Archive | November, 2008

He Meant It In A Good Way

Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln famously said that so long as blacks and whites live in the same society, “there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man [I suppose he meant any other white man?] am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

Lincoln hagiographer Thomas Krannawitter (as quoted in David Gordon’s review) argues that there’s nothing racist about this remark, since “anyone of any color, when presented with the choice of having his race assigned a superior or an inferior position in a given society, with no option of equal citizenship, would choose to have his race in the superior position.”

How peculiar – a Straussian who’s never read Plato.

Kindly Stopped

Madame Xanadu and DeathA heads-up for Sandman fans – Gaiman’s version of Death features prominently in the current issue of Madame Xanadu.

Coffee Talk

Check out this interview with the founders of Reason magazine. It’s an interesting interview, but there are four quotes in there (actually five, I merged two) that will make left-libertarians want to tear their hair out and throw things:

The magazine took collective pride in being one of the architects of the Reagan Doctrine with those Jack Wheeler pieces.

Reason Dec. 08 cover When we took it over, reason was in a paradoxical stage of becoming more burdensome. Instead of economies of scale, there were diseconomies of scale. When you are small you can do your own address labeling, but the bigger you got, the more outside costs you have. There were more things you couldn’t do yourself. [Diseconomies of scale! Who ever heard of those? How … paradoxical!]

The social ethos of much of the libertarian movement in the late ’60s/early ’70s was SDS-like but with free market ideas, [with activists] seeing themselves as part of an outlaw radical underground movement that was under surveillance by [the] FBI. … We were interested in gentrifying the libertarian movement so there would be more suits there and less people who reminded one of the hippies. We were concerned with showing that libertarianism was serious, that it wasn’t some ragtag bullshit movement.

I remember being impressed by [Reason Foundation board member] David Koch. I mean, here was this billionaire, and this was back in the ’80s – back before we all were billionaires! – so you didn’t see many people like that. I was impressed that he made his own coffee.

Meet the New Boss

Bushbama “Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost. It comes from me. That’s my job.”

– Barack Obama, 11/26/08.

Reports do not mention whether the president-elect then added, “Because I’m the decider. Heh heh.”

For some reason this Bastiat quote keeps coming to mind.

Cato Institute Publishes Leftist Screed!, Pars Quinta

The Catofest is winding down (though I still hope to hear a peep from Matt Yglesias ere darkness falls). Dean Baker replies to me, and the Cato editors have rounded up a “best of the blogs” featuring Wirkman Virkkala, Sheldon Richman, Charles Johnson, and others. I plan to reply to some of the blogs, though probably not as part of the Cato Unbound conversation.

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