A Libertarian Year Ahead?

Freedom-lovers have a lot more work to do.

As 2011 draws to a close, I wonder: Is freedom winning? Did America become freer this year? Less free? How about the rest of the world?

I'm a pessimist. I fear Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." That's what's happened. Bush and Obama doubled spending and increased regulation. Government's intrusiveness is always more, never less. The state grows, and freedom declines.

But there were bright spots. We don't yet know what will become of what people call the Arab Spring. But this year, for the first time in my life, there was hope that masses of people in the Middle East will embrace liberalism—in the original sense of people being left alone to pursue their own lives.

Another possible bright spot: President Obama declared the war in Iraq over. I don't believe it because 17,000 embassy personnel remain, but at least he's saying it, and troops have left. Some will also leave Afghanistan. But I'm confused. Obama was elected partly because he promised to end the wars. But then he almost tripled the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan, from 35,000 to 100,000.

I'm pessimistic about America going bankrupt, like Greece, thanks to ballooning spending on entitlements like Medicare. But terms of debate can change quickly. This spring, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan presented a timid plan that would have slowed the growth of government slightly. Even Republicans went bonkers. Newt Gingrich called it "right-wing social engineering."

But now, just seven months later, the country's in a different place. Newt's apologized. Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans praise Ryan's plan. The Republican Study Committee wants to go further. Now Ryan agrees that his plan was "mild." Today he says he'd go farther.

Maybe attitudes changed because Americans watched the video of riots in Greece and realized what can happen when the money runs out. Maybe Standard and Poor's downgrading of the government's credit rating mattered. Maybe attitudes changed simply because the deficit numbers are so ugly that even the establishment has to acknowledge it.

But also, attitudes changed because we libertarians won the battle of ideas. Now every Republican presidential candidate -- not just Ron Paul -- talks about free enterprise.

Alec Baldwin told Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, "You can't not have strong capital markets in this country or the country's going to go down the tubes."

Wow. Even left-wing celebrities defend "strong capital markets"? The world is moving toward limited government and free enterprise. We libertarians have won!

What am I talking about? We haven't won. Even Republicans want to grow government. When the Super Committee failed to reach its super conclusion and thereby put us on automatic pilot to a trillion dollars in spending cuts, Republicans screamed about draconian damage to the military. But the automatic cuts are really just cuts in the rate of increase. Spending will still go up, just at a slightly slower rate. Why is this even controversial?

I fear that much of the country is in agreement with the Wall Street protestors who love free stuff from government -- free health care, free college education, free lunch. Elderly Americans want no cuts to Medicare. Even after the Solyndra scandal, 62 percent of Americans say America should continue to invest in clean-energy jobs. Don't they think about what that money would be producing if left in the hands of free, entrepreneurial individuals? No.

Lots of Americans oppose free trade and free markets. It takes some knowledge to realize that the seeming chaos masks underlying order. The benefits of freedom are not intuitive, and when you go against people's intuition, they get upset.

The benefits of freedom are largely "unseen," as the 19th century French liberal Frederic Bastiat put it. He meant that rising living standards and labor-saving inventions don't appear to flow from freedom. But they do.

It's one of the ironies of life that people need not understand freedom for it to work, and because of this, there is the perennial danger that they will give it up without realizing the disastrous consequences that follow.

We freedom-lovers have a lot more work to do.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • BakedPenguin||

    We freedom-lovers have a lot more work to do.

    Yes, but most of us want to play Skyrim before we get to it.

  • ||

    It's a fair cop.

    We're never going to "win" the war against government growth. It's a never-ending, constant war. Which, of course, we've been losing for decades. But we shouldn't ever surrender.

  • ||

    So what you're saying is that Skyrim, and you, are responsible for the state we're in.

    I can buy that. But even more, I blame ProL.

  • ||

    It could be my fault. Perhaps if I were more active politically, we'd be a freer, more prosperous society. It's just possible that my inaction is the whole reason we're screwed up so badly today.

  • ||

    It all comes down to you in the end. And your affair with Alison Brie. I understand why you did it, completely, but it was a mistake politically, ProL.

  • ||

    Hey, now!

  • ||

    Wait, you had an affair with Alison Brie? Color me jealous.

    Also, I thought you were angling for dictator for life or some such?

  • ||

    It wasn't me. I'm loyal to my wife.

    It was Ron Paul.

  • ||

    I know I said I wouldn't tell, but my jealousy got the better of me.

