Let me be the second third of the FFGG to check in. My name is Mark Thompson. I am an attorney by trade, and a political theoretician by hobby, with an unnatural fascination with political systems and – most importantly – Federalist #10. I am also a strong believer in the basic philosophy of libertarianism, although I tend to fall into the less doctrinaire, more Hayekian portion of the libertarian spectrum, which leads me to advocate for unusually (for a libertarian, at least) strong social safety nets.
I regularly blog and run the libertarian site Publius Endures, which I was compelled to turn into a group blog over the summer after the birth of my daughter. Although I am responsible for the vast majority of output at Publius Endures these days, all of us there are proudly libertarian.
When I began blogging last year, I tended to have a focus on general politics that was similar to most political blogs. Although that was working out pretty well for me, I eventually decided that the topics that were most fun to write about were topics that allowed me to discuss and/or develop my various theories about politics, especially political coalitions and their relationship with constituent interest groups. For a pretty good summary of my general views on this relationship, you can go here. So, for about the last year, I have been writing primarily (sometimes almost exclusively) about political factions and political systems, with an eye towards: 1. Challenging conventional wisdom about the nature of American political coalitions and their role in the American political system; 2. Attempting to figure out the role of my particular faction in that political system, both now and in the future; and 3. Studying the factional dilemmas of the modern Republican Party, which somewhat represents the epitome of my theories on interest group politics. All of which is a complicated way of saying that I write a lot about political horse races and federalism.
Anyways, over the coming days and weeks, I am looking to write on at least the following topics:
The future of the libertarian movement. (BTW – you may have heard all sorts of talk the last few days and weeks that the “Three-Legged Stool” Republican Coalition has become too internally inconsistent and is probably going to undergo some significant changes to successfully re-emerge, and that it may semi-permanently become less hospitable to libertarians than the Dem Party since it is dominated by social and foreign policy conservatives. Well, I’ve been writing exactly that for a year now!)
The need for federalism, but also for a form of individual secessionism, and my proposal for a Constitution of Liberty that would seek to maximize individual liberty under any conceivable definition (recognizing that the big difference between libertarians, Progressives, and conservatives comes down to vastly different conceptions of liberty).
The necessary role of political philosophy in forming and maintaining viable political coalitions, and the way in which the viability of a political coalition must inevitably make that underlying philosophy incoherent, thereby destroying the viability of the political coalition, starting the cycle over again.
Anyways, thank you again to John for offering me the privilege of partially filling in for him at his most outstanding site. And thank you also to Jim Henley for inadvertently introducing John and I by adding us to the Unqualified Offerings blog roll at the same time.