Subscribe: Libertarian History/Philosophy
http://www.reason.com/topics/topic/242.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
conservatives  free  gillespie  government  libertarian  libertarians  movement  new  party  political  reason  state  trump 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Libertarian History/Philosophy

Libertarian History/Philosophy



All Reason.com articles with the "Libertarian History/Philosophy" tag.



Published: Sun, 25 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Last Build Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2016 17:55:47 -0400

 



Reason's Podcasts at iTunes and Soundcloud! Subscribe Now!

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 10:15:00 -0400

I'm happy to announce that Reason's iTunes feed for audio and video versions of our documentaries, interviews, and more is back online and better than ever. Go here to subscribe to our iTunes audio feed, which features all of our great interviews, live events, and more. Founded in 1968, Reason is the planet's leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Hosted by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, and other Reason journalists, our podcast explores "free minds and free markets." It features provocative, in-depth interviews with authors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, economists, scientists, business leaders, and elected officials. Keep up to date on the latest happenings in our increasingly libertarian world from a point of view you won't get from legacy media and boring old left-right, liberal-conservative publications. You can also find video versions at Reason.com/reasontv. (Subscribe to our video iTunes feed here.) If you dig SoundCloud, we've got you covered right here (click below for the audio to our recent conversation with juggler-philosopher Penn Jillette talking weight loss, Bob Dylan, and why he's "all in" for Gary Johnson come November). And here's our RSS feed for video content and here's the one for audio versions. Don't hesitate—subscribe NOW! All of these streams are free as found money. And if you feeling like giving back something, let me ask you—implore you, even!—to rate and review our video and audio podcasts at iTunes and elsewhere. The more ratings and reviews we pull at iTunes, the better placement we'll get and the bigger audience we'll gain. Use your ratings and reviews to give us feedback on what we're doing well and where you think we need improvement. Suggest topics, takes, and people with whom we should be talking. Reason's mission is to bring a principled, persuasive, and attractive libertarian perspective to politics, culture, and ideas. We reach other folks in the media, policymakers, and business folks, providing better ways of thinking about government, defending innovation so it doesn't get strangled in regulatory red tape, and making the case for maximum freedom in all aspects of our lives. We're your voice in national debates and our award-winning reporting on everything from electoral politics to technological innovation to endlessly creative "experiments in living" helps to create the next generation of libertarians (I know encountering Reason in high school is why I'm a libertarian). We are champions of "Free Minds and Free Markets" and we're also constantly checking our own premises and working to revise, refine, sharpen, and help define what it means to be a libertarian. So subscribe, listen, watch, review, and rate! Never before have libertarian ideas and sensibilities been more widespread and influential—and never before have they been more needed to create a robust new operating system for a 21st century that is stuck in old, worn-out "binary choices" that make no sense in a world of inexhaustible possibilities. src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/281969428&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" frameborder="0">[...]



Where Did Trump Come From?

