Libertarianism and Terrorism
By Arnold Kling
Science-fiction author Neal Stephenson, in an interview 18 months ago, said
Speaking as an observer who has many friends with libertarian instincts, I would point out that terrorism is a much more formidable opponent of political liberty than government. Government acts almost as a recruiting station for libertarians. Anyone who pays taxes or has to fill out government paperwork develops libertarian impulses almost as a knee-jerk reaction. But terrorism acts as a recruiting station for statists. So it looks to me as though we are headed for a triangular system in which libertarians and statists and terrorists interact with each other in a way that I’m afraid might turn out to be quite stable.
However, in my latest essay, I argue that Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash offers a less centralized approach for addressing terrorism.