  • ||

    You bastard! You soiled her!

  • Tim||

    So help me out here, we just got a new Xbox 360, is there some sort of converter to alow us to play an old gane for the original xbox?

  • Tim||

    and I know that asking that question makes me look even more lame in your eyes.

  • ||

    Some old games will play without assistance. Others require downloads.

  • Tim||

    My kid wants to play Godzilla saves the earth, a 2004 game. Maybe I should just buy an old xbox, I see them on Amazon for $40

  • Tim||

    OK, so do I...

  • Brett L||

    Tell the truth, most of you joined the Imperials, didn't you?

  • Hooha||

    More than that, most are bounty hunters. But doomed to fail MMO is doomed to fail. 90% will be back to WoW/Eve in under 4 months.

  • true||

    I used to be a freedom-lover like you.
    Then I took an arrow in the knee.

  • hazeeran||

    "But I'm confused. Obama was elected partly because he promised to end the wars. But then he almost tripled the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan, from 35,000 to 100,000."

    Nobody's really put his feet to the fire. He also looks "tough" to the never retreat crowd. Also, Obama doesn't tend to keep promises. Less confused now?

  • ||

    The damage done to the left's anti-war credibility is profound. War bad until Obama took office. Now war good!

  • ||

    Uh, to anyone who wasn't a partisan retard, the left had zero anti-war credibility before. They've been playing the TEAM RED war bad! TEAM BLUE war good! game for a very long time now.

  • Tim||

    Populism is the STEVE SMITH of statesmanship.

  • ||

    A further, even more lethal blow, then.

  • ||

    FINISH HIM

  • ||

    Sweep the leg?

  • ||

    THERE IS NO MERCY IN THIS DOJO

  • PantsFan||

    STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY SIR.

  • Tim||

    Alex Trebec: "The category is "rhymes with dog," and the question is, "It's been a Hard Day's night and I should be sleeping like a ................"
    Episiarch: "Chinese whore."

  • ||

    If I had just won that fucking Daily Double, I would have won it all!

  • ||

    The judges will accept that answer.

  • Ska||

    If only he said "Who knows a good Chinese whore?"

    They really need a contestant to break that What is .... mold.

  • Sean Connery||

    Hey Trebeck, what's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold?

  • hazeeran||

    It's truly sad that reinstating the draft might be the only way, sans complete collapse of the U.S.'s credit, to get people to pay more attention to the futility, death and mission creep that is the War in Afghanistan.

    Then again the Iraq war sorta ended without either, so maybe anti-war "movements" aren't as necessary anymore.

  • ||

    Reinstating the draft would be making us less free. Rather than promoting or making things worse (less freedom) and hoping people will wake up, it's better to promote more freedom.

    Don't worry though, the debt is getting worse, the interest payments are going up, rates will rise, and potentially the dollar and government will collapse, if they don't make changes. So even those in political power will make changes if they want to stay in power. If I were in government, I'd fear the guillotine in the event of a collapse of the dollar, and I'd take measures to avoid it. The chickens will come home to roost, sooner or later.

  • Tony||

    How? We elected a guy who ended the war. Afghanistan is not far behind.

    Or are facts and nuance too difficult for someone who dearly needs to believe that everyone but him is a hypocrite?

  • ||

    We elected a guy who ended the war stuck to Bush's timeline for withdrawing troops.

    What a fucking statesman.

  • ||

    Is Bush still running things, you know, behind the scenes?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Yes. But he's black and we call him Obama now.

  • Tony, simplified||

    Obama for president for life!

  • Tony||

    I don't get what you're bitching about.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're trying to say "Obama ended the Iraq war" when all he did was adhere to the pull-out timeline.

    Nothing magical about it. Hell, my cat could've pulled that one off.

  • Joe||

    I screwed the pooch in negotiating any SOFA agreements with Iraq

  • Anti War Left||

    Well we sure won't do anything if Obama goes to war with Iran...in fact Tony's gonna splooge cause Obama's war will be a just war!!!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Much as I hate to say it, Obama was anti-Iraq, not anti-war. His criticism of Iraq was based in part on it being a drain from the "good war" in Afghanistan. In 2008, he campaigned to increase troop levels in Afghanistan.

    It's one of the very few promises he kept.

  • Tim||

    That was about as moral a policy as being anti werewolf yet pro vampire.

  • Ska||

    Aela the Huntress made me pro-werewolf. And not having to feed on people is a big plus.

