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Reason Writers About Town (and More)

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In The Washington Post, reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch spell out the deep meaning of the Ron Paul Revolution and astonishing bull market in being a libertarian. Snippet:

More than at any other time over the past two decades, Americans are hungering for the politics and freewheeling fun of libertarianism. And with the dreary prospect of a Giuliani vs. Clinton death match in 2008, that hunger is likely to grow even faster than the size of the federal government or the casualty toll in Iraq.

Read all about it here.

In The Los Angeles Times, Matt Welch details how John McCain fudged the facts of his own fact-finding mission about the causes of the Vietnam War. Snippet:

If there is any truly contemporary echo in [McCain's nearly impossible-to-find] War College paper, it's that U.S. troops cannot fight to the best of their abilities if they do not personally support the policies they're enforcing and if they do not have the support of the American people.

Read all about it here.

And in The Washington Times, read all about how libertarians are the new "'It' Faction" in American politics and culture. Snippet:

Gillespie chuckles at the dark images that talk of libertarianism inevitably conjures up. "We're the Sith Lords of American politics," he says, referring to the "Star Wars" baddies. "We can show up in any group. We're both terrifying and devilishly attractive."

It's not likely libertarianism will become a true third-party alternative; it's a temperament to which both major parties will need increasingly to appeal….

Gillespie compares the ideas that underlie libertarianism to a "marinade."

"Our culture has been soaking in it for years," he says.

NEXT: lib*er*tar*ian

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  1. Such a pleasant experience to spend this sunday morning with my friends at Reason and a cup of joe.

    What next, “Meet the Press”?

  2. …is likely to grow even faster than the size of the federal government…

    Uhh… Not to be negative here, but unlikely.

  3. This little part jumps out from the otherwise fine Washington Post piece:

    “…Nov. 5 — Guy Fawkes Day, the commemoration of a British anarchist who plotted to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605.”

    I think many might be surprised of thinking of that day as being a “commemoration” of the man, it’s a celebration of his arrest, and he was anything but an anarchist — he was a reactionary fanatic Roman Catholic theocrat of sorts.

  4. Gillespie compares the ideas that underlie libertarianism to a “marinade.”

    “Our culture has been soaking in it for years,” he says.

    I thought I smelled something.

  5. Normally when things become popular I rebel. I liked Modest Mouse, they got a hit, I hate Modest Mouse. I liked the Sin City comics but stopped after the movie.

    I’ve been a member of the libertarian party for six years now. Now that being a libertarian is the “It” thing I guess I need to become an neocon or something. So um, Bush should be made president for life! He’s a great presi….fuck. It’s too difficult. I guess I’m stuck being part of the cool crowd.

  6. Sith Lords? I thought they were for totalitarian big government.

    I always saw myself as one of the Rebels

  7. This is getting a bit too trendy for me, but where to turn?

    I must now turn my struggle from that of an outsider to that of an insider.

    Must review Batman. He will know what to do.

  8. Robert Hayne said, “There have existed, in every age and every country, two distinct orders of men – the lovers of freedom and the devoted advocates of power.”

    Maybe we freedom lovers are gaining numbers in this century…..

  9. Yet Paul’s success has mostly left the mainstream media and pundits flustered, if not openly hostile.

    This shouldn’t be a surprise since a smaller central government also weakens the centralized press and punditry. “Power to the People”, as Laura Ingraham would write, would be devastating to the “opinion makers” of the world.

    The overwhelming majority of people in this country, and likely the world, hold libertarian or conservative values. They know that big government doesn’t work, that centralized decision making results in bad decisions, and that government is home to the most corrupt people on the planet (but they’re stealing “for the children” so that’s OK). But small government is anathema to political parties, they want more control not less so they co-opt every political movement and fold the ideas into their “big tent” of stifling oppression.

    While the people may be libertarian they vote against their values for two reasons:
    – lack of choice (as the article mentions)
    – fear (both major parties run on campaigns of fear)

    The Republican Establishment hated Ronald Reagan but the people loved him. Consider how busily the candidates are redefining the Reagan legacy and you’ll begin to understand what they really represent.

  10. A Libertarian is someone who believes the government should do absolutely NOTHING to protect WE THE PEOPLE from greedy corporations, and those corporations should be free to rule the world – no matter what the cost.

  11. The government should protect We The People from corporations? The government invented corporations.

  12. Strangely, Thomas Mc, the era of true “corporatization” in the United States began AFTER the state at its various levels started micromanaging all economic life.

    Chart the growth of the state and of economic planning [including zoning] in the United States during the 20th century, and then chart things like the share of total consumer goods sold that went to corporations, or the share of any given market taken by the largest producers. Then explain the nearly one-to-one relationship to me.

  13. A Libertarian is someone who believes the government should do absolutely NOTHING to protect WE THE PEOPLE from greedy corporations, and those corporations should be free to rule the world – no matter what the cost.

    Tell me, ThomasMc, what gives your such limitless faith in government, but endless fear of the private sector?

    Governments have killed and enslaved many more people than corporations ever have.

