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

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

Samizdata quote of the day

“If consumers and businesses cared about the CO2 they emit, the last cars they might buy are hot-selling EVs like Ford’s Mustang Mach-E or GM’s Hummer EV.”

Holman W Jenkins, Wall Street Journal ($)

Samizdata quote of the day

Only good stories matter, ‘representation’ should not be an objective in and of itself or daft things happen. That is why a super diverse cast in The Expanse works superbly but black elves in a Tolkien story are as laughable as Kate Beckinsale playing Martin Luther King.

Perry de Havilland

Samizdata quote of the day

Wind and solar energy are inherently inefficient ways of generating electricity. They are low density, which means they require vast amounts of capital to produce and transmit the same amount of electricity as traditional power stations. Plus, they are intermittent, so investment and staffing of parallel generating capacity are needed to keep the lights on. Wind and solar might reduce emissions of carbon dioxide – much depends on the parallel capacity running in the background – but this is not cost free. Growing crops to turn into biofuels is also highly inefficient, as is shipping wood pellets across the Atlantic to exploit a carbon accounting loophole that zero-rates their emissions. None of these things boosts productivity and raises living standards. All of them stunt the economy’s growth potential.

Rupert Darwall

Samizdata quote of the day

Journalism is something you do, not something you are.

– Glenn Reynolds

Samizdata quote of the day save draft publish

‘End Of Quote, Repeat The Line’: Biden Reads Teleprompter Instructions Out Loud During Speech

With Joe more voicemail than man and Boris only just clinging to the wreckage, at least the Anglosphere is demonstrating that it can get by without anyone in charge. Though we have much to learn before we can challenge the true masters of the art of doing without a government.