Matt Ridley is a libertarian. He has a new book out called “The Rational Optimist” in which he promotes a concept that can be paraphrased as “Ideas have Sex”. The core concept won’t be that new to most libertarians, it is simply the idea that free exchange leads towards a peaceful and prosperous society. However based on the interviews I have heard it does seem to have been packaged in some interesting ways, including some analogies with biological evolution. As authors do he is promoting his book through interviews with various outlets. Here he is on ReasonTV:-
A libertarian appearing on ReasonTV isn’t really much of a surprise. However I was surprised to hear him on the Science Show on ABC Radio National. I love the Science Show when it discusses Science but the presenter Robyn Williams does not generally sing the praise of liberalism and seems to have a bias in favour of statist solutions, especially in terms of policy addressing climate change. However like you would hope a good scientist would do he has conducted a very exploratory interview with Matt Ridley looking at this libertarians well informed alternate prognosis for the planet. It is well worth a listen. In fact if you have the time I’d skip the ReasonTV interview above and listen first to the longer interview on the Science Show.
The Science Show can also be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes for those with an iPhone. Look for the September 11th episode.