  14. A Libertarian is someone who believes the government should do absolutely NOTHING to protect WE THE PEOPLE from greedy corporations, and those corporations should be free to rule the world – no matter what the cost.

    Sounds like a funny channeling of Chomsky or Klein.

    Interesting fact: corporations are collections of people with complimentry goals and lacking the police power of the State.

  15. [psychic mode]
    Expect the Chomsky impersonator to come back with responses along the lines of corporations “owning” the government and corporations being the modern plantation owners.
    [/psychic mode]

  16. “Mr. Carey joins the libertarian fold along with the illusionist-comedians Penn & Teller and HBO talk-show host Bill Maher, who has called himself a libertarian for several years. It’s not at all clear, to be sure, that the latter understands what the term means.”

    I’m glad to hear somebody say that. I can’t stand to watch Maher for that very reason. To watch him verbally fellate Micheal Moore on his show, then turn around and refer to himself as a “libertarian”, was extremely painful.

    Moulitsas has the same problem, although I think that his redefining of the term is very intentional.

  17. I feel like such a poseur now. I’ve considered myself a libertarian for only a year now (though it was before I had heard of Ron Paul), and now I see that everyone is doing it.

    Jerk is right. When the “in crowd” starts believing it you always feel less attracted to the position. I’m positive that it’s some kind of evolutionary defense against said crowd on account of our ancestors being picked on by it.

    Oh yeah, and I was wondering when the leftists would come to offer their own perversion of the term. They’re like clockwork on this site it seems.

  18. When the “in crowd” starts believing it you always feel less attracted to the position.

    Speak for yourself. If my beliefs and principles ever waver, it’s because my emotions and/or logic are seeing a flaw in them. Not because of how many others are agreeing or disagreeing with me.

    “If all the world believed a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”

  19. JLM,

    I second your notion about Maher.

    Will add that in Moore’s touting of his lifetime NRA membership his supporters gloss over or ignore the fact that said membership was purchased by his father for him when he was a kid. The NRA is not a true 2A supporting organization and Moore is even less so as an individual.

  20. Usually, whatever Cesar says goes for me, too. But he completely left out the standard libertarian disclaimer that there are many corporations that are so mixed up with government that they cannot be considered part of the private sector. It’s likely these types of “greedy corporations” that Thomas Mc has in mind.

  21. “A Libertarian is someone who believes the government should do absolutely NOTHING to protect WE THE PEOPLE from greedy corporations, and those corporations should be free to rule the world – no matter what the cost.”

    Hmmm, let’s see here;
    Blackwater,
    Halliburton,
    ADM,
    GM,
    GE….

    If we use Thomas McTroll’s criteria we have arrived at Libertopia! Everyone drink!

  22. OT: ESPN2 is showing a Canadian hacker show right now!

  23. When the “in crowd” starts believing it you always feel less attracted to the position.

    Don’t worry. If libertarianism follows the course of most other political movements, by the time the “in crowd” gets done with it, you won’t recognize it (which is already happening).

    Try reading Russell Kirk’s “The Conservative Mind”, and see if you can recognize anything that resembles “conservatism” as it’s generally understood today.

  24. A Libertarian is someone who believes the government should do absolutely NOTHING to protect WE THE PEOPLE from greedy corporations,

    Yes, please good government, protect me from the greedy corporations that sell me products and services that I want and am willing to pay for. How dare they try to profit from that!

  25. Ahem, ‘libertarian’ has five syllables, not four.

    (My first post on Reason. Is Phonetic Nazism antithetical to Libertarianism?)

  26. Damnit PigMannix, you *stole* my point 🙂

  27. (My first post on Reason. Is Phonetic Nazism antithetical to Libertarianism?)

    No, but posting under “BlueBook” is a dead giveaway that you are or were a law school gunner. And remember, nobody likes gunners.

  28. sage,

    Don’t forget, they [ghasp!] *ADVERTISE* too! If it were not for their massive advertising campaigns we would not want anything that ‘they’ sell!

    If we really needed things wouldn’t the government give them to us?

  29. No, but posting under “BlueBook” is a dead giveaway that you are or were a law school gunner.

    I thought he was one of those used car guys with a liberal arts degree. The one who could not get a bartending gig.

  30. I thought it was a dead giveaway that I am, or was, a UFO nut. Zeta Reticulans for Paul?

  31. I thought it was a dead giveaway that I am, or was, a UFO nut. Zeta Reticulans for Paul?

    Dr. Paul is the terrestrial nut. Mr. Kuchinich is the exteraterrestrial.

  32. That was a phenomenal article by Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie. I’m so proud of you guys.

  33. That was a phenomenal article by Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie. I’m so proud of you guys.

    Here’s an article that lists bloggers that are rebutting Nick and Matt’s article.

    Go get ’em, troops! 😉

  34. The overwhelming majority of people in this country, and likely the world, hold libertarian or conservative values.

    i don’t particularly think so, actually. particularly on the libertarian end.

    what they may hold is the idea that “i should be able to do xyz” but balk when it’s explained that this means “everyone else should be able to do xyz.”

