LAist Interview: Brian Doherty, author of "Radicals For Capitalism"
Brian Doherty of Reason just wrote a big honkin book about Libertarianism. He will be signing "Radicals For Capitalism" tonight at 7pm at Book Soup (8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood), talking about, reading from, and answering questions about all things Libertarian.
We were lucky enough to get all the dumb questions out of the way for you.
LAist: The Dems are the Left, the Repubs are the Right, what are Libertarians?
Brian Doherty: Libertarians prefer a two-dimensional grid that brings out distinctions that the line metaphor does not; for example, that both left and right are for limited liberty, just in different areas. If you make social and economic liberties both on a grid, then libertarians rank high on both, in an upper right quadrant of the grid.
Who are the biggest Libertarian movers and shakers in LA?
L.A. is home to one of America's biggest and most influential libertarian think tanks, the Reason Foundation (which focuses on introducing competition and market discipline to government functions from transportation to air traffic to education to environmental policy, and many areas inbetween), and to America's biggest circulation libertarian magazine of political and cultural reporting and commentary, Reason, where I am a senior editor.
It is also home to major libertarian thinker and former right-hand man to Ayn Rand, self-esteem psychologist Nathaniel Branden; to libertarian entertainers such as Drew Carey and (though they hate to be labeled, I think it's apt) South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone; Virginia Postrel, author of the influential books The Future and Its Enemies and the Substance of Style, currently a writer for the Atlantic, also maintains a home here, and brilliant UCLA legal scholar and blogger Eugene Volokh also has a very strong libertarian streak (and has the anarchist-leaning libertarian legal scholar Randy Barnett as one of his blogging staff at volokh.com) though I'm pretty sure he wouldn't label himself 100 percent libertarian; and I am proud to say that the L.A. Times, our city's paper, has two former Reason staffers now working in its editorial page department: The mighty Matt Welch and Tim Cavanaugh.