Libertarian History/Philosophy

The Libertarian Future, Today

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The Cato Unbound roundtable launched by my essay is continuing apace, with contributions from Brink Lindsey and Tyler Cowen.

I'll be finishing off the roundtable, after Virginia Postrel and Tom Palmer have weighed in, so I won't go on about them here, but herewith some samples that might be of interest to Hit and Run assembled, and spark some interesting conversation.

From Lindsey, whose essay is called "Libertarians in an Unlibertarian World":

To be effectively idealistic, we must first be realistic. This means recognizing that libertarian ideals as we understand them are not widely shared by our fellow citizens. Sometimes we like to imagine that under the skin of every American is a libertarian yearning to breathe free. In fact, though, the most we will find are some libertarian instincts, competing with egalitarian instincts, nationalist instincts, moralistic instincts, and various narrow conceptions of self-interest.

Lindsey ends with a call, the thinking behind which is buttressed by his excellent forthcoming book The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed American Politics and Culture, for libertarians to rethink their traditional sense of alliance (for some of them, by no means all) with the Republican Party and the right, and be willing to forge a usuable political movement around the people who, while not accepting all the radicalism inherent in movement libertarianism as its story is told in my new book Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, do fall roughly into the "fiscally conservative, socially liberal" category.

Tyler Cowen has an analysis that is alternately positive and negative for the committed libertarian–and ties in nicely with the discussion Jonah Goldberg started about libertarians and positive and negative liberty.

From Cowen's "The Paradox of Libertarianism":

Those developments [in a libertarian direction] have brought us much greater wealth and much greater liberty, at least in the positive sense of greater life opportunities. They've also brought much bigger government. The more wealth we have, the more government we can afford. Furthermore, the better government operates, the more government people will demand. That is the fundamental paradox of libertarianism. Many initial victories bring later defeats.

I am not so worried about this paradox of libertarianism. Overall libertarians should embrace these developments. We should embrace a world with growing wealth, growing positive liberty, and yes, growing government. We don't have to favor the growth in government per se, but we do need to recognize that sometimes it is a package deal.

NEXT: Illegal Immigrants at Hazleton's Gates

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  1. Agree with Cowen, and I’ve been preaching what Lindsey is saying for years now.

  2. …various narrow conceptions of self-interest.

    Oh for the day when everyone is as super-smart as me and correctly identifies their own self-interest.

  3. “The more wealth we have, the more government we can afford.”

    This depends on how you define “more goverment”. If it’s purely in dollar terms, then sure, growth and inflation will allow indefinite expansion.

    On the other hand, if you measure government size by the proportion of the population who are working on the government dime, then this measure is bounded at 100%, and we know that figure is not desirable.

  4. When I hear talk of “positive liberty”, I reach for my revolver.

  5. I sometimes think that it might be easier to get people who are normally strongly aligned with one of the two major parties to accept, if not embrace, a federalist approach to government, than to do the same with libertarian principals, and thus support on a defacto basis, in some places, a more libertarian form of government. Of course, some libertarians would need to compromise their principals as well, is this course were followed, and even this ignores the question as to whether there is any real potential support for federalism among Democrats and Republicans.

  6. Will Allen

    I have the same suspicion. A lot of people, left or right, are probabaly susceptible to the idea of government closer to the people, if they’re (small d) democrats at least (and everybody claims to be).

    One thing that worries me about that idea is that it might actually further entrench the legitimacy of government action. Your thoughts?

  7. “And the older story of “big government crushes liberty” is being superseded by “advances in liberty bring bigger government.””

    Is, I believe, the key phrase to analyze.

  8. Brian,

    Nice try, but Ron already fooled me with this Political Science Student Union doublespeak. Reason me once, and all that.

    NM,
    “And the older story of “big government crushes liberty” is being superseded by “advances in liberty bring bigger government.””

    Does not require any further study beyond rejection. If they are true advances in Liberty then the government is a smaller and smaller voyour to the sides.

  9. When I hear talk of “positive liberty”, I reach for my revolver.

    I am with you brother, but I am an auto-loader guy.

  10. Reason me once, and all that.”

    DRINK!!!

  11. Cerro, I suspect it would, in some places. As long as people had the real chance to vote with their feet, however, I’d be wiling to live with that. It’d be cause for concern, however, because one could not absolutely guarantee such a real chance.

