Calling for the abolition, not the reform, of public schooling. He is also a contributor to the The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Libertarian Papers is starting the new year by unveiling our new website at libertarianpapers. We have kept the simple design of the old site while streamlining the user experience and improving the look and feel. We have also added some new features to improve functionality, including author tags allowing you to easily find articles from specific contributors.
This is the first of many plans to enhance the reach of the journal in the coming year.
- Looking Gorgeous (The Feel Good Factory).
- Hes After Me!
- 20th-Century American Bestsellers?
We are also expanding our editorial board, starting with the addition of outstanding scholars like Anthony Gregory. More announcements are on the way in the coming months, so be sure to follow us as we continue our mission to promote high-quality, thought-provoking research in libertarian ideas. Libertarian Papers is proud to welcome Anthony Gregory to its editorial board. He earned his B. We are happy to announce that Volume 4 of Libertarian Papers is now available in a print edition. Lester, Nahshon Perez, Michael F.
Reber, Timothy Terrell, Clarence E. Wunderlin, and many others. Paper and ebook versions of past volumes of Libertarian Papers are also available. These ratings are often used by Australian universities to evaluate the contribution of their academics to various fields.
It is ranked at level A, which is the second best ranking on the list, which is considered quite good. Needless to say, we are very pleased with this recognition of the excellence the journal strives for. As part of our ongoing effort to increase the presence of libertarian scholarship in the academic community, we are pleased to announce that Libertarian Papers has been added to two new research databases.
In an advertisement, Rand claims that her philosophy is, "intended for those who wish to assume the responsibility of becoming the new intellectuals. This type of marketing strategy has proven to be successful for almost fifty years, attracting students, aspiring scholars, and those desiring to save the nation, with the hint of revelation. The Ayn Rand Institute was established in , three years after Rand's death in order to promote Objectivism and Rand's work.
The institute stages protests and creates publicity for Objectivist interpretations of current event topics. A current focus of the organization is the Campaign Against Servitude, which opposes Clinton's attempt to increase community involvement and volunteering.
ARI is very active among universities, attempting to attract young scholars with college campus clubs, essay contests, debates and speakers. The philosophy seems most appealing to a younger audience, still searching for a guide on how to live life. Claudia Roth Pierpont claimed that the popularity of the novel was due to "impassioned readers, emerging from the largely abandoned American class of thinking non-intellectuals-readers, who enjoyed the story and were excited or flattered to just to be put in touch with provocative ideas.
If you didn't find the book ridiculous from a literary point of view, chances are you found it immensely stimulating New Yorker Established intellectuals and great academics were offended by the content of the novel because some of Rand's interpretations misrepresent classic sources such as Aristotle and seem twisted to fit her own philosophy. Her illustrations are taken to such extreme situations that they no longer stay true to the original theory. Rand denounces the ideology behind communism and socialism, however she rejects these socialist systems for emotional reasons without sufficient attention to socialism as either an economic or a political system.
She shows the demise of a nation that relies on these socialist movements, but she claims that the failure is because the systems suppress the individual greatness that each man can achieve, ignoring the inherent flaws of each system of government. The ethical system of Atlas Shrugged is based upon the productivity and the glory of the individual. Those who hang on to the coattails of the industrialists are killed or suffer greatly with the disintegration of the nation. The Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest is taken to a new extreme that some critics compare to genocide.
Rand promotes man's ability for rational thought, professing that reason is the only way to gain knowledge. However some argue that she does not allow the reader that privilege. The bureaucrats and the free-riders are portrayed with an innate evilness that deserves no sympathy. This is not questioned, and no one may decide otherwise, there is a definite good and bad in the book. Some feel that Rand steers the audience forward with blinders, as if her readers were animals, not intelligent enough to see the whole picture without getting spooked.
However proponents of the Objectivism philosophy have not been hindered by criticisms of the novel. In fact the negative publicity may have been exploited to generate more sales. The insults are seen as proof of the controversy that Rand's ground-breaking novel has created. All great intellects had to deal with such criticism, from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin. People were intrigued with reports of new ideas that the critics did not want them to read, and became that much more determined to do so.
Fans of Atlas Shrugged could argue that those that did not agree with Rand were merely too ignorant to comprehend the great knowledge that had been bestowed upon them, or were not yet enlightened. Atlas Shrugged was also immune to criticism because of the stress that the novel put on the strength of the individual. The protagonists of the novel are met with much criticism, however they never yield their beliefs to accommodate others. Dagny and Hank, the heroic industrialists, did not succumb when faced with disapproval for the production of the revolutionary Rearden steel.
