Nick Gillespie on Fox Business' Freedom Watch, Plus Who's a Libertarian These Days?

Last week, I appeared on Judge Andrew Napolitano's new Fox Business Channel show to discuss estate taxes, green energy, and the BP oil spill. Here's that clip (about 11 minutes long; go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions of all staff media appearances).

As it happens, that very appearance above prompted SF writer J. Neil Schulman at his Rational Review blog to ask, "Am I a libertarian? Is Glenn Beck? Nick Gillespie? Was Ayn Rand or Robert Heinlein? Are you?"

Schulman recounts various moments when he has been spurned by doctrinaire libs who have also gone on to write Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, and Robert Heinlein out of the movement and says, Enough already.

A lifetime of devotion to liberty isn’t even close to being enough for many libertarians to think of you as being a member of their little clique.

And I do mean little.

If being a lifetime worker for liberty isn’t enough for some people, evolving towards liberty from a mainstream state-approving belief system is likely to have you looked at the way a life-saving transplanted organ is regarded by blindly hostile white corpuscles — with results just as fatal to the body.

It just doesn’t take much for libertarians to treat you like a Jew trying to join the Episcopalian-run country club.

It might be enough that you express a belief in God, while most radical libertarians are hostile to religion.

Being a believer in limited rather than zero government is another reason for the blackball to be dropped into the bowl.

Think the United States is historically an overall force for good in the world, or have good things to say about the Founding Fathers? Get ready for many libertarians to call you a Neocon, no matter how many wars you’ve demonstrated against.

And God forbid that you have anything good to say about Israel, Mormons, Jesus Christ, or Country Music.

When the hell did the libertarian movement become more exclusive than the Bohemian Grove?

Devotees of liberty are facing the strongest push towards totalitarian global statism I’ve seen in my lifetime. The libertarian movement is too small, too fragile, too marginalized already for anyone as potentially decisive to the cause of liberty as Glenn Beck, Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein — and yes, me, especially now when I’m working my ass off to produce a movie based on my most popular libertarian-themed novel, Alongside Night — to be treated with adolescent dismissal.

Wise up. Robust libertarian movements have historically been rerouted back onto the Road to Serfdom by far less.

More here.

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  • ¢||

    Is anyone who cares if anyone cares or doesn't care if anyone thinks anyone cares or doesn't care if anyone thinks or doesn't think anyone is or is not or cares or doesn't care if anyone is or is not a libertarian a libertarian if no one cares?

  • Rich||

    I'm waiting for Anon Bot's take.

  • Max||

    "Devotees of liberty are facing the strongest push towards totalitarian global statism I’ve seen in my lifetime."

    This sort of self-important jackass statement should give Schulman a free toke on Ron Paul's cock and a lifetime right to call himself a libertoid fuckwit. What more could he want?

  • Bruce Majors||

    Can't it be Rand Paul's cock instead? Or some 22 year old Reason intern?

    Not all wine improves with age.

  • OH no not this again||

    Rand Paul!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Well i guess you're not a libertarian. LOL

  • ||

    Is there such a thing as "'repressive libertarianism,' where certain people who call themselves libertarians invariably side with property owners who want to limit other people's liberties through the use of contract law. Property rights (usually held by somebody with a whole lot of economic clout) trump every other liberty."?

  • ||

    Yes. Libertarians are bad about thinking that only government can restrict a person's liberty and that there is no reason to worry about the balance of power that results in some groups taking unfair advantage of others.

  • ||

    Don't be his porn. He's not here to add anything, just to be an annoying shitbag.

  • SugarFree's Groupies||

    You're our porn!

  • Fuck SugarFree||

    Dan T, piss them off :-)

  • Yonemoto||

    I miss the actual SugarFree porn. You know, with historical characters and whatnot.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Didn't Michelle Obama just speak out on behalf of legislation in favor of sugar free porn?

    Weren't she and Harry Reid doing a pictorial last month on the low calorie kama sutra?

  • OH no not this again||

    Sugarfree @1053

    Your thuggishness is very transparent. Just because it annoys you, or for some reason you can't suffer the thought, he makes an excellent point in his trolly petulant manner.

  • OH no not this again||

    Dan T @ 1030

    Very true, and it's one of the reasons i really soured on this magazine.

  • Jordan||

    Property rights (usually held by somebody with a whole lot of economic clout)...

    Property rights are held by everyone.

