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

What’s interesting about this Florida school shooting is that events are revealing themselves in such a way that not even the most statist of gun controlling media types are able to spin the narrative to their ends. The old adage that “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away”… well, that’s a pithy line, and it hits home. It also assumes that the police are minutes away. Not in this case. In fact, the police were seconds away, yet they didn’t intervene. In Parkland, it wasn’t that the state couldn’t protect you – no, it could have. Actually, the state wouldn’t protect you. You were on your own.

What message should the ordinary citizen take away from this? That it is clear and painfully obvious they need to protect themselves.

Best justification for the 2nd Amendment in my lifetime at least.

James Waterton

Samizdata quote of the day

The old argument about the science of socialism was that it would be more efficient than capitalism and markets. Eliminate all that waste of competition and plan what is to be produced, by whom, where, and we’ll all have more stuff. We’ll be richer in short.

Then we went and tested the contention to destruction and 1989 showed that it was incorrect.

Oh well, not the first nor the last scientific or political proposition shown to be wrong. What’s much more interesting is that the justification for the same policies has changed in this modern age. For all too many people still insist we should be doing those same things, they just trot out different reasons as to why we should. Some that it would be fairer that way, others even going so far as to insist that we shouldn’t have economic growth therefore planning and socialism.

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

There are really only two types of people: those who want to win in competition, and those who would prefer to shut competition down. The former are the strivers and entrepreneurs; the latter the monopolists and cronies. Philosophically, which are you?

Arthur Brooks, for context follow the link.

Samizdata quote of the day

“Moreover, an assault-weapon ban (along with a ban on high-capacity magazines) would gut the concept of an armed citizenry as a final, emergency bulwark against tyranny. No credible person doubts that the combination of a reliable semiautomatic rifle and a large-capacity magazine is far more potent than a revolver, bolt-action rifle, or pump-action shotgun. A free citizen armed with an assault rifle is more formidable than a free citizen armed only with a pistol. A population armed with assault rifles is more formidable than a population armed with less lethal weapons. The argument is not that a collection of random citizens should be able to go head-to-head with the Third Cavalry Regiment. That’s absurd. Nor is the argument that citizens should possess weapons “in common use” in the military. Rather, for the Second Amendment to remain a meaningful check on state power, citizens must be able to possess the kinds and categories of weapons that can at least deter state overreach, that would make true authoritarianism too costly to attempt.”

David French, at National Review.

Samizdata quote of the day

Yesterday the Labour leader posted a video to his social media accounts. Dogged for days by accusations he was complicit in passing information in multiple meetings to the Cold War Czechoslovak agent Jan Sarkocy, and having dodged questions on the topic by the press, Corbyn (or Agent Cob as the Statni Bezoecnost called him) decided he would not answer the questions but attack the press that were asking them.

Matt Kilcoyne

Samizdata quote of the day

It’s only when you read Leviticus that you realise just how into food, drink, clothes, haircuts and beards God is. He comes across as some kind of allegedly divine, yet utterly materialistic hipster.

– ‘Deschain’ commenting over on the Guardian

Samizdata quote of the day

When host Andrew Neil said survival rates for some cancers were worse in the UK than in Costa Rica and Brazil, Soubry responded, ‘And?’. When Andrews said, ‘The principle of universal access has been adopted by everyone, but the centralised bureaucratic system has not and that’s why they have better patient outcomes… Can’t we just look at these systems to try to get some better healthcare in the UK?’, Johnson replied, ‘Why?’.

As frustrating as it was to watch their cloth-eared reactions, it at least revealed the absurdity of what has now become the standard response from politicians when it comes to discussing the NHS. This abject denial of any problems within our healthcare system has resulted in the NHS being ringfenced from criticism. Today, criticising the NHS amounts to heresy.

Naomi Firsht

Samizdata… er… Chinese word of the day: Baizuo

The word baizuo is, according to political scientist Zhang Chenchen, a Chinese word that ridicules Western “liberal elites”. He further defined the word “baizuo” with the definition “People who only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”. The term has also been used to refer to perceived double standards of the Western media, such as the alleged bias on reporting about Islamist attacks in Xinjiang.

The use of the word “Baizuo” could be an insult on the Chinese Internet.


Noted 😀

Samizdata quote of the day

Over the past 100 years, women have gained so much. Unlike those in 1918, we can vote, work, live independently, divorce, have sex without getting pregnant; we are free agents. Yet too much of contemporary feminism and mainstream politics seem determined to row back some of these hard-won freedoms. To mark the centenary of votes for women, prime minister Theresa May promised to make it illegal to intimidate politicians. She was largely spurred on to this by female politicians’ complaints in recent years that they face abuse online. In the name of ‘protecting women’, May is seriously threatening our right to protest against powerful people.

Ella Whelan

Samizdata quote of the day

Next time you hear someone talking about the triumph of ‘neo-liberalism’, or the prevalence of free markets, remind them that the financial markets have been explicitly state-dependent for a decade. And this is not some unintended policy side-effect. The central banks got what they wanted. They hoped to push up financial asset prices, both to keep borrowing costs down – financial prices and interest rates generally move in inverse directions – as well as to make people and institutions feel wealthier in the hope they would spend more. It’s proved much easier to stimulate financial wealth than it is to help bring about real new wealth creation through producing more goods and services efficiently.

Phil Mullan

Samizdata quote of the day

In a recent comedy routine, Chappelle provided a succinct explanation of why it makes more sense for the United States to import some goods from China rather than try to pursue a protectionist trade policy aimed at producing everything domestically. Chappelle summarized President Trump’s position vis-à-vis China: “I’m gonna go to China, and I’m gonna get these jobs from China and bring ‘em back to America.” Chappelle then interrupted his Trump soliloquy, asking: “For what, so iPhones can be $9,000? Leave that job in China where it belongs … I wanna wear Nikes, I don’t wanna make those things. Stop trying to give us Chinese jobs.”

Allan Golombek

Samizdata quote of the day

In South Sudan, food aid is used as a weapon and is either looted and destroyed or blocked from reaching those in areas controlled by the opposition. Similar instances occur in Somalia where aid organizations are heavily taxed, which results in additional funds that are used to perpetuate the conflict. In fact, receiving U.S. food aid literally feeds the violence and is positively correlated with a higher probability and increased duration of civil war.

Tirzah Duren