Rand's philosophy dictates that outside opinion is secondary, and validation must come from the self, thereby creating an innate defense for criticism of the novel. Readers believe that they are champions of a great cause that will bring them great rewards, despite being shunned by many. The groups of Objectivist supporters can join together for support, just as the great industrialists and innovators did at Galt's commune. The novel's focus on the importance of the individual should also be considered a factor its success.
The confidence and strength of the heroes in times of adversity is inspiring. Readers are led to believe that if the rules of Objectivism are followed in the image of the book, their lives will be full of great achievement as well. The strength of the characters inspires belief in one's own potential, and has most likely been a confidence booster that has contributed to many people's success. The confident personality was illustrated to seem ideal, even though the confidence bordered on arrogance and selfishness.
It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand
Egoism, best described by Rand as "intelligent self-interest" is the basis for morality in the doctrine of Objectivism. Rand believes that justice is found when an individual lives in a manner that upholds his own self interest as his first concern. In this way concerns for others can be subordinated to one's own interest, the government's significance is downgraded, and selfishness is considered benevolent.
Those who were looking for justification for their selfish actions, or reassurance of their own importance need not look further than Rand's beliefs. In his fifty-six-page speech, John Galt chastises the nation for not living in an Objectivist manner. He preaches that one's own happiness is the only moral purpose of one's own life Rand, The novel provided an intellectual justification for acting for one's self-interest.
The stress on individualism succeeds in undermining the significance of the government. Objectivism endorses laissez-faire capitalism as the only reasonable economic system, because it is the only system that properly recognizes individual rights, including property rights and provides self-reliant incentive that drives progress. In such a system, the only function of the government is to protect individual rights. Rand fervently opposed all forms of collectivism in government, especially communism, which controlled her homeland Russia.
In Atlas Shrugged , the government's attempt to save the nation's economy by converting to a communist form of government fails miserably, pushing the country further into ruin. Rand is very outspoken about her aversion to socialism, devoting much of John Galt's fifty-six page speech to a discussion of the negative aspects the socialist system of government. Rand believes that collectivist forms of government disregard the strong, productive individual by not recognizing his achievement and not allowing him to enjoy the rewards of his own success.
The industrialists in Atlas Shrugged are taken advantage of and under-appreciated until they no longer want to remain in the industry. Such communist governments discourage new innovation, because there is less of a reward to entice the amount of time and effort needed to develop new technology. Dagny found a self-generating motor, an invention with amazing potential, which was abandoned because Galt, the inventor, did not want to contribute such innovation to a communist society.
Atlas Shrugged was published in the fifties, a time that was particularly receptive to an anti-Communist novel. American anxiety was rising with the Soviets rise in power, turning into the paranoia of the Red Scare in the early fifties. Americans who were looking to justify the superiority of capitalism welcomed Rand's beliefs, as did those who wanted more reason to distrust communism. This sentiment continued throughout the duration of the Cold War, possibly contributing to the continued popularity of Rand's work. In recent years there has also been a reaction against income assistance programs promoted by the government.
Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, more emphasis has been put on programs for the good of social welfare. The success of such programs has been debated, but many people feel strongly against such assistance programs, opposing any form of socialism. Rand herself endorsed this view, and, according to an advertisement from the Ayn Rand Institute, Objectivism theory states that, "[man] must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life.
The basic structure of the Republican agenda follows many of the ideals of Objectivism. Republicans focus on cutting taxes, reducing spending, and lessening social assistance. During times of Republican power, such as the Reagan-Bush era of the eighties, government agreed more with the ideals of Objectivism. People that may not want to contribute tax money to the government to be used for Medicare, Social Security, and welfare programs, will agree with the doctrines of Atlas Shrugged.
The Republicans also support Rand in the encouragement of big business. The heroes and heroines of Atlas Shrugged are all the heads of large companies. Rand supports achievement in industry and business, with the success evident in the growth of a company. The structure and beauty of a corporation is seen as a beautiful work of art and triumph.
