June 2014

June 2014

Volume 64, 2014

America's surveillance State has grown far beyond what any of its creators' imagined. In this issue, Wendy McElroy explains that the surveillance State was always more about suppressing dissent than buttressing security. Carl Oberg points out that innumerable nimble innovators have turned the table on the State, while Max Borders wonders if there are enough of them yet to stem the tide. Plus Dan D'Amico discusses the origins and effects of America's mass incarceration, Sandy Ikeda explains why cities can't be designed like art, and much, much more. 


America’s Electronic Police State

Big Brother is not only watching, but gathering more power
MAY 21, 2014 by

America's surveillance State has always aimed at social and political control. But the NSA isn't the only story; it might not even be our biggest threat.

4 Things You Should Know About Mass Incarceration

APRIL 30, 2014 by

America's vast prison population is no easier to fix than it is to stomach. And it's not just a symptom of American society.

The Cost of Capital Punishment

Reconsidering the death penalty is a matter of conscience and constitutionality
MAY 12, 2014 by

The death penalty doesn't work; what's worse, innocent people die.

The Case for Voluntary Private Cooperation

We don't need nations, flags, and armies to make us prosperous
APRIL 16, 2014 by

Forget the "markets vs. the State" debate. Systems of voluntary cooperation are what build societies and prosperity.

The Great Inversion

Technology like bitcoin flips the logic of collective action
MAY 19, 2014 by

The State puts itself at a disadvantage when it attacks bitcoin, the Internet, and other distributed networks: It suddenly bears all the costs of fighting widely distributed benefits.

Brazil's Bread and Circuses

Dirigisme and corruption for the coming World Cup and Olympic Games
MAY 07, 2014 by

Brazilians hoped the World Cup and Olympics would be exciting showcases for their country. Thus far, these events have only brought suffering.

Drug Addicts As Rational Actors

Rethinking the science of addiction
MAY 06, 2014 by

It's easier to justify your pet policy on drugs if you think of users and addicts as mindless slaves to their addictions. It's also a destructive oversimplification.


The All-Seeing Eye

JUNE 02, 2014 by

The surveillance State is far more powerful than its creators could have dreamed. More and more individuals are out-innovating it. But will they reach critical mass?

The Big-Box Effect

How superstores create unsung benefits for Main Street
MAY 14, 2014 by

Opposition to big-box stores discounts their benefits to consumers--and to the very mom and pop stores they supposedly destroy.

Urban Design and Social Complexity

Urban planning always risks draining the life out of what it tries to control
APRIL 17, 2014 by

The unpredictable and spontaneous relationships that build up cities can't be recreated by planning, even in a single neighborhood.


To Read Well, a Noble Exercise

In Defense of Thoreau and Walden
APRIL 28, 2014 by

Gary North's recent column on Thoreau's Walden argues that the book is a badly written anti-capitalist fake. Sarah Skwire has other ideas.

Explicit Lyrics

How the music crusaders of the 80s and 90s lost to the Internet
APRIL 29, 2014 by

Music is more crass these days. You have Tipper and Al Gore--and their House of Cards-style political scheming--to thank for it.

The Good Thing About the Donald Sterling Incident

MAY 02, 2014 by

NBA players offer a reminder that we needn't look to the State to inflict costs on odious people.

The Black River

MAY 21, 2014 by

Before the fast food signs dull their yellows
and reds for the day, before the cars cover

La Llorona

MAY 29, 2014 by

She hears a voice across the water.
And weeping to remember, gowned
in gray, she can't recall her daughter.

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