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

The American generation which counts those who gave their lives this week among their ranks has grown up with elite, institutional and expert failure not as a shocking aberration but as the default setting. Time and again, foreign policy elites have issued the wrong diagnoses and the wrong prescriptions. Economic conventional wisdom has been shattered, upended, disproven. Politics grows more bad-blooded and less serious. Claims of competence and expertise are regularly proved to be unfounded. More recently, America’s cultural elite has turned on its own country: happy to pronounce America irredeemably wicked whilst kowtowing to Chinese censors.

And after all of this, America elected a president who treated his predecessor and the last four years as an unseemly aberration and whose staff boasted that the adults were back in charge. Thanks to the decisions of those adults, young American soldiers found themselves in a deadly trap at the gates of Kabul airport.

Oliver Wiseman

20 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • the last toryboy

    The US is really starting to become quite worrisome. They seem engaged in spiralling into an entirely self created abyss. It doesn’t look like Sleepy Joe is going to calm the US down, quite the opposite.

    It really is time for the UK to pull the plug I think and be as isolationist as we can. Sitting out the 21st century is looking more and more like a good idea, unless the US manages to pull itself back from the brink. With the controlled media, Big Tech, far left sturmabteilung and legions of conspiracy theorists it’s looking more broken than I have ever seen.

  • the last toryboy wrote:

    It really is time for the UK to pull the plug I think and be as isolationist as we can.

    Sorry. You’re under the fallout path. There is no safe harbor.

    Everything else seems correct.

  • John B

    the last toryboy wrote:

    “It really is time for the UK to pull the plug I think and be as isolationist as we can.”

    That would require a ruling class that wanted to do so and give up its quest for ever more power, rather than be a major cog in the wheel of global governance – real power – and a population that had not abandoned freedom and self-reliance for safety and the cosseted existence provided by the welfare state to the point of voluntary indentured servitude and wilful ignorance.

  • Exasperated

    Two straws to clutch: 1) 75 million Americans didn’t buy the narrative, 2) America did a 180 after Woodrow Wilson, who was also spectacularly awful. That said, in that period there were few people and entities dependent on government. But covid may be a bridge too far, especially if they try to force the vaccination of children.
    I’m half Canadian, so I was thought, worst case, we could sneak back, but obviously that’s not on, because the cult has infected the Anglosphere.
    Maybe one of the states, or a coalition of states, possibly including some provinces, can hold out, best guess would be Texas et al.

  • John Lewis

    Unfortunately were it the case that states such as Texas made any tentative steps towards secession the political establishment, media, law enforcement, judiciary and in time even the military will be single-mindedly focused on preventing it.

    The views of 75 million voters cut very little ice when the side that does the counting is guaranteed to come up with 76.

  • Ferox

    The US has gotten pretty dsytopian. There is no doubt about it. We are far away from the paths and values of our forefathers.

    I am not sure anyone in the UK has too much cause to be self-congratulatory, however. As far as I know, nobody in the US is getting arrested for saying politically incorrect things on Twitter or other social media.

    And there isn’t even any talk here about making saying such things illegal in your own home.

  • Paul Marks

    The American people did not elect Mr Biden – how many people really voted for Biden/Harris may never be known, but it was nothing like the number claimed.

    However, the fact that the election could be rigged so blatantly shows just how corrupt the institutions (including the courts) have become – and not just in the United States, remember the media and governments of other countries rushed to congratulate Mr Biden on his “victory”.

    “Isolationist” United Kingdom? With the endless (and very well paid) “Diversity” officers in the NHS and every other institution, and all the rest of the Frankfurt School Marxist stuff, the United Kingdom is also corrupted.

    As for the economic side. The population is now (thanks to mass immigration) much too large for Britain to feed itself, and far from selling manufactured goods to pay for imports of food and raw materials, we have actually have a manufacturing deficit. We import more manufactured goods than we export. “The City” is a vast Credit Bubble propped up by endless funny money (so is Wall Street and the other major financial centres), creating a small elite who are rich at the expense of everyone else – Cantillon Effect, but on a scale that Richard Cantillon could never have dreamed of in his worst nightmares.

