Media

Brink Lindsey and Will Wilkinson Leaving Cato

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At…the Kauffman Foundation?

Lindsey, a Reason Contributing Editor who was Cato's vice president for research, now joins the Kauffman Foundation, where he will be identifying "structural reforms needed to revive entrepreneurial innovation, firm formation and job creation in the wake of the Great Recession." Wilkinson, co-author of a forthcoming book with Lindsey with the tentative title The Free Market Progressive: How We Can Use Capitalist Acts Between Consenting Adults to Create Peace, Prosperity, and Justice, announced in a blog post entitled "The Liberaltarian Diaspora" that his last day with Cato will be Sept. 15.

Over at Slate, David Weigel asks whether this represents "a purge at the Cato Institute," gets no-comments from Wilkinson and Cato, and reprints a friendly internal memo from Cato President Ed Crane.

Read Lindsey's agenda-setting contribution to our August/September cover forum, "Where Do Libertarians Belong?" And watch him talk about it in person below:

In other inside-libertarianism news, The New Yorker has a long Jane Mayer profile on Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who have financed several libertarian and conservative institutions (David is on the Reason Foundation's Board of Trustees). The New Yorker headline, consistent with the dot-connecting tone of Mayer's prose, is: "Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama."

For much more on the topic by someone who actually interviewed the Kochs (and appears throughout the Mayer article), read Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.

NEXT: Health Insurance As Public Utility

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  1. OK this makes a lot of sense to me dude. wow.

    Lou
    http://www.anon-web.at.tc

  2. The Free Market Progressive: How We Can Use Capitalist Acts Between Consenting Adults to Create Peace, Prosperity, and Justice,

    Ah, yes, the mailed fist of the State is always at the back of the Progressive mind. Who do you think “We” is in the title, and who do you think they intend to “Use” to attain their goals?

    1. *Clap clap*

      One wonders what he means by “justice” as well. Seems like nowadays when progressives use that word they usually mean something like equality of incomes or outcomes, regardless of input, effort, or situation. If I have substantially less money than you, we are witnessing an “injustice” without even knowing the details of our situations.

    2. “The Free Market Progressive: How We Can Use Capitalist Acts Between Consenting Adults to Create Peace, Prosperity, and Justice”

      How about we just leave people the hell alone and let them create their own peace, prosperity and justice?

      Dweeps like Wilkinson and Lindsey can never get over the temptation to tell everyone else how to live and enforcing their vision of paradise on the rest of us.

      1. *Rolls eyes*

        You’re such a smart, basically reasonable guy about everything except intra-libertarian philosophical deviance.

        1. I am a total libertarian apostate on some things. But the whole Lindsey project has always to me at least reeked of “why can’t we use the market to get these dumb rednecks to behave”. I hate that. And I also think a some libertarians, Lindsey and Wilkerson among them, are more interested in the culture war than they are in changing anything.

          1. Well, with as much hope as we really have of changing anything, you have to have a hobby.

          2. Never mind that a libertarian “society” (state, area, country, “space”, whatever) would itself create specific social outcomes: what works would prevail, and what doesn’t would fail and not be tried again. I am sure some of the outcomes would indeed grant a “win” for one or the other side in a culture war. Of course, the typical culture warrior wants to prevent the other side from winning at all costs (read: using the state to do it their way by decree)

  3. Somehow I missed the Mayer piece, “Covert Operations: The billionaire who is waging a war against Bush.”

  4. I’m sure she published it during one of his terms. That New Yorker issue was probably lost by some well-meaning postal employee. Newman!

  5. Fuck Yeah! Purge those fuckers!
    Death to liberaltarianism!

    In related good news a Fed Judge just ruled government-funded stem cell research is ILLEGAL!!!
    Take that you cosmotarian cocksuckers!

  6. Lindsey’s reaction to the tea pirates is idiotic. they are grass roots and they are independent of the republicans.

    They are open to libertarian ideas and easily co-opted to libertarian policies.

    Jesus the tea party’s whole platform is cutting spending and returning the US to its constitutional base.

    If Lindsey wants to dick around with the liberals then all he had to do was wait 5 months when they are out of power and start up the whole librealtarin meme again. No need to leave Cato to do that.

    Anyway as the above video shows Lindsey is a fucking idiot. He talks about a libertarian grassroots movement yet totally dismisses the Freedom works guy who actually started a grassroots movement.

    1. For Lindsey it is not about attracting a grass roots movement. It is about attracting the right grass roots movement. If spreading Libertarian ideas involves being associated with people he culturally objects to, he is not going to do it.

      I really can’t stand him.

      1. I think that’s, really, key. For all that Lindsay is a brilliant free market scholar, he’s also an unreconstructed cultural bigot, and is fantastically disinterested in trying to build alliances with the “wrong sort of people,” e.g., conservative Christians who are open to 50% of what he has to say, as opposed to liberals who are only open to 10% of what he has to say but at least aren’t (in Lindsay’s mind, anyway) a gaggle of uneducated redneck God-botherers.

        1. Thing is, the Cosmos always come down on the same side as liberals on any issue outside the basic domain of libertarianism (ie, under what circumstances government coercion is justified within its territory). That’s how Lindsey can spew tripe such as his declaration that legalizing gay marriage was the most important goal libertarians could have; he does agree with liberals on many if not most current issues.

