In Search of the Libertarian Moment

On August 7, Robert Draper (New York Times) asked: “Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?” One excerpt: Libertarians, who long have relished their role as acerbic sideline critics of American political theater, now find themselves and their movement thrust into the middle of it. For decades their ideas have had serious backing financially (most prominently … Continue reading In Search of the Libertarian Moment

Let Us All Not Get Together!

The always entertaining P.J. O’Rourke has some reflections on the recent FreedomFest in Las Vegas (DailyBeast). Much of the piece is good fun (as one might expect). But O’Rourke does end with an important question that has bedeviled libertarians for quite some time: how do you make the leap to mass politics?   In O’Rourke’s words: … Continue reading Let Us All Not Get Together!

Persons of Straw

Alright, straw men... I guess I have been an academic for too long. Elizabeth Nolan Brown (Reason) observes that many journalists who write about libertarianism are in the business of constructing straw men. They simply do not feel the slightest need to do the kind of research necessary to make credible statements: Not only do … Continue reading Persons of Straw

A Return to Drones and NSA Surveillance?

After weeks of media obsession with Senator Cruz, the GOP-forced government shutdown, and the impact on public opinion, the Obama administration’s use of drones and the NSA’s vast surveillance efforts are once again gaining some space above the fold. The Washington Post has an interesting piece on the civilian casualties from drone attacks, reviewing the recent … Continue reading A Return to Drones and NSA Surveillance?

Free State or Bust

On Saturday I moved with my family to Lebanon, New Hampshire. I am teaching for a year in the Government Department at Dartmouth College. Although my reasons for leaving my tenure-track job at Buffalo were several, I decided last year to apply almost exclusively to jobs in New England so that I could fulfill (early) … Continue reading Free State or Bust

PorcFest Roundup

The Free State Project's Porcupine Freedom Festival was last week, and the media mentions have been trickling in. Unfortunately, I was not able to go due to scheduling conflicts, but the organizers claim, on the basis of 1,500 paid registrants, that over 1,700 people attended (including children). That makes it the biggest PorcFest ever, unsurprising … Continue reading PorcFest Roundup

Social justice as an emergent property

I have great respect and (in many cases) affection for my friends at Bleeding Hearts Libertarians. But I am not a bleeding heart libertarian, and from the outset I have resisted its siren song, mostly over its endorsement of “social justice” as a moral and/or political ideal. Unlike Hayek, I do not think the concept … Continue reading Social justice as an emergent property