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Your Thoughts on Reason Magazine

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CrazyCoot Posted: Wed, Mar 5 2008 3:16 PM

  What are folks thoughts on Reason Magazine.  I personally enjoy reading them, although I don't agree with every point made. Brian Doherty is an excellent speaker and writer and I enjoy Drew Carey using a bit of humor to poke holes into the current approach to infrastructure and our Drug War.   Their TV section also has enjoyable pieces of Gillespie and Sollum pissing off O'Reilly.  But they do seem to hold to the Penn Jillette hipster school of Libertarianism.  Which brings me to the bigger issue; how do hipster libertarians and paleolibertarians fit into the whole program?  I mean do you use paleolibertarians to get social conservatives and evangelicals on board and use hipster libertarians to get godless urban liberals on board?   Is Reason Magazine simply for hipster libertarians or is there more of a division amongst the writers?   What are folks main criticisms and praises for the mag?            

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Generally I like Jacob Sullum's articles and interviews. Some of the stuff at Reason is good. It isn't as heavy-hitting as the LVMI's more intellectual materials though. I think you're correct that paleolibertarianism appeals more to conservatives and traditionalists.


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I think the best Reason articles are about culture and cultural values.  In that area, they definitely stand out from conservative thought.  In the more traditional political realms, they aren't nearly so clear-cut, although different writers seem to have differing views, so it's not a monolithic viewpoint.

And, as Inquisitor points out, they aren't so intellectual/economic/philosophical. Thus, Reason provides a certain balance or counterpoint to Mises.



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lebear replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 3:05 PM

It's alright. I'm reading it online sometimes, it's mostly an easy read, quite informative.

But what's this - "although I don't agree with every point made." - about?

I mean, I read all kinds of mags and so on, libertarian, conservative, left-leaning, or whatever. They all have their good's and bad's, as long as you're capable of distinguishing between what's right and what's wrong you'll be ok. I wouldn't want to read a mag that I completely agreed with - I want my views challenged.

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Reason has its good points and its bad points.

Two problems I have with certain members of Reason:

1) Some of them gleefully jumped on the bandwagon bandwagon trying to sink Ron Paul's presidential campaign for 30 year old racist newsletters he claims he didn't write.

2) Some of them have gone Green...but what is problematic about this is that they've gone statist as well. Here's an old blogpost I made when I first discovered the shift:

"What kind of libertarian advocates increasing our already hefty tax burden? In this case, a new tax called a carbon tax. Apparently so-called libertarians over at Reason Online."

"Jonathan Rauch and Ronald Bailey both appear to be advocating a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Bailey appears to advocate a cap and trade system as well. Not what I would call free market environmentalism. It's not very libertarian in my book either."

Yours in liberty,
Geoffrey Allan Plauché, Ph.D.
Adjunct Instructor, Buena Vista University
Founder / Executive Editor,

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jtucker replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 9:35 PM

Then there's the foreign-policy problem. There is relentless debate there on the topic, giving the impression that the warfare state may or may not be compatible with the idea of getting government out of our lives. On this topic, they are all over the place.  

Publisher, Laissez-Faire Books

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I actually like Reason, but I also agree that I cannot agree with everything they write.  However, I am comforted by the lack of an over-bearing, monolithic view and might consider subscribing to them this summer.  Then again, jtucker's point of their erratic stances on foreign policy, which I only now realize in hindsight upon his mentioning, troubles me as well.   

In the coming month or two, I'm also going to try to make an effort to read various sources of associated Libertarianism news / sites online that I can (more so than I am now).  Mainly because of the fact that I can no longer stand (the personal divide) amid the assorted readers for Reason, Cato, Rockwell, Liberty Papers,, :insert site:, etc.

I realize the political divides will probably remain, but in response to a lot of vitrol, I intend to read up on the various views as much as I can, as a gesture of solidarity for renewed (decent) debate, and less personal attacks.  Dare I say I think the divide(s) itself are collectivist, in ways. 

It's naive to say, but sometimes I wish we would all just get along; at least as gentlemen with differences, and not as animals competing for scraps, as it sometimes seems.  

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

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Magnus replied on Sun, Mar 9 2008 10:42 PM

I have also really have come to despise Ronald Bailey, he is a real water melon.

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