The Corner

‘The Declaration of Independents’

Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie, editors at Reason, have written a book called The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America. I am biased, no doubt, but in 2011, this book is a must-read. I would argue that it is especially worth reading if you are skeptical of libertarianism or even a straightforward anti-libertarian. For instance, if you think libertarians are irresponsible, dope-smoking, unserious, head-in-the-clouds pacifists, this book is for you. (It will prove you wrong, I hope.) Of course, if you think that libertarians are great, you should still read the book, because you will come out of it energized and full of hope.

Here is a mini-review by Tyler Cowen:

This book is a excellent 2011 statement of what libertarianism should be, though I would say the title is more descriptive of the content than is the subtitle.  It’s well written throughout, smart to focus on the areas where libertarianism is strongest, and remarkably for an “ideological” book it never ventures into the absurd or makes indefensible claims.

Another great reason to read the book: It could be our future. Over at the New York Times, Nate Silver reports on the most recent polls of the country’s political views. And guess what?

Libertarianism has been touted as the wave of America’s political future for many years, generally with more enthusiasm than evidence. But there are some tangible signs that Americans’ attitudes are in fact moving in that direction.

[. . .]

In CNN’s latest version of the poll, conducted earlier this month, the libertarian response to both questions reached all-time highs. Some 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much — up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008 — while 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008. (It was the first time that answer won a plurality in CNN’s poll.)

Silver has a chart:

 

Update: Looking at the comments below, I thought I should add that there is no single libertarian position on abortion. For a good discussion on the issue, check out this post by Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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