The Libertarian Moment

Despite all leading indicators to the contrary, America is poised to enter a new age of freedom.

If someone looked you in the eye in 1971 and said “Man, you know what? We’re about to get a whole lot freer,” you might have reasonably concluded that he was nuts, driven mad by taking too much LSD and staring into the sun.

Back during that annus horribilis, a Republican president from the Southwest, facing an economy that was groaning under the strain of record deficits and runaway spending on elective and unpopular overseas wars, announced one of the most draconian economic interventions in Washington’s inglorious history: a freeze on wages and prices, accompanied by an across-the-board 10 percent tariff on imports and the final termination of what little remained of the gold standard in America.

Though the world wouldn’t learn until later that this president was using federal law enforcement agencies to attack his real and imagined enemies, Richard Nixon’s yen for paranoid secrecy and executive branch power-mongering was well-established, providing an actuarial foreshadowing of corruption. Which isn’t to say that the Democrats of the time were any less statist: In 1972, their presidential nominee was even more economically interventionist than Tricky Dick. Widely (and rightly) considered the most liberal Oval Office candidate in decades, George McGovern actually claimed that wage and price controls were applied “too late—they froze wages but let prices and profits run wild.” And individual states were passing income taxes like so many doobies at a beachside singalong.

Yet even during that dark night of the American soul, with all its eerie echoes of George W. Bush’s final miserable days in office, premonitions of liberty-loving life abounded for those who knew where to look. The contraceptive pill, which gave women unprecedented control over their sexual and reproductive lives, had been made legal for married women in 1965, and was on the verge of being legalized for unmarried women too. A new political group, the Libertarian Party, started in December 1971, and a larger libertarian movement manifested itself in a host of young organizations and publications. Free agency in sports, music, and film, triggered by a series of legal battles and economic developments, ushered in a wild new era of individualistic expression and artistic independence. It was an unfree world but, as bestselling author (and eventual Libertarian presidential candidate) Harry Browne could attest, it was one in which you could still find plenty of freedom.

Widespread middle-class prosperity gave the average American the tools and the confidence to experiment with a thousand different lifestyles, many of them previously the sole dominion of the rich, giving us everything from gay liberation to encounter groups, from back-to-the-garden communes to back-to-the-old-ways fundamentalist churches, from Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice to Looking Out for #1. In 1968, the techno-hippies at the Whole Earth Catalog announced, “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.” A year later, a new technology allowing university computers to communicate with one another went live, laying the foundations for what would become the Internet. And the magazine you are holding, in its September 1969 issue, made what might have been the craziest argument of all during the Age of Nixon: If you abolish the Civil Aeronautics Board and get the federal government out of regulating “every essential aspect” of the airline business, Robert W. Poole wrote, then air traffic will grow while prices plummet. (For more on Poole’s story, see “40 Years of Free Minds and Free Markets,” page 28.)

By the end of the 1970s, the Civil Aeronautics Board was in the dustbin of history, sharing much-deserved space with price controls, the reserve clause, and back-alley abortions. What started out as a decade marred by pointless war and Soviet-style central planning ended up being the decade that ended military conscription and—arguably even more stunning—regulation of interstate trucking. The personal computer introduced possibilities few people had ever dreamed of (though reason did; see “Speculation, Innovation, Regulation,” page 44), a property tax revolt in California spread like a brush fire across the country, and the Republican Party went from the big-government conservatism of Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller to the small-government rabble-rousing of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The Libertarian Party…well, it kept trying, winning one electoral vote in 1972 and 921,299 popular votes in 1980.

Most importantly, individuals burned through the 1970s with the haughty grandeur and splashiness falsely predicted of Comet Kohoutek. Stagflation be damned: Americans finally learned to live, dammit, in a no-collar world where both electricians and executives dressed like peacocks and women starting earning real money, not just as entertainers but as doctors and lawyers. Boys grew hair longer than girls, and girls started playing Little League baseball. As Tom Wolfe wrote in his era-naming 1976 essay, “The Me Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” “But once the dreary little bastards started getting money…they did an astonishing thing—they took their money and ran! They did something only aristocrats (and intellectuals and artists) were supposed to do—they discovered and started doting on Me! They’ve created the greatest age of individualism in American history! All rules are broken!”

Everything solid dissolved into the Bermuda Triangle, or at least a long series of Chariots of the Gods sequels. During the 1970s, we undoubtedly felt more discombobulated (Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth and Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull shared the bestseller lists), but there is no question in retrospect that we were considerably more free even by the time Thatcher padlocked the coal mines in Olde England and the Reagan Revolution ushered in the 1980s as a glorious decade of greed.

That ’00s Show

As in 1971, there is no shortage of reasons to grumble about the state of American liberty at the end of 2008. As this issue went to press, Congress had passed the economic equivalent of the PATRIOT Act, a nearly trillion-dollar bailout of the financial industry, involving whole-scale nationalization of the mortgage lending business (see “Back to the Barricades,” page 2, and “Atlas Blinked,” page 18). Despite (or perhaps because of ) eight years of a president who has increased regulatory spending by more than 61 percent in real terms, “deregulation” has become a concept even more panic-inducing than Janet Jackson’s nipple. Whether in international security, the financial world, or the cultural arena, the answer to everything seems to be a new clampdown. It is nearly impossible to cross a North American border without showing a passport, revealing biomedical information, and being entered into a database for decades. Every day across this great country some city council is finding a new private activity to ban, whether it’s selling food cooked with trans fats, using a cell phone behind the wheel, or smoking a cigarette outdoors. And the two major-party candidates for president are trying to out-populist one another with Oliver Stone–level attacks on Wall Street “greed,” while advancing economic plans filled with centralized industrial policy and extravagant promises that would undoubtedly burst the federal government’s already near-broken budget.

Yet if 1971 contained a few flickers of light in the authoritarian darkness, 2008 is chock full of halogen-bright beacons shouting “This way!” Turn away from the overhyped prize of the Oval Office and all the dreary, government expanding policies and politics that go with it, and the picture is not merely one of plausible happy endings to our current sob stories of mortgage-finance meltdowns and ever-lengthening war, but something far more radical, more game-changing, than all that we’ve grown to expect.

