Friday, July 3, 2015

“Essential Hayek” and “Taking a Stand”

•Careful observers will have noticed I have four favorite topics on this blog, basically sci-fi, music, science, and politics.

But having recently watched both Marvel and DC abandon having a coherent fictional universe, stopped hosting events in youthful and indie-rockin’ Williamsburg, begun to suspect that science idolatry could cause people to overlook strange-but-perhaps-real things with which skeptics ought to wrestle or cause them to accept as final some verdicts merely gussied up in the acceptable scientific lingo, and despaired of virtually any mainstream political current leading anywhere good, I need to retool. Online, I will focus on plugging a couple crucial, radical libertarian projects.

•But for a taste, instead, of the economist who is probably the most respectable and mainstream manifestation of libertarianism so far, you might check out Don Boudreaux’s look at Essential Hayek with explanatory videos at that link to augment the print material.

The basic free-market case is needed now, with socialist Bernie Sanders rallying a crowd of nearly 10,000 in Madison, Hillary Clinton pretty openly working for authoritarian foreign governments and no one caring, politicians of both parties serving the Saudis in similar fashion, and a Vox piece (h/t Sonny Bunch) saying the American Revolution was a mistake (in part because we’d have a more redistributive government if we hadn’t left England).

And calling these things bad signs would be considered hilariously unhip these days in some quarters, like being pro-McCarthy a half-century ago. Get with the socialist program, dude! Everyone knows it works great! Look at the cool people running Greece!

•Since I don’t think all that is cool, I’m going to start writing libertarian columns daily for on Monday -- and a few months later unveil the book I’m writing, Libertarianism for Beginners.

•What better time to dig deeper and teach the world the whole conventional political spectrum is wrong than now, with the prospect of another Clinton-vs.-Bush election upon us next year? A lot could happen before November 2016, but Clinton’s still safely ahead of Sanders, and all the Republican candidates (if we assume the small Trump launch bump is temporary) are down in the single digits in surveys of Republican voters except Jeb Bush, who is at an anemic but perhaps sufficient 19% or so. We can do better, but only with a change in philosophy.

•You know if I had my way, the paleolibertarian + crunchy con + antiwar candidate to emerge from the Republican primary would be Rand Paul, author of Taking a Stand. While conservatives and libertarians fight over whether he really belongs in the other camp, Paul to his credit is busy reaching out beyond both Republican factions, already building bridges to Democrats and, yes, alienated black voters. He could win the general that way, I think. And he could change world history. Everyone ought to regard him as a sign of real hope.

Incidentally, though he comes from the faction of libertarianism more fond of Mises than Hayek, a faction with more right-wing baggage, he expressed support for South Carolina taking down the Confederate Flag, and his call for privatizing marriage is the correct libertarian response to cultural wrangles like the one that I hope just ended last week. I also respect his silence on the topic as it was being resolved. Politicians should often be silent. Paul is a Christian but knows it’s more important how deep in debt the federal government is than how deeply disturbing some people think certain sexual relationships are.

But principles are more important than individual politicians, whether Rand Paul or Gary Johnson or anyone else, and starting tomorrow, on the Fourth of July, I’ll stick to using the Net to reaffirm those basic principles and steer clear of some of the crazier, pettier wrangles the Net’s gotten so good at fomenting.

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