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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

Once you give power to the government it is nearly impossible to get it back, and it will be used in ways you cannot expect.

Garry Kasparov

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Never was there a truer observation

  • Ted Treen

    Not just in ways you cannot expect, but also in ways you do not want and most definitely do not need.

  • Flubber

    Anyone remember RIPA?

    Supposedly for terrorism, ended up with councils spying on dust bins…

  • John B

    Power given will be used. It’s primary use will be to extend its scale and scope.

  • It’s why we think the only reason power should be given is to prevent power from being taken.

  • pete

    Extra powers for government usually means more government employees.

    And they cling to their well paid, well pensioned jobs without caring if they are doing any good or not.

    They have egos and kids to feed, mortgages to pay.

  • bobby b

    I wish we could make images appear here, but we can’t, so click on this instead.

    (It’s funny, and safe for work.)

  • Mr Ed

    bobby b

    That might be, depending on authorship, some slight glimmer of evidence that libertarians can be self-aware.

  • Mr Ed

    Coming back OT, Mr Kasparov is a very brave man. He has taken considerable person risk in standing up for freedom in Russia, although his status would make him hard to murder for political reasons even in present-day Russia. One thing about him that troubles me is his apparent fondness for Hilary Clinton. I like this section of the OP particularly:

    The networks, the satellites, the software, nearly every ingredient in every mobile device and desktop computer, was invented in the USA. It is not a coincidence that the most capitalist country in the world created all these things. Innovation requires freedom of thought, freedom of capital, and people who believe in changing the world.

    Yes, the free market can be cruel and it is by definition unequal. It has winners and losers. It also sparks the spirit of creativity that humanity desperately needs to flourish in our ever-increasing billions. Failure is an essential part of innovation and the free market. Of every 10 new companies, perhaps nine will fail in brutal Darwinian competition. A centrally-planned economy cannot imitate this engine of creative destruction because you cannot plan for failure. You cannot predestine which two college dropouts in a garage will produce the next Apple.

  • Paul Marks

    It is a very true quotation.

    A classic example is the “evolution” of the American Federal “Justice” system – and, to a great extent, the British one to.

    Each “reform” was justified by strong arguments – it was necessary to fight the Mafia (or some other worthy objective).

    But the end result is a nightmare – a “conviction machine” where, once someone is targeted by the Federal Government, they are almost certain to be made to plead guilty or be convicted – of something. Even if their “crime” is nothing the Common Law would recognise as a crime, and the procedures they are undertaken are totally warped.

    “We must allow government to evolve, we must allow the law to evolve” that has been the mantra for a very long time – and it is FALSE.

    What is needed is clear-rules-of-justice that are NOT subject to change – even if this means that “Mafia bosses” go free, and YES even if means that terrorists murder people. For changes that are justified as for being to deal with “the Mafia” or “terrorists” (even if this is meant entirely sincerely) end up being applied to everyone.

    No to “pragmatic reform”.

  • Eric

    Coming back OT, Mr Kasparov is a very brave man. He has taken considerable person risk in standing up for freedom in Russia, although his status would make him hard to murder for political reasons even in present-day Russia.

    I don’t know about that. Boris Nemtsov has at least as much status as Kasparov, and he was murdered on a bridge right in front of the Kremlin.

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