We are in fact living at the cusp of what should be called the Libertarian Moment, the dawning not of some fabled, clichéd, and loosey-goosey Age of Aquarius but a time of increasingly hyper-individualized, hyper-expanded choice over every aspect of our lives, from 401(k)s to hot and cold running coffee drinks, from life-saving pharmaceuticals to online dating services. This is now a world where it’s more possible than ever to live your life on your own terms; it’s an early rough draft version of the libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick’s glimmering “utopia of utopias.” Due to exponential advances in technology, broad-based increases in wealth, the ongoing networking of the world via trade and culture, and the decline of both state and private institutions of repression, never before has it been easier for more individuals to chart their own course and steer their lives by the stars as they see the sky. If you don’t believe it, ask your gay friends, or simply look who’s running for the White House in 2008.

This new century of the individual, which makes the Me Decade look positively communitarian in comparison, will have far-reaching implications wherever individuals swarm together in commerce, culture, or politics. Already we have witnessed gale-force effects on nearly every “legacy” industry that had grown accustomed to dictating prices and product and intelligence to their customers, be they airlines, automakers, music companies, or newspapers (it was nice knowing all of you). Education and health care, handicapped by their large streams of public-sector and hence revanchist funding, lag behind, but even in those sorry professions, practitioners are scrambling desperately to respond to consumer demands and compete for business. Politics, always a crippled, lagging indicator of social change, will be the last entrenched oligopoly to be squashed like a bug on the windshield of history, since the two major parties have effectively rigged the game to their advantage in a way no robber baron ever could. But the Dems and Reps, more bankrupt as brands than Woolworth’s and Sears Roebuck, are already in ideological Chapter 11.

The Libertarian Moment is based on a few hard-won insights that have grown into a fragile but enduring consensus in the ever-expanding free world. First is the notion that, all things being equal, markets are the best way to organize an economy and unleash the means of production (and its increasingly difficult-to-distinguish adjunct, consumption). Second is that at least vaguely representative democracy, and the political freedom it almost always strengthens, is the least worst form of government (a fact that even recalcitrant, anti-modern regimes in Islamabad, Tehran, and Berkeley grudgingly acknowledge in at least symbolic displays of pluralism). Both points seem almost banal now, but were under constant attack during the days of the Soviet Union, and are still subject to wobbly confidence any time capitalist dictatorships like China seem to grow ascendant in a time of domestic economic woe. Though every dip in the Dow makes the professional amnesiacs of cable TV and the finance pages turn in the direction of Mao, there is no going back to the Great Leap Forward.

Or the Great Society, for that matter. Try as politicians might, citizens continue their great escape from grand designs. Financially ruinous entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare are going nowhere slow, but all of us are getting better at finding ways to work around such stultifying bureaucracies. Virtually across the board, the government’s pension plan is becoming less important to retirees and the medical cartel is slowly losing its death grip on providing basic services. Even across old Europe, government spending as a percentage of GDP has fallen over the past several decades. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom has charted nothing but global increases since it began in 1995.

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  • sage||

    You guys might be more right than you think, especially if that Russian analyst quoted on Drudge today is correct in his prediction.

    I think someone else here said it already, but I would totally live in a country composed of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Maybe Idaho too, since my parents live there.

  • Liberty Hedonics||

    We'll all be freer when the new iPods come out.

  • economist||

    DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

  • ed||

    A mixed economy is the only future we have, followed most likely by a final, inevitable slide into fascism. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  • Mike M.||

    And in other news, the Detroit Lions are poised to finally win the Super Bowl.

  • Head||

    We'll all be freer when the new iPods come out.

    I know when I traded my ordinary cell phone in for an iPhone, I felt so free, I almost forgot I can't smoke in a public place, refuse to give my land to the government, or walk down the street without being filmed by the police state. Almost.

  • ||

    Wow. Fantastic read, Nick. Well said. I don't think of myself as "Y," though. Maybe another glimmer of my generation's inherent libertarianism? We're sort of taking to our own name --- the Millennial Generation (or some variation of), and a handful of others.

    We're getting there!

  • uh..||

    the Republican Party went from the big-government conservatism of Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller to the small-government rabble-rousing of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

    While the rhetoric might've shifted to small government, actual governance went in the complete opposite direction. Rothbard extensively criticized Reagan (who taught Cheney that deficits don't matter), a president who was by no means a conservative in the fiscally conservative, more personal freedom sense (the only kind of conservative that appeals to a self-described libertarian such as myself). Bush is the natural continuation of his legacy and we now have two parties eager to increase the size and power of the state, and a public ready to eat their policies up. Can't say I'm as hopeful about the future as Reason is...

  • ||

    So the choice is Anarchy or Fascism?

  • ||

    or is it between Big Corporation Fascism or Big Government Fascism?

  • egosumabbas||

    "So the choice is Anarchy or Fascism?"

    Sounds like an easy choice to me.

  • egosumabbas||

    I mean think about it... Pirates, Cowboys, Vikings... what's not to like?

  • Paul||

    [1] from 401(k)s to hot and [2]cold running coffee drinks, [3]from life-saving pharmaceuticals to [4]online dating services.



    1. 401k's are tanking because of government intervention in the economy, and not likely to recover as quickly-- plus I'm suspecting they're going to be subject to all manner of new regulations which will restrict their growth in exchange for more 'security'.

    2. Latte tax. Yes it failed, but I'll bet they'll try again. After all, it was for the children.

    3. Subject to future regulations and probable price controls which will more than likely have a chilling effect on research and development of future life-saving drugs.

    4. Which are now subject to implicit equality regulations. In theory, I can go to a gay, online dating service and demand they accept my heterosexual ad or it's descrimination.

    Ahhhh, that's freedom you smell.

  • Paul||

    or is it between Big Corporation Fascism

    There is no such thing. Corporations need government help to achieve this end.

