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IPFS News Link • Philosophy: Libertarianism

Edward Snowden's Libertarian Moment...

•, Nick Gillespie

Via Mark Sletten comes this thread from yesterday's Ask Me Anything session at Reddit that featured Edward Snowden, Oscar-winning documentarian Laura Poitras, and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The question posed to Snowden:

What's the best way to make NSA spying an issue in the 2016 Presidential Election? It seems like while it was a big deal in 2013, ISIS and other events have put it on the back burner for now in the media and general public. What are your ideas for how to bring it back to the forefront?

His answer is well worth reading in full (below), but its essence is a full-throated defense of classical liberal and libertarian theorizing not just about the consent of the governed but the right to work around the government when it focuses on social order over legitimacy. And, as important, a recognition that this is what we at Reason and others call "the Libertarian Moment," or a technologically empowered drive toward greater and greater control over more and more aspects of our lives. While the Libertarian Moment is enabled by technological innovations and generally increasing levels of wealth and education, it's ultimately proceeds from a mind-set as much as anything else: We have the right to live peacefully any way we choose as long as we are not infringing on other people's rights to do the same. Our politics and our laws should reflect this emphasis on pluralism, tolerance, and persuasion (as opposed to coercion) across social, economic, and intellectual spheres of activity.