      2. It is about attracting the right grass roots movement.

        I do not know if it is that deeply political. My opinion is that he is a know everything kind of guy who is incapable of acknowledging other peoples abilities. Especially when those abilities surpass his own.
        He tried his own grassroots fusion and failed. He should be taking notes from the Freedom works guy…not dismissing him.

        1. Why did his fail? Because as Ballchinian points out above, he is a cultural bigot.

          1. Why did his fail?

            I think because he has no idea how to start or maintain a political movement, and most of his efforts have involved writing white papers. Not that there is anything wrong with white papers.

            Because as Ballchinian points out above, he is a cultural bigot.

            I have not witnessed this, but I have not been looking either.

            Anyway if he did it out of arrogance, like i think, or out of cultural bigotry it should not matter. If he refuses to learn from things that work no matter who came up with them he is still a fucking idiot.

    2. The Tea Party, as a whole, is made up of a bunch of statists who are closely tied to the Republican party. They care about the economic side, but they’re wholly against what libertarians stand for when it comes to the social side of things. In other words, THEY’RE REPUBLICANS. Forget that.

      Unless this is another “Oh, economic stuff is more important, forget all that ‘individual liberty’ mumbo jumbo and side with the Republicans!” posts (drink?)

      1. Considering that right now we are getting all the Democratic economic liberty with continued Republican policies on civil liberties, I will take whatever I can get.

        If these people are good on one fucking thing, they will be better than what we have. All of the dumbasses that voted for the Democrats thinking they were going to be better on civil liberties have pretty much shut up these days. Now the talking point is “forget what Obama is doing, look at the rednecks wanting their medicare”.

        You wouldn’t be one of those dumbasses would you?

        1. Heck no. But I’m not willing to accept 50%, even if it’s better than the other side. It’s why I stay home on election day (only voted in 2008 (for Barr) so I could vote against the Florida anti-gay marriage amendment.)

          Will admit I was thinking Obama would be the lesser of two evils, because I thought he couldn’t be any worse on economic issues than Bush, and I was sure he’d be better on civil liberties issues. I think I realized I was wrong before February 1, 2009.

          1. DUMBASS ALERT

        2. I’m not so sure that Compassionate Conservatism was the lesser of evils.

  7. “a purge at the Cato Institute,”

    Hell, I might even reach for the checkbook.

  8. O glorious day.

    We may be only a generation away from “former Reason whatever” and “ex-Cato blah-blah” meaning “abject shill for The Man.”

  9. I can’t say I ever paid any attention to Lindsay before the Reason article. I was also put off by his sneering at the nekulturny flavor of the Tea Party.

  10. Over at Slate, David Weigel asks whether this represents “a purge at the Cato Institute,” gets no-comments from Wilkinson and Cato, and reprints a friendly internal memo from Cato President Ed Crane.

    Weigel asked Lindsey also:

    Did any of this play a role in the departure of Lindsey and Wilkinson? I’ve asked Lindsey and Wilkinson,

    Why isn’t there a No-comment for Lindsey?

    My guess is Lindsey did give a comment yet it totally destroyed Wiegel’s bullshit narrative so the little rat fucker left it out of the article.

    Anyway I disagree with Lindsy’s dismissal of the tea pirates. I see nothing wrong with him trying to find common ground with liberals….but he should try to stop any efforts for libertarians to find common ground with tea pirates. Nothing prevents both.

    1. Actually, I asked both and only Wilkinson responded with a no comment. Lindsey hasn’t responded and I’ll update when he does. Sorry about your conspiracy theory – it was a nice one!

      1. Sorry about your conspiracy theory

        Ah so i make a guess as to your motives and i turn out to be wrong and it gets labeled a conspiracy theory..

        What do you call making a guess that Lindsey was Purged from Cato without one tiny bit of evidence?

        Note: a “conspiracy” requires more then one person.

        1. Don’t yell at Weigel, he might hug you.

          1. “Ah so i make a guess as to your motives and i turn out to be wrong and it gets labeled a conspiracy theory..”

            To a shitty ratfucking writer? Yes.

        2. Note: a “conspiracy” requires more then one person.

          Not having other people involved could be exactly what you want us to think…

        3. Josh
          Looks like it was Josh that got his “bullshit narrative” ruined!

          1. MNG|8.23.10 @ 5:22PM|#

            Josh
            Looks like it was Josh that got his “bullshit narrative” ruined!

            Weigel’s narrative is bullshit. He has no evidence that the two Cato guys left because of a purge.

            But yes my guess that he withheld Lindsey’s comment is wrong.

            I am not wrong that Weigel made up the bullshit purge narrative. If he didn’t make it up one would assume a reporter would actually write down the evidence to back it up.

            1. So your bullshit narrative that Weigel left out pertinent facts to construct a bullshit narrative is indeed a bullshit narrative, or just this piece of your bullshit narrative is bullshit?

              1. I am an asshole commenter on Hit and Run…

                It is ok if i make a guess as to why something was left out of an article.

                It is less ok for a journalist to make up a story about a Purge at Cato without one shred of evidence.

                This is just another example of a fairly straight story, about two poeple leaving Cato to pursue other interests, and Weigel adding a bunch of bullshit left leaning spin.

        4. “What do you call making a guess that Lindsey was Purged from Cato without one tiny bit of evidence?”

