Bourbon for Breakfast By Jeffrey A. Tucker


The state makes a mess of everything it touches, argues’s Chief Liberty Officer, Jeffrey Tucker, in Bourbon for Breakfast. Perhaps the biggest mess it makes is in our minds. Its pervasive interventions in every sector affect the functioning of society in so many ways, we are likely to intellectually adapt rather than fight. Tucker proposes another path: see how the state has distorted daily life, rethink how things would work without the state, and fight against the intervention in every way that is permitted.

Whether that means hacking your showerhead, rejecting prohibitionism, searching for large-tank toilets, declining to use government courts, homeschooling, embracing alternative micro-cultures, watching pro-freedom movies, baking at home, maintaining manners and standards of dress, publishing without copyright, and just living outside what he calls the “statist quo,” we should not lose touch with what freedom means, even in these times.

The essays cover commercial life, digital media, culture, food, literature, religion, music, and a host of other issues — all from the perspective of a Misesian-Rothbardian struggling to get by in a world in which the walls of the state have been closing in. He writes about the glories of commerce, the horrors of jail, the joy of private life, and defends a kind of aristocratic radicalism in times of increasingly restricted choices.

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  • Andrew Smith

    Solid Gold from Bourbon for Breakfast

    Some of my favorite moments in reading bourbon for breakfast: “As for the power to do good, how can anyone guarantee that it won’t quickly become the power to do evil? If experience is our guide, the government in a position of authority is more likely to be creating viruses and spyware rather than stopping them.” 1/20/2006 (a little NSA prediction…)   “But think of the literal meaning of voluntary or volition: the act of making a conscious and noncoerced choice to do something. The opposite is to be forced to do something. So prisoners are forced to sleep on mats; people in the army are forced to march here and there. Or you and I can volunteer to sleep on a mat or to march here and there.”   “Meanwhile, the most profitable and most innovative sector of the web, the porn sector, has no access to courts and IP enforcement because of the stigma associated with it. It is not an accident that absence of IP coincides with growth and innovation. The connection is causal.”   “Twain in his books did not create an image of a utopia that would exist in absence of power. There is criminality, clan violence, cruelty, and bigotry—all features of human nature that are not eradicated with a state but only centralized, organized, and legitimized.”   “What drives their search for treasure is not materialism but the pursuit of an ideal, an entrepreneurial push for discovery, adventure, and personal satisfaction. In setting up the story in this way, Twain is offering a perspective on the commercial culture of a society of entrepreneurial freedom: it is driven not so much by the demand for material reward but by the desire for discovery and achievement, with the money serving as a measure of success rather than the end itself.”

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  • Jeffrey Tucker

    Bourbon for Breakfast

    Bourbon for Breakfast by Jeffrey Tucker This remains my most popular book (title maybe?) and I’ve wondered why really. It does seek to explain a fundamental worldview: namely, we should not take our cues from the central plan but rather chart our own course. It is an argument for an anarchist life. Kick off the discussion! Questions, comments, observations or elaborations? Either reply here or create a new discussion using the tag Library_Bourbon for Breakfast

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