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Benjamin Barber Hates Us for Our Freedom

Benjamin Barber hates us for our freedom: ur freedom to go to restaurants named "Stuff Yer Face" on Easton Ave. in New Brunswick, NJ, that is. Tyler Cowen and his mesnie get properly medieval on Barber:

Marginal Revolution: Benjamin Barber's Consumed:

There is actually [sic] a restaurant in New Jersey called Stuff Yer Face, and fast food generally is about stuffing your face: about nutrition, fueling up, taking in the calories, food as instrumentality, eaters as mere animals responding to biological imperatives.

The subtitle of the new book is How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantalize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole. Here is the restaurant's home page, with sound.

Posted by Tyler Cowen on March 28, 2007 at 01:44 PM in Books | Permalink


The title works even better if you replace "Markets" by "Socialism". Posted by: dearieme at Mar 28, 2007 1:50:41 PM....

Even more surprising is that stuff yer face isn't bad, at least for college food (it's right next to rutgers). It's one of the few places on easton ave serving food that you would eat while sober. The beer selection is pretty good as well. It's not a fantastic place, but it's better than the name suggests. Posted by: Anonymous coward at Mar 28, 2007 3:09:39 PM

Stuff Yer Face was also Mario Batali's first cooking job, while attending Rutgers. As the Anonymous Coward points out, it's decent enough for a stromboli and beer place (it was one of the places where we sent our out of town relatives who came for our wedding and were looking for something to eat the night before the wedding) Posted by: Bg Porter at Mar 28, 2007 3:48:26 PM....

Benjamin Barber is an arrogant gasbag. He believes in replacing his preferences in place of everyone else's. He thinks that "we" should be exporting more jazz and less Britney Spears. His view of markets is more-or-less neo-Rousseauian. He believes in sort of "directed democracy" even though he won't admit it. Barber is the type of dude who gives political theorists a bad name. He's typical of the reason that many of the smarter ones go into PHILOSOPHY departments so that they can be free of his ilk. The dude is a sophist and a very, very, VERY poor man's Michael Walzer. Posted by: Jeebus at Mar 28, 2007 3:50:21 PM

I don't know the context, but at face value it seems really odd to complain about people having an instrumental view of food. Is food supposed to be an end in and of itself? I suppose if you viewed getting pleasurable sensations from consuming food as being an non-instrumental usage of food, he'd kind of have a point, but it can hardly be argued that that is a vice of fast food resturants, which tend to make food that a good chunk of the population does enjoy eating. Posted by: MattXIV at Mar 28, 2007 3:59:43 PM

about nutrition, fueling up, taking in the calories, As opposed to anorexia, malnutrution, and throwing-up? food as instrumentality, As opposed to food as an object of mere aesthetic contemplation? eaters as mere animals responding to biological imperatives, As opposed to space aliens responding to cosmic imperatives? Barber is a sententious twat. And I mean that in the best way possible...