Goldberg on Radicals

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Jonah Goldberg has kind words for our own Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism :

Radicals for Capitalism is, quite simply, the best book of its kind ever written. This should not be interpreted as faint praise merely because it is the only book of its kind ever written (at least that I am aware of). It is an extraordinary accomplishment. Doherty, a senior editor at Reason magazine, has amassed an astonishing amount of information, often from hard-to-find sources, and presented it in a way that is accessible to the novice and illuminating to those already familiar with its subject matter (this reviewer falls into both camps, depending on the topic).

He has a few critiques, too. But the review is mostly glowing. It concludes with something of a surprise:

No conservative should commit to a policy without first consulting the libertarian position. Indeed, once conservatism forgets to ask, "Should the government really be doing this?" it will have ceased conserving what is best about conservatism.

It's refreshing to know that there are still a few people on the right who think this way.

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  1. It’s refreshing to know that there are still a few people on the right who think this way.

    It’d be nicer if there were a few, Goldberg included, who would actually follow this advice.

  2. Yeah – sounds like the ultimate in lip service.

    a la hier

    or when conservartarians all of a sudden try to get libertarian creds.

    snort.

    *unplugs nose in general direction.

    tool. (JG, that is)

  3. Lip service beats no service, but isn’t this the same guy who practiced terror techniques against libertarians back when the war was still in vogue?

  4. Looks like I need to walk by the Olssen’s across the street from me and see if they have made room for this yet. All they seem to have room for is ultra-Left crap and Democrat biographies (yea, redundant).

    I might try to order it there and get myself on some “counter revolutionary” blacklist 😉

  5. big gov’t conservative has different spending needs and priorities than liberals. Just cuz he rightly opposes liberals, still means net bigger govt and net loss liberty if you back him.

    ProGLib – same d00d

  6. Ah, praise from Jonah Goldberg.

    I know you can polish a turd, but can a turd polish other things?

  7. yea, redundant

    No, no, no.

    Yippeee!!! Woo-muddahfukcing-hoo!!!!
    RE-DUN-DANT! RE-DUN-DANT! RE-DUN-DANT!

    Screw you, unique! In your face!

  8. No conservative should commit to a policy without first consulting the libertarian position.

    Aww, you obviously didn’t quote the whole thing! Here, let me finish it for you:

    “And then go ahead and ignore what the libertarian policy is anyway”

  9. Ayn Randian,

    You left out the next next line: “Then laugh like a little girl.”

  10. What a bit of throwaway writing by NRO’s FatBastard!

  11. Three cheers for Ayn Randian and ProGLiberate

    yeaaaaa!

  12. You know, if I was Mr. Doherty (I can dream, can’t I?), I would have thrown up a little in my mouth to have someone like Goldberg so embrace my work. And then I’d try to look on the bright side and hope that the folks who read NRO might be inspired to pick up a copy of my book (and learn what a hypocrite Goldberg is).

  13. I don’t mind Goldberg so much. I rarely agree with him but he argues in good faith without needless invective. Now that Ponneru (sp?) guy, he’s 100% douchebag.

  14. Should the government be doing this kind of thing is a question that can have two answers yes and no. Further, waging war is certainly a primary function of government. That doesn’t justify every war. Nothing about libertarianism necessarily prevents a strong and internationalist foreign policy. There is nothing necessarily “libertarian” about isolationism. Say what you want Goldberg, but you will get less fleas from him than you will from people like Pat Buchanan, who libertarians increasingly lay down for in the name of objecting to the war in Iraq.

  15. I don’t understand the hostility to Goldberg. I’ve always liked him. On free trade, guns, taxes, corporate welfare (including farm subsidies) and now even pot, there’s little daylight between Reason and National Review. Goldberg never bought into “compassionate conservativism,” and neither did anyone else at NR, as far as I can recall.

    But to throw a little more gas on the fire, the following is a bit more of Goldberg’s review from behind the NR firewall:

    Obviously, every political movement has its own problems, conservatism included. But if you had to identify libertarianism’s Achilles’ heel, it would almost certainly be its tolerance for zealots, purists, mavericks, and, well, whack-jobs. Since the libertarians don’t see themselves as Left or Right, one can’t use the phrase “no enemies on the left [or right]” to explain their stance. But “love me, love my whack-job” gets close to the heart of it.

    ****

    Or consider the Libertarian party, once the repository of libertarian dreams of social transformation and now little more than an ideological chum bucket for the political refuse of the American two-party system. As Doherty notes, there is now a high wall of separation between libertarianism’s best and brightest intellectuals and policy experts and the party that ostensibly speaks for them. Gary Greenberg, the founder of the New York State LP, tells Doherty that any attempt to be relevant to electoral politics amounts to “selling out.” The “very idea of worrying about the LP becoming a major force is essentially selling out,” he explains, “because hardcore libertarianism has no mass constituency. And if you are constantly covering it up you are just playing games. There is no mass constituency for seven-year-old heroin dealers to be able to buy tanks with their profits from prostitution, and once you face that the LP has to decide: Are they compromising their principles for votes, or are they running candidates for the opportunity to educate people?”

    Just so.

  16. “I rarely agree with him but he argues in good faith without needless invective.”

    You’re so right, I mean, look at his latest book:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385511841/reasonfoundation-20/

    Yessiree, just calm, reasonable discourse there, no invective needed!

