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Today's advertiser is inkl, a unique "best of news" service that unlocks $12,000 worth of news for just $75 a year (go here for that special rate for Reason fans). "Freedom was the slogan of the times. The word was invoked to justify everything," writes Louis Menand at the start of his wide-ranging and endlessly fascinating history of post-World Wa…
 
On July 11, thousands of Cubans in dozens of cities around the island nation took to the streets to protest the country's communist dictatorship and chronic shortages in food, energy, and medicine, all of which have been made worse by the pandemic. These are the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Cuba in decades, the size and scope of which …
 
Abigail Shrier's Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters was one of last year's most celebrated—and condemned—books. It showed up in year-end lists of top books but was also banned by Target and her publisher was disallowed from buying ads at Amazon.* "Abigail Shrier's book is a dangerous polemic with a goal of making peop…
 
Few figures in the bitcoin community are as controversial and visionary as Erik Voorhees, founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift. Back when cryptocurrency was in its infancy and its conferences included lectures delivered to empty rooms, Voorhees was helping to popularize bitcoin's unique attributes with an unregulated online cas…
 
Can the Libertarian Party (L.P.) become "a major contender that consistently wins elections?" If the organization's dismal, 50-year track record in winning elections isn't discouraging enough, now the L.P. is in disarray after its chairman and two members of its national committee resigned in the wake of an attempt to decertify the New Hampshire af…
 
During the 2008 presidential election, Vijay Boyapati quit his job as an engineer at Google to campaign for Ron Paul in New Hampshire. A few years after that, he discovered bitcoin, and in 2018 he published an essay on Medium titled "The Bullish Case for Bitcoin," which got widespread attention and was translated into more than 20 languages. Boyapa…
 
The Bitcoin 2021 Conference in Miami in early June wasn't just a celebration of the end of the pandemic and an opportunity for cryptocurrency and blockchain true believers to gather up close and maskless with more than 10,000 fellow travelers. It was a watershed moment for a technological and cultural movement whose goal is nothing short of the sep…
 
"It took us four years just to identify the virus that caused AIDS in the '80s," says Steven Johnson. "Imagine COVID where it's four years before we even know what is causing the outbreak. That's what would have happened if we just shifted 20 years, 30 years earlier in terms of when this outbreak happened." Johnson is the author of the new book Ext…
 
Andrew Doyle is an Irish journalist and writer best known as the creator of the Twitter personality Titania McGrath, a parody of an ultra-woke, 24-year-old, militant vegan who thinks she is a better poet than William Shakespeare. Though the 43-year-old Doyle describes himself as a left-winger, he is a fierce critic of cancel culture and a proponent…
 
Born in 1981, Freddie deBoer is an English Ph.D., the author of The Cult of Smart: How Our Broken Education System Perpetuates Social Injustice, and the proprietor of one of the liveliest, most provocative, and most controversial publications at Substack. He is also a third-generation Marxist who believes that individuals are innately different fro…
 
Despite Americans' reputation for cockeyed optimism, we have always been suckers for declension narratives—the idea that the Golden Age ended sometime in the past and we have the bad luck to live in a world that is uniquely awful, unfair, and corrupt. Donald Trump built a successful presidential campaign on making America great again and his succes…
 
On January 7, 2021, Facebook indefinitely suspended the account of President Donald Trump, saying he had violated the platform's "Community Standards" the day before by calling Capitol Hill rioters "great patriots" even as they were engaged in a violent demonstration. In another post on the same day, Trump also pushed "an unfounded narrative of ele…
 
If advocates of "wokeness," "critical race theory," and "anti-racism" seem to be acting like religious zealots who must crush all heretics, that's because they are, argued Columbia University linguist John McWhorter at a 2018 debate at the Soho Forum. "Anti-racism as currently configured has gone a long way from what used to be considered intellige…
 
In 1987, just two years before the collapse of the Berlin Wall would usher in the beginning of what Francis Fukuyama would later call the end of history, the rock band Guns N' Roses released Appetite for Destruction, an album that would go on to become the best-selling debut L.P. in the history of rock and roll. Packed with hits such as "Welcome to…
 
Jane Coaston is the new host of The Argument, a massively popular New York Times podcast that seeks to host civil and informed discussions about the most pressing issues of the day. A 33-year-old Cincinnati native, Coaston has worked at Vox, MTV, and the Human Rights Campaign, among other places. She's the daughter of a black father and a white mot…
 
Do you remember the "power pose" craze from about a decade ago? In the second-most popular TED talk ever, psychologist Amy Cuddy has told over 60 million viewers that they can change their lives by simply changing their body language. If you grew up in the 1990s, you probably experienced classes devoted to boosting your self-esteem, independent of …
 