    A real United States, providing a widely varied choice in degree of government involvement in the lives of citizens, however, would be a wonderful thing.

    Oh well, one can dream, I guess…..

  12. “When I hear talk of “positive liberty”, I reach for my revolver.”

    Fluffy is clearly a Mission of Burma fan, or should be

    Once I had my heroes
    Once I had my dreams
    But all of that is changed now
    They’ve turned things inside out
    The truth is not so comfortable, no
    And mother taught us patience
    The virtues of restraint

    And father taught us boundaries
    Beyond which we must go
    To find the secrets promised us, yeah

    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    That’s when it all gets blown away

    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    The spirit fights to find its way

    A friend of mine once told me
    His one and only aim
    To build a giant castle
    And live inside his name
    Cry and whispers sing in muted pain

    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    That’s when it all gets blown away

    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    The spirit fights to find its way

    Tonight the sky is empty
    But that is nothing new
    Its dead eyes look upon us
    And they tell us we’re nothing but slaves

    That’s when I reach for my revolver

    (…but slaves)

    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    That’s when I reach for my revolver
    That’s when I reach for my revolver

  13. “We don’t have to favor the growth in government per se, but we do need to recognize that sometimes it is a package deal.”

    No it does not have to be a “package deal”, it is this way because we (citizens) allow it. It seems this might be a sloppy use of the word “paradox”. Though the point is well taken that a parasitic government can ride the back of liberty. The stronger the beast the larger and more leeches can latch on (i am referring mainly to policy, not people)

  14. More wealth brings broad demand for more government. My read of Cowen is that fighting any increase in government at any cost is not favorable to our cause.

  15. Just how do egalitarian principles conflict with libertarian principles?
    Egalitarian = “Nobody is better than me.”
    Libertarian = “Nobody can take care of my affairs better than me.”

    Or am I wrong?

  16. “If they are true advances in Liberty then the government is a smaller and smaller voyour to the sides.”

    No, sorry, not always. State lotteries brought both a true advance in liberty and larger gov’t. Before, lotteries were illegal, period. After, you were allowed to gamble with the state. Your liberty truly advanced, and gov’t got more money & bigger.

    The same would be true if, for example, prohibition of non-medical use of narcotics was replaced by a state monopoly in same, but the advance would be much bigger in terms of its consequences, inasmuch as the war on drugs would practically end. It’s about what happened where liquor prohibition was replaced by state stores.

    It’s also possible to have a shrinkage of gov’t and a concomitant decline in liberty. A couple of obvious examples would be diminution of enforcement of freedom-preserving laws, and failure to maintain roads (while keeping them as gov’t property).

  17. So, if I’m a fiscal conservative (more importantly a regulatory conservative), but a strong social liberal, does that mean I’m not a libertarian? Can I still fake it at least?

  18. A wealthy society can afford a big government as measured in spending. But a society cannot remain wealthy indefinitely if the government constricts growth too heavily.

    The most meaningful thing to look at is probably government spending as a fraction of GDP. America with a fairly small government would probably still spend more on the state than a tiny socialist country. You can have a state that does a lot and still be wealthy, as long as it doesn’t do too much to any one person.

  19. True, Neu.

    Perhaps a further word of explanation is also in order:

    I distrust the discussion about so-called “positive liberty” because the concept inevitably gets twisted, Atrios-like, into a mere checklist of the number of things a theoretical “average consumer” or “average citizen” can choose to do at any moment in time, regardless of the source or foundation of those options. This means that you have more “liberty” in the middle of Manhattan than you would if you were the sole inhabitant of Australia, because despite its many statist regulations Manhattan would have more restaurants, libraries, and museums. And by the terms of this analysis big government is good, because big government can provide that average citizen or consumer with subsidized cultural and entertainment opportunities and with the option of telling his boss to go fuck himself and going on the dole instead of working. In other words, bread and circuses actually make you more free.

    The problem with this concept of positive liberty can be neatly summarized with a simple thought experiment: If you had a family composed of one very diligent and wealthy patriarch and four or five complete screw-up adult children, you could maximize the “positive liberty” of the family relationship by forcing the patriarch to support the adult children and to provide them with all the spending money they wanted. It would be a comparatively minor impediment to the patriarch’s autonomy, and he might not even miss the money all that much; and just THINK of all the positive liberty enjoyed by his kids! If your concept of liberty includes obvious injustices like this example [and “positive liberty” absolutely does] then there is something wrong with your concept of liberty.

