First hour: Henry Herskovitz of Witness for Peace has been picketing the Beth Israel synagogue in Ann Arbor, Michigan for many years due to that congregation’s support for Zionism. Now they’re trying to shut him down…and he’s fighting for his First Amendment rights. Will attorney Marc M. Susselman succeed in his “lawfare” action contending that Witness for Peace has no First Amendment rights to carry signs on public sidewalks?
And are we lucky to even have public sidewalks protected by the First Amendment? Would a fully privatized world, in which all sidewalks are private property (as in shopping malls) and the owners decide what you can say and what you can’t, be a libertarian paradise or a dystopian nightmare?
We also discuss the internet oligarchs’ escalating violations of the First Amendment. Are social media and streaming platforms private publishers who are fully responsible for everything they publish—giving them the right to censor anyone they disagree with? Or are these platforms a de facto town square, protected under the First Amendment, in which individual users post their own material, and are responsible for their own Constitutionally-protected speech?
“’Government’ is the methodology by which any given human society – 1) Creates the rules of the society; 2) Interprets the rules and adjudicates disputes concerning the rules; 3) Enforces the rules of society.”Second hour: Thomas Willcutts argues that pro-capitalist libertarians are wrong: scaling back government just intensifies corporate tyranny. He writes:
He argues that anarcho-libertarianism “does not do away with government – it privatizes it. Laws will no longer be created by legislative bodies – they will become a creature of private contracts. Laws will no longer be interpreted and adjudicated in courts of law, as those functions will be taken over by for-profit, private arbitration fora. And finally, the laws will no longer be enforced by the police functions of the State, but instead they will be enforced by ‘PDAs’ – private defense agencies. This book will compare and contrast these functions of government when operated under Public Law vs. Private Law. As set forth in the Title, the conclusion reached herein is that privatization of government is a formula for a tyrannical corporate dystopia.”
40 minutes into the hour, libertarian Rolf Lindgren calls in with a different view.
Thomas Willcutts has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Philosophy from Rice University, and he is a trial attorney by profession, where he specializes in representing individuals in securities fraud cases against the major banks of Wall Street. Willcutts has had a life-long interest in political philosophy, and he frequently engages in on-line debates and discussions on this topic, several of which can be found on YouTube, including here, here, and here.