You should get to Freedomfest if you can

I’ve made it back from the right side’s great carnival of ideas and good sense which is the essential nature of Freedomfest. They’re run by Mark Skousen who is an organisational genius not to mention the author of some of the finest books on economics from a libertarian/conservative perspective available anywhere. If you are thinking of going, they are always in mid-July and they are always in Las Vegas. And if you would like to see just about everybody who is anybody on the right side of the political divide in the United States, that is the place to go. There were 2200 who showed up but almost all were from America. I met only one other couple from Australia, from Penguin Tasmania to be exact. But to listen to and even get to meet some of the finest speakers on libertarian and conservative views in the world is an unbelievable treat. If you would like to chat about something, you can find them having coffee with the rest of us. Most of the sessions revolve around economic issues but the compass is well beyond the purely economic.

The debate on global warming, just to take one example, was between Michael Shermer, the editor of Skeptic, and one James Taylor a lawyer who edits a magazine of his own, Environment & Climate News. I had, after many years, become a subscriber to Skeptic, in 2006 I think it was, but cancelled after the first issue when the magazine was devoted to arguing that global warming was settled science and that debate was over (some skeptic he was). But there he was, extraordinarily articulate and filled with argument and facts, discussing the certainty of global warming and the need to take immediate action. And as you would expect, he made the case as well as it could possibly be made.

But Taylor took him apart (and that was my wife’s view). As Taylor said, he was seldom in a room where the majority were on his side, but how expertly he carved Shermer up. But unfortunately I missed the very end of the Q&A since we had to go off to watch “The Republican Party on Trial” with Steve Moore, the main editorial writer of the Wall Street Journal prosecuting and Dinesh D’Souza the defence attorney. The jury, for what it’s worth, split six to six but if you understand that the point was entirely serious within a framework of fun and good vibes, you will see the kind of event that Freedomfest is.

From Catallaxy 16 July 2013.

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