Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, January 28, 2008

Short Answers to Short Questions?

Kos wonders "Where are the Libertarians on FISA?"

A Klan rally perhaps? An AMWAY convention? A celebration of the literary stylings of Ayn Rand?

Kos scolds:
For all the talk of "freedom" that the Paulbots claim to believe in, they sure as heck have been silent on the horrible FISA bill we're fighting to fix in the Senate right now. Same for Ron Paul. Why the silence? And the CATO people and the libertarian publications like Reason, where are they?

Here we are engaged in a huge civil liberties issue, and progressives are being forced to fight this thing alone. It's easy to talk about "liberty". It's much more impressive to actually do something about it.

Indeed. I hope this means an end to his whole "Libertarian Democrat" schtick. Unless we're talking about the membership of the indispensable ACLU, all you can count on in the way of "philosophy" from a self-described American libertarian is gimme! gimme! gimme!


Mike Treder said...

I agree with all of the above, but it should not go unnoticed that EFF has been right in the thick of agitating against the FISA bill, and they are largely run by some old-style libertarians.

Dale Carrico said...

Ah, that's a good and interesting point, Mike. I think EFF is a very interesting case. I've mentioned here before that I'm rewriting my dissertation, to include not only the anti-anarchy stuff that is already there but to tell the story of pro-p2p that is only glimpsed in nooks and crannies of the original. The new title reflects this shift, it is now called: Second Wave Internet Radicalism: From Libertarian Privacy to Peer-to-Peer Publicity. This shift was discussed (and in some ways inaugurated) by Lawrence Lessig when he spoke of second generation net activism in his first edition of Code. Anyway, EFF seems to me a very interesting organization because it seems to me to straddle these generations and to have ridden this shift. I think EFF is a different org than it was in the crypto wars and the good fight against the Clintonian cyber-censors. I don't think EFF is old-school libertarian anymore, but you're right -- that org complicates the picture in a really interesting way.