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Eleven questions

I take the libertarian come voluntaryist position in politics and philosophy in general. There are a number of activists on the internet and elsewhere who have some most interesting views and have produced some great blogs, podcasts and books on the wider concept.

So I wrote eleven questions that I thought pertinent and contacted some people I find thought-provoking to see if they would share their thoughts. To my great surprise, one or two have agreed, and in the coming weeks I will be posting their answers as part of an “Eleven questions” series.

Hopefully you will find it interesting and if there are any suggestions as to who you would like me to contact, please let me know. Be sensible, President Obama isn’t going to take time out, but it is surprising who will reply.

9 Comments

  1. Hollando says:

    Laurie Penny, Owen Jones?
    (always interesting to see what the rabid front line of the progressive movement are ‘thinking’)

  2. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    I’m guessing Dan Hannen will already be one of them.
    Guido Fawkes would be interesting as well.

    The two that I’d love to see answers from are William Hague and Glenn Reynolds.

    Three. The three that I’d love to see answers from are William Hague, Glenn Reynods and Tim Worstall.

  3. RAB says:

    Yes all very well and good, but what are the questions? How can I know who I’d like an answer from, without knowing what’s being asked?

  4. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    I’ll try Penny & Jones though the questions will be way off their radar. Hannen is not one but I will give him a go along with Carswell and John Redwood. Hague won’t answer being Foreign Secretary I fear. I don’t know who Glenn Reynolds is but I’ll Google him. Tim Worstall might play ball. Guido and his amigo Harry Cole are on the list.

    If the concept gets any purchase then as more people take part, more may want to take part.

    RAB, you will see the questions in a day or so when I post the first set of answers.

  5. RAB, the reply came sooner than I expected so the questions are now up.

  6. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    I don’t know who Glenn Reynolds is but I’ll Google him.

    Shame. Shame again. And thrice shame upon thee, young mister SAoT. :-)

    Glenn Reynolds is the genious behind Instapundit. He is, despite being American, one of our own.

  7. NickM says:

    Ask me any eleven questions you wish. Go on. I dare you.

  8. NickM says:

    Just make ‘em interesting.

  9. Julie near Chicago says:

    OK, the Americans: Prof. Richard A. Epstein of NYU Law School, before that 800 years as whatever-professor at UC Law School (amazing he hasn’t contracted any dreadful diseases from the likes of his colleague Cass Sunstein), on the Medical Ethics Board of the UC Hospitals. Has written on everything; probably best-known popular book is an old one, “Takings,” which examines the doctrines and procedures thereof. Also an expert on Economics and the Law. Very smart, very fun to listen to in his many YouTubes and podcasts. Started out at the libertarian end of Classical Liberalism, has unfortunately shifted slowly to Utilitarianism. So I tend to disagree with him a lot, but so what. He was dead right on the disgraceful “Kelo vs. City of New London” case, and that would excuse a lot right there!

    At the other end of the spectrum we have anarchocapitalist and polycentralist (I can’t put my tongue to the right word at the moment) Professor Randy Barnett, Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown Law. Cato Fellow. Definitely on the right side of things: “Kelo,” “Gonzales v. Raich” medical marijuana case which he argued before the Supremes and unfortunately lost. (Gonzales was Attorney General at the Time; Angel Raich was in constant pain and her doctor prescribed mj as a pain-control measure for her, which was perfectly legal according to the laws of California. She grew her own, in small amounts, and it never left her property nor was shared with anyone.) Also defends the Supremes’ decision in “Lochner.” He also yelled up one side and down the other against ObamaCare, as did anyone of any moral consequence, including Prof. Epstein. He has written several casebooks, and two books on libertarian theory: “Recovering the Lost Constitution,” and “The Structure of Liberty,” both very interesting although in the end I found them unpersuasive. He also has several YouTube videos, but if you want to hear him speaking with passionate disgust, hunt up the one where he addresses a group of Canadian students on the Raich decision.

    Both gentlemen are members of the Federalist Society (q.v., via Search), and have spoken and debated there. Their videos are far from time wasted, and one of Prof. Epstein’s is a panel discussion, a.k.a. a debate between more-or-less Classic Liberals/Conservatives/libertarians and the other misbegotten kind of liberal. You can’t help but love the Prof’s antics (he’s a bit of a ham), and some pinch-faced Proggie finally gets so far into unicorn-land that he, Prof. E., for once gets mad. Delicious.

    I also would recommend Prof. David Bernstein, author of “Rehabilitating Lochner,” which is a defense of the Supreme Court’s decision in the “Lochner” case, the particulars of which escape me; but it was a case where some legal sticking plaster was used to argue that bakers had no right to work more than 8 hours per day, or some such. He posts many pieces to Volokh.com, the best-known of the U.S. legal weblogs, and in my opinion is most likely of all of them (other than Prof. Barnett–with whom, however, I have another big gripe) to be on the right side of things.

    Also posting at Volokh is Dave Kopel, attorney and “Second-Amendment Activist.” I think his answers to the questions would be interesting. Currently a fellow at the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado. You can see two of his videos at his website: davekopel.com.

    Last but far from least, Dana Berliner, expert on Eminent Domain and lead co-counsel on “Kelo.” She is a member of the Institute for Justice, which aims to be the libertarians’ answer to the ACLU. (She is also the daughter of Michael Berliner, one of Ayn Rand’s inner circle.) Her Wikipedia article is at

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dana_Berliner

    Oh–one other very good person, I think, would be David Kelley, the founder of The Atlas Society and the author of “The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism.” He too was in her inner circle toward the end of her life, and read Kipling’s poem “If” at her funeral (per his Wikipedia page). He is a non-Randroid Objectivist, being at odds with ARI over the issue of whether there’s anything to be added to, or changed or altered within, the philosophy as Miss Rand left it. Please see if you can get him! :)

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