Businessmen, both aspiring and accomplished, would take great satisfaction in reading Atlas Shrugged for inspiration or a sense of accomplishment. As he put it, libertarians were usually quite good in opposing the regulations of OSHA or criticizing the destructive effects of price controls. But when faced with the role of the warfare state as the single most important factor in the expansion of government power: "Blank out"a turn of phrase he used, giving credit to Ayn Randwas the typical response he'd witnessed from far too many libertarians.
By not focusing enough attention on the role of "war and peace," all the other issues concerning price control, free will versus determinism, and so forth, become "pointless With a bit of gallows humor, he couldn't resist criticizing the U. As the antidote to war, he cited W. Fields, who, when asked by the Saturday Evening Post how to end World War II, remarked: "Take the leaders of both sides or all sides, in the Hollywood Bowl, and let them fight it out with sackfuls of guns. Some will have difficulty accepting Rothbard's argument that in any clash between "democratic" and "dictatorial" countries, the latter is not necessarily the source of contemporary conflict.
In fact, Rothbard argues, the foreign policy of the "democratic" United States has been at the root of many of the global conflicts in the post-World War II era. Included here as well are several self-acknowledged "digs" that Rothbard takes at the Libertarian Party's Presidential candidate, Ed Clark, with some surprising comments on subjects such as immigration policy.
Except for those who were present at these two events, these two lectures have not been heard by anyone since I had been the only person with recorded copies of these Rothbard lectures and it is remarkable that these recordings survived. Indeed, an apartment fire in October nearly consumed my library—and my family.
Fortunately, we survived, as did most of my books, audio and video cassettes, and other recordings. The "lost" Rothbard lectures were found under two feet of ash and sheetrock. I later digitized them for the sake of posterity and have donated these materials to the Mises Institute , which has become a repository of so much of Rothbard's corpus. I am delighted that they will now be heard for the first time in nearly four decades. In , the late singer, songwriter, and musician, Prince , put out the title track and lead single to his album, " Controversy. If I could have co-written the song for re-release, I'd have to add one more line in keeping with the spirit of things; after all, "I wish there were no rules" comes pretty close to the conventional "definition" of anarchism!
Well, my Facebook friend, Cory Massimino put up a post today on FB discussing left-libertarianism, providing a breakdown of its four distinct though interrelated meanings. I quote him here in full, with his permission:. Though, to give credit where credit is due, another Wikipedia entry , mentions that "Chris Sciabarra is the only scholar associated with this school of left-libertarianism who is skeptical about anarchism; see Sciabarra's Total Freedom.
But if we take even the Randian conception of the ideal limited government which is closer to a Weberian ideal-type than it is to any concept rooted in the "facts of reality," that is, the reality of current and historical conditions , then there has never been a government on earth, which has been funded voluntarily and fully committed to the protection of the individual's rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
For me, that essentially means that there isn't a single "legitimate" state on earth. But we try our best to live as freely as we can, under the circumstances. And, yet, if we take the typical libertarian conception of "anarchism," with its stark dualistic emphasis on "state power" versus "social power," we are led to believe that by simply lopping off the state, Nirvana is in reach.
This gives absolutely no attention to those personal and cultural conditions, which reinforce various forms of repressionso essential to the sustenance of statism. In truth, I merely "punted" the issue in Total Freedom , stating in a footnote page n. These kinds of discussions, sadly, often degenerate into variations on "how many angels dance on the head of a pin.
But I'm happy Cory gave me the opportunity to provide additional thoughts on this topic. Someday, I'll have lots more to say about all this. In , it became the title song of this psychedelic rock band's second studio album. With its biting satire, this was one of the most iconic counterculture protest songs ever recorded in opposition to the war in Vietnam. Check out the original EP version and then the unedited live Woodstock performance [YouTube links] that ended the group's Saturday afternoon set on 16 August For years, I've heard from "fans" and "foes" alike that I had a curious obsession in my scholarly reliance on extensive footnoting.
A former professor of mine once said that virtually every footnote in my books was so extensive that each could provide a portal to a whole other book!
But my critics dismissed it as "scholarly dressing" for preposterous theses bolstered by the "trappings of scholarship" in other words: footnotes! Not counting in-text "author-date" citations in my books, I count a total of 2, notes and 89 pages of bibliographic references in my "Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy" alone: Marx, Hayek, and Utopia notes; 21 pages of references ; Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical second edition; notes; 20 pages of references ; and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism notes; 48 pages of references. But I have now learned from historian Karin Wulf that the very practice of footnoting is a bulwark of our democracy!
