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

Mercantilists literally believe (even when they deny the belief) that money is wealth – that to accumulate money is to accumulate wealth and that to spend money is to become less wealthy. This mercantilist “reasoning” is why, for example, mercantilists applaud exports (because exports are sold for money) and lament imports (because imports are paid for with money). Thus the mercantilist obsession with the balance of payments.

Economists counter this mercantilist belief by pointing out that money is valuable only because it can be exchanged for real goods and services. Ultimately, wealth is not money and money is not wealth; ultimately wealth is the use of real goods and services. People who envy Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates or Dave the hedge-fund manager across town don’t really envy Jeff’s, Bill’s, or Dave’s possession of billions of Federal Reserve Notes (or of pieces of paper or streams of electronic bits that are easily convertible into dollars or some other currency). What the envious envy is Jeff’s, Bill’s, and Dave’s luxurious homes, luxury automobiles, private jets, top-rate medical care, and regular consumption of other real goods and services that are not affordable in the same quantities by less-wealthy people.

Don Boudreaux

Samizdata quote of the day

When there are no unemployed then the various capitalists are in competition with each other to find the labour they wish to exploit. That competition raising the price paid for the labour, that is, wages go up. Full employment really does mean wages rise. It’s worth noting that minimum wages have somewhere between little and nothing to do with this. The current Federal such is $7.25 an hour. Walmart already pays $10 an hour, from next month $11. Competition in markets is thus very much more powerful than legislation, no?

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

And yet, given the scale of the backlash against Deneuve, especially against her suggestion that men should have the ‘right to hit on women’, you could be forgiven for thinking she had put her name to a letter asserting that a women’s place is in the home. We’ve had French women’s rights activists denouncing Deneuve as ‘a bit like the awkward work colleague or annoying uncle who doesn’t understand what’s happening’. And we’ve had actor and director Asia Argento tweet: ‘Catherine Deneuve and other French women tell the world how their interiorised misogyny has lobotomised them to the point of no return.’ In other words, if you refuse to fall in line with our victimhood narrative, we’ll casually rebrand you as out-of-touch, ignorant and mentally ill. Nice. It seems the irony is lost on them that the only misogyny being perpetrated here is against female #MeToo dissenters like Deneuve.

Emily Dinsmore

Samizdata quote of the day

So this is how feminism ends – in a room full of half-pissed, half-pissed-off celebrities vying to be the most serious about sexual harassment. This says a lot about how low this once interesting political movement has sunk. These bejewelled movie stars don’t speak on behalf of women, and their words of solidarity ring hollow. Last night wasn’t about making women free – it was about virtue-signalling elites clapping each other on the back. If this is what feminism has become, just another red carpet accessory, then good riddance to it. Now, maybe, we can have a serious conversation about what kind of political movement women and men need.

Ella Whelan

Protests in Iran and the Golden Globes

I see a great deal about protests by multimillionaires who work in show business in the USA, but very little about protests in Iran. Have the protests in Iran been completely put down by the Revolutionary Guard? And if so, what is happening in the aftermath? Is there a brutal crackdown on those woman daring to not wear their headscarves or… what? As I look to Oprah for so much of my news, I wonder if she knows or even has any opinions on the topic?

A couple show biz leftwingers share a moment together

Samizdata quote of the day

I am hardly a Trump supporter, but ask yourself: would a book saying everything his enemies want you to think about him is true sell? And would the media be guaranteed to market the hell out of it for free? Huh, what’s truth got to do with anything?

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

The wealth gap is not a problem. It is the product of individuals using their liberty to pursue interests that are most satisfying to them: either producing goods and services for others or consuming what others produce. Those who serve many accumulate wealth.

There is a problem when there is no wealth gap. Through various means of wealth redistribution, authorities attempt to equalize outcomes and inadvertently create a permanent underclass. Also, the reduction in wealth via property confiscation reduces the incentive to meet the needs of others. Fewer goods and services are produced and less wealth is created. Ultimately a death spiral occurs, and we all lose.

Jay Owen

Samizdata quote of the day

Elizabeth Warren is no more able to verify a climate scientist is accurately interpreting data than an illiterate farmer could tell if a bishop was faithfully reading the words of the bible. As for the message, a climate scientist is equally likely to spout self-serving guff as any high priest that’s walked this Earth, safe in the knowledge the average worshipper has no way of challenging them and in any case wouldn’t dare

Tim Newman

Samizdata quote of the day

“Ordinary people can’t be trusted to make the right decisions about what’s best for themselves and others. That’s why we need government to decide for them.”

“And who will we trust to decide who these government officials are?”

“Ordinary people, of course. It’s only fair.”

I hope you see the irony here.

T.K.Coleman

Samizdata quote of the day

The BBC were interviewing an ex police officer today who was complaining that it wasn’t their fault because of “cuts” and they couldn’t resource their investigations properly. This is nonsense. The cases were assigned an investigation officer. He – or she – failed to do their job properly. They also don’t need “resources” to forward all of the evidence to the defence team. They fucked up. This has much to do with politicising the police and the culture in which they now operate. They have gone from not believing the “victim” to believing them unconditionally. Somewhere along the way, they lost the ability to conduct an impartial investigation of all of the relevant evidence. To do this they need to take a neutral stance of neither believing nor not believing until the evidence determines whether there is a case to answer. Then and only then, seek to charge.

Longrider

Samizdata quote of the day

Some years back, I decided I had to quit the teaching profession to which I had dedicated half my life. The modern academy, I felt, was so far gone that restoration was no longer possible. Indeed, I now believe that complete collapse is the only hope for the future, but as Woody Allen said about death, I’d rather not be there when it happens.

David Solway

Samizdata quote of the day

When I was in Melbourne some government body or other put on a display of ‘Aboriginal culture’ in Federation Square and advertised it all over town. I guessed in advance that it would consist of a bunch of primitives sat around bashing drums while metropolitan white folk looked on as if they were visiting a zoo. Child-like art would on display wrapped in copious quantities of mumbo-jumbo. I passed by one Saturday afternoon and sure enough, that’s exactly what it was. A more patronising exhibition I couldn’t imagine, and it must have been soul-destroying for any Aborigine who aspires to be something more than a museum piece for liberal whites.

Tim Newman