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Obituary for Catallaxy

August 4, 2021 - 13:11 -- Admin

On a chance visit to Catallaxyfiles.com the other day, I found an announcement that the site was closing. It’s now apparently inaccessible, but there’s an archive at the National Library.

As the era of blogging draws to end, this departure is worth noting

Catallaxyfiles was started by Jason Soon in the earliest days of Australian blogging. Jason was soon joined by Andrew Norton, who still has a blog of his own It was one of the first sites I linked to i I started this blog in 2002. Jason and Andrew were and thoughtful people, inclined to the classical liberal version of libertarianism, but not dogmatic about it. We had lots of interesting discussions – here are the results of a search “https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=johnquiggin.com+jason+soon

Catallaxy declined rapidly after Jason and Andrew left, but until about 2012 I still engaged with them. But after one such exchange got out of control, we agreed to leave each other alone.  Occasional subsequent visits have confirmed me in the view that this was the right thing to do.

Catallaxy was an early example of the decline of libertarianism into what we can now call Trumpism.  By the end, the comments threads and quite a few of the posts were a toxic mix of racism, misogyny and conspiracy theories comparable to Sky After Dark or even Alex Jones

Catallaxy outlived its usefulness by quite a few years. But it was once a valuable contributor to Australia’s intellectual life, as was the early flowering of blogs in general. One day, perhaps, that will return.