  • ||

    Property rights are basically a religious concept. You can't prove that anybody has them.

  • ||

    So is the right to life, freedom of religion, and so on. For that matter, so is the social contract itself.

    In short, you don't want to tread on that road.

  • Yonemoto||

    All rights are basically a religious concept. You can't prove that anyone has any of them.

  • Yonemoto||

    dammit, today is commenting fail day for me. Oh wait, no, that's every day.

  • Sam Grove||

    So, who does your life belong to, and why?

  • Bruce Majors||

    That's right. And I and a chainsaw will be over to help free you from the myth that you owe your limbs later.

  • ||

    your life isn't your own? who's slave are you?

  • American Indian||

    Then give me back my property, asshole.

  • Zeb||

    You are dead.

  • SIV||

    Most people here in H&R comments are down with using the power of the Federal government to remove privately purchased Ten Commandments plaques and Nativity scenes from municipal property.

  • shrike||

    Why would you want to use government as a venue to proselytize?

    Put your stupid shit on your own lawn.

  • SIV||

    Why would you want to use government as a venue to proselytize?

    1.I wouldn't, I'm not a Christian.

    2.Ten commandments plaques and crèches aren't exactly "proselytizing".

    2. Government owns nearly all the publicly accessible land and ostensibly protect free speech and expression while is constitutionally forbidden to prohibit the free exercise of religion- such as proselytizing.

  • ||

    2(b) - Nothing is stopping you from opening your own property to the public so they can see your display.

    What the plaque and creche pushers want is to be able to force people to look at their display when they use public property. Especially in a courthouse, where most of the people there are not there of their own free will.

  • cynical||

    I think there's a difference between privately funded religious displays on the commons (public property) and on government property (also called public property), insofar as the latter is much more likely to be or appear to be a government sanction of religion. The former isn't really different from a street preacher shouting at people on the property.

  • jj||

    I'm a christian, and yes ten commandment plaques are exactly proselytizing. SIV you are being obtuse.

  • property owner||

    "Put your stupid shit on your own lawn."

    My homeowner's association won't let me.

  • ||

    Since when are libertarians hostile to people who have good things to say about the Founders?

    If Caroline likes paying taxes, she's welcome to pay mine. I don't believe her when she says she knows where it goes, though.

  • ||

    Squirrels messing with the thread again? This was supposed to be at the bottom.

  • Wesley||

    Since when are libertarians hostile to people who have good things to say about the Founders?

    Do you read Mises much? Last year, they posted an article that said that it would have better for world liberty if the American Revolution had failed, because constitutional monarchy would have kept advancing and seemed to obey its limits better than democracy.

  • James Tiberius Kirk||

    It's supposed to be a constitutional republic not a democracy!

    Why did Picard ever let you on the bridge?

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    constitutional monarchy would have kept advancing and seemed to obey its limits better than democracy.

    I wonder if the author of that article has been to the U.K. in the last, oh, 50 years.

  • Sam Grove||

    But the U.K. doesn't have a constitutional monarchy.

  • affenkopf||

    I wonder if the author of that article has been to the U.K. in the last, oh, 50 years.

    I think the author used Hong Kong as an example.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I actually have almost no interest in that issue, except at this point anything that makes "liberal" fascists cry, including gender inflected dress codes and dousing them in holy water is good in my book.

    But Christians shouldn't be able to smack bumperstickers on public property anymore than Neo-Nazis should be able to stand on public sidewalks in Skokie.

    Because there shouldn't be public sidewalks. Let them buy their own sidewalks.

  • ||

    Schulman is dead on. Rigidly ideological and exclusive movements have never, and will never, get much traction in the US.

    But, you say, the socialist leftists have almost completely remade our society!

    Yes, they have. Over generations of incremental change, accomplished with lots and lots of alliances of convenience. That's how its done. Until libertarians generally realize this, we will continue to lose what little ground we have left.

  • Draco||

    Ah, I saw this after I posted my own comment (below). You are 100% correct here, as usual.

    R C Dean, you strike me as being one of the most reasonable, mature and thoughtful posters on H&R. I should Ctrl-F to your stuff right away when I see a long discussion...

  • ||

    I can agree with that. Always enjoy reading his posts.

  • ||

    Indeed. Too often around here a desire for libertarian purity gets in the way of (if you'll excuse the term) solidarity towards a common goal. It can be an important intellectual exercise to apply your political principles at 100% strength to everything in life, but it's rarely a good way to advance a cause, gain allies, or win elections.