  • ||

    a government (and a police force)that they own from top to bottom will do just as well

  • Mad Max||

    'The ne plus ultra change agent as we lurch through the finish line of yet another electoral contest between our 19th century political parties is the revolutionary, break-it-down-and-build-it-back-up power of the Internet, and all the glorious creative destruction it enables at the expense of lumbering gatekeepers and to the benefit of empowered individuals.'

    Warning . . . warning . . . imminent cliche overload!

  • Paul||

    ("we don't need to be imposing ourselves around the world").

    *sigh* I remember when Democrats believed this.

    a government (and a police force)that they own from top to bottom will do just as well

    To buy these things and own them, they have to find a willing seller.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    I agree with everything except the tres lame B.A. Baracus joke. If you need something welded, who ya gonna call! Besides, he drove the fucking van! Without B.A., the A Team never would have shown up! Next time, show some class!

  • guy in the back row||

    *sigh* I remember when Democrats believed this.

    Are you really that old?

    From Wilson to FDR to Truman to Kennedy/Johnson to Clinton it never seems like a dem meets a war he doesn't like.

    OK, I'll give you Carter...

  • Orange Line Special||

    Thanks for the laugh.

  • ||

    *To buy these things and own them, they have to find a willing seller*

    ...as if that's ever been a problem

  • Don the libertarian Democrat||

    "I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe--"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."

    What we disagree about is how prepared men are for it, and how best to prepare them for it. In the real world, sometimes the long and winding road proves quicker than the straight path.

    No Beatles comments, please.

  • ||

    Cut the self-delusion.

    We have a perfect storm of anti-free-market conditions going on.

    Consider just the fact that Paul Krugman, having just won the nobel prize, is urging a newly elected Democratic president, with an expanded Democratic congress, to full-bore push a "New New Deal" down our throats, as well as nationalize the auto industry. You think Obama is going to have any reason to ignore Krugman's advice? This on the heels of a hugely unpopular outgoing Republicans, and a fiscal crisis widely blamed on "deregulation" (not really, but let's skip that).

    If we manage to get through this without a significant increase in federal control of the economy, you might be right, but I'll be shocked if that happens.

    Back to the barricades. Now is no time for wishful thinking.

  • ||

    Don, if there were more Hank Reardens and Dagny Taggarts in this world I would agree

  • ||

    Interesting that the internet receives such effusive praise as being an agent of change:

    Guess what our president-elect has talked about bringing under FCC regulation. I asked once and I'll ask again: just WHEN, exactly, is revolution justified? When it's already too late and the state controls the internet, economy, guns and listens in to every conversation? (I bet they already know who typed this...)

    If that's the time to revolt, just how do you do it when the gubbermint controls everything you need TO revolt (propaganda/media, arms, capital)?

  • ||

    Oh shit! I just realized I put my name there! Talk about makin' it easy for the surveilling goons...

  • ||

    I realize that you have to have articles like this to break the monotony of bad news, but damn. It's like yet another LP bit about how 56% of Americans are secret libertarians without even knowing it - and this year will be different!

    Yes, some things will improve. Some things always improve. The trends are not good, though, and to say, "Hell, things can suddenly change real quick!" is to say nothing at all.

  • ed||

    is it between Big Corporation Fascism or Big Government Fascism?

    Fascism is fascism. The word has an exact meaning. Except on blogs, where the definition freely ranges from eminent domain concerns to overzealous SWAT squads to coercive, calorie-counting, city-hall martinets. Got a gripe? Blame the fascists.*


    *Runner-up: the douchebags!

  • Paul||

    What Hazel Meade said.

  • Eric Dondero||

    There is one reason for hope for the libertarian movement out of this election cycle: Tom McClintock is now a United States Congressman.

    Beyond that, there were not much if any libertarian gains for Congress or other offices.

    No Libertairan Party members were elected to State Legislatures. No prominent libertarian Republicans won Senate seats, or besides McClintock, seats in the House.

    Yes, libertarians like Michelle Bachman and John Shadegg overcame massive Democrat opposition: The friggi' Dems spent $4.5 million against Shadegg to defeat him, and $2.5 million against Bachman in two weeks! But they failed. That's reason for optimism.

    But I fail to see how in a year where Republicans lost so many seats, we can call this an "Optimistic year for Liberty."

    The Communist/Fascists have taken over under Obama. And worse, they're instituting massive voter fraud, which is going to make it twice as difficult next time for Republicans to win.

    No, we're looking at a bleak future. Without Republican victories, or Libertarian Party victories for elective office, I fail to see the optimism.

  • ||

    The ne plus ultra change agent as we lurch through the finish line of yet another electoral contest between our 19th century political parties is the revolutionary, break-it-down-and-build-it-back-up power of the Internet, and all the glorious creative destruction it enables at the expense of lumbering gatekeepers and to the benefit of empowered individuals.

    Is this a reprint from 1998?

    Just when is this change agent going to start making difference in the inexorably growth of the Total State, anyway?

  • Paul||

    Yes, some things will improve. Some things always improve.

    What's disturbing me is that I'm seeing an increase of chatter about our superior 'freedoms' all revolving around affirmative rights which (and this is sometimes hard for us libertarians to admit) usually stem from progressive court actions. Yes, we can get abortion on demand. Yes, we have freedom of a certain amount of artistic and entertainment speech-- even though political speech is being slowly strangled. We have greater culinary choices for our palette, and our employers have a harder time telling us how to behave off the clock.

    But regarding the actual reach of government, especially in, you know, really important areas like political speech, economic freedom, the ability to start a business without hiring lawyers to deal with our [dregulated] marketplace, to know that you can live in your home without the possibility that a quasi-government agency won't take your home and hand it to some well-connected developer because it's for a "public purpose", or to be free from onerous lawsuits which all vaguely revolve around a moving-target notion of 'discrimination', or to communicate via phone, email, internet and feel secure in knowing that we're not being listened to, documented, filed, recorded, or watched? We're hardly making headway.

  • Liberty Pile||

    In the wake of the biggest government intrusion in the markets to date, budget busting deficits, more US foreign involvement than ever before, tougher immigration laws and a president that is likely to enact New Deal Part Deux, I'm not sure I understand the argument of the article.

    Being able to chose your chains is not a Libertarian Moment as far as I can tell.

