12/17/2010 Freedom Watch w/ Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Matt Welch on libertarianism

Below you will find Friday’s edition of Freedom Watch. This one is a bit different than the norm. The Judge and his guests, all from Reason Magazine, discuss the philosophy behind libertarianism.




  1. Rudy Carrera Said,

    December 18, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    Whether Christian or atheist, libertarians can find a lot of common ground to work with. This was a good demonstration, and all on the panel made fine points. Thanks for the post!

  2. LysanderSpoon3r Said,

    December 18, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    I was not very impressed with a number of points made by the panel. Judge Napolitano is far more radical than these three, even though I might agree with them on some of their points.

    First and foremost, I was very disappointed by Matt Welch's definition of libertarianism. He mentioned nothing about individual rights, self-ownership, or property rights. He seemed to make a purely utilitarian argument.

    Second, the panel's points on foreign policy were generally deficient. To me, being antiwar is the most critical stand a libertarian must make. War is the health of the state and the ONLY justified military action is that of ACTUAL self-defense. Yes, Gillespie (who I like) and Welch paid minor lip service to these points, but also apparently supported military action in Afghanistan. What about Ron Paul's idea of letters of Marque to take out Al Qaeda? Warfarism is the greatest threat to individual rights and prosperity. The Judge made this point, and the Reason panel seemed to, at most, tacitly agree.

    I abhor the social conservatism of a number of paleolibertarians, such as Lew Rockwell, Thomas Woods, and others, but the folks at LewRockwell.com and other Rothbardians are always principled on the warfare state and heavily criticize anyone who calls themselves libertarian and also supports American Empire.

    It's great to see shows like this, but I would would have preferred a Rothbardian (which I am not) or two to balance out the Reason crowd, who are often far too moderate for my taste.

  3. Jean Said,

    December 19, 2010 @ 2:42 am

    I tend to agree with Lysander on this. Judge, I'm glad you did this show. In the future, have differing panels such as the Lew Rockwells, and Jacob Hornbergers, and even the voluntaristys such as Stefan Molyneaux. But to see this topic discussed on a national TV program is great.
    BTW, I thought Katherine Mangu-Ward outshined both of her colleagues from Reason.

  4. HDThoreau Said,

    December 19, 2010 @ 4:51 am

    Assange, again, has nothing to do with "Press Freedoms". Why do you have more freedoms than me? The press doesn't get a pass because they say crap on a network.

    If I told our nuclear enemy where all of our defensive sites are overseas and gave detailed reports on our military protocols, that isn't Liberty. That's Free speech sure. But it is speech that will get people killed. Think of Hanoi Jane if you are confused about what this means.

    Liberty is Freedom and Responsibility. Assange has commited Espionage. Bradley Manning, the homoerotic posterboy for don't ask don't tell, commited High Treason.

    This has nothing to do with "We can't report on the government being naughty". Judge, read what was released. It's not black and white here. It's your ass and your family's ass in danger now, because the people that want to destroy us now know exactly how to do it.

    This is called National Security. You know, the REASON why the Federal Government exists in the first place. I don't see how you can call yourself a Patriot when you support people trying to kill us. I'm sorry, but judge, you FAIL here.

  5. LysanderSpoon3r Said,

    December 19, 2010 @ 10:30 am

    HDThoreau, you really have no business using that as your moniker. Thoreau's passive resistance and philosophical anarchism are diametrically opposed to your state-worship.

    You either don't actually listen to these shows or don't know how to read. Either way, you're missing one of the most critical points, which, as the Judge has pointed out repeatedly, is found in the Declaration of Independence. Namely, that government is created and granted limited authority by the consent of those under its jurisdiction – and is created to protect and uphold individual rights (life, liberty, property).

    The U.S. government is restricted by the Constitution. It is not endowed with authority to keep every secret it wishes in the name of "national security," nor is it allowed to violate the 1st amendment. What part of "Congress shall pass no law" do you not understand? Would you prefer a less rigorous interpretation of "the right to bear arms shall not be infringed?" I didn't think so.

  6. Jean Said,

    December 19, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

    Judge, I'm wondering if you're willing to really put the 1st Amendment to the test. If so, invite Sibel Edmonds on your show, mano e mano for the entire hour, and have her discuss her case on why the "states secret priviledge" was used on her not once, but twice to shut her up. No holds bar.
    Her case makes Wikileaks look like a walk in the park!! She is willing to discuss it without any restraint. She does ask that it not be edited. That may present a problem for the network, but then again, why do we have the 1st Amendment in the first place.

  7. jack Said,

    December 20, 2010 @ 2:13 am

    great point Jean, ive had it with the assange hero worship, where was the press when she spilled her beans, and what has wikileaks leaked that would lead to any harm to the war criminals in our government? nothing

  8. Mike Said,

    December 20, 2010 @ 8:49 am

    Regarding the discussion of what should the tax rate be, Ikm surprised no one stated the obvious. households, businesses and yes, even government have to live within their means. since governments operate on other people's money they should be limited to the essential services allowed by the constitution. It is then simple to determine how much is needed to operate and set a rate which covers that need. Until that happens, politicians will take as much as they can, spend it plus some more. The IRS should be abolished along with the income tax and operate on consumption taxes and user fees.