    And, of course, that way of thinking easily leads to absurdities. There's a story from the '60s Berkeley commune that included Tom Hayden. They had a huge argument about the "bourgeois concept" of privacy and how it related to bathroom doors. Hayden argued that they should not be closed, even when in use.

    So yeah, when Beck or anyone else you have differences with argues for limited government or lower taxes or any other specific position you agree with, it's best to applaud and hold your disagreements for later. That's one of the ways the left created the bankrupt, semi-socialist country we have today.

    (Quote for the day: The U.S. Constitution may be flawed, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now.)

  • Bruce Majors||

    Maybe we should steal the current lesbian jargon. Anyone who has never been anything but a libertarian is called a "gold star libertarian."

  • ||

    I agree and that's been my modus operandi for most of my adult life.

    For instance, I deeply admire Gov. Christie. To me he seems like one of the most genuine guys in politics. I'm sure, though, some libertarian will come up with a video or quote of him saying/doing something which is un-libertarian. That will not change my opinion of him. He's still the same guy I admired before.

    The same is true for Rush Limbaugh. Yes, he was for the war and yes he injects a little too much religion into his reasoning sometimes. But that doesn't change the fact that I agree with 95% of everything else he talks about (and I suspect the same is true for many others here).

  • AA||

    Your wrong about Rush. But may be right about Christie.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "Glenn Beck, Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein" and J. Neil Schulman? I think I'd rather join the Bohemian Grove than hang out with that crowd. At least you get to piss in public. But I hear they do take away your banjo, which really bites.

  • Warty||

    Vanneman, you're a worse commenter than Dan T. Shut the fuck up already.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Somehow I think at least Heinlein would let you run around naked and piss outdoors. And Rand would let you smoke and play around and have gay best friends. And I don't imagine Neil is a man of narrow experience. And Beck is in recovery, so we know he's done it, even if he isn't doing it now.

  • ||

    For me at least, the "real libertarian" debate comes from a deep weariness at having to explain the illibertarian attitudes of those who call themselves libertarians.

  • Neal Boortz||

    Fuck you!

  • ||

    That's a good point. Having a big tent means having a lot more people who could embarrass you.

  • Big Tent||

    [kick] Boots out Tulpa Statista [/kick]

  • ||

    On the other hand, having a small tent means forever having 1-2% of the populace on your side. I agree with a lot of libertarian ideas, but I'm sure a lot of my beliefs (e.g., not for open borders) would make me an "embarrassment" to pure libertarians.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Your opponents are going to claim you're associated with any embarrassing people that pop up in the news, anyway. Case in point: Joe Stack.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I thought having a big tent just meant you had a big foot print?

  • ||

    I completely agree. Too many self-avowed or media-annointed "libertarians" take egregiously anti-freedom positions on important issues, which confuses non-libertarians into a compromised definition of the term. Most people get their word definitions from context. When no consistent shared characteristic or central theme can be recognized among the many "examples" of "libertarians," then the ones with the loudest megaphones tend to be the exemplars -- and they aren't usually the "purest," doctrinaire libertarians, not by a long shot. Thus does the meaning of the word drift toward its own opposite.

  • Random Dude||

    I think you're right.

    From my perspective, the "real libertarian" debate is to demonstrate that there is actually a political pole that does not fit in the left/right spectrum.

    So, when people say they're "socially liberal and economically conservative," it might just be an ad-hoc scattering of beliefs with no coherent center. Those same people might completely change their mind a year or two down the road because the principles they hold are fluid. Libertarianism has a fairly precise ethical foundation, even if a lot of the details are debatable; lots of libertarians (even the practical ones who look for incremental change) are trying to preserve that foundation.

    Also, every political movement has its foundational ideologues. It could be that libertarianism is now functioning as an attractor where even non-ideologues are being pulled toward it. So maybe the modern libertarian movement isn't actually any more dogmatic than the other poles, but we just haven't seen it "grow up" yet because of its infancy.

  • Frederick Bastiat||

    The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.

  • ||

    From all the name calling I see in the comment section of this and other libertarian sites, It seems that libertarians are more like the 20 something hipsters at your local coffee house or bar. If you don't have the right haircut, t-shirt, tattoo, piercing, you're not worthy of a conversation. Or maybe they're more like Star Wars nerds arguing in their mom's basement.
    Finding common ground with other lovers of liberty would be a much more effective tack for those who care about the direction of this country than all of the verbal masturbation that goes on in the comments section.