As Wulf states:. Well, damn! Footnote Fetishists of the World Unite! You have nothing to lose but your despotic governmentsand a world to win! I stated there:. When will these folks ever learn the first principle of healing from the "Hippocratic Oath": "First, do no harm"? Yet another exchange was provoked, in which the critic insisted that I was still blind to gay "indoctrination" that led to a disproportionate number of kids engaging in same-sex activities because they were being "exposed to propaganda" and that "most gay men report some sort of abuse scenario in their childhood.
One thing is fairly certain: among the most socially abused and bullied members of our society, one finds that one in four pre-teen suicides are LGBTQ-related , a catastrophic indication that, "propaganda" to the contrary, those who are perceived as "different" are disproportionately victims , rather than victimizers. Somewhat fed-up with the continuing exchange, I gave this final response:.
There is a nice discussion of Truth on "Policy of Truth: The website and group blog of Irfan Khawaja", featuring comments by Stephen Boydstun, Roderick Tracy Long, and Irfan himself who, in his comment , truly honors meand the indefatigable resistance necessary to a genuinely human survival. Irfan writes and then quotes a passage from Ehrenreich :. Speaking truth to power. Ain't it the truth? Less known is the internment of German Americans during that same period, and while I was aware of similar actions taken against Italian-Americans and I'm half-Sicilian by ancestry , I was taken aback by the level of political and cultural repression faced by my ancestors.
As I mentioned yesterday , I recently completed an enormous re-organization of my library and file system and have quite a collection of newspaper clippings, which I've organized by topic and which will become the subject of various blog entries in the coming months. I am going to get into the habit of posting on Notablog and on Facebook, links to some of these articles, which, I believe, provide enlightenment on topics of interest. Out with his family, he was confronted by a person who referred to him as the "Fredo" of the Cuomo family.
President Trump had a little devilish Twitter fun with Cuomo brother of the current New York governor, Andrew Cuomo , after Cuomo's "meltdown" over being so characterized. Cuomo saw it as an ethnic slur against Italians. Trump responded that he too believed Chris to be the "Fredo" of the Cuomo family. And Trump's son, Donald Jr.
It just means you're the dumb brother. Now, with all due respect to the Trump and Cuomo 'families' no ethnic slur intended , I couldn't care less who scores points in any Twitter slug-fest. But aside from a note in a Roderick T. Long Reason Papers essay, " The Justice and Prudence of War: Toward a Libertarian Analysis ," I have to confess to an embarrassing ignorance of the history of bigotry and violence against Italian Americans in this country.
I remain an unreconstructed fan of " The Godfather Epic " and don't agree with some of what Rosario A. From its sprawling, truly epic storytelling to its magnificent editing, cinematography, and score, it remains one of the triumphs of the American cinema. But here's the takeaway material from the Iaconis essay that shattered my illusions of the government's relatively "hands-off" policy toward Italian Americans in the wake of the December 7, attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew the United States into World War II:. As Karl Marx once famously said in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon : " Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice.
He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. With continuing talks of the "enemy aliens" among us, it's a sobering reminder that my own ancestors were often treated as enemies of the state. My crystal ball tells me that both tragedy and farce will continue to haunt the American experience. The truly bold video single [YouTube link] to this infectious song has more cameos than one can count and its message of tolerance which extends even to her long-time feud with Katy Perry!
And check out the Video Music Awards tonight! In three days, we'll be marking the 61st anniversary of MJ's birth with a new song that has an interesting history. Check out the single version [YouTube link] and the live version [YouTube link] of the song, which the group performed on this very day fifty years ago at Woodstock it was the second song in their set, which lasted from a. The song has been heard in several films through the years, including " The Post " , in which it is used anachronisticallysince it plays over a scene in Vietnam, three years before this single was released!
One film that it was not heard in was " Easy Rider ," which debuted on 14 July during the same month that our song of the day was also released. This is therefore the Golden Anniversary Summer of a landmark "counterculture" film , which starred Peter Fonda , who, died at the age of 79 yesterday 16 August Fonda considered himself a part of the counterculture of the s and was " Born to Be Wild " [YouTube link], indeed. Check out the original album version [YouTube link].
Today marks the first of four days coinciding with the Golden Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. I will be focusing primarily on some of the songs and artists who appeared at that festival with one quasi-exception tomorrow. But our Woodstock tribute will continue until the end of the Summer in September. Since I will be posting entries over these next four days, which coincide with the dates of the original festival, I think we should note a few things about Woodstock itselfgiven the bad press it received with its legendary rampant drug use and "free love" in the mud on open display.
