Libertarianism

"That might be the single best description of the libertarian mindset that I have ever read," and Other Notices for The Declaration of Independents

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Over at the Nobody's Business blog, Mark "Windypundit" Draughn complains about The Declaration of Independents' title, objects to the word "politics" in the subtitle, makes a crack about the "insane amount of promotion" for the book

This World B. Free!

around these parts, and then…proceeds with the most thorough discussion and expansion of the book's ideas yet committed to pixel. And he's still only on Part I! Since Draughn starts with a bill of particulars, I'll cheat and skip to his glowing comment about our passage sketching out a crude definition of libertarianism:

That might be the single best description of the libertarian mindset that I have ever read. It's exactly why I choose to call myself a libertarian. It's not about Ayn Rand or anti-communism or big business or hard money or even non-coercion. It's because I want us all to live in a world that is "tolerant, free, prosperous, vibrant, and interesting."

See what he's talking about at the link.

The first of two jacket-touchings so far on the tour

So what did noted libertarian writer/conversationalist Todd Seavey think about the book? I'm late in linking to it, but here goes:

It will likely come as no surprise that I loved Declaration of Independents – and admittedly I know or have met several people mentioned above including the authors – but let the record show that I don't love just everything that libertarians spew out.  This book, like a 240-page version of a wiseass Gillespie aside, is downright exhilarating in its contempt for the usual two factions in what it terms our stagnant and likely-doomed political "duopoly."  It gives one hope that sheer stupidity does eventually bring collapse and renewal.  If so, the stupid, one-size-fits-all behemoth called government is plainly overdue for implosion.  Perhaps the current debt crisis will be the long-awaited moment.

Buy it!

If not, though, the book gives one hope that we will find ever-multiplying ways to route our lives around the sinkhole that is politics and find happiness.  It even gives me hope that people less ideologically inclined to agree with all this might find the book persuasive.  I look forward to hearing reactions from non-libertarians, but first they should read it, in large numbers.

It was thirteen years ago (though it feels like yesterday) that a previous Reason editor, Virginia Postrel, suggested ditching the right-left spectrum in favor of a dynamism-stasis spectrum (in her book The Future and Its Enemies), and her editorial successors, Gillespie and Welch, have taken things up a notch here, saying in effect, "Who needs political spectrums at all?  Go do your own thing."

Let's do that, and if it confuses the usual commentators, politicians, pollsters, and academic analysts, so much the better.  

Bro, if you thought that CHAPTER was confusing….

And here's an excerpt from a review by Charles Thornton:

It is a fascinating book to say the least. […]

The authors make the case for the power of freedom by looking at how it has played out in several instances.  Some of these chapters were very interesting and I have to admit I got lost in the details of other chapters.  For instance, there was a chapter on the role rock and roll played in fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.  I got totally confused reading this one.  On the other hand the story of how Southwest Airlines changed the airline industry was inspiring.

This is a very intriguing book.  I recommend it.

Next book tour stop: Tomorrow in Oxford, Ohio. More at the Declaration 2011 site.

NEXT: Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" Scaremongering Exposed

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  1. You guy’s wrote a book?

    Who knew?

    1. Hey, that’s my line

  2. Wait, Jacket touchings are available on the tour? You heve, until now, neglected this crucial bit of info. I might be inclined to come out if I can touch the Jacket.

    1. You know that touching the Jacket is like opening the Arc of the Covenant if you aren’t a true libertarian, right?

      1. It’s not the real jacket, you morons. They could never get insured for a thing like that.

        1. I can see!! I can see!!
          I can walk!

        2. They have one Jacket in every mall at that time of year. They can’t all be the real Jacket.

      2. Well, it would be simple way to end these interminable “No True Scotsman” debates we keep having.

        “Touch the Jacket! I said TOUCH IT!”