Chef Andrew Gruel just might be the patron saint of restaurateurs, small-business owners, and service workers during the pandemic. He's the founder and owner of Slapfish, a growing national fast-casual restaurant chain based in Huntington Beach, California. He's a widely recognized culinary innovator and familiar face on the Food Network and other …
 
After nearly 3 million deaths worldwide (and almost 600,000 in the United States), it looks like the end of the COVID-19 pandemic may be within sight as vaccines proliferate. In "The Last Pandemic," the cover story of the new issue of Reason, Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey argues that technological breakthroughs and policy progress mean humani…
 
"Ideas have consequences. But so does silence," insists Melissa Chen, the New York editor for The Spectator and managing director of Ideas Beyond Borders, a nonprofit that translates new and classic texts about science, history, and liberal political philosophy into Arabic and distributes them as free e-books throughout the Middle East. Born and ra…
 
Has anyone lived a more interesting, influential, and inspiring life than Stewart Brand? Born in 1938 and educated at Stanford and by the United States army, Brand was a Merry Prankster who helped conduct Ken Kesey's legendary acid tests in the 1960s. His guerilla campaign of selling buttons that asked "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole…
 
The American Rescue Plan Act is hurtling toward final passage, but only a few percentage points of its massive $1.9 trillion price tag is specifically geared toward, you know, addressing the pandemic. How little? House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.) says just 9 percent of it goes "directly to toward Covid-19 relief." The nonpartisan Comm…
 
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is known for creating bold new companies such as PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX, championing liberating technologies like Bitcoin, and hyping visionary plans to colonize Mars. But with a net worth of around $200 billion, he's not just the planet's richest person. He's one of its biggest welfare recipients, report Lisa Conyers …
 
Thomas Sowell is one of the most influential economists, syndicated columnists, and social critics of the past half-century, having authored provocative, best-selling books on everything from race relations to childhood development to, most recently, Charter Schools and Their Enemies. His masterworks include Knowledge and Decisions, which uses Frie…
 
To say that we live in a hyper-polarized, angry society is to state the obvious. Everywhere around us, but especially online, in politics, and in the media, we seem to be, with apologies to Matthew Arnold, trapped on a darkling plain where ignorant armies clash by night. It's impossible to avoid a continuous stream of stories, often erupting from p…
 
Just three days after being sworn into Congress to represent Michigan's 3rd district, Republican freshman Peter Meijer found himself and colleagues trapped without security in the bowels of the Capitol building while a riot that ultimately claimed five lives raged all around him. The following week, he was one of just 10 Republicans—and the only fi…
 
An increasing number of corporations, universities, and other organizations hold anti-racism seminars in which participants are expected to acknowledge their own racism at the start of the meetings or to write "letters of apology to marginalized people whom they may have harmed." Anthropologist and brand consultant Grant McCracken, who has taught a…
 
Nearly a year into ubiquitous school closings as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic—and even with a vaccine being rolled out—it's far from clear when most students will be going back to full-time, in-person classes. How are the shutdowns affecting K-12 education and changing the way we think about public schools? Corey De Angelis, the Reason Found…
 
"There isn't an issue facing Black people today that doesn't find its origins in K-12 education," writes Chris Stewart, CEO of the education nonprofit brightbeam and a prolific writer and podcaster. "Without our own collective governance of our children's intellectual development, how can we win? Without Black self-determination in who teaches them…
 
Even among proponents of drug legalization, Columbia University neuroscientist Carl Hart stands apart for his unflinching honesty. "I am now entering my fifth year as a regular heroin user," the 54-year-old full professor writes in Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear. "I do not have a drug-use problem. Never have. Each day, …
 
One of the few things that Donald Trump and Joe Biden agree on is their shared hatred of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives ISPs and website operators legal immunity from most user-generated content. Donald Trump vetoed the defense spending bill in December because the legislation didn't include language "terminating" Sectio…
 
Before his death from prostate cancer in 1993, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Frank Zappa spent time in jail for making an obscene recording requested by undercover cops, released 60 records in every genre imaginable, became one of the first modern musical artists to start his own company, testified before Congress that labeling music due to lyric…
 
Charles Wininger has been a psychotherapist and "psychonaut"—a user of psychoactive substances ranging from LSD to marijuana to psilocybin—for decades. In his new memoir and practical guide, Listening To Ecstasy: The Transformative Power of MDMA, the 71-year-old New Yorker comes out of the "chemical closet" to talk about how MDMA has helped to revi…
 
