I Hate That Magazine


Props to Reason's devoted yet fickle special friend, Justin Raimondo, proprietor of the always-entertaining Antiwar.com. When he's not linking to our stuff favorably, he's coughing up the sort of noxious phlegm you expect from a guy whose author photo prominently features a cigarette:

God, how I hate that magazine, which falsely claims to be "libertarian." There's hardly a lie spread by the War Party that they aren't willing to swallow: as far as editor Nick Gillespie and his crew are concerned, as long as they have the right to do the drugs of their choice and live out their "alternative" lifestyles, little else matters. Could anything be more repulsive?

Exactly what lie(s) by the War Party we've been swallowing is unclear (the proximate cause of this blast was Chuck Freund's recent col about the BBC's bias). As is the question of what could be more repulsive than championing tolerance for alternative lifestyles (there are only alternative lifestyles, when you get down to it; you'd think a San Francisco-based fella like Justin would know that better than anyone). We just may have to spend some hard time conjuring up answers to these points.

Thanks, Justin, for giving us a couple more reasons to get up tomorrow morning. Next time you're in town, the drinks are half-priced.

NEXT: New Frontiers in Fighting Substance Abuse

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  1. Wait a gosh darn minute here, “that” magazine only infers to which Larry Flynt publishes. Considering the large amounts of political discussion involving the California recall, it would be a diservice to the community to confuse it to which magazine is “that” magazine.

    However, being that Justin is from “that” city (San Francisco), he could be given a break since Larry Flynt’s magazine openly fits one of the many lifestyles of “that” city.

  2. It’s easy for Nick to offer half-price drinks.
    He lives in some tiny hamlet in Ohio!


  3. So Julian and Jesse criticize the Bush administration regularly, and get reamed by commenters for linking to IndyMedia and other lefty sources, then Raimondo pegs them as tools of the GOP. Brilliant.

  4. As someone who helped to launch an antiwar website, (nowarblog.org) I was delighted to discover that I’ve been inducted into the “War Party” without my knowledge. Is there at least an open bar at this party?

  5. That picture of Raimondo Bogarting the cigarette is the best part of antiwar.com.

  6. Um, I’ve seen very little in the way of pro-war commentary from the staff of Reason.

    I guess this is what happens to a movement (like, say, libertarianism) that demands ideological purity. If you aren’t as anti-war as I am, then you are pro-war. If you aren’t as staunch on ANY issue as I am then you must be in favor of Big Government.

  7. Hey, look, I didn’t mean to go after EVERYone at Reason. But why, I wonder, is the Iraq war thought to be debatable — with both sides having their say in Reason — while a “lifestyle” issue like, say, abortion, would NEVER be treated in an “even-handed” manner. The piece by Freund on the “bias” of the BBC was utterly biased … in favor of the war. The idea that questioning the motives of the American government is somehow “anti-American” is utterly crazed: do you prefer the rah-rah pro-war Soviet-style “coverage” of the war as featured on Fox News? And if you follow the links in the Freund piece, you find that all these “BBC-watch” sites are all in a tizzy because the Beeb isn’t properly respectful of … Israel. How is this “anti-American”?

    Look, Reason is a mixed bag from a libertarian perspective, but just from a purely editorial point of view: how many articles on “raves” can one magazine run? And has anybody clued in the oh-so-hip editors of Reason to the fact that NO ONE goes to raves anymore?


  8. Justin – as Americans say, “You da man!”

  9. “Reason” magazine… pro-war?

    I don’t think that’s tobacco in Justin’s cigarette.

  10. Justin, how’s your good buddy Ismail Royer doing these days?

  11. i’m with you on the raves (really, people, is this the cutting edge?), justin, but i do have to say that the nature of your site calls into question the very objectivity that you would desperately need to back up as specious a claim as accusing ‘reason’ of being anything like fox-esque — or even economist-esque — on events military.

    truly, isn’t it far more likely that the emotion you so evidently attach to the issue clouds your perspective of what degree of zeal constitutes sainthood?

