Nightcap

  1. Making Canada great for the first time Scott Sumner, EconLog
  2. Detoxifying Brexit Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  3. What’s driving protests around the world? Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg
  4. There’s no telling what’s next” Conor Friedersdorf, the Atlantic

Nightcap

  1. The Great Firewall of China, as cyber-sovereignty John Lanchester, London Review of Books
  2. The lost art of exiting a war Adam Wunische, War on the Rocks
  3. The Eastern Jesus Ian Johnson, New York Review of Books
  4. China’s first permanent president Johnathan Chatwin, Asian Review of Books

Nightcap

  1. Charlemagne Chris Wickham, History Today
  2. Populism Simon Schama, Financial Times
  3. Harold Bloom (1930-2019) Flesch & Roth, n+1
  4. German supermarkets Rachel Lu, the Week

Nightcap

  1. The empty seat on a crowded Japanese train Baye McNeil, Japan Times
  2. Interstellar conversations Caleb Scharf, Scientific American
  3. Donald Trump is a weak man in a strongman’s world Ross Douthat, New York Times
  4. The Poland model: left-wing economic policy and right-wing social policy Anna Sussman, the Atlantic

Nightcap

  1. Nozick, State, and Reparations Irfan Khawaja, Policy of Truth
  2. No friends but the mountains Maurice Glasman, New Statesman
  3. The layers of Israel’s Trump mistake Michael Koplow, Ottomans & Zionists
  4. Why hasn’t Brexit happened? Christopher Caldwell, Claremont Review of Books

Thinking globally, as a dad, and as a libertarian

There’s no reason to keep writing. I have an nine month-old (nine-month old?) boy and a twenty-nine month-old girl. My vote doesn’t matter. I’ve lost my zest for ideas and events. Nobody cares what a libertarian has to say anymore, anyway. We’re back in the wilderness, wandering aimlessly and pettily bickering with each other about the stupidest things. We had our moment, we truly did, and it got flushed down the toilet along with the big, racist turds we dropped in the porcelain bucket.

Something in the world of ideas has turned stale. Or, I’ve gone stale. I don’t think I have, though. I’ve been reading plenty of books and plenty of internet, and much of it is enjoyable and provides me with a better sense of the world I inhabit. Has the world of ideas always been this stale? Has “the world of ideas” been a Big Lie to begin with, a cover-up invented by political strategists to influence youth and vie for power?

Libertarianism itself is no longer what I thought it was. Consider Syria. What’s a libertarian to do? A libertarian from the US would probably say that his country’s military leaving Syria is a good thing. A libertarian from Syria would probably say that the US leaving Syria is a bad thing. Actually, this is pretty cool now that I’ve thought about it. What is the libertarian position on Syria? Abandon it and regroup somewhere else? Would this “somewhere else” then become a fortress of libertarianism? Would it become a launching pad for military action, for violent acts of aggression against an equally violent polity?

Libertarianism seems to work great in an American institutional context, but what happens when libertarianism moves abroad? Now, I’m not about to go all sideways (to borrow a phrase from an old black cook that I know here in Texas). I’m still a libertarian, but only because it’s the least bad option out there. The world could use more liberty. This liberty can be gained through non-violent indigenous means most of the time. As a citizen of the world’s big, bad hegemon, this is the position I have a duty to take. If I was born in, say, Kurdistan, though, or Angola, violence might be the best least bad option to take en route to more liberty.

Edwin’s 2014 post continues to impress. Is this because I am getting older? Is this because I have other shit to do besides ensure (online…) that liberty remains as pure as possible?

Nightcap

  1. French financial experts are anything but Diego Zuluaga, Alt-M
  2. The beauty of Soviet anti-religious art Roland Brown, Spectator
  3. Obama, Erdoğan, and the Syrian rebels Seymour Hersh, LRB
  4. Europe, Turkey, and the Kurdish rebels Bill Wirtz, TAC