He addressed the crowd that had come to his property and openly celebrated the "kids" in attendance at the event [YouTube link]. He observed correctly that this was one of the largest gatherings of youth "ever assembled in one place"one marked by no violence, despite some very real "inconveniences" like severe rainstorms and shortages of both food and toilets.
Even the local community rose to the occasion ; the largely conservative, rural town residents, who would not have ordinarily sat down with anyone from the "hippie" generation, gladly donated food, water, and other resources to aid the young people who were overwhelmed by the sheer size and unpredictable scope of the event and its hardships.
Even the Medical Corps of the armed forces flew in suppliesto monumental applause from the hundreds of thousands of people who were there. The Summer of '69 which we have been commemorating in this year's installment of our Summer Music Festivalis a study in contrasts Ayn Rand herself saw it as a battle between "Apollo" and "Dionysus". But it is also a study in convergence.
Whatever one's attitudes toward the views of that era, of its culture or its "counterculture", this remarkable convergence of events demonstrated what was possible when people reached across a " generation gap. In the summer of alone, there were thousands of military and civilian casualties in Southeast Asia , not to mention ongoing unrest and violence at home, including a sensational murder spree in early August committed by the Manson cult that led to the horrific deaths of five people in Los Angeles including actress Sharon Tate , who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
And yet, for all its "countercultural" hoopla, only two people died at Woodstock one from a drug overdose; another from a tractor accident. It's as if a Wizard had simply waved a wand to show, in a single unforgettable summer, what was possiblein the stars and on earthwhen people of different ages, backgrounds, views, and perspectives could claim to have "come in peace for all mankind. And so we kick off the height of our Woodstock Summer with a song of Wizardry. It was featured about half-way through The Who's set at the festival [YouTube link], in the wee hours of 17 August , followed by what has become known as the " Abbie Hoffman incident " [YouTube link] one of the few disruptions during any musical set, not counting delays due to pouring rain!
Of course, for those of us who saw the film version of " Tommy ," it's not possible to forget Elton John's performance of this song [YouTube link] or its re-imagining in this year's Elton biopic " Rocketman " [YouTube link]. But wizards work magic, and in that summer, fifty years ago, there was pure magic on display in so many significant ways. It was sung by many folk singers, such as Pete Seeger , Frank Hamilton , Joe Glazer , and others, as a protest song during the civil rights era.
A civil rights and antiwar activist, she sang it at the March on Washington , near the base of the Lincoln Memorial , in front of , people. During her set at Woodstock , the visibly pregnant Baez spoke eloquently about how her husband at the time, David Harris , who opposed conscription [YouTube link to a Johnny Carson interview with Ayn Rand , who opposed both the draft and the Vietnam War ], was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for draft evasion in July He would later be paroled in October So it was no coincidence that she'd close her own Woodstock set with this song [YouTube link] in the wee hours of Saturday, August 16, This performance by Duke was actually recorded live on 15 July but aired on the ABC network on this date fifty years ago, after the lunar module , " Eagle ," touched down in the Sea of Tranquility.
Check out the rare footage of its debut by Duke Ellington and a later studio recording [YouTube links] with Duke "speaking" the lyrics, accompanied by his own playing on the vibes-sounding celeste.
Kropotkin - Lib
As a 9-year old kid, I cannot even begin to describe the level of utter elation I felt watching the grainy images of human beings on the surface of a celestial body other than the Earth. I had followed the space program from the earliest moments of my consciousness of such things the politics of it never crossed my mind at the time ; I remembered John Glenn's orbit around the earth , the Apollo 1 fire , and the Christmas Eve moon orbit of Apollo 8.
But nothing could compare to the excitement I felt watching my TV fifty years ago this day [YouTube link], the sense of awe I felt hearing Neil Armstrong's first words on the lunar surface , and the sense of hope that was inspired in me, hearing him enunciate the words on the lunar plaque : " We came in peace for all mankind " [YouTube link]. It gave credence to Robert Browning's poetic tribute to human potential : " Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?
By contrast, the original single version, at 2 minutes and 44 seconds [YouTube link] sold only copies and "sank like a stone," as band member Phil Lesh put it. The song was also a respectable minute highlight from their set at Woodstock [YouTube link]. Today's " Dark Star " is a prelude to our commemoration tomorrow of a fundamentally bright cosmic event in human history. In truth, my personal all-time favorite "patriotic" song remains " America the Beautiful " especially as delivered by the great Ray Charles [YouTube link].
