Libertarian History/Philosophy

To Duke Historian Nancy MacLean, Advocating Free Markets Is Something 'The World Has Never Seen Anything Like…Before'

To some mainstream academics, libertarianism is too bizarre and hideous to even fit in their minds.

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Duke University historian Nancy MacLean recently issued Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, an alas quite hot book that purports to expose the dark secrets of Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan and the "radical right"/libertarian movement he's allegedly the brains behind.

Democracy in Chains/Amazon

MacLean has been convincingly accused by many who understand his work and the libertarian movement with both less built-in hostility and more actual knowledge than she has (including me here at Reason) of getting nearly everything wrong, from fact to interpretation. She recently took to the Chronicle of Higher Education to allegedly reply to her critics.

A quick wrap up of many specific problems found in her book by her critics—by no means all—that MacLean ignores even while allegedly "respond[ing] to her critics," and which the editors at the Chronicle let her ignore:

• Her claim of meaningful similarity between John Calhoun's constitutional vision and that of Buchanan and his public choice school cannot be reasonably maintained.

• Her assertion that the modern public choice/libertarian constitutionalist vision has nothing to do with James Madison is not true.

• Buchanan did not, contra MacLean, believe that all taxation above voluntary giving is theft akin to a mugger in the park.

• She attributed to Buchanan the belief that those receiving government aid "are to be treated as subordinate members of the species, akin to… animals who are dependent" though he used that phrase to describe the attitude that was the opposite of his.

• Her attribution of Buchanan's use of the Hobbesian term "Leviathan" to (racist, uncoincidentally for her rhetorical smear purposes) Southern Agrarian poet Donald Davidson rather than, well, Hobbes, falls apart with study of when and how Buchanan began using the term in his work.

• She regularly cites libertarian thinkers as saying nasty things implying a contempt for the poor or for democracy that are not supported by the full context of the quotes; victims of her malicious misinterpretation including David Boaz and Tyler Cowen.

It's a pattern of hostile incomprehension, and her "response" indicates that this is partly because she's deep-down unable to view thinkers or funders who advocate limiting government's scope, expense, or power any other way.

MacLean speaks to none of the above specific critiques of her book in the Chronicle, merely generically complaining about being attacked and insisting that people who critique her work clearly hadn't read or understood it, or linking to people who sophistically defend some possible meanings in a manner far more subtle and complicated than she bothered to do.

Mostly eschewing factual or interpretational specifics, she reached instead for sympathy by complaining these specific critiques on her methods and understanding as a historian made her "feel vulnerable and exposed" and interpreting an intellectual metaphor for a physical threat.

She does a cute turnaround insisting against all evidence that those who praised her book were the only ones who read it, and that the very political forces she inveighs against in her book "helped create the current toxicity" allegedly exemplified by academic experts explaining how she got so many things so very wrong in her attempt to make her readers hate and fear anyone who wants to restrict government's power to manage our lives.

She certainly does not address a core problem with her book I detailed in my review: the "historical fact" upon which her entire thesis depends, her book's distinguishing selling point, which she claims to have uniquely discovered through diligent archival work, that James Buchanan was the secret influence behind the political funding machine of Charles Koch and that that machine is deliberately and conspiratorially disguising its libertarian goals, is completely invented. She creates an illusion of proof by citing documents that do not support the thesis in any way, shape, or form.

The most telling part of her defense in the Chronicle is how hard, well-nigh impossible, it is for her to imagine that people who might want the government to do less are actually a legitimate part of any public policy debate:

Sam Tanenhaus, in his otherwise favorable review in The Atlantic, said, "a movement isn't the same thing as a conspiracy. One openly declares its intentions. The other keeps them secret. It's not always clear that MacLean recognizes the difference." As a scholar, I understand the problems of conspiracy theories and while I never called this movement a conspiracy in the book, we do face a problem that our language has not caught up to our world.

In hindsight, I wish I'd said more about that in my book because we do not yet have a conceptual system adequate to capture what is happening….a messianic multibillionaire [has] contributed vast amounts of dark money to fund dozens upon dozens of ostensibly separate but actually connected organizations that are exploiting what Buchanan's team taught about "the rules of the game" of modern governance in a cold-eyed bid to bend our institutions and policies to goals they know most voters do not share….

….The world has never seen anything like it before; no wonder it's hard to find the right term to depict it. It's a vexing challenge to understand, let alone stop, and in hindsight I wish had been more explicit about that conceptual challenge….

