“Do It Yourself” Libertarianism

This post is about a video interview between Matt Welch of Reason TV and Jeffrey Tucker, the executive editor of Laissez Faire Books. The focus of their discussion is initially about bitcoin, but they go much further than that.

Here’s the video. At about 5 minutes, it’s not terribly long. In my opinion most of the interesting discussion began at about 3:20.

The two talk about the same things you hear in every other discussion of bitcoin. At just after the 3:20 mark the discussion takes what is in my view a very interesting turn. Matt Welch notes a pattern which he describes as “do it yourself versus the man” in several new technologies such as food trucks, 3D printing and the bitcoin community.

Jeffrey instantly picks up on what Matt means. He says, “I like that you brought this up.” Jeffrey notes that homeschooling and marijuana distribution fall into the same pattern Matt described. Jeffrey calls this “Breaking Bad” as a reference to the TV show or “Do it yourself Libertarianism.” Jeffrey defines this DIY Libertarianism, or DIYL for short, as, “Building the institutions and structures and enterprises that can…create a new world of liberty despite the existence of the leviathan state.”

Jeffrey says that all too often libertarians become convinced of our ideas and then don’t know where to go after that. We may read books and talk with one another, or even agitate politically, but this is a very poor way of getting reform done. DIY Libertarianism, he says, is ‘Stage 2.’ It is where the culture is beginning to go and where it should go.

I would agree with one caveat. I wouldn’t advocate illegal kinds of DIY Libertarianism such as illegal marijuana distribution. I wouldn’t advocate for, “Breaking Bad Libertarianism.” However, legal DIY libertarianism is exactly the concept I have been trying to call for but unable to voice. Readers will know that I am an advocate of homeschooling, bitcoin, 3D printing and virtually everything else they talked about. Especially food trucks.

In conclusion DIY libertarianism is the new cool. I support DIY libertarianism to the fullest extent allowed by law as a matter of strategy for political, economic and cultural reform and I encourage everyone else to do the same.


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