  20. State lotteries brought both a true advance in liberty and larger gov’t. Before, lotteries were illegal, period. After, you were allowed to gamble with the state. Your liberty truly advanced, and gov’t got more money & bigger.

    A little relaxation of regulation is sometimes worse than none at all, though. In particular, once the state became involved in gambling, and came to depend on it as a revenue source, it had an even greater interest in stomping any competing sort of gambling out of existence. Thus we reach the current nonsense of arresting CEOs of foreign gambling companies at US airports.

  21. So the basic idea of the article is that its too hard to stop big government so we shouldn’t even try?

    The way I look at it, we can always have less government and less restrictions on liberty regardless of how much or how little we have at the current moment.

    And it is true that libertarian ideas are not shared by our fellow citizens. That’s why the founding fathers set up an individualist republic, not a democracy.

    Our first ten or so presidents weren’t Christians. Compare that to the present state of affairs where Republican candidates have to grovel to Jerry Falwell.

    Death to democracy.

  22. Amazing. Is Mr. Doherty is stepping back from the ideology? Many Stalinists gave up their Stalinism only after some cataclysm like the crushing of the Hungarian revoltuion. But libertarians have never dirtied their hands with reality enough to experience such a cataclysm. Is it just boredom then?

  23. This is actually pertinent to the conversation. Read all of it.

    http://redtail.chaoshacker.org/

    Out with the old, in with the new..
    redtail lives.
    redtail collective
    A private workspace/studio/gallery in Boston’s Fort Point Channel artist community.

    The Red Tail Collective is the utopian community that Zebbler, also known as Peter Berdovsky, is a part of. I must say, they have the best SOMA-I-MEAN-ART in the Boston area.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glitch_%28music%29

    Glitch (also known as Clicks and Cuts from a representative compilation series by the German record label Mille Plateaux) is a genre of electronic music that became popular in the late 1990s with the increasing use of digital signal processing, particularly on computers. Often considered a sub-genre of intelligent dance music, Glitch eschews traditional instrumentation, preferring instead the use of mechanized and non-natural sounds. Though rhythm is a central focal point of Glitch, the style’s various sub-genres range from the ambient to the dance-oriented.

    So I wanted to tell you all that way back when before the Mooninites went public, I attended the Red Tail Glitch party. Now it is more and more looking like a “retail glitch”, which is a dual-use pun that a space alien told me about.

    Suffice to say that this is a very “cool” place that knows how to hawk it.

    promomagazine.com
    http://www.toxicollective.org/ps/
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0399149864/reasonfoundation-20/

    The first of William Gibson’s usually futuristic novels to be set in the present, Pattern Recognition is a masterful snapshot of modern consumer culture and hipster esoterica. Set in London, Tokyo, and Moscow, Pattern Recognition takes the reader on a tour of a global village inhabited by power-hungry marketeers, industrial saboteurs, high-end hackers, Russian mob bosses, Internet fan-boys, techno archeologists, washed-out spies, cultural documentarians, and our heroine Cayce Pollard–a soothsaying “cool hunter” with an allergy to brand names.

    Don’t bother waiting for the Pattern Recognition movie, YOUR WATCHING IT RIGHT NOW. Red Tail is a subset of the RADICALS FOR CAPITALISM that do the radical survival thing once a year, then go back to day jobs in Babylon. Yes, Brian Doherty is the missing link. Sweet. He should evolve himself and then write another book.

  24. Oh for the day when everyone is as super-smart as me and correctly identifies their own self-interest.

    OH, FOR THE DAY WHEN EVERYONE HAS FREE ACCESS TO LSD.

  25. When I hear talk of “positive liberty”, I reach for my revolver.

    LSD can be provided to everyone on the planet free of charge. In monetary terms, it is probably the most inexpensive substance to synthesize in the universe, besides cannabis of course.

  26. Quite frankly I believe that the future of the libertarian movement requires the union of opposites. I think the term “anarchy” is pretty counterproductive, and prefer to use the circled “A” to point to two different words, namely “Amnesty” and “Autonomy”.

    The autonomy can be see over the internet. Chiapas remains peaceful but also armed. Oaxaca is struggling for Autonomy.

