Reading ‘Reason’ Magazine So You Don’t Have To

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DM writes: “The new issue of Reason magazine — the 35th anniversary issue — includes a feature on 35 ‘heroes of freedom…who have made the world groovier and groovier since 1968,’ when Reason launched. There are some very worthy names on the list, including Ron Paul and Rose Wilder Lane, and a great many unworthy names too, like Larry Flynt, Dennis Rodman and near-Communist — or is he an outright Communist? — Nelson Mandela. But what’s most notable about the Reason list is who’s NOT on it. There’s no Ludwig von Mises (there is Hayek; Mises is mentioned in passing in his profile) and no trace of Murray Rothbard.

“It really is a strange magazine. Not only do you have Cathy Young saying we should sacrifice a little liberty to have more ‘security’ and Ron Bailey, whom Jonah Goldberg calls his ‘favorite libertarian,’ advocating some kind of neo-Jacobin program for exporting revolution, but also things like the Deirdre McCloskey article in the November issue which was just an incoherent rant about how terrible it is that anyone should think there’s anything wrong with ‘transsexuals.’ That was quite an article: it had nothing to do with government action or anything resembling the use of force. McCloskey just complained and complained about some social scientist who described transsexuals as being confused and effeminate.

“That same issue also contained this surprising statement from Nick Gillespie in his Editor’s Note: ‘…the major political and economic battle of the last century has been won, in broad outline if not in exact details….’ It’s remarkable to see a self-identified libertarian writing in an explicitly libertarian journal get completely wrong what Paul Gottfried, who ducks the libertarian label, get entirely right, that the real winners in the last century were social democracy and the welfare state.”

8:05 am on November 6, 2003