PUP003 | Interview with Jeffrey Tucker

Prometheus Unbound Podcast

In episode three of the Prometheus Unbound Podcast, Matthew and I have a fantastic interview with the wonderful Jeffrey Tucker, editor of Laissez Faire Books. It’s a long one, about an hour and fifteen minutes, and we knew you’d be eager to listen to Jeffrey, so we wasted no time with chit-chat and got right down to business. We covered a number of topics ranging from LFB, intellectual property, and Jeffrey’s favorite fiction.

We started off by asking Jeffrey Tucker what it’s been like working for a commercial publisher and bookseller after having worked for a nonprofit educational institution, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, where he was editorial vice president, for so long.

Then we went on to talk about the business model of Laissez Faire Books and the role of the publisher in the digital age as a curator and service provider (curation as a service); the compatibility of open source and business; intellectual property; the nature of competition; how many entrepreneurs and businesses misidentify the source of their profitability and don’t understand why people buy their goods or services; how copyright has held back the publishing industry; and markets as institutions of teaching and learning.

“Don’t work for my happiness, my brothers — show me yours — show me that it is possible — show me your achievement — and the knowledge will give me courage for mine.”
— Ayn Rand

We talked about a new book Jeffrey wrote with Doug French (as yet unpublished) titled Who’s Going to Stop You, which was inspired by the important role played by Ayn Rand and her fiction in the libertarian movement. It’s about what many still need to learn from her — an alternative to the typical libertarian activities of electioneering and bitter diatribes against the state on the one hand and academic-style educational efforts to promote liberty on the other — which is to set a positive example in expanding freedom and personal fulfillment in our own lives and the lives of others. We can’t wait to see it.

For the last 20-30 minutes, we discussed the power of fiction in presenting abstract ideas, how it grounds and concretizes them in human action. Jeffrey Tucker told us about his favorite works of fiction, four novels by Garet Garrett (listed below), and some of his future plans for Laissez Faire Books. To our great pleasure, those plans include publishing more out-of-print and original libertarian fiction like Rose Wilder Lane’s Young Pioneers and John Hunt’s Higher Cause.

Jeffrey Tucker Meme

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Music by Dale Abshire.
Podcast logo and website banner by Jenny Hamson.

About the Author

Geoffrey Allan Plauché Executive Editor

Geoffrey is an Aristotelian-Liberal political philosopher, an adjunct instructor for Buena Vista University, the founder and executive editor of Prometheus Unbound, and the webmaster of The Libertarian Standard. His work has appeared in Libertarian Papers, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, the Journal of Value Inquiry, and Transformers and Philosophy. He lives in Edgewood, KY with his wife and two children.

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