Three Thorough Blog Reviews
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
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.
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.
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.
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.