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Libertarian Forum: Ronald Reagan, Cybercrime, and James Bond


Tags Media and CultureAustrian Economics OverviewPhilosophy and MethodologyPolitical Theory

The July-August 1983 issue of Libertarian Forum has been added online in HTML. Here's what's inside:"Ronald Reagan, Warmonger" is Murray Rothbard's lengthy, detailed critique of Reagan's interventionist foreign policy. The conclusion has a pungent summary tying this in with Reagan's pseudo-free market domestic policy:

The quintessence of Ronald Reagan is that he is a master in supplying the conservative movement with the rhetoric they want to hear. In all politicians there is a gulf between rhetoric and reality, but in Ronald Reagan that gulf has become a veritable and mighty ocean. There seems to be no contact whatever between Ronnie the rhetorician and Ronnie the maker of policy.... Either Reagan is a total cretin, a puppet who gets wheeled out for ceremonial speeches, and who really believes that he is putting conservative policies into effect. Or Reagan is a cynical master politician, keeping the conservatives happy by dishing out their rhetoric and his phony 3x5 card anecdotes, while keeping corporate centrists happy by pursuing the New Deal-Fair Deal-Great Society-Nixon-Ford policies that we have all come to know so well.

"Letters on Gandhi" is part of an ongoing debate in Lib. Forum on the relevance and value of Gandhi's ideas to the libertarian movement between Rothbard (con) and the Voluntaryists (pro), following Rothbard's "The New Menace of Gandhism " in the March 1983 issue and Wendy McElroy's "The New Menace of Gandhism" and Rothbard's "Gandhism Once More" in the May-June 1983 issue.

"High Tech 'Crime': A Call for Papers" is an early take on the relevance of new technology to intellectual property law. Rothbard defends copyright as obtainable from contract and tort law, but is skeptical of its extension in areas such as computer "hacking", cable TV reception, and VCRs (which he doesn't compare to the Boston Strangler), preferring to view such extension as an interference with the property rights of gadget-owning consumers.

"Arts and Movies" contains reviews of two movies. Rothbard dismisses Woody Allen's Zelig as unfunny and special effects-driven, in contrast to his enjoyment of Allen's earlier movies. He cheers the return of his favorite Bond actor, Sean Connery, in Never Say Never Again, but is disappointed by the movie's lack of EON's slick production values.

More Rothbard and Woody Allen:

  • Play it Again, Sam
  • Sleeper
  • Annie Hall
  • Manhattan
  • Stardust Memories

More Rothbard and James Bond:

  • Live and Let Die
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • J.H. Huebert on Rothbard on Bond

"Cassandra Moore for Palo Alto City Council!" is a brief article supporting a libertarian electoral candidate.

Bonus: an ad for the Journal of Libertarian Studies, with links to all of the articles mentioned.

Remember, the full contents of Lib. Forum are available online as well as in a 2-volume hard copy edition.

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