What she is writing about is, yes, exactly what Tanenhaus called it: a movement. There is no need for her peculiar hyperventilating pretense that it's utterly unprecedented that donors and intellectuals in a democratic Republic would attempt to spread ideas or pass legislation in the direction of limiting government's expense or reach.

Despite her pretense that Buchanan is some secret linchpin to this movement, he always played a minor role in any kind of explicit policy terms (you wouldn't know it from this book but he explicitly eschewed reducing his high-minded constitutional musings to policy recommendations or political activism) in the loose association of free market thinkers dating back at least to the 1940s.

Had she known more about the history of free market and libertarian advocates and organizations since the '40s, she would have known that musing over various ways to actuate their goal of turning the culture more toward free markets have been consistent and often amount to nothing in particular, and cannot meaningfully be read as a secret conspiracy. The very fact that respected historians like MacLean can have this bizarrely uncomprehending attitude toward the libertarian movement is the very reason it needs to exist, and why it still fights an uphill battle.

When MacLean, for example, treats one particular 1973 memo from Buchanan skylarking about a "Third Century Project" to spread free market ideas as something of great significance, she seems to hope she's discovered another "Powell Memo," a 1971 memo written for the Chamber of Commerce by future Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell that similarly, and similarly in a long tradition, mused about how defenders of free enterprise could fight back in a world they (rightly) felt was rallied against them.

That Powell memo has also been overemphasized by academics dipping into the history of free market ideas as some secret origin of the modern right. It was just one more effort in a continuing, and still-fighting-for-air, movement to limit government growth. It only seems weird and secret to intellectuals of the mainstream or left because they don't know much about it.

That strong free market policies don't currently reign in the American public is exactly why an intellectual movement she considers sneaky and evil arose, to try to convince Americans both public and elite that liberty is the path to prosperity and peace. It is not destroying democracy to try to shape public discourse, even if MacLean doesn't like the way libertarians are trying to shape it.

Her belief that libertarianism is so inherently horrendous she is unable to conceptualize it as perfectly legitimate and totally predictable led to her kookoo public declarations of a deliberate organized conspiracy to discredit her—again without actually defending her work's credibility on any specifics—on the part of academics who are part of this, yes, movement.

On a personal note, while she states that her book is the "first detailed picture of how this movement began…and how it evolved over time" (see, using the word "movement" wasn't so hard there, was it?), she also cites my own book that does exactly that (Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement) over a dozen times.

For the most part, she does so reasonably and accurately. The one doozy of an exception is designed, unsurprisingly, to feed her "secret thesis" (one she spends a third of her book implying but never actually stating, so she can avoid having to explicitly defend it) that libertarian attitudes toward the state were essentially created by anger with the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education that desegregated public schools.

She cites to three pages of my book, and to other sources that similarly in no way support it, the idea that "Brown so energized this ragtag collection of outraged radicals of the right that some were no longer happy calling themselves 'libertarian.'"

Suffice it to say, nothing in the three pages of mine she cites, or the other sources in her cluttered endnote, support the contention that anything about Brown did anything to libertarians in the 1950s to make them question the term, or (outside of James Kirkpatrick, a right-wing segregationist fellow traveler) particularly motivate them in any way.

But that weird assertion is central to MacLean's purposes: making her readers think less of anyone who might want to restrict government power in a way she disapproves.

To baldly declare her real central point, which is that "I prefer, and I believe Americans prefer, more taxing and spending and redistribution than James Buchanan and libertarians want," would reveal her confused alleged historical epic as what it truly is: a hypertrophied polemical op-ed larded with often irrelevant smear and speculation, telling a story about James Buchanan that is neither true nor relevant to "the radical right's stealth plan for America."

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361 responses to “To Duke Historian Nancy MacLean, Advocating Free Markets Is Something 'The World Has Never Seen Anything Like…Before'

  1. I really want to hate read this book. problem is I don’t want to pay for it, does anybody know if libraries still exist?

    1. Nope, sorry. They were all plowed under by the libertarian conspiracy to make way for Koch Industries orphan-grinding substations.

      1. Fuck I must have missed that meeting.

        1. There’s a picture of it right there on the cover. You can tell by the smoke-filled room and guys in suits.

      2. “…a messianic multibillionaire [has] contributed vast amounts of dark money to fund dozens upon dozens of ostensibly separate but actually connected organizations in … a cold-eyed bid to bend our institutions and policies to goals they know most voters do not share….”