    Or, maybe the point of the article was simply "don't worry, be happy?"

  • Mind||

    "So the choice is Anarchy or Fascism?"

    Heh. I'll take anarchy. At least you can grow out of it.

  • Mind||

    But regarding the actual reach of government, especially in, you know, really important areas like political speech, economic freedom, the ability to start a business without hiring lawyers to deal with our [dregulated] marketplace, to know that you can live in your home without the possibility that a quasi-government agency won't take your home and hand it to some well-connected developer because it's for a "public purpose", or to be free from onerous lawsuits which all vaguely revolve around a moving-target notion of 'discrimination', or to communicate via phone, email, internet and feel secure in knowing that we're not being listened to, documented, filed, recorded, or watched? We're hardly making headway.


    You hit the nail on the head.
    I may be able to get a tat, or a piercing...even dye my hair six shades of blue. But someone is always watching, always listening.

    If they weren't...why do we need ALL of THOSE cameras? And why would anyone ever want to ease drop on the "daily" American.

    Oh thats right control.
    A monkey born in a zoo dosn't miss the jungle.

  • ||

    If some kind of Libertarian Utopia or form is coming mayhap it is in part due to Ron Paul. My guesstamation is that most people hadn't heard the word libertarian on tv until Ron Paul came around during the primaries. Same goes for an actual libertarian party or candidate.

    But I will not be holding my breath.

    Hey Eric, isn't Ron Paul in that congress too; i bet he's way more libertarian than the assholes you mentioned.

    (smooches)

  • daveylee||

    Michelle Bachmann=Libertarian?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA........

    Not even on a good day.....

  • ||

    Michelle Bachmann=Libertarian?

    Wow, i didn't even see that, but you know what? Tammy Bruce is on that list too which usually gives me a laugh.

    Poor Ron Paul gets no love, and he's the most popular libertarian sounding guy we'll see in a long time, I'd wager. I hate truthers and wackos as much as the next guy, but i have to admit, they're everywhere...HELLO.

    OH well back to good old fashion wishful thinking.

  • ||

    Eric Dondero:

    The Communist/Fascists have taken over under Obama. And worse, they're instituting massive voter fraud, which is going to make it twice as difficult next time for Republicans to win.



    1) Wait for it ... Obama's not in office, yet. You may have compromised your indignation by posting that blurb prematurely. Save it to a little text file on your dekstop and then copy-and-paste it into another thread after 01/20/2009. At least then it won't seem crazy.

    2) You WANT Republicans to win? This seems to be problematic for the LP, as many self-proclaimed "libertarians" opted to vote Republican in the recent election and will probably do it again the next time for lack of a "winning" position.

    And I read the article hoping at every turn to be offered something beyond pale panacea ... without success. It's good that words are coming out, but they should be "on message" and "targeted" in order to accomplish the goals. LP, take note.

  • ||

    Eric Dondero is a fetid piece of shit for even suggesting that the theocrats Michelle Bachmann and Tom McClintock are "libertarian".

    Until the "right to privacy" is recognized in full - none of us have Liberty.

    I know - the aborto-freaks are all atwitter about their splooge fetish by now.

    Fuck them.

  • douglas gray||

    Actually, Nick and Matt are a little right, but mostly wrong. Debt and fear of litigation have taken away much more freedom than the State, but its hard to measure. It is true that technology brings freedom faster than the State can keep up with it. We have more gadgets on the playing field, but a smaller field to play in. The bedrock of freedom, to build a home without the government having to sign off on it, is mostly gone.

  • Pac||

    Dang, i made the mistake of clicking on Eric's link. Sarah Palin, veteran's want hooters....?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?.

    lol, i already knew veteran's wanted hooters as well as jobs with TSA. And tell that woman to stop painting that poor horse. FUCK, does everything have to look like the American flag.

  • Paul||

    as many self-proclaimed "libertarians" opted to vote Republican in the recent election

    ?!! I'm going to go way out on a limb here and argue that few if any "self-proclaimed" libs voted for Republicans, hence their exit-stage-left from office. Republicans have always depended on the libertarian vote, but squandered it so they could clinch their Intelligent Design base. Republicans have discovered (or should be about now) that the Intelligent Design base won't win them elections.

  • ||

    Paul ... why don't more libertarians vote Libertarian? These comment sections have plenty of self-described "libertarians" who either chose not to vote or voted for the Republicans. Why don't they vote LP? That's a huge problem for the LP ... having people who like to claim they are in a similar thought-space (given the various definitions of "libertarian" running around) yet who admit that they do not vote with the party because ... ?

    If the LP could figure out why self-proclaimed "libertarians" are not voting Libertarian, they may be able to begin to figure out how to correct that issue. In the place of research and a scientific correction of the existing barriers to success, articles like this one keep coming out, filled with "hope" and "the time is coming"-type sentiments that mean little or nothing to the troops.

  • ||

    I don't know what world the author is living in, but out here where I'm at freedom has contracted. Sure, maybe gays can get married and perhaps soon some stoner will be able to buy his pot legally, but real liberty, not the liberty to destroy yourself, is contracting. It will be small solice to see bongs on sale at the 7\11 while the government is controlling your healthcare, spying on how much money you withdraw from the bank, conscripting you into a civilian "army," and regulating your business into the ground, just to name a few things.

    I consider myself a libertarian. I don't personally approve of bongs, sodomy, and prostitution, but I don't think the state should make it illegal. However, real liberty is the liberty that the oppressed people in the 19th century enjoyed. I'd rather have the liberty enshrined in the Constitution (press, property, and person) than the right to grow weed in my back yard.

  • ||

    Heh...heh, heh...hahahahahahaha.

    Dreaming or prematurely stoned.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Final numbers coming in...

    McClintock has definitely won the Congressional seat near Sacramento. Latest count has him up by over 1,700 with Placer County numbers coming in. The margin had been as low as 600 the day after the election.

    Yes, it's a good year for Liberty, if for no other reason than we've got a bonafide 100% Libertarian Republican now in the United States Congress.

