Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gingrich vs. Anarchism

David Friedman – son of Milton, father of Patri – speaks at the Junto tomorrow night (Thur., Dec. 1 at 7:30pm).  He’s the dean of anarcho-capitalism, the philosophy that aims to privatize all governmental functions until government ceases to exist. 

That’s the philosophical faction to which I belong, though I’m so easy-going I can be satisfied with mere budget cuts and deregulation...which never occur.  Please attend and meet perhaps the best-suited man in the world to answer questions like, “How could defense be privatized?”  Or, for beginners: “But, like, if there were a bunch of different post offices, wouldn’t like the mail go all in different directions and everything would explode and people would kill each other like in the Middle Ages?”

One “an-cap,” as my young co-ideologues apparently call themselves nowadays, says he plans to wear a bowler hat to the Friedman speech so that he can be found by other an-caps who want to make their numbers known, in contrast to the more-mainstream, vaguely-free-market “asshats” he says he fears will attend.

The current Republican primary race features no full-blown an-cap, but Ron Paul comes close, and even New York Times’ Gail Collins says “You can’t totally dislike” him, which may be as close to an endorsement as we can hope for from the Times.

Meanwhile, Gingrich is surging in GOP voter polls – perhaps deservedly, given his intelligence, command of the issues, and ability to speak to all the major Republican factions, from the Tea Partiers I’ve seen him address downtown to the Catholics (to whose ranks he’s converted), not to mention those who still fondly remember the decentralizing impulses behind the Contract with America.

And you know I’m a fusionist. 

If the primaries end with Gingrich solidly first and Ron Paul a surprise second, I will just have to hope that the rebellious Paul faction of voters scares Gingrich into dropping his usual arrogant, authoritarian-yet-market-friendly pronouncements and instead saying slightly more radical things like, “Look, it’s perfectly simple: If you want to return to a society of innovation and freedom, Worshington, DC should be shut down altogether and fifty new countries allowed to experiment.  That’s just common sense.”  

If he doesn’t start a nuclear war, he may yet accomplish great things and help save the nation from economic oblivion.  Oh, for the 90s, when nothing Newt did seemed to raise the stakes quite so high.

I will cope by largely ignoring politics for the rest of December after tomorrow’s Friedman speech but at the same time ramping up the Brooklyn Forum events for an opening show in January – and watching the January 3 Iowa caucus for pleasant surprises (or more of the usual anxiety).  

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