Libertarian History/Philosophy

Roger Milliken, R.I.P.

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An interesting case from the history of libertarian financing, textile king Roger Milliken, has died at age 95.

Milliken was one of the earliest and most fervent supporters of one of my favorite old libertarians, the anarcho-pacifist Robert LeFevre, who ran the Freedom School in Colorado to spread libertarian ideas in the 1950s-'60s. Milliken used to require high execs in his Deering-Milliken company to take LeFevre classes.

But despite seeing the necessity for LeFevre's libertarian thinking in the big picture, Milliken managed to simultaneously be against free trade when it came to his own business, also financing agitation against it. (Milliken was also for a time on the board of the Foundation for Economic Education, the first modern libertarian educational institution.)

A long report on his funeral from Spartanburg, South Carolina. A bullet point history of his company. Pat Buchanan, who used to be a free trader himself, praises Milliken for his financial support against free trade in textiles and trade agreements, and for being a good boss to his workers. The New York Times obituary, which mentions his fighting against unionization of his workers, and fighting to help a South Carolina college desegregate.

For more on Milliken and LeFevre, see my history of the American libertarian movement, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.

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  1. Another libertarian with a small dick.

    My Daddy’s was bigger.

    Read my blog.

    1. It’s bad to be more annoying than the annoyance.

      1. Maybe it’s a spoof of a spoof?

        1. Good spoofs don’t give themselves reacharounds.

          1. The alternative is registration and moderators, and we can’t have that. Anarchy in the comments lets everyone shine!

            1. No the alternative is a spoof Heller day.

              1. If that’s your idea of a good time.

                [Yaaaaawn]

              2. Yes spoof heller!

                Come on friends, follow my lead!

                Wait, why is no one helping me?

                  1. BlogWhore by Microsoft

                    Repetition Error 1013

                    incif immediately to prevent catastophic failure

            2. The 3rd alternative (The Gripping Hand!!) is incif.

    2. Heller quit it; you have no self-control.

      1. It wants someone to quit being annoying. Isn’t that precious?

        1. Warty, he has literally used my handle over hundred of times, and I ignore him for a year of it. Would you have let him?
          Mention Weigel and you get: Matt Welch|6.29.10 @ 12:16PM|#
          *I* am the thin-skinned crap weasel. I don’t want people spoofing *anyone* here, but since that’s not going to happen until we waste precious time overhauling the comments process, then the least I will ask, particularly at this sensitive juncture, is to not spoof Weigel, so as to completely eliminate the possibility of people confusing a spoof for something he is written. If you don’t like it, get off my lawn, etc.

        2. Warty, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

          WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

          WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

            1. BlogWhore by Microsoft

              Repetition Error 1013

              incif immediately to prevent catastophic failure

      2. heller probably has self control, I don’t.

          1. BlogWhore by Microsoft

            Repetition Error 1013

            incif immediately to prevent catastophic failure

  2. Anarchists are not libertarians and pacifists are fucking stupid. And this hypocrite was such an asshole that he got praise from Buchanan.

    1. Randians really shouldn’t be making declarations of who is and is not a libertarian.

      1. The word is ‘Objectivists’. And we do what we want when we want…barring IOF.

        1. The word is “retarded”.

            1. ROFL!

                  1. BlogWhore by Microsoft

                    Repetition Error 1013

                    incif immediately to prevent catastophic failure

          1. Anarchists really shouldn’t be making declarations of who is and is not retarded.

            1. Cytotoxic is right, we don’t want to hurt a retard’s feelings.

              1. I think we already did.

          2. “But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard.”

            1. Anarchy is like collectivism!

              Because…!

                1. BlogWhore by Microsoft

                  Repetition Error 1013

                  incif immediately to prevent catastophic failure

        2. Interesting how even Objectivists distance themselves from Rand.

          1. It’s not “distancing,” as Objectivism is a philosophy, not a cult. But you know that. Incidentally, why won’t the “libertarian” editors of this site “distance” themselves from Rand?*

            *That’s a rhetorical question. I know the answer and so do you.

    2. Isn’t pacifism just opposition to the initiation of physical force?

      I think Rand may have mentioned that once.

      1. I thought pacifism was the opposition to any and all physical force, even in self-defense.

      2. I’d consider opposition to the initiation of physical force to be the defining characteristic of anarchism, actually. And I mean actual anarchism, not the masked overgrown children who wear black and break things.

        1. Pacifism is whatever we want it to be. We’re anarchists!

          1. So you get to criticize us for whatever positions you decide we have?

  3. Milliken managed to simultaneously be against free trade when it came to his own business, also financing agitation against it.

    Freedom for me, but not for thee. (Assuming that he agitated against free trade and not his own business.)

  4. Did leftists blather about the Millikentopus back in the 50s?

    Speaking of which, I saw a Koch Transportation truck knock off a minivan’s passenger side mirror on the Tri-State Tollway last week on the way into a toll plaza. They start mischief wherever they go I tell you!

  5. Regarding Freedom School: it wasn’t just high execs; it was everybody who got hired for a professional (mostly Engineering, but also Management, Sales, Scientists, basically any college grads) job.

    When I took it in ’93, it was a week-long course taught by Kevin Cullinane. Mrs. Cullinane brought homemade muffins. It was great.

  6. I wonder if those whon make heroes out of marginal zealots are unlikely to get scuence degrees.

    1. I’m sorry, what?

      1. The medications are wearing off. Ignore until he re-doses.

        1. You should’ve just said ‘ignore’.

  7. Sorry to be pedantic, but it’s Spartanburg, with an a after the t.

  8. 1985: Doctor of Laws, Brenau University

    A University? That college for retarded women is a University?

    Brenau College became Brenau University in 1992 by a vote of the Board of Trustees

  9. From Buchanan’s Milliken obituary:

    When his carpet plant in La Grange, Ga., burned down on Jan. 31, 1995, Roger could have collected the insurance money, taken advantage of NAFTA, built a new plant in Mexico, employing the same low-wage labor some of his rivals were using, and pocketed the difference as profits for his company.

    Instead, he arrived in La Grange the morning after the fire, gathered the stunned workers, told them he would find temporary jobs for them, then pledged to have the most modern carpet factory in the world built on that same site in six months.

    He moved his La Grange workers to plants across the South, even to England, and called friendly rivals to ask them to hire his people. He moved to La Grange, oversaw the design of the new plant, brought in 3,000 construction workers and craftsmen, and directed the round-the-clock triple shifts to rebuild his burned-out factory.

    A reporter called it with amazement “a company taking care of its company town.” As promised, on Aug. 1, 1995, the new plant opened.

  10. What a bummer, this dude was major cool!

    http://www.anon-web-tools.edu.tc

    1. Tombstones by Anonbot.

  11. I don’t get this libertarian fascination with anarchy . . . we need at least SOME government, like the police, to instill a sense of authority. Otherwise, certain dark elements (You know what I mean) would destroy everything in sight. That element is bad enough as it is, I cannot even run my store without worrying about these glorified “thugs” . . . so anarchism is a pipe-dream!

    1. “Anarchy, as a political concept, is a naive floating abstraction. A society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came along and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare. But the possibility of human immorality is not the only objection to anarchy: even a society whose every member were fully rational and faultlessly moral, could not function in a state of anarchy; it is the need of objective laws and of an arbiter for honest disagreements among men that necessitates the establishment of a government.”

  12. ” we need at least SOME government, like the police, to instill a sense of authority”

    If we need some government. Instilling authority is just a stupid reason.

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