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

I’ve been pondering the Jo Brand acid “joke”. Sensible reaction: “Crap joke but just a joke, move along, nothing to see here.”

But maybe HMS Sensible had sailed, so perhaps every indignant reaction the Left has to jokes they dislike must be embraced & rammed down their throats as well. My strong preference is “For fuck sake, stop trying to get people fired over crap jokes, no matter how awful” and just apply that to everyone. But if that is not going to be an option, then perhaps we need to share the pain without mercy. The golden rule when people shoot at you is… shoot back

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

Government run operations tend to produce perverse incentives that have a habit of producing bad outcomes.

It depends on your definition of “bad”. If by “bad” you mean produces shitty products for hugely inflated prices, sure you are right. If by “bad” you mean “not corresponding to the thing that was promised” you’d also be mostly right. However, if by “bad” you mean “producing bad results for the people in charge” you’d be completely wrong. The goal of all government programs is twofold: get politicians re-elected, and grow and expand the budget and power of government departments. One need only look at the result over the past 100 years to see that it has, in those terms, been a roaring success.

The incentives are only “perverse” if you are not aligned with these two goals. Otherwise they are really quite effective in achieving their actual ends.

Fraser Orr

Samizdata quote of the day

In a Marxist view of the world, capital owners are not just disparate individuals, who all do their own thing, and who have little in common with one another. They are a social class, and in a Marxist perspective, a social class has agency of its own. Its members act collectively, to further their own class interests.

So for them, the issue of nationalisation and privatisation is not about the relative efficiency of the public and the private sector. It’s about class power. Nationalisation is not about reducing train fares or energy bills by a few pounds. It’s about reducing the power of “the capitalist class”, and transferring that power to “the working class”.

Of course, so far, state ownership has not been particularly “empowering” for ordinary people, neither in mixed economies like 1970s Britain, nor in fully socialised ones like the Soviet Union. This is a point which most Millennial Socialists would readily concede. But they would insist that public ownership could also take completely different forms, that it could mean genuine democratic control, with mass public participation. It has just never been properly tried.

They are wrong. But it’s a point that the remaining defenders of the market economy need to address. Which is what I’m doing in this book.

Kristian Niemietz

Samizdata quote of the day

Tory candidates’ past drug use is surely of interest to nobody outside the Media-Political Class. Which just underscores how self-obsessed and irrelevant that Class has become

– Eamonn Butler

Samizdata quote of the day

How can an organisation claim it does not discriminate on the grounds of religion – which is a set of beliefs – and then fire someone for expressing those beliefs outside the organisation?

Tim Newman

Samizdata quote of the day

And yet here’s the thing about that freedom. Why does, why should they, anyone need a licence from the government to export LNG? Note what this isn’t. It’s not a licence saying “and sure, your plant now meets standards.” With something as explosive as natural gas that’s fair enough perhaps, to require one of those. No, this licence is the government taking upon itself the power to regulate who you may sell your own produce to. Which isn’t actually freedom, is it?

Tim Worstall

Fun on Twitter…

“Corbyn’s policies will reduce hate crime in this country”

Yes indeed, Corbyn, being a Marxist & anti-Semite, will nationalise hate crime & it’s well know that nationalised industries are gawd-awful at doing what they set out to do, epidemiological research supports this.

Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

It really is astonishing. For quite some time, the Tory leadership’s bizarre actions made me suspect May & the party grandees knew something we didn’t. They were playing a diabolically cunning long-game, weaving some devious ploy unfathomable to mere mortals such as us. But I now realise I was mistaking a room full of well educated but basically stupid château-bottled shits for genius supervillains. And as I started adjusting my expectations of their smarts downwards, they kept coming up with displays of ineptitude & Westminster-bubble insularity that have me in a near perpetual state of amazement.

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

Happy City UK are one of a whole host of astroturf groups supported by government in order to lobby government for more government.

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

In the internet age, for a political party to get their message out, talking to the Old Media is an option, not a necessity.

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

Stephen Fry isn’t part of the alt-right. Nobody in their right mind believes he is. Anybody who says something this stupid is just virtue-signaling, performatively reminding the other members of their tribe that they don’t belong to the other tribe. Their eagerness to be more #woke than the next guy and/or gal drives them to say idiotic things like, “Stephen Fry is a racist.”

Jim Treacher

Samizdata quote of the day

BBC should be abolished, not because of blatant bias but because the whole idea of a state broadcaster was a terrible idea on day 1 of the BBC’s existence. And in the internet age, it is now an anachronistic bad idea. Bin it entirely or at least make it voluntary subscription

– Perry de Havilland