Abortion and the Law’s Control of Bodies

In yesterday’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Senator Kamala Harris of California, a likely presidential candidate in 2020, asked a perplexing question, and Kavanaugh provided an even more perplexing answer. Kamala Harris: “Can you think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body?” Brett Kavanaugh: […]

Loyalty versus Obsequiousness Through the Lens of Donald Trump

A loyal person is never an obsequious person. Donald Trump demands loyalty from those around him. It’s why he fired James Comey, why he’s mad at Jeff Sessions, and why he pulled John Brennan’s security clearance. He makes everyone passing through his orbit sign non-disclosure agreements, a kind of explicit loyalty oath by way of […]

On Civility in Politics

Shunning is sometimes appropriate, and politics shouldn’t change that. Should we shun political opponents? Should we refuse to associate with them, or to serve them in our businesses? The matter with Sarah Sanders getting kicked out of a restaurant has a lot of people staking out what strike me as poorly examined positions on these questions, […]

An open letter to alt-right, paleo-libertarian, “cultural Marxism”-hating, red-pill-popping dudes.

Hi. It’s come to my attention that you’re worried about the direction of this country. Specifically, you’re worried that America’s culture is shifting in ways you see as anathema to America’s values, by which you mean your values. The values of white men of a certain sort. And I hear you. You’re upset, and you’re […]

What Kind of Libertarian Are You?

My libertarianism’s of an off-the-beaten-path sort, with its intellectual roots among the Ancient Greeks. I was recently asked on Twitter whether my libertarianism is of the consequentialist or deontological variety. For those not hip to the terminology, the question is about what sort of moral theory underpins my political theory. Those two — consequentialism and deontology — are, for many, […]

“Should Twitter Ban Donald Trump?” is Really a Question About Government Legitimacy

A tale of political violence and double-standards. Donald Trump has, on more than one occasion, used his Twitter account to threaten violence on a scale the rest of us, not being presidents ourselves, can never hope to achieve. You and I don’t have a nuclear button on our desks — even a very small one. Even when […]

Decentralization and privacy are inevitable — in tech and in government.

Osmotic Studios [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Good tech principles will become good governance principles, whether governments want them to or not. Decentralization and encryption/privacy are good principles for digital technology. They’re also pretty good principles for effective, fair, and just government. Those two principles are becoming more widespread within digital […]

Technology, Radical Liberty, and Freedom Without Permission

Decentralization will bring about a radically freer and more dynamic world, and without waiting for the blessing of government. Decentralized, DIY Beginnings I got my start when I was 14, dialing into local BBSes to play text games, post to FidoNet, and download warez. This would’ve been 1993. For those of you born about that […]

Critics of Liberty: A Reading List

A guide to the books and essays containing the most powerful arguments against libertarianism. It’s not enough to be familiar with the major libertarian thinkers and their arguments. A well-informed advocate of liberty must also understand and appreciate the positions of those thinkers who disagree with libertarianism. The works on this list offer a comprehensive […]