Sun, 04 Sep 2016 06:00:00 -0400

Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism, by George Hawley, University Press of Kansas, 376 pages, $34.95 George Hawley appears to have completed Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism before Donald Trump began his rise, which makes it all the more surprising that this scholarly tome is the best guide we're likely to find to the bizarre reality of the 2016 GOP. As Hawley, a political scientist at the University of Alabama, points out in considerable detail, the post–World War II conservative movement has never been a monolithic bloc. Many of its left-wing critics have perceived it that way, but those who Hawley calls its right-wing critics have known better—particularly the ones who were purged and consigned to the ideological equivalent of Siberia. The movement has always been beset from within and without by dissension, even as its leaders have tried to fashion a sense of unity. Even the definition of "right-wing" is up for grabs. In Europe, conservatives have historically defended a hereditary aristocracy, an established church, and other fixed social hierarchies. ("The men who supported King Louis XVI during the French Revolution," Hawley notes, "would have had no interest in wars to spread liberal democracy in the Middle East, a free market capitalism that recognizes no social distinctions, or a populist form of evangelical Christianity.") Not so in America. "From the major figures of the conservative movement," he writes, "we consistently hear the same values advanced: limited government, strong traditional families, and strong national defense." But conservatism is not always identical to the right, more broadly defined. If the left is characterized by holding social and economic equality as its primary value, the right is characterized by its skepticism toward—or outright opposition to—equality as a political goal. Hence Hawley's compact definition of the right as "all of those ideologies that, while not necessarily rejecting equality as a social good, do not rank it at the top of the hierarchy of values. The right furthermore fights the left in all cases where the push for equality threatens some other value held in higher esteem." In similar fashion, the right-wing critics of the present conservative movement criticize it for what they see as its ongoing capitulation to the left's values. Almost without exception, those "purged" from the conservative movement have been so for being too far to the right, not too far to the left. Hawley's overview begins with the Old Right of the 1930s and earlier. Anti–New Deal, anti-interventionist, and pro-states' rights, the Old Right was not cohesive enough to be called a "movement." It was also not exclusively Republican, as there was considerable overlap with many conservative southern Democrats (the so-called Dixiecrats), the GOP having been associated with the unpopular Reconstruction policies that followed the Civil War. The Old Right had a perhaps unfair reputation for a lack of intellectual depth, despite the presence of colorful and insightful figures in its ranks, from H.L. Mencken to the Southern Agrarians who wrote I'll Take My Stand. Enter William F. Buckley and Russell Kirk, perhaps the two most influential and iconic conservatives to gain a public hearing in the early 1950s. Kirk's 1953 book The Conservative Mind aimed to give his worldview a pedigree, tracing conservatism back to Edmund Burke. Buckley, first with his 1951 book God and Man at Yale and then with the 1955 launch of the magazine National Review, took on the task of publicizing conservative ideas and laying the groundwork for what would later coalesce into the current conservative movement. National Review brought together a mix: a few Old Right survivors, a few ex-communists, a few proto-libertarians, and a good number of traditionalists. The initial glue that held them together was the Cold War, which effectively minimized anti-interventionism as a component of conservatism—much to the chagrin of the libertarian economist Murray Rothbard, who was in[...]



Dumb Voters Needn't Mean a People Unable to Run Their Own Lives

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:15:00 -0400

Jason Brennan, a political philosopher at Georgetown and author of the new book Against Democracy, generally writes from a libertarian perspective. He insists there is no contradiction between believing that voters can be remarkably foolish and irrational and a general belief that a society can operate based on the generally uncoerced decisions of these same foolish and irrational would-be voters. Brennan lays out the reasons at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, including the sociological reasons why libertarian thinkers might be more inclined to come to such negative conclusions about democracy even though the facts and analysis he brings to bear on the question are not based in libertarianism per se: it isn't surprising that the new wave of democratic skepticism comes from libertarians like Ilya Somin, Bryan Caplan, or me. When you read most democratic theory, you see that most authors revere politics and democracy, viewing them as in some way sacred or majestic. Libertarians will have none of that. As a result, I think they're able to think more clearly about the nature of democracy. For many on the Left and Right, doing democratic theory is like doing theology. For libertarians, it's just comparative institutional analysis. Libertarians have no inherent emotional draw toward or inherent revulsion to democracy. Asking whether democracy works better than the alternatives has no more emotional resonance than asking whether a hammer works better than a screwdriver for a given purpose..... as to the question of voters in democracy vs actors in the market [and how libertarians can think the latter can do sensible, non-damaging things while the former might not]: The incentives are radically different. When I make a market decision, I decide unilaterally. If I order a candy bar, I get a candy bar. If I order an apple, I get an apple. Further, in general, I bear the consequences of my decisions. If I make a bad choice for me, I get punished. If I make a good choice, I get rewarded. Of course, sometimes the consequences take a long time or are hard to trace. Yes, sometimes there are significant negative externalities. Still, there's a feedback mechanism. However dumb people might be naturally, markets incentivize them to be smarter. In politics, my decision counts for basically nothing. If I stay home, vote for X, or vote for not-X, the same thing ends up happening. We all bear the consequences of the majority's decision, but no one bears the consequences of her individual decision. If I make a bad choice at the polls, I don't get punished. If I make a good choice, I don't get rewarded. The feedback mechanism sucks. However dumb people might naturally be, politics incentivizes them to stay that way, or get dumber. Bryan Caplan, another thinker from the libertarian world who questions the probity and sense of voters who Brennan mentions above, wrote for Reason back in October 2007 on "The 4 Boneheaded Biases of Stupid Voters." I wrote about Brennan's general perspective on democracy in the context of Donald Trump last year. Katherine Mangu-Ward wrote a long feature hooked off the basic "your vote counts for nothing" analysis in November 2012. I took an op-ed approach to the idea in "Not Voting and Proud" in 2004.[...]



