I’m Jason Kuznicki, editor of Cato Unbound at the Cato Institute.
I sometimes write policy analyses and blog for Cato. I teach intern seminars on political theory, and I do internal review for lot of material that Cato publishes (or declines). As a side project, I blog at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen. And I tweet.
I’m married to a guy. We have an adopted daughter who is almost three. I’m a foodie, a homebrewer, and a long-distance runner. I’m a francophile who would trade Washington for Paris on the shallowest of pretexts. I should probably translate more French poetry than I do.
Every month Cato Unbound recruits four very smart people to discuss with one another. Choosing the topics and the authors is a major part of my job, and I shamelessly enjoy my work.
I am, alas, a generalist. In any area of public policy, a specialist will always know more than I do. I’m bothered by this, and it’s a big reason why I don’t write more “serious” pieces, but I do try to make the best of it. Generalism is itself an increasingly rare specialty, and someone should probably stop and think about how all the rapidly moving parts fit together.
As I once wrote, I’d love to have Michel Foucault’s old job: Professor of the History of Systems of Thought at the Collège de France. I think most systems of thought are arbitrary, brought together by culturally mediated intuitions, signaling, and the vagaries of luck in politics and/or the battlefield. I despise battlefields.
If we’re going to play the libertarian labels game, I am a Hayekian thick libertarian who is increasingly agnostic on the question of philosophical anarchism. I’m an atheist and a transhumanist. Unlike many libertarians, my reflexes twitch left; I ascribe this to the abject insanity that followed September 11.
But the chance that either major political party is substantially correct seems astronomically small to me, particularly once we consider the venal, self-serving ways that their positions are really generated, and the voters that they are forced to satisfy. Virtually anyone standing outside this awful process is more likely to be right, just by that sheer fact alone.
If anything saves libertarianism from being yet another a bunch opportunistic, thrown-together political positions, it’s that we libertarians are far removed from the corrupting cesspools of power. We aren’t going with the historical flow. And we certainly aren’t obeying the interests of any economic class.
That said, many so-called privatizations and “free-market” reforms aren’t anything we should cheer for. Many who claim to champion the market process don’t seem truly to understand it. I think we all still have a lot to learn about politics, and not one of us would recognize Utopia if we stumbled onto its gold-paved streets.
I’ve gone on long enough. A better way to approach guest blogging is maybe just to open the floor to questions, then start answering them. Which I will do right now.