        Is she talking about Zuckerberg or Gates?

        1. Soros.

    2. Just have the Koch brothers buy every copy in existence and then burn them!

    3. You may be able to find it in some libraries under historical fiction.

      1. So, book sharing is fine but house sharing or ride sharing need government regulation?

    4. Using libraries? What kind of libertarian are you?
      Just pirate it ffs.

      1. ” What kind of libertarian are you?”

        Personally, I am libratarian. It indicates I love book repositories and believe in horoscopes at the same time.

    5. They don’t exist in the libertarian utopia. They do, thankfully, still exist in reality.

      1. Miron|8.2.17 @ 5:53PM|#
        “They don’t exist in the libertarian utopia. They do, thankfully, still exist in reality.”

        Yeah, and taxpayer money is stolen to build the things which remain empty.
        I’ll bet a lefty ignoramus like you loves choo-choos also!

  2. Only until the libertarian revolution. At that point they will be burned to the ground to prevent the commoners from getting uppity.

    But you should know that. Haven’t you read our Manifesto recently? I’m having doubts about your commitment to the Cause…

    1. It will be comical one day when the libertarian form of government reigns out of necessity for everything else’s utter failure. At that point, libertarians will be power drunk controllers and they will have to come up with a new name and ethos.

      God knows there are some smug people in the libertarian camp and I can completely see many prominent libs becoming apologists for the first libertarian that achieves high office and abuses it.

      1. It still probably won’t be libertarians in power to be honest

        1. If the Libertarian “leader” who eventually gets the opportunity to hold the highest office and he or she has Libertarian principles, he or she will not be in “power”. Power is left to the states or to the people respectively. From my understanding, that’s the whole idea of Libertarianism; to give the people back the power. This person will be a leader, but not in power.

          1. I’m not even sure “leader” is the proper term.
            Mostly caretaker of a government limited to doing this, that and not much else and jealously careful to keep it from growing like the cancer it is now.

            1. Caretaker is a good word for it. Warden of Liberty too.

              A Libertarian could certainly be President and faithfully execute the duties of that position and still be Libertarian. Congressmen too. They would need to cut spending by 75%+ and spend most of their time repealing laws.

              So…. probably not going to happen for some time.

          2. Administrator. Someone has to shut down all the departments and sell off all the land and equipment.

        2. Well sure, if you want to play “No True Scotsman”.

  3. I’m pretty sure the central point of the book is that the author has no idea who Michael Bellesiles is, or trusts that nobody else knows who Michael Bellesiles is.

    1. Any bets on him being her fact checker?

  4. Buchanan did not, contra MacLean, believe that all taxation above voluntary giving is theft akin to a mugger in the park.

    The belief, though, is not wrong.

    Mostly eschewing factual or interpretational specifics, she reached instead for sympathy by complaining these specific critiques on her methods and understanding as a historian made her “feel vulnerable and exposed” and interpreting an intellectual metaphor for a physical threat.

    So, she is saying we should never take her seriously.

    Because anybody who wilts like she is here doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

    1. Intellectual mediocrities will always take her seriously because she makes them feel smart and savvy.

      1. How ironic. After years of reading about the modern U.S. version of libertarianism, intellectual mediocrity is precisely how I would describe purveyors of this nonsense. Your individual travelers are nearly childlike in their understanding of the benefits of a federal government. The most frequent, knee-jerk reaction to any criticism sets up a straw man fallacy and a false dichotomy by proposing that the critic supports unlimited government. Here, have a taste of your own smug, snarky medicine.
        http://world.std.com/~mhuben/onelesson.html

        1. Miron|8.2.17 @ 6:22PM|#
          “How ironic. After years of reading about the modern U.S. version of libertarianism, intellectual mediocrity is precisely how I would describe purveyors of this nonsense.”

          How imbecilic.
          After many, many years of reading about lefty crap that never works, starves people, steals money from the productive, it’s hard to qualify the level of mendacity required for lefty imbeciles like Miron to even keep breathing.
          BTW, Miron, has anyone yet suggested you fuck off? If not, let me be the first.
          You can have your cracker; you’re nothing but a parrot of the crap deposited here by the lefty ingoranti in general.