        1. OK, choose. You’ve gotta get your book autographed or you get to touch the Jacket.

          1. If they make it down this far south anytime soon, I’m guessing the Jacket will be in its non-corporeal form. I mean, who the fuck wears a leather jacket in Houston in August?

            Masochists, that’s who.

            1. Well, it’s possible that the jacket is nanotechnologically complex, and no matter what temperature Nick wears it at, he is comfortable.

            2. Irrelevant. Nick does not wear the Jacket. The Jacket wears Nick.

            3. Not even during gay pride week

          2. In Russia, Jacket touch YOU!

    2. It’s like a miracle!

      “Having investigated closely, the pope determined that the blood was not coming from the Virgin Mary’s ass, but rather, from her vagina. And the pope said quote, ‘A chick bleeding out her vagina is no miracle. Chicks bleed out their vaginas all the time.'”

      1. Someone should have told that to Carrie.
        Could have saved some lives.

    3. Just be aware that while I haven’t died or developed any superpowers in the past week and a half, your mileage may vary.

      1. Then you were apparently judged by the Jacket and found mediocre.

  3. “It’s a cookbook!”

  4. Good to see this finally getting some coverage.

  5. The authors make the case for the power of freedom by looking at how it has played out in several instances.

    This person seems to be confused and frightened by freedom. Horrible, horrible freedom!

    1. Apparently nothing even comes close to having the power to make all the poor and weak starve and suffer.

  6. Great ref to ol’ World B. Free – his rants were almost as crazy as his jumpshot.

    1. You’d’ve changed your name too if it was Lloyd Batts. Except he didn’t have to get rid of the Lloyd part, that was running up the score.

  7. Good with all of the excerpts from the reviews I don’t need to buy the book.

  8. Dude Who Touched The Jacket, we salute you.

    I like Nick’s body language in that picture. Like: here, partake of The Jacket and prosper, my friend.

    1. Ecce Jacket.

  9. “I want us all to live in a world that is “tolerant, free, prosperous, vibrant, and interesting.”

    Agreed, but where I think I part with libertarians is that they tend to skip over that word “live”. Expecting that we will be free to just do that without engaging the barbarians around us militarily. That’s ignoring the nature of living things.

    1. That’s not what Libertarians believe.

  10. That chapter on Czechoslovakia was confusing. I mean, it had Lou Reed and Vaclev Havel, and there was a bunch of stuff going on, and the Ferstrunk Brothers were nowhere to be seen.

    I don’t know how you’re supposed to understand something like that.

  11. We are happy warriors against busybodies, elites, and gatekeepers who insist on dictating how other people should live their lives.

    Except murderers, rapists, and thieves. They’re okay to dictate to. And they’re only entitlements when other people have them. To me, they’re god-given rights (property, incorporation, contracts, etc.)

      1. I hope that’s ‘sockpuppet Tony’.

  12. Tyler Cowen saw fit to link to this review by former Reason contributor Kenneth Silber about how mean ole’ Reason drove him away from libertarianism by not supporting higher federal spending for his pet projects, and into the arms of Frum.

    1. In other words, at some point Silber realized we were serious about less government and he became appalled.

      1. Seems to happen when they realize we mean ALL government and not just the government they object to. “Wait, what, [military spending/NEA subsidies], too? I’m out.”

    2. And Welch was all confused by Frum’s book, but Frum and Silber had a good laugh about it. No hard feelings, certainly!

  13. I want to touch the jacket.

  14. I’m probably going to send a copy of the book to my 17-year old niece for Xmas, (along with an MC5 CD). She’s enough of a smart-ass that she will try to make a school report out of it. She is a well-behaved, hard-worker that does not give a shit about her grades.

  15. One of the other cool things about The Jacket is that you never have to ask it to “show me on yourself where the person touched you.” Cause it’s THE JACKET.

    PS The book is good, boys.

  16. Thanks for the article. For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues, please see http://www.Libertarian-Int?ernational.org , the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization …

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