An antidote to extreme libertarian thinking?

Posted on February 28, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The six authors whose essays comprise in the new book “Uncivil Liberties: Deconstructing Libertarianism” will appear at a free event on Friday, March 1.

The volume, published by Praxis Peace Institute and edited by Georgia Kelly, is a comprehensive look, from six distinct perspectives, at the emergence of libertarian thinking in the U.S. and the dangers that might pose.

The book, Kelly said, was actually written in response to a film called “Thrive” that was making the rounds, primarily in New Age circles, in late 2011. “Four member of the Praxis Book Club decided to write a pamphlet that would refute many of the extreme libertarian ideas that were promoted in this film. When we started looking for a book that would treat these ideas seriously from a progressive perspective, we couldn’t find one.”

In a Huffington Post commentary about the film, Kelly said it was “nothing short of a dark fantasy intent on returning us to the 19th century.”

For the book, Kelly, who also contributed an essay, assembled a team of five other writers and thinkers: Julianne Maurseth, a Green MBA professor at Dominican University; Barry Spector, an expert on mythology and author of “Madness at the Gates of the City: The Myth of American Innocence;” local activist Ben Boyce; anthropoligist Nick Colby, Ph; and political scientist and former libertarian Gus diZerega, PhD.

Taking on the tenets of libertarian and right wing thought, the authors challenge what they call the American myths: rugged individualism, endless economic growth, and American exceptionalism.

In their place, Kelly said, the authors “offer practical alternatives to business as usual. Alternatives that have a proven track record and are not just ‘what-ifs.’”

The book release will be celebrated with a free author event at the Sonoma Community Center on Friday, March 1, 7:30 p.m.