    The situation is so bad that, perhaps, it is best not to think about it.

    One of the tormenting things about the United States is that one can still think of ways in which America could be saved – if only the abomination that is the “Woke” American establishment (both government and corporate – and the despicable education system that produces them) could be removed. At least this torment does not apply in thinking about the United Kingdom.

  • Paul Marks

    To be fair – I am NOT sure we in the United Kingdom do import more manufactured goods than we export.

    We certainly have a trade deficit – but that may be due to having to import raw materials as well as manufactured goods.

    I must not let depression overwhelm reason.

    As for the United States – the Credit Bubble financial and monetary system, and the demented idea that the fiat Dollar is a “reserve currency”, has destroyed the basis of a balanced economy.

    The fiat Dollar and the Credit Bubble banks (who are NOT honest money lenders) must go.

    “But that means there is no economic basis for such vast cities as New York”.

    There is no economic basis for these places – not since industry was mostly destroyed in these cities.

  • Ferox

    The fiat Dollar and the Credit Bubble banks (who are NOT honest money lenders) must go.

    I have heard people here and elsewhere arguing that we are at the end of the American century, and entering into the beginning of the Chinese century.

    But if that is true, and if American fiat money is about to collapse, then the Chinese are going to take it hard right on the nose – since they hold vast quantities of debt in that money. If the dollar drops to some small fraction of its current value the Chinese will lose as much as anyone.

  • bobby b

    “The US has gotten pretty dsytopian.”

    And yet, in my day to day life, I’d not know about this unless I read things on the internets. Nothing has really changed. I come and go as I want, I make and spend money as I see fit, I converse loudly and publicly with like-minded people, I call our government an ass in print and vocally . . .

    Shouldn’t there be a higher threshold for declaring a dystopia? This ain’t even totalitarianism.

  • Ferox

    In my state, a state-wide mask mandate has just been re-imposed. You cannot enter any public place without a mask on, despite the absolute silliness of the idea that a virus most conveniently measured in nanometers can be somehow impeded by a cloth with holes conveniently measured in millimeters.

    My cousin is about to lose his job because the same state has mandated vaccination for all state-employed educators. He may have already had the virus; in any event, according to the Johns Hopkins risk assessment tool, he is in the same risk cohort as I am – 0.7 in 1 million chance of dying from COVID. And yet. Kneel or begone, thou saucy knave.

    I predict that the unvaccinated will never again in our lifetimes be able to fly in the United States – even years from now, when all this COVID B.S. is a long-gone memory. They will keep the bans in place just out of sheer vindictiveness at those who dared to refuse to kiss the glove. The very existence of vaccine passports, itself, is full substantiation of the claim of a dystopia.

    Our election process is irretrievably broken. In my state we are going to (nearly) 100% mail-in ballots, despite the fact that they completely break the secret ballot premise and are comically vulnerable to fraud. We will never again see a provably legitimate election in the United States. Even if we somehow had one, how would we know? How would we tell which boxes of “extra” ballots found at the last minute were authentic and which still had damp ink?

    I am sure there are still pockets of the Shire where Sharkey hasn’t yet sent his men, but the smoke hangs low over Bywater, and the felled trees are piling up in the lanes. It doesn’t do any good to duck your head and focus on the flowers in your own garden – eventually Sharkey’s men will come for you too.

  • Flubber

    Shouldn’t there be a higher threshold for declaring a dystopia? This ain’t even totalitarianism.

    Maybe. What you’re seeing now is the prequel to the dystopia.

    Once the elites have implemented their social credit system vaccine passports and global warming agenda, then you’ll have your dystopia.

