Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A REAL PRIZE. National Review's Jonah Goldberg is honored to be considered for the International Policy Network's Bastiat Prize. Here's what the Prize honors:
IPN's Bastiat Prize for Journalism was inspired by the 19th-century French philosopher and journalist Frédéric Bastiat. The prize was developed to encourage and reward writers whose published works eloquently and wittily elucidate the institutions of a free society: limited government, rule of law brokered by an independent judiciary, protection of private property, free markets, free speech, and sound science.
Let's do a checklist.

Limited government:
[on domestic spying] Yes, yes, "slippery slopes" and all that. Gotcha. What else do you have? Because that isn't enough. If you go looking for slippery slopes, you'll always find them. That doesn't mean they're really there. The Patriot Act was called a banana peel on the path to hell, and yet it has turned out to be very difficult even to keep it alive. (See also, "I would prefer as small a government as most anti-state conservatives, but it seems to me the first order of business in a demolition job is to clear out the occupants, and that means kicking the Left to the curb. Once they're gone, we can turn the lights off," etc.)
Rule of law brokered by an independent judiciary:
It's almost impossible to think of a major area of life in America where a judge somewhere hasn't ruled in flagrant defiance of the democratic will of the people as expressed in a referendum or through the state legislature.
Protection of private property:
Sure, the destruction of Iraqi property may not be good for the Iraqi economy in the strict broken-window sense the paleo-libertoids keep invoking. But when you think of Iraq as being controlled by a crime syndicate, things become much clearer. Destroying this syndicate-a.k.a. "regime change" — is an effort at unlocking hidden capital.
Free markets:
We can talk more about libertarian schisms another day, but the fact is that many of the libertarian proponents of legalization either want more people to do drugs or simply don't care if they do.
Free speech:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm in favor of censorship...
Sound science:
Chesterton's observation that the purely rational man will not marry is just as correct today, because science has done far more damage to the ideal of love than it has done to the notion of an awesome God beyond our ken.
Given that he is equally qualified on the "wittily" stipulation, Goldberg should win in a walk. Next, he should look into the Guinness Book of World Records' standards for Cheetos consumption.

No comments:

Post a Comment