Free Market Justice by Gaslight.
It is axiomatic that whatever the state can do the private sector can do better, and this lesson is rarely illustrated better in literature than in the stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As it was said by Doyle’s brother-in-law E.W. Hornung, there is no police like Holmes. With the new Sherlock Holmes movie set to be released on Christmas day, we will no doubt see a resurgence of interest in the original Sherlock Holmes stories, movies and television programs. Viewers and fans would do well to note the prevalent anti-state themes that course through these stories like the famous cocaine through the veins of Holmes himself.
The relationship between Holmes and the official London police force showed the marked contrast between a skilled master and a team of public investigators usually barely maintaining the status quo at least a few steps behind the criminals. Scotland Yard reeked of a smug incompetence that amused Holmes, even as he gave them the credit in most cases. They were frequently on the wrong path, lecturing Holmes about him wasting time chasing his fancy theories which ended up being correct. While Inspector Lestrade and the rest were so easily duped by the scheming criminals, Holmes did what the police should have done, what they were getting paid tax payer money to do. In “The Case of the Red Circle” we even see that a constable on duty at a murder scene is easily manipulated by a housewife. Like so many other instances in real life, the private market yielded results where the public option brought errors, gridlock and confusion.
- Sarah Palin’s speech in Hong Kong and her “libertarianism”
- Continued misuse of “Sneak & Peak” warrants authorized by the PATRIOT Act
- The “progressive” attempt to lump states’ 10th Amendment rights supporters in with “birthers” and “truthers” by labeling them “tenthers”
- The FDA’s ban on flavored cigarettes, where the government is choosing Altria (Philip Morris) and their oligopolistic partners as marketplace winners over smaller boutique producers.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham demonstrates why I am not a Republican:
Libertarians constantly face the preeminent struggle to form and implement strategies to gain political relevance. The party has never achieved a result better than 1% on a Presidential Election. Adding to our frustration is the failure of the Libertarian Party to capitalize on the opportunity Ron Paul’s groundbreaking Republican Primary campaign, which gained new ground for the libertarian philosophy in terms of visibility. Bob Barr’s campaign failed to crack 500,000 votes in an election cycle in which Ron Paul earned more than 1 million votes in Republican primaries and caucuses.
“There is an ongoing national discussion about marijuana sentencing reform, and I want to make sure the Republicans are leading the charge. It’s an issue that can unite members of our community, regardless of party, race or gender.” — Matthew Hurtt
— NAACP leader praises Rand Paul: The Kentucky Republican’s message on civil rights has won praise from the NAACP, a group not usually sympathetic to Republicans. “It is such a pervasive issue in our community,” NAACP President and CEO Lorraine Miller told NPR, “and, quite honestly, if we can get the ear of someone like Rand Paul, that helps us in trying to find solutions that make sense.” Paul has pushed issues like mandatory minimum reform, school choice, and restoring felon voting rights in various speeches around the country. The NAACP has contacted Paul about speaking to the organization.
There is a push in libertarian circles to reclaim the term “liberal,” a word that once represented a hands off approach to government, from those who advocate for the “governmentalization of social affairs.”
Through Liberalism Unrelinquished, an effort spearheaded by Kevin Frei, a number of scholars are declaring that they will not surrender use of “liberal” to describe their views. The organizers of the statement hope to attract 500 or more signers.
The statement explains that “liberal” once represented the views of Enlightenment era, perhaps best identified through the work of Adam Smith, an 18th Century moral philosopher and the father of modern economics.
Smith laid the foundation for the moral case for capitalism in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth of Nations (1776). The statement also points to Richard Cobden, William Gladstone, and John Bright — 19th Century British liberals who advanced laissez-faire economic views.
The American founders enshrined the liberal concepts of the Enlightenment era into the Declaration of Independence and, later, the United States Constitution.
“Especially from 1880 there began an undoing of the meaning of the central terms, among them the word liberal,” the statement reads. “The tendency of the trends of the past 130 years has been toward the governmentalization of social affairs. The tendency exploded during the First World War, the Interwar Years, and the Second World War.”
