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

ProTip to wannabe dictators: If you’re a tyrant who wants to centralize power over an industry, first frighten large businesses into your cartel protection racket. Then, eliminate local sovereignty over markets while imposing your own regulations and taxes. But call it “drawing into a common market” and “improving transparency to protect them.” Works every time. The final step is to prosecute non-compliance using men with guns.

– ‘Tyler Durden‘, not a source I would usually quote but this pretty much hits the nail on the head.

20 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • first frighten large businesses into your cartel protection racket

    Sadly, there are other inducements than fear of defying the government. Large businesses can be frightened of new entrants – and happy to see regulations that make entry harder. Adam Smith showed two-and-a-half centuries ago that enabling entry was an issue of which the public and large existing businesses had opposite interests.

    There are journalists who praise hate speech laws, politicians in democracies who wish they could dissolve the people and elect another, etc., etc. – why would all capitalists be uniquely different? Aristotle asked,

    “Is aristocratic behaviour the behaviour aristocrats like or the behaviour that will preserve an aristocracy?”

    He never asked the same question about democracy, apparently assuming the answer was obvious.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – people who talk as if the “Single Market” was about free trade, not political CONTROL, do not know what they are talking about.

    The basic point of the E.U. “Single Market” is to control every aspect of economic life with regulations – internal, domestic, economic life (not just international trade). The problem is that neither Mrs May or (even less) Mr Hammond can really make the case. They both have a dislike of liberty – which they call “Thatcherism” and consider a bad thing. Still, compared to Comrade Jeremy Corbyn, Mrs May is wonderful – we have to compare the alternatives that are available to us (although we would prefer to have other alternatives).

  • Mr Ecks

    These Indian Elephant Turds need a kicking.

    Withdraw Foreign Aid certainly but more is needed. Something to put more pressure on India in the markets and thus on Modi and his gang.

    He is trying to collapse the Indian economy anyway.

    Lets help him and ensure he is destroyed in the collapse.

  • Julie near Chicago


    Bless you for your final sentence! I can’t even bring myself to read ZH, some of its stuff is so disgusting and downright libellous lying when it suits it.

    The quote, however, does have merit.

    . . .

    “Adam Smith showed two-and-a-half centuries ago that enabling entry was an issue of which the public and large existing businesses had opposite interests.”

    One of the most important principles in the general philosophy of the Founders, and if properly understood continuing right up to the present (i.e., then: late ’50s — at least) day, was that of Enlightened Self-Interest, in which the long-term interests of businessmen, employees, and the individuals constituting the public in general are in fact the same. This we were taught in high school (secondary school, after grammar school).

    Of course, not everyone understands Enlightened Self-Interest, and not everyone who does understand it signs onto it. “Behave well today so as to have a shot at greater rewards either tomorrow or 20 years hence” is not an idea that resonates well with everyone. Just as not everyone understands that a pound of lead really does not weigh more than a pound of feathers.


  • Laird

    Julie, your bias is silly. Sure, there’s some utter crap on ZH. So don’t read it. There’s a lot of very useful stuff there, too, however. I check out some of the lead articles nearly every day.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh, Laird, you’re always telling me I’m silly. What else is new. 😉

    No. I don’t want to encourage ZH and ol’ “Tyler” by adding to his “Hits” count. Besides, I dislike playing around where there are pools of raw sewage.

    Got along without him before I met it / Gonna get along without it now.

    But, thanks for thinking of me. Your love of your fellow human knoweth no bounds. 🙂 😉

  • Cal Ford

    Old Tyler? There are obviously numerous writers on Zero Hedge, all using the same name. Some of them are pretty good. Some of them are a bit on the hysterical and pretentious side.

  • bobby b

    June 26, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    “Sure, there’s some utter crap on ZH.”

    Their comment section, more so than most sites, makes me fear for mankind’s future.

  • Laird

    I never look at the comments there. But have you ever seen the comments in Reason.com? I have the same reaction. And yet I still read their articles!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Speaking of Reason, it seems that SCOTUS, except for Gorsuch & Thomas, has lost its. Sayeth the Ninth Circuit: You don’t need no stinkin’ right to carry in Cal. Answereth the Supremes: Ayeh, Massah, no 2-A fans roun’ here none.


