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.
That’s quoting Neal Stephenson, and it jumped right out at me as I was reading my hardcopy February issue of Reason Magazine on a flight from Chicago to San Jose, yesterday. They only web the magazine once the subsequent issue hits the mailboxes, so I can’t direct you to the remainder of this most fascinating interview. I’ll try to remember to reference the whole interview once February is available on the web.
I’m not sure whether Stephenson is right, but after a double scotch, it sure seemed ponderable. Still does today, which I suppose is as good a standard as any.