Monday, Sept. 17 (8pm): The one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street will be marked with an OCCUPY/TEA Summit (hosted by me) at Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer St. on the corner of N. 9th St., three blocks east of the Bedford Ave. L stop, first into Williamsburg from Manhattan). All are welcome, but among the guests will be:
Andrew Paladino, Danny Panzella, and Michael Valcic, who’ve done free-market anarchist outreach to both movements, and Wall Street analyst turned Occupy writer/filmmaker Karanja “Speshul K” Gacuca. I'll moderate.
•Let us begin my “Month of Reform” with blog entry #1516 (I’ve been blogging almost-daily for six years). Fittingly, that number is the year in which Utopia was published, and reform, after all, tends to be what people settle for after realizing utopia is not an option.
•And that brings us to the gridlock and bickering between right and left, a problem which this month I will honestly try to help solve by hosting the event noted above (being quieter and more diplomatic hereafter) and also by unveiling my own theory – in essence that the Progressive Era activists and politicians of both parties wanted highly centralized collusion between government and corporations and we got it. And now we don’t like it. And trying to shove the ugly mass rightward or leftward as if the other team owns it isn’t really going to unravel it, so to speak.
•You can understand why such musings – akin to those of historian Marty Sklar, whose work was recommended to me by Ronald Radosh – might make me more sympathetic to establishment-fighting radicals across the board. Heck, I might even be more sympathetic to the group Anonymous today than in years past had they not taken down this blog and hundreds of thousands of others yesterday.
Civility and dialogue – gonna aim for those even more as the elections approach and everyone gets crazier.
•As they do, I admit that long-term, I will mainly still be rooting for Sen. Rand Paul to exercise a growing influence in the GOP, but I may also try to think of that party as his messy problem to solve and ignore it for at least a couple years unless something positive happens. Interestingly, in addition to being almost-completely libertarian, in his new book he calls himself a “crunchy conservative” (a la Rod Dreher and others on the right concerned about the environment).
Hawks may still be getting used to Rand Paul, but, hey, he seems to be the only senator conservative enough to wanna cut off the Pakistanis due to their punishment of the doctor who helped us get bin Laden. That should silence both conspiracy theorists who think the Pauls secretly believe bin Laden wasn’t responsible for the events commemorated today and the neocons who think the Pauls are some sort of al Qaeda sympathizers.
Now if only something would make Paul Krugman shut up about how much he dislikes the gold standard and something – perhaps more people like Rand Paul who’ve been hassled by the TSA – would put a stop to the government tracking everything we do.
•Meanwhile, the ex-Republican I actually plan to vote for for president this year, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, is also an interesting exercise in hybridization and fusionism (love those, always) in that he has spoken at both Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party events – and is known for both budget-cutting and pot-smoking. He has also climbed Mt. Everest.
There has never been a better time to rack up Libertarian votes and attract the public’s attention to liberty as an alternative. Let’s do this. It will matter far more than Obama-vs.-Romney. Whoever sits in the White House in 2013 (and deals with the legal fallout of the mandatory deficit-cutting measures about to kick in), we libertarians will trudge on, a bit wiser than we were in 2012.
•And tomorrow on this blog, a bit of a prequel to how the Progressives got us here, in the form of the book Yankee Reformers in the Urban Age, looking at Boston in the final two decades of the nineteenth century – and finding upper-crust radicalism.