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 morbid comedy we are destined to watch

Finally, a Labour government will be very, very funny. We’ll enjoy Keir Starmer frantically attempting to make sense of his little bag of contradictions. We’ll eat popcorn as the Corbynites feud with the New Labour nostalgists. We’ll watch MPs who can barely spell “policy” do policy (of course, that’s nothing new but it will be fun to have a different cast of characters). This might be small consolation, but what is life without morbid comedy?

Ben Sixsmith

Samizdata quote of the day – Britain’s unilateral disarmament

What I love about this new encryption law is how much easier it will be for foreign governments to spy on British citizens and enterprises now that Britain has unilaterally disarmed.

– Perry Metzger

Samizdata quote of the day – the climate fanatics are coming for your car

Taking the meme ‘Everyone I Don’t Like Is Hitler’ to dizzying new heights, now we’re being told it’s far right to want to drive your car. Motorist and fascist, peas in a pod. Protesters against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and so-called 15-minute cities – policies being adopted in various regions of the UK that will severely limit where and how often a person can drive his car – have been damned as hard-right loons. Who but a modern-day Brownshirt would bristle at eco-measures designed to save Mother Earth from car toxins? One author attended this month’s colourful protest against Oxford City Council’s anti-driving policies and decreed that this motley crew of car-lovers are on ‘the road to fascism’. Only they’ll never get there, presumably, given the elites’ penchant for road restrictions.

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day – sometimes one is right, the other is wrong

As for Ukraine itself — yes, it’s complicated. History always is. It’s true that ever since independence, the country’s politics have been horrendously corrupt, as evidenced by Zelenskyy’s recent crackdown on venal ministers and officials. It’s also true, by the way, that its politics have long had an unpleasantly nationalistic, indeed openly neo-Nazi fringe. But I don’t think this is the devastating trump card that professional contrarians and Putin apologists think it is. If we were to withdraw our sympathy from every European country with unpleasant far-Right political elements, then we wouldn’t have any friends left. On that basis, would we still have supported Poland in 1939? Would we intervene to help Italy today, or France, or even the United States? Presumably not.

The really striking thing about the war in Ukraine, it seems to me, is that at a fundamental level it actually isn’t complicated. And for all the cheap and tawdry attractions of contrarianism, the right conclusion is the obvious conclusion. Ukraine didn’t attack Russia; Russia attacked Ukraine. Zelenskyy isn’t perfect and Putin isn’t Hitler; but one really is on the side of the angels, and the other will surely rank alongside the villains of history. One appeals to European solidarity and common humanity; the other to xenophobia and national chauvinism. One defends his own territory; the other seeks to seize somebody else’s. One is right, the other is wrong.

Dominic Sandbrook

Samizdata quote of the day – There is still nothing ‘realistic’ about ‘Russia realism’

The Ukraine conflict has merely demonstrated that Mearsheimer’s realism is as ineffective at understanding the present as it has been at predicting the future or explaining the past. Fitting Putin’s misbegotten imperial adventure into a realist framework requires a conception of international relations that awards Western democracies the power of choice but reduces their enemies to victims of circumstances. And it demands an understanding of Russian aggression so indulgent that it is indistinguishable from appeasement.

Matt Johnson

Samizdata quote of the day – Neoliberal myths

As the man doesn’t understand what neoliberalism is his critique is going to be weak tea, no?

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day – dissent will not be tolerated

We couldn’t find a single negative review of Unsettled that disputed its claims directly or even described them accurately. Many of the reviewers seem to have stopped reading after the first few pages. Others were forced to concede that many of Koonin’s facts were correct but objected that they were used in the service of challenging official dogma. True statements were downplayed as trivial or as things everyone knows, despite the extensive parts of Unsettled that document precisely the opposite: that the facts were widely denied in major media coverage and misrepresentations were cited as the basis for major policy initiatives.

