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Considering how many times Reason has been dinged for being about nothing but pot, cloning and sexual deviance, it's heartening to see the Wall Street Journal's Susan Lee describe the libertarian position as all that and then some. Lee's primer tends toward a "Libertarianism for Dummies" tone, but that beats the "Libertarianism is for Dummies" attitude (or at least a "Reason is full of dummies" attitude) that has characterized previous WSJ coverage.

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  1. Marina,

    It isn’t that people who are scared about Libertarians prefer more coercive government or don’t believe people can’t be trusted with freedom. Most people don’t think at that high a level about politics and government. People more commonly think at the policy level. What scares people about Libertarians is that Libertarian policy ideas sound jacobin–“legalize all drugs,” “legalize all guns,” “repeal all taxes,” “have no military presence outside our territory,” etc.

    Either capital-L Libertarians need to learn how to play the political game as a third party, or small-l libertarians need to take over one of current leading two.

  2. Tim,
    What are you trying to pull? The links you post deride Virginia Postrel not Reason. (Effectively too IMHO) Furthermore, they deal mostly with 911, war, and Iraq, with scarcely a word about “pot, cloning, and sexual deviance”. Further STILL, Susan Lee’s contention is that the libertarian view is absent from congress and the national debate as a whole. She is quite correct, and it’s a very good thing to see it appear in the WSJ.

  3. I read her comment on the absence of libertarian views as a lament on the tendancy of the “powers that be” who shape the debate to ignore us.

  4. Susan Lee’s essay on libertarianism was indeed simplistic, but at least it was positive. I recall being told once that Libertarians “scare everyone.” I found that statement both amusing and distressing. Amusing, because it was. Distressing, because it said to me that either that person did not understand the Libertarian position, or is one of those people who prefer a more coercive form of government because they don’t believe that individuals can be trusted with the rights and freedoms that Libertarians espouse. And yes, as Susan Lee says, Libertarians are optimistic, but it is optimism that gets things done. If one gives up, as pessimists are wont to do, then one accomplishes nothing.

  5. fuck you, you dumbass

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