          Sorry, Joshua, I didn’t need to be such a smart-ass about that. All I’m saying is that you should do your own digging here. I would not have written that post if my own reporting suggested that Will and Brink just simultaneously decided to do other fun things.

          1. Dear Reason,

            Please, please restore the image posting capability if only for this thread!

            1. don’t be so mean.

          2. I figured purge just from the headline. I didn’t read any further before commenting:

            SIV|8.23.10 @ 4:05PM|#

            Fuck Yeah! Purge those fuckers!
            Death to liberaltarianism!

            It’s not like they both left at the same time to join the Obama administration

        5. These guys are so used to disparaging any idea they disagree with as a “conspiracy theory” that they’ve forgotten what a conspiracy theory is.

      2. Why are you accusing these guys of being fired instead of leaving of their own choice?

        1. It was posted on the JournoList.

      3. Bugger off, lurker.

      4. Jesus, you are a thin-skinned little fuck. I’m sorry that you hate that so many people hate you, but maybe you should try being less hateable.

        1. Oh, I don’t care if I’m hated. I was accused of suppressing information and responded to that.

        2. Warty calling someone thin skinned? Isn’t that like a black hole calling an albino black?

          1. Hey! My pet squirrel was an albino.

          2. What are you talking about, idiot?

    2. …but he should try to stop any efforts…

      opps

      should NOT try

  11. Over at Slate, David Weigel asks whether this represents “a purge at the Cato Institute,”

    I never got the Weigel hate before, but man, he is getting stupider by the day. Keep working that bag, Dave.

    1. Dude, you just got added to his Rat-Fucker List.

    2. Weigel-hate is like wine, or maybe urine. It gets more powerful with age.

    3. He figures because he got purged that must mean every firing must be a purge.

      1. I seriously doubt these two guys got fired.

        They have done way to much for Cato for that.

        They probably wanted to do something that Cato did not want to pay for….so they found other sponsors.

        1. Hell Weigel covered the 2008 campaign quite well for Reason and Matt handed him his walking papers.Presumably because they had no more use for his kind of leftist douchebaggery.

          1. Wiegel got a pay raise and his own blog with a national paper.

            I seriously doubt Matt fired him.

    4. I think the part that comes across as stupidest is the fact that he still hangs around Reason and trolls on his own behalf (cf. posts above)… because he doesn’t like being disliked by all of the ratfuckers here.

  12. i guess i’m the only brink fan, so i might as well say it

    BRINK 4 PREZ!

  13. i guess i’m the only brink fan, so i might as well say it

    BRINK 4 PREZ!

  14. Of course, Democrats give money, too. Their most prominent donor, the financier George Soros, runs a foundation, the Open Society Institute, that has spent as much as a hundred million dollars a year in America. Soros has also made generous private contributions to various Democratic campaigns, including Obama’s. But Michael Vachon, his spokesman, argued that Soros’s giving is transparent, and that “none of his contributions are in the service of his own economic interests.”.

    Whoa! Jane Mayer’s hitpiece on the Kochs jumped into a Soros infomercial. It’s good for a laugh, otherwise don’t waste your time.

  15. oh yeah, and…the tea partiers are just a bunch of xenophobic republicans who talk a big game about small government but would flip their shit the second anybody touches their medicare checks

    1. Of course they would also support getting rid of about 2/3rds of the federal government. So what if they don’t support getting rid medicare? I doubt many liberals who would like to end the drug war support getting rid of medicare either. Does that mean that you shouldn’t work with both of them on issues where you agree? Of course you should.

      The only people who argue otherwise are liberals concern trolling, which is pretty much what Lindsey is.

      1. Don’t feed the troll, dude. They just have to be euthanized later if they get too comfortable around people.

        1. im sorry man, is it still trolling when you’re just lookin for someone to cosign?

          im shocked at the lack of love for brink here..and yes, i think the tea partiers lack any real libertarian bonafides and (it seems) are using some libertarian-sounding language in a quest for ideological legitimacy, in the same way good ol bill buckley did…

          1. Could you please show me my “libertarian bonafides”… I can’t seem to find even one.

            1. oh come on, man…he was harsh with the tea-partiers and may have offended some people’s delicate sensibilities, but the dude’s a card-carrying libertarian. i chafe at your suggestion! 🙂

  16. We din’t leave Cato. Cato left us!

  17. I can’t believe this shit. Fuck both the paleos and the so-called cosmos. But, especially the paleos. Fuck you right wing fuckers. Fuck you left wing fuckers too.

    I’m tired of seeing libertarianism being turned into a synonym for conservatism.

    By the way, I think the progressives are open to more than 10%. But, I am of the opinion that libertarianism should become an independent movement that gives a big old Fuck You to conservatives and progressives.

    1. Tell me about the more than 10% they are open to. And further, explain how they have, since being in power done anything to make any of it happen.

      1. First, bear in mind that I am thinking about the grassroots rank and file, not the elite.

        Second, grassroots progressives are great on civil liberties, due process, war, and drugs. Obama isn’t Dennis Kucinich, which is a damn shame.

        As for what they have done in power, there aren’t too many that are in power. The White House has snipped at the Kucinich types.

        For the record, to another commenter, I generally consider Reason Magazine and Cato to be “The Man”. At this point, they can all burn.