  • ||

    There are political sites without name calling?

  • robc||

    Time, yet again, for robc's 2 rules of libertarianism:

    1. Everyone agrees with libertarians about something.
    2. No two libertarians agree about anything.

    Corollary: some humor-impaired libertarian will complain about #2.

  • Sam Grove||

    Anything? Or did you intend "no two libertarians agree about everything"?

  • Yonemoto||

    it's correct as written.

  • ||

    no its not ;)

  • ||

    Most of what Schulman complains about is the relationship of cultural signifiers and politics in this country. Since libertarianism attracts people from the left and right. The left and right in this country, especially in the last few decades, have defined themselves culturally in concert with politics. Most people come to libertarianism from a repulsion to what they once were, yet seem to hold onto to the prejudices their former political beliefs are defined by.

    All I care about is a commitment to the non-aggression principle and a recognition of the right of self-ownership. (If you want to call the right of self-ownership "natural rights" instead out of religious belief, all I care about is that you practice it whatever the source you believe it emanates from.)

    If you believe people own themselves and the labor they produce I will embrace you as brother, even if we continue to fight over the implications.

  • ||

    All I care about is a commitment to the non-aggression principle

    Of course, if somebody takes your stuff then you very quickly forget about non-aggression.

  • ||

    Don't be his porn. Seriously, delete this stupid shit.

  • ||

    SugarFree, you are example #1 of the "libertarian" who is intolerant of any opinion but his own.

  • ||

    Don't be his porn. What is the point of letting him do this?

  • OH no not this again||

    I bet that nonaggression principle goes out the window for the convenience to employers. Have to keep those uppity workers in check.

  • Jordan||

    This is the stupidest comment ever posted on this site. Come back when you understand the difference between the non-aggression principle and pacifism.

  • ||

    He does understand the difference. That's what makes his question an example of bad faith.

  • ||

    But if you consider taking one's property to be an act of aggression then you essientially have to consider all property to be the result of an act of aggression, somewhere down the line.

  • ||

    Fuck off, troll.

  • Yonemoto||

    whoa wait no he's got a point here. It's worth it for every libertarian to familiarize themselves with the "theft model of property" conjured by Proudhon/Tucker.

    You don't have to accept it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Tucker

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Do you know why Benjamin Tucker only drank herbal tea? Because proper tea is theft.

  • ||

    haha, that guy is a troll.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Why must you make fun of that poor retarded child just because his mom lets him type on this blog when she is washing out his diapers?

  • Joshua||

    "...stupidest..."

    Than you haven't been paying attention.

  • sheesh||

    Non-initiation of agression, not non-agression.

  • ||

    The Non-Aggression Principle is about the non-initiation of aggression.

    But I accept your clarification.

  • Yonemoto||

    So does that mean that all Libertarians are passive-aggressives?

  • Yonemoto||

    dammit, that post was supposed to be framed with HTML <snark> tags.

  • Sam Grove||

    You are not familiar with the non-aggression principle?

    Under the non-aggression principle, it is wrong to INITIATE force or fraud, or to commit theft against others. It does not prohibit self defense or action to reclaim stolen property.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Most people come to libertarianism from a repulsion to what they once were, yet seem to hold onto to the prejudices their former political beliefs are defined by.

    Very True. +1.

  • ||

    Does this mean you retract your statements about me wanting Mexicans and innocent convicts to die?

  • ||

    Nope. Because believing in self-ownership means believing it for everyone else as well.

    Let's go to the tape...

    Criminal punishment of any kind is serious business, which is why ending the death penalty makes a pretty poor substitute for actually cleaning up our criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions in general.

    Anything you'd like to clear up here? Want to make spirited defense on the subject of continuing to put innocent people death despite admitting that the justice system has problems?

  • Draco||

    As a neutral observer in this spat, I must say, SugarFree, that you too often come across as a witch-hunting purist who assumes the worst in the other person's argument, instead of trying to understand why he might believe what he does, or take the position he has taken.

    Oh, and btw, if it makes you feel any better, I would much rather be executed than spent the rest of my life in a prison/torture chamber/sex abuse house.

  • Switzerland||

    The state has no business deciding such a fate; however, Draco, if the state gave the LIPWOP convict the choice of either staying alive in such a hellhole or choosing a quicker exit of terra firma by their own volition without coercion...