Conservatives Are From Mars, Libertarians Are From...Woodstock?

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 20:34:00 -0400

Among the many odd twists and turns of Election 2016 is the non-stop concern trolling of libertarians by #NeverTrump conservatives and Republicans who really, really, really want to vote Libertarian this one time but just can't because Gary Johnson and William Weld are so...damn...awful...from a libertarian point of view. Sure, Johnson has sworn to present a balanced budget upon entering the White House and he's for individual rights, the Second Amendment, school choice, an end to the prison-industrial complex, Wilsonian interventionism, and a lot of other things that conservatives and Republicans often say they want. But because he's pro-choice and believes that federal antidscrimination laws should cover sexual orientation at businesses open to the public, he's the worst. And Bill Weld—whose confirmation as ambassador to Mexico was skunked by Jesse Helms back in the day because Weld was for gay rights—is a know-nothing on Second Amendment issues. So screw him and all the hippies who trail behind him burning incense and peppermint, too. Really. The latest variation on this theme is up at The Federalist, where Robert Tracinski moans that "Johnson and Weld are doing their best to drive [conservatives] away—and they're doing it by not even being good at being Libertarians." But then, what did conservatives expect? "Libertarians are basically flower children," explains Tracinski, so "none of this comes out of the blue, and it reflects a basic problem with the libertarian movement going back to the beginning." When the Libertarian Party was first formed in 1971, [he writes], the free-market firebrand Ayn Rand dismissed them as "hippies of the right," and there was definitely something to that. While some libertarians saw themselves as taking inspiration from Rand's political ideas, there was also a large strain in the movement that saw itself as ideologically and culturally aligned with the Left, as an offshoot of the counterculture. Libertarianism wasn't about reasserting an American tradition of liberty and constitutionally limited government. It was about smashing the system, man. Well, yes and no. Most libertarians are for smashing the system because it doesn't represent limited government or defend individual liberty. For decades after World War II, pre-Woodstock libertarians were barely tolerated by movement conservatives and establishment Republicans (the two categories became synonmous at some point during the 1980s). As Brian Doherty has noted, the conservative Russell Kirk refused to be listed on National Review's masthead for a time because libertarian-leaning Frank Meyer was involved. And while Ayn Rand may have hated "libertarians," she got little love from National Review, which published Whittaker Chambers' scathing (and stupid) review of Atlas Shrugged. "From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: 'To the gas chambers—go!'" wrote Chambers. Over time—and especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union—libertarians stopped apologizing for their distinct beliefs in what Reason has long summarized as "Free Minds and Free Markets." The libertarian movement grew in size and influence and, well, there seemed to be less and less in common with conservatives who were fixated on foreign policy adventurism abroad and culture-war issues at home (obscenity, "the homosexual agenda," the war on drugs, abortion rights, and the like). In the post-Cold War world, conservatives started turning against free trade and immigration as well, turning to instead toward "National Greatness" as articulated in the pages of The Weekly Standard and nativism as pronounced without pause during the 1990s and 2000s at National Review. During the Bush years, conservative Republicans exhorted George W. Bush to nation-build in the Middle East while torturing suspected terrorists wherever he found them. Surveil Americans? Of course: We were at war, don't you know? Didn't Bush and his Republican Con[...]