    The war on drugs makes true Autonomy impossible in the United States of America. The trick for the union of opposites is to allow democratic socialism and libertarian communism coexist peacefully.

    The influx of Brown People into the wellfare state will be balanced by the mass exodus of middle class white children. Or maybe the Brown People will take over the government and spend all the money for the FAITH BASED PROGRAMS on mushrooms 😎

  27. From Drug WarRant:

    http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/16887843.htm

    Again, can’t really argue that the RESULT of this study, and the entire drug war in general, is that more and more white middle class kids are smoking herb every day.

    And they should. How about a campaign to advocate vaporizer use among underage cannabis users? It’s good for your brain. Albert Einstein, whose brain was one of the crowning acheivments of human evolution, said that IMMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE. Cannabis certainly makes art better than the commercial “music” industry.

    And it takes a SECOND bullshit war in the middle east for people to wake up and realize that the government lies about EVERYTHING?

    PAGING ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. COLLEGE IS A JOKE. DROP OUT AND SMOKE HERB. SELL YOUR ART. TAKE MONEY AWAY FROM THE GOVERNMENT. LIVE FREE AND BE HAPPY.
    —-
    Hippie Redneck: I used to have a plum colored minivan a few yrs ago, and I put a few bamper stickers on it…such as: NRA, Support Our Troops, Carribean Connection (headshop), Pink Ribbon (breast cancer), 911 – never forget, rainbow celebrate diversity, terrorist hunting permit, & FairTax.org.

    Hippie rednecks! Them be my kinda folk… IB12!

    Armed and peaceful…

    Sorry, tros… not that you’re wrong, it’s just how you say it!! The ’60’s called…they want you back!

    Don’t even get me STARTED! Not only did I miss the boat, but I had to spend all of the 90’s behind a computer screen. Seriously, though, it goes San Fransisco -> Los Angeles -> New York City.

    O yeah, for the “bona fide” hippies, I’m sure you know that Family Fluff is the gold standard across the country.

    WELCOME HOME!

    Where I live, the dominant species is Suitus Americanus Corporatii, an unusual beast that lusts after things it can’t afford, partly due to the false belief that they denote social position, which is in fact not anywhere near their true stance on the food chain.

    Many spend their entire lives attempting to achieve a goal which they never realize is actually a mockery of their pursuits: He who dies with the most toys, wins!. The fact is that they win the same prize as any corpse – a small plot of soil, if they’re lucky. But some seem literally Hell-bent to get there. I tend to step out of the way of such people, not out of deference to their beliefs, but out of self-defense; if someone is in a hurry to fill their grave, I tend to oblige them.

    I can’t ever say I was a hippie; not with a Marine father. Never had the chance. But I would be far more comfortable in their company than I am with ol’ Suitus. Just being around him makes me nervous…

    I actually have a friend who is sixteen and remarkably experienced for his age. Remarkably. Experienced. His father is an ex-marine, but he is also a high school AP American History teacher.

    He knows the truth about the Iraq War, and he is tolerant of his child’s “hippie phase”. When he graduates high school he will undoubtedly work through the travelling “head” phase and eventually settle down into the “mooninite phase”, hopefully in New Hampshire.

    Oh yeah, and his mom was/is a cancer patient that uses medicinal cannabis. Did I mention that both of his parents are libertarians? Did I mention that my friend made a movie about how experienced he was/is? It’s a bit long right now, with many a throwback to the Blair Witch Project, but it will be up on youtube as soon as we finish editting.

    So ya’ll get to see what I look like, finally. This is where I would usually say something about how I am not afraid / don’t care about narcs reading this, but honestly, from the shit Souder is saying, I am suspicious that he doesn’t even know how to read.

    So go ahead. Send a SWAT team to my house and bust down my parents door and haul me in, after ALL THESE PEOPLE know who I am. Go ahead. I fucking dare you.

  28. Fluffy is clearly a Mission of Burma fan, or should be

    Oh yeah, I forgot to say that if you work for the Babylonian Capitalist system, as opposed to the Anarchist Capitalist system, then you ARE a slave.

    O wait, they had that 3/5 bargain thing, where they oly take 40% of your money, right?

  29. Parallel conversation going on at my diary at Daily Kos. We all have our language prisons, after all…

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/3/13/4854/76943

    NATO
    Stands for NO ANARCHISTS TRIPPING OUT.