  35. This ‘libertarian insurgency’ will carry the seeds of its own destruction.

    Most people will agree to being ‘lbertarianish’ or holding some libertarian ideals. Except for one or two tax-hungry programs that we absolutely cannot do without. All of these individuals will collaborate and compromise with one another, allowing this program to survive if that one keeps on. Eventually, we end up cutting nothing, and those of us who refuse to assent to the pragmatics of political interchange are marginalized extremists once again.

    And so the cycle of state growth, like the joyous first rays of the spring sun, frees the people from the cold-hearted winter of libertarian self-reliance.

  36. It could easily go the other way, Hugh. Individuals may see a government program go away that they thought they “absolutely cannot do without” and think to themselves, “well, that wasn’t so bad; I don’t miss [program name] at all. Let’s see what else we can do without the nannies ‘giving’ it to us.”

    I suppose if I’m holding the purse strings and waiting for a budget to be sent to my desk, I’m telling everyone to cut back a certain amount, no matter what the department. When it comes to the federal government, every department could stand a diet.

  37. Hey guys don’t forget the Tea Party this year! Donate a few bucks to Ron Paul on December 16th; its worth it just to see the confused pundits on TV!

    http://www.teaparty07.com/

  38. Maybe not everyone is prepared to cut whole organs of government (like the IRS) but I think there is a sort of general sensibility that government should be smaller, less intrusive, and less coercive. Having a really strong executive right now has probably showed people that they don’t like things that way.

    One thing I don’t hear about, though, is that you don’t see many black or Hispanic libertarians. I’m not sure why that is (don’t they have some experience with abuses of state power?) but it’s something to think about. Is the “insurgency” just white people? Is that only a stereotype?

  39. “though you’ll rarely hear it described with anything like academic rigor by its mainstream adherents”

    I guess I must not be listening to the right mainstream adherents. Libertarianism is the *only* political philosophy that I’ve seen described with academic rigor. Locke, Mill, Paine, Jefferson, Spooner, Mises, Friedman, Rothbard… I guess these guys aren’t mainstream? Or were they referring to mainstream in the vein of Parker and Stone?

  40. dhex:

    what they may hold is the idea that “i should be able to do xyz” but balk when it’s explained that this means “everyone else should be able to do xyz.”

    QFT…freedom for me, not for thee. Human difficulties with the golden rule aren’t a new thing.

  41. We can show up in any group. We’re both terrifying and devilishly attractive.

    Then how come so many of us spend our weekends masturbating in our parents’ basements?

    It’s not likely libertarianism will become a true third-party alternative; it’s a temperament to which both major parties will need increasingly to appeal.

    The 1994 Republicans based their Revolution on libertarian ideas. I wouldn’t exactly say they’ve worked to increase that appeal, and neither have the Democrats.

  42. “A Libertarian is someone who believes the government should do absolutely NOTHING to protect WE THE PEOPLE from greedy corporations, and those corporations should be free to rule the world – no matter what the cost.”

    Uh… no. A libertarian is someone who believes that with a true free market, greedy corporations will be forced to serve consumers or die. As it stands now they don’t bother, that would entail actual work and competence. Why bother when they can just bribe our representatives to get massive handouts, anti-competitive industry regulation, and then bailouts when they squander even those advantages.

  43. I’m curious, does anyone on here have a problem with considering corporations “persons”?

  44. src: I saw a black teenager decked out in Ron Paul gear getting thrown out of WalMart the other day for passing out fliers and such. He didn’t even look like he was old enough to vote. I think that the “insurgency” of new support is more youth-oriented than anything else.

    The older people I know that identify as libertarians are usually the ones that held their nose and voted for what they thought was the lesser of two evils. They aren’t insurgent as they’ve always been around, but they’ve never had a candidate that represented them.

  45. A Libertarian is someone who believes the government should do absolutely NOTHING to protect WE THE PEOPLE from greedy corporations, and those corporations should be free to rule the world – no matter what the cost.

    Exactly, you got it right: No protection against “greedy” corporations, because “protection” would mean surrendering our rights to the government, acquiescing to its whims. Only WE THE PEOPLE can protect ourselves well from these “greedy” corporations, and not government – our power emanates from our buying choices.

  46. Cesar, at the risk of sending this thread spiraling off-topic, I’ll bite.

    I’ve never understood what is meant by that. In what way are corporations considered persons? Is there a distinction being made between actual corporate businesses and privately-held companies? In what way are these organizations legally different from other incorporated bodies like fire departments and DMVs?

    I don’t ask to be snotty, I just have never been able to get straight answers to these questions from the “no corporate personhood!” crowd.

  47. Just to disambiguate my previous post, try other organizations like the Rotary Club, an organized church, or the KKK.


  48. I’ve never understood what is meant by that. In what way are corporations considered persons? Is there a distinction being made between actual corporate businesses and privately-held companies? In what way are these organization

    IT means, for legal purposes, they have all the rights given to “persons” by law. That is, free speech, property, etc etc. Hence, the government can’t violate their “rights”. Thats how I understand it, anyway.

  49. Cesar,

    I always understood it as “artificial person” and the corporation as a whole has the protections you mention.