        1. I keep hearing about these liberals who are so good on the war on drugs, but I never seem to see many of them.

          Further, even if they are good on the war on drugs, they support wars on other things like salt and transfat and drunk driving that are just as bad or worse. It is not like they object to the war on drugs out of any sort of conviction. They just like drugs and find the minorities caught up in it to be sympathetic. But ask them to do anything about the small business man getting fucked by the government or someone else not from a preferred class and good luck.

          Yeah, you can work with some of them on repealing specific drug laws. But I am not seeing how you work with them on due process issues if they don’t involve a politically protected class. The same people who will get all bent out of shape over warrantless detention, will think summarily confiscating BP’s property is just great.

          1. “I keep hearing about these liberals who are so good on the war on drugs, but I never seem to see many of them.”

            There are these things called polls John…You need to get out of the basement more!

            “Basic Support for Legalization Highest Among Liberals

            The highest level of support for decriminalizing the use of marijuana today is seen with self-described liberals, among whom 78% are in favor. In contrast, 72% of conservatives are opposed.”

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/123…..-high.aspx

          2. “Further, even if they are good on the war on drugs, they support wars on other things like salt and transfat and drunk driving that are just as bad or worse. ”

            I’d bet the % of self identified liberals who support coercive measures re: salt is actually not very high. And I’ve always thought conservatives love MADD as much as liberals…

            1. Then how come very few liberal politicians reflect those viewpoints?

              Bills to ban violent and/or pornographic video games to minors nearly all come from Democrats, if you look at GamePolitics.

              MNG, you’d understandably laugh if I pointed to a poll of policy preferences in an attempt to explain why Bush and the GOP couldn’t possibly have spent so much money…

        2. How do we know you are not The Man, trying to throw us off the scent?

          1. Well now I’ve got some
            A-dvice for you, little buddy.
            Before you point your finger
            You should know that
            I’m the man,
            And if I’m the man,
            Then you’re the man, and
            He’s the man as well so you can
            Point that fuckin’ finger up your ass.

      2. I think that a lot of this depends on whether you are talking about people who identify as progressives or the people they tend to vote for. In my experience, a lot of progressive types really are quite bothered by a lot of the nanny-state shit and actually do care about defendant rights, police militarization and such. There are plenty who are still against war (though apparently not the ones who organize large protests). A few are even not totally retarded on economic issues and could be open to some convincing on that front (well, maybe not; one tries to be optimistic).

        1. But they never demand that their leaders do anything about it. I know a lot of rightwingers who hate the cops. But, you know what? They still vote for people who let the cops do stupid shit. So I have a hard time claiming that they really care about the issue.

          The question is would either your left wingers or my right wingers actually vote for a candidate who wanted to do something but that also held views they didn’t like? If not, then I don’t think the issue is that important to either of them.

          1. What’s important to them is TEAM RED TEAM BLUE. Quite a few talk a good game about civil liberties/economic liberties, but when it comes to voting/who is in power time, it’s their team all the way no matter fucking what. Which is why they are useless partisan scum.

            1. Agreed, just like John. TROOOF. Go back to your Burlington Coat Factory protest.

            2. It’s worse than that. Heck, I could understand holding your nose and voting for the lesser of two weevils.

              What gets me is that they’ll be all bummed about how Obama isn’t following through on his promises re: War on Terror, and then five minutes later label you a racist for criticizing him on health care or the bailouts.

        2. well, maybe not

          What were all those extra words for?

    2. Fuck both the paleos and the so-called cosmos.

      The whole cosmos? That’s a lot of fucking.

      1. Basically, fuck anyone trying to make libertarianism fit into the left-right bullshit.

      2. Billions upon billions. . . .

    3. By the way, I think the progressives are open to more than 10%

      Sure…lindsey actually spelled out what the liberals are open to.

      Legalizing drugs
      Getting people out of jail
      Open transparent government
      Getting back civil liberties lost in war on terror.
      gay rights

      And guess what Lindsey tried to get the liberals to move on these issues and once the liberals took power they did exactly nothing and in some cases made them worse. Liberal/libertarian fusionism failed big time.

      Even so i still think libertarians should not continue to try. But on the flip side conservative/libertarian fusionism should not be wholly abandoned. In fact the evidence shows that grater gains can be made with tea pirates then with liberals.

      Lindsey advocates we abandon where there is a chance for gains and embrace where we failed. He is a fucking idiot for thinking this.

      1. Even so i still think libertarians should not continue to try.

        God damnit!!

        “libertarians should continue to try.”

      2. “Legalizing drugs” -liberals only care about this if they can use the new tax proceeds to feed big brother.

        Getting people out of jail- liberals only want to get some people out of jail to make room for the people who need to be re-eductated

        Open transparent government- ya that is just funny.

        Getting back civil liberties lost in war on terror. – unless a democrat is in power then they don’t see the war on terror. Then when republicans are back in power it comes down to political strategy which means they support the war on terror.

        gay rights- they only seem to care about gays rights to become cannon fodder for the state and be openly gay while doing so.

        1. You’re hilarious, do you have a Comedy Central one nighter coming up?

        2. That may all be true.

          But i do not think Lindey thinks that. I believe his sincerity on these issues.