    So in this union of opposites you have a choice. You can do the Common Good goose-step at the daily cause, I mean the Daily Kos. Or if you want to TRY to be an individual, you read the Reason “Dot Com” slash-Blog.

    P.S. If you don’t appreciate Nietzsche, then you’ve probably never been in a language prison. Right now I am working on breaking the civil libertarians out of the “Capitalism” language prison as well as springing the progressive democrats from the “Marxist” language prison.

    mutualist.blogspot.com

    Kevin Carson is so underground that his book doesn’t even have an ISBN number. He has some very interesting theories concerning the Right called the right to SELF TREATMENT. This is an idea that I am very interested in promoting.

    Now say it with me now:

    YOU ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS!

    “We are all individuals”

    YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK IT OUT FOR YOURSELVES!

    “We’re going to have to work it out for ourselves”

    “Oh, there you go, bringing class into it AGAIN!”

    “BUT THAT’S WHAT IT’s ALL ABOUT!”

    “Oh, stop worrying about class, Dennis, and just worry about the mud!”

  30. http://www.globalorgasm.org/

    WHO? All Men and Women, you and everyone
    you know.

    WHERE? Everywhere in the world, but especially in countries with weapons of mass destruction.

    WHEN?
    Winter Solstice Day – Friday, December 22nd,
    at the time of your choosing, in the place of your choosing and with as much privacy as you choose.

    WHY? To effect positive change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy a Synchronized Global Orgasm. There are two more US fleets heading for the Persian Gulf with anti-submarine equipment that can only be for use against Iran, so the time to change Earth’s energy is NOW!

    http://forums.lycaeum.org/index.php/topic,19455.0.html

    Foreign thoughts and dreams jive
    racing irreverently through his mind
    And mirroring every memory
    Exciting delusions so passionately confused with truth
    Marveling at the new dimensions
    Dark beauty and shimmering lakes with lizard love
    His powers of creation and destruction rise and fall like breath
    Writing histories of concept and structure,
    And tremble before the sublime and beautiful
    Only to carry out nihilism to its final conclusion
    To sing the shamanic death song for all humanity
    There is a familiar rhythm and primordial drum beat
    The cosmic jazz freaks all doubt, laziness, and fear
    The conception of the continuation is drawing near
    He cringes with bliss, gives god a kiss, smiles sheds tear
    Into his wine and proceeds to drink to the health of the universe
    What a day, what a day.

    10,000

    sifting through the shifting sky
    for familiar images as they pass by
    grass on my skin
    naked and restless
    natural
    patiently waiting as the sun dies
    and the climate cools
    patiently waiting for the groove

    Come with me and look inside
    where all your motivations hide
    where you know so much you can’t abide
    to let your humble ego slide
    as the clear light sears your senses closed
    the multitudes of of timelines freeze
    and you wish to God you weren’t too hosed
    to divine the possibilities
    for your next release
    that existential grease
    to help accept what’s true
    piece by piece, sliding through
    the neutral space where your soul can’t hide
    the cause of all where it casts its roots
    as we do our best to flow with the tide
    after all the others who came before
    you’ll pick the ones that mean the most
    before the sun kicks down the doors
    their minds cast shadows and project a toast
    to our most benevolent and glorious host

    molest my emotions
    then drop me off backwards
    into all those vagaries of miscommunication
    and uneven development
    a landscape of distorted growth
    full of good intentions and foolish decisions
    and dreams long buried beneath the weight of years
    I’ve come far enough to feel
    feel the ground below my feet sinking
    feel the original intention drifting
    To wish it all away and the next day
    cling because its the only thing of value in this whole doomed entropic universe
    I’ve been taught to dream as a pallative to a dreary life I’ve not chosen
    Rather than as a testing ground for infinite possibilities
    So let this be the point of departure
    to the [{BRAVE}] New World of self discovery
    I’m packing lightly
    And I’m living lightly too

    P.S. Have you seen the episode of South Park where Cartman mass-murders a bunch of hippies with a giant drill? It is quite enlightening.

  31. And before you call me a College Knowitall Hippie, I should tell you that the only “hippy festival” I have ever been to was a festival that was organized and facilitated by a friend of mine who runs a for-prophet (and profit) weekly open mic event in my home town. The festival was “family friendly”, and by that I mean only cannabis.

