E.D. Kain on "a cheerful dismissal of tribalism and monopolistic thinking, in life and in politics"
Writing at Forbes, E.D. Kain reviews The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America:
It's a good book, a well-written, easily accessible manifesto on how libertarian ideas and anti-authoritarianism can help change the world, and how they will one way or another, whether we like it or not. Just as importantly, the book is uplifting, optimistic and full of energy. This is no pessimistic rant about how awful the "other guy" is – its a cheerful dismissal of tribalism and monopolistic thinking, in life and in politics. Nor is it merely a stab at the state – the old dinosaurs of corporate America face the same dismal looking future, and only manage to hang on to their advantage through state protection to begin with.
In many ways, the book is a celebration of the sort of lifestyle libertarianism that Reason has symbolized for so long: freedom not just in economics, but in the way we live, who we choose to live with, and the variety of new lifestyles gaining in acceptance. It's a celebration of mutants and individualism, of the many weird and unexpected and fundamentally good ways that America has evolved, from growing acceptance of everything from multi-racial couples to gays to medical marijuana. And while it would be easy to cast a pall over the whole thing by pointing out the many ways the police state and the foreign wars and the various other government abuses have shaped our society for the worse, Welch and Gillespie keep their message upbeat, and I think the book is better for it.