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Regarding Reason Libertarianism

Reason is a beautifully eclectic publication, I think, that properly embraces ecumenism on many issues, and so I want to side with Dan and dissent from Justin and Tom on this. I’ve got plenty of beef with much of the stuff that the magazine and its writers put forth, and not just because their libertine tendencies make my Catholic conservative cheeks blush. I disagree with Nick Gillespie and others there who seem at times to subvert libertarianism to libertinism, or who expand the definition of freedom or autonomy so far that they wipe out the distinction between coercion and persuasion.

Justin has his own critiques, some of which are valid, but basically, as one who is still a bit shell-shocked from the Frumpurge five years ago, I don’t like demands for ideological purity among “our” journals. Yes, those of us who believe preserving individual liberty is the appropriate goal of policy debates need to wrestle with Gillespie and Welch over the meaning of the words liberty and free, but my experience with Nick and everyone else at Reason is that they’re willing to have this debate with honest intentions and in good faith.

When sizing up an entire publication (especially one with a web presence), one can find data points on all sides, but on net, Reason is worth reading and certainly not worthy of bile.

(Let me just add that David Weigel, in this post, is on target in articulating the problem with Ron Paul: “Paul’s lost the chance to define what, exactly, you signal by supporting him.”)

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