    He is a great musician and his spiritual calling in life, besides being a yoga teacher, is also to create a space for children to express themselves creatively. The Fountainhead is one of his favorite books. He also likes A Stranger In A Strange Land as well as The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.

    Still hasn’t read the Cat That Walks Through Walls, though. I’ll have to put him on to that one. Usually I would tell people to read that book after reading EVERY OTHER Heinlein book, but considering his general state of mind, I think he will like it anyway.

  32. A boy comes to a dark, desolate corner of town called “the Street of the Lifted Lorax,” to learn who the Lorax was and how he got “lifted and taken away.” Through a “whisper-ma-phone,” the Once-ler tells the boy what happened. When the Once-ler first arrived at this place, it was a beautiful, sunny forest where the Swomee-Swans sang, the Humming-Fish hummed, and the Brown Bar-ba-loots played in the shade while eating the fruit of the Truffula Trees, colorful woolly trees spread throughout the area. Enchanted by these gorgeous trees, the Once-ler built a small shop, where he chopped down a tree and knitted a Thneed, an odd-looking but versatile garment that he insisted “everyone needs.” Out of the stump popped a strange little man called the Lorax, who claimed to “speak for the trees.” The Lorax first pooh-poohed the Once-ler’s creation, until someone came along and bought it. Spurred by greed, the Once-ler invited all his relatives to town where they started a huge Thneed-making business, chopping down Truffula Trees left and right, much to the Lorax’s distress. The skies gradually got darker and more polluted, forcing the Lorax to send the Bar-ba-loots, the swans, and the fish off in search of a better place to live. The Once-ler, while upset to see the animals go, dismissed the Lorax’s pleadings until the last Truffula Tree got chopped down, leaving the Once-ler alone with the Lorax and a failed business in a desolate place under a dark smoggy sky. With a “sad backward glance,” the Lorax picked himself up by the “seat of his pants” and floated away through a hole in the smog. At the end of the story, the Once-ler reveals that he has one last Truffula seed left, and instructs the boy to start a new forest so that “the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.”

  33. This is the wikipedia entry on Joseph Alois Ratzinger, written by Theodor Seuss Geisel:

    In the first book featuring the character (The Cat in the Hat, 1957), the Cat brings a cheerful, exotic and exuberant form of chaos to a household of two young children one rainy day while their mother is out. Bringing with him two creatures appropriately named Thing One and Thing Two, the Cat performs all sorts of wacky tricks to amuse the children, with mixed results. The Cat’s antics are vainly opposed by the family pet, who is a sentient and articulate goldfish. The children (Sally and her older brother, who serves as the narrator) ultimately prove exemplary latchkey children, capturing the Things and bringing the Cat under control. He cleans up the house on his way out, disappearing seconds before the mother arrives.

  34. So I guess we could call this one The Cat In the Hat That Walks Through Walls.

  35. Here is a joke that an Alien Plant Thing told me…

    Tros: How would one go about being Jesus Christ and Satan at the same time?

    Mushroom: One would become a male prostitute and spend all the profits giving out free LSD.

    Tros: Wow, that sounds like an awful pain in the ass!

    Mushroom: Yeah, that’s why they’re two different people.

  36. Posted this on an “anarchist” message board. Have you heard the recent Marxist bullshit? Gandhi was a “racist” because he used the word “kaffir” at some point in his life, or something? I’m willing to attribute it to a secularist conspiracy out of modern India meant to suppress any upstarts.

    But then they don’t have to worry, because all of the Indian Libertarians come to America and run our Corporations’ computer networks.

    So right now what I am doing is conventionally referred to as “underground marketing”, which is to say that I am promoting a product on a peer-to-peer basis. I want you to know that I am not being paid money to do this. Edan is a rap artist local to Boston and deserves your monetary support in exchange for his brilliant music. Besides that, I also thought I should mention that this album is also a partial transcript of my first LSD experience, which happened in the summer of 2005. This album was relatively new at the time.

    Also, I just wanted to point out, didn’t ya’ll think it was pretty funny that the CIA uses LSD as a “truth serum”? Well it is official now. LSD reveals the Truth about your SELF, and LSD is illegal because the government DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH. Wow, didn’t see that one coming! They have a method, where they give you LSD and then when they don’t like the Truth that they heard, they give you PCP to destroy your soul. Probably PCP and LSD at the same time, or some other heinous shit that human beings don’t even have a name for yet.