Quite apart from the controversies that have surrounded the U. His version became the first recorded rendition of the anthem that ever charted on the Billboard Hot peaking at 50; Whitney's version peaked at But in keeping with the theme of our Summer Music Festival , there remains one truly electrifying instrumental rendition of the anthem by rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who performed as the last artist to appear at Woodstock [YouTube link]. To some, this performance was a sacrilege ; to others, it was a sign of the turbulent and violent era to which it spoke. Hendrix actually plays a couple of notes from ' Taps ' to drive home the point of a nation at war abroadand at home.
Nearly all the critical commentators on the event have viewed this as the most iconic performance of the four-day festival. It reflects both the fireworks of its time and, in a twist of irony, the fireworks set off on this day in when American rebels whatever their own flaws , embodied in the contradictions of their time pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, in declaring their independence from the British Empire.
A Happy and Safe Independence Day to all! Having been on the Brooklyn Promenade back in , when there was a fireworks display to celebrate the th anniversary of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, I thought I'd never see a better fireworks display. But the Macy's Fireworks display tonight, which focused its attention on NYC's East River and the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the world's great, iconic spans, against the backdrop of some of the greatest film themes ever written by everyone from Alfred Newman and Max Steiner to Elmer Bernstein and John Williams was one of the best I've ever seen.
But definitely check it out! You won't be disappointed. Truly wonderful. Yes, and they even included the love theme from "The Godfather. Somebody on the YouTube thread objected to "The Godfather" being included. But what's America without the Family? At 55 mins.
Postscript 3 6 July : Remarkably, one reader interpreted the fireworks display as symbolizing the destruction of the Bridge. My response was light-hearted, but I think it made a few essential points. As I stated:. The reader responded that there was a distinct difference in context between the display and any displays after I replied:. I introduced this song and essay on Facebook with the following preface: Whatever your social, religious, philosophical, or cultural views, if you embrace the basic principles embodied in this country's "Declaration of Independence"and its enunciation of the individual's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happinessthen it is time to take a "Stand" for Stonewall on its Fiftieth Anniversary.
Indeed, as the lyrics to today's song of the day state: "Stand! You've been sitting much too long. There's a permanent crease in your right and wrong. Song of the Day : Stand! This was the title song to the group's fourth studio album and was the last song they played on their set list at Woodstock this year's first bona fide Woodstock Golden Anniversary moment , the theme of our Summer Music Festival. It was also a song that was featured on the jukebox of the Stonewall Inn , which in the wee hours of this very day , fifty years ago , was raided for the umpteenth time by the New York City Police Department.
Perhaps the police didn't get the payola they expected from the Mafia-owners of the bar , since bars that served alcohol to people engaging in "disorderly conduct" code for simply being gay would be denied a liquor license in New York City. But this time, the patrons had had enough; they were, indeed, ' mad as hell and not going to take this anymore ' [YouTube link]. They pushed back, rioted, and fought for six days in a siege against political oppressiongiving birth to the modern gay liberation movement. For those who are uncomfortable with this whole subject , as if it were some "leftist" expression of " identity politics ," we need to make one thing perfectly clear a phrase often attributed to President Richard Nixon , who took the White House fifty years ago this year : Both "liberals" going all the way back to the policies of FDR and "conservatives" of both the McCarthyite and religious right variety have played a part in crafting repressive laws in the United States aimed at crushing homosexuality.
It is neither our job nor our responsibility to change the minds of those who find "alternative lifestyles" repugnant or who believe that same-sex relationships are a sign of "sickness" or "sin". Whatever one's cultural, religious, philosophical, or political views, it all comes down to liberty. If one values human liberty, one must recognize that state-sponsored terrorism against individualssimply because of who they love or how they lovecontinues to this day across the world.
In Praise of Toleration
Seventy countries still maintain laws that make it illegal to engage in same-sex sexual activity, and so-called "leftist" regimes have been among the most repressive, in this regard. Whether in the name of politics or religion, these countries have used imprisonment, flogging, and torture to punish those who are different, and in ten countries , executionby stoning, hanging, beheading, or being thrown off buildingsis government policy , legitimized by various states' interpretations of Islamic law.
