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

“There is no winner to the victimhood Olympics,”

Vivek Ramaswamy, interviewed here by Texan Congressman Dan Crenshaw.

Ramaswamy has founded a new investment business, Strive, that, shockingly, focuses more on building returns for investors than engaging in political positions. He is the author also of Woke Inc, an indictment of ideas that are hostile to free enterprise taking root in the boardroom. More power to this chap, I say.

Samizdata quote of the day

“If you decided to stop working for the better part of two years, and to maintain your income solely through borrowing, you’d end up worse off. Almost everyone understands that on a personal level. But we struggle to extend the logic to the nation. During the lockdowns, the Government paid people not to produce things, and funded the difference by printing money. A decline in the production of real-world goods and services, combined with an increase in the number of pounds and pence in circulation, would mean inflation even without the Ukrainian conflict. Yet commentators and MPs who opposed every loosening of restrictions (including Starmer) now talk about the cost of living crisis as if it were some wanton act of ministerial sadism.”

Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph (£)

The problem in my view is that on economics, or indeed on certain other topics where people need to understand cause and effect, the education system in this country, and indeed much of our culture, is against an understanding of cause/effect beyond the concrete experiences of daily life. People seem unable to think in terms of concepts. The question is whether there are sufficient people to point these links out between rising prices, poverty, and a policy of “work for nothing” paid for by printing money. Much hinges on making the case.

Samizdata quote of the day

The West is raising a crippled generation. People born in the past 5 to 25 years are more obese, less intelligent, more depressed, less happy, more conflicted, more prone to drug abuse, less proud of their country, and less encouraged by the authorities than those born even 10 years prior. A monstrous generation, ideologically besieged by what external observers looking for our weaknesses call a ‘bizarre horde of savages,’ is currently being shaped by our schools, media, and propagandists. Our youth have been taught to hate themselves, their own culture, and their own history. Their weak intellectual ability means they will struggle to decipher what has happened to them or who they are. Relative to generations as recent as Generation X, our youth are unhealthy, anxious, socially shy, prone to flee towards online gaming and offline drugs, stuck in victimhood narratives, angry at the world, and lonely.

What is this crippled generation going to do once it gains adulthood and power? We know they will have low productivity, low social skills, and a poor understanding of the world. What about their hearts though – will they at least have humanity and compassion for their fellow man? Sadly, what we have taught them in this area leads us to predict that when the going gets tough, they are not going to blink twice about sending millions into death camps if their weak minds can be manipulated into thinking that doing so will save them. We are producing a Frankenstein generation.

Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, Michael Baker

My dear friends on the Left: what happened to you?

Half a century ago, when I was a young man, you were the ones celebrating individuality and anything-goes self-expression.

Back then, you were the ones burning the draft cards and defying authority. Today you’re a masked lump sitting on an airport bench, scolding with narrowed eyes anyone who delights in the air touching her face. What happened to you?

Back then, you were the ones demanding to be heard, saying the things the establishment didn’t want to hear, speaking truth to power. Today the phrase “free speech” terrifies you, and you offer a dozen excuses why we’re better off muzzled and restrained by those in power, like some kind of pet.

Henry Racette

(h/t David Foster)

Samizdata quote of the day

“It says a great deal about the impotence of the European Union’s response to the Ukraine crisis that Poland should have emerged as the bloc’s most effective cheerleader in confronting the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. It was only a few months ago that Brussels was seeking to demonise Poland as a rogue state over accusations that it was violating the EU’s democratic agenda. This led the European Court of Justice to rule in favour of denying Warsaw access to more than 75 billion euros in funds. Today, with Poland taking the lead role in condemning Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the EU’s attempts to humiliate the Poles appear ill-judged, to say the least.”

Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph (£)

Samizdata quote of the day

Once upon a time there were Progressives who actually believed in progress, who despite their flaws did believe in a brighter and better future. These were supplanted c. 1970 by a new Left with the new motto “Learn to live with less, you hate-filled greedy bastards!” The Apollo program was the last hurrah of the old Progressives and Earth Day environmentalism was a manifestation of the new Left that supplanted them.

Now those actually-for-progress Progressives had some major flaws. One was a willingness to bulldoze people’s personal plans in favor of their own Big Plans For Society. Another was to seriously underestimate just how poisonous socialism and government regulation are to an economy. But they still favored a better, brighter, more prosperous future in a way the “Learn to live with less!” Earth Day leftists did not.

Deep Lurker

Samizdata quote of the day

The anti-anti-Putin Left are most usefully described as “campists”, whose geopolitical philosophy is summed up by the phrase “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. America is the font of all evil, therefore its opponents must have something going for them.

The British-Syrian writer Leila Al-Shami calls this “the anti-imperialism of idiots”: “This pro-fascist Left seems blind to any form of imperialism that is non-western in origin. It combines identity politics with egoism. Everything that happens is viewed through the prism of what it means for westerners — only white men have the power to make history.” Russia’s unprovoked war of imperialist aggression is as inconvenient to campists as China’s oppression of the Uyghurs. Either they must find a way to blame America after all or they must downplay the issue. Left-wing support for corrupt authoritarians such as Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega is disappointing enough, but sympathy with Vladimir Putin, Bashir al-Assad and Xi Jinping is symptomatic of a morally broken worldview.

Dorian Lynskey, making observations that also apply to certain libertarians/conservatives in the grip of the Americocentric delusion.

St George’s Day (Part II)

From the ever-brilliant Kristian Niemietz

Click for slightly larger version

Samizdata quote of the day

Information liberalism was already in trouble in 2016, when Brexit and the election of Donald Trump made it clear that freeing information didn’t always produce progressive results. Perhaps, respectable voices began to suggest nervously, all this fake news and misinformation means more discourse isn’t always better.

Since then, ever more of our public life has been forced online. And with it, information management has intensified and grown more organised. Facebook has censored anti-vaccine content; UnHerd interviews and even British MPs have been removed from YouTube; “free speech” messaging app Parler was kicked off Apple and Android platforms after the Capitol riot; Donald Trump was banned from Twitter; what turned out to be a true story about Joe Biden’s son was censored at a delicate moment in Biden’s election campaign.

In the digital age, then, the right side of history no longer wants to free information, but to curate the right message. To that end, many erstwhile cheerleaders of free speech have pivoted to claiming for themselves the place of those bishops and inquisitores haereticae pravitatis Leo X tasked in 1515, with controlling what could be published.

Mary Harrington

Samizdata quote of the day

It is important to be open minded, but not so open minded that one’s brain falls out. This is one of those rare moments in the affairs of states where the moral and geopolitical realities are as clear as night and day.

Perry de Havilland, seen lurking in the Daily Telegraph comment section (£)

Samizdata quote of the day

The job of the BBC is to inform us of the Governments intention to send migrants to Rwanda. Our job is to determine whether we deem it racist or not.

Chris Samps

We did this but we didn’t do this, so stop saying we did this, because we didn’t do what we did

It works the same way in all “democratic” governments – “Yes we attempted to censor them, but we did NOT attempt to censor them!”

For further study on the phenomenon, might I refer to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s definitive “I was in the building that day and I was TERRIFIED FOR MY LIFE, but I was not in the building that day…” Or maybe Doctor ( – I use the term loosely – ) Fauci’s famous retort, “Yes I funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Lab, but I did NOT fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Lab so stop accusing me of it!”

Remember please, the Party is the instrument of History and there are no other valid referents, so if the Party declares both a thing and its exact opposite in the same sentence, it is perfectly correct throughout; and you are mistaken, or racist, or misogynist, or some sort of hater or maybe even male or white or BOTH if you draw attention to it. The good news is that you won’t be taken straight out back and shot, not yet at least – but they’re working on it.

– Commenter Y. Knott