TCS Daily – Libertarian Paradise

My latest for TCS Daily, “Libertarian Paradise,” is up. Inspired by my recent trip to Amsterdam, it explores the question of how a place most famous for its red light districts and open use of marijuana and hashish can nonetheless be a clean, functioning society.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. LJD says:

    America’s ‘War on Drugs’ is an utter failure, stripping citizens of their Constitutional Rights, illegaly seizing private property, and destroying families. Regardles of your values, you cannot deny the fact that prohibition does not, and has not ever worked.

    I’m surprised more Democrats aren’t upset about this waste of resources, and it’s impact on the common citizen, compared to National security expenditures.

  2. DC Loser says:

    LJD – Agreed. The war on drugs is an utter failure and we need to legalize and control it.

    As for Holland and how it thrives despite the loose morals of its red light districts and open drug use, I think most of the emphasis on those two things are overblown. I think most Dutch are still quite conservative morally, but they just don’t want to stick their nose up everyone else’s business. They work hard, save their money, and teach their children to do the same. Just like most everyone else. There will always be a small percentage of people who use drugs and abuse their bodies, but that’s their own choice.

  3. LJD says:

    Crap, twice in two days! What is up with the universe?

  4. Fersboo says:

    Libertarian paradise indeed?

    Via Ace

    A pro-abortion city councilwoman in Rotterdam says that forced abortions should be used to curb the “problem” of unwanted children in Holland and its territories.

    Read more.

    Given their fascination with government sponsored [and mandatory, if some had their way] euthanasia and abortion, and given that the legit drug use in the ‘coffee houses’ are regulated and monitored by the government, I would suggest that the free drug culture of Holland is more of an opiate to calm the masses; to keep them calm as the elites’ socalist ideals are set in place.

  5. DC Loser says:

    Fersboo, I think you are taking the rants of one fringe crackpot politician for the political center. I’ve been to Holland numerous times and find it very livable.

  6. Fersboo says:

    DCloser, read of few of these and tell me again how I am taking one crackpot’s view and applying it to the country as a whole.




  7. Fersboo says:
  8. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘Libertarian Paradise’


    ‘While Holland has an exceedingly redistributionist economic policy’

    don’t go together no matter how socially liberal they are.

  9. James Joyner says:

    Jack: Granted, it’s a hell of a caveat. Still, most Left-libertarians, at least, are more concerned about social freedoms than laissez faire economics.

  10. Fersboo says:

    Sorry about the double up on posts James. I swear the first one didn’t show up.

  11. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘Left-libertarians, at least, are more concerned about social freedoms than laissez faire economics. ‘

    That’s because they’re liberals and not libertarians.

  12. DC Loser says:

    Fersboo, Your point about the euthanasia issue is taken. I’d dispute it on the basis of how prevalent is the practice. The previous post about the Rotterdam alderman you mentioned it as “mandatory” euthanasia. Now THAT is a crackpot idea.

  13. RA says:

    Our war on murder, stealing, and lieing under oath are abysmal failures. So… we should legalize murder, stealing and lieing under oath. Libertarian reasoning sometimes boarders on the moronic.

  14. LJD says:

    Our war on illiteracy is an even bigger failure, apparently.

  15. ICallMasICM says:

    Libertarian reasoning isn’t that we should abandon drug laws and interdiction because it’s a failure. That’s pragmatic reasoning. Libertarian reasoning is that drug laws unreasonably intrude on personal freedom. Unfortunately both advocates and critics on libertarianism often misrepresent libertarian principles.

  16. LJD says:

    Or in other words:

    Libertarian reasoning is that we should abandon drug laws and interdiction because…
    …drug laws unreasonably intrude on personal freedom.

    The fact that the drug war is a failure is just an observation that serves to support the logic. The intrusion on freedoms are just part of the overall failure.