Friday A/V Club: When the Governor Has a Libertarian Side

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 16:45:00 -0400

The most striking thing about this year's Libertarian ticket may be that it features a couple of former governors. Libertarians don't tend to be enthusiastic about elected officials in the first place, and that's especially true when it comes to the executive branch. Hardly any governors have a substantial libertarian fan base. But there are exceptions to that, and they aren't all named "Gary Johnson." One is Albert Ritchie, governor of Maryland from 1920 to 1935. Another is J. Bracken Lee, governor of Utah from 1949 to 1957. Ritchie was a fiscal conservative: He tended to keep taxes down, tended to keep the books balanced, and tended to reject federal aid. (I say "tended to" because there were exceptions to all of the above. But the pattern was clear.) He didn't believe the state should do nothing at all—he built roads, passed restrictions on the crab industry, and otherwise flexed his power when he thought it was necessary—but he thought the government in general and the feds in particular should be doing a lot less. And he wasn't shy about defying Washington. In 1922, when Warren Harding asked 28 governors to call out the National Guard during a coal strike, Ritchie refused, declaring that "in the darkest hours of situations like these there often comes the time when with methods other than force men can finally be persuaded to meet and agree for the common welfare." And at the Governors Conference in Washington that year, when the president told the assembled guests that the states needed to enforce Prohibition, Ritchie declared that Maryland would not. Egged on by his friend H.L. Mencken, a fiery libertarian voice at The Baltimore Sun, Ritchie then went about making his state an island of tolerance in the war on booze. As Mencken's biographer Marion Elizabeth Rodgers later wrote, Maryland was now one of the wettest states in the union....Governor Ritchie had announced that places selling alcoholic beverages would not be bothered by state troopers—though they would have to pay state tax. But because speakeasies didn't legally exist, they were declared to be cigar stores. Each speakeasy had a front room, with a glass counter, filled with cheap cigars. There would be a door with a window. When you knocked on the door, all you had to say was, "Joe sent me."... Alone among larger cities, Batlimore had little organized crime. Instead, it was quiet and orderly. The police went about their own business. The courts were not jammed with liquor cases. Federal agents were left to enforce Federal enactments on their own. And since the Feds found they had no police protection in Baltimore, raids gradually became more infrequent. This is the era when Maryland came to be known as the Free State, a nickname that feels less appropriate these days. And Lee? He mixed the fiscal conservatism and anti-globalism of a Taft Republican with a high level of social tolerance. As I've mentioned here before, he refused to crack down on drinking, gambling, and prostitution when he was mayor of Price; as mayor of Salt Lake City, he locked horns with police chief W. Cleon Skousen over budget issues, "vice" issues (including Skousen's efforts to ferret out homosexuals), and Lee's view that Skousen was "practicing Communism to fight it." In-between, while governing the whole state of Utah, Lee disobeyed the feds in a way that may not rise to Ritchie's level of defiance but still stands out: In 1956 he became, as far as I'm aware, the only sitting governor ever to refuse to pay his federal income tax. His reasoning was a little obscure—he didn't think it was constitutional to be forced to pay for foreign aid—but a certain level of crankiness goes with the nonconformist territory. Now we come to the A/V Club portion of the post. In the video below, Lee discusses his policies and worldview on a 1952 episode of the TV show Longines Chronoscope. One of the men interviewing him, Henry Hazlitt, was a longtime libertarian journalist and, l[...]



George Will on the Limits of Majority Rule

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 15:35:00 -0400

Reason's Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will back in March for a free-wheeling discussion about the current state of American politics. According to Will, "the most interesting argument in American governance today" is not the conflict between Democrats and Republicans; instead it is the argument between those conservatives "who believe that we need, as conservatives have been saying for years, a deferential judiciary, passive and deferential to the majoritarian branches of government," and those libertarians "who argue on the contrary that what we need is an engaged judiciary asserting the fact that the essence of America is not majority rule, it is liberty." Will made it clear that he came down squarely on the side of the libertarians.

In a new National Affairs essay titled "The Limits of Majority Rule," Will explains and defends his position in detail. It's a fascinating piece, well worth reading in full, particularly for Will's account of how he came to reject his own prior support for judicial deference. Here's a brief excerpt:

For many years and for several reasons, many of my fellow conservatives have unreflectively and imprudently celebrated "judicial restraint." For many years, I, too, was guilty of this. The reasons for that celebration of restraint include an understandable disapproval of some of the more freewheeling constitutional improvisations of the Warren Court, and the reasonable belief that the law schools that train future judges, and the law reviews that influence current judges, are, on balance, not balanced — that they give short shrift to conservatism. It is, however, high time for conservatives to rethink what they should believe about the role of courts in the American regime....

The principle of judicial restraint, distilled to its essence, frequently is the principle that an act of the government should be presumed constitutional and that the party disputing the act's constitutionality bears the heavy burden of demonstrating the act's unconstitutionality beyond a reasonable doubt. The contrary principle of judicial engagement is that the judiciary's principal duty is the defense of liberty, and that the government, when challenged, bears the burden of demonstrating that its action is in conformity with the Constitution's architecture, the purpose of which is to protect liberty. The federal government can dispatch this burden by demonstrating that its action is both necessary and proper for the exercise of an enumerated power. A state or local government can dispatch the burden by demonstrating that its act is within the constitutionally proscribed limits of its police power.

