Millennials, Permissionless Innovation, and the Libertarian Future

Nick Gillespie tells Australia's "The Rational Rise" why he's bullish about the prospects for freedom in the 21st century.


I traveled to Sydney, Australia earlier this year to speak at the Friedman Conference, an annual event organized by the Australian Libertarian Society and the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance. While I was there, James Fox Higgins of The Rational Rise interviewed me about Millennials, libertarianism, and the future. The video is up and here's the writeup:

James had the honour of interviewing Nick Gillespie, editor of, to unpack some of his optimistic views on liberty in the future, and the power of technology driven by a culture of "permissionless innovation" to create a more individualistic society.

For more on Higgins and TRR, go here. Watch/listen to the Q&A below:

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  1. ::does single in-place cartwheel flip::

  2. “James had the honour of interviewing Nick Gillespie, editor of, to unpack some of his optimistic views on liberty in the future, and the power of technology driven by a culture of “permissionless innovation” to create a more individualistic society.”

    I guess he kneeled down and begged permission?
    Nick, you’re hot stuff in Oxford Ohio, but c’mon….

  3. Linked last night, still looking for anyone who saluted when moonbeam ran it up the flagpole and finally found one:

    3 days ago:
    “Jerry Brown one-ups Trump on climate change with G20 announcement ”
    “California’s hard-charging green governor is shaking things up once again on the world stage.”…..ouncement/
    I’m sure Trump was shaking in his boots! OK, by now we should be seeing the outpouring of support for the guy “Shaking things up on [..] on the world stage” and so appropriately known as “moonbeam”. HUGE support, amd I right?

    Took some searching, but, wow, that guy is really ‘shaking things up’, isn’t he?
    “California Governor Makes Heroic Appearance at G20 Summit to Bury Trump, “He Doesn’t Speak for the Rest of America”
    “Luckily for America, Brown doesn’t care about Trump’s decision. He’s taking the lead on climate change, and Americans are behind him.”…..f-america/
    At least five or six Americans are behind him. toplisticles makes those fake dog balls, don’t they?

    1. What a circus! His bootlickers will not get squat done except to polish his boots for his retirement.

      In 50 years, no one will remember Brown as anything but a quirky governor who did nothing except spin his (high speed train) wheels. His father is only remembered for the Central Valley Project, and that just barely. Brown hasn’t even got that much.

        1. ‘He had fruit flies.”

          He did, like some people have fleas!
          And out of deference to the fruit flies, he let them multiply until it took nukes to make ’em go away!
          He must have done something right at some time, but I’m damned if I know what that might be.
          What a fucking ignoramus!

      1. He will hopefully be remembered as the focus of California ?ber Alles.

        Also, what is controversial about this? Such bullshit. “State wants to pass in laws.”

        Good you dumb motherfucker. States shouldn’t just force the feds to force laws on the whole nation. I hate when a state says, “if the feds don’t pass a law then we will.” As if it’s a threat rather than their fucking job.

        Man, I hate government and my point is rambled out at this point. Incoherent.

  4. Pretty darned good spiel, Nick. Hard to call it an interview, or even a real conversation, you were in such a hurry to get all that out. But I agree with about all of the message.

    I am a long term optimist and short term pessimist. I figure innovation and reality will combine to gradually sideline coercive government, to gradually relegate it to the peripheral of our lives. In particular, socialism does eventually run out of other people’s money, and progressives / statists aren’t capable of accepting the status quo, so they will keep on pushing until coercive government simply runs out of reality. Something will have to give. I have no idea what or how, but by then the shadow economy and dark web will have matured and spread far enough to take over in some much more minimal way.

    The libertarian moment isn’t about politics, it’s about all those things you mentioned — more individual choices. Not just three TV networks, but so many a la carte choices that it may as well be many networks per individual. So many more food choices, and so much cheaper. The basic necessities of life are so much cheaper and better that people can maek better choices as to their free time and jobs. It ain’t perfect, it can get a lot better, but the trend is unstoppable in the long term.

    1. ” statists aren’t capable of accepting the status quo, so they will keep on pushing until coercive government simply runs out of reality. ”

      It’s that moment when they run out of other people’s money that they’re most dangerous.

      1. Yes. But realistically, what will happen? It’s easy to fantasize about a dictatorial dystopia, but that’s not realistic. I think it much more likely that politics will gradually sort itself into unrealistic and realistic wings, with the realistic wing being a very small minority at first, but gradually growing larger and larger. But eventually government will be frozen in squabbles. The squabbles now between anitifa and trumpies will look like amateur hour. They will spend all their energy on infighting and disgust everyone more and more. Maybe society will finally stop depending on a paralyzed government and start to fend for themselves, in voluntary associations, not because they want to forego other people’s money, but out of necessity. I don’t know. I can’t make any better prediction than that. I don’t think it will be war or revolution; everyone will be so dependent on other people’s money, or so invested in the shadow economy, that they won’t have any incentive to come to open warfare.

        1. The Handmaiden’s Tale is by far the most likely outcome. It is timely.

    2. Given that the major contribution of the millennials to political discourse so far has been the creation of the alt-right, I don’t think you’ll be seeing the libertarian moment from that source any time soon.

  5. I’ve enjoyed the spittlefleck up above regarding California’s governor– though to be honest it was so full of right-wing road rage I couldn’t make much of it.

    Me: How do you feel about Jerry Brown?

    To be fair…

    California’s nonpartisan legislative analyst said Wednesday he’s forecasting a $2.8 billion budget surplus next year and says California should be able to weather a mild recession without major budget cuts or tax increases over the next four years.

    And that… warts and all… is better than when I came here and the state was run by a funny guy who used to prance around in a loin cloth with Grace Slick.

  6. More Gillespie positivism!
    Wake up!
    We Are Dooooooomed!

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