  • ||

    And crowing about the success of our occupation of Iraq, which ran pretty much on the Bush timetable, is really, really weird. So Bush was right? Or was he wrong? Did the magical president make wrong right?

  • ||

    Since wrong and right are not absolutes, but are opinion based, voters are free to create their facts as necessary.

  • ||

    My conception of right and wrong may be a little less. . .flexible.

  • Tony||

    So you'd prefer Obama did what differently? Piss on all the soldiers just to be self-righteous?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Resign?

  • hazeeran||

    Don't forget he tried and failed to negotiate for U.S. troops to occupy even longer, but the Iraqi government kicked us out.

  • BakedPenguin||

    hareezan / PL: My comment was meant to be limited to Afghanistan, where he actually did what he said he was going to do. He has certainly been a mendacious fuck regarding nearly everything else.

  • hazeeran||

    Noted.

  • ||

    I got your point. Of course, I think he did make more anti-war noises in general during the primary. In the general, he had to toe conventional wisdom, which was, at the time, less Iraq, more Afghanistan. I think even Bush was making noises like that by then.

  • hazeeran||

    No more wars of choice!Libya!

  • Anti War Left||

    Wars of Choice!!!!! Iran!!!

    you know its gonna happen....and we wont protest either since its a Team Blue War!!!!

  • The left||

    We've always been in favor of war with Eastasia Afghanistan.

  • hazeeran||

    At least that is realistic in that it includes Waziristan.

  • ||

    When I look at the deficit and debt numbers, they boggle my mind. I recoil in horror and get an overwhelming urge to horde ammo and seeds. I've lost all optimism.

  • Brett L||

    I'm stockpiling green coffee. I think it'll be an underserved trade market in the first couple of years of the collapse. Especially in the South where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a 'still.

  • romulus augustus||

    Each generation has to fight the battle for liberty anew. That's why it is comforting to see RP's support among the young. Even after victories, we cannot rest on our laurels. For example, most of the growth of the Federal government under Lincoln in the Civil War was rolled back until the "Progressive" era. In 1920, nationalization of the railroads was a real possibility. They are still private but GM is not. Remember: the collectivists will never give up - their message of something for nothing will always resonate for the takers and the faux compassionate.

  • ||

    Each generation has to fight the battle for liberty anew.

    I think we had a couple that skipped out on this fight.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    has to =/= does

  • RON PAUL HATES AMERICA||

    Ron Paul's supporters are sure of one thing: Their candidate has always been consistent—a point Dr. Paul himself has been making with increasing frequency. It's a thought that comes up with a certain inevitability now in those roundtables on the Republican field. One cable commentator genially instructed us last Friday, "You have to give Paul credit for sticking to his beliefs."

    He was speaking, it's hardly necessary to say, of a man who holds some noteworthy views in a candidate for the presidency of the United States. One who is the best-known of our homegrown propagandists for our chief enemies in the world. One who has made himself a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace.

    Hear Dr. Paul on the subject of the 9/11 terror attacks—an event, he assures his audiences, that took place only because of U.S. aggression and military actions. True, we've heard the assertions before. But rarely have we heard in any American political figure such exclusive concern for, and appreciation of, the motives of those who attacked us—and so resounding a silence about the suffering of those thousands that the perpetrators of 9/11 set out so deliberately to kill.

    There is among some supporters now drawn to Dr. Paul a tendency to look away from the candidate's reflexive way of assigning the blame for evil—the evil, in particular, of terrorism—to the United States.

    One devout libertarian told me recently that candidate Paul "believes in all the things I do about the menace of government control, and he's a defender of the Constitution—I just intend to take what I like about him." The speaker, educated and highly accomplished in his field (music), is a committed internationalist whose views on American power are polar opposites of those his candidate espouses. No matter. Having tuned out all else that candidate has said—with, yes, perfect consistency—it was enough for him that Dr. Paul upheld libertarian values.

    This admirer is representative of a fair number of people now flocking to the Paul campaign or thinking of doing so. It may come as a surprise to a few of them that in the event of a successful campaign, a President Paul won't be making decisions based just on the parts of his values that his supporters find endearing. He'd be making decisions about the nation's defense, national security, domestic policy and much else. He'd be the official voice of America—and, in one conspicuous regard, a familiar one.

    The world may not be ready for another American president traversing half the globe to apologize for the misdeeds of the nation he had just been elected to lead. Still, it would be hard to find any public figure in America whose views more closely echo those of President Obama on that tour.