    Here are a few select tracks from the album. Seriously, though, who talks shit about GANDHI? What the fuck is wrong with you people. I know he has the illest day job in the universe, but you should really consider skipping the Noam Chomsky paper chase when it comes to current events.

    And I want to tell all of you that IF I FELT LIKE IT, I could have been the person on the other side of the NSA supercomputer listening to your conversation. I love each and every one of you, and that’s one hundred percent pure certified organic love from the rainbow family of living light.

    Prince Paul already used this loop
    But I’ma keep it movin’ and put you up on the scoop
    I first saw the Earth in 78
    Around the same time rap music source first played
    Nowadays aim’s to be a kingpin with words
    Kids should drop my personality like King Tim the third [{Timothy Leary}]
    Word to the fat back queen with the sugar hills
    I should be splicing verse without the payment of a dollar bill
    I gots to chill though or think about sex
    ‘Cause if whiskey fills my third leg
    Or should I say the second neck?
    Connect the dots with all the faggots making records
    Who couldn’t suck a dick or put the gloss on the upper lip
    They can’t fuck with this I’m just too vivid
    Like rainbows falling out the sky and turn liquid
    My word systems turn your scene to tangerine
    The kid sees colors flashing wild on his movie screen

    Red and yellow and pink and green
    Purple and orange and blue
    I can sing a rainbow

    I loved most brothers but someone told me that I burned bridges
    I simply use a rack of those to build my furniture
    I work with the aesthetic of the brain medic
    Cutting up the reels with crystal shards to make a tape edit
    I take lettuce, onions, tomatoe
    Add a dab of mayo plus the fish fillet-o
    Appetizing gray matter with a strange platter
    The symmetry of energy the chemistry of plasma
    After you latch on to lost masters
    Come back to re-evaluate the now chapter
    Style masters born to make classics
    And paint canvas geometric break dances
    The almighty made Saturn caves and caverns
    The flames of magma rivers in Niagara
    All of this beauty can be yours to discover
    Can’t you see it brother?
    Without the LSD I see colors

    Red and yellow and pink and green
    Purple and orange and blue
    I can sing a rainbow

    Red and Yellow and gray and black
    All the colors that represent my past
    But now they’re just a part of
    The shadows of my mind

    —-
    “Beauty”
    —-

    Well it’s the rap beautician
    The facts you listen
    I blast through rhythms like hash through your system
    True in love and wisdom
    Well off and witty
    Using God’s sleeve to wipe the hell off the city
    See my elegance, dining on the periodic table called developments
    The universe designs my intelligence
    Drop science down a bottomless pit
    Run swift through a handstand on pyramid tips
    The sun splits the waterfront causing prismatic effects
    Butterflies come alive to have sex
    Birds fly out of a top hat slow
    To join the brilliance of wilderness and soar through the Congo
    Speak the convo through colors and shapes
    My word choice is turquoise I love to create
    My art hurdles over the clouds of dark purple
    Red mixes yellow and blue in sharp circles
    Paint splashes over your conscious like canvas
    Colors jump out of the body to form branches
    Psychedelic images flash like avalanches
    Illustrate skill with the quill to build stanzas
    I use pens like hallucinogens
    So who can pretend, my music ain’t a beautiful thing
    A suitable king
    Deserving of the jewels and the rings
    That only flatters my appearance like the tulips in spring
    I’m cool with the gods, I could never use the facade
    Of a musician to celebrate hate and abuse women
    The beautician is back, Humble Magnificent wizard of rap
    Throwing tuxedos on the wax

    The numbers they fall off the clock midnight
    At the museum an apple is stolen out of a still life
    You see ’em, stand by the mirror with no reflection
    A point five appears on your shirt for half stepping
    Scientists explain that they no longer know things
    A dog takes a shit on the floor and grows wings
    Planets of the solar system now trade places
    Statues and national fame become faceless
    Great lakes evaporate and leave no traces
    The man with the mustache reveals the three aces
    Briefcases open to expose sheet music
    The thief hears the piece performed and weeps to it
    Master violinist plays the solo one handed
    The notes on the page become ants that run frantic
    Slowly the symphony dissolves into noise
    The phantom with the glass eye sweats and loses poise
    A scene is made, the cheese brigade is summoned
    The man in the mask walks fast and starts running
    An officer fires a pistol in black apparel
    But instead of lead, a red rose grows from out the barrel
    The criminal escapes through a disappearing door marked beauty
    Exiting the world forevermore


