California was a Hot Bed of Libertarianism

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Given the ideological condition of the Golden State today, it must’ve been the most-failed ideological movement in history

low angle photography of brown building with los angeles led sign
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My opinion of Gavin Newsom, Eric Garcetti, and other imbecilic politicians in California is strongly colored by Joe Rogan, who has an extremely low opinion of them. So whereas I view those politicians as megalomaniac frauds with low IQs, a person without the Rogan skew might just view them as megalomaniacs with low IQs.

I respect that.

Nowadays, when I hear “California,” I think, “beautiful land of sun and chains.”

It didn’t use to be that way. In fact, I just learned that LA and southern California in general used to be a hot-bed of libertarian activity, so much so that New Yorker Murray Rothbard moved to California in the late 1970s.

The following is lifted from Jeff Riggenbach’s Libertarian Tradition.

When I arrived in LA in 1972 . . . there was a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills called — believe it or not — the Eater’s Digest, which reputedly belonged to a Galambosian, who made it available for libertarian meetings once or twice a month during evening hours when the restaurant was closed (the Eater’s Digest didn’t serve dinner, just breakfast and lunch). Harry Browne was on the New York Times bestseller list, Andrew J. Galambos was still giving his mysterious lectures under the auspices of his mysterious company, the Free Enterprise Institute.

There was Objectivist activity in LA in the early seventies as well. Ayn Rand was still in New York, but Barbara Branden was in LA, running Academic Associates out of an office on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Up the hill, on Sunset Boulevard, Nathaniel Branden and Roger Callahan were practicing psychotherapy with Objectivist overtones.

Robert LeFevre was in the LA area in the early seventies, too; technically, of course, he was in Orange County, just down the road a piece.

And just up the road a piece, in Santa Barbara, libertarians were publishing Reason magazine, the closest thing to a professionally written and edited and published monthly magazine that the movement had seen since around the time of World War II.

Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, meanwhile, under the pseudonyms Skye D’Aureous and Natalee Hall, were publishing the defiantly amateurish but indispensable Libertarian Connection right in LA itself. Pearson took courses from Galambos and later conveyed much information about the ideas in those courses to a Michigan libertarian named Morris Tannehill, who wrote them up, along with his wife Linda, in a notorious book called The Market for Liberty.

Recent additions to the LA libertarian social scene in 1972 included young Canadian couple, Mark Corske and Donna Rasnake, who claimed to have ghostwritten Harry Browne’s new book, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, based on a series of extensive interviews they had conducted with the “author.”

Yet another new addition to the vibrant local libertarian social scene in LA and vicinity would suddenly emerge a few years down the road, in 1975 — Samuel Edward Konkin III, who, almost immediately upon his arrival in town, began publishing New Libertarian Weekly, the first modern libertarian publication to attempt so frequent a publication schedule … and Konkin managed to get an issue out every week for two full years before announcing that he was converting to magazine format and a monthly publication schedule.

In short, LA was to the libertarian movement in the 1970s what New York had been to the libertarian movement in the 1950s and 1960s — the principal center of libertarian intellectual activity and libertarian political activism in the United States.

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