  • Lee Moore

    On a tangentially related topic – the question of centralising power – I thought this was quite good.


  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Laird, I sometime read the articles in Playboy! Sometimes they are good! Don’t know why I keep buying it, though. Must be some form of subliminal advertising, or something….

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh, Nicholas, I think the issue you’re hunting for is the one from March, 1964.

    Not all the material was printed. Some of the unpublished parts are available on the Wonderful World-Wide Web, though. 😀

  • Laird

    Yes, Julie, I’m sure that’s what he was thinking about!

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Yes, and that one article has had me addicted to Playboy ever since! I’m glad that mystery has been cleared up. Thanks, everyone! When will Ayn Rand write them another article, though? I can stop buying them until then, surely?

  • PeterT

    The ZH comments are odious. Doesn’t take long until ‘jew’ or ‘international bankers’ comes up.

    Reason comments are not high quality but they don’t make me fear for mankind.

    On guns..I dare Trump to issue an executive order putting in place a Federal right to concealed carry. That would put the cat among the pigeons (clearly the only way of getting things done in the US)

  • Lee Moore

    On guns..I dare Trump to issue an executive order putting in place a Federal right to concealed carry

    I don’t think that’s how executive orders work. They’re orders by the head of the Executive branch to his officers, employees and servants. Not orders to the country at large, decreeing laws. He’d have to do something like ordering the National Guard or the Army to effect the release, by force if necessary, of anyone arrested on a State charge of carrying concealed weapons. Which would run the risk of gun battles between federal officers and State police.

  • Thanks for the link, Julie. I have read (and enjoyed) books by Rand, and have read one by a follower of hers about objectivism, and found it easy to decide I am not an objectivist, but I was glad to read the article, most of all for a quote I’d not met before.

    When I came here from Soviet Russia, I was interested in politics for only one reason — to reach the day when I would not have to be interested in politics.

    By that standard, modern Western society has gone far down the wrong path. Kravchenko (“I Chose Freedom”) notes how one of the most astonishing things he experienced in Canada and the US in WWII was the indifference of ordinary people to politics. They lacked that intense awareness – that knowledge that you had to pay attention – that was almost universal in the USSR. We sure have more of it now.

    BTW I was amused by the article’s preface describing Ayn as an “intense young woman of 58”. I do indeed associate the idea of playboy magazine with that of young women – and from what I recall of a picture I once saw I daresay the Ayn of 30 years earlier had enough of what it took to appear there – but I wonder if this phrasing was just editorial policy (‘all women are young in playboy’), or a play on the ‘angry young men’ catchphrase of the time – or even a subtle means by which the magazine encouraged women of a certain age to contribute interviews and articles. 🙂 Or was it, perhaps, the interviewer’s reaction to the energy Ayn still showed at 58 years of age?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall, you’re welcome. :>)

    “It is difficult to argue” with you that we’re not on the right path.

    Aside: You’ll note that the interviewer was Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock. Big noise in its day. Somewhere I read that he and A.R. were friends.

    Did you follow the second link, on the Atlas Society’s site? Having found it, I must admit that I haven’t yet read it. But even back in the mid-60’s, when I first read the interview, I thought it was very good. I’m pretty sure we saved that issue, but if so the 👿 Raccoons 👿 got it.

    IANAO either, but I did give it the old college try for, I think, around 15 years. (Sometimes I’ve said 20, but at the moment I don’t think that long.) Interest: Do you have a quick comment on your differences with Objectivism? For me, philosophically, I still think that “faith,” so disparaged when it’s used to put down religious belief, is no more and no less than a postulate (in the strict logical sense) than postulates on which non-religious “belief systems” are built. People can differ as to whether the postulate is a sensible one, and what are the legitimate grounds for accepting or rejecting it, but they ought to understand that “faith” in the fundamental sense is just a postulate. And that whatever our metphysical postulates are, we generally hold them for what we ourselves believe are good reasons.

    (Although Miss R. was apparently nowhere near so contemptuously dismissive of religion as her sycophants and also many of her detractors make out. There’s a quote from her Letters that sheds a little different light on things, but I read it yesterday, and the source has already succumbed to the blanket of dust bunnies in my head.)

    Anyway, interesting observation about the Intense Young Woman. Never occurred to me. Your final conjecture about that strikes me as astute. 🙂