There’s a very interesting interview with John Perry Barlow, former Greatful Dead lyricist, founder of the EFF, and libertarian up at Reason today. He talks about intellectual property law, the division between bohemian libertarians and Ayn Rand libertarians; the advantages of being a libertarian in the Democratic vs. in the Republican party, and why he’s supporting Kerry in the coming elections.

Very sharp guy, although I found some of the interview disheartening. He seems to thave bought into the “corporations are the real problem” worldview, and his reasons for supporting Kerry over Bush are as vague as any I’ve heard (immediately after endorsing him he relates how he met Kerry, and described him as spineless and even more political than most career pols). He seems to think that Kerry will somehow be better for civil liberties, despite having voted for the very PATRIOT act which Barlow is now fighting in court. I’m getting tired of hearing how Kerry is “better than the other guy” in some vague, undefinable way.

Still, most of his points are very insightful and worth reading, particularly on the topic of IP law.

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  1. Hey.. I’ll give you some concrete and defined ways…

    In which I think Kerry is better than Dubya… and they will span the spectrum of civil rights and economics and security concerns..

    If you really want them.. 😉

    In any case.. Kerry is definitely not my first choice as an opponent for Bush… but I am not an either/or kind of guy.. most things in the world are about compromises and things be relatively better or relatively worse…
    (also.. I would argue that this election is not just about a bush vs kerry comparison.. but about a Bush+Cheney+Rumsfeld+Ashcroft+Rice+Wolfowitz+etc etc vs a Kerry+Edwards+whomever etc etc..
    and there.. for me.. the choices become a lot more clear…

    1. Re: Hey.. I’ll give you some concrete and defined ways…

      Incidentally, I’m not boosting Bush… I just don’t see any substantial difference between him and Kerry.

      1. Re: Hey.. I’ll give you some concrete and defined ways…

        Before I mention anything.. let me state that I didn’t take it as a defense of Bush by you.. And I don’t really like that many people have strong opionions about Bush or Kerry without actually knowing why they do…

        In any case.. I guess it depends on what you see as substantial…

        For me, abortion rights are important–and there are substantial differences btw bush and kerry there…
        Other things where I see substantial differences between the two..

        Tax policy–tax cuts for the extremely wealth, in specific
        Energy Policy (Arctic Wildlife drilling, for example)
        Constitutional Ammendment to ban Gay marriage
        Privatizing Social Security
        Organized Prayer in Public schools
        Federal funding of religious charities (without federal oversight of how the money is used)

        These are just a few of the policy issues on which the two have substantially different stances.. and then there is also the entire matter of how they approach governing.. but that’s more of a style question and sort of nuanced..

        okay.. back to work

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