exchange in order for the creative people to benefit from their inventions. Government occasionally provides opportunities for certain technologies to take off, because governments have needs for technologies that would normally otherwise be very slow to develop. Think airplanes and computers and nuclear technologies, which advanced very quickly because governments threw money at them in order to make weapons. Lots of more basic technologies, such as iron metallurgy to make guns, and the rails for railroads and steel ships, benefitted greatly from governments spending on weapons and wars. A lot of government money was also wasted, because many of the technologies developed were only suitable for weapons, but one never knows when something non-military might surface. A lot of medical expertise came out of the experience saving soldiers on battlefields, or by military people who had to go to places where there were nasty diseases, such as yellow fever.

    I think of money as the lubricant of society. The leftists detest it – I think that they realize that it has value, but they don’t want to admit it because that would conflict with their theories that finance adds no value – only the work of humans has value to them (labor theory of value). In an engine you have many components that move and do work. The lubricants and the coolants do nothing directly to create work, but without them the rest of the machine cannot function. Control systems do no work, but they make sure that the working parts function properly. It is engineer thinking.

  • Laird

    I don’t think this is the appropriate place to get into a deep discussion of media of exchange (we’ve delved into that topic here before, and undoubtedly will do so again). So let me just remark that while I agree with you on the desirability of “a stable medium of exchange”, I suspect that you and I have very different definitions of “stable”. And I would posit that government-issued fiat currencies are, and always have been, the antithesis of “stable”.

    As to your other point, I won’t dispute that governments (generally in furtherance of wars) have been great facilitators of technological advance. However, I would ask you to consider how that relates to the issue raised by Bastiat (among others) about “that which is seen and that which is not seen.” The resources thrown at those military technologies had to come from somewhere; what other technological advances, perhaps of even greater utility, were delayed (or never even occurred) because of such governmental diversions? We can’t know, of course, but I defy anyone to deny that there were at least some. At what cost those advances? It is not zero.

  • JohnW

    I suspect we can all agree that farmers in the Third World are fully aware of the enormous benefit that technological innovation brings to the science of agriculture – has there ever been a Third World farmer unable to see the merit of owning a tractor?

    What stops him is that he cannot afford a tractor.

    He does not possess the capital necessary to buy a tractor and cannot find a lender to provide it. His impoverished circumstance reflects generations of insufficient capital accumulation.
    Now, of course, there are many hazards that either forestall or destroy the accumulation of capital – tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, plagues etc. but I sincerely doubt that there is any peril as destructive or as persistent to capital accumulation as government.