MADISON, Wis., August 11, 2013 — Libertarians are prolific writers. They have written and continue to write books and articles in mind-boggling numbers.
The advent of the digital age gave birth to a new written form: the blog. Just as is the case with longer forms, libertarians of all sorts now write blogs. It is impossible to read (or even find) all of them. The sensible thing to do, of course, is read only the best of the best. The following list attempts to identify those that have risen to the highest level.
A seemingly boundless collection of free-market economics blogs also exists. A list of the best of those could easily be assembled. The following, however, is not such a list. Only blogs whose principal theme is the proliferation of libertarian ideas (which may very well include economic analysis in a supporting role) were considered while assembling it.
Based on quality, originality, and substance, what are the five best libertarian blogs?
5. No libertarian blog discusses current events better than Reason’s Hit & Run. Essentially a distilled version of Reason Magazine’s viewpoints and style, Hit & Run focuses primarily on identifying and explaining the failures of government.
Hit & Run also features more overall content than any other blog on this list. A dozen posts or more constitutes an average day.
4. The Libertarian Standard is home to arguably the best content of any libertarian blog. There’s only one problem: There’s not enough of it.
Its heyday seemingly in the past, the Standard’s post frequency has declined each of the past three years. Thankfully, there has been no correlating decline in quality, as regular writers Anthony Gregory, BK Marcus, and Stephan Kinsella continue to offer insightfully scathing articles on history, war, and economics.
Moreover, the Standard emphasizes its writers’ commitment to neutral, unadulterated libertarian principles. The “About” page reads:
“We are — for the most part — Austrian and Rothbardian-influenced libertarians. We love justice, individual liberty, civilization, and truth. We hate the State, war, and militarism, which are the enemy of these things. We love prosperity, property rights, and capitalism; we oppose mercantilism, fascism, and protectionism. We are neither left nor right: we are libertarians.”
3. The Circle Bastiat boasts an author list including the likes of Walter Block, Peter Klein, Joseph Salerno, and Mark Thornton, among others. With that concentration of academic star power, this blog, which is hosted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, stimulates its readers’ intellect.
One could argue that economics is the central focus of The Circle Bastiat (and therefore, the Circle is unfit for inclusion in this list). While economics no doubt plays a big role, broader libertarian themes are anything but missing from the Circle’s pages.
2. The Laissez-Faire Club Blog is one-of-a-kind. No two libertarian writers write with more charm and wit than Jeffrey Tucker and Douglas French. In often (but certainly not always) less than three hundred words, their articles illustrate libertarian ideas using metaphors, allegories, and references to literature and popular culture.
If nothing else, the LFC Blog is a pleasant alternative to the polemical, pessimistic rants of so many other libertarian writers.
1. The Beacon is the flagship blog of the Independent Institute. Marked by a calm demeanor, it features over forty authors — Art Carden, Anthony Gregory, and Robert Higgs among the most well known of them — covering topics from healthcare to privacy and everything in between.
Unemotional yet unique, The Beacon is a must-read for all libertarians — young or old, monarchist or anarchist, Austrian or Public Choice. A delicate balance of positive and normative analysis, together with unrivaled consistency in quality, elevates this blog above the rest.
One final honor must be awarded. While not quite on the level of the top five, the best new libertarian blog online is undoubtedly Sex & the State. Created earlier this year by Cathy Reisenwitz, this collection of musings is quite unlike anything else of its kind.
Reisenwitz begins by posing the question, “Sex and power — are any two subjects more connected, important and absolutely fascinating?” In exploring the answer, she offers insight that is deeply personal, unabashedly candid, and truly original.
“I was a Bitch and Bust-reading feminist NeoCon Southern Baptist who saved herself for marriage,” adds Reisenwitz. “I’m now a sex-positive, polyamorous Anarcho-capitalist libertarian.” Intriguing indeed.
Of course, countless other wonderful libertarian blogs exist, many of which fill important roles and satiate niche demands. The above are simply the best of the best.
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