Clocking in at over 400 pages and no pictures (other than those on the
cover), the book [Choice] will seat on my shelves until after finals, methinks...
I was wrong on two counts: (1) The book does have pictures. One of the essays is in fact a comic strip by Peter Bagge, entitled "Observations from a Reluctant Anti-Warrior." (2) A book like this is not meant to collect dust. The other night over dinner, in a rapt of cultural consumption, I read the following:
- An Open Letter to the Editor of Reason--Drew Carey [excerpt]
- Foreword--Christopher Hitchens [excerpt]
- Introduction: The Reason for Reason--Nick Gillespie [excerpt]
- All Culture, All the Time: It's Easier Than Ever to Make and Buy Culture. No Wonder Some People are so Upset--Nick Gillespie
- All I Think Is That It's Stupid: Dave Barry on laughing at Very Big Government--Interview by Glenn Garvin
- Stand-Up Guy: Comedian Drew Carey on network censors, Hollywood guilt, and why he likes eating at Bob's Big Boy--Interview by Nick Gillespie and Steve Kurtz
- Free Radical: Journalist Christopher Hitchens explains why he's no longer a socialist, why moral authoritarianism is on the rise, and what's wrong with anti-globalization protestors--Interview by Rhys Southan
The last one had a passage that impressed me, perhaps because I usually have a strong visceral reaction against Keynes:
REASON: In Letters to a Young Contrarian, you talk about how it was libertarians -- specifically Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan -- who did the most to end the draft by persuading President Nixon's special commission on the matter that mandatory military service represented a form of slavery. Is it the contrarians from unexpected ranks that enact real change?
Hitchens: Absolutely. Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Friedman used my mantra correctly by saying the draft would make the citizen the property of the state. To argue against them, however, I'll quote someone whom neither of them particularly likes, but whom I think they both respect. John Maynard Keynes said somewhere -- I think in Essays in Persuasion -- that many revolutions are begun by conservatives because these are people who tried to make the existing system work and they know why it does not. Which is quite a profound insight. It used to be known in Marx's terms as revolution from above.