Declaration of Independents

Purchase The Declaration of Independents This Independence Day or, How many books are "worth buying simply for the excellent account of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978"?

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Ira Stoll, late of The New York Sun and currently manning the excellent Future of Capitalism site, reviews Matt Welch and my libertarian manifesto:

There are some really strong sections of this book. I liked this sentence: "To assume that the hungry will starve, the naked will go unclothed, and the ignorant will remain uneducated if government spending declines as a percentage of GDP is as misguided as assuming no one would go to church absent a state religion."

The authors also focus in an unusual (for journalists) and disapproving way on the vote to approve the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which they describe as "the George W. Bush-led, bipartisan, trillion-dollar bailout of the undeserving financial industry in late 2008, with its open-ended invitations to nationalize whole swaths of the economy, starting with the mortgage-lending business," and "the hinge point of our modern era."

The book is worth buying simply for the excellent account of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and of Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher's challenge to a Civil Aeronautics Board that had, between 1950 and 1974, denied all 79 applications it had received from firms wishing to enter the interstate air transport industry. The same four airlines — United, Eastern, American, and TWA — had dominated American passenger aviation for the 40 years since the 1938 Civil Aeronautics Act. After deregulation, there were more flights, they cost less, more Americans flew, and there was no adverse effect on safety….

Stoll does not let us off unscathed:

For all its many strengths, though, this book also disappointed me at times. The chapter on rock music may appeal to people who know more about it than I do. Foreign policy is treated glancingly. "Despite the abject horror of the 9/11 attacks, radical Islamic terrorism is no serious threat to our way of life or even the future of the globe," the authors write, with no reference to, say, Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Finally, take the claim that libertarianism will win out because socialism, or big-government at the level we now have it in America, is unaffordable. While perhaps comforting on some level, this line of reasoning nonetheless strikes me as falling short of being fully satisfactory. What if we weren't out of money?… for a libertarianism that reaches to core American principles and values rather than just situational budget-cutting (which, don't get me wrong, would be a fine and welcome start), it's a question that has to be asked and answered.

Whole thing here.

Here's a roundup of other recent reviews, etc.

And go to Declaration2011.com for easy online orders!

NEXT: Two Views of the Latest DSK Developments

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  1. How about a libertarianism that is a simple-minded business worshiping cult?
    Think that would sell beyond cult circles? Probably not. Donate now!

    1. Not so strange I guess, but cultists seem to find cults everywhere.
      Projection or just abysmal ignorance? You decide.

    2. Projecting again, Max, from your simple-minded government worshiping cult?

    3. Back from your banning, Edward? Maybe you should go back to shutting the fuck up.

      1. I need to know what he gets out of this. “Nothing” doesn’t cut it.

        1. I need to know what he gets out of this.

          An erection, followed by sweet release.

          Responding to it is the same as giving it a handjob. Please don’t give Max a handjob.

          1. You called me a vagina, dude. I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!

            1. In some cultures a vagina is considered a good thing.

              1. I make no judgements on the goodness of vaginas, other than the fact that I like them. I only know that you said it about me with ill intent. For that, I must punish you. Which I will do by equating you with…Michael Bay. Nay; instead, it will be, on this Independence Day, with Roland Emmerich. You, sir, are a Roland Emmerich. (slaps capitol l in face with glove)

                Take that.

                1. From Roland’s wiki:

                  In 2007, on behalf of the LGBT community, he held a fundraiser at his Los Angeles home for Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

                  Jesus Christ man, take it back you evil fucker.

                  1. IT’S ON.

                    I wonder what his next abomination will be. Seeing as he’s already covered the 2012 Mayan apocalypse, global warming, alien invasion (I’m enjoying Falling Skies, by the way), Godzilla, the American Revolution, and the distant past, I’m not sure what would be next. Maybe pro wrestling?

                    1. They Live…gritty reboot.

                      “I came here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of”…’SPLOSION!!!

                    2. Interestingly, I just rewatched Escape from New York last night. And anyone who remakes a Carpenter film (other than Carpenter) should be shot. However, there is a prequel to The Thing coming out that actually seems interesting; it is the story of the Norwegian base that initially finds the Thing in the original.

    4. Not that MY simple-minded state-worshiping cult is any better… but it makes me FEEL better.

      1. Because you know, at your core, that the omnipotent megastate will always behave in accorance with your most cherished tenets.

        1. Max, honey, stop bothering these people, and come take a nap with Mommy.

  2. Oh, and from the article:
    “What if we weren’t out of money?”
    Dunno. What if there were unicorns?

    1. “What is we didn’t have to pay back the $14 trillion national debt? What if we could ignore the total ~50 trillion in liabilities the U.S. owes?”