    Most of Dr. Paul's supporters, of course, don't actually imagine he can become president. Nor do they dwell on the implications of the enlarged influence conferred on him by a few early primary victories (a third-party run is not something he rules out, the ever-consistent Dr. Paul has repeatedly said under questioning).

    A grandfatherly sort who dispenses family cookbooks on the campaign trail, candidate Paul is entirely aware of the value of being liked. He has of late even tried softening the tone of some of his comments on the crime of foreign aid and such, but it doesn't last long. There he was at the debate last Thursday waving his arms, charging that the U.S. was declaring "war on 1.2 billion Muslims," that it "viewed all Muslims as the same." Yes, he allowed, "there are a few radicals"—and then he proceeded to hold forth again on the good reasons terrorists had for mounting attacks on us.

    His efforts on behalf of Iran's right to the status of misunderstood victim continued apace. On the Hannity show following the debate, Dr. Paul urged the host to understand that Iran's leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had never mentioned any intention of wiping Israel off the map. It was all a mistranslation, he explained. What about Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust? A short silence ensued as the candidate stared into space. He moved quickly on to a more secure subject. "They're just defending themselves," he declared.

    Presumably he was referring to Iran's wishes for a bomb. It would have been intriguing to hear his answer had he been asked about another Ahmadinejad comment, made more than once—the one in which the Iranian leader declares the U.S. "a Satanic power that will, with God's will, be annihilated."

    There can be no confusions about Dr. Paul's own comments about the U.S. After 9/11, he said to students in Iowa, there was "glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq." It takes a profoundly envenomed mindset—one also deeply at odds with reality—to believe and to say publicly that the administration of this nation brought so low with grief and loss after the attack had reacted with glee. There are, to be sure, a number of like-minded citizens around (see the 9/11 Truthers, whose opinions Dr. Paul has said he doesn't share). But we don't expect to find their views in people running for the nation's highest office.

    The Paul comment here is worth more than a passing look. It sums up much we have already heard from him. It's the voice of that ideological school whose central doctrine is the proposition that the U.S. is the main cause of misery and terror in the world. The school, for instance, of Barack Obama's former minister famed for his "God d— America" sermons: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, for whom, as for Dr. Paul, the 9/11 terror assault was only a case of victims seeking justice, of "America's chickens coming home to roost."

    Some in Iowa are reportedly now taking a look at Dr. Paul, now risen high in the polls there. He has plenty of money for advertising and is using it, and some may throw their support to him, if only as protest votes. He appears to be gaining some supporters in New Hampshire as well. It seemed improbable that the best-known of American propagandists for our enemies could be near the top of the pack in the Iowa contest, but there it is. An interesting status for a candidate of Dr. Paul's persuasion to have achieved, and he'll achieve even more if Iowans choose to give him a victory.

  • ||

    It is a personal rule of mine to not read comments that require scrolling. Call me crazy but comments should never be longer than the article.

  • ||

    Wow, I did not know that. Thanks.

  • ||

    A sphincter says, "what?"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's nothing. I heard Ron Paul wrote some kind of racist newsletter.

  • Kaon Kristen||

    Which meme should I whip out? tl;dr or "cool story bro"?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Needs more [brackets] to sound LEGITIMATE.

  • Tony||

    Do you have reason to believe the vast majority of Iraqis dead by American weapons were terrorists and not people who just wanted to live in peace?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Team Red idiots still cling to the belief that Iraq had something to do with the attacks on 9/11 or that they had weapons of mass destruction (besides their food, I guess) or that they wanted "democracy," to justify an intervention that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (either as direct result of the war or during the counter-insurgency operations or by "mistake.") They do not want to believe that their government lied to them.

    Paul wants to massively cut foreign expenditures to take care of the folks back home. Would you at least concede that his plan has merit?

  • ||

    "Would you at least concede that his plan has merit?"

    Crickets...

    er...wait...

    [Crickets)

  • ||

    I blew it. Proofread?

    [Crickets]

  • Tony||

    We definitely should drastically cut back military spending (and the actions it pays for) in order to pay for domestic concerns. RP's foreign policy stance is why he appeals to liberals.

    If only he were motivated by real concerns. The way you reduce foreign entanglements is to stop being absolutely dependent on an energy source provided by Middle Eastern theocracies. The libertarian/Republican position is to drill and burn as much oil as possible, if only to say fuck you to hippies.