    However, as we saw in several corporate cases recently, like Wordcom and Tycho, an executive can easily “pierce the corporate veil” and be charged and convicted of inappropriate activity under the guise of the corporation.

    BTW, the place I usually hear the question come up in exactly the manner that you asked was from Chomsky followers or in his writings and interviews.

  50. “Yet Paul’s success has mostly left the mainstream media and pundits flustered, if not openly hostile.”

    Uh, before we talk about Paul’s success, can we see how he *actually does in the primaries?*

    (My guess: Much worse than in Internet polls, a little better than in “scientific” polls.)

  51. OT: I knew I should not have switched on CNN.

    A show about toy recalls is on and the complaint by a couple is that those who need to answer for bad toys from China are the corporations and the importers, not “China”.


  52. BTW, the place I usually hear the question come up in exactly the manner that you asked was from Chomsky followers or in his writings and interviews

    I have no idea Chomsky’s views on such things, I don’t bother with his political stuff. I haven’t found out enough about the issue to have an opinion on it one way or the other really.

  53. In light of the Star Wars reference, I think it’s tasteful for me to mention my SW fan film festival here today.

  54. Like, wow, man, I couldn’t have planned that timestamp better.

  55. I have no idea Chomsky’s views on such things, I don’t bother with his political stuff. I haven’t found out enough about the issue to have an opinion on it one way or the other really.

    He bases a lot of his hysteria on the fact that “corporations” enjoy a limited liability status and traces that back to a USSC decision, IIRC.

    However, IF I was following his meandering correctly, he seems to think that “corporations” have been granted some sort of Super Chuck Norris level powers and speaks of them as a monolith. In fact it sounds like he is deeply confusing the limited liability of individual shareholders with the limits of corporate or executive liability.

    If you are just a common shareholder or debt holder, your liability is limited to your investment. If you actually have responsibility for running a corporation then you are exposed to more liability.

    A similar thing exists for partnerships. Silent partners furst must be truly silent and abstain from making any business decisions, but their liability is limited to their investment.

  56. More pessimistically, liberal writer Michael Kinsley recently opined in Time that libertarians are an ugly byproduct of self-satisfied affluence: “The computer revolution has bred a generation of smart loners, many of them rich and some of them complacently Darwinian, convinced that they don’t need society – nor should anyone else.”

    In other words, if you’re not willing to participate in all the appropriate moral panics, you’re a selfish bastard.

  57. When the “in crowd” starts believing it you always feel less attracted to the position. I’m positive that it’s some kind of evolutionary defense against said crowd on account of our ancestors being picked on by it.

    Actually, no, I think it boils down to the fact that we feel a sense of ownership in the things we spend time with. When we see others starting to spend time with those things — like, say, a given band’s music — we feel that our ownership is being diluted. We can actually get quite irritated by it, because we feel that others are stealing our claim on that thing.

    If you’re an insufferable snob — like, say, an indie rock fan — the pain is doubled. Because then the people diluting your ownership are the very “masses” whose Crap-Ass Tastes? you’ve spent so much time defining yourself against.

  58. A show about toy recalls is on and the complaint by a couple is that those who need to answer for bad toys from China are the corporations and the importers, not “China”.

    Someone else that escapes blame, themselves.
    In reality, it’s a non issue. The media is making a mountain out of an admittedly large molehill. Still, it’s a molehill. The consumers are punishing the PRC manufacturers and inattentive U.S. corporations for shoddy business practices as we speak. The PRC ruling class and U.S. importers will take note and embark on corrective actions. Not really that hard to figure out, is it?

  59. I should have noted that politics is different, at least in a democracy, given that the very point of the thing is getting people to see stuff your way. Not to mention the whole “principles” thing mentioned by another poster above.

    That’s why, if you feel let down because other people are starting to buy into this “libertarian thing” you started digging a year ago, you may kinda be in this for the wrong reasons. (Not that we won’t take your vote anyway.)

  60. Found a better show, actually an old movie classic, on yet a different Turner related channel: TCM.

    “How to Murder Your Wife”

    The chick playing Jack Lemon’s wife is such a babe! Oh, and it is a lesson from the 1950s(?) on how women completly dominate the world, but is frequently confused with some sort of back-bench status of women.

    Guessing that the title would never get past the discussion stage in a women’s study program.

  61. (Not that we won’t take your vote anyway.)

    Your donations too.

  62. Your donations too.

    And any good comments you can plant with your MSM friends.

  63. Things I’ve learned from the WaPo comment thread.

    Libertarians are anti-socialists, in the political sense. That may have intellectual underpinnings, but from what I’ve ever seen, heard, and read of Libertarians, I find them to be among the least socialized of pols. There seems to be a high incidence of Asperger’s Syndrome among them.

  64. LOL!

    Asperger’s Syndrome

    Libertarians are autistic-like? Apparently because they do not agree with International/National Socialists?

  65. Our culture has been soaking in it for years

    Madge? Is that you?

    There seems to be a high incidence of Asperger’s Syndrome among them

    I’ve heard this more than a few times, usually from leftists who want to marginalize libertarians because they don’t put much effort into being seen as caregivers.