  • ||

    It walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it looks like a duck... what's the chance it's not a duck?

    If this is the statement of someone who believes in the right of self-ownership, I'll eat my hat.

    Tulpa|6.9.10 @ 4:08PM|#

    If he runs back over to Mexico, he's going to cross again the next day.

    You're saying the Border Patrol should function like an exterminator who, when hired to get rid of the mice in the kitchen, simply scares them all into their hiding places and leaves the house. Mission fucking accomplished.

    Want to put a favorable spin on that analogy? Want to argue that he's not saying that shooting a teenager is preferable than having to stop him from crossing the border the next day?

  • Draco||

    That's a bit brutal, I see your point. And yet... if you have a pool party (on your property) and post a big sign that says "Draco, if you crash this party, you'll be shot" I can believe in self-ownership and also believe you are justified in shooting me if I crash your pool party.

  • ||

    Yes, but our sign is "Cross this border and we'll send you back, assuming we bother to catch you before you settle into a dishwashing job."

    A policy to execute anyone who crosses a border is a bit extreme. You OK with Iran summarily executing those three hikers? How about North Korea putting a couple of rounds in the brainpans of those two journalists?

  • Draco||

    I agree with you, of course. I don't think we benefit by being perceived as the next North Korea! But even if Tulpa would opt for a more "draconian" ;-) policy, it doesn't mean he doesn't understand the right of self-ownership.

  • cynical||

    I don't think posting a sign suddenly gives you a license to kill. Crashing a pool party doesn't threaten your life, and there is likely a lesser amount of force that could be used to defend your property.

  • Fluffy||

    It might be enough that you express a belief in God, while most radical libertarians are hostile to religion.

    Being a believer in limited rather than zero government is another reason for the blackball to be dropped into the bowl.

    Think the United States is historically an overall force for good in the world, or have good things to say about the Founding Fathers? Get ready for many libertarians to call you a Neocon, no matter how many wars you’ve demonstrated against.

    And God forbid that you have anything good to say about Israel, Mormons, Jesus Christ, or Country Music.

    When the hell did the libertarian movement become more exclusive than the Bohemian Grove?

    None of the features Schulman lists here will get you blackballed from Fluffy's List of Acceptable Libertarians [TM].

    But if you have all of these in combination, I might quite reasonably suspect that you're just another GOP shill trying to deceive me by pretending to be a libertarian, and that you're waiting for me to blink so you can steal my wallet and ass-fuck me.

    You know, what with the decades-long parade of people who have all of these features who have done just that.

    Sure, it sucks that libertarians prejudge people because of these things, but maybe Schulman might want to work on getting GOP shill dicklords to stop dressing up in libertarian camou so they can shoot us from blinds. If they stop doing that, I'll stop treating some of these things as the leper bell of an approaching dicklord. Deal? Deal.

  • SIV||

    GOP shills believe you should be an anarchist?

    Being a believer in limited rather than zero government is another reason for the blackball to be dropped into the bowl.

    So that's why I'm accused of being one. So where is this Republican Party/Anarchist faction hanging out?

  • robc||

    I found that part funny because libertarians have already kicked the anarchists out of the club.

  • Bruce Majors||

    No they haven't. Plenty of anarcho-capitalist libertarians.

  • Sean||

    robc is referring to the LP I believe

  • Neal Boortz||

    What about illegal immigrants and the rule of law? How about those drug-addict tobacco smokers I despise even though I say I'm for ending the WoD? And those Islamic extremists wanting to blow us up and how I support pointless military action? And I'm a libertarian!

  • ||

    "What about illegal immigrants and the rule of law?"

    But what if the law itself is illegal? Where, exactly, does the Constitution authorize federal power over immigration, much less the industrial-strength ICE infrastructure we have today?

    Naturalization is not immigration. Invasion is not immigration. Collecting a ten dollar per head entry tax is not wielding anything close to plenary control over immigration. Immigration is not commerce with foreign nations (though the importation of slaves was).

    So where does the Federal government find its authority? That's right, from the fact that xenophobic people WANT it to control immigration and don't look gift horses in the mouth. This is demonstrated in the reverse: So few people really understand what the Constitution says, but have been conditioned to believe that Federal immmigration authority is "constitutional." Even so, they cheer when, in the belief that the Federal government has abdicated its role, States like Arizona pick up the torch and start burning "illegals." The plain truth is that the people will not enforce the Constitution when the result of that negligence is something they want. Isn't that the death of the Republic?

