Didn’t get it right

Suppose you’re a high school senior who has never read any philosophy. You come across Ayn Rand’s non-fiction works. You start reading. Holy crap, you think, the history of Western thought is mystical, evasive misology and nonsense. Thank God  Galt that Rand has come along to save us. The only thing keeping us from falling into the Abyss is Rand’s stunning defense of reason and rights. I’d better donate some money to the Ayn Rand Institute and save Western civilization from imploding!

But now suppose you’re a college senior majoring in philosophy. You’ve read the history of philosophy and surveyed the contemporary academic landscape. Then you come across Rand. You start reading. Holy crap, you think, she has no idea what she’s talking about. She appears to misunderstand every major debate. Her way of describing other philosophers is almost entirely wrong. (A Randian reading this might respond, “Brennan, you aren’t proving to us that she’s wrong about philosophers. Where’s your argument? Well, yeah, you’re right that I didn’t insert here all my lecture notes about the history of Western philosophy.)

Via Ayn Rand’s “Philosophy: Who Needs It?” Is Bullshit @ BHL.

Collaboration with Christians | Bleeding Heart Libertarians

“Some Christians put their Christian faith ahead of their political ideology. These Christians know the basic teachings of the Christian faith and attempt to follow their conscience, church teachings, and the Bible in their political activities. I call these people “Political Christians” as opposed to “Christian conservatives” or “Christian socialists” because because Christianity is more…”


Collaboration with Christians @ Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

Fighting the Debate Monopoly

September 29, 2015, Washington, DC – 2012 presidential candidates Gov. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, along with the Libertarian and Green parties and their vice-presidential candidates, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC, today charging that the exclusion of qualified candidates from the general election presidential debates by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) violates federal anti-trust laws.

The lawsuit is funded by the Our America Initiative, a not-for-profit advocacy organization, through their Fair Debates project, https://www.fairdebates.com. It was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by the Our America Initiative’s attorney Bruce Fein, who served as Associate Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel to the Federal Communications Commission under the Reagan Administration.

Via Fair Debates lawsuit filed against Commission on Presidential Debates @ Independent Political Report.

Link to complaint.

Big-Government Republican Ignores Rand Paul

Namely, Michael Gerson –

What’s missing? Well, Rand Paul talked about marijuana reform, an issue that is far more popular than the Republican Party, especially among younger voters. And criminal justice and incarceration, an issue of special concern to minorities. And especially about our endless wars in the Middle East, at a time when 63 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents say that the Iraq war was not worth the costs, and when 52 percent of Americans say the United States “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.” (Not the best formulation, as noninterventionists are not opposed to international activity, just to imprudent military action. But you go to print with the polls you have, not the polls you wish you had.) Those are attempts to reach new audiences that a fair-minded debate watcher would have noticed.

Via Ignoring Rand Paul from Cato @ Liberty.

Something All Libertarians Have in Common

Something All Libertarians Have in Common

Libertarians, of left, center, or right, all necessarily have a few points in common.  

Of them one should be clear: libertarians never represent the government


The American Civil Liberties Union (of which I am a member) is like that, too: it represents an assortment of clients, but the government is never among them.  

Why not represent or speak for state power?

It’s because government already has vast powers at its disposal: the power to tax the earnings of others, seize private property in the name of necessity, fund flush insiders’ projects, pay for publicity for those projects, criminalize or regulate the commercial activities of genuine entrepreneurs, conceal information about spending and enforcement, and to limit opportunities for dissent, free expression, and even the franchise.  

Along the way, officials find servile reporters who will croak in government-favored tones, at government-favored times.  

The state does not need defenders: it creates them.  

The disadvantaged, the dissenting, the unassuming – they are the sympathetic concern of libertarians.

Government is more than able to advance its interests without additional assistance.  


FreedomFest Features Trump, Guess David Duke Was Busy 

Gathering beclowns the Movement — 

“Speaking to a gathering of Libertarians in Las Vegas before headlining an event in Phoenix, Trump repeated his charge that Mexico was sending violent offenders to the U.S. to harm Americans and that U.S. officials were being “dumb” in dealing with immigrants in the country illegally.”These people wreak havoc on our population,” he told a few thousand people attending the Libertarian gathering FreedomFest inside a Planet Hollywood ballroom on the Las Vegas Strip….”

Via Donald Trump talks immigration, U.S. trade policy in pair of Saturday speeches (photos) @ NOLA.com

Improving the view


“Individual liberty and limited government now light up Times Square.  All summer long, Cato’s commitment to stopping the government from overspending, overregulation, policing the world, and invading our privacy will be shining down to passersby from a jumbo screen.  To those visiting Cato’s site for the first time:  Welcome!  We hope you’ll take an opportunity to learn more about our work on the subjects you’ve seen on our screen, along with the wide range of other current, new, and emerging issues Cato scholars are exploring every day….”

Via Cato in Times Square @ Cato Institute.

Could someone explain to Ted Rall that there are no libertarians in Los Angeles or Afghanistan political positions?

“Literally every year, the city’s debased political class promises to fix potholes forever if voters only approve this one last tax increase. Meanwhile, city monies are routinely squandered on everything but. L.A.’s own controller said as recently as last year that money is not the problem with street repair…. ”

Via Lousy Cartoonist Blames ‘libertarian negligence’ for Potholes in L.A. and Afghanistan @ Hit & Run : Reason.com.