    The funny thing is “asperger’s” is a term that is so overused it is starting to be equivalent to “logical” or “thoughtful”.

  66. GM:
    Will add that in Moore’s touting of his lifetime NRA membership his supporters gloss over or ignore the fact that said membership was purchased by his father for him when he was a kid. The NRA is not a true 2A supporting organization and Moore is even less so as an individual.

    Moore isn’t a true gun rights advocate because his NRA membership was given to him, and even if he did support the NRA, he’s still evil because the NRA doesn’t truly support the 2nd Amend.

    Moore Derangement Syndrome?


    A show about toy recalls is on and the complaint by a couple is that those who need to answer for bad toys from China are the corporations and the importers, not “China”.

    China’s at fault?

  67. Moore isn’t a true gun rights advocate because his NRA membership was given to him, and even if he did support the NRA, he’s still evil because the NRA doesn’t truly support the 2nd Amend.

    Moore is anti 2A and his supporters keep touting his membership in the NRA as some sort of bona-fides in his favor.

    Seems there is some derangement going around though.

  68. Moore is anti 2A and his supporters keep touting his membership in the NRA as some sort of bona-fides in his favor.

    Understood. But you also said that even if he were an enthusiastic NRA supporter, he’s still evil because the NRA “is not a true 2A supporting organization”. IOW, according to you, Moore can never atone for his sins.

  69. Republican pollster Frank Luntz has denounced Paul’s supporters as “the equivalent of crabgrass . . . not the grass you want, and it spreads faster than the real stuff.”

    I.e. he wants his supporters like the “real” grass. Follow the program, be prepared to be sheared often, and no new ideas from the grandstands.

    I think many might be surprised of thinking of that day as being a “commemoration” of the man, it’s a celebration of his arrest, and he was anything but an anarchist — he was a reactionary fanatic Roman Catholic theocrat of sorts.

    Well, no. In current usage Guy Fawkes is the guy who inspired Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta. You’re thinking about history, which the MSM thinks of as either “last week” or “movie costume drama.”

    One thing I don’t hear about, though, is that you don’t see many black or Hispanic libertarians. I’m not sure why that is (don’t they have some experience with abuses of state power?) but it’s something to think about. Is the “insurgency” just white people? Is that only a stereotype?

    Stockholm Syndrome. Sort of like liberal Democrat Jews who favor gun control so big government can protect them, despite 6,000 years of history where every non-Jewish government they’ve been under has screwed them over.

    I guess I must not be listening to the right mainstream adherents. Libertarianism is the *only* political philosophy that I’ve seen described with academic rigor. Locke, Mill, Paine, Jefferson, Spooner, Mises, Friedman, Rothbard… I guess these guys aren’t mainstream? Or were they referring to mainstream in the vein of Parker and Stone?

    The MSM don’t consider the folks you list “mainstream” because they don’t get invited to appear on talk shows.

  70. But you also said that even if he were an enthusiastic NRA supporter, he’s still evil because the NRA “is not a true 2A supporting organization”.

    If you are going to do a proper Dowdification you need to use elipses.

    Now run along and fabricate things about other people.

  71. Our culture has been soaking in it for years

    Madge? Is that you?

    mk, I liked that slightly obscure reference.

  72. That’s why, if you feel let down because other people are starting to buy into this “libertarian thing” you started digging a year ago, you may kinda be in this for the wrong reasons.

    Tom, well said.

  73. Matt Welch, a former assistant editorial page editor at The Times, is an editor at Reason magazine and author of “McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.”

    Did someone piss off the powers that be?

  74. LarryA,
    Stockholm Syndrome? Whole races are too irrational to know what’s good for them? Seems like a big leap to me. (By the way, I know a number of pro-2A Jews.)

  75. As a 100-year-old woman, I enjoy giving accurate demographic information to the Los Angeles Times in exchange for the privilege of reading their newspaper online.

  76. Guy Montag: One of the reasons that they Asperger’s Syndrome is trotted out is that some studies have said a lot of us hacker type people have a higher percentage of it then the average population… in addition, there’s a fairly strong libertarian mindset amongst most hackers.

    For more information read on:
    http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/appendixb.html

    Nephilium

  77. asperger’s is the new black t-shirt.

    pass it on.

  78. “One thing I don’t hear about, though, is that you don’t see many black or Hispanic libertarians. I’m not sure why that is (don’t they have some experience with abuses of state power?) but it’s something to think about. Is the “insurgency” just white people? Is that only a stereotype?”

    Stockholm Syndrome. Sort of like liberal Democrat Jews who favor gun control so big government can protect them, despite 6,000 years of history where every non-Jewish government they’ve been under has screwed them over.

    I think it has more to do with the collectivistic cultures that people of african, hispanic, and jewish descent are likely to have been influenced by than (non-iberian and especially non-catholic) europeans, who, when colonizing the continental US, were both descended from a more individualistic culture (especially the british) and came into contact with freedom loving tribes like the Haudenosaunee (Thomas Jefferson lived just a mile down the road from one family of that tribe).

