Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Dynamism vs. stasis in 800 words: The delightful Susan Lee, in today's Wall Street Journal, celebrates libertarians' common-sense approach(!) in confronting political and cultural issues, and their insistence on being relentlessly optimistic, fun-loving folk. It's an essay that's sure to cause dyspepsia among plenty of cultural conservatives who read the Journal (and, no doubt, among other members of the paper's editorial board.)

Here's one of my favorite passages:

Unfortunately, these (cultural) debates are often animated by the fact that conservatives see libertarianism only as the face of what it defends: transgendered persons adopting children, video games of violent sadism and, yes, cloning. Simply put, the shocking and repellent decline of civilization. But for libertarians, these are merely some of the many aspects of a civilization that is advancing through vast and minute experiments. The exercise of freedom trumps the discomforts of novelty.

Virginia Postrel must be proud.

Hats off to Paul Gigot, the Journal's editorial page editor, for giving Susan the space to make an argument I doubt Bob Bartley (journalistic giant that he was in that position) would have encouraged.

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