Read the whole thing here. Watch Will, Welch, and Gillespie below.

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jQkxryu8UQM" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="340" width="560">




New at Reason: 'The Alternative To Innovation Is Not Stability. It's Stagnation' Q&A with CEI's Fred Smith

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 15:00:00 -0400

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BfuF00vBTEk" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="340" width="560">

"The alternative to innovation is not stability," says Fred L. Smith, who founded the influential and controversial Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in 1984. "It's stagnation."

In 2014, after almost 30 years as CEI's president, Smith became director of the group's Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, which champions free markets as the best means to create a fair, prosperous, and future-oriented society. Libertarians, says the one-time federal bureaucrat, have always had a difficulty communicating their ideas to a wider public, even to the entrepreneurs and business leaders who radically improve our lives on a daily basis by providing better and better goods and services at lower and lower prices. "We need to re-calibrate our arguments so they reach the people we need to have as allies. That means businessmen."

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Smith to talk about the liberating history of capitalism, the regulatory war on innovation, whether millennials are socialists or capitalists, and the morality of market exchanges. "The market not only creates a web of voluntary economic interactions," says Smith. "It is the best facilitator for creating the social networks that encompass the modern world."

Runs about 30 minutes.

Edited by Ian Keyser and Joshua Swain. Cameras by Todd Krainin and Swain.




"The Alternative To Innovation Is Not Stability. It's Stagnation."

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 12:00:00 -0400

"The alternative to innovation is not stability," says Fred L. Smith, who founded the influential and controversial Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in 1984. "It's stagnation."

In 2014, after almost 30 years as CEI's president, Smith became director of the group's Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, which champions free markets as the best means to create a fair, prosperous, and future-oriented society. Libertarians, says the one-time federal bureaucrat, have always had a difficulty communicating their ideas to a wider public, even to the entrepreneurs and business leaders who radically improve our lives on a daily basis by providing better and better goods and services at lower and lower prices. "We need to re-calibrate our arguments so they reach the people we need to have as allies. That means businessmen."

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Smith to talk about the liberating history of capitalism, the regulatory war on innovation, whether millennials are socialists or capitalists, and the morality of market exchanges. "The market not only creates a web of voluntary economic interactions," says Smith. "It is the best facilitator for creating the social networks that encompass the modern world."

Runs about 30 minutes.

Edited by Ian Keyser and Joshua Swain. Cameras by Todd Krainin and Swain.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.




New at Reason: Judge Andrew Napolitano on Election 2016 and Being a Pro-Life Libertarian

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 11:55:00 -0400

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mMbi_F5JRpE" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="340" width="560">

"Do you know anybody living who expressly consents to the existence of the government and consents to what it does?" asks Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News, syndicated columnist, and author of, most recently, Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Assault on Civil Liberties. "Your rights, my rights, are integral to our humanity. The government can't take them away by majority vote!"

Reason's Nick Gillespie caught up with the judge at this year's FreedomFest, the annual gathering of libertarians in Las Vegas, to discuss how his traditional Catholicism intersects with his libertarian politics, why electing Trump or Clinton will likely lead to the "demise of the Constitution as we understand it," why he thinks Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson won't win in November, his commitment to open borders, and the philosophical underpinnings to his pro-life stance on abortion.

"My opposition to abortion is not only because of Church teaching, but also because of a rational examination of the baby growing in the womb and a belief in the non-aggression principle," Napolitano explains. "The non-aggression principle prevents you from interfering with the life or the property of another human being without moral justification. There is no moral justification for killing a child in the womb!"

Runs about 30 minutes.

Edited by Ian Keyser and Joshua Swain. Cameras by Austin Bragg and Jim Epstein.

For transcription and downloadable files, click here.




