Each month, The Classy Libertarian names a ‘Man of the Month,’ to let our readers know about a gentleman that exemplifies the title of our publication. This month, we have chosen Jeffrey Tucker. Mr. Tucker was gracious enough to take some time to answer a few questions we had about him.
What does it mean to be classy?
The concept of class is strangely elusive in our times, though it remains a huge reality. I think we know what being “low class” means. It carries with a sense of degradation, roughness, vulgarity, and even danger. The reverse is also true. In the South, the upper classes were once called “gentle folk.” Literally it means “persons of good family and breeding.” But the signs are not money, not birth, and not biology. It referred to one’s capacity to carry oneself with grace and decorum. To what end? To inspire in others a sense that the world is a nice, happy, dignified, and cooperative place. It means to bring smiles to faces, to be an inspiration to others to be on their best behavior. This capacity is available to everyone in a free and democratic society. It is up to each of us individually to find a way toward that ideal.
What does it mean to be a true man?
I could list all the classic virtues (like courage in the face of adversity), but I think I will focus on manners. Manners as they apply to men have always been about giving off signs to others that you have your biological capacity for violence and force, and our gender advantages therein, under tight discipline. This is the reason for simple rules, and there aren’t that many that pertain to men in particular. Stand when a woman comes to table. Touch the back of her chair as if you assist and show deference. Light her cigarette. Open doors for women and the elderly, in particular, but really anyone. Open the car door for passengers if you are driving, particularly for women. Help women lift bags to the overhead storage on flights. Don’t wear your baseball hat inside. Stand when meeting anyone for the first time, no matter what. Always dress in a way that honors your host. Always bring a gift to a party. Walk away from fights if you can, and only fight when you must. I think I listed 11 rules there. I can promise you that a man who achieves only half of those will be famous very quickly.
What are your favorite books?
Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Memoirs of a Superfluous Man by Albert Jay Noc
Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Sigmund Freud
The Driver by Garet Garrett
Socialism by Ludwig von Mises.
What is your current line of work?
I am the editorial director of the American Institute for Economic Research, founded in 1933 in the aftermath of FDR’s confiscation of gold from the people. AIER has always been about protecting private wealth against pillage. So, of course, I love my job.
Where are you from?
My parents were travelling in California when I was born, but that was an accident of history. My family moved from Massachusetts to Southwest, Texas in 1830, so my ancestors fought three grim wars, against the native population, against Mexico, and then against the Northern aggressors. These wars shaped them and my history. I was raised in the desert mountains and got out as soon as I could.
Would you say you’re a conservative or a libertarian?
I struggled with this all throughout college, but ended up solidly on the anarchist side.
Who are your biggest influences, political or otherwise?
No question that my friendships with Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard locked my politics in place forever. Beyond that, my reading of Victorian-era literature shaped my understanding of modernity.
Any fun facts about yourself?
I wrote a book about Gregorian chant, I’ve spoken at the Vatican, and for 10 years I directed a choir that specialized in 16th-century polyphony.
Where can we find you on social media?