    Nevertheless, if laws such as our current federal immigration regimen are unconstitutional, they are NOT LAWS. As I see it, unless and until all the border states adopt their own immigration laws, there will BE no true rule of law on the immigration issue.

  • ||

    I should have written, "unless and until all the border states adopt their own immigration laws, OR WE ENACT AN APPROPRIATE AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION, ..."

  • ||

    But if you have all of these in combination, I might quite reasonably suspect that you're just another GOP shill trying to deceive me by pretending to be a libertarian, and that you're waiting for me to blink so you can steal my wallet and ass-fuck me.

    Somebody's got a serious case of paranoia.

  • Bruce Majors||

    No it is well known that GOP shills in libertarian sheeps' clothing troll libertarian websites and conventions trying to steal our women.

  • COINTELPRO||

    It's likely because libertarians hate hearing the oft-told stereotype that all libertarians are republicans that smoke pot. The fact that some republicans say they're libertarians online so they won't have people constantly telling them to "STOP WATCHING FAUX NEWS OLOL," certainly doesn't help the stereotype. Unfortunately, the distancing and hostility towards republicans also scares away republicans who want to be libertarians but haven't made the leap yet.

  • ||

    I know the black leather jacket is Nick's trademark, but does he ever take it off? It's the middle of June!

  • Warty||

    Otis nodded and bit his lower lip. “What now, partner?” he asked. “They know about you now, and Tyler was not the only antenna. They made sure of that.”

  • wondering too||

    Moobs?

  • ||

    Again, Dan, I must implore that until you are funnied you stay away from attempts at humor. Your typical posts are quite sufficient in that respect.

  • wondering too||

    alacritous and wrong

  • Bruce Majors||

    I saw him this month not wearing it. It was even inside in air conditioning. He was wearing all black though. He said he was wearing black leather on the inside. I didn't ask for clarification.

  • ||

    and yes, me, especially now when I’m working my ass off to produce a movie based on my most popular libertarian-themed novel, Alongside Night to be treated with adolescent dismissal

    Uh, maybe because he's a whiny, self-centered little bitch? Schulman's novel was aggressively mediocre, even by the standards of late seventies, Heinlein ripoff, book club remainder sci-fi. Nice exposition of libertarian principles, though, but IIRC that was about the only redeeming feature of the work.

  • affenkopf||

    This.

    I've never read a novel I agreed so much with yet hated so much.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I haven't read them yet but given how badly reviewed Rand or Saul Bellow or many other fine novelists are I will not take your word for it.

  • Joel||

    Wait. Did Schulman just class himself with Heinlein and Rand? How many people outside the Secret Clubhouse have ever even heard of Schulman?

    I don't know how Glen Beck got on the list, 'cause as AFAIK he's as libertarian as the alpha dog in my pack. For that matter, if Heinlein hadn't written The Moon is a etc. he wouldn't be in the canon. He was all over the place philosophically, but certainly wasn't a doctrinaire libertarian. Come to think of it, Rand denounced libertarians loud and often, so I don't know why she's on the list either.

    Actually I don't know why Schulman wrote that list. He's the only Libertarian on it.

    Okay, now I've confused myself. Help.

  • Joshua||

    huh? Heinlein's later books in future history are all about freedomtariana. Don't you remember they founded Tertius because Secundus got too stifling?

    Did I just say that? God, I've got to get a life.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    It just doesn’t take much for libertarians to treat you like a Jew trying to join the Episcopalian-run country club.

    As Barry Goldwater remarked at a golf course that excluded Jews - "I'm only half Jewish - can I play 9 holes?"

  • alan||

    I thought it amusing back in 2000 that the media and Democrats made such a big deal out of Loserman being the first Jewish vice presidential candidate.

    Didn't the very name Goldwater bang the trombones in their head? It only took them forty years to what? Almost catch up?

  • Barack Obama||

    Like how I dissed my white half? So much for purity politics.

  • creech||

    Goldwater's father was Jewish. Goldwater was an Episcopalian.

  • alan||

    I know that, creech. Do you stop calling Woody Allen a Jew just because he is Atheist? There is an ethnic identity commonly realized by everyone as well as the religious origins which large segments of the Jewish people, especially the reform, reject.

    You can be technically correct but still miss a big chunk of the reality involved.