    Yes, Jeff Flake and others are mighty libertarian. But McClintock will be the all-time greatest libertarian Congressman.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Pac, Patriotism = Libertarianism, and Libertarianism = Patriotism. You cannot separate the two.

  • Mike Gogulski||

    Patriotism = libertarianism. Well, that's a new on this libertarian who says "fuck patriotism, fuck it right in the eye" on a fairly regular basis. Who the hell do you work for anyway, Dondero?

  • ||

    I've been thinking that maybe Ron Paul will become the next Barry Goldwater. A guy that lost majorly in the short term, but changed his party dramtically. The Ron Paul Republicans have their moment now to change their party. That, in the logn run, might bring about a swing back to less government.

  • Paul||

    who either chose not to vote or voted for the Republicans.

    Are we talking specific house or local elections, or are we talking about the Presidential? I would submit that either they didn't vote or they voted Obama because the propsect of McCain presidency just seemed impossible to contemplate.

    Clearly, regardless of how libertarians voted, we know that Republicans lost a significant voting bloc this last election. The only question is, who broke ranks? I find it hard to believe that Religious, cultural conservatives found it in their hear to vote Democrat. So someone left town. Who's that leave?

    I'm not sure why you want to believe that libertarians either didn't vote or went Republican. Yes, it seems obvious that libertarians don't vote libertarian (guilty, as charged) but that doesn't mean we only pull the lever for Republicans. I'm a case in point.

  • ||

    I'm guessing there is waaay more LSD taking going on among those who believe in the possibilities for Libertarian policies in this real world.

  • ||

    Paul:

    I'm not sure why you want to believe that libertarians either didn't vote or went Republican.

  • ||

    (Preview is my friend ... Preview is my friend ...) Continuing ...

    Read the comment sections from any article on this website that was close to the election, live-blogged during it or posted shortly afterward and you will find numerous instances of "libertarians" who either did not vote at all or voted for McCain. You'll be hard-pressed to find many who admit to voting for Obama ... he's not too popular on this site. Your own admission, above, is just one of many. I'm extrapolating, here, but I don't think I'm off the mark in making my notes.

  • economist||

    "I've been thinking that maybe Ron Paul will become the next Barry Goldwater. A guy that lost majorly in the short term, but changed his party dramtically."
    Except that Barry Goldwater actually won his party's nomination.

  • economist||

    "Pac, Patriotism = Libertarianism, and Libertarianism = Patriotism. You cannot separate the two."
    What definition of "patriotism" are we using? Since there are those who believe that "patriotism" means submitting to every ridiculous whim of the government, I would say that by some definitions patriotism is antithetical to libertarianism.

  • economist||

    "That, in the logn run, might bring about a swing back to less government."
    Ah, the optimism of the young. I once was optimistic (and young), but then became a bitter old man. I don't recommend it.

  • economist||

    " real liberty is the liberty that the oppressed people in the 19th century enjoyed. I'd rather have the liberty enshrined in the Constitution (press, property, and person) than the right to grow weed in my back yard."
    Pliny, you're obviously a vulgar paleolibertarian as opposed to one of us urbane, realistic cosmotarians *sarcasm*.

  • Paul||

    here, but I don't think I'm off the mark in making my notes.

    As I said, convince me: Who broke ranks?

  • ||

    I mean think about it... Pirates, Cowboys, Vikings... what's not to like?

    That life amongst them tends to be nasty, brutish and short?

  • Lefiti||

    Go ahead and have your little wingnut denial fest. The world will still be there in the morning.

  • ||

    why don't more libertarians vote Libertarian?

    Mostly because the little-l folk have been purged from the party by the big-l puritans. It ought to be sobering to all to realize that Scientology has more members than the LP.

  • economist||

    "It ought to be sobering to all to realize that Scientology has more members than the LP."
    Excuse me while I drown my sorrows in Samuel Adams Oktoberfest Ale.

  • economist||

    Oh yeah, and fuck you, Lefti.

  • ||

    I think Messrs. Gillespie and Welch have produced the most absurd and self-deceptive view of the future since *Dow 36000* (The authors of that book, not surprisingly, have been treated with great respect by many libertarians...)

  • ||

    DAMMMMN YOOOUUU!

    DAMN YOU ALLLL TO HE-- Oops, sorry. Every time I see the upper part of that statue ... well, it's like a reflex with me.

    GET YOUR STINKING PAWS OFF ME!

  • reason sucks||

    end the fed!

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    We are in fact living at the cusp of what should be called the Libertarian Moment

    You know, I really like sunshine.

    Already we have witnessed gale-force effects on nearly every "legacy" industry that had grown accustomed to dictating prices and product and intelligence to their customers, be they airlines, automakers, music companies, or newspapers (it was nice knowing all of you).

    But you guys don't seem to understand what "industry" in this country is actually evolving into of late.

    Corporations are more or less becoming extensions of the state. Expect to see much more of it. This is how Big Brother ends up being everywhere.

    Education and health care, handicapped by their large streams of public-sector and hence revanchist funding, lag behind, but even in those sorry professions, practitioners are scrambling desperately to respond to consumer demands and compete for business.

    Education, yes. They're building Student Luxury Palaces (or are they called "unions" or "activity centers") at break-neck speed. These days you may live better in college then you'll ever live again in your life.

    But health care? On most counts that actually matter, I'm not seeing it.


    Financially ruinous entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare are going nowhere slow, but all of us are getting better at finding ways to work around such stultifying bureaucracies.

    Yes. Our work-around is to pay the tax bill.


    The command economy, the command culture, and the command polity have all been replaced by a different model-that of a consultant, a docent, a fixer, a friend.

    I heard that Professional Friends make loads of cash. The government should subsidize Friends, and bail them out whenever necessary. Because everybody needs a Friend.

    Except that the first Professional Friend that comes to my mind is female, and in most states the police arrest them whenever they can catch them.

    And most consultants I know (many) either work directly for corporations, or for small companies that work for corporations.

    This big freedom-burst we're talking about here is only possible because we've got the wealth to support it. But that wealth is largely dependent on the existence of huge corporations.

