The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America

The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America

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by Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch
     
 

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Everywhere in America, the forces of digitization, innovation, and personalization are expanding our options and bettering the way we live. Everywhere, that is, except in our politics. There we are held hostage to an eighteenth century system, dominated by two political parties whose ever-more-polarized rhetorical positions mask a mutual interest in maintaining a

Overview

Everywhere in America, the forces of digitization, innovation, and personalization are expanding our options and bettering the way we live. Everywhere, that is, except in our politics. There we are held hostage to an eighteenth century system, dominated by two political parties whose ever-more-polarized rhetorical positions mask a mutual interest in maintaining a stranglehold on power.

The Declaration of Independents is a compelling and extremely entertaining manifesto on behalf of a system better suited to the future--one structured by the essential libertarian principles of free minds and free markets. Gillespie and Welch profile libertarian innovators, identify the villains propping up the ancien regime, and take aim at do-something government policies that hurt most of those they claim to protect. Their vision will resonate with a wide swath of frustrated citizens and young voters, born after the Cold War's end, to whom old tribal allegiances, prejudices, and hang-ups about everything from hearing a foreign language on the street to gay marriage to drug use simply do not make sense.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

A call to bring to government the same expansion of personal choice and freedom that has swept other areas of American life, through the application of libertarian principles.

The past four decades have seen an astonishing increase in personal choice and opportunity in commerce and culture. The dominance of a few institutions offering limited options, from Kodak and AT&T to the communist bloc, has been swept away by market forces, withdrawal of government protections and the democratizing torrent of information from the Internet. Government alone has remained largely unaffected, which explains why it is so expensive and unresponsive. So contend former and current Reason editors Gillespie and Welch (McCain: The Myth of a Maverick,2007). In this rambunctious and rambling indictment of contemporary American politics, the authors gleefully tear into the Republican and Democratic parties, arguing that the spectacle of our horse-race politics is meaningless because regardless of what they say about themselves, both parties' actions expose them as spendthrifts in love with unwieldy centralized control. Gillespie and Welch believe this regime is tottering because voters—the "independents" celebrated in the title—increasingly reject party identification and because both parties have together spent the country into bankruptcy. The authors see salvation in a move to more libertarian principles, an independence from politics "in which a majority, however slim, acquires the right to control the lives and property of the minority." However, the authors leave unstated exactly what this means and how this is to be accomplished, beyond exuding a sunny confidence in innovation and markets unconstrained by government controls. When they turn to specific institutions like public education and retirement entitlements, their prescriptions are discouragingly shopworn. Their conjecture that a "nongoverning minority of independents and disaffected party members who come together in swarms to push or block legislation ... [is] the future of American public policy and elections" offers little hope or direction for responsible constitutional government.

An enthusiastic, entertaining libertarian critique of American politics, brimming with derision for the status quo and optimism for the future and confident of the right direction, but disappointingly silent about which roads to take.

From the Publisher

Kirkus, May 5, 2011

"An enthusiastic, entertaining libertarian critique of American politics, brimming with derision for the status quo and optimism for the future and confident of the right direction.”

Marginal Revolution, May 20, 2011

“This is the up-to-date statement of libertarianism.  Not warmed-over right-wing politics, but real, true-blooded libertarianism in the sense of loving liberty and wanting to find a new path toward human flourishing."

Washington Examiner, June 26, 2011

“An important book and lively read.”

Forbes.com, July 4, 2011

“A fun and ultimately positive look at how anti-authoritarianism, entrepreneurship and independence have led to one revolution after another in the way we think about the world, the products we buy, and the jobs we end up getting (or creating for ourselves)…. It’s a good book, a well-written, easily accessible manifesto on how libertarian ideas and anti-authoritarianism can help change the world, and how they will one way or another, whether we like it or not. Just as importantly, the book is uplifting, optimistic and full of energy.”

RealClearPolitics, July 5, 2011

"The Declaration of Independents is a refreshing political book in that it kind of, well, hates politics, and it's worth reading on this issue alone…. An important read with solid insight into today's political mess…. Gillespie and Welch are full of optimism for the future.”

Washington Post, July 29, 2011
The Declaration of Independents is suitable reading for this summer of debt-ceiling debate, which has been a proxy for a bigger debate, which is about nothing less than this: What should be the nature of the American regime? America is moving in the libertarians’ direction not because they have won an argument but because government and the sectors it dominates have made themselves ludicrous. This has, however, opened minds to the libertarians’ argument.”
 
Atlantic.com, August 2, 2011
“Refreshing, especially among political tomes, for several reasons: it offers an original but plausible take on recent history, doesn't blame a partisan enemy for all that ails America, and advances an argument too complicated to fully convey in a review.”

Barron’s, July 2, 2011
“The authors create an inspiring vision for how we might move beyond the shackles of government control in many areas of our lives… a rollicking tale.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586489380
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch are the editors, respectively, of Reason.tv and Reason magazine. Gillespie writes often for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and is a regular guest on Fox News. Welch, author of McCain: The Myth of a Maverick, is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times (where he used to work), the New York Post, Bloggingheads.tv, and talk radio around the country.

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The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Brandon1987 More than 1 year ago
This book is rational and contemporary. It is not rigid in polarized partisan book. "The Declaration of Independents" gives a balanced middle ground view of politics. It is also wrote in a way that keeps your attention. If you are into the snoozer, long, boring, poli sci books; this will not be your cup of tea. But if you want to learn more about Independents, Libertarians, and modern politics from a modern view; this is for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Balanced in vile for all with no wasted effort to be balanced in any way other than equally amoral and seeimingly (shocker) anti-christian.
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