    There are always exceptions, of course, but I think it holds in the general. Someone please correct me if I’m talking out of my buttocks.

  79. As someone diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, I’d say the connection to libertarianism makes some sense. Like a lot of my sort, I’m more coldly logical and less openly emotional than the average person, so it’s not surprising that 1) I’m attracted to a political philosophy based on consistent application of basic principles, rather than the incoherent hodgepodges of the major political parties, and 2) I’m not impressed by the soppy emotionalism that most liberals use as a substitute for thought.

    That’s not what liberals who make the claim (which I see with some regularity)mean by it, of course; they’re simply following the longstanding leftist tradition of claiming that anyone who dissents from their view is mentally ill. If that means slurring hundreds of thousands of people with autistic spectrum disorders by perpetuating false and hateful stereotypes about how we’re soulless husks devoid of human feeling, so be it. Their much-vaunted “compassion” only extends so far.

  80. Britain was a Catholic country when the Magna Carta was signed, Parliament created, etc. Also, there were plenty of Protestant autocracies at the time (eg, Prussia, Sweden, etc). Contrary to the desires of some, there’s no correlation between Protestantism and political liberty.

  81. A show about toy recalls is on and the complaint by a couple is that those who need to answer for bad toys from China are the corporations and the importers, not “China”.

    Doesn’t the responsibility for lead in toys fall on the people that brought in the toys and the ones that resold it, not the country they’re in?

    However, as we saw in several corporate cases recently, like Wordcom and Tycho, an executive can easily “pierce the corporate veil” and be charged and convicted of inappropriate activity under the guise of the corporation.

    You mean Worldcom and Tyco? Those are two extreme example and the fact that misdeeds have to be that egregious to warrant piercing the corporate veil says there’s something wrong with the system.

    Corporate personhood is a huge fraud hoisted on us. Look at it this way, if you poisoned a water supply, you would be in jail for a long, long time if Union Carbide does it, they pay a fine (which is probably less than legit disposal costs) and a legal slap on the wrist.

  82. Rose Wilder Lane should be “noted (with Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson) as one of the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement and is also considered one of the seminal forces behind the American Libertarian Party.”

    Here is something she wrote on Islam:

    Islam and the Discovery of Liberty

    I like to mention this and contrast it to those libertarians who are harshly anti-religion in general and anti-Islam in particular. Here is what Lew Rockwell had to say recently:

    Libertarianism is, as Murray Rothbard insisted, a political philosophy, period. It is not a cultural or lifestyle movement. Still less does it require an anti-religious or anti-bourgeois orientation.

    One great side-effect of the Ron Paul movement is to make this clear. People of faith are welcome.

    Murray, a pro-Catholic agnostic of Jewish heritage, held that libertarianism would never get anywhere politically so long as it was associated with hatred of religion, as in some of classical liberalism or modern Randianism. After all, he pointed out, the vast majority of Americans–like the vast majority of people in all societies at all times–are religious.

    Some one, come all to the Ron Paul movement: Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, Baha’i, Unitarians, Ethical Culture, agnostics, atheists–everyone.

    There is no religious test or, more important, no anti-religious test. Just our political creed of personal freedom, economic freedom, sound money, tolerance, and peace.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/017175.html

  83. Anybody ever been to Armand’s Pizza on Capitol Hill?

    C-SPAN2 is replaying M. Stanton Stephen’s appearance there speaking of his book “Blacklisted by History”. I was cautious of this book, but the first 24 min. sounds great.

  84. Mo,

    Youseem to bee one of those Chomsky loons I was telling crimethink about.

  85. If libertaianism is a marinade American culture has been soaking in for years, Ron Paul just fucked it up. The last thing a nascent libertarianism needs is association with a loon who’s too stupid to distance himelf from Nazis, 9/11 Truthers, and assorted nutjobs. He won’t win fuck all, but libertarianism will lose by association with him.

  86. From the Washington Post article: When a fierce Republican foe of the wars on drugs and terrorism is able, without really trying, to pull in a record haul of campaign cash on a day dedicated to an attempted regicide, it’s clear that a new and potentially transformative force is growing in American politics.

    Hey, Gillespie mentioned a plot to kill someone. Doesn’t that mean, by the unwritten banning protocol at Reason, that Gillespie has to ban himself? 😉

  87. Dear Edward,

    Please shut up

    Sincerely,
    Everyone

  88. I’m sad to say that I don’t believe freedom really is that popular with a large number of people. It’s not to say that you ask, “Hey, are you in favor of freedom?” and the answer won’t be, “Fuck yeah I am!” But rather that people want to do good things and live the best that they can. They also want others to get the same. And the logic seems very simple to most:
    “I’d probably be better off if I didn’t smoke. Same with you.” -voting for a smoking ban seems like a good idea.
    “The poor would be better off if they had money for retirement, heck, so would I” -now SS looks smart.
    And the aggregate of all these good ideas is total government control of everything. And not by grand design, but by a sick sort of spontaneous order born of the combination of many individuals unrelated moral wants. The question of how the system will work in the field, who’s writing the laws to their advantage, how it will effect the working incentive structure of life, never even enters these peoples minds. And there are a lot of these people, I feel like I’ve lived with a dozen of them at times.