Judge Andrew Napolitano on Election 2016 and Being a Pro-Life Libertarian

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 11:45:00 -0400

"Do you know anybody living who expressly consents to the existence of the government and consents to what it does?" asks Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst for Fox News, syndicated columnist, and author of, most recently, Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Assault on Civil Liberties. "Your rights, my rights, are integral to our humanity. The government can't take them away by majority vote!" Reason's Nick Gillespie caught up with the judge at this year's FreedomFest, the annual gathering of libertarians in Las Vegas, to discuss how his traditional Catholicism intersects with his libertarian politics, why electing Trump or Clinton will likely lead to the "demise of the Constitution as we understand it," why he thinks Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson won't win in November, his commitment to open borders, and the philosophical underpinnings to his pro-life stance on abortion. "My opposition to abortion is not only because of Church teaching, but also because of a rational examination of the baby growing in the womb and a belief in the non-aggression principle," Napolitano explains. "The non-aggression principle prevents you from interfering with the life or the property of another human being without moral justification. There is no moral justification for killing a child in the womb!" Runs about 30 minutes. Edited by Ian Keyser and Joshua Swain. Cameras by Austin Bragg and Jim Epstein. Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live. This is a rush transcript. Check any quotations against the actual recording. NICK GILLESPIE: I'm Nick Gillespie with Reason TV. Today, we're talking with Judge Andrew Napolitano. He is with Fox News. He's the senior judicial analyst and the author of many books, and a great friend to freedom and to Reason. Thanks for talking with us. NAPOLITANO: Pleasure being with you, Nick. Thank you GILLESPIE: 2016 election. Stuff's getting real. What do you see as the major stakes in this game? There's Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the major party candidates. Are either of them acceptable as President of the United States? NAPOLITANO: A complex question for me working at Fox News, being aware of Mrs. Clinton's criminal behavior, having a personal financial relationship with Donald Trump. I might add the Donald Trump I know personally does not resemble the Donald Trump that you see on the campaign trail. GILLESPIE: And what is your—what is your personal— NAPOLITANO: I own a piece of real estate with others that he manages. GILLESPIE: Oh, OK. NAPOLITANO: And the people that own this with me love him because the value of it keeps going up, and he is worth what we pay his management company to, to improve it. GILLESPIE: So let's stipulate he's a fine business man or property manager but— NAPOLITANO: At least in this particular case, he is. GILLESPIE: But should he be president? NAPOLITANO: Well, the issue, as I see, it is the likely demise of constitutional government as we understand it, as we have come to understand it. It is— GILLESPIE: And this is whether it's Clinton or Trump? NAPOLITANO: Correct! GILLESPIE: Yeah. NAPOLITANO: Correct, Nick, because they each believe in their own version of big government. Neither of them recognizes the natural law of restrains on government. Neither of them recognizes the constitutional restraints on government. They each believe they can use the powers of government to build their version of big government, whether it's sort of an economic egalitarianism that Donald Trump preaches, or whether it's a Bernie Sanders, redistribution of wealth which Hillary now embraces. GILLESPIE: So, how does this happen? I mean, because these—they didn't come out of nowhere. I m[...]



New Gay-Friendly GOP Targets LGBTQ Voters With Fabulousness, Fearmongering, While Democrats Embrace Hillary Clinton, Transgender Movement

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 13:20:00 -0400

With the battles for same-sex marriage and military privileges won, what's next for the gay-rights movement? Representatives at the recent Republican and Democratic conventions presented drastically different paths forward. For Republicans, it was all about protecting gay people around the world from Islamic extremists. The Democrats' agenda was much more localized, with anti-discrimination laws and transgender visibility among top topics. Both conventions marked historic moments for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities. The Democratic National Convention (DNC) saw its first official transgender caucus and 28 openly transgender delegates (even Montana sent a trans delegate). Overall, there were 515 openly LGBTQ delegates there, according to the Washington Blade. This year's DNC also featured the first openly trans speaker—Sarah McBride—to grace the convention floor of either major party, and delegate Marisa Richmond, a black trans woman from Tennessee, served as the DNC's official timekeeper. At the Republican National Convention (RNC), gay tech billionaire Peter Thiel gave a headlining speech declaring himself "proud to be gay" and Lynne Patton, vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation, said from the convention floor that "LGBTQ lives matter." One of the hottest after-hours events that week was a pro-queer party where Breitbart contributor Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter—once notorious for anti-gay statements—were scheduled to speak (Coulter didn't end up making it). Meanwhile, Donald Trump made U.S. political history by uttering the phrase LGBTQ in his nomination acceptance speech—a first for a presidential candidate in either major party. Yet from a limited-government/classical-liberal perspective, neither convention presented an inspiring future for gay and trans activism. Historically, libertarians have been on harmonious with the LGBT movement—Reason and other libertarian outlets were advocating for same-sex marriage and the repeal of sodomy laws back when Democrats didn't even touch these issues. But as the struggle for equality and acceptance moves away from striking down discriminatory state policies into new (and often strange) directions, this once-solid alliance faces a rocky future. These days, even conservative leaders in the LGBTQ movement side with progressives about the need to for new federal laws to stop discrimination, bullying, and other problems facing the LGBTQ community. Meanwhile, a gay-friendly turn in the Republican Party seems predominantly rooted in foreign policy hawkishness, anti-Muslim sentiment, and animosity toward immigrants. LGBT at the RNC: Fear, Fabulousness, & Federal Power Trump may have been the first major-party presidential candidate to explicitly say "LGBTQ" at a convention, but the reason he brought up these "wonderful Americans" (new euphemism alert) was in the service of criticizing Islam. After mentioning June's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Trump promised that as president, "I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me!" The crowd applauded. "As a Republican," Trump continued, "it's so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said." For Gregory Angelo, president of the LGBT-conservatives group Log Cabin Republicans, the entire 2016 RNC was refreshing—especially in contrast to the party's official new platform. The 2016 platform is "the most anti-LGBT in the party's 162-year history," said Angelo at a July 26 Equality Forum panel in Philadelphia, held in conjunction with the DNC. One new plank of the GOP platform states that "marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation for a free society," while another supports gay-conversion therap[...]