  12. Justin, there is an even more injust war taking place, the Drug War. We don’t have a precise body count number but there is over 800,000 POWs.

  13. I think Justin has a point, but I wouldn’t say I hate Reason. I like Reason. But he’s absolutely right that when it comes to the war, this magazine is sorely lacking in thoughtful commentary (with a couple of exceptions). Hey, maybe that’s not your schtick, but a magazine that advertises itself as devoted to “free minds and free markets” should spend more time devoted to the issue that threatens both the most.

  14. You always hurt the one you love, da da-da da…

  15. Hey, I was refusing invitations to raves in 1993 because I thought that would be like attending a be-in in 1974. But people kept throwing them, and I decided they were here to stay after all. And by now I’m far too old to know the difference between what’s current, what’s retro, and what’s pass?; I still watch silent movies, fer Christ’s sake.

    Anyway, the reason we keep sticking up for raves is that the government keeps attacking them. Don’t blame us if no one showed Congress the raves-are-out memo — especially if the laws it’s crafting could spell trouble for a lot of other gatherings as well, some of them downright nouveau.

  16. Good points made by Jesse Walker and anon @ 4:46 regarding why the drug war is certainly a valid and important issue. But at the risk of throwing water on the whole debate, I count down 40 articles on the Reson Online homepage before there’s another one that’s as overtly about the drug issue as the new one on Congressional attacks on rave music events (and both are written by Jacob Sullum, who has written a book on the issue). I know a few other of the intervening articles also make some mention of the issue, but I believe the vast majority have nothing to do with it. The oft repeated notion that Reason is a one issue rag is a demonizing myth.

  17. So … raves aren’t cool anymore, so as a result, congresspeople proposing crazy laws cracking down on them – and God knows what other events – is therefore not news? Puh-leeze.

  18. I think Mr. Raimondo looks terrific with the ciggie dangling from his lips,sort of a young Jacques Brel.If I read one more piece on raves,I will puke-I’m an old Northern Soulie,and when we were doing this same sort of thing thirty years ago one fully expected to be popped by the drug squad.It never occurred to us to petition the State to bless our activities, we just kept an eye out for the Old Bill.

  19. Although I fail to see good evidence of Reason’s pro-war bias, this single magazine shouldn’t be thought of as source of commentaries of all the BS that goes on in the world. World Press Review is a far better magazine if you are looking for a wide variety of viewpoints on current major global issues. Their editors are skewed left, but their article selection is usually fair.

    So Reason doesn’t dedicate issues debating the situation in Iraq. Big f’in deal. I’m flooded about that from enough other sources anyhow.

  20. Iraq started a war with Kuwait 13 years ago in an attempt to stifle free markets. The U.S. found this to be out of line with it’s own interests. The rest is history. It shouldn’t be a suprise that some believers in free markets would oppose price-fixers like saddam. And if the war gives the Iraqi people a better future, that’s great too.

    Why wouldn’t abortion be treated in an even-handed manner amongst libertarians? Is war treated in an even-handed manner at antiwar.com? (pretty much a rhetorical question) Are business and capitalism properly debated at an anit-globalization rally…

  21. Yeah, Justin’s right. Why is the war seen as a debatable issue? Obviously there’s never any need to debate a stupid issue like WAR. It’s obvious there’s only one side! And that’s … wait, I forgot … oh yeah: Free Iraq!

    Next issue: Does Justin Raimondo fellate goats in his spare time? There’s no room for debtate! The answer is…

  22. “but being anti-corp is unlibertaaaarian! — gag”

    Has anyone, anywhere, ever claimed this? Honestly?

