We Are All Libertarians Now – God of the Machine
Jun 232002

Aren’t we? Postrel, Joanne Jacobs, Volokh, SamizData, Megan McArdle, Eric Raymond… (This extremely abbreviated list is in approximate ascending Sullivan number order, so everyone can feel insulted.) Not even counting the fellow travelers like Lilek and Musil and Reynolds and King Andy himself, who may also have spawned the weird Catholic blogging subculture. If you wanted to compile a list of libertarian blogs the real question would be if you could find anybody to exclude. There’s Alterman, and Josh Marshall if you absolutely must. Mickey Kaus used to wring his hands over the gap between rich and poor in America and the decline of public civility and other sissy stuff, but that was ten years ago. Now it’s all welfare reform, all the time. We have before us a case of selection bias on a par with the poll of automobile owners that predicted Landon for President in ’36. But why?

I’ll post a theory when I think of one.

  3 Responses to “We Are All Libertarians Now”

  1. Theory: In general, people are lazy, myopic, narrow gauged and cowardly.

    Our educational institutions reinforce this tendency by allowing themselves to become extremely niche-oriented and permitting students to graduate with very limited skills.

    Unequipped with tools sufficient to hop from subject to subject, people develop incomplete world views and then migrate toward others who reinforce them.

  2. Possibly; but I don’t find the bloggers narrow-gauged or lazy or cowardly on the whole (myself of course excepted). Many of them, like Eric Raymond or Eugene Volokh, have distinguished career records. A more parsimonious explanation might be that little media tend to supply a point of view that big media stint, like the pro-capitalist one.

  3. (Apologies to Freeman Dyson)

    "Capitalism looks to me like a magnificent beginning but not the final word."

    Defenders of unfettered capitalism sound like defenders of the flat Earth theory. "I can’t get a perspective large enough to witness the curvature of the Earth so it must be flat."

    Somehow I don’t see E.S.R. (fetchmail?!? and a trendy dot.com book?) or Volokh taking their positions with John Von Neumann or Bertrand Russell.

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