  • alan||

    How was it you put it in your first autobiography, B? You would like to ring every drop of your momma's blood from your system? Maybe the quote was out of context, but I do remember something along those lines. Admit it, you were just trying to get Michelle hot when she was she was thinking you were less than Billy D. Williams Tru.

    Don't blame you, Lando is one handsome fellow. Tough for any of us to live up to.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Tonie Nathan, the Libertarian Party candidate in 1972, was the first Jew (no?) and the first woman to receive an Electoral College vote; and John Hospers, the Presidential candidate, was the first gay (though not super-openly) candidate to receive such a vote since before WWII.

  • alan||

    The thought of ever having to defend your beliefs, or stand your ground, or that there are real policy differences worthy of inquiry amongst people who agree 95% of the time even when there is a big bad world out there ready to eat us all up. Poor baby.

  • T||

    I'll just add that part of the problem is that many in the media who call themselves libertarians are nothing close. Glenn Beck and Bill Maher come immediately to mind. Both pay lip service to the idea of liberty when it suits them, but are all too willing to throw something or someone under the bus when the principles become inconvenient to something they hold dear.

  • Discord||

    ^This.

  • Yonemoto||

    Well to be fair I think Bill Maher used to be a libertarian, but then he quit eating meat when he joined PeTA because he thought it would get him pussy. The lack of protein has since gone to his brain. It's one reason why I still eat meat one day a week.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, he was alright on Politically Incorrect. Recently he doesn't even seem to be pretending to be libertarian.

  • ||

    Maher: the very definition of a dorm room Democrat. Someday, maybe, if we try, we'll all be as wise as that little cocksucker.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Maybe we could pair up celebrities who claim to be libertarians and have them box or screw and make it pay per view.

    I'd pay to see Maher get a facial from Beck, and it's not because I find either of them that attractive.

  • ||

    J. Neil Shulman just became my hero. You clique-sters know who you are -- and know that I'm raising my middle finger to you, in my mind, every minute of every day.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Yes, in the same way that I like Palin more after she was attacked by twats like David Letterman and Sandra Bernhard, I am now more likely to get around to reading Schulman.

    Though it would really help if he would do erotic vampire fiction.

  • Brett L||

    There's a lot of People's Front of Judea v Judean People's Front in the libertarian movement, but you can't blame the right-thinking people for getting angry with splitters.

  • Bruce Majors||

    It's called the psychology of small differences and I think Freud wrote about it. I'd just agree with you but clearly you are a shallow pop culture referencing freak.

  • ||

    Splitter !

  • alan||

    |6.24.10 @ 10:17AM|#

    Is there such a thing as "'repressive libertarianism,' where certain people who call themselves libertarians invariably side with property owners who want to limit other people's liberties through the use of contract law. Property rights (usually held by somebody with a whole lot of economic clout) trump every other liberty."?

    That case where they are suing for the right of carrying weapons around on the private, sorry 'public accommodations', owned by other people for the purposes of 'the means of production' is the antithesis of libertarianism. As is Kelo which arose from the centrist dogma that is taught at our elite law schools with the expressed purpose of undermining our historical and libertarian judicial temperament.

  • alan||

    BTW, did you write that in support of the NRA position that your liberty is being repressed by someone else flexing his property rights to keep your guns off his property?

    However the case goes, you may not bring your weapon into my office without my permission, 'public accommodation' or not. I would torch the place before I bent to your will.

  • bob||

    Did you see the picture of this loser? I can tell just by his jaunty beret and homeless beard that I don't give a shit what he says.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Bob - I have met Schulman personally, and you are too kind to him.

  • brian defferding||

    Yeah, there are way too many pundits that falsely fly around the libertarian label, I always thought Glenn Beck was one of the worst things to happen to libertarians. Along with his xenophobic and hyperbolic tone he is making "Big L" and "small l" libertarians look bad.

  • Bruce Majors||

    He has actually moved in a more libertarian direction, and nobody showcases libertarian authors as much except perhaps Cavuto (and Stossel, Jillette and Napalitano).

  • ||

    Was never a fan, but the poorly acted fake tears were when I started completely tuning him out. The problem with Glenn Beck is not so much whether or not he's a libertarian - the problem is that he is a bad spokesperson for the message.

  • Draco||

    Shulman is right. We see it here every day at H&R.