    WELCOME HOME aka “Promised LAnd”

    After days of the brain pain I came
    With the sell-a-lot plot from the megawatt mainframe
    With a suit made of electricity..
    With a suit made of electricity
    I ran through the Great Wall of China, convincingly
    That was after the World Tour..
    That was after the World Tour
    when I travelled through gravel and battled matter at the Earth’s core
    I did the show on a fireball..
    I did the show on a fireball, a pioneer
    ran into the jungle and jetted wearing a lion’s ear
    I fought fear where the Hammer of Thor led me..
    I fought fear where the Hammer of Thor led me
    and tangled with the Angel of Death for four centuries
    Put a nameplate on a asteroid belt..
    Put a nameplate on a asteroid belt
    and I ran through the future with an android’s help
    That’s when civilians were made of metal..
    That’s when civilians were made of metal
    I received the Coronation cause I had the last flower petals
    My power settled a clash between races..
    My power settled a clash between races
    and put good people on the magazine faces
    Substituted television scandals with elephants and pandas
    tell ’em it’s the elegant commando
    With a hand so large..
    With a hand so big, I punched a sphinx in the nose
    in the nose, decomposed, and so the story goes
    I smacked a 40o out of a young man’s hand..
    I smacked a 40 ounce, out of a young man’s hand
    and fed him lesson’s of life to formulate a plan
    I wore the Prime Meridian as a wrist band..
    I wore the Prime Meridian as a wrist band
    and gave away my riches but I still remained a rich man
    I thought of freedom and I jetted to the Promised Land..

  37. Holy Zombie Jesus

  38. Uhhh…ummm…whoa. Dude.

  39. tros,

    WTF.

  40. What a shame. Thirty tros posts ago, this thread had the hope of being interesting.

  41. What a shame. Thirty tros posts ago, this thread had the hope of being interesting.

    Sheesh, I skipped all those essay length posts without even noticing they were all the same person.

    Someone needs a hobby.

  42. Someone needs a hobby.

    I think he already has a hobby. I suspect he needs to come down from that hobby and learn not to post messages while he’s “hobbying”.

  43. My problem with “positive liberty” is that it sounds like a slippery euphemism for “positive rights”, which are a very dangerous concept in a democracy.

    Show of hands – who else is sick and tired of scrolling past the tiresome tros? Who else thinks tros should get his own damned blog, and quit free-riding on H&R? Who would shed a tear if he got banned for abusing his privileges as a commenter at H&R?

  44. “A little relaxation of regulation is sometimes worse than none at all, though. In particular, once the state became involved in gambling, and came to depend on it as a revenue source, it had an even greater interest in stomping any competing sort of gambling out of existence. Thus we reach the current nonsense of arresting CEOs of foreign gambling companies at US airports.”

    That’s not a problem of relaxation of laws per se, but rather that once the details are “in play”, there will always be doubt at the margins. It’s not that anyone is less free as a result.

  45. Maybe tros is trying to demonstrate The Tragedy of the Commons.

  46. “To be effectively idealistic, we must first be realistic.”

    In my experience, many libertarians are not interested in being effective, idealistic or realistic. They are content to know that they are right. The ability to rail against the stupidity of the balance of the species is just an added bonus, I suppose.

  47. Jose,

    You are my favorite poster on H&R.
    Always spot on.

    I do think, however, that should be

    They are content to “know” that they are “right.”

    ;^)

  48. This is my last day living for free (on my academic MERIT scholarship) in a college dorm. I can’t realy do this any more.

    EMERGENCY: Grow a brain.

  49. It’s quite simple, actually. Wealthy societies become lazier and more risk-averse. Hence the demand for more government. Of course, this pattern sows the seeds for the destruction of all that wealth, which is well underway in this society and in Europe.

  50. “to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan to torment me. three times i pleaded with the lord to take it away from me. but he said to me ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that christ’s power may rest on me. that is why, for christ’s sake, i delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. for when i am weak, then i am strong.”
    -2 Corinthians 12:7-10

  51. Just how do egalitarian principles conflict with libertarian principles?

    So long as your egalitarians are interested in equality of opportunity, there probably isn’t much conflict.

    Once they move on to equality of result, the conflict is profound and irreconcilable.

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