    Capitalism is causing our wars. RP thinks capitalism is pure and good, and it's merely the mustache-twirling of evil men causing all our problems. He's a conspiracy nut. The people who like him are all motivated by the right feelings, but don't understand the world beyond two dimensions.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    We need the oil until we can figure out how to run an entire country without it, Tony.

    But talk about conspiracy nuts... you believe capitalism causes wars.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Uh yeah US troops tend to have decent aim and don't just fire randomly.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why not bitch at your fellow Team Blue members who supported giving a fucking president power to invade Iraq in the first place, Tony?

  • Tony||

    Why does it matter so much to you that Democrats get equally blamed for everything? Only someone who wants the GOP to smell better should care about that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Actually, it's more that I want BOTH sources of wrongdoing to fucking cop to what they've done.

    If you think I'm going to ever join the GOP, Tony, you're fucking deluded. Just as deluded as if you were to ever think I'd join Team Blue.

    Your Team's shit stinks. So does theirs. You're trying to pretend otherwise.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I notice you sidestepped the fact that your Team gave Bush the power to invade Iraq, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Shame on them.

  • Mike M.||

    By the way, this article was originally written by Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal.

    I can't stand plagiarists; it's just a pet peeve of mine.

  • HermanLame||

    ' It takes a profoundly envenomed mindset—one also deeply at odds with reality—to believe and to say publicly that the administration of this nation brought so low with grief and loss after the attack had reacted with glee.'
    Politicians are animals without any moral sense. I have no doubt Bush and Cheney were delighted by the opportunity 9/11 presented. And at least we know Krugnuts was.

  • Newt Gingrich:Asshole||

    I'm Newt Fucking Gingrich and I approved this post.

  • hazeeran||

    "Now every Republican presidential candidate -- not just Ron Paul -- talks about free enterprise."

    If only that meant something.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Alec Baldwin told Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, "You can't not have strong capital markets in this country or the country's going to go down the tubes."

    Confused by the double negative, the dirty hippies cheered him.

  • ||

  • Socratific||

    First, Obama didn't promise to end the wars. He promised to end the war in Iraq, something Bush had already agreed to do. He said he would ramp up the war in Afghanistan.

    Second, Paul Ryan's plan is hardly praiseworthy, as it didn't propose that we cut military spending.

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org.....-spending/

  • first||

    Tereza is a drama student from the Czech Republic who is looking for a bigger stage to perform on. Her first love was the theatre. That was where she made her first shy moves into the limelight.

    From there this fresh faced young girl has just begun to branch out into some modelling for carefully selected fine art studios. She is a natural for the camera with a perfectly proportioned body. Her pale, smooth skin contrasts stunningly with her sleek wavy hair. It tumbles down to her pert breasts as though it is embracing her. Her voluptuous looks have a suggestion of Italy, the country she is in love with.

    Tereza has an air of youthful innocence. But remember the old phrase, “Dimple on the chin, devil within.” Like the budding actress she is, Tereza is keeping us guessing what’s next. We are sure it will be a show stopper.

    http://www.hegre-art.com/models#action=show&id=218

  • ­­­||

    Too much ribcage showing.

  • first||

    Okay

  • first||

    Your mom has to much ribcage showing.

  • Tony||

    But I'm confused.

    You can stop there.

  • ||

  • Mike M.||

    But this year, for the first time in my life, there was hope that masses of people in the Middle East will embrace liberalism—in the original sense of people being left alone to pursue their own lives.

    John, I love you bro, but you've got to stop with this laughable Pollyannish nonsense. You're killing me here.

  • There is no "we"||

    Nothing about gun rights.

    Nothing about the war on drugs.

    Nothing about mass incarceration.

    Nothing about privacy rights or equal rights for gays.

    Nothing about warrantless surveillance.

    Nothing about indefinite detention and new onerous restrictions on habeas corpus.

    Nothing about rampant police brutality and corruption.

    Nothing about police frame-ups, DNA exonerations, or prosecutorial immunity.

    Nothing about the ugliest, most paternalistic and chauvanistic artificial barriers to medically safe abortions in the history of the Republic.

    No, for Stossel, the work of "freedom" is entirely in lock-step with Right-Wing Conservative Republican fiscal policy, and nothing else. Civil liberties are beneath even mentioning. "Freedom" is Paul Ryan entitlement reforms, with a weak shout-out to Afghanistan defeatism, and that is all.