  23. Hate Reason? Come on Justin. From a libertarian perspective there is no merit at all in say, The New Republic, and National Review is usually Godawful on foreign policy and is home turf of the War Party; plenty there to offend libertarian sentiment (as well as conservative sentiment). But Reason?? Open debate on many issues has been a trait of Reason over the years. (BTW, I think abortion actually has been debated in its pages, might of been as far back as the 70’s but I think it was.) With this sort of libertarian “the truth is where you find it” attitude it should be no surprise that Reason sports the most dynamic and diverse blog. Is there ANY other blog like it? Kudos to Nick Gillespie and the guys at reason for the classy way they responded to a swipe from an ally and kudos to Justin Raimondo for coming on the blog, admitting he over spoke and positing a more rational line of attack. But mostly Justin
    deserves kudos for antiwar.com. It is an indispensable source of news and thoughtful commentary which can be used as intellectual ammunition against the government’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy. It is especially good on the US governments counter productive support of the Sharon regime. Justin’s own column at antiwar.com is often a treasure trove. Antiwar.com is the most frequented libertarian website. To your good health, Justin!

  24. Above post by Rick Barton. Don’t know why it didn’t put my name…

  25. As I remarked some time ago over at the Samizdata blog (http://www.samizdata.net), what is so libertarian anyway about giving murderous dictators a free pass unless they come and sit on our front lawn?

    was the iraq war sponsored by tax dollars, some of them from people who opposed it?

    That in itself makes it unlibertarian.

    apart from that, I’d point out that invading iraq is a prime example of state intervention on liberal moral grounds, which most libertarians would despise if it was done domestically, and a lot of us feel the same when it is done in foriegn nations.

    and there are tons more specifics about the iraq war, those last two could be applied to any wazr ever by any country

  26. “The idea that questioning the motives of the American government is somehow “anti-American” is utterly crazed: do you prefer the rah-rah pro-war Soviet-style “coverage” of the war as featured on Fox News?”

    See, Justin, there’s your problem in a nutshell.

    If not A, then B.

    If not anti-war to the same degree and manner as Justin, then part of the War Party.

  27. JR sez: “But why, I wonder, is the Iraq war thought to be debatable — with both sides having their say in Reason — while a ‘lifestyle’ issue like, say, abortion, would NEVER be treated in an ‘even-handed’ manner.”

    Well obviously there’s a certain unanimity among the staff at Reason on “lifestyle” issues such as drugs, abortion, etc., while opinions on this particular war happen to be a bit more diverse. If anything, I’d day this adds to the magazine’s credibility, in that there doesn’t seem to be a dictatorial editorial policy mandating that only one type of position be published. That said, Reason’s staff is actually pretty heavily weighted AGAINST the war, with only a couple of writers taking the pro- position. IIRC, the vast majority of articles published here on the subject took the dove position.

  28. Mmmm, nothin like a little censorship to spice up a good Star Trek convention. I guess if I don’t pick some lame tag like “jo-bob” or “steve” then I don’t have the courage of my convictions. How about this? — If I put my real name, I could get in a lot of trouble.

    Screw you dork-ass minarcho-totalitarians. War is evil, the State is evil, and there’s no compromise to be made on these subjects, if one believe in liberty. I don’t mean your Founding-Fathers-fetish-1776-Betsy-Ross plastic banana “freedom” for rich white aristocrats. I mean FREEDOM.

  29. Remember, thousands of people have sacrificed their lives so you can have the right to force their children to fight for that right.

  30. Justin’s comments are dumb. It is perfectly “reasonable” for libertarians to debate, say, abortion, and they have indeed done so. Most Reason writers from what I have read oppose the Iraqi campaign but it is good that not everyone feels obliged to trot out the same isilationist line, if only to keep our intellects sharp. The doctrine of pro-active self defence that Bush has invoked as his justification for taking Saddam down is not necessarily at odds with the cause of liberty.

    As I remarked some time ago over at the Samizdata blog (http://www.samizdata.net), what is so libertarian anyway about giving murderous dictators a free pass unless they come and sit on our front lawn?

    I have yet to see a proper answer to that question.

  31. I feel like I’ve stumbled into a town of people who know and hate each other way too much.

  32. J Canuck,

    It’s not what you say but who says it? What kind of statist nonsense is that?

    Name withheld upon request.

  33. Johnathan Pearce wrote:
    “The doctrine of pro-active self defence that Bush has invoked as his justification for taking Saddam down is not necessarily at odds with the cause of liberty.”