      3. The problem is that the amorphous “independent moderates” are a much bigger electoral bloc than libertarians, and most serious libertarian reforms on those issues would alienate them. Except perhaps the transparency issue, but increasing transparency would close off opportunities to loot the treasury for oneself and one’s friends and make it much harder to cover up one’s incompetence and demand more power that you don’t need.

        1. Who said anything about “serious libertarian reforms”. Many a-little-libertarian reforms could be obtained, and would be acceptable to the electorate. After all, Obama was elected on strong anti-war and pro civil liberties statements, wasn’t he? And most of the Republicans who will be elected in November will be elected on strong curb-deficit statements. So there is common ground. Arguing over whether heroin will be available from vending machines in elementary schools misses the point that the drug wars are ruinous in many senses; equal and opposite on eg, fiscal and economic issues.

    4. Ok, 12% then

    5. By the way, I think the progressives are open to more than 10%.

      I don’t. Progressives are okay on civil liberties and due process issues so long as the civil liberty in question isn’t the Second Amendment, and so long as Team Blue isn’t in power. But the progressive critique of the War On Some Drugs is strictly utilitarian (i.e., it doesn’t work, and if we legalized drugs we could tax them like tobacco and liquor to feed Leviathan), without even a cursory acknowledgement of the individual autonomy issue.

      And then there’s the progressive economic/regulatory agenda, which is pretty much antithetical to libertarianism.

      I think 10% is probably a generous estimate. But progressives defy stereotyping as inbred Bible-thumping hillbillies, so Brink Lindsey assumes on that basis they’re open to libertarian ideas despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  18. Fuck Off Collectivist Scum!!!

    1. Define your terms.

  19. “I generally consider Reason Magazine and Cato to be “The Man”.”
    This is precious.

    1. What I mean is that they are part of the Establishment.

        1. You finding him precious is precious. Or maybe gay. NTTAWWT.

      1. Reason Magazine and Cato are definitely not the Establishment. Establishment toadies and bootlickers, yes, but the Establishment themselves? You should live so long.

      2. If Reason and CATO are the Establishment, then where do I get my uniform? Man, I need to watch the news more if that happened!

        What then would be anti-Establishment? Some cheap crappy Marxist rag with a photo of Andre the Giant on the back?

    2. Maybe in this sense.

    3. Rofl…. CATO and Reason, “the man.” They are about as far from power as they could possibly get.

      1. You obviously never heard of the Independent Institute or whatever. Regardless, Cato is in DC; that pretty much says everything.

        1. Cato is in DC; that pretty much says everything.

          So is Dick Heller. Your comment pretty much says nothing.

      2. It is a classical set up…when everything goes to hell the liberals and the conservatives need a place to point blame at.

        Cato and Reason are the establishment in that the establishment allows them to exist precisely so they can blame libertarians when the duopoly royally fucks up.

    4. They love the Fed, and when the chips are down they will support war and ignore government lies.

      So yes that qualifies as libertarian damage control for the establishment. If you don’t understand political crowd control strategies of intelligence agencies then read up bitches.

      1. when the chips are down they will support war and ignore government lies.

        Now that is complete and utter bullshit.

        Cato was against the war before Kerry was.

        In fact their opposition to the war is precisely why Cato has been in the wilderness for so many years in regards to the GOP.

  20. Now where will CATO find another man who can state an opinion I completely agree with in such a monumentally smug way that I disagree with it?

  21. Now where will CATO find another man who can state an opinion I completely agree with in such a monumentally smug way that I disagree with it?

  22. Notice that David Weigel capitalizes “Libertarian” to refer to people who aren’t members of the Libertarian Party, the way stupid people who don’t know anything about libertarianism do.

  23. Of course libertarians should try to make common cause with liberals and Democrats as well as conservatives and Republicans. You guys’d be fools not to.

    I mean, this alliance with the GOP has really not gotten you very much. They basically gangpiled on Ron Paul last during the nomination whenever he let a libertarian idea slip…

    1. The issues to do this with are emphasis on the regressive nature of payroll taxes. The wars which treat the poor as cannon fodder and “feed the rich, bury the poor”…Smedley Butler “War is a Racket”…racist war on drugs. The non-transparency of the Fed and the bailing out of Banksters…which will then be paid for with taxes on the poor and middles class and the poor and middle classes will pay double because we will also pay interest. The banksters use our charity to buy US Bonds and then we pay interest for eternity on the bonds that the banksters bought with government handouts.

      Explaining these basic facts to the left should forge enough common ground to proceed on the destruction of the political elite. If not, who cares, the country is fucked anyway…the stupid lefties will all be starving and dead or brain dead type D’s in a few years if they haven’t figured this shit out yet.

    2. I note for the record that Ron Paul is a mostly libertarian with an R next to his name.

    3. MNG, you’re right on point. We should ally ourselves with whoever is sympathetic to our cause. Ron Paul understands this. Look at his recent alliance with Barney Frank.

    4. The major problem with a left libertarian alliance is the left. They want libertarians to compromise their positions on all sorts of issues that have nothing to do with the issues we agree on.

      If you do not believe me then go watch one of those talking heads videos.

      Lindsey could be very valuable if he simply got the left to understand we are not going to agree with everything the left says. Find the common ground and leave the other garbage at home.

      The conservatives can do this why can’t the left do it?

      I mean, this alliance with the GOP has really not gotten you very much.

