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The Day-to-Day Lives of Libertarians

Mises Daily: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by


[Bourbon for Breakfast • By Jeffrey Tucker • Ludwig von Mises Institute • 353 pages]

Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statit Quo

Jeffrey Tucker's new book, Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo is a lot of what you'd expect from Jeffrey Tucker if you know him — constant annoyance and anger at nonsense regulations, penetrating insight into the workings of earlier libertarians like Nock and Garrett, and a wonderful chapter devoted to style and dress (if you've seen Tucker, you know he always wears the best). It's quite a fun read.

Tucker's book offers relevant information (like hacking your showerhead) and profound conclusions about what constitutes a free society and the rules in it. Throughout the book, one gets the feeling Tucker envisions "how it would all work" without the guns and riot shields that are the backbone of the modern state. He constantly nudges the reader into imagining alternatives or questioning the legitimacy of armed bullies known as policemen. For those already of a libertarian mindset, it's a neat peek into the mind of a consistent voluntarist. Not to mention that Tucker brings his sense of humor into the book which shows up so well in person, but not always in print.

Strictly speaking, it's a collection of articles. To my knowledge, there isn't anything "new" for the book. The articles date from 9/11 to Obama's presidency and beyond. They are always devastating critiques on the state, and anyone acquainted with Tucker's sense of humor and style of writing will quickly pick up on the nature of the book. It clocks in at about 300 pages, but it reads like a charm. I picked it up a few weeks ago and it feels like nothing I've ever read before.

As a polemicist, Tucker ranks amongst the finest in the land for showing everyone what a silly concept the state is. To borrow an image from Stefan Molyneux, Tucker is the detective throwing talcum powder on the invisible thieves, unmasking their presence. He highlights and ridicules the activities of the state, showing everyone how inefficient, belligerent, and wholly unnecessary they all are.

His arguments are not a priori, apodictic, or derived from complex chains of reasoning — they are the experiences that Jeff Tucker has in dealing with courts, cops, and regulations. He boils everything down to aggression and has no qualms about showing everyone the ugly naked nature of the state. Bravo, Tucker, bravo.

I'm buying another copy and sending it to my family. With any luck, they'll start to see both Bastiat's "Unseen" — or, how the world might imaginably be better without the state — and the naked emperor himself. The ongoing delusion that the state is somehow legitimate must be squashed, and Jeffrey Tucker's book can lead the charge.