    But, its not defence when we are not actually threatened as Gen. Wesley Clark contended that we weren’t. The Bush administration “justification” consisted of a pack of fabrications.

    “what is so libertarian anyway about giving murderous dictators a free pass unless they come and sit on our front lawn?”

    Its a question of the government forcing people to take action when its not in their interest or desire to do so. Lots of libertarian philosophers write on this.

  34. “what is so libertarian anyway about giving murderous dictators a free pass unless they come and sit on our front lawn?”

    In a perfect world it would be completely acceptable for the US to go and take out every murderous dictator. Oh, wait, in a perfect world those dictators wouldn’t exist, but you know what I mean.

    In this very imperfect world, sometimes fixing one problem causes more trouble than it solves. The basic contention is that in many instances our foreign interventions fail to bring peace and liberty to the people of that country, and just get us entangled in more conflict. We can debate on a case-by-case basis whether that happened in any particular foreign intervention, but the point is that a policy of only acting when threatened minimizes the unintended consequences.

  35. Name @ 9:02: Of course not. I just feel that if you want to go off on someone, have the courage to stand by what you say. If I want to spew hateful diatribes at all and sundry, I should at least be willing to accept the return fire, rather than hide behind someone’s (digital) skirt.

  36. Anon@5:31: War is evil. No kidding. It is also sometimes neccesary. The tree of liberty must sometimes be sustained with the blood of patriots. Or something like that. I cannot remember the exact quote but you get my drift.

  37. Why is it always the gutless, bile spewing losers who insist on staying anonymous with their posts? For, or against the topic at hand, at least have the courage of your convictions. That is, if you have any.

  38. Gwyn: More Morton Downey Jr., I think.

  39. Justin’s comments have some merit but many of the points are silly. The website is not “pro-war”, and I suspect his natural biases are what drives him to make such a specious assertion.

  40. I can think of a couple libertarian institutions that are pro-war:

    Hoover Institute
    The Objectivist Institute
    Neil Boortz (last time I listened — Januaryish)

    they are on the margins, one way or another of the movement, but still there. I’m anti-war BTW, just trying to be fair.

    To those who say the Libertarian Party is crazy, Raimondo has been invited to 1 LP state convention in the past 15 years or so — last year at the Illinois LP where he demanded the LP stop what its doing and institute a stalinist purge of all anti-war libertarian from the party. This from a non-LP member BTW — hasn’t been invited back since to my knowledge to any official LP function — perhaps the LP’ers are saner than some people think.


  41. Jacob above writes that because the war in Iraq was supported by U.S. and British tax moneys, including those taken from anti-war taxpayers, it was an unlibertarian war.

    An argument for anarcho-capitalism, since just about every thing a government does, including even a minimal-state government, might be opposed by someone, since presumably even a minimal state has to be funded by tax.

    Anyway, the war in Iraq was initially framed by Bush, Blair and others as a form of proactive self-defence – Saddam’s regime posed a serious threat to its immediate neighbours and in time, to us. And while no definite link to al Quaeda was ever proved, Saddam had been clearly funding and supporting terror groups for his own ends, a fact which after 9/11 could not be ignored. It may be that that assessment may turn out to be wrong and that Saddam was just another nasty dictator with a big moustache and a penchant for military dress (this seems to be the rather complacent stance of a lot of anti-war folk). But in theory at any rate, it was not necessarily unlibertarian to suppose that we had to attack his regime before he did further harm.

    More broadly, I think one reason why libertarian debate on war gets so heated is that some libertarians tend to confuse the non-aggression axiom when applied to individuals and when applied to states. The two are not the same, and yet far too many on the Raimondo side of the argument seem to think so.

    Anyway, as a Brit I am mighty glad that my country and western Europe was liberated from Hitlerian terror in 1945 by a US government unburdened by isolationist dogmas.

  42. EMAIL: amelia2003_5@yahoo.com
    DATE: 01/21/2004 06:21:28
    Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

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