Bryan Caplan  

Naked Guy, RIP

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The famed Naked Guy of Berkeley committed suicide in his jail cell. I was an eyewitness to his protest against clothes when we were both students at UC Berkeley. At the time, I often pointed out that the Naked Guy was proof that social norms, not the law, were the foundation of civility: Even if nudity were legalized, only one student out of tens of thousands would take it all off.

Now that he's committed suicide, of course, everyone says he was "mentally ill." But during his years of protest and fame, I don't remember anyone claiming this. And the truth is, he made a lot more sense than most of the folks on Sproul Plaza.


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