When dissenting scientists are implicitly compared to Holocaust deniers, or their ideas are considered too dangerous to be carefully considered, it undermines public respect for the field and can lead to catastrophic policy mistakes. It’s human nature to favor evidence that confirms our biases and leads to simple conclusions. But for science to advance, it’s essential that moral certainty does not override objective discussion and that personal attacks not replace rational consideration of empirical evidence.

Aaron Brown & John Osterhoudt

Samizdata quote of the day – Universities cannot withstand the assault on objective truth

After expressing my general admiration for the course, I raised my misgiving in the following way (and this is nearly an exact quote): “We need to keep in mind that we’re a state university. Our mission is to pursue, ascertain, and disseminate objective truth, and to equip our students to do the same. Given that mission, I don’t think we can list a learning outcome that requires students’ assent on a matter of personal morality. The other learning outcomes are fine. You don’t need that one, so I’d just cut it.” My colleague was fresh out of graduate school and not yet tenured, which (theoretically) put her in a vulnerable position. Nevertheless, she became apoplectic; so angry, in fact, that she had difficulty getting out her first sentence. “I can’t believe people still think that way!” she spluttered. “Queer Theory has deconstructed objectivity!”

Mark Goldblatt, The Approaching Disintegration of Academia.

Samizdata quote of the day – treat these tyrants as what they are: awful people

The woke think of themselves — and want everyone else to think of them — as deeply moral. If they have a flaw, it’s that they just care too much. They’re too idealistic, too empathetic, too eager to make the world a better place.

That’s bulls–t (pardon my French, Pepé!). If you look at what they do, rather than what they say about themselves, it quickly becomes obvious that the woke are horrible, awful people, and they should be treated as such and reminded of this whenever they raise their head.

Historically, it’s not the good guys who are out burning books and censoring speech. It isn’t the caring, empathetic people who try to destroy lives based on something someone said years ago, often while young, often taken out of context. It isn’t the good guys who take undisguised glee at the ruining of lives, families and careers.

You know who does these things? Horrible, awful people. Selfish people. People with serious mental and emotional problems who seek some sort of vindication for their deficient characters by taking power trips while imposing suffering on others.

Treat these tyrants as what they are: awful people who shouldn’t be listened to and who need to work hard on joining the better half of the human race. And remind them of it, over and over. Because it’s true. Deep down, they know it, too.

Glenn Reynolds

Samizdata quote of the day – state mandated schizophrenia

Nothing speaks to the madness of the modern elites better than their war on farming. Consider France. One day President Macron is telling the world to get serious about ‘food security’. Post-Covid and with war raging in Ukraine, we must make sure food keeps being made and transported around the world, the French government says. Yet, at the same time, that same government, without missing a beat, is bringing in pesticide bans that could devastate sections of France’s own agriculture industry. Which could even lead to the closure of farms. Behold the schizophrenia of the 21st-century establishment.

Brendan O’Neill

Samizdata quote of the day – Resistance is not futile

We are many, they are few. The Welsh Rugby fans did their country proud and they did the cause of liberty proud by defying the petty little tyrants who would rule our lives and restrict our speech. And a big fuck you, to Chris Bryant, which is what he deserves. It is by resistance to tyranny that we make it unworkable. There is a lesson here.

Longrider. The key to winning the culture war is to actually fight the bloody thing.

Samizdata quote of the day – America’s race war has no place in UK

The vast differences between US and UK policing practices are not just a matter of public perception, either. During the fiscal year 2020 in the US, federal law-enforcement agencies reported 65 arrest-related deaths – 47 per cent of which were homicides. And there were a total of 614 deaths in custody. During the same time period in England and Wales, there was just one fatal police shooting – of a 57-year-old white man who was part of a street fight in Wiltshire. In the same year, 19 people died in or following police custody – of those 19, 17 were white and two were black. If anything should concern us about these incidents, it’s not alleged racism – it’s the fact that so many involved people with addiction and mental-health issues. Indeed, 12 of the 19 people were identified as having mental-health concerns, and 14 had a known link to alcohol and / or drug abuse. […] Culture warriors need to recognise that the US and the UK are very different – in their histories, in their cultures and in their laws. America’s race war has no place here.

Rakib Ehsan