  89. Captain Awesome

    You have one big freedom: if you don’t like it here, you’re free to move somewhere else.

  90. When a fierce Republican foe of the wars on drugs and terrorism is able, without really trying, to pull in a record haul of campaign cash on a day dedicated to an attempted regicide, it’s clear that a new and potentially transformative force is growing in American politics.

    Nonsense. The Internet is a hot bed of fools who are easily separated from their money, and most Americans don’t know what the fuck a regicide is or, for that matter, who the fuck Ron Paul is. Deafeat is just around the corner, kiddies. Don’t cry too much when it happens.

  91. Our culture has been soaking in it for years

    Madge? Is that you?

    mk, I liked that slightly obscure reference.

    Indeed. Should we call the phenomena Palmolive Libertarianism?

  92. No comments yet on the Rudd election in Australia?

  93. No comment on the non deciduous tree genocide scheduled for the next few weeks either?

  94. I don’t know what a “collectivist culture” would be, or why blacks, Jews, and Hispanics should be saddled with one while the descendents of Englishmen remain “freedom-loving.” After all, we’re not colonists now. We’ve all been steeped pretty thoroughly in [i]American [/i] culture.

    As far as the race thing goes, I’ve definitely seen black writers and commentators espouse libertarian views; or at least, in favor of self-reliance, against social programs and a criminal justice system that’s anywhere from inefficient to malicious. But my impression is that they don’t identify as libertarians or participate much in libertarian blogs/read Reason/cheer for the Cato Institute, and maybe that’s bad marketing on the part of these organizations.

    On a more cheerful note, in celebration of gymnospermic genocide, I’m eating Peeps!

  95. src,

    I seriously doubt the person you are responding to will accept any demographic data that does not meet his moving quota system.

    Somehow, these guys don’t have a problem with WTO/WB protestors being almost all white, same with the anti-war protestors, anti-Israel protestors, etc. This is only an issue to be pointed out when they do not agree with someone.

  96. It’s the vikings man.

    Up to the 19th century, the more contact a culture had with the Vikings, the more libertarian it was. Well except for Russia, of course, which was founded by Vikings. Also, ignore the 20th century since it all changed as the scandinavians all jumped on the socialist bandwagon.

    In seriousness, the Vikings had a culture of fierce devotion to individual sovereignty that manifested itself in a bunch of traditions emphasizing equality before the law, strong property rights (for Vikings and not for non-Vikings) etc.

    Medeival Iceland (which we anarcho-capilatlists like to point to) is a great example of the Viking approach to legal arrangements.

    This is not to say that Vikings were libertarian. They were not in the least. It’s just that their cultural traditions seemed to provide fertile breeding ground for libertarian ideas.

    There were no viking settlements in Africa, so the Africans missed out. 😉

  97. a day dedicated to an attempted regicide

    Does anyone in the MSM (including people who should know better) actually know what Guy Fawkes Day is? It is a day dedicated to his CAPTURE.

  98. No comments yet on the Rudd election in Australia?

    Australia has elections? I thought the captain of the winning Aussie Rules Football team got to be prime minister (after cutting off the head of the losing captain)?

  99. The corporate personhood issue is one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately (but without much success). My initial thought is that people should be permitted organize in any manner they see fit. But I don’t see the need to have a corporate/non-profit/other entity through which collections of people may operate — especially when that entity is a creation of or granted its privileges by the state. Can anyone recommend some good reading on this issue?

  100. Guy,
    Glad to see you attacking the content of my post rather than simply making ad hominem attacks. Why don’t you tell me why corporations should have favorable treatment over the law and those that sell the product shouldn’t be responsible for what they sell? Seems like those are pretty core libertarian values (you’re responsible for what you sell and all have equal treatment under the law).

    Your faux intelligent snark doesn’t get you much traction or respect. You might want to fill your posts with some content.

    And seriously a Chomskyite? I think you’d be hard pressed to call me something less accurate.

  101. Mo,

    Quite simply, a corporation enjoys no more favorable treatment than any other business, it is just a different investment structure.

    I used those big examples of “big guys” getting punished for 2 reasons. First, they are easy to find as opposed to the small ones that happen every day and second, they are prime examples of huge firms that did not get away with anthing.

    Now, have fun with your fantasies because, I am sure, there will be another CEO/CIO/CTO going to real prison in the near future for you to use an example of special privilige getting away with stuff.

  102. BTW, what happened to the Commies in South America story that was between this one and the Reasonid gathering story?

  103. “Corporate personhood” means it can own property, sign contracts, etc. Any attempt to get rid of that concerning for-profit corps also put charities, churches, etc at risk (if a church can’t own a building, we get some freedom of religion issues).

  104. Guy,
    CxOs go to jail for financial fraud, insider trading and embezzlement. Has a single person gone to jail for corporate negligence? Human people (as opposed to juristic) have. Actually, the limited liability structure does have favorable treatment. Even noted Chomsky adherent Murray Rothbard said, “A libertarian society would be a full-liability society where everyone is fully responsible for his actions and any harmful consequences they might cause.”

