Scott Horton Interviews James Bovard

Scott Horton, July 09, 2008

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James Bovard, author of Attention Deficit Democracy, discusses the outrageous new FISA amendments, relative criminality of Nixon’s wiretapping crimes to Bush’s and relative courage of the Congress then to now, the lack of outrage among the population at large, the massive imperial court surrounding Washington DC and America’s massive warfare-welfare-police state.

MP3 here. (34:16)

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy (St. Martin’s/Palgrave, January 2006), and eight other books. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New Republic, Reader’s Digest, and many other publications. His books have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean.

The Wall Street Journal called Bovard “the roving inspector general of the modern state,” and Washington Post columnist George Will called him a “one-man truth squad.” His 1994 book Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty received the Free Press Association’s Mencken Award as Book of the Year. His Terrorism and Tyranny won the Lysander Spooner Award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. He received the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association.

His writings have been been publicly denounced by the chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Postmaster General, and the chiefs of the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as by many congressmen and other malcontents.

6 Responses to “James Bovard”

  1. [...] Scott Horton of Antiwar.com RADIO and I chatted about FISA and other obscenities on Tuesday.  The MP3 is now online and accessible here. [...]

  2. It really bothers me when libertarians refer to the “welfare-warfare” state. As if bombing, torturing and maining thousands of innocents is somehow comparable to food stamps for hungry Americans or free medical care for people who need it. Even simply refering to “welfare” conflates money paid to low income individuals and money paid to wealthy, non-human, often foreign owned, corporate entities or their billionaire owners (corporate welfare). Feeding the hungry is not in any way equivalent to using government to steal from hungry people in order to subsidize robber barons and their companies. Yes, you do actually owe a debt to a society in which you have become successful.

    Nice interview though.

  3. Thomas wrote:

    “Feeding the hungry is not in any way equivalent to using government to steal from hungry people in order to subsidize robber barons and their companies. Yes, you do actually owe a debt to a society in which you have become successful.

    Nice interview though.”

    I second Thomas’ points. While a left-wing socialist like myself can join with right-wing libertarians in opposing US empire (a primary cause of unjust wars foreign and domestic), I guess our dividing line is still, “Yes, you do actually owe a debt to a society in which you have become successful.”

    But keep up the good anti-empire work, Anti-War Radio! I’m still listening.

  4. Of course, the warfare state is much more evil from a libertarian point of view, but they are always connected. In America, the presidents that expand welfare the most — FDR, Truman, LBJ, Bush — also expand warfare the most. A domestic government that cares for you from cradle to grave will treat you like it owns you, and can dispense with your life as you wish. This is why total welfare states — Communist regimes and fascist regimes — are so murderous.

  5. I didn’t understand the connection either, until I accepted that the only way to end the warfare state is to restrict the Federal government to it’s most basic functions.

  6. Thomas,

    Who says I owe society for my success? From whence comes the moral authority to make such a pronouncement upon another person? Given your belief in this moral obligation I would assume that you are freely giving generously and liberally of your own material wealth to the poor and needy. What gives you the right to foist your moral system on me? Religion? Philosophy? Majority Rule? Why should I listen to you?

    Please articulate for me a principled philosophy that rejects government coercion regarding war, but embraces government coercion regarding wealth redistribution. And be sure to include an argument that states how it is moral for you to legally enforce your moral principles on me.

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