    2. I think what she means is, “haven’t these guys ever heard of the printing press?” We’re out of money now and yet you’d never know it to see how the parasites continue spending. It’s a pleasant thought that the wastrels might actually run out of money to fund their profligacy, but they haven’t done so yet. They seem to think they can go on borrowing and inflating forever, and so far they seem to be getting away with doing exactly that.

      Her other objection bears some consideration too: radical Islamic terrorism is no serious threat? Really? One nuke from Iran in the middle of one Western city or–worse–in the middle of the stratosphere over Kansas could really spoil somebody’s decade, you know?

  3. So, with Johnny Longstrono dead(along with Suki), I for one eagerly look forward to Morning Links dominated by his cheap, Mexican replacement-Juan Longstrono.

    1. That would be Juan Torsolargo.

      1. THEY TOOK YUR LINKING JRBS!!!!

  4. Finally, take the claim that libertarianism will win out because socialism, or big-government at the level we now have it in America, is unaffordable…. What if we weren’t out of money?

    Running out of money is an inevitable result of the policies we have in place.

    1. What do you mean, if?

      We ARE out of money.

      Fucking Keynesians… how do they work?

    2. I can totally see her point. The only thing more horrifying than the end result of socialist failure is the end result of socialist ‘success’-ant-like mass conformity.

  5. I liked this sentence…

    Ha! With all the quoted sections in these reviews, I am very close to piecing together the entire book without having to purchase it. I reckon already I’ve copied and pasted several chapters’ worth of text.

    So far it looks like a thirty-five page ransom note, but I assume that was the authors’ intention.

  6. After deregulation, there were more flights, they cost less, more Americans flew, and there was no adverse effect on safety….

    Yeah, but those planes are filled with smelly poor people, now.

    Life was better when politicians and businessmen with expense accounts were the only people who could afford to fly; you didn’t think of that, did you?

  7. a simple-minded business worshiping cult?

    I’m not sure about the “simple-minded” part, but the idea of people exchanging valuable goods and services for money (or other valuable goods and services) seems like a pretty good system.

    1. Without being told to?

      How can that possibly work?

  8. Suki Held Hostage, A Retrospective.

    Longtorso Dead. A Nation Mourns.

    Tonite’s news special is to wrap up last week’s story of Johnny Longtorso’s violent crime spree and his murder suicide with his hostage, Suki. Here to speak about our national loss is Dr. Nathan Elderberry. Dr. Elderberry, what drives a genius like Johnny Longtorso into violent, realdoll hostage taking madness?

    1. Well Ted, as you can see from Longtorso’s Golden Girls obsession and his flirtations with Anon Bot worship, the world was just not ready for someone of his moral purity, his intellectual genius, and his large penis. Our failure to recognize his superiority drove him to his desparate, attention seeking behavior of nonstop posting. His blood, and the blood of Suki, is on the hands of capitol l and robc, who led the mocking of his morally and intellectually superior beliefs concerning 80s sitcoms. They, in my professional opinion as a licensed medical professional, totally suck ass. I, for one, only wish I was as wonderful, smart, and ruggedly good looking as Johnny Longtorso. Mankind will truly never see his like again.

  9. There is nothing less interesting than stories about “Suki”…I mean a RealDoll.

    1. I can think of something much less interesting that we’ve been ignoring for quite some time now.

      1. You’re not ignoring hard enough!!!

        1. You’re a towel!

  10. The chapter on rock music

    Huzzah! Pop culture as liberator!

  11. If ever there was a poster girl for dental damn, there she is.

    I’d still hit it.

    1. “dental damn” sounds awesome.

      I curse your fucking TEETH!

      1. “Dental fuck me? No, dental fuck you!”

  12. Rewatching ID4 for the first time since the 90s. It’s good in a funny, surprising way.

    1. When the aliens blew up Washington, DC, I took it to mean they were friendlies.

  13. You’re a towel!

  14. Should be quite interesting to see how that all works out in the end.

    http://www.total-web-privacy.tk

  15. Something interesting from Foreign Policy online:

    Most notable revolutionaries-2011

    My favorite would be Wael Ghonim whose “We are all Khaled Said” facebook page helped ignite the Arab spring. If you don’t know who Kaled Said is, he was a kid murdered by Egyptian police officers in front of a crowd of people. Usually such incidents would be swept under the rug, but this case opened the door for people to challenge the endemic corruption and brutality of the Egyptian regime.

    There’s a lot of bullshit in there too.

  16. John Avlon over at cnn takes your book idea and expands it to an entire oped.

    Here.

  17. That woman’s lip is a Katy Perry song incarnate.

  18. Jesus Christ! I bought the book already. Stop fucking nagging!

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