    Libertarian economic thought is in bad need of a major overhaul. It needs to be updated to deal with giant corporations, who operate on scales undreamed of in Adam Smith's day. Libertarian ideals need to adjust to the fact that "limited government" today, given the size and scope of modern corporations, is very different from what it was 100 years ago.

    Standard fare libertarian ideology was perfect for America circa 1825.


    the end of the Cold War marked the end of countless proxy wars between the two major superpowers.

    Soon to be replaced by countless proxy wars between major superpowers. Just wait until Obama and Hillary figure out that those Russians are in the process of making themselves a major pain in the derriere once again. They might start sounding like Republicans. Oh wait, they already have.....

  • ||

    Get back to me on this after 3 years of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

  • Nick Wilson||

    While I am skeptical about the idea that the policies of the country will actually move towards libertarianism in the coming years, I do strongly agree with one part of this piece that all libertarians need to take heart in: a free society can not exist without a social and economic meritocracy. Increasing economic and social mobility is a vital part of laying the groundwork for a free society.

    Inequality provides a good excuse for government to step in and set up welfare programs and gigantic bureaucracies. This is why libertarians should also support progressive policies (not more government per se, but the progressive reduction of government). I would advocate replacing the income, payroll, estate, sales and property taxes with a land value tax, and replacing capital gains and corporate income taxes with a corporate value tax. These taxes are the most progressive and efficient tax structures, are non-redistributive and also make logical sense from the perspective that hording the scarce resource of land requires more proportional government protection and that the corporate entity is a legal protection on the personal wealth of its owners. I would also put an end to corporate welfare as one of my top priorities, instead of putting it on the backburner like the LP has done.

    Also, libertarians need to get over their hatred of public schools (of course with better policies like school choice thrown in) - because education for the lower class is the best way to cut their long-term dependence on government. We should be pushing for consumer finance courses in public schools, in my opinion one of the most important education reforms we could make, and one that could save us a world of pain caused by bad financial decisions (like this current crisis). Why aren't students learning the most important things to prepare them for the real world of a free market? People make often make bad financial decisions because they didn't know any better, and once they do learn the lesson, they can't get out and instead look for government assistance. I am so fortunate I took consumer finance in college and have been able to remain completely debt-free ever since. On a larger scale, if people acted more responsibly with their own finances, I believe that they would insist on the government doing the same thing.

    If libertarians pushed anti-eminent domain, pro-school choice, pro-small business policies combined with foreign policy restraint, increased personal freedom and support for a meritocratic society, we would have a friendly, sellable product. I don't think the LP is the tool to do that, having been destroyed by a historic reputation of radicalism to where even a moderate like Barr can't make anything but the smallest gains.

    We do need a new organization/party to fill the void and dispose of the LP, which may have actually hurt liberty over the course of its existence by radicalizing it instead of making it electable/palatable, once and for all. Honestly, it's better to run as an independent than as a Libertarian right now. Once we have a new structure, maybe we can start talking about the possibility of a libertarian policy shift.

  • ||

    Is it just me or has the Statue of Liberty gained some weight around the hips? (I'm looking at the picture)

  • mike farmer||

    I agree with this article to the extent that beneath state control there is a growing libertarian mindset nurtured by 2.0 ideas. The question is whether the state will gain enough power to suppress the influence of this growing "libertarian" evolution. Plus the "libertarian" mindset is broad and not organized, and I'm not sure if most people understand and embrace it as libertarian. I think the major change is that government is viewed more and more as corrupt and out-of-touch -- if technological freedom became political/economic freedom, then a coalition could be created which votes in more libertarian leaning representatives. Obama seems to have swayed the techno-capitalists for now because he's cooler. The libertarians need a cross between Kevin Rose and Ron Paul.

  • SkipIt||

    Why does it seem like libertarian policy in action would just lead to the Gilded Age ?

  • ||

    First - Adam Smith would be appalled at what libertarians claim as "freedom" in his name. Adam Smith opposed large corporations, unrestricted trade, and much of what else passes for "free market" economics in the libertarian press. In fact, having a Master's Degree in economics, I can say with certainty that today's "free market" economics is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific cover for the establishment of the global plantation - and libertarians are naive stooges unknowingly supporting this enslavement.

    Secondly, until libertarians realize that freedom is a result of civilization's rules and regulations, and not a determinant, it will continue to poll around 3 % in national elections. For instance, all that sexual freedom sounds wonderful, but the end result is the demographic suicide of the societies that practice it (just compare "unrepressed" European or American native birthrates to their "repressed" third world immigrants birthrates). Darwinian natural selection works on societies, too, which is why all surviving civilizations have restrictions on personal freedoms.

  • ||

    Paul ... why don't more libertarians vote Libertarian? These comment sections have plenty of self-described "libertarians" who either chose not to vote or voted for the Republicans. Why don't they vote LP?



    I used to, but eventually, I realized it was a pretty distasteful protest vote. As suspect as Barr was, he represented a temporary break from the long series of cloud cuckoolanders and con-men seminar hawkers the LP's been running for president.

    And a protest vote is all the LP offers - it definitely doesn't offer effective campaigning, grass-roots organization, strategy, or anything but endless, futile attempts to get dubious people into high office.

  • Craig||

    The problem with comparing 2008 to 1971 is that 2008 is more like 1929.

    We're looking at a prolonged economic downturn, with government intervention that makes the New Deal look like a mild spending increase.

    Our only hope is that we can keep the depression to half a decade instead of a whole one, and we don't end up in a world war after this one.

  • Craig||

    No prominent libertarian Republicans won Senate seats, or besides McClintock, seats in the House.

    Actually, Ron Paul was reelected. He's so popular in his district, the Democrats didn't even bother to field a candidate.

  • Craig||

    ....freedom is a result of civilization's rules and regulations

    Somehow that wouldn't make for very catchy song lyrics.

  • mike farmer||

    Freedom's just another word for civilizations's rule and regulations,

    yep, you're right, "nothing left to lose" is much better.

  • ||

    David Minnich for enlightened philosopher king in 2012!

  • ||

    Sage wrote, "I think someone else here said it already, but I would totally live in a country composed of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Maybe Idaho too, since my parents live there."

