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 – some institutions cannot be reformed

I am not against a rule-based system and I am not against human rights. I simply think that we need to decide what human rights we want and to what degree we want them. At the moment, the problem is not the Convention itself, which is a collection of principles, not a single one of which I would question in any way. What I oppose is the legislative process by which the Strasbourg court, the European Court of Human Rights, has emancipated itself from the only thing that the states party to the Convention ever agreed, which was the text of the Convention. I do not think that it is the function of judges to revise the laws to bring them up to date — that is a function of representative institutions, certainly in a democracy.

So I would favour withdrawing from the European Convention and substituting it for an identical text, but simply interpreting it responsibly in accordance with what it’s intended to mean, and not in accordance with a wider political agenda — which I’m afraid is the animating spirit currently of the Strasbourg Court.

Jonathan Sumption, on why he wants UK to leave the European Court of Human Rights. It is a much wider interview, covering much of what I agree & disagree with Sumption about on many issues.

Samizdata quote of the day – the single greatest threat to free speech in Europe

“The #DSA (Digital Services Act) is here to protect free speech against arbitrary decisions.” So said Thierry Breton, EU’s Internal Market Commissioner, in a recent tweet. Given the extraordinary level of discretion this Act gives the European Commission to pressure online platforms to enforce vaguely defined “hate speech” and “disinformation” rules, one might reasonably take issue with Mr Breton’s self-presentation as a guardian of free speech. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to say that the Digital Services Act is the single greatest threat to free speech in Europe since the formation of the European Economic Community in 1957.

David Thunder

Samizdata quote of the day – university schadenfreude edition

“Liberals and centrists seem to have paid attention to conservative boycotts of Bud Light and Target. Then came the scandal surrounding Ibram Kendi’s antiracism center at Boston University. Having burned through over $20 million, he now faces an inquiry from the university. Kendi’s disgrace cracked the window—and the horrific responses to the Hamas attacks opened the door. And yet it is only now—after all the histrionic and outraged statements about #MeToo and BLM and Ukraine and Roe v. Wade—that universities are discovering the virtue of institutional neutrality.”

Jacob Savage

Samizdata quote of the day – Israel edition

“Hamas is the enemy not only of Jews, but of the Palestinians themselves. Israel hoped that when Gaza was evacuated it would become an economic powerhouse. Had that happened, many Israelis would have been prepared to withdraw from most of the West Bank. The purpose of Zionism, after all, was to provide a homeland for Jews, not to rule over another people. But Gaza chose a different path, electing Hamas in 2006; and when, in 2017, an Israeli minister said he would help Gaza economically if it renounced terror, Mahmoud al-zahar, a Hamas co-founder, said that if Gaza had wanted to be like Singapore, it would have done so already.”

Vernon Bogdanor, professor of government, King’s College, London. (Item in Daily Telegraph behind the paywall.) The professor delivers a succinct summation of the moral depravity of Hamas, and by those who, through evasion of the facts, seek to excuse its actions. As an aside, there is another reason that the writer doesn’t spell out for why Hamas will not renounce terror: it is in many ways like the Mafia, or what Sinn Fein/IRA was and became: a gangster group that enjoys the trappings of power, including the money (as shown by how some of its political leaders reside in comfort, hundreds of miles away, in Qatar, etc).

Samizdata quote of the day – poisonous agendas

“If nothing else, we have learnt how poisonous the decolonisation agenda is.”

Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph (£), 15 October.

Samizdata quote of the day – the culture wars, sporting edition

My stance on this is Bill Burr’s. I’ll take it seriously when women fans show up. The men’s game is subsiding the sport with my money. Not that anyone asked my permission. I’ve done more than enough and it’s just “not my job” to watch it for them too.

– ‘Tom Payne

Samizdata quote of the day – what ‘from the river to the sea’ actually means

‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!’ chant the useful idiots at elite institutions and parades in the West. Who are these people? Atheists who support theocratic lunatics, democrats who endorse medieval tyrants, feminists who defend misogynists who parade with the desecrated corpses of women, gays who defend maniacs who would joyfully hang them or toss them off the roof of a tall building. They talk of a secular, democratic and socialist Palestine. As George Orwell observed: ‘One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.’ But the world has now seen what ‘from the river to the sea’ actually means. It is nothing less than a remake of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen.

Walter E Block & Alan G Futerman, Wall Street Journal ($)

Comparing Hamas to the Nazis is wrong…

People compare Hamas to Nazis.

That’s not fair. Nazis knew killing Jews was wrong. That’s why they did it in secret, mostly in Poland at isolated death camps (Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Chelmno, Belzec). At war’s end covered over their crimes, burned documents, destroyed gas chambers & denied it after.

Hamas is bragging about murdering Jews, posting videos on social media & declaring “Allahu Akbar”

If you do not support Israel & the Jews, you are literally worse than the Nazis.


After studying the Holocaust & its deniers for 30 years I didn’t think it possible anyone could top that. I was wrong.

Michael Shermer

Samizdata quote of the day – moral dissonance edition

One black career criminal killed by a police officer and we had 3 years of knee bending, millions in fund raising, flags, murels, statues coming down.

1000 Jewish civilians slaughtered & they come out for the terrorists. F**k me.


Samizdata quote of the day – the Israel edition

“Yet the idea that all British Jews are uncritical backers of the Israeli administration is fiction. There are as many vocal opponents of Benjamin Netanyahu and his hardliners as there are supporters. So why should they be blamed en masse for policies decided in Jerusalem? And why must it spill over into violence and vandalism? Indelibly ingrained anti-Semitism can be the only credible explanation.”

“After all, the Left — and it is almost exclusively the Left — don’t hold all British Muslims responsible for the excesses of the Saudi regime. Or attack Chinese restaurants over Beijing’s treatment of Uyghurs. Where are the protests outside the Russian embassy about the illegal war on Ukraine? What also baffles me is why the Left make common cause with fascistic, paramilitary organisations such as Hamas, which represents and practises everything they claim to abhor, including rampant misogyny. How can they make excuses for a terrorist group which rapes and kills women and children?”

Richard Littlejohn.

Part of the Left (and a few on the crazier ends of the Right) excuses attacks on Israel, and engages in this sort of moronic behaviour, because they are anti-semites. Anti-semitism is a moral sickness, the badge of under-achievers, losers and loons the world over, and has been that way for centuries. Another factor is that for a lot of Leftists, to be on the Left is to support “victims”, particularly if they have cultivated, nurtured and celebrated victimhood, as in the case of say, the Palestinians or wherever. Sometimes there are aspects of genuine justice in these stances, but in the main this is about a search for a cause with a group that is nice and far away, rather than to have to contemplate the more complicated facts on the ground. And another driver of Israel/Jew hatred is that Israel is a modern country in many ways, a tech powerhouse, and the Jewish people have over the centuries excelled in many fields when given the chance. If you are a Leftist, all this achievement cuts against the grain.

Samizdata quote of the day – Ouch!

Disney used to touch our hearts, now they touch us inappropriately

– “Just a turtle

Samizdata quote of the day – political circuses

“When bureaucrats and politicians (including 17 state attorney generals) attack a successful, entrepreneurial company, is it surprising that it looks like a circus?”

Pierre Lemieux.