Libertarianism, Yes! But *What Kind* of Libertarianism?

Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:05:00 -0400

If you've been part of the broad-based libertarian movement for more than a few years, you know that it is growing in popularity, visibility, and influence throughout American politics, culture, and ideas. Once a smallish movement tightly identified with the likes of Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein, and Milton Friedman, rarely a day goes by now where some new writer, thinker, pundit, artist, or celebrity doesn't come out as libertarian (among the most recent: Jane's Addiction guitarist and TV host Dave Navarro and Republican political consultant Mary Matalin). "Libertarianish" politicians such as Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie are blazing a different path in the Republican Party and Rand's father Ron electrified college campuses during his runs for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012. Two years ago, The New York Times Magazine asked, "Has the 'Libertarian Moment' Finally Arrived?" and in the 2016 election cycle the Libertarian Party presidential ticket of former governors Gary Johnson and William Weld has already probably received more press than all previous tickets did put together. So libertarianism as a political and cultural force is on the rise. With that in mind, Reason.com is happy to host a debate over "virtue libertarianism." William Ruger, a former college professor and Afghanistan war vet who is now vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute, and Jason Sorens, a lecturer in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College and the originator of idea behind the Free State Project, argue that libertarianism—"the political philosophy of free markets, property rights, toleration, and peace"—will grow even faster if its champions embrace "a duty to respect our own moral nature and to promote its development in others." In short, they reject what they call "libertine libertarianism," or a willingness to treat all lifestyle choices as essentially morally equivalent. Conservatives and progressives, they say, worry that a libertarian world in which the goverment is reduced to its simple "night watchman" functions will likely result in anarchy or a world in which the poor and defenseless are constantly degraded. Virtue libertarianism assuages these fears, they hold, by providing moral direction that will improve people's outcome and material support for those who can't help themselves. It's not just the right of libertarians to endorse and uphold particular ways of living, they say, it's the duty of libertarians to do so, as long as the state's coercive apparatus is not involved. This is a provocative thesis, to say the least, and Ruger and Sorens are answered by Steven Horwitz, a self-identified "bleeding-heart libertarian" and a professor of economics at St. Lawrence University; Deirdre McCloskey, who teaches economics, literature and communications at University of Illinois at Chicago and is the author of the new Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World; and Katherine Mangu-Ward, the managing editor of Reason magazine. Comments can be added below. Send email responses to react@reason.com.—Nick Gillespie, Reason.com. The Case for 'Virtue Libertarianism' Over Libertinism William Ruger and Jason Sorens Over the past several decades, libertarianism—the political philosophy of free markets, property rights, toleration, and peace—has gone mainstream. The libertarian perspective on a wide range of policy issues—including growing support for educational choice, Second Amendment rights, marijuana legalization, and criminal justice reform—has not only become respectable but the one held by a majority of Americans. Liberating technologies at the heart of the "sharing economy" and new forms of money such as Bitcoin are also widely h[...]