          1. Let me be the second to enthusiastically tell Miron to fuck off.

    2. It’s not like a mugger in a park. It’s more like the mob offering you protection.

      1. Except the mob doesn’t expect you to smile and thank them for their actions.

  5. It’s a pattern of hostile incomprehension, and her “response” indicates that this is partly because she’s deep-down unable to view thinkers or funders who advocate limiting government’s scope, expense, or power any other way.

    MacLean speaks to none of the above specific critiques of her book in the Chronicle, merely generically complaining about being attacked and insisting that people who critique her work clearly hadn’t read or understood it, or linking to people who sophistically defend some possible meanings in a manner far more subtle and complicated than she bothered to do.

    Brian you are way to kind. It always comes down to two things with these types(and they exist on both sides of the spectrum) of people either liar or stupid. Either way they are not people worth engaging.

    1. No kidding. That whole quote is a long way of saying:
      When you point out a leftist for being full of shit, they call you and …ist of some sort.

      Why bother engaging a brainwashed imbecile?

      1. Leftists whine like stuck pigs, except that’s an insult to pigs. Film at 11.

    2. It always comes down to two things with these types(and they exist on both sides of the spectrum) of people either liar or stupid.

      Yup. That’s one of the most frustrating things for me in political discussions. An awful lot of people are convinced that anyone who disagrees must be dishonest (or have secret nefarious motives) or stupid. And people of all ideological bents are guilty of this. I bet there will be many examples of such thinking right here in this thread. Hell, I probably do it sometimes.

      1. I’m certain that when people disagree with me it’s because they’re too dumb to understand the point I’m making. But I’ve grown accustomed to being surrounded by idiots.

      2. The only people I routine dismiss as stupid are marxists/socialists. It is too dumb of an ideology with far too much proof of its failure and violence to ever defend.

        1. Even they aren’t all stupid. Maybe deluded, maybe dishonest. People, even smart people, are really good at maintaining cognitive dissonance and self-delusion. None of us is as rational as we like to think.

          I almost want to say that stupid people are probably less likely to be taken in by something like Marxism. It takes some complicated mental gymnastics to convince yourself of nonsense like that.

          1. It has to do with self image I think. It’s not stupid people, really. It’s mediocre intelligence, maybe one standard deviation away from average IQ. But they want to think of themselves as having a superior mind and also kinder and more compassionate. Maclean and her ilk cater to them.

        2. I watched a few people become full-blown Marxists over the last election cycle. It’s not always stupidity. You’d be impressed over the asinine historical details and figures they memorize during their indoctrination (of course it’s unbelievable when they haven’t learned about Mises’ economic calculation problem yet)

          But the real reason is usually something deeply personal. They’re just not well. It allows them to have an easy bogeyman (capitalism) to explain their own failures and the injustices of the world. And they’re usually just a handful of questions away from defending the use of violence against people they don’t like, or the death of innocents in the name of achieving their utopia

          1. Yeah, most people, even smart people, decide what they want to believe then figure out how to justify it to themselves.

            I think it’s even true of most libertarians. It starts with the gut feeling that people telling you what to do and taking your stuff is wrong. The philosophy and logic comes later, if at all. I like to think that libertarians are smarter than average. But that may well just be my own bias. I don’t think that what people end up believing has much to do with intelligence. How exactly they end up justifying their beliefs does.

            1. Jonathan Haidt did find that libertarians were significantly more intelligent than either liberals or conservatives.

              1. Well, that’s nice. Always pleasant to have one’s biases confirmed.

                1. Do you think Haidt is biased? He Identifies as liberal Democrat.

                  1. No, I’m talking about Haidt confirming my biases.

              2. You might want to actually read what Haidt concluded.
                http://righteousmind.com/large…..ian-psych/

                1. You might want to read more than one page of Haidt’s writings.

                  1. Paloma|8.2.17 @ 11:14PM|#
                    “You might want to read more than one page of Haidt’s writings.”

                    A lefty LEARN anything!? Not on your LIFE!
                    Miron is a life-long lefty ignoramus.

            2. I think you’re entirely correct. All logical chains start with an axiom that’s simply taken as a fact due to belief. “Aggression is wrong” is one such that can lead to a libertarian thought-chain outcome, but that isn’t some mathematically verifiable truth of the universe – it’s just a subjective belief, like any other.

            3. Yeah, most people, even smart people, decide what they want to believe then figure out how to justify it to themselves.