The battle cry of Stonewall is as prescient today as it was fifty years ago. Indeed, " eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. In the United States, there were heroes in the battle for individual rights prior to Stonewall , who fought government entrapment and discrimination against " the love that dare not speak its name "going all the way back to the s, with the Society for Human Rights and into the s, with organizations such as the Daughters of Bilitis , the Mattachine Society , and, among individuals, the courageous Frank Kameny , who challenged " The Lavender Scare " [PBS video link].
But the significance of the Stonewall Uprising by a group of individuals who were too often marginalized and brutalized by the police, the courts, and the culture-at-large is that, in its fundamental premises, it was based upon a sacrosanct libertarian principle: that every human being, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, race, or sexual orientation, has a right to equal protection under the law, a right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, without infringement by the coercive, oppressive tools used by municipal, state, and federal governmental institutions.
This was no mere nod to "political correctness. The actions were discriminatory and oppressive and for that I apologize. We can listen to the lyrics of today's song as an expression of the libertarian spirit of the Stonewall Rebellion : "Stand! There's a cross for you to bear. Things to go through if you're going anywhere. For the things you know are right. They will try to make you crawl. And they know what you're saying makes sense and all. Don't you know that you are free. Well at least in your mind if you want to be. Check out the album version of this song and its energetic performance by the group at Woodstock [YouTube link].
Justin lost his battle with lung cancer and has died at the age of 67, on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. I knew JR from way back whengoing all the way back to when he wrote that monograph for Students for a Libertarian Society , " In Praise of Outlaws: Rebuilding Gay Liberation ," which saw Stonewall and the rise of the gay liberation movement as a distinctively libertarian event. And he was right. A lightening rod for many people, antiwar. Postscript 2 30 June : In another thread on Facebook, I had a bit of a discussion with regard to whether the struggle for "gay rights" is over in the United States , and I made the same point in that thread that I make here in my Notablog post: Seventy countries across the world still treat same-sex activities as a crime punishable by imprisonment, flogging, and torture, and ten of those countries treat it as a crime punishable by execution beheading, hanging, and being thrown off buildings.
It was suggested that I might be implicitly advocating trying to intervene in those other countries to change their domestic policies; as a firm non-interventionist in foreign policy, I am totally against such intervention even for the purpose of human rights abuses abroad. But that does not mean that I favor the long history of foreign aid policies practiced by the United States, which involves expropriating the American taxpayer for the purpose of sending "foreign aid" to despotic regimes abroad, like Saudi Arabia, which are then required to use that "foreign aid" to purchase US munitions, which they can use in their wholesale slaughter of people in Yemen and elsewhere.
US relationships with such despotic regimes is legion, and our current President believes "it is good for the economy. No, we cannot change the domestic policies of foreign governments that engage in violations of human rights. But that doesn't mean the U. This is not a battle for "gay rights"; it is a battle for individual rights, and individual rights don't cease at the borders of the United States.
But yes, Stonewall 50 is a a cause for celebration for all those who believe that individual rights apply to every person regardless of sexual orientation. And I stand in solidarity will all those who sacrificed their lives over the past century to get this country to recognize those rights. I've heard from quite a few of my very orthodox Marxist colleagues over the years who believe that homosexuality is one of the decadent offshoots of capitalism guess they missed all that stuff that went on in the ancient world and that it would wither away, like the state, under full communism.
Of course, orthodox Marxists actually reject the whole development of 'identity politics' which the fight for same-sex individual rights is most certainly not as a way of obfuscating the "essential" conflict between proletarians and capitalists. I've argued this past weekend that the Stonewall Rebellion was in its essence a libertarian expression of the fight for the individual's right to live his or her own life, socialize in privately-owned establishments without police harassment, and pursue happiness without the interference of state-sanctioned terrorism.
That fight goes on globally and even within this country; the battle for "gay rights" is not over, as James Kirchick says in " The Atlantic. Then we'll take a poll and see how many folks get their heads bashed in. On all these issues of markets having changed traditional notions of the family, women, and sexuality, over time, I highly recommend the work of Steve Horwitz, especially his book Hayek's Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions and, of course, his essay in The Dialectics of Liberty : "The Dialectic of Culture and Markets in Expanding Family Freedom.
And as a noninterventionist in foreign affairs, while I would never advocate interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries, the fact remains that seventy countries still categorize homosexuality as a crime punishable by imprisonment, flogging, and torture, and in ten of those countries, it is punishable by execution beheading, hanging, or being thrown off buildings.