Why did prescription opioids bring so much misery, addiction, and death to the small towns of post-industrial America? The media's standard narrative focuses on the role played by OxyContin, a powerful painkiller supposedly foisted on helpless rubes and naive doctors by cynical profiteers at Purdue Pharma, whose executives have already pleaded guil…
 
Do immigrants bring with them the worst attributes of the countries and societies they are fleeing? That fear motivates anti-immigrant sentiments from populists and nationalists such as President Donald Trump, who famously declared at the start of his campaign for the presidency that "when Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best." I…
 
In August 2019,* The New York Times published The 1619 Project, an immensely ambitious, influential, and controversial reframing of American history. The project's creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones, won a Pulitzer Prize for her work while arguing that the nation's founding was based on a "racist ideology," and that the U.S. Constitution was a "decidedly…
 
How much does President Donald Trump hate Section 230, the controversial law that gives internet service providers, website operators, and social media platforms broad immunity from legal responsibility for user-generated content? He's threatened to veto funding for the military unless Congress "completely terminates" the law, which also allows soc…
 
No journalist is more relentlessly iconoclastic than Glenn Greenwald, who shared a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Edward Snowden revelations. Though unapologetically progressive, the 53-year-old former lawyer never shrinks from fighting with the left. A week before the 2020 election, he quit The Intercept, the online news organization…
 
Over the past 50-plus years, Charles Koch grew his family business, Koch Industries, into one of the largest privately held companies in America. At the same time, he played a leading role in creating or supporting the modern libertarian movement and some of its major institutions. Among them: The Cato Institute, the Institute for Humane Studies, t…
 
"From the moment we're born, we're surrounded by textiles," says Virginia Postrel, author of the new book The Fabric of Civilization. "It's not just our clothes, it's our blankets, it's our curtains. It's our bandages. It's our duct tape! There are more textiles than you can ever think about surrounding us. And we don't think about them very much."…
 
Before George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, there was Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Brown's death inspired the fledgling Black Lives Matter movement, and "Hands Up. Don't Shoot," a line derived from accounts of Brown's final words, has been a rallying cry at prot…
 
In four years as president, Republican Donald Trump has overseen massive spending increases. His Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, has laid out a spending plan that would add $11 trillion in new spending and institute the largest tax hike since the end of World War II. Is this any way to run a country? Brian Riedl, a senior fe…
 
Very little will likely be decided on Election Day, says Stanford and Hoover Institution political scientist Morris P. Fiorina, and that's not simply because a historically high percentage of mail-in ballots means the final tally might not be known for weeks or even months. Fiorina says we are in an extended age of what he calls "unstable majoritie…
 
Forty years ago, PBS (of all networks) gave the libertarian economist Milton Friedman hours in prime time for Free To Choose, an unapologetic defense of why capitalism was both morally and pragmatically superior to socialism. Over the course of 10 hourlong episodes, the Nobel Prize winner laid out the pitfalls of protectionism. espoused the virtues…
 
In 1977, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) went to court to defend the rights of American Nazis to march through the streets of Skokie, Illinois, home to many Holocaust survivors. The ACLU defended the Nazis' right to march and won the case on First Amendment grounds, but at a high cost: 30,000 members quit the organization in protest. The …
 
The lockdowns in response to COVID-19 have upended no part of our lives more than education, where virtually no K-12 schools are open for business with full-time, in-person instruction. The result is something approaching pandemonium for students, parents, and educators alike, all of whom are scrambling to make sense of a system that no longer seem…
 
Scott Barry Kaufman is a psychologist, a podcaster, and the bestselling author of the new book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, which updates Abraham Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs and his theories of personal fulfillment for a time of global pandemic, racial unrest, and polarized politics. In a wide-ranging conversation with N…
 
"I used to tell people the Libertarian Party is the best of both sides. We take the economic freedoms from the right and the social freedoms from the left," says L.P. presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen. "I can't even say that anymore because Republicans aren't acting like Republicans and Democrats aren't acting like Democrats." In a recent NPR/PBS N…
 
Almost 70 years after a U.S.-backed coup deposed the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and replaced him with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the leader of Iran, relations between the two countries remain at a fever pitch. Just days ago, President Donald Trump, responding to unspecified intelligence reports, threatened that "any…
 
In the time of a global pandemic, soaring unemployment, massive wildfires, and racial strife, it feels like the world is going to hell. It's not, says Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey, the coauthor (with HumanProgress.org's Marian Tupy) of Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting. "In 182…
 
"Democracy doesn't die in the darkness," writes Bridget Phetasy, "it dies when politics become team sports, in full view of a bloodthirsty, cheering electorate." Phetasy is a popular podcaster, comedian, and writer who a year ago penned a great column titled "The battle cry of the politically homeless." She followed it up just a few days ago with a…
 
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