Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Me on PJTV for Tea Party

If all goes as planned, you’ll be able to watch me on Pajamas Media’s PJTV here (with subscription [CORRECTION: sign-in apparently suffices]) tonight anytime from 7pm or so on, I believe, talking about the Tea Party protest (against government spending) that I’ll be attending at about that same time downtown at NYC City Hall (join me).

The Tea Parties seem to me another massive rebuke to the idea that “liberaltarianism,” rather than conservative-libertarian fusionism, is where it’s at. Check out the thoroughly conservative and thoroughly libertarian roots of the Tea Party protest phenomenon — and keep in mind who the participants currently regard as public enemy #1 (hint: he’s in the White House).

Personally, I’d love it if the Tea Parties did attract left-populists, though, given the role of Wall Street subsidy recipients and the big banks in our current financial woes — and a grand fusionism focused on anti-government econ goals yet including libertarians, social conservatives, fiscally prudent Democrats, angry populists, and “liberaltarians” too would be awesome, timely, and very beneficial. But I can make do with a gathering tonight that at least spans the spectrum from me to likely attenders Newt Gingrich and Doug Dechert.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to see Texas’s governor (unsurprisingly, also motivated more by conservative than liberal impulses) declaring that state’s continued independence from Washington, DC. I’ll bet Texans would not respond to that recent rescue-from-pirates by saying, as one Reuters article did, that some observers fear the rescue operation will cause the pirates to “escalate” their activities. I mean, I can see the argument for saying that if you leave Russia, China, or Iraq alone, they may just mind their own business — but pirates? They do piracy. You fail to punish them, they do more piracy. Do we think punishing crime is a bad idea now, Reuters?

Of course, my economist acquaintance Pete Leeson, author of The Invisible Hook, would note that left to their own devices, the pirates might even develop anarchic constitutions eventually, which would be cool, but I think he’d agree we’re not obliged to wait for the process to occur in this case.

One more libertarian note: This may be my favorite CollegeHumor item ever, and not just because it mentions Ron Paul.


Russell Hanneken said...

It’s a fine thing for criminals to be punished, but it’s not the U.S. government’s job to fight all crime everywhere on the globe.

Peter Leeson has actually said a few things about how the Somali pirate situation might be addressed. See here and here.

Todd Seavey said...

I’m all for private solutions but also recognize the short-term acceptability of government doing the one or two potentially-useful things it’s tasked with doing, such as policing real crime — and that reminds me: if this previously-noted Obama-glorifying action figure represented real life, I guess we’d soon have our answer to the old question about who’s stronger, pirates or ninjas:

Once he took up the katana, the battle with pirates was perhaps inevitable. (This does not make the government itself any less predatory, of course.)