Economics

Humans of FreedomFest, Part 4: "My father used…'libertarian' as a swear word."

Portraits from the world's largest annual gathering of libertarians.

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Editor's note: FreedomFest, held every July in Las Vegas, is the largest annual gathering of libertarians in the country. Today is the first day of the four-day long conference, which is being headlined in its 10th year by William Shatner, John Stossel, Greg Gutfeld, and others. Taking inspiration from the site Humans of New York, Reason is happy to offer Humans of FreedomFest, a series of portraits and brief interviews with various attendees. To read previous installments, go here.

Deirdre McCloskey

Sarah Siskind, Reason

"My father used the word 'libertarian' as a swear word. 'Oh that's libertarian'… But I was a marxist at the time so I thought, well that's not something I should be. It took me a long time to get over that. I was an anarchist to begin with when I was 15. Then I was a socialist, kind of a Joan Baez socialist. I played the guitar… I know more socialist songs than my socialist colleagues. I wasn't a scholarly Marxist. I read half the Communist Manifesto and I figured that was enough. But the songs were terrific."

Stephen L Mandaro

Sarah Siskind

"Because I'm pro-choice, among the Republicans sometimes I get into trouble. But I'm a physician. So I leave it to the patient to decide what they want. My feeling, being pro-choice, is that it's a woman's individual decision. Not mine."

Anonymous

"Back in England, at the London School of Economics, he was a socialist when I met him. When we first met."

So did you turn him into a libertarian?

"No. Buying private property, having rent control slammed on us, is what radicalized us."

…Who are you people?

"We can't decide."

Are those your real names?

"We're coming to a conference on privacy. It would be crazy to register in your own name!"

…Can I take your picture?

Both: "No."

This is part of a series. Read previous installments here.

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26 responses to “Humans of FreedomFest, Part 4: "My father used…'libertarian' as a swear word."

  1. So going from socialist to libertarian. Is that like an alcoholic that quits drinking?

    1. Or like a Mormon who starts drinking?

  2. But the songs were terrific.”

    Mermaid Avenue is a good album.

    Are those your real names?

    “We’re coming to a conference on privacy. It would be crazy to register in your own name!”

    …Can I take your picture?

    Both: “No.”

    Finally, some real libertarians!

    1. They are fully aware that this whole thing is just a setup by the FBI to collect names of problematic citizens.

      1. Sara Rose Siskind is a modern day Donnie Brasco.

    2. I had no idea the Communist Manifesto had songs in it. Marx was just a multi-talented guy, wasn’t he? What’s next? We find out he was the president of a drinking society?

      1. He did drink wine with the Young Hegelians. Because you can only read Hegel when you’re really really drunk.

      1. What are you trying to say?

  3. world’s largest annual gathering of libertarians…..will fit in a large walk in closet.

  4. Ninth Circuit poised to resolve major free speech issue in secret proceeding

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued an order signed only by the Clerk declaring that a significant free speech issue bearing on the rights of anonymous Internet users will be decided in a totally secret proceeding, involving sealed briefs, a sealed record, and without any help from would-be amici (including Public Citizen) seeking to explain the dangers posed by the proceeding.

    Woowee, I glad we got dem dar Constution loving conservatives in charge of the gubbmint, I tells ya what.

    1. The Ninth Circuit Court is not a bunch of conservatives, but they do seem to run the government these days. You are half right.

      1. No, but the justice department prosecuting the case is conservative run at present.

        1. All the libertarians around here who’ve been singing Jeff Sessions’s praise for months not definitely have egg on their face.

    2. This… well….. fuck…. I got nothing. Can we stop 4th pretense that we live in a republic of limited enumerated powers? Bbbbbut, says Nick, we have 20 kinds of toothpaste.

    3. So they’re putting us all on double-secret probation?

      Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to run a republic.

  5. I read the info on Public Citizen’s site. The Ninth Circuit’s reasoning seems to be FYTW..

  6. Is there a reason all these people seem to have a severe case of cuck-face?

      1. Forget it, Jake. It’s Tulpatown.

        1. Man, all the other guys in /trash/ got sweet tulpas. We really missed out.

  7. “My father used the word ‘libertarian’ as a swear word. ‘Oh that’s libertarian’… But I was a marxist at the time so I thought, well that’s not something I should be. It took me a long time to get over that. I was an anarchist to begin with when I was 15. Then I was a socialist, kind of a Joan Baez socialist. I played the guitar… I know more socialist songs than my socialist colleagues. I wasn’t a scholarly Marxist. I read half the Communist Manifesto and I figured that was enough. But the songs were terrific.”

    This causes me to seriously doubt myself on any idea where she and I might find ourselves in agreement.

  8. So funny reading Deirdre McCloskey’s statements, because of dramatic irony: “I was a marxist…. I was an anarchist…. Then I was a socialist….” Uh, Deirdre…,you were Donald! Probably doesn’t have anything to do with it, but the way that was presumably elided from D.’s vignette by the editor makes it funny.

    Actually though, I was bummed when McCloskey started appearing in Reason again & instead of being about economics, as previously, it was always about the sex change. So now I see this little bit & it’s sort-of about economics & omitting the sex change, and I’m complaining again. Can’t win w me, it seems.

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