    If someone says that a powerful military is necessary to the preservation of a free society, he will be called a "Neo Con" by some of the posters on this blog. Absurd? Yes. Immature? Yes. Jumping to all kinds of unwarranted conclusions? Yes. In fact, it's mainly the jumping to unwarranted conclusions that causes most of the grief. Instead of trying to understand the perspective of an obviously thoughtful and intelligent person, we attack him instantly. When we do that, we drive people away, thinking we are crazy. We don't make converts of them.

    Having grown and matured over the years myself, I now understand that it's very often an issue of maturity.

    How many of you have been converted by shrike's childish rants? See what I mean?

  • ||

    The use of powerful military force can be necessary to preserve a free society. But the existence of a powerful standing army, decade after decade, is the downfall of a free society, especially when that force is used to aggressively "project" freedom around the world.

  • ||

    I don't agree. In the present day, a free society seems far more vulnerable to the "vote for money for yourself and your allies" problem. Perhaps historically, as well.

  • High School Dropout||

    "But the existence of a powerful standing army, decade after decade, is the downfall of a free society"

    False

    "...when that force is used to aggressively "project" freedom around the world"

    True

  • Bruce Majors||

    None of you are pure libertarians except me.

    Fortunately for you I now offer a seminar via 11 podcast installments for only $495.

  • Comparative Advantage||

    I'm offering an original parody of this seminar in both interpretive dance with signs as props and sculptures with soliloquies for $99.95.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Yea but I throw in a full body massage complete with Body Electric techniques. Just ask Al Gore.

  • Comparative Advantage||

    The dancers and actors in my product are buck naked and very, ahem, aesthetically pleasing. "Charitable donations" are negotiable after the seminar. Those poor things need clothes!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    When did libertarians become such pussies? Waaa! Johnny says I'm not a good libertarian! Waaaa!
    Who cares? Get in there and fight, motherfucker!

  • halfwit||

    Who cares?

  • ||

    To break this question wide open, I don't believe anarchism maximizes liberty, therefore I would argue that anarchists are less libertarian than miniarchists who believe the existence of those who cannot defend themselves still requires a protector to prevent violations of their rights. I would never buy the argument that a democratically elected, severely limited government committed solely to prosecuting and punishing violators of rights would be worse or less free than de facto government by mafia. Anarchism is a figment of peoples' imaginations - if there is no formalized government structure, informal governments (mobs, gangs, mini-armies) led by either charismatic leaders, theocrats or crime lords will simply emerge in their wake and potentially be even more tyrannical. I'd rather lock down a formalized and severely limited structure than gamble with a power vacuum.

  • OH no not this again||

    Blaming the victim doesn't make you a libertarian, but looking around here on any given day, you'd think it was the opposite.

  • Kevin||

    I already miss the old internet version of Freedom Watch. The "New & Improved" Fox Business Network version sucks ass.

    It reminds me of when Old Coca Coke became New Coke.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    ?, there has only has been two episodes and it didn't seem that bad to me

  • Jim Davidson||

    If your philosophy is not entirely libertarian, you are going to be criticised by libertarians. If you expect to be inconsistent about liberty and never be criticised by people who pride themselves on being willing to exercise their freedom of expression, you are nuts.

    If your world view allows you to make endless exceptions for Israel's national police to bash heads, erect walls, and turn the Gaza Strip into a concentration camp, you might be an authoritarian.

    If your world view allows you to make exceptions for the USA to invade other countries, militarily occupy Texas, Germany, Japan, and Korea, among many other countries, for decades, you might be an authoritarian.

    If your world view calls for religious bigotry, or racism, or sexism, or xenophobia, or homophobia, or wars on drugs, terror, freedom, and people in other countries, you might be an authoritarian.

    If your personal philosophy exempts the state for erecting a new Berlin Wall to keep some people out of your country, or to keep some people and their ideas and capital in your country, you might be an authoritarian.

    If a state licence to practice your profession seems okay to you, or if a patent or copyright issued by the state is essential to your prosperity, you might be an authoritarian.

    And if you are an authoritarian, then you aren't especially libertarian. And neither is Glenn Beck.

    You can still be freedom-oriented, you can still believe in self-defence, you can still stand up for the oppressed once in a while. But you cannot reasonably expect not to be criticised by authentic, principled, consistent libertarians.

    And if you are tired of weakening the libertarian movement by continuing to be an authoritarian and continuing to claim that you aren't, why not stop pretending? You really are an authoritarian, Neil. And we all know it.

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