The Libertarian Party Was the First Modern Crew To Nominate a Woman To Ticket

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 12:31:00 -0400

Hillary Clinton is the first woman to head a major-party presidential ticket. Which is an occasion to recall Tonie Nathan, the woman who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party's 1972 ticket. University of Southern California philosopher John Hospers ran for president and the duo, despite only being on the ballot in two states and drawing fewer than 5,000 votes, earned an electoral vote when a "faithless elector" from Virginia tossed one their way (that elector, Roger McBride, would later run for president on the LP ticket as well). Nathan, a journalist from Oregon, went on to create the Association of Libertarian Feminists (ALF) in 1973, which seeks to: encourage women to become economically self-sufficient  encourage women to be psychologically independent  publicize and promote realistic attitudes toward female competence achievement, and potential  oppose the abridgement of individual rights by any government on the basis of gender  work toward changing sexist attitudes and behavior exhibited by individuals  provide a libertarian alternative to those aspects of the women's movement that foster political dependence and collectivism From her founding statement of the organization: The first members included men, as well as women. I felt an organization was needed to offer an alternative to other women's groups. It seemed to me that many women who felt unjustly treated by many of our present inequitable laws were being used by leftists and socialists for political purposes. It seemed important to counter this outside the Libertarian Party. It seemed that many women were seeking a political system that could guarantee their complete economic security and it seemed they were looking for a husband-father substitute. But women who have been subjected to authoritarian restrictions by males ought to realize that Marxist Socialism is simply another form of the male-female power struggle. Male domination or state domination--neither should be tolerated. Neither help women to become free and independent. The following statement was released to the press after our first ALF meeting in Eugene. There is today a terrible tendency to apply political solutions to what are really psychological and educational problems. The current cry for affirmative action programs is an example of this. Libertarian feminists resent and reject all legislation which attempts to provide us with special treatment by the law. We also resent and reject legislation which attempts to "equalize" our social or economic position. Frankly, we don't think there is anyone else in the world quite like us and we object to political attempts to rob us of our uniqueness. However, recognizing that bigotry and unjust legal discrimination do exist presently, we support the efforts of all concerned individuals to change this situation by non-coercive means. Politically, of course, a person has the right to be a bigot and the state ought take no notice of this flaw. However, more often than not, the state itself promotes bigotry and sponsors legislation which results in unfair discrimination against certain classes of citizens. We hope the Association of Libertarian Feminists can help correct that situation while recognizing, at the same time, that education is the best long-lasting solution for eliminating prejudice and injustice. For more on Nathan and ALF, go here.[...]



"Let people do what they want with their own bodies and property": Q&A with Todd Seavey - New at Reason!

Tue, 07 Jun 2016 12:00:00 -0400

src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wxWsHlBX-SM" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" width="560" height="340" frameborder="0">

"The experience of having everybody around me on campus say the left is the way to go and then...seeing communism collapse made me think maybe the libertarians have a better handle on how these things work," says Todd Seavey, author of the new book Libertarianism for Beginners. "While the Soviet Union existed, the Marxists on campus were rooting for the Soviet Union."

A New York-based comic-book writer, one-time producer for TV's own John Stossel, and a contributor to Splice Today, Seavey found his way toward libertarianism while attending Brown University in the late 1980s.

His new graphic book, Libertarianism for Beginners, argues that the core message of libertarians is to "keep the government small and let people do what they want with their own bodies and property."




"Let people do what they want with their own bodies and property": Q&A with Todd Seavey

Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:30:00 -0400

"The experience of having everybody around me on campus say the left is the way to go and then...seeing communism collapse made me think maybe the libertarians have a better handle on how these things work," says Todd Seavey, author of the new book Libertarianism for Beginners. "While the Soviet Union existed, the Marxists on campus were rooting for the Soviet Union."

A New York-baseed comic-book writer, one-time producer for TV's own John Stossel, and a contributor to Splice Today, Seavey found his way toward libertarianism while attending Brown University in the late 1980s.

His new graphic book, Libertarianism for Beginners, argues that the core message of libertarians is to "keep the government small and let people do what they want with their own bodies and property."

About 6 minutes.

Interview by Nick Gillespie. Camera by Todd Krainin and Joshua Swain. Edited by Swain. Additional editing by Ian Keyser.

Scroll below for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to get automatic notifications when new material goes live.