              I’m working my way through The Edge of Reason in which the author is making exactly this point. His overall point is that the bulk of thought is guided by emotion and judgment and then refined and strengthened with logic.

              1. It’s hard to deny. I know pretty well where my animosity towards central planning and social justice BS comes from, and it wasn’t a logical sit-down with the evidence. The fact that libertarianism feels so right and the logic follows so naturally to me isn’t in itself proof that I found the one truth on accident (I found it in between election cycles if you’d believe it). And as the commenter above said, the foundational belief that violence against peaceful people is wrong cannot be mathematically proven, it’s just something you feel, or assign as a truth from God if you’re religious. Once logic is applied to that belief, small-to-no government is the outcome

                That’s also why I think we shouldn’t give up on every leftist, because surely there are some that have that same moral belief and just haven’t followed it to its natural conclusion. I mean I was raised on the left and then saw where it was going and bailed, winding up at libertarianism. There are definitely people unsure of what’s going on with their party and open to new ideas. Of course you have to sort those people out from those who think equality is the most moral goal, as they probably can’t be reached and would be full Marxists once they completely followed their own chain of logic

            4. This is why the NAP is non-negotiable. If you can accept that violence in not an acceptable political tool, the logic and reasonable philosophy start to settle in.

            5. Here’s an interesting study by Jonathan Haidt that you may find interesting.
              http://righteousmind.com/large…..ian-psych/

              1. Miron|8.2.17 @ 6:41PM|#
                “Here’s an interesting study by Jonathan Haidt that you may find interesting.”

                Didn’t you get called on that cherry-picking earlier?
                Oh, yes you did:

                “Paloma|8.2.17 @ 11:14PM|#
                You might want to read more than one page of Haidt’s writings.”

                So we can presume lying lefty scumbag trying to slip things through…

                1. Once I catch a leftist in a lie, I stop bothering trying to refute them and just mock them.

    3. I often wrestle with “stupid” versus “evil” and I almost always lean toward “evil”. I see no reason to change here. The book seems like a smear job to me. She’s an intellectual, supposedly, and therefore not stupid.

    4. One title of a libertarian critique of her book is:

      “Nancy MacLean is Either Grossly Incompetent or a Liar”

      1. Why not both?

        1. Indeed. Embrace the healing power of ‘and’.

      2. Seems legit.

    5. So anyone who criticizes your ideology either supports or is too dense to understand any ideology other than unlimited government?
      Straw man fallacy and false dichotomy are the most common thread in the libertarian reviews of this book.
      It strikes me after wading through many reviews that before you and your pals categorize anyone who criticizes your ideology as “either [a] liar or stupid”, consider that your rhetoric is precisely the type that makes libertarians generally “not people worth engaging”.
      Here is a dose of your own medicine:
      http://world.std.com/~mhuben/onelesson.html

      1. Miron|8.2.17 @ 6:31PM|#
        “So anyone who criticizes your ideology either supports or is too dense to understand any ideology other than unlimited government?”

        No, just ignoramuses like you.

  6. So, a Marxist twat purporting to be an historian is incompetent at historical research? Say it ain’t so!

    -jcr

    1. Editor’s Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic.

      1. Miron|8.2.17 @ 6:34PM|#
        “Editor’s Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic.”

        Commenters note:
        “Fuck off, lefty scumbag”

      2. Here’s the only civility you deserve:

        Kindly fuck off, slaver.

  7. To Duke Historian Nancy MacLean, Advocating Free Markets Is Something ‘The World Has Never Seen Anything Like…Before’

    Not to be a dick here, but she’s generally correct.

    1. Good point

    2. Unfortunately for Doherty, she’s not referring to simply “advocating free markets” with that quote.

      It’s the movement/conspiracy that she sees that is unprecedented.

      And, if she thinks that never before have a small group of wealthy people tried to influence a government against the will of the populace, she’s generally incorrect.

      1. The will of the populace is a very modern concept anyway. Mostly it was God’s will, or the way the gods ordered the universe.

        1. Same thing today. We still believe in the divine right of kings to rule. We’ve just replaced “king” with “plurality of voters”. The same meaning is there. 51% of voters have the sacred right to rule over all others, because that’s the way nature and nature’s universe intended it to be.

        2. Yeah, like freaking Solon of Athens, that Johnny-Come-Lately. Tired of all these new ideas springing up.

    3. Guess that depends on the scale and size of your timeline.

  8. The Kochtopus must have put one Hell of a bounty on the lady professor’s head.

  9. As many have said many times, marxists are stupid, first and foremost. It is their overriding defining characteristic.