No, the US has no business being the world's policeman on violations of human rights, but the least it could do is to stop expropriating its taxpayers into providing "foreign military aid" a fancy phrase to describe providing U. I've written on quite a few threads throughout Facebook, and am collecting on Notablog, as I go along, all the random though not unrelated points I've made in response to those who question again the very meaning of "dialectical method", which is the basis of the new anthology, coedited by Ed Younkins and Roger Bissell: The Dialectics of Liberty: Exploring the Context of Human Freedom.
Check this link periodically, if you're not following the multiple threads on which I've commented, with regard to this work:. In response to those who think that "dialectical method" is a fancy phrase for a "trivial" mental process, I state:. I'll add to this entry, if and when I say anything more on this subject. Of course, it would really be nice if folks read the new collection before commenting on its themes, but I've been through this before and have been blessed with the patience of a sainteven if what I say sometimes does not sound too saintly.
Theroux of the Independent Institute.
Tag: Ayn Rand
I very rarely review books for Notablog, but this sure did look like an interesting work. And it is, in fact, a challenging volume worthy of attention. Consisting of seven chapters written by a diverse group of authors, it is edited by Robert M. Whaples and includes a foreword by Michael Novak. The book engages in a dialogue of sorts with Pope Francis specifically on matters of political economy and social justice.
Novak states upfront that "the book shares [the Pope's] commitment to Judeo-Christian teachings and institutions. In the process, the book's authors are seeking constructively to engage and educate civic and business leaders and the general public to understand the legacy and meaning of the natural law, moral and economic principles of liberty, personal responsibility, enterprise, civic virtue, family and community, and the rule of law" xix. But editor Whaples makes it clear in his Introduction that this book is designed "to advance the dialogue at a critical juncture" in Pope Francis's papal reign 2.
It seeks to educate the papacy on the virtues of free markets in resolving many of the problems that the Pope has blamed on "capitalism"whatever that term means. Indeed, referring to Pope John Paul II, Novak suggests that "capitalism" means different things to different folks: for some, it is about the liberating force of free trade and open markets; for others, it is about special privileges vested in the wealthy by a state that bolsters their power at the expense of the poor xxv. And nothing could be more un-Christian than embracing a system that is designed to exploit the least-advantaged people in a society.
One of the most important contributions of this book is that it places Pope Francis's views of capitalism in an understandable context. This is a man who came from Argentinawith its history of Peronist corporatism, which enriched its business clients. And if this is what Pope Francis views as "a model of capitalism," one "that friends of free markets rightly reject as capitalism at its worst," not reflective of how markets work under different institutional and cultural contexts 3 , then it certainly helps to explain the Pope's "much lower opinion of capitalism and market economies than most economists" This is a crucially important point in any exploration of the Pope's economic perspective.
As one who has embraced dialectical method , the supreme "art of context-keeping," I have grown wary of using the very term "capitalism"despite Ayn Rand's own projection of the "unknown ideal" that such a social system would embody. Her concept of "capitalism" is almost a Weberian "ideal type," organically connected to the notion of individual rights, in which all property is privately owned. But even she argues that such a system has never existed in its purest form.
In many ways, her ahistorical re-conceptualization of terms such as "capitalism" and even "government" ideally viewed as a voluntarily funded institution strictly limited to the protection of individual rights differs fundamentally from " the known reality. Given this reality, I found Andrew M.
Yuengert argues that, as a "citizen of Argentinaa country that is without political institutions capable of putting the economy at the service of the common good and that instead uses and is used by business and political interests to increase the power of business and political elites," the Pope witnessed "a prime example of how crony capitalism and statist control of the economy can wreck a country that deserves better" Nevertheless, it is also true that the Pope's analysis of the market economy has been in keeping with an emerging tradition of "Catholic social teaching" that is increasingly at odds with the very idea of a market society He argues correctly that the Pope's views of the market economy "did not emerge in a vacuum" Likewise, Gabriel X.
Martinez focuses on the oligarchic nature of Argentinian economic nationalism, pointing out that even attempts to "liberalize" the economy have benefited entrenched interests. All of this is the prism through which the Pope views market societies; is it any wonder that he is at odds with those who offer market solutions to government-created problems? Instead, he has adopted a state-centered approach of massive government redistribution as the means to alleviate poverty.