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 tech insurgent’s battle for the future

Stagnation is an illusion. We grow or we die, and our planet is a museum of civilizations gatekept to their extinction.

It’s a grim question, but worth asking: are we improving our world today, or are we living in the ruins of a world that died with our grandparents?

The last moon landing took place on December 14th, 1972. Today, there are ninety-three nuclear reactors in the United States. We’ve built 3 since the year 2000. Following a century of complications, and a full decade building, New York City recently opened three new Subway stations along Second Avenue. There is presently no city in America capable of building a complete underground rail system. Fortunately, that knowledge hasn’t yet been lost. We’ve just been gatekept to paralysis. But a century from now, with no course correction, who will be left to teach our grandkids what to build, or how?

Mike Solana (£)

Or as the excellent Virginia Postrel phased it in her great book “The Future and Its Enemies”… Stasists vs. Dynamists

Samizdata quote of the day – GDP doesn’t deal well with free

Productivity isn’t flat today in the slightest. It’s just turning up in the consumer surplus, not GDP. As with my favourite example, WhatsApp. That is in the economic statistics as a decline in productivity (no, really). It’s also giving 2 billion people free telecoms. As another (non-NL so far at least) economist, Hal Varian puts it, GDP doesn’t deal well with free.

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day – the racism of never blaming Hamas for anything

So rescuing hostages is a war crime now. A ‘grave, grave war crime’, in fact. That’s according to the Guardian’s Owen Jones who is outraged that IDF troops used a humanitarian truck to sneak into the town of Nuseirat where they rescued four of their hostages from the clutches of Hamas and its local heavies. Kenneth Roth, formerly of Human Rights Watch, is also fuming over the IDF’s Trojan Horse antics, reminding Israel that it has a legal duty ‘not to disguise soldiers as civilians’. These people are nuts. What do they expect the IDF to do? Knock on the doors of the fascists holding their compatriots and say: ‘Can we have our Jews back, please?’

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day – the need for an actual liberal party edition

“I am under no illusion that even the most passionate and articulate defence of classically liberal values would be an enormous vote winner. But in an election likely to return a Labour government who will, by their nature, proselytise about the good the state can do, and with a Conservative Party which has in recent years shown a frankly alarming tendency towards illiberalism, implementing sugar taxes and attempting to ban smoking forever. The country desperately needs a counterweight to slow our seemingly inevitable slide towards an ever expanding state. Even if the Tories don’t get completely annihilated at the ballot box they are likely to spend at least the next six months tearing themselves apart in a leadership election. The Lib Dems will be providing the real opposition for a while and they need to stand for something.”

Emma Revell, in CityAM.

Singapore’s example

“In the Singaporean case, economic growth has proved to be an upshot of cultural values; it requires a critical mass of the population to hold a certain moral and political psychology, and a particular set of dispositions about enterprise and industry, risk, and change. Cultural values are sticky, and to change them, some moment of acute crisis, when it appears that the costs of continuing down a certain path are greater than shifting course, is required. Yet while crises are necessary for cultural change, they are not sufficient: they represent moments of maximal opportunity, though they must be exploited. And for this, skilled politicians with judgement and a strategy are required.”

James Vitali

Samizdata quote of the day – the EU ‘elections’ vindicate Brexit

Some 200 million Europeans will not be voting for an EU government but rather for a chamber to rubber-stamp the laws passed down from the unelected self-sustaining oligarchy that is the European Commission. It is rather as if Sir Humphrey really did rule from on high in Whitehall, writing all parliamentary bills which were then nodded through by a compliant Commons with maybe just a change here and there.

Real parliaments hold governments to account – they don’t just fiddle around with the details. The EU has sucked powers away from national governments but without replicating the infrastructure and institutions of a functioning democracy. It has created a strange hybrid structure whereby the first the public hears about legislation which will affect their lives tends to be when it is too late, when it is passed to national governments with the instruction to incorporate it into national law – under threat of sanctions.

Spectator editorial (£)

Samizdata quote of the day – the never-ending uselessness of “One Nation” Conservatives

The historical record is clear; “One-Nation” Conservatism is an unelectable platform. It is completely toxic, politically. The existence of challenger parties on the Right is possible only because the Conservative Party is still under the malign influence of individuals who believe that vast legal immigration is an unmixed economic good which creates ‘concerns’ which must be addressed by listening. Who think that ‘trans’ and ‘woke’ are just culture war distractions from the next bold investment in Britain’s ever nascent life sciences industry. Who think that we must be a ‘Net Zero superpower’ if we want to maintain our ‘soft power’ abroad. There is no political constituency in Britain for these people. They are kept in Parliament because of tribal Tory voters and the fact that the alternative is usually worse.

Sydney Carton, The Critic.

Samizdata quote of the day – America’s elites aren’t as smart as they imagine

Then there’s Trump. The New York State district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is a Democrat with powerful political motives to bring down the likely Republican nominee. That should be a scandal but, in the ethical muddle of our age, it seemingly isn’t. The actual charges concocted by Bragg against Trump I leave for the legal experts to parse. None of them rose to the level of Clinton’s server or Biden’s garage sale of secrets. But Trump is the monster that haunts the nightmares of the privileged class. He must be prosecuted in multiple times and places, convicted, fined hundreds of millions, imprisoned, annihilated, pulverised.

The whole process stinks of desperation.

Martin Gurri

Samizdata quote of the day – Islamism must be on the agenda in this election

Islamist extremism remains the predominant terror threat in the UK. Islamist terrorists have claimed the lives of 94 people from the 2005 7/7 bombings onwards (far-right terrorists, for all the media hype about this threat, have killed just three people in the same period). The weekly ‘pro-Palestine’ demos in London and elsewhere have given vent to all manner of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Polling shows that anti-Semitic views (while nowhere near a majority) are more likely to be held by Muslims than the general population – especially by Muslims who are poorly integrated into British society. Sectarian voting along religious lines is also fast becoming a grim feature of our politics.

Fraser Myers

Samizdata quote of the day – Britain’s new far right

Though this new far right will present as liberal progressive Islam, their ideology is closer to that of Reinhard Heydrich than Caroline Lucas. But white liberals are too blindsided by their hatred of the white working class to recognise the Nazism in their own ranks. They see the brown faces around them and applaud themselves for being inclusive and diverse, even if that means embracing Hamas supporters and cheering on rapists. Evil no longer shows up in black uniforms with skull insignia. It wears liberal institutions as a skinsuit and adopts their language


Unlike white far right groups, the new Islamic fascist movement is highly organised, motivated, funded (by you) and unopposed politically. They’re competent and quite ruthless in ways white far right never could be. Our zombie political class doesn’t realise what’s happening, and wouldn’t act even if they did. The Labour party is only too happy to turn a blind eye to it when it suits them. As such, the Labour party are collaborators in what is a far right takeover of our cities.

Pete North

Closely related:

Samizdata quote of the day – you can buy a scientist as easily as a politician

But the Royal Society’s recent honours to some of the world’s most controversial scientific figures reveals the decline of institutional science into ideological blobbery.

Ben Pile. The Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy, has honoured Anthony Fauci, and in doing so confirmed its role as the guardian, not of empirical discovery, but politicised institutional Science.

Samizdata quote of the day – the state is not your friend, NHS edition

That the NHS has been able to avoid reckoning with its own catastrophic failure owes a great deal to how it has become sanctified in modern Britain. To the fact that it is treated and used by our cultural and political establishment as something close to a state religion. We’re not meant to challenge it. We’re meant to worship it. We’re not meant to question it. We’re meant to give ‘thanks’ to it, as we did during the early stages of the Covid pandemic.

Tim Black