Ask a Libertarian

Ask a Libertarian! Who influenced you the most while writing "The Declaration of Independents?"


Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and In this episode, they answer the question:

"Who influenced you the most writing the book?"

For the complete series, go to and's YouTube Channel at

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

NEXT: Ask a Libertarian! Did you come to libertarianism from the Right or the Left?

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  1. If I go away for a week and don’t look at H&R, will these “Ask a Libertarian” posts be done?

  2. I’ve been wondering this all day. I recognize Milton Friedman, Rand and Mises, but who are the other people? Is that an older Hayek in the center?

    1. Yes. Hayek.

    2. Isabel Patterson in the front row.

    3. But who’s second from the right?

      1. Oh. They answered that.

        Never mind.

    4. Thoreau, Spooner, Karl Hess, Konkin, Rothbard….

  3. From the looks: Jack Daniels.

  4. Comrade?!?! People owning the means of production?!?!

    I guess even the libertarians have turned red.

    1. Buh?

      Libertarians can religion is a positive influence and still believe in separation of church and state.

      Libertarians can believe that using hard drugs is a really stupid and self-destructive idea while believing that it should still be legal.

      We can also support the idea that it’s probably good if the means of production are broadly owned, without considering that a license to steal. In fact, that’s a pretty damn libertarian position. Socialists say they want the people to own the means of production, but use “the people” as a euphemism for “socialist-controlled political organizations”. When libertarians say “the people”, we mean it — it’s good for private property, politically, when everyone has property rights to be worried about losing to a greedy government selling socialist snake oil.

  5. also, did Nick essentially concede that Veronique de Rugy was the one that convinced him to quite smoking rock?

    1. I thought he was just alluding to sexual healing, but maybe it’s just because my mind is in the gutter. Also, because they show up together all the time, you sort of have to wonder if they’re an item.

  6. I was hoping it was going to be Tom Clancy. I wanted to read a passable libertarian political/military thriller.

  7. Where can I complain about these two posters spamming the site all day with ads for their product?

    1. It’s the same place you can cancel your paid subscription.

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