    Scott,
    The debate over corporate personhood isn’t over property and contract law, but rather constitutional protections (such as free speech) granted to corporations. The counter-argument is that they are collections of people and therefore have those rights granted to them. One could counter that by gaining government protection in the form of limited liability, there is some counterbalanced restrictions.

  105. Stockholm Syndrome? Whole races are too irrational to know what’s good for them? Seems like a big leap to me. (By the way, I know a number of pro-2A Jews.)

    I do too. The membership of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership spring to mind. Which is why I specified “liberal Democratic Jews” as opposed to other kinds.

    Contrary to the desires of some, there’s no correlation between Protestantism and political liberty.

    I think there is. Protestants tend to fracture into myriad denominations that are seperate (I.e. Methodists and Baptists identify themselves as “Methodist” and “Baptist,” not “Protestant.”) The more denominations you have the less likely any one of them is going to be powerful enough to either take over the government or start a war with other denominations.

    Note I’m not saying you can’t get a totalitarian government in a “protestant” country, Britain seems on the way there, just that you won’t get a religious theocracy.

  106. Has a single person gone to jail for corporate negligence?

    I am CERTAIN that any example that i give will not meet your criteria for negligence.

    However, if you are truly interested in this topic I suggest that you research class action lawsuits by shareholders against their boards, fiduciary duty suits and there is yet another term that I have forgotten.

    Also, personally I am not sure that simple negligence should earn jail time, but feel free to look up remedies to that if you like.

    Lastly, in the case of criminal negligence, people get prosecuted for that pretty often. If you have failed to find examples of that you just are not trying and I am not bothering.

  107. However, if you are truly interested in this topic I suggest that you research class action lawsuits by shareholders against their boards, fiduciary duty suits and there is yet another term that I have forgotten.

    You’re probably thinking of derivative suits, where the shareholders sue on behalf of the corporation.

  108. oh montblog, you so crazy.

    Note I’m not saying you can’t get a totalitarian government in a “protestant” country, Britain seems on the way there, just that you won’t get a religious theocracy.

    john calvin?

  109. RC,

    He hasn’t a clue what your talking about. He hasn’t a clue what he is talking about.

    Hey Guy! How’s your “heat pump” doing these days?

  110. swkgaltw,

    Still cranking out carbon credits! Need some?

  111. RCD,

    You’re probably thinking of derivative suits, where the shareholders sue on behalf of the corporation.

    I think that is right. For some reason I can never remember that term.

  112. Are you willfully ignoring what I am saying Guy? People go to jail for financial crimes, but not other crimes. Bernie Ebbers, of Worldcom fame, went to jail for fraud and false statements, Kozlowski, of Tyco, was jailed for embezzlement and Ken Lay went to jail for fraud and false statements.

    People can be found for criminally negligent homicide and are imprisoned, however, dump water into a canal and create a Superfund all you have to do is pay a fine. I don’t know why saying this is unequal treatment is unreasonable.

  113. Has a single person gone to jail for corporate negligence?

    Let’s ask this instead: Has a single person gone to jail for governmental negligence?

    Hmmm…
    failure to prevent 9/11? Nope.
    the failure of the levees in New Orleans that led to the destruction of the city? Nope.
    the fraud at Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac? Nope.

    There seems to be an underlying assumption in the original question that when government programs fail the intentions were good so it’s OK but when corporate programs fail then evil intent was involved. Generally speaking, corporate negligence is a civil matter (subject to lawsuits and monetary compensation) not criminal (they don’t intend to harm their customers).

  114. Curly,

    I wouldn’t mind that either. I’m from the school of thought that heads should rolland people will pay attention. The reason why the government sucks is there is no downside if you mess up, especially for appointed positions. I’m no lover of the state and would love for their to be accountability.

    FYI, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private institutions and are publicly traded.

  115. Note I’m not saying you can’t get a totalitarian government in a “protestant” country, Britain seems on the way there, just that you won’t get a religious theocracy.

    Oliver Cromwell? Puritans?

    There’s a few hundred thousand starved/beheaded Irish Catholics who might disagree with you.

  116. Are you willfully ignoring what I am saying Mo?

    Plenty of examples of individuals working for corporations out there found criminally neglegant.

    Now, if you are seeking every equity holder, debt holder, executive and agent of a firm getting jail time for that, no there is not an example that I have ever heard of.

  117. FYI, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private institutions and are publicly traded.

    That’s true but only part of the picture. These companies were created by congress to enhance credit availability to certain targeted sectors (agriculture, home finance, etc.). While they are publicly-traded companies, there is an incestual relationship with the federal government.

  118. … and freewheeling fun of libertarianism

    Im not sure thats exactly how this works out in practice. The ‘freewheeling fun’ bit that is. I consider libertarianism to be more of a constant tedious effort to explain to people that it’s more true to the basic ideals already written into the constitution, rather than some kind of newfangled radicalism that smells of ‘libertinism’ or anarchism

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