  • bobby b

    August 30, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    “In my state . . . “

    Yes, that all does sound awful. You are indeed surrounded by voting sheep there. I note that, in such states, the voters are the ones enthusiastically pushing such measures. To the majority in your state, what you’ve just described is likely closer to Utopia than Dystopia. The Will Of The People can suck when the people themselves suck.

    But this is not totalitarianism. This is democracy unchecked by normal Constitutional protection. In my mind, totalitarianism needs concentrated power, defying the people. What you’ve described IS the people.

    And remember, Sharkey got his when a small band of free-thinkers – who had seen actual totalitarianism – raised the horn in Bywater and galvanized those who had been too meek to not be sheep, to come out and combine and fight.

    Maybe I’m naively optimistic, but I think that horn is started to blow again. That go-to weapon that has always worked – the accusation of racism and supremacism – just isn’t having the same old effect, and more and more people are tiring of Ted Sandyman.

    (But I did love your LOTR analogy.)

  • Ferox

    You are indeed surrounded by voting sheep there.

    Not so much surrounded as beset. The voters who regard this new (ab)normal as a Utopia mostly live on the west (Blue) side of the state; while we who endure them live on the east (much Redder, practically a crimson) side.

    Sharkey did indeed get his in the end, but the uprisers had to leave bodies strewn all over the Shire to get it done (including Sharkey’s, finally.) A lesson for our times?

  • Bruce

    “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.”

    John Harrington (1561-1612)

  • Paul Marks

    Fluber – yes a version of the Social Credit System is the aim, and bobby b will feel that increasingly in the time to come.

    Ferox – the point Ferox is making is it DOES NOT MATTER what people in his State vote for, as mass-mail-in-ballots mean institutional election fraud.

    There are elections in Russia and China – does that make Russia and China democracies?

    bobby b – I believe you believe in Minnesota.

    After the events in Minnesota in 2020 (lockdowns, mass looting and burning in Minneapolis, cult of George Floyd….) how can you be so relaxed?

    Perhaps you are just a very calm man. If so I envy you Sir – as I am a bit of hot-head myself.

  • Paul Marks

    Bruce – yes.

    For example, see how the knowledge that the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged (blatantly rigged) has gone down “the Memory Hole”.

    So many say things such as “people were very stupid to elect Joe Biden” as if the people did elect him – which they did NOT.

    Both the FBI and the “Woke” Corporations are on the watch for dissent.

  • Paul Marks

    Still Minnesota could be worse – for example many States have a worse DEBT position.

    Ferox – the Chinese have noticed they are being paid in fiat money.

    That is why they are buying real assets – such as land.

    Remember the Cantillon Effect – Richard Cantillon (yes three centuries ago).

    The fiat money benefits the people who get it (at the expense of everyone else) NOT because they pile it up and chant “look at my pile of fiat money”, but because they buy real assets with the fiat money (whilst it still has some value).

    It is not an accident that members of the elite, such as “Bill” Gates, have bought a lot of farm land and other real assets.

    The Western elite know the fiat Dollar farce is coming to an end.

    The Chinese also know the fiat Dollar farce is coming to an end.

    By the way – warning about Western “gold markets” and “silver markets”.

    They are riddled with “legal” fraud – much of the gold and silver they trade in DOES NOT EXIST.

    If you think you own gold or silver – then go and touch it.

    If you can not physically touch your gold or silver – then you do not own gold or silver.

    Same with farm land – or anything else.

    What you can not touch – you do not have.

  • Jacob

    I converse loudly and publicly with like-minded people
    I don’t live in the US. Still, from what I read, it depends on what you do – i.e. what your employment is. People who have some career and employment keep silent for justified fear for their job and career.
    It’s best to be retired and free…

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    August 31, 2021 at 9:20 am

    “bobby b – I believe you believe in Minnesota.”

    Paul: To be fair, I’m currently in South Dakota for a few more weeks, then moving on to Montana and Wyoming and Utah. But I still do believe in Minnesota outside of the Twin Cities. And even there the people show signs of growing spines. Weak signs, but still . . .