  17. I don’t understand the hostility to Goldberg. I’ve always liked him.

    I can agree with that. He is one of my favorite NR writers too.

    Obviously, every political movement has its own problems, conservatism included. But if you had to identify libertarianism’s Achilles’ heel, it would almost certainly be its tolerance for zealots, purists, mavericks, and, well, whack-jobs.

    Did Jonah really write that or am I misreading and those are your words? EVERY political movement has had to deal with them and the Democrats are the only ones who have harnessed theirs.

  18. Some great comments on Goldberg: He is “fat” and a “turd”; Ponnaru gets off with “douchebag.” Speaking of “needless invective”…

  19. “I don’t understand the hostility to Goldberg. I’ve always liked him. On free trade, guns, taxes, corporate welfare (including farm subsidies) and now even pot, there’s little daylight between Reason and National Review.”

    And on immigration, the war on drugs (not just pot), civil liberties, the war in Iraq/war on terror, 1st and 4th Amendment protections, the separation of church and state, the prison system, and gay marriage there is little daylight between Reason and The Nation. Your point?

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m in favor of censorship, and, in all likelihood, so are you.”– the wise and reasonable Jonah Goldberg

    http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200312111243.asp

  20. Compete quotes are better, but not that I actually agree with Jonah on this point:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m in favor of censorship, and, in all likelihood, so are you. The only difference is, if you’re a typical American, you either won’t admit it or you don’t know it. But look: If you think it’s a good idea for the government – federal, state, or local – to keep Triple-X porn off of Saturday-morning cartoon-hour TV, you’re in favor of censorship. If you don’t think neo-Nazis should be allowed to make presentations at your kid’s public school’s career day, you’re in favor of censorship. Heck, if you think the federal government is right to block cigarette companies from advertising to kids, you, my friend, are in favor of censorship.

    Ashish George’s version loses a little bit in truncation. I suggest all go read at the URL he posted.

  21. As opposed to everyone who thinks Goldberg is a total tool, let’s just say that it was definitely Goldberg who led me in a libertarian direction back in my conservative days. Without guys like Goldberg/PJ O’Rourke, I’d probably still be drinking the Bush Kool-Aid conservatism…

    Shit, for all of his bluster about how crude/rude libertarians are, reading his stuff over a long period of time reveals that deep down inside that he actually does respect libertarians…

    If nothing else, at least he has the balls to debate someone like Gillespie at the AFF when compared to the rest of the douchebags at National Review…

  22. Guy Montag, FYI, those are Goldberg’s words. Personally, I don’t think the dems have sucessfully reigned in the Daily Kos wackadoodles, but that’s a bigger argument than I’ve got room for here.

  23. You’re so right, I mean, look at his latest book:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385511841/reasonfoundation-20/

    Yessiree, just calm, reasonable discourse there, no invective needed!

    I’ve been meaning to pick that up. How was it?

  24. Guy–
    Libertarians oppose censorship. Period. And I, for one, am fine with hardcore porn on Saturday morning television if it is a private network we are talking about. Ditto for the cigarettes companies advertising to kids. As for public schools, they can legitimately block neo-Nazis from speaking at career day because the venue they are being given is run by the government.

    I’m not going to defend Daily Kos because I don’t read it very often, but I seriously doubt they match The Corner for the quantity and quality of their stupidity. Nor do I think they have ever expressed anything so repugnant as admiration for the idea that “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business”, as Goldberg, loathsome primordial refugee that he is, has.

    http://toohotfortnr.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-will-you-know-your-enemy-by-their.html

  25. I’m not going to defend Daily Kos because I don’t read it very often, but I seriously doubt they match The Corner for the quantity and quality of their stupidity.

    Far be it from me to defend The National Review (eewww), and I don’t have any specific examples, and I don’t know if what I read was contributors or commenters, so this is mostly useless information, but…

    I’ve seen some really stupid stupid stuff at Daily Kos. Really, really stupid. Pound your head against the wall until it no longer hurts stupid. Spray paint huffing stupid. Plenty stupid. Not saying it was as bad or worse than The Corner, but I would hesitate to make the claim that you made.

  26. If you don’t think neo-Nazis should be allowed to make presentations at your kid’s public school’s career day, you’re in favor of censorship.

    Now I’m curious. How much does a neo-Nazi make?

  27. Now I’m curious. How much does a neo-Nazi make?

    Probably not as much as a Greenpiece Activist.

  28. As for public schools, they can legitimately block neo-Nazis from speaking at career day because the venue they are being given is run by the government.

    So, if you call it something else it is fine. Gotcha. BTW, I don’t agree with you either.

    Also, you wrote your response as if I was in complete agreement with Jonah even though my first sentence clearly says otherwise.

  29. Guy Montag, FYI, those are Goldberg’s words. Personally, I don’t think the dems have sucessfully reigned in the Daily Kos wackadoodles, but that’s a bigger argument than I’ve got room for here.

    I was not using harnessed in that sense of reigned in and dictating their positions from above, I was using it in the sense they get the votes without adopting the positions in any real manner.

  30. Probably not as much as a Greenpiece Activist.

    “Greenpiece” …

    Would that be an Orion slavegirl abolitionist?

  31. “Greenpiece” …

    Would that be an Orion slavegirl abolitionist?

    No, I just happen to be the person that G_d shose to tell them how to spell that word right. Just as when I attend protests and have to inform hottie hippies that they spelled “piece” wrong 😉

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