      The tea pirates are not the GOP. and Obama has given us nothing.

      1. Agreed on libertarians and the left. Furthermore, conservatives demand that we compromise as well. They demand that we not speak up when they do something out of line.

        1. They demand that we not speak up when they do something out of line.

          You must be new here.

    5. Of course libertarians should try to make common cause with liberals and Democrats as well as conservatives and Republicans. You guys’d be fools not to.

      Precisely what have such alliances yielded? The liberal-tarian alliance was tried back in 2006 (remember when Dems were talking about reducing the deficit and reinvigorating federalism?) and yielded about as much in the way of benefits for libertarians as mating a mule with a liger.

      We might be able to accomplish a few one-night stands with the DNC in a grungy motel, but you have to know they’re not going to leave the sweet home cookin’ of the unions and trial lawyers for us, no matter how much we do that thing with our hair.

    6. What alliance? Libertarians swung heavily to Democrats in the elections that brought the Democrats back to power. Libertarians got less than nothing for this, even on the issues which you’ll assure us that Democrats really have libertarian views on even if they don’t do anything.

      Actual votes are more important than some kind of grand alliance announced by think tankers (though there was one of those, too.)

      Libertarian voters, en masse, tried making common cause with liberals and Democrats and got nothing.

      Hell, the GOP even gave a better try at immigration reform than the Democrats will.

      That issue demonstrates how going for libertarianish votes can lose more than you gain, too.

  24. I TOO GOT THE STRONG FEELING THAT BRINK SIMPLY DISLIKES THOSE RUBES WHO ARE “CULTURALLY CONSERVATIVE.”

    1. All caps brings the funny.

      1. WHAT ARE WE ALL YELLING ABOUT!! lol

        Kohls Coupons

  25. i think that brink’s focus is an uncomfortable one for many of the fusionist-libertarians,
    and that is that being culturally conservative is totally incompatible with a libertarian ideology. and he’s right.

    as is being economically-statist (a democrat in our strange political world)

    1. that is that being culturally conservative is totally incompatible with a libertarian ideology

      What the fuck are you talking about?

      So libertarians can’t marry the opposite sex and must get high ever night?

      I hate to be the one to break it to you but most libertarians live for the most part culturally conservative lives. Hell a large portion of them even believe in a Christian god.

    2. I am a cultural conservative. I simply realize that imposing the agenda from above is worse for society than promoting it from the free marketplace of ideas.
      As a matter of fact, the USA is, itself, the most culturally conservative rich democracy. That is exactly, IMHO, because it has (or used to have for a long time) the freest marketplace of ideas of all the rich, culturally European-heritage countries.

    3. that is that being culturally conservative is totally incompatible with a libertarian ideology. and he’s right.

      There’s a hell of a lot of a difference between
      1) being personally culturally conservative while being loath to use the powers of government to enforce it, and
      2) wanting government to impose one’s culture

      You can argue that “most” people who have cultural beliefs want government to impose them, but that doesn’t even appear to be true in the case of polls and the mosque/cultural center in Manhattan.

      Look at, e.g., stem cells. The most crazy culturally conservative thing that Bush did wasn’t to ban fetal stem cell research, but to prevent federal money from being use. Of course, plenty of liberaltarians will tell you that “given the realities of scientific research and how government influences so much funding, libertarians should be for people’s money to be taxed away and used on things that they don’t like, as it’s better to have scientists decide how the money gets spent.”

      I think you’re right, that Brink’s focus is on reading people who fall into category 1) out of libertarianism.

      Ron Paul is extremely culturally conservative. One of the few areas where that shows up in policy is on abortion, which is something that, like animal rights or vegetarianism, someone can take a different but consistent viewpoint by changing one principle while having the rest be libertarian.

      1. thanks man!

        i was going to say something like that, but i got hung up on psychic octopus’ “european-heritage” grand-slam and mr. corning’s….mmmm not really sure…and couldn’t find the words…

  26. I have more on the New Yorker-Mayer-Koch article here:

    http://www.futureofcapitalism……arles-koch

  27. So this Brink fellow is trying to get more liberals to understand what they have in common with libertarians, and he has a problem because liberals have no use for libertarians at all right now since they have all the power.

    Jonah briefly touched on this, but liberals are perfectly happy with using political correctness as the stick to beat conservatives with, therefore they have no need for anti-statist ideas.

    Lindsey is looking for an alliance that simply doesn’t exist. At least conservatives have a foundation that’s built on the idea of free markets, even if they are lousy on social issues.

    And Lindsey isn’t exactly acting in good faith by accusing the Tea Party of being a bunch racist god-botherers. Why would anyone want to join a team that’s as bigoted as he is about the tea party?

  28. “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.”

    How the hell are we supposed to know where Mayer stands?

  29. Brink Lindsey and (more-so) Will Wilkinson are both interesting guys who clearly enjoy the social world of the Left. It’s hipper and more glamorous, and I don’t blame them.

    Unfortunately, basic behavioral/historical observation shows that the Left-Progressive political reality is exactly the opposite of libertarian values. So these guys sort of run endlessly on a Mobious coil, trying to square their want of acceptance from the more glamorous Left social circles while trying to tie it to political systems of the exact opposite formation. Nobody has really cared much to this point, and with the ‘Cato’-cum official-Libertarian tie pulled away, they also become less useful to the Left as props.