    If the new country could include Northern California (the part that wanted to secede decades earlier and join Southern Oregon as the State of Jefferson), I would definitely move a bit North. I would be sad to leave behind the region of my birth (central Coast from Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo), but it appears the communists (actually, fabian crony capitalists with pony-tails, calling themselves "progressive" to get votes) have too much of a stranglehold, SF and southward.

    But Sonoma, Mendocino, and Humboldt Counties all suit me just fine... just NOT as part of a collectivist third-world nation, please.

  • ||

    Leave me alone and don't touch me.

  • ||

    1971....think about it, the welfare system was smaller, less gov't regulation, "the greatest generation" kept their hands to themselves, the nannystate was not even on the radar. When people complained about something they did not like and said there should be a law the response was "its a free country"! Today they pass a new law. We got a long way to go to even get back to there baby! But what the hay Nick likes smoking bans!

  • ||

    London Daily Mail editorial 11/9

    > Here's an editorial from the London Daily Mail on 11/9 - nothing more needs to be said:
    >
    > Obama's Victory
    > A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the mainstream media who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups. A victory for Obama-worshippers everywhere. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life but has written about his achievements as if he had found the cure for cancer in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth. Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality. A victory for Hollywood, the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Soros and Sarandon. Victory for those who prefer welfare to will and interference to independence. For those who settle for group think and herd mentality rather than those who fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meagre political fashion. Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom. He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshippers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti-conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and beaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition. A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer teachers' unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as the tears on the face of a leftist celebrity. A victory for social democracy even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Nick Wilson, David Minnich,

    Well said, both of you.

    David, part of the problem is that half the libertarian party is anarchists.

    Can you guess how well anarchism sells on the national stage?

  • ||

    Kudos to Bulbman for that post. As to this article: In DENIAL. Wake up and smell the ashes of liberties we once enjoyed. As Bork made clear, hedonic license is no replacement for political liberty.

  • ||

    So the richest 10,000 people in the world are willingly going to turn over the deed to the money tree to the other 6.2 billion chumps, right? Your "free market" is basically a simulation that for all intents and purposes is equivalent to a movie being run by aliens from Wolf 359, in which you are an unwitting actor. Nice fantasy article: when you sober up from whatever weed you have been smoking in your libertarian attic with the shades drawn, I predict a bad headache and a serious case of the munchies.

  • mike farmer||

    "So the richest 10,000 people in the world are willingly going to turn over the deed to the money tree to the other 6.2 billion chumps, right?"

    I'm not sure what "willingly" has to do with it.

  • ||

    Nice little piece of self-parody.

  • ||

    I think if we were Germans who lived the year before Hitler took power, we might have shared the sentiments in this article. It's a good thing now names are tagged to these "hopes and changes" which, I take this article to be expressing. We will just have to see how freedom is defined in "this new dark age"...(XTC)

  • ||

    I believe fascism is, sadly, the wave of the future. Then again, I've never been good at predicting the future...

  • Ben1||

    The entire article is absurd. Someone's been smoking their own stash.

  • Alan||

    RE: David, part of the problem is that half the libertarian party is anarchists.

    And the other half? Seriously confused Conservative Evangelical Fundamentalists? Neo-Confederate States Rights Advocates? Think-tank scammers peddling false ideology on behalf of any large corporation willing to pay the bills?

    RE: Libertarianism = Patriotism. You cannot separate the two.

    Must be a seriously confused Conservative Evangelical Fundamentalist who has had the wool pulled over his eyes by one of those think-tank scammers.

  • ||

    Bah. Libertarins have no teeth. How bad does the situation have to get before you hit the streets?
    Let's face it, the answer is never. Your freedoms are confiscated daily and you either wring your hands and cry or you fool yourselves into thinking things are getting better.
    ALL governments expand (at the expense of freedom) over time. The only way to stop it is to fight for your freedom.
    We tried the legal way and they cheated (Texas, etc). Just when, exactly, is revolution justified?? If the system is CHEATED to prevent you from making real change, just when do you plan to do something about it?
    Wait too long and your ability to do so will itself be confiscated.

  • ||

    Drawing the dollar sign in the air already? Seems a bit premature to me...

  • ||

    To be squashed are nations, because, as you say, individuals can reshape their identities, transcend limitations of family, geography, and culture.

    However, there is some value to what Ayn Rand thought about nations!

    A 'nation' says Ayn Rand is a large number of individuals who live in the same geographical locality under the same political system.

    Capitalism protects individual rights, and, rights derive from our nature as rational human beings. Miss Rand describes a right as "a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context."

    Social context! Or take this: "Rights provide guidance in a social setting (...) A Government is an institution that has legal monopoly on the use of force in a given geographic region. (..) protecting the citizens of a country." (objectivist Brian P. Simpson in his book "Markets don't fail").

    Social setting, citizens of a country, a given geographic region.... Does this not mean that the individual by himself, is not a mere atom in a humanity broken down into its separate cells; that men are not disembodied and denationalized intelligences, operating without relation either to their forebears or their posterity?

    In this sense, a 'nation' is a homogeneous group of men who have joined themselves in a distinct entity on the basis of fundamental and shared treats.

  • ||

    Freedom will only be achieved when we finally understand the true purpose of humanity. With that realization, we will adjust our relationships (political, economic, cultural, etc) to reflect that humanity is the irreducible primary. Otherwise, it simply will not matter which economic or government models are employed. We spend every moment of our existence try to obtain some pleasure; material, physical, psychological, and so on. These expressions of pleasure we achieve are fleeting at best and only leaves us to wonder what desire to pursue next. There is always something missing. Perhaps, just maybe, we're pursuing the wrong form of pleasure. What effort does it really take to elevate humanity to a higher level of existence? What is the highest potential of humanity? We have lost our balance with Nature. It is no different than when a collections of cells turn against the body. The physiology falls into a state of imbalance. All of Nature operates accordingly, including humanity. Each of us forms a single cell in the body of humanity. How do we operate our part to keep the body in balance? I came across this site, http://www.laitman.com/2008/10/the-financial-crisis-an-analysis/ , and it really has me think about our nature. What are we really here for?