  9. JohnT Said,

    December 20, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    As usual the Judge is correct. Taxation, as he has asserted many times, is theft. What he did not say but I suspect he believes is that since theft is immoral an institution funded through theft, such as a government, is similarly immoral. We must return to a form of government funded through means other than theft.

  10. Roland Said,

    December 20, 2010 @ 11:07 am

    Half-baked libertarianism like Welch’s makes me cringe. A small safety net is OK? Well, who gets to decide how small? The vote-hungry, Constitution-trampling demagogues in DC, that’s who. How long does he think it will stay small?
    If my neighbor declines to donate to my favorite charity, is it moral for me to hold a gun to his head to force him? Does it make it more proper if I get 20 like-minded neighbors to go with me? On this issue, you either draw a line or you don’t.
    What was missing entirely from this panel was a discussion of self-interest. Every one of us is inclined to act in his own self-interest. Economic self-interest is what makes free-market capitalism work so well. Political self-interest is what guarantees that democratic government will flop.

  11. Roland Said,

    December 20, 2010 @ 11:22 am

    Can you expand a bit on how your ideas diverge from Rockwell, Woods, et al? I was with you 100% up to that point.

  12. MRB Said,

    December 20, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    I, too, would have prefered some additional libertarians from groups like LewRockwell.com &/or Mises.org to balance out the Reason crowd.

  13. LysanderSpoon3r Said,

    December 20, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

    Perhaps, I have overstated my disagreement with the LRC crowd. I very much disdain their social conservatism, though they of course do not advocate using the state to achieve social ends. I meant to simply point out my variation with many on LRC re: social issues since I dropped their name. Also, I am not a market anarchist. Yet. :)

  14. Kevin Said,

    December 21, 2010 @ 12:31 am

    One of your finest shows, Judge. I'm not sure why there are so many clamoring for balance in the panel, as there was a good deal of difference between Welch, The Jacket, and Mangu-Ward. If there had been more panelists, it would have been practically impossible for any of them to make a decent case for their argument. I think many times the show suffers from too many panelists, not too few.

    I agree with Jean, Katherine Mangu-Ward showed the clearest grasp of her own position on the issues.

    Again, really good show, Judge. I know they can't all be like this, but it sure made for a pleasant change to see these topics discussed without a Nancy Skinner or other statist shrieking about their love of coercion and force.

  15. Jean Said,

    December 21, 2010 @ 4:52 am

    Kevin, you make an excellent point. Let me clarrify my position. I think what the Judge did on this show was excellent. An excellent start for an introduction to libertariaism with the Reason crowd, and the three of them did have differing postions on certain issues.
    With the introduction, then Chap 2. Maybe having the Mises crowd next, and then have philosphers discuss even further. These are just ideas, nothing more nothing less.
    BTW, the point about panelists is spot on. The Judge's show is terrific, but if I had a problem with the show, it's the Freedom Fighters section. Some of the guests the Judge has(Nancy Skinner) are annoying, and frankly don't add anything to the show. I've suggested he get Glenn Greenwald instead of Nancy Skinner. But, thanks for your comments.

  16. Jeffersonianideal Said,

    December 21, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    If Judge Napolitano’s show, “Freedom Watch” was created to provide a forum for principled, libertarian ideals, then this episode is one of the best and most important since the program’s inception.

    Finally, a return to an on-air absence of socialists and neoconservatives, introduced as or masquerading as “Freedom Fighters”. No representative from big government or big media attempting to convince America they have changed their collectivist or statist identity and have now adopted logical and reasonable libertarian virtues.

    Just a group of four steadfast, articulate and consistent libertarians in an open, honest and passionate attempt to address matters of limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility.

    Following such a magnificent broadcast, it is most appropriate time to evoke the words of the late, great Harry Browne who once defined libertarianism on his radio program is this manner:

    “The simplest way to define a libertarian is as a person who opposes government involvement wherever possible. A libertarian is someone who wants to get government out of your life. A libertarian wants to get government out of as many current programs as possible. And a libertarian opposes any new government programs.

    But why does a libertarian oppose government activity? Because government is force. Every government activity involves the use of force. Forcing people to do what they haven’t chosen to do, forcibly preventing people from doing what they have chosen to do. And/or forcing people to pay for activities they don’t want to pay for.

    Why does a libertarian oppose force? Because there is a sense that it is inherently wrong to use violence to get what you want and because force does not provide a permanent solution to anything.”

  17. alan Said,

    December 26, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    Judge, u just aired Ayn Rand's Dr Brook. He wasn't speaking 4 the govt, but PERSONAL CHOICE n being non-responsive 2 a starving person. This is why i have to declare myself a "moderate" libertarian. This is the voice inside the head of "the rich man and Lazarus," Jesus referenced. No wonder her writings met w/ such disdain; rightly so. Heroine declined. She has some great ideas regarding govt & individual liberties, but "morally:" out2lunch!

  18. WHOOOAHHH Said,

    December 30, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

    Phew I thought his show was going off the air. Thank God it's not.