There’s an idea in mainstream American politics that the two-party system, the elephants and donkeys, the red and the blue, the GOP and the Dems, are — and will always be — the most voters in this country will ever have to choose from. Third parties tend to pop up and then die a quick death in the history of American political preferences.
But something — as young libertarians are fond of saying — is happening to the older conservatism of the GOP. It’s getting a streak of, well, libertarian purple in its gray hair. And this new conservatism may better resemble the original founders ideas about government and leadership better than the conservatism of the last 30 years. And it’s making both young and old excited. So much so that cynical, inside-the-beltway publications as self-assured as Politico are, if they want to stay relevant, forced to address and explain just what is happening on the right — and increasingly the left — side of the aisle.
In a piece entitled, “The Libertarian Surge,” David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, writes a primer on just what it is libertarians think and believe — presumably because the demand to know exists:
Libertarianism — the political philosophy that says limited government is the best kind of government — is having its moment. Unfortunately, that’s mostly because government has been expanding in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and the financial crisis. Somehow government failures lead to even more government.
“My thing is personal freedoms, freedoms for the individual to love whom they want, do with what they want. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.” — Rob Lowe
— Boaz on the “libertarian surge”: At Politico Magazine, David Boaz, executive vice president at the Cato Institute, explains why libertarianism is growing in popularity. “Lots of libertarians were involved in the tea party and the opposition to the bailouts, the car company takeovers, the 2009 stimulus bill and the quasi-nationalization of health care. But libertarians were also involved in the movement for gay marriage,” Boaz writes. “Indeed, John Podesta, a top adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and founder of the Center for American Progress, noted in 2011 that you probably had to have been a libertarian to have supported gay marriage 15 years earlier. Or take marijuana legalization, which is just now becoming a majority position: Libertarians have been leaders in the opposition to the drug war for many years.” He points out that libertarians “have played a key role in the defense of the right to keep and bear arms over the years.” He also notes that Ron Paul and, more recently, his son, Rand Paul, have sparked interest in the libertarian philosophy.
“I follow a set of principles. I follow the Constitution. And that’s what I base my votes on; limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty.” — Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)
— April Fools: Not to take away anybody’s fun, but be careful what you link to, retweet, and like on Facebook today. There’s a good chance that it’s a joke. Don’t be the guy with derp all over his face. That said, we’ve already seen one pretty funny fake news story this morning.
— Obama administration claims original enrollment target in sight: Officials are saying that the Obamacare enrollment could hit the 7 million target, the original projection made by the Congressional Budget Office and touted by the administration. “According to the report, the goal was ‘in sight’ after consumers flooded the federal website and phone system in the final hours of open enrollment,” The Hill notes. “Hitting seven million enrollments would be a major symbolic achievement for the White House after the opening months of the ObamaCare exchanges were plagued by technical glitches that prevented many consumers from completing an application.” We’ll have more on this later today, but the paid numbers matter more than sign-ups. So even if the administration hits the 7 million figure, immediately subtract 20%.
“I think the impressionable libertarian kids are going to save our nation. The impressionable libertarian kids are saying, wait a second, benevolence is fleeting, and when benevolence is gone, you’re at the mercy of an all-powerful government and it’s too late.” — Igor Birman
— North and South Korea exchange fire: North Korea decided to test fire some artillery into the ocean because Kim Jong-un wanted some attention. That led to a response from South Korea, though neither side fired any artillery on land or military installations, according to the AP. “North Korea routinely test-fires artillery and missiles into the ocean but rarely discloses those plans in advance. The announcement was seen as an expression of Pyongyang’s frustration at making little progress in its recent push to win outside aid,” the AP reported this morning. “No shells from either side were fired at any land or military installations, but Kim called the North’s artillery firing a provocation aimed at testing Seoul’s security posture. There was no immediate comment from North Korea.”