    On the other hand, that ‘Basically Progressive, but can’t quite tie it to limited government’ tag also (kinda) fits at least three or four of the regular writers on Reason. So maybe it’s a movement on the rise. Whatever occurs, I’m sure we can all sleep safely with the knowledge that plenty of Ivory Tower wonk commentary that drips with derision at actual libertarian-leaning political movements (however imperfect)will continue to flow in steady supply.

  30. It’s hipper and more glamorous

    Huh?

    Last i checked everything that is hip is for sale on the internet…

    You do not have to hang with any one political group to get it….you just need money.

  31. On the other hand, that ‘Basically Progressive, but can’t quite tie it to limited government’ tag also (kinda) fits at least three or four of the regular writers on Reason.

    I’m all for purging that twit Moynihan but I’m willing to give Cav a break for his brilliant and entertaining writing.

    1. Naah, Moynihan cannot be a progressive even if he wanted. He’s not anti-Israel enough to play with the cool kids.

  32. Oh no. Whatever will we do without these two assholes. Now the rest of us can’t look good just by comparison.

  33. The voting public’s turn around for hating team X in American politics has reached wiplash speed.

    Now that team blue is in decline and team red is in assent it should not be surprising that some libertarians would want to stay working with the team they have been working on.

    With voter turn around approaching instantaneous it might be a good idea.

    That being said it is really fucking stupid for Lindsey to discourage discourse and alliance where it makes sense between libertarians and Tea pirates.

    And catastrophically dead minded to not at least examine the successful tactics of the tea pirates assent.

  34. I’m a total noob to Reason, so can someone please explain the Weigel hate and ratfucker meme to me? Much appreciated.

    1. I’m fairly new too – but from what I can gather, Weigel is hated because he likes to act as a shill for the Democrats, to self-defeating and absurd levels were he really a libertarian. He likes to use the term ratfucking (a synonym for “dirty tricks”) which is the origin of that meme.

      1. So, Weigel is basically an IRL troll masquerading as a libertarian?

        1. Well, he’s a fine journalist, and he might even really be a libertarian, but he certainly isn’t helpful to our cause. He’s probably got more in common with other self-professed “libertarians,” like Bill Maher and Markos Moulitsas, than he does with those he calls the “Paultards.”

        2. “ratfuckers” is a quote from Mr. Weigel in one of the Journolist threads that the DailyCaller printed when outing Weigel as a member. Said outing led many commentors here to feel vindicated in their belief that Mr. Weigel was not a “pure” libertarian. This is usually a venal sin in the grand cosmic scheme of things as nobody meets anyone else’s definition of a “pure” libertarian. Apparently Mr. Weigel also managed to rub a number of the commentors here the wrong way while he was working for Reason.

          1. It had nothing to do with purity. It had everything to do with his dishonesty and his hack coverage of the 2008 election.

            Seriously I would have gotten more honest in depth coverage of Obama from reading the comments at the daily Kos.

            I am not even exaggerating.

            1. I wouldn’t dispute all of this. I definitely sucked up too much to liberals and was a little too impressed by Barack Obama.

              1. …like a bad penny

  35. Liberals, when Libertarians disagree with them:

    YOU EVIL CORPORATE FUCKS WHO WANT POOR PEOPLE TO STARVE YOU’RE WRONG BECAUSE PAUL KRUGMAN SAYS SO AND FUCK YOU RACISTS!

    Conservatives, when Libertarians disagree with them:

    You silly ideologues simply do not understand that our position is the (ahem) realist one, more attuned to the realities of real life. In time you will understand that you cannot place your silly ideology above the grave importance of mandatory anal inspections to prevent drug smuggling.

    Which would you choose?

    1. You’ve never seen the Reason punching bags writers go on The O’Reilly Factor, have you?

      I’ll give you the last word.

      1. I’ve never seen an entire episode of the O’Reilly Factor. I watched like a minute of it once, in which he seemed mildly perturbed at “the far-left liberals” over something related to illegal immigration.

    2. Or, look at it this way:

      If they’re going to spend a trillion dollars here and there, would you rather it be on a war or a health care program?

      I’ll take the latter, thank you.

      1. I know! I know! A war AND a healthcare program!

        1. +10

        2. Hey! Stop stealing all my ideas!

          1. It was MY IDEA FIRST.

            1. not before I got to it

      2. In all seriousness, it is called “liberal interventionism” for a reason. The only reason why liberals hated the Iraq War was because George Bush was President. Bob Dole’s comment about “Democrat wars” had a lot of truth to it. In any case, wars end. Healthcare programs don’t.

    3. You’re right though, conservatives have a nicer tone, but that’s just because Jesus tells them to. Deep down when you talk about letting people snort coke if they want, they’re fuming just as much as liberals.

      1. All the conservatives I have talked to keep telling me we need to legalize pot.

        In fact the only guy I have talked to about drug legalization who was against it not only voted for Obama but has smoked pot in the past month.

  36. Seriously, nobody’s said it yet?

    Kochtopus!!!

  37. Hopefully this is end of liberaltarianism–classical liberalism wedded to Eurotrash socialism is an unnatural marriage

  38. Here’s the problem with the liberaltarian movement. It didn’t have a
    way of dealing with the wedge issues between liberals and
    libertarians. The big ones are regulation and the environment. When
    I chatted with Brink Lindsey, all he talked about was social issues.
    Great.