  • ||

    I can appreciate a good libertarian fantasy as much as the next guy, but this article is delusional

  • ||

    It was an unfree world but, as bestselling author (and eventual Libertarian presidential candidate) Harry Browne could attest, it was one in which you could still find plenty of freedom.

    Harry Browne? I stopped reading right there.

    His candidacies had a strong effect on me: I left the Libertarian Party. Never again.

  • ||

    This is absurdly long. If anyone actually reads the whole thing, thanks in advance.


    Why I don't vote Libertarian:

    1) Lousy candidates

    I joined the Libertarian Party in 1996 after reading Peter McWilliams' Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do and Harry Browne's Why Government Doesn't Work. I began subscribing to Liberty and Reason magazines at that time as well. In November of 1996 I voted for Harry Browne for President.

    Over the next four years, Liberty editor R.W. Bradford convinced me that Browne's use of campaign funds was, at best, inept. In 2000, being unwilling to vote for Browne or Gore, I held my nose and voted for Bush.

    In 2004, the Libertarian Party nominated Michael Badnarik. It was my informed opinion based on a number of Badnarik's stated positions that the man is a kook and a crank. His nomination convinced me that the LP could not be taken seriously. I tried to make myself vote for John Kerry, but just couldn't do it. In the end, I painted my nostrils with VapoRub, held my nose, and voted for Bush again.

    This year, the LP nominated Bob Barr. That nomination leaves me considerably more hopeful about the party's future. It is a serious, rather than silly nomination. That being said, I did not find Barr's conversion convincing. If I'm going to vote for a Republican, I might as well vote for the one on the GOP's own ticket.

    When choosing between the Dems and the GOP, I am primarily an "economics issues" voter. As lousy as the Republicans are on economics, in general the Democrats are worse. Barack Obama promised me a massive expansion of government. I voted for John McCain in the desperate hope that he might be slightly better on growth of government, and because after following his career for a number of years, I respect him, even though I think he is deeply wrong on many things.

    2)Libertarian "Purity"

    I am an atheist, but don't hate religion. I oppose hate crime legislation and flag burning amendments. I believe the Department of Education should be abolished, as well as the DEA. I support increased immigration, and an amnesty for illegals already in the country. I like homosexuals just fine, but believe businesses should be allowed to discriminate on any basis they like. I'm a lousy fit for either of the two major parties. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, I agree with libertarians on every single issue except monetary policy and the use of American military force.

    Now, no one (well, almost no one) has ever wanted to kick me out of the club for disagreeing with Ron Paul on the Fed. But I supported the invasion of Iraq and that support hasn't wavered, despite being disgusted by how badly it was managed by Bush and Rumsfeld.

    As I said, I'm a poor fit for the Democratic or Republican parties, but most of the time it's fairly clear that both parties have room for someone like me.

    Meanwhile, libertarians who can't even poll 1% want nothing to do with me because of this single disagreement (and its broader foreign policy implications). Often, I am not only wrong, I am evil.

    Welch and Gillespie characterize Neal Boortz as "in the tank" for the GOP as much as Kos is for Democrats. I've certainly never gotten this impression, the religious right hates him, and Boortz agrees with libertarians on most issues, but is apparently excommunicated over Iraq and immigration.

    I think Boortz is wrong on immigration, but I think it's too bad that there apparently isn't room for him in the party either.

    It's questionable whether the Libertarian Party can still be the Libertarian Party if the tent becomes too big. But I believe a bigger tent is probably the only way the party can ever be viable.

    In the past, I have discussed, debated, persuaded, conceded and learned, and I will certainly continue to do so. However I will not argue any of my above points at this time, as it is not my intention here to convince any of you that my conclusions are the right ones. Several people have wondered why self-described libertarians might not vote libertarian, and the above represents my personal experience, in the event that it might provide some insight to the curious.

  • ||

    You had me with you, right up until you got your facts completely wrong. Neal Boortz is as libertarian as they come--he just doesn't agree with the Libertarian party on the idea of isolationism. In all other respects, he is for freedom, personal choice, small government, and fiscal conservatism. Get your facts straight before you bash the best and most widely known disseminator of, and advocate for, libertarian thought in the public eye.

  • ||

    And in the speakeasy's our women smoke and drink as equals with our men, and we invent new dances and you can feel the electricity of progress and innovation in the air. Oh, sorry, that was the run up to the last great depression. You are describing the situation going into our next great depression. My mistake.

  • Billy Beck||

    "Statist politicians-it's not fully clear that there is any other kind-will ignore that epochal shift at their peril."

    That is what they will do, gentlemen. They will take on that peril. Mark my words.

    The question is: what exactly do you mean by "peril"?

  • Billy Beck||

    "I can appreciate a good libertarian fantasy as much as the next guy, but this article is delusional."

    That's the goddamned truth.

    It's why Glenn Reynolds linked it.

  • ||

    Hello Nick,

    I am sympathetic to the Libertarian goal of stopping the 'War on Drugs'. After all, exactly where in the Constitution does it give the government the authority to break into your house at 3AM and shoot you dead-for your own good of course-to prevent you from partaking of some chemical that the government deems 'bad for you'?

    On the other hand, looking at the current situation and the proposed actions of the incoming regime and comparing the reality to your premise that we are on the verge of a vast surge in freedom, it would appear that you have jumped the gun appreciably in anticipation of the war's end. And have indulged accordingly.

    Bob Ludwick

  • ||

    I used to think Reason was one of the few places on the web Ii could get some sense.
    Clearly I was mistaken.
    This doe-eyed, and staggeringly naive horse-shit, has left a seriously bad taste in my mouth.
    So, we can get soy milk in our coffee and catch up with old friends on Facebook.
    Whoop-de-fuckin'-do. We are still trapped in a frighteningly illiberal world. I'm sure you will be happy to watch the world government come into power from your expensive couch on your big tv.
    So, we've widened the gap between the ravenous, blood-thirsty hound, and our juicy flank? So what? We're still being chased by a dog.

    Goodbye reason, Goodbye Reason.

    p.s. "Patriotism = libertarianism" Eric Dondero you are Big Brother and I claim my $200.

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