The Sadness of a Border “Emergency”

I got stuck watching a bit of Fox News a month or so ago. One of the things that really struck me was how quickly it became clear that its target audience is terrified, and of very nearly everything. In the world of Fox News, blacks are protesting not to prevent police violence, but to […]

On racists in government and sunlight as a disinfectant

Rep. Steve King of Iowa said some pretty racist things. Again. This time, though, they were both shockingly unambiguous and came after a midterm election where the GOP got shellacked, and where its only hope to regain ground is in appealing to the kinds of people who don’t find racism all that appealing. So his […]

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?

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, the default choices when it comes to libertarianism. You can believe in political […]

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

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 he’s not telling North Korea how close […]

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

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, and trend will only accelerate as more of our lives, interactions, transactions, and work move into the digital realm. This will have inevitable, positive effects […]

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 […]