“Are Property Rights Enough?” (page 30) was born out of an online dust-up between Contributing Editor Kerry Howley and libertarian journalist Todd Seavey about the relationship between libertarianism and feminism, ignited by a disagreement over the individualist implications of the work of Simone de Beauvoir. “Libertarianism needn’t be any one thing,” says Howley, 27, a fellow at the University of Iowa’s literary nonfiction program. “It’s great to have dissension and disagreement. My definition will probably encompass more people who don’t self-identify as libertarian, but maybe if people are willing to push the boundaries of what libertarianism is about, they will self-identify that way.” Howley blogs at Slate’s Double X, a site for women.
Todd Seavey, an editor at the American Council on Science and Health, is the self-proclaimed “last sane moderate on this planet.” Seavey, 40, blogs at ToddSeavey.com (motto: “conservatism for punks”) and hosts monthly debates at Lolita Bar in downtown Manhattan. “I like science, thus the day job—as well as fantasy, thus some writing for comic books,” Seavey says. “And I think it’s important to keep the distinction between facts and imaginary things in mind. People of the utopian left bent, as perhaps Kerry is, sometimes get carried away imagining how people ideally ought to live, just as Tories sometime over-romanticize a vision of the past.”
Daniel McCarthy, 31, is a senior editor at The American Conservative and editorial director of Young American Revolution, a magazine published by Students for Ron Paul’s successor group, Young Americans for Liberty. In his contribution to the property rights forum, he strives to put cultural libertarianism into historical context. “There are times and ways in which liberty can be more left-wing or more right-wing, at least relative to what else is happening,” he says. “Relative, I guess, to the direction of authoritarianism.” McCarthy lives in Arlington, Virginia.