John Markley's picture
Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 13
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Short bio:

John Markley is a freelance writer and newspaper reporter from Illinois .  He is the author of the political blog The Superfluous Man and has written for sites such as,, and The Libertarian Enterprise.  In his spare time, he also blogs about science fiction and video games.


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Columns by John Markley

What I'll Never Forget
John Markley 2009-09-15 16:00
Exclusive to STR As usual for this time of year, there have been many calls for Americans to never forget the tragedy of September 11, 2001 . I certainly will not. The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 , marked a tipping point in my thinking about politics. It affected a lot of people's thinking, of course, but I was something of an aberration: It led me to trust the state less rather...
Utopian Dreams
John Markley 2008-07-15 16:00
Exclusive to STR July 16, 2008
The Killing of Conscience
John Markley 2008-06-15 16:00
Exclusive to STR June 16, 2008 It is a commonplace among libertarians that most people consider it acceptable for the state to do things that would land a private person in prison; indeed, this is the state's essence. However, the double standard does not just apply to matters of justice and property rights. It also holds for what people normally consider to be the demands of compassion and...
Gods Among Mortals
John Markley 2008-01-08 17:00
Exclusive to STR January 9, 2008 On September 14th of last year, Utah State Trooper John Gardner was caught on tape attacking motorist Jared Massey with a taser because Massey questioned why he was pulled over, refused to sign a speeding ticket, and generally failed to be sufficiently sniveling in the face of Gardner's authority. The footage ended up on Youtube (see it here), where it helped...
What Really Matters
John Markley 2007-01-14 17:00
Exclusive to STR January 15, 2007
The Hand of Providence
John Markley 2007-01-07 17:00
Exclusive to STR January 8, 2007 Presidential greatness isn't what it used to be. Once, to be called 'great,' you had to preside over some great expansion of federal power or get the country into a major war. Preferably both. Now, it seems, every President, in retrospect, turns out to be great, loved by both sides of the political spectrum.
Fooling Themselves
John Markley 2006-12-21 17:00
Exclusive to STR December 22, 2006
The Art of Libertarian Persuasion
John Markley 2006-11-29 17:00
Exclusive to STR November 30, 2006 One controversy that seems to have heated up lately among some libertarians is how much prospect there is for recruiting libertarians from among leftists. Though I'm not as optimistic as some on the matter, I do think there's some potential there, but only if we approach the left in the right way. This does not mean changing anything about our principles or...
Flag Worship
John Markley 2006-07-18 16:00
Exclusive to STR Most American conservatives are Christians, and any Christian would no doubt be shocked and offended by the suggestion that he is an idolater. After all, the Bible strictly and repeatedly condemns the worship of images, symbols, and physical objects. Considering recent events in American politics, however, I think there are strong grounds to say that idolatry is a very real...
Invincible Ignorance
John Markley 2005-09-04 16:00
Intellectually shaky positions are often set up in such a way as to make them utterly impervious to reason. Present a hardcore Marxist with a refutation of his doctrine, and he'll reply that of course you can't perceive the truth of Marxism, because you are trapped within the class consciousness of the bourgeoisie. Your opposition is exactly what Marx's theory predicts, and so your attempt at...
The Power of Flattery
John Markley 2005-04-21 16:00
Much time and energy has been spent on the issue of why intellectuals seem so disproportionately in favor of highly statist ideologies such as socialism and communism. Many ideas have been suggested, from resentment of those who are wealthier but less educated (Mises) to an exaggerated confidence in the power of rational planning (Hayek) to psychological factors going back to childhood (Nozick)...
Reap What You Sow
John Markley 2004-05-31 16:00
It sometimes happens that a particular incident or statement in the news serves to crystallize one's thoughts on an issue that is only tangentially related to it. For me, the recent revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib is such an incident. Much attention has been focused on the fact that some of the prison guards attempted to excuse their behavior by saying that they had never...
I'm OK, You're Despicable
John Markley 2004-01-11 17:00
This is an article about arrogance. In a great many cases that I have observed, a person's support for this or that government control seems to stem from the belief that the great majority of people are, in one way or another, utterly depraved. However, the advocate of the control will always, without exception, refrain from including himself among those who need the law to be forced into decency...