OBJECTIVIST HEROES

Matthew J. Stinson thinks Reason’s list of 35 Heroes of Freedom is rather juvenile. And illustrates some of the flaws in radical libertarianism.

I concur. Any list that features Larry Flynt as one of the great heroes and John Ashcroft as one of the three or four most dangerous individuals of the last 35 years is, shall we say, smoking something that would be legal in an ideal libertarian world. And anyone that thinks the guy who invented Pretty Good Privacy did more for freedom than Lech Walesa, Ronald Reagan, or John Paul II has a very narrow view of reality. And Dennis Rodman?

FILED UNDER: US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Person Who Can Actually Read says:

    Where exactly does the list say that John Ashcroft is “one of the three or four most dangerous individuals of the last 35 years”? (Hint: IT DOESN’T SAY ANYTHING LIKE THAT.)

    And where does it say that the guy who invented PGP, or anyone else on the list, “did more for freedom” than anyone not on the list? (Another hint: IT DOESN’T SAY THAT EITHER.)

    And what’s this business about “radical” libertarianism?

  2. Same Guy says:

    And why did you call this item “Objectivist Heroes”? Who said anything about Objectivism? Did you actually read the list, or are did you just hallucinate one?

  3. James Joyner says:

    Being able to read apparently isn’t the same as being able to think. There are three or four people on the list of 35 who are “celebrated” for their threats to civil liberties. Thus, that would put Ashcroft in the 3-4 most dangerous people to civil liberties. Ditto the PGP guy. If you cite someone as being in the top 35, then by extension they are more noteworthy than anyone excluded.

    Rand was the founder of Objectivism. “Reason” is a magazine that worships at the alter of Ayn Rand. The list is of heroes of the “Reason” staff. QED.

  4. Same Guy says:

    There are three or four people on the list of 35 who are “celebrated” for their threats to civil liberties. Thus, that would put Ashcroft in the 3-4 most dangerous people to civil liberties.

    Actually, there’s two people “celebrated” for their threat to civil liberties: Ashcroft and Nixon. But by what deranged logic does that mean that they are the two “most dangerous people to civil liberties”? The list never says anything of the kind, and that doesn’t follow logically at all.

    “Reason” is a magazine that worships at the alter of Ayn Rand.

    Maybe in the ’70s it was. These days I don’t think there’s a single Objectivist on the staff, and the magazine constantly runs stuff that would give real Randians fits, including most of the list you’re writng about here. I can’t think of a single article it’s run recently that “worships” Rand, and I’ve been reading it regularly for around 15 years.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ditto the PGP guy. If you cite someone as being in the top 35, then by extension they are more noteworthy than anyone excluded.

    It’s not a “top” 35 list.

  6. Same Guy says:

    (Sorry, that last post was from me, too.)

  7. Reason isn’t an Objectivist rag, but it hasn’t been the same since Virginia Postrel edited it. I found out a few weeks ago that Nick Gillespe, the current editor, is an anarchist. Nice of him to never mention that in the magazine. What’s he have to hide?