lunedì 8 febbraio 2016

F.A. Hayek, Ronald Reagan, Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Szasz, and Timothy Leary: 45 Years of Reason Magazine Interviews - Vol. I (English Edition)

Free Radical  Christopher Hitchen

  • Siparietto divenuto un classico. his contretemps with Charlton Heston during CNN’s live coverage of the Gulf War. Hitchens insisted that Heston list what countries have borders with Iraq. After Heston flubbed the answer, he upbraided the journalist for “taking up valuable network time giving a high-school geography lesson.” To which Hitchens replied: “Oh, keep your hairpiece on.”
  • In books such as The Missionary Position... he has crafted thoughtful and provocative extended indictments of Mother Teresa,
  • Il moralista. Hitchens’ willingness to put moral principles before political alliances has earned him the wrath of ideological compatriots
  • Bastiancontrario. Hitchens’ newest book is Letters to a Young Contrarian: The Art of Mentoring (Basic Books), in which he exhorts youth to remain both principled and oppositional, freethinkers in the best Enlightenment tradition.
  • Hitchens has become increasingly interested in the libertarian critique of state power and its defense of individual liberty.
  • I forget who it was who said that generation — age group, in other words — is the most debased form of solidarity.
  • Antistatalismo giovanile. The state had presented itself to [my fellow protestors and me], particularly through the Vietnam War, in the character of a liar and a murderer. If, at a young age, you are able to see your own government in that character, it powerfully conditions the rest of your life.
  • Oggi. I am much more inclined to stress those issues of individual liberty than I would have been then. And to see that they do possess, with a capital H and a capital I, Historical Importance, the very things that one thought one was looking for.
  • Critica al libertarismo. What is the libertarian take, for example, on Bosnia or Palestine? There’s also something faintly ahistorical about the libertarian worldview... I can’t — and this may be a limit on my own imagination or education — picture a libertarian analysis of 1848 or 1914.
  • I’d say that libertarianism often feels like an optional philosophy for citizens in societies or cultures that are already developed or prosperous or stable.
  • The first political issue on which I’d ever decided to take a stand was when I was in my teens and before I’d become a socialist. It was the question of capital punishment. A large part of my outrage toward capital punishment was exactly the feeling that it was arrogating too much power to the government.
  • 1929 e  la maledizione del breve termine. Right away, one’s in an argument, and there’s really nothing to do with utopia at all. And then temporary expedients become dogma very quickly — especially if they seem to work...
  • Paternalismo. Then there’s the question of whether or not people can be made by government to behave better... a big experience, and this gets us a bit nearer the core of it, a very big influence on a number of people my age was the American civil rights movement, and the moral grandeur of that and also the astonishing speed and exclusiveness of its success. A lot of that did involve asking the government to condition people’s behavior,
  • In my memory, the demand of the student radical was for the university to stop behaving as if it was my parent, in loco parentis... Now you go to campus and student activists are continuously demanding more supervision
  • I certainly wish I wasn’t a smoker and wish I could give it up. But I’m damned if I’ll be treated how smokers are now being treated by not just the government, but the government ventriloquizing the majority... There’s something essentially un-American in the idea that I could not now open a bar in San Francisco that says, “Smokers Welcome.”
  • war against pleasure.
  • The War on Drugs is an attempt by force, by the state, at mass behavior modification. Among other things, it is a denial of medical rights, and certainly a denial of all civil and political rights. It involves a collusion with the most gruesome possible allies in the Third World... One reason the War on Drugs goes on in defiance of all reason is that it has created an enormous clientele of people who in one way or another depend upon it for their careers or for their jobs.
  • I’d been made aware by someone in the Clinton administration of what I thought was criminal activity. At any rate, the administration engaged in extraordinarily reprehensible activity by way of intimidating female witnesses in an important case. I decided that I would be obstructing justice if I’d kept the evidence to myself. That led to me being denounced in The Nation as the equivalent of a McCarthyite
  • In Letters to a Young Contrarian, you talk about how it was libertarians — specifically Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan — who did the most to end the draft
  • No global. In a way I should have been pleased to see that, and I suppose in some small way I was, but a lot of this did seem to me to be a protest against modernity, and to have a very conservative twinge, in the sense of being reactionary.
  • Sinistra arretrata. The Seattle protesters, I suppose you could say, in some ways came from the left. You couldn’t say they came from the right, although a hysterical aversion to world government and internationalism
  • Il paradosso: You’ve called yourself a socialist living in a time when capitalism is more revolutionary.
  • The thing I’ve often tried to point out to people from the early days of the Thatcher revolution in Britain was that the political consensus had been broken, and from the right. The revolutionary, radical forces in British life were being led by the conservatives.
  • I was a member of the Labour Party, I wasn’t going to vote for it. I couldn’t bring myself to vote conservative. That’s purely visceral. It was nothing to do with my mind, really. I just couldn’t physically do it.
  • Marx’s original insight about capitalism was that it was the most revolutionary and creative force ever to appear in human history...  Marx and Engels thought that America was the great country of freedom and revolution and Russia was the great country of tyranny and backwardness.