Peter Bagge: From Adam Smith to Punk to Grunge

The libertarian creator of alternative comix Hate and Neat Stuff explains why he's fond of the invisible hand and individualism.


Adam Smith turns 300 this week, and the July issue of Reason commemorates his life and legacy with a great set of articles by fantastic economists such as Deirdre McCloskey and Nobel Prize–winner Vernon Smith (no relation!), both of whom are recent guests on this podcast. My favorite piece in the issue, though, was created by today's guest, Peter Bagge, the legendary alternative comics genius behind Hate, Neat Stuff, and graphic biographies of Margaret Sanger, Zora Neale Hurston, and Rose Wilder Lane.

Born in 1957, Peter has been drawing professionally for over 40 years and contributing to Reason for the entirety of the 21st century. I talk with him about Adam Smith, material and moral progress, and what it's like to be an ardent libertarian in a creative space dominated by liberals and left-wingers. An eyewitness to the punk scene in New York in the late 1970s and the grunge scene in Seattle in the late 1980s, we also talk about what might be coming next in politics and culture and why he's optimistic that the future will be better than the past.

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