    Get bent and eat it hot, 'stache.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: There is no brain,

    No, for Stossel, the work of "freedom" is entirely in lock-step with Right-Wing Conservative Republican fiscal policy


    You're surely jesting. it's been 10 years now and the so-called "conservative" Republicans have shown to care not one title or one bit about "fiscal policy" considering the wars they suckered the US into.

    Nothing about the ugliest, most paternalistic and chauvanistic artificial barriers to medically safe abortions in the history of the Republic.


    You mean besides putting doctors in jail when abortions were totally illegal? Yo sure have a flair for the melodramatic - I can at least concede you that.

  • Dave||

    Comments like this are why I like this site

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What's Team Blue doing about all those things, "we"?

  • Libertarian Dominionism||

    When one side in a culture war* just wants to be left alone to live a Non-State lifeway of hunting and foraging, and the other side wants to use force (to eliminate gamboling, hunting, gathering) then liberty effectively takes sides.

    Unfortunately, Stossel chooses city-Statist aggression -- and then tries to whitewash the violence inherent in the system.

    _____________
    * The Invasion Within
    The Contest of Cultures in Colonial North America
    James Axtell
    Oxford University Press
    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/.....0195041545

  • ||

    ... who believes oaks once grew in the Sinai Peninsula.

  • Archeology proves it libertard||

    Even the Sinai which is located to the Southeast and the Negev, East of the present state of Israel, bear evidence of past, perhaps abundant forests. The 1960 investigations of Sir William Flinders Petrie into mining operations in the Wadi Nash area of the western Sinai desert, believed to date from the third millennium, BC, yielded unmistakable clues:

    "(Petrie) found a bed of wood ashes 100 feet long, 50 feet wide and 18 inches deep, and also a slag dump from copper smelting, 6-8 feet deep, 500 feet long and 300 feet wide. It seems that the adjacent area, now desert, must have borne combustibles during the period when the mines were operating. Similarly, in the Negev, copper smelting kilns of a highly developed kind dating from 1000 BC have been found in the now quite desert-like Wadhi Araba."

    Man and the Mediterranean Forest: A history of resource depletion. J. V. Thirgood. Academic Press. 1961. p. 57.

  • Slowburnaz||

    So wait, Wood Ashes = Oaks?

  • a borogrove||

    Officer, am I free to gyre and gimble in the wabe?

  • Brother Grimm||

    Uh, huh.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, Godesky... tell us where you live. We'll come over and eat your pizza rolls and shit on your couch.

    Deal?

  • You did it already, Libertard||

    American Indian Holocaust

  • Cat (Erie) Nation||

    You rang?

  • Brother Grimm||

    Not well enough, aparently.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    *I* didn't do shit to the American Indians.

    Piss off.

  • FIFY continues the occupation||

    Occupiers are as guilty as invaders.

    And the occupiers still use plenty of aggression and violence to effect their occupation.

    Of course, FIFY whitewashes his aggression with word-magic from his deceitful libertarian canon.

    Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence.

    Derrick Jensen on violence and civilization
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a6E3TMjrUY

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... I should kill myself?

  • HermanLame||

    Seeing as your favorite knuckledragging nomads, who barely had a way of life more advanced than cavemen, didn't even have written languages, you would call it word magic, wouldn't you?

  • ||

    FACT: I am wearing rubber boots to better wade through the troll excrement.

    FACT: I hate America just like Ron Pual

    FACT: Election years suck, and this one is going to suck twice as hard.

    FACT: I pledge to post as many agitated off-topic insulting posts as possible between now and November

    FACT: This place has gone to shit since Postrel left

  • ­­­||

    Yeah, well that's just, like, your opinion, man.

  • ||

    Thank god, finally. Everyone! Drink!

  • AlmightyJB||

    I always liked Stossel better than a lot of the other mainstream talking heads. Lately though he seems too John Stossely, on tv at least. He needs a valium or something.

  • ||

    Conservative libertarianism is not necessarily freedom.

  • ||

    I love this article. I will be sharing.

  • ||

    When you say "freedom loving people" are you referring to freedom TO or freedom FROM. As in: Freedom TO pollute the environment, or freedom FROM pollution in the enviornment?

  • ||

    You are polluting my environment with this comment.

  • Scott||

    "The benefits of freedom are not intuitive, and when you go against people's intuition, they get upset."
    Makes me think of my grandfather; he was saying that we need "another WPA to get this country going again" at Christmas. I told him that the New Deal didn't end the Depression and he looked at me like I was an idiot. "I was there! I don't know what happened?"

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement