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 suggestion that foreign-born terrorists should, perhaps, be asked to leave and build their murderous theocracy elsewhere would make the people who write and enforce our laws choke on their quinoa salad.

Konstantin Kisin

Samizdata quote of the day

There’s a great deal of vanity involved in all of this. Our political elites, encouraged by a priestly caste of experts, love to pose as miracle-workers. To them, and to us who elect them to office, I would every day recite Ormerod’s final dictum: “We may intend to achieve a particular outcome, but the complexity of the world, even in apparently simple situations, appears to be so great that it is not within our power to ordain the future.” Only when this lesson is internalised will we begin to emerge from the age of failure.

Martin Gurri

Samizdata quote of the day

“Schumer-Manchin won’t reduce inflation, won’t reduce the budget deficit, and it won’t reduce the world’s temperature. What it will do is transfer some $369 billion from taxpayers and drug companies to the pockets of green energy businesses and investors. It will tighten the hold that politicians have on the allocation of capital, as they pick winners and losers with their grants and tax credits. Everyone will get a nice warm feeling as they pretend they are cooling the climate.”

Wall Street Journal ($), commenting on the latest abomination to pass through the House of Representatives. It points that the supposedly “green” parts of this bill will, according to Danish “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg, reduce the estimated global temperature rise at the end of this century by all of 0.028 degrees Fahrenheit in the optimistic [United Nations scenario] case. And meanwhile China proceeds apace with building coal-fired power stations.

Samizdata quote of the day

“When did you hear any public figure extol cheap energy as an agent of poverty alleviation? When did you hear any historian describe how coal, and later oil, liberated the mass of humanity from back-breaking drudgery and led to the elimination of slavery? For 10,000 years, the primary source of energy was human muscle-power, and emperors on every continent found ways to harness and exploit their fellows. But why bother with slaves when you can use a barrel of sticky black stuff to do the work of a hundred men – and without needing to be fed or housed? The reason no one says these things (other than Matt Ridley) is to be blunt, that it is unfashionable. The high-status view is that we are brutalising Gaia, that politicians are in hock to Big Oil, and that we all ought to learn to get by with less – a view that is especially easy to take if you spend the lockdown being paid to stay in your garden, and have no desire to go back to commuting.”

Dan Hannan

I remember reading TS Ashton’s book on the Industrial Revolution many years ago as an undergraduate, and it was emphatic that no serious civilisation lifts out of poverty without an Industrial Revolution. Even Karl Marx, wrong as he was on so much around economics, gave grudging respect to the IR in his Communist Manifesto. (Old Soviet propaganda posters would show pictures of rosy-cheeked workers in front of factories belching out smoke.)

Samizdata quote of the day

Amnesty’s leaders are unable to morally distinguish between democracies that have blots on the system and totalitarian regimes where the blot is the system; nor between democracies that may err in defending themselves & terrorist attackers that deliberately target civilians

Hillel Neuer

Samizdata quote of the day

Everything the Tories did to crash the economy, Labour criticised them for doing too little of.

– Guy Herbert

Samizdata quote of the day

Assume all public bodies have the same goal – and it isn’t what it says on the tin. You might think the Committee for the Promotion of Postage Stamp Collections is obsessed with postage stamps, or the Sewage Treatment Works Agency is fascinated by sewage. Actually they both do the same thing: they grow their budgets. They do this by talking about the vital importance of postage stamps and sewage, yes, but building their empire, creeping their mission and employing more people is the main thing they strive to do every day. Evidence for this comes from their public pronouncements which are dominated by demands for greater budgets, and their private conversations, ditto. In all of recorded history, there is probably no instance of a quango requesting a smaller budget.

Matt Ridley

Samizdata quote of the day

The ex-soldier’s supposed crime? He had posted a trans-BLM-swastika on social media. This emblem was originally designed and posted by Laurence Fox and re-posted by many others – including the Daily Mail. Its purpose was to highlight the authoritarianism of “trans-activist” groups such as Stonewall, whose influence runs so deeply in the police (and in Whitehall, local government, universities and employers) that one of the attending police officers was even, according to Harry’s report, wearing a rainbow badge saying “Hampshire Police” on it.

Harry is right to say that the rainbow flag is a political symbol, and that the police are legally obligated to be impartial (but they aren’t). Imagine the situation at some Hampshire Constabulary office where these same officers were sitting down assessing the complaint they’d apparently received about the ex-soldier’s post mocking the rainbow flag – which is a lawful statement in common law and also protected by Article 10 of the ECHR. They can hardly have been unbiased – one look down at their rainbow badges would have told them what to do. They simply cannot claim that they acted impartially when they themselves wear as insignia the very symbol being mocked.

Ian Rons

And by the way, I think this is the swastika giving the wokesters the vapours…

Samizdata quote of the day

[The WEF crew and associated elites] are not Marxists. Marxism is rightly discredited (it really is) to all but a lunatic fringe. Even ‘Communist’ China is not really Marxist, not in any way that Karl Marx would have recognised.

These people owe far more ideologically to Henri de Saint-Simon or even Giovanni Gentile, which makes them far more dangerous, because so few people have any idea who Saint-Simon or Gentile were.

– Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

We need to talk about how demented the elites’ crusade against modern farming has become. As a result of the global lockdowns and the war in Ukraine, the world is experiencing some pretty serious food shortages. A report published by the UN last month said that around 180million people are dealing with ‘food crisis’ in 2022, and an additional 19million people are expected to face ‘chronic undernourishment’ in 2023. And what are the elites doing in the face of this crisis of sustenance? Bizarrely, perversely, they’re making it harder for farmers to grow crops, to make food. This is worse than fiddling while Rome burns. It’s flicking matches while Rome burns.

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day

The Tories are skilled marketers of the “freedom” side in that equation. Thus, we find Truss promising to “liberalise” planning laws and Sunak urging the need for more post-Brexit “deregulation”. But the main populist element in the Conservative government’s mandate cannot be ignored: “take back control”. That means securing the nation’s porous borders, having a zero-tolerance policy for any indulgent woke guff which distracts vital public services from fulfilling their true purpose, repatriating our laws and courts, presiding over infrastructure projects which serve the common good, and rediscovering that whackiest of reactionary notions: that the police exist to suppress crime.

The police in modern Britain may be the best example of control and freedom being abused in equal measure. Soft on actual crime, they take a serious interest whenever a law-abiding person strays from the shackles of political correctness. They will sooner quiz a TERF than catch a thief.

Harrison Pitt

Samizdata quote of the day

“AI, machine learning, robotics and the power of computational science hold the potential to drive explosive economic growth and profoundly transform a diverse array of sectors, while providing humanity with countless technological improvements in medicine and healthcare, financial services, transportation, retail, agriculture, entertainment, energy, aviation, the automotive industry and many others. Indeed, these technologies are already deeply embedded in these and other industries and making a huge difference.”

“But that progress could be slowed and in many cases even halted if public policy is shaped by a precautionary-principle-based mindset that imposes heavy-handed regulation based on hypothetical worst-case scenarios. Unfortunately, the persistent dystopianism found in science fiction portrayals of AI and robotics conditions the ground for public policy debates, while also directing attention away from some of the more real and immediate issues surrounding these technologies.”

Adam Thierer