Measured Against Reality

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Reason Magazine

I recently stumbled upon the Libertarian Reason Magazine. I’ve found it to be a refreshing look at modern politics from a libertarian perspective. They have 20-30 bits of news reporting with small comments, and 2-4 large articles every day, most of it very good.

There’s a hysterical, irreverent, and thought-provoking interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker up right now. Those are the two behind South Park, which is always hysterical, often thought-provoking, and most certainly irreverent. Whether or not you like their show, the interview is pure gold.

There’s another interview, this time with Dave Barry in 1994 that I somehow found. In that one they talk about the government’s role in regulating people’s lives. Anyone who has any sense would say that the government should have as small a role in people’s lives as possible, only stopping them from doing things that harm other people. The example that they use in the interview is “having sex with dogs”.

I don’t know whether the government has outlawed sex with dogs, but I suspect it has. What I truly wonder is who thinks this helps anything? The vast majority of people don’t have sex with dogs, regardless of whether it’s illegal or not. And the people who really want to aren’t going to stop because it’s illegal.

If you’re not convinced about this last point, think about this: I recently read an article about sex in Puritan New England, and one case where a man committed bestiality. It called for the death penalty for both him and the animal, yet he still did it. I forget whether the punishment was actually carried out. Granted, this is one example, but in general when people feel a law is stupid, they don’t obey it. Whether it’s ludicrously low speed limits, alcohol during Prohibition, drugs during today’s Prohibition, or bestiality, if people don’t consider something wrong then laws don’t stop them from doing it (and in many cases encourage them to try it. We all know that the prohibited has an allure).

(Speaking of Prohibition, today is the 73rd anniversary of its repeal. Lets hope that our current Prohibition is lifted soon, but I know it’s a vain hope.)

Back to the main point, those stupid laws that outlaw a behavior that few people actually do and don’t hurt anyone when it is done should be repealed. They’re a waste of time and resources for the government, a waste of money for the taxpayers, and a waste of innocent human lives for the “guilty”.

But government has a way of getting bigger and bigger until it breaks under its own weight. The sad thing is that none have yet learned that, and our children will bear the burden of our broken bureaucracy.

Anyway, check out Reason Magazine. If you like what I write, you’ll probably love it.


  • Reason is okay. I dig the more intellectual commentary in National Review (which is known for modern conservatism, but trends frequently towards libertarianism/classical liberalism, particularly in economic policy) or Commentary (whose letters section is probably the best in all the opinion journals I've read).

    Social policy discussion is bourgeois though. Foreign policy discussion makes for much more exciting reading - IMO of course.

    By Blogger Mr. Fantastic!, at 11:39 AM, December 06, 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 4:54 PM, February 27, 2007  

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