To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Welcome To the People

“What the fuck?” someone asked me. “Does the world really need another libertarian blog?”

Maybe not. But I expect you'll find this one to be a bit different. Our goal is to knock down the normal level of discourse found at most libertarian blogs by at least a few notches. Lowbrow, if you will. Yes, you’ll find an intellectual argument made here from time to time. (Bone to the nerds: as I type this, one of our writers is working on a sexy gold-standard piece.) But we hope that’s not all you look for here, lest you find crushing disappointment. Sure, I’m very happy to share important ideological and philosophical beliefs with many really brilliant people doing wonderful things. But that’s not me; that’s not To the People. While I like libertarianism because it’s the only path to a society of meaningful freedoms, I like it even more because it defends my right to drink a lot of booze, smoke some weed, eat still-living animals, kill myself, prolong my life indefinitely, masturbate in the HOV lane, etc. etc.

So where does the name come from? Well, most of you might recognize the blog’s name as being the final three words of the Tenth Amendment and, thus, the Bill of Rights. Not only are they that, they’re also the most important words – in our opinion – in the whole Constitution. We’ll make that case later on. In the meantime, here is a partial list of intellectuals whose thoughts and actions we absolutely like and believe in:

  • The late Peter McWilliams laid out an engaging, well-researched and humorous defense of individual liberty. Then the government effectively killed him.

  • Randy Barnett argues that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments are the most important for guaranteeing individual liberty – to the extent that we might be entirely more secure in our persons and property without the rest of the damn document.

  • Reason’s Nick Gillespie sees progress in all the stuff we can do now that we couldn’t at one point legally do. (Gay men can check into a hotel together, for example. Others are free to wear the same leather jacket every day.) His colleague Jacob Sullum has made a convincing case that moderate (and sometimes-heavy) drug use is perfectly acceptable, and we dig him for that.

  • Larry Flynt? Same thing… different vice.

  • No one defender of liberty is at once as esteemed and reviled as eminent psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. What he endures for being smarter and braver than the rest of the world is shameful.
  • New York City chef, author and traveling gourmand Anthony Bourdain cooks and eats greasy, fatty and even repugnant foods, all while swearing, drinking and smoking like a condemned prisoner with nothing to lose. He’s a hero.

  • Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto cuts through the crap spread by those who say that markets and freedom harm the poor in the developing world, and describes how and why specific restrictions on economic freedoms brake progress.

  • Who else do we like? Cathy Young, Ron Bailey, Evel Kneivel, Pete Guither, Ward Connerly, Ron Paul, David Boaz, Jeffrey Schaler, John Stossel, Penn & Teller. Clint Eastwood. Eugene Volokh, Jim Leitzel, Virginia Postrel, Johann Norberg, Tyler Cowen, Dave Barry and James Bovard. Thomas Sowell, the late David Brudnoy and any other person or organization that believes that what the Constitution says goes.