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 post-terror cultivation of passivity speaks to a profound crisis of – and fear of – the active citizen. It diminishes us as citizens to reduce us to hashtaggers and candle-holders in the wake of serious, disorientating acts of violence against our society. It decommissions the hard thinking and deep feeling citizens ought to pursue after terror attacks. Indeed, in some ways this official post-terror narrative is the unwitting cousin of the terror attack itself. Where terrorism pursues a war of attrition against our social fabric, seeking to rip away bit by bit our confidence and openness and sense of ourselves as free citizens, officialdom and the media diminish our individuality and our social role, through instructing us on what we may feel and think and say about national atrocities and discouraging us from taking responsibility for confronting these atrocities and the ideological and violent rot behind them. The terrorist seeks to weaken our resolve, the powers-that-be want to sedate our emotions, retire our anger, reduce us to wet-eyed performers in their post-terror play. It’s a dual assault on the individual and society.

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day

The anti-austerity narrative has taken on a life of its own. For large sections of the Left, “anti-austeritarianism” is no longer about a response to a recession. It has become a mindset in its own right. Its central tenet is that there is no such thing as economic constraints – there are only political choices. It is never “necessary” to cut spending on anything. It is always a deliberate choice. In this way, the anti-austerity mindset has really become an anti-economics mindset.

Kristian Niemietz

Samizdata quote of the day

Stop hiring white cis men (except as needed to get/retain people who are not white cis men) until the problem goes away. If you think this is a bad or un-serious idea, your sexism/racism/transphobia is showing.

Piper, as published on the “inclusion/exclusion” blog of the American Mathematical Society.

Samizdata quote of the day

Advancing victimhood as a meritorious state while simultaneously expanding the criteria by which it is established means that those seeking social status are in constant competition. This “oppression olympics” (as some have termed it) means that marginalized status will become defined in an increasingly divisive manner. In this way, victimhood culture sows the seeds of its own destruction.

In an ironic twist, a culture of victimhood resembles a culture of honor in a surprising number of ways: for example, both demand that grievances be addressed, often publicly. It could even be argued that victimhood has obtained a privileged position that is impossible to challenge without incurring significant social costs. A new set of norms have emerged on college campuses, where there is a perverse honor in claiming to be oppressed.

Sean Rife

Samizdata quote of the day

Unfortunately the Greek crisis is now all about politics in the countries that lent the money. That money, or a goodly chunk of it at least, is already gone. The continued economic devastation of Greece isn’t about getting the money back; it’s about not having to admit that the money is gone. That isn’t the way to run a continent, is it?

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

Progressive really means nasty, dictatorial, prurient, busy-body, fussbucketing, nanny statism. People who think that your business is their business and they should have the power to tell you what to do, what to eat and how to live your life – even to the point of policing your thoughts. That these people are thoroughly nasty is obvious from every pronouncement they make – and the Greens are probably the most extreme example we have in British politics. They ain’t referred to as watermelons for nothing.

Longrider

Samizdata quote of the day

This is not so much a realignment in British politics as the corrosion of the old alignments, the scrubbing out of the old dividing lines. May is making hay out of Labour’s demise, and her decision to champion Brexit – to attach herself, albeit opportunistically, to the democratic cry of the 17.4million – has boosted her stock. But the technocratic May is still living on borrowed time, time that is being extended by a weak and conflicted opposition that lacks the courage to neither thwart nor champion Brexit. A Tory landslide in June will mark both an extension of the public’s determination for Brexit, and a recognition of Labour’s disarray – not a rejuvenation of Toryism.

Tom Slater

Samizdata quote of the day

Have a room with a large number of people with one political opinion, and they may mistake that for objectivity

– Perry Metzger, remarked in a samizdata chat channel relating to this post.

Samizdata quote of the day

I’m not joking. I wrote last year about how many of the international bureaucracies are blindly asserting that higher taxes are pro-growth because government supposedly will productively “invest” any additional revenue. And this reflexive agitation for higher fiscal burdens has been very prevalent this week in New York City. It’s unclear whether participants actually believe their own rhetoric. I’ve shared with some of the folks the empirical data showing the western world became rich in the 1800s when fiscal burdens were very modest. But I’m not expecting any miraculous breakthroughs in economic understanding.

Daniel Mitchell

This poor guy

What could possibly go wrong?

Businesses such as hotels, licensed premises and taxi companies are being provided with awareness training to help them recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation. They are directed to call 101, quoting ‘Operation Makesafe’, should they suspect suspicious behaviour or activity on their premises or in their vehicles.

What if this sort of thing blows the problem out of proportion and makes people deeply suspicious of each other?

A widower who checked into a Travelodge near Thorpe Park in Chertsey said he was horrified when hotel employees called police over fears he was a paedophile.

Craig Darwell and his 13-year-old daughter, Millie, checked into the hotel near the theme park on Thursday (March 30).

Charming.

However, he said his and Millie’s short break had been “ruined” by the incident

No shit. Not to mention every other interaction with any stranger he has while out with his daughter for the next few years under constant fear of suspicion.

Samizdata quote of the day

When political commentators talk of the emergence of a post-truth world, they are really lamenting the end of an era when the truths promoted by the institutions of the state and media were rarely challenged. It’s a lament that’s been coming for a few years now. Each revolt of sections of the public against the values of the elites has been met with the riposte that people are no longer interested in the truth. What the elites really mean is that people don’t care about their version of the truth. So when the French celebrity philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy asserted that people have ‘lost interest in whether politicians tell the truth’, he was venting his frustration at an electorate that no longer shares his values.

Frank Furedi

Samizdata quote of the day

As the Daily Telegraph said on Tuesday – the government has got things the wrong way round on European Union regulations.

The position should be that all E.U. regulations on our domestic (internal) life are void when we leave the E.U. – unless it can be shown that a specific regulation serves a useful purpose (I would be very hard to convince on that point).

Sadly the government is saying “we will incorporate all the regulations into British law – and then decide which regulations we want to repeal later”.

That is the wrong way round – the burden of proof should be the other way round.

Paul Marks