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 – Rishi Sunak’s Big Plan

That’s why I hate “devolution” and wish that a Conservative government had had the balls to roll it back. But I might as well want a pet unicorn as hope for any vision from a Conservative politician. All we get is a smoking ban and compulsory maths till 18. That’s Rishi Sunak’s Big Plan.


Samizdata quote of the day – Man is born free but…

Rousseau: Man is born free but everywhere is in chains.

Marx: Man is born free but everywhere jobs.

Feminists: Woman is born free but everywhere men.

CRT: POC are born free (like Rousseau said) but everywhere wipipo.

Queer: Queers are born free but everywhere normality.

Kant: Man is born free but everywhere Reason.

Nietzsche: Man is born free but everywhere morals.

Nazis: German Volk are born free but everywhere Jews and queers and blacks and retards.

Hamas: Arab Muslims are born free but somewhere Jews.

James Lindsey

Samizdata quote of the day – only Israel

It seems that the usual rules don’t apply when it comes to Israel. The atrocity that happened last October was a reasonable justification for turning Gaza into glass, frankly. Rooting out and killing Hamas, crushing it completely would have been a proportionate response, yet before Israel had responded, there were calls for a ceasefire and accusations of genocide (a grossly misused word and certainly not applicable here). What would any other country have done?


Samizdata quote of the day – 1945 in reverse?

The result is that American public debate has shifted in a way that has taken America’s allies – and many Americans themselves – by surprise. The public takes peace for granted. “To some extent we are paying the price for our own success. In several generations now we have not had to deal with certain types of situations, or only very narrow slices of generations have had to deal with them since we’ve eliminated the draft. And so increasingly America is just in a very different place psychologically,” says Dr Haass.

In other words, Trumpism will not die with Trump, argues Mr Arnold, and betting British security on 300,000 swing voters every four years is not a viable long term policy.

“Trump is unpredictable. As military people say, hope cannot be part of the strategy. We have to understand there is a risk and we need to be ready for this risk,” says Mr Zagorodnyuk.

“And as such we need to understand what we are going to do to be self-sufficient. And it is actually possible. It is difficult but it is possible, especially with this massive technical transformation of the landscape of the world.”

Roland Oliphant

Samizdata quote of the day – social manias, epiphanies, and being ornery

We like to think we are ‘modern,’ as every population in the present has always fancied themselves, and we like to think we’re too rational and scientific to subscribe to lunacies like phrenology or bloodletting with leeches. But we’re the same as we’ve always been, just as vulnerable to getting seized en masse by goofball ideas as we ever were. ‘Some people are born in the wrong body’ is right in there. One of the passages in MANIA I’m most attached to is the one in which the narrator explains that she used to be confounded by mass atrocities of the past, but now they all made sense: Nazi concentration camps, Pol Pot’s killing fields, Stalin’s show trials, Mao’s cultural revolution. That’s what I concluded after Covid, when in the land of the Magna Carta literally overnight people abdicated every civil right that they had the very day before imagined to be their birthright: free speech, freedom of assembly, a free press, free movement, even the right to leave your own home. Obviously people will believe anything, and for something like National Socialism to triumph in the UK it would take Adolf Hitler at the most about three weeks.

– Lionel Shriver via Laura Dodsworth

Samizdata quote of the day – The unbearable sanctimony of the ‘pro-Palestine’ set

The moral hubris of these people is mind-blowing. Imagine how drunk on your own righteousness you would have to be, how in love with your own virtuous reflection, to imagine that your decision to boogie or not to boogie could reshape events in the Middle East. The idea that Olly Alexander withdrawing from Eurovision might help save Gaza is only outdone in dumbness by the idea that his remaining in Eurovision to yelp ‘Peace now!’ might help save Gaza. I hate to break it to you, fellas, but no one in Gaza, Israel, Iran, Qatar, America or anywhere else outside of the hip eateries of Dalston gives a solitary shit whether ‘Dizzy’ happens or not.

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day – the annals of state efficiency: only 75 years late

The government, in that form of the NHS, is only 75 years late in having a plan for that thing that they’ve been in charge of all these decades.

And there are people who disagree with us when we mutter that perhaps government planning isn’t the way to do things, eh?

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day – Yuval Noah Harari: ever wilder and sillier

“(Yuval Noah Harari is) really the worst prophet I’ve ever read,” says Megliloi. “Most of the predictions he made in the first book — that wars were over, that pandemics were over — went wrong. “Were we moving, as he claimed in Sapiens, towards empires? No, national sovereignty has been reasserted.”

Harari’s predictions have become even wilder and sillier. AI might produce a “useless class” of people, he predicted, since they “don’t have any skills that the new economy needs”. No wonder Dominic Sandbrook noted in 2018 how much he was beginning to resemble Alan Partridge. Others suggest he is becoming ever more messianic. While Harari is scathing about formal religion, he appears to be creating an ersatz religion of his own, Wesley J Smith suggested in a 2018 essay.

Andrew Orlowski

Gaza is in cultural crisis

Samizdata quote of the day – How did American capitalism mutate into American corporatism?

In free enterprise, the old rule is that the customer is always right. That’s a wonderful system sometimes called consumer sovereignty. Its advent in history, dating perhaps from the 16th century, represented a tremendous advance over the old guild system of feudalism and certainly a major step over ancient despotisms. It’s been the rallying cry of market-based economics ever since.

What happens, however, when government itself becomes a main and even dominant customer? The ethos of private enterprise is thereby changed. No longer primarily interested in serving the general public, enterprise turns its attention to serving its powerful masters in the halls of the state, gradually weaving close relationships and forming a ruling class that becomes a conspiracy against the public.

This used to go by the name “crony capitalism” which perhaps describes some of the problems on a small scale. This is another level of reality that needs an entirely different name. That name is corporatism, a coinage from the 1930s and a synonym for fascism back before that became a curse word due to wartime alliances. Corporatism is a specific thing, not capitalism and not socialism but a system of private property ownership with cartelized industry that primarily serves the state.

The old binaries of the public and private sector – widely assumed by every main ideological system –have become so blurred that they no longer make much sense. And yet we are ideologically and philosophically unprepared to deal with this new world with anything like intellectual insight. Not only that, it can be extremely difficult even to tell the good guys from the bad guys in the news stream. We hardly know anymore for whom to cheer or boo in the great struggles of our time.

Jeffrey Tucker

Samizdata quote of the day – pondering the Ides of March

People are losing the spirit of the Ides of March. It’s not about just stabbing. It’s about coming together to stab in groups.

– Joseph Scrimshaw

Samizdata quote of the day – it’s all in the punctuation

I have long been of the opinion that Google’s old motto was merely lacking in the proper punctuation. Whenever a Google employee thought, “Should I do the right thing?”, they looked to the company motto for their answer: “Don’t. Be Evil.”