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Archive for October 14th, 2008

This case may have set a worrying precedent.

I do not advocate, as some libertarians do, that we do away with all defamation laws. It does make some economic and moral sense to penalize speech that is demonstrably and objectively false, and results in specific harm. However, I am in all circumstances opposed to defamation being a criminal offence — a barbarous relic that has no place in a free society. And truth should always be a defense.

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I have been meaning to do a lengthy post on Naomi Klein for a long, long time. The lady deserves it. She is charismatic, enormously influential among my liberal friends and intellectually dishonest. She is a brilliant manipulator of words and distorter of facts. She is the arch-proponent and promoter of elitist collectivism. Though a mere journalist, her best-selling books have assured her a vaunted place in the leftist pantheon. Like Keynes and Galbraith, she is frequently and approvingly quoted — but here’s the thing, Keynes and Galbraith were great economists (wrong perhaps, but still great). She is a bit like a modern day Ellsworth Toohey.

Unfortunately, my activities this term (editing a paper, writing another, making a research statement, applying for jobs) are leaving me little time for such posts — so it will have to wait. For now, I recommend Jesse Walker’s excellent Reason article.

And if you are in the mood for something longer, do check out Jonah Norberg’s masterly destruction of Klein’s bestselling book “The Shock Doctrine”.

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