    The reason why social issues are a weak point is because the
    fundamental position that liberals hold is very much a utilitarian
    view. Liberals tend to not be held back by things like the
    constitution. So a libertarian can argue about the ‘wrongness’ of
    government intervention until blue in the face, but if the libertarian
    doesn’t confront the liberal with an outcome that agrees with the
    ‘laundry list of things to believe’ then the argument is over.

    That’s why the conservative-libertarian alliance is generally
    stronger. For example: Inasmuch as an evangelical christian would
    love to have all the world live a sinless life and come to Jesus,
    young evangelicals and intelligent evangelicals will always show
    respect for a consistent philosophical position, even if there is
    disagreement over the underlying philosopical axioms. It’s built into
    the solo scriptura doctrine.

    For a libertarian to convince a conservative moralist over to the
    cause, the argument is simple. Want people to act the way you want
    them to? Get off your ass, do it the hard way, by going grassroots,
    don’t use government to do so. I’d say most conservative moralists
    would even be up to the challenge.

    For a libertarian to convince a liberal over to the cause, it’s not so
    easy. Because liberals often come from an ‘ends-justify-the-means’
    point of view, you have to show them that 1) government is not doing a
    good job 2) government is unlikely to do a good job 3) getting
    government out is likely to lead to a good solution (and provide a
    suitable alternative) 4) every time we’ve tried to get government out
    we’ve failed because of reason X. A loss on any of those points means
    game over.

    Example: Do we need the FDA? No. Of course not. It totally helps
    out big pharma. But then what happens when people get sick? Well the
    knee-jerk libertarian answer is let them get sick. Wrong answer.
    You’ve lost the liberal.

    Instead, you need to propose an alternative. Strategy: Point out
    that shoddy workmanship on lightbulbs would cause them to explode
    (because there’s a vacuum inside). Which government agency regulates
    lightbulbs? None of them (for now). Lightbulbs are tested by
    Underwriter’s Laboratory – which is a private organization that
    monitors the safety of (among other things) thousands of consumer
    electronics products. Why can’t there be an Underwriter’s Laboratory
    for drugs?

    Example: Without capital regulation, the environment will be
    destroyed and natural resources will be depleted.

    This is tougher. It think you have to point out that the
    hyperconsumptive nature of contemporary capitalism is not inherent to
    free markets but a result of a policy of secular inflation. It’s
    something very very hard to convince because the solution which is to
    go to sustainable monetary policy kills a whole bunch of liberal
    fantasies (coerced redistribution of money to the less fortunate).

    The thing is, it’s far easier to tell a conservative that getting
    government out of the bedroom is a good idea, because most of them
    know it’s true. Heck, many of them are probably don’t exactly hold
    true to their ideals anyways (I’m probably a better bedroom
    conservative than most Christian conservatives). It’s also true that
    liberals don’t hold true to their ideals, but the cognitive dissonance
    is built up in a different way because the things that liberals are
    hypocrites about are social issues where it takes all of society to
    effect a ‘measurable change’ and so the knee-jerk reliance on top-down
    solutions is automatic, versus personal issues – where to the
    intelligent, grassroots, non-coercive efforts seem more natural.

    In the end, libertarians shoot themselves in the foot by proposing
    that society would make itself better solely by ditching social
    services (or, like Brink, not addressing them at all). It’s the easy
    thing to believe, but completely counterproductive. We might even be
    poisoning the well by being so closely allied with the objectivists.
    If you want to build a bridge with the liberal, you have to instead
    argue that government redistribution comes with unsustainable
    overhead, and propose that social services be covered by voluntary
    wealth redistribution (and argue that it not everyone would have to
    contribute for it to be successful – I’d estimate if 20% of the people
    gave 5% of their time or money that would be enough). Then you have
    to make (the limousine liberals anyways) feel guilty about not
    volunteering at the food bank or the homeless shelter. It’s painful.
    You may make enemies and tear down bridges faster than you build them.
    And, honestly, none of that works as an arguing tactic unless the
    arguer both believes and practices what he or she preaches, and I
    don’t think that Brink Lindsey is volunteering at any of DC’s
    volunteer institutions for helping the less fortunate.

  39. In the end, libertarians shoot themselves in the foot by proposing
    that society would make itself better solely by ditching social
    services (or, like Brink, not addressing them at all). It’s the easy
    thing to believe, but completely counterproductive. We might even be
    poisoning the well by being so closely allied with the objectivists.
    If you want to build a bridge with the liberal, you have to instead
    argue that government redistribution comes with unsustainable
    overhead, and propose that social services be covered by voluntary
    wealth redistribution (and argue that it not everyone would have to
    contribute for it to be successful – I’d estimate if 20% of the people
    gave 5% of their time or money that would be enough).

  40. (and argue that it not everyone would have to
    contribute for it to be successful – I’d estimate if 20% of the people
    gave 5% of their time or money that would be enough)

  41. Brink Lindsey is still listed as a Cato Senior Fellow” and has a piece on the site today. The liberaltarian hydra lives.

  42. Brink Lindsey is still listed as a Cato Senior Fellow” and has a piece on the site today. The liberaltarian hydra lives.

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