    The beauty of marxism is that is can be ingrained in these people without them ever knowing they are marxists. The power of brainwashing is hiding the real intent. The brainwashers do not want their sheep to know they are coopting them. They want them go out and conquer under the guise of benevolence and envy.

    I think many educators, besides the card carrying marxists, do not have the intelligence to know the definition of either capitalism or marxism. Nor are they interested in learning. They know they are running as scam with government pay and just assume stay away from the controversial stuff.
    They are, however, redistributionists, class warfare pimps, and environmental whackos. They carry all of the ammo to be card carrying socialists but they are too lazy and spoiled to go full retard(give their money to the collective and live like we did 300 years ago). Which of course makes them cowards and hypocrites on top of monumentally stupid.
    Books like this come along every once in while, thankfully, which expose their utter ignorance and their attempts to spin lies to the herd. The last guy that tried one of these steaming piles was the Pickety guy who wrote that BS about capital. Hilariously stupid and either misinformed or just Marxist propaganda trying to disguise itself as modern economic theory.

  10. This book sounds like it was written by Tony. Convinced that libertarian boogy-men fill the halls of power in this country, and are driving every policy decision from banning 4-loko to limiting how much water your toilet uses when it flushes.

    1. This book sounds like it was written by Tony.

      That was my immediate thought upon reading this: “She attributed to Buchanan the belief that those receiving government aid “are to be treated as subordinate members of the species, akin to? animals who are dependent”

      1. See below for evidence. Like clockwork.

    2. I’d never write a book like this because I don’t want creepy libertarian psychopaths threatening me with death and publishing my home address on the internet.

      1. We already have your home address, we’re withholding it for when you do something truly bad.

        1. Just as libertarians are all hypocrites when it comes to force and threats of force, I might just be a hypocrite when it comes to owning an arsenal. What can I say, my boyfriend likes to shoot animals. Fucking Texans.

          1. These euphemisms: I’ll never understand furries.

      2. That, and you’re a bad writer.

      3. Ah – so you totally would write this book, you’re just too big of a coward. Gotcha.

      4. creepy libertarian psychopaths threatening me with death

        That harrowing world you live in, sheesh.

      5. You WISH you could get that much attention.

        -jcr

    3. “Who controls the British crown,
      Who keeps the metric system down,
      We do, we do…”

    4. This book sounds like it was written by Tony.

      alt-title winner.

    5. Those same libertarian bogey men are the ones who jacked up federal government spending to 4 trillion dollars per year, I assume?

  11. That’s funny, I just reloaded and it looks like a post that was just above this one that was there a few minutes ago has disappeared. Something about a microagression class at Rutgers.

    Wonder what happened.

    1. Chris Christie ate it.

    2. I just commented on it.

    3. And I see it’s back. Shrug.

      1. Somebody jumped the line and got put back in their place.

  12. So MacLean recognized the “all my enemies are racist” accusation hasn’t been working as well as it used to. So she tried to create a framework which would help them.

    It’s rather like the sexual assault “researchers” who produce propaganda studies showing 4 of every 1 female on campus was raped last week.

    1. studies showing 4 of every 1 female on campus was raped last week.

      But that figure is actually too low, once you swallow Andrea Dworkin’s insane claim that all non-lesbian sex is rape.

      -jcr

      1. Not just her. Try googling the phrase “PIV is always rape, okay?”

  13. Man, it’s going to be so sweet when that liberal-libertarian alliance occurs. Any day now!

    1. I’d say economics is the last bone of contention. They both agree on the kind of world they want to live in. They’re just fighting over who’s going to pay for it.

      1. Doesn’t matter if libertopia is free or not, we still have to force the rich to pay for it!

    2. You’re reading its official journal right now.

      1. And yet, you’re still here polluting the well.

  14. It’s hilarious that she’s hyperventilating over Tyler Cowen and David Boaz as extremists looking to undermine democracy. She’d have a heart attack halfway through Anatomy of the State

    But yes, the left does not understand the fundamental principles of libertarianism. When our resident lefties create a strawman, it’s usually a Republican strawman rather than a libertarian one. And they’ve been here for years

    1. Yeah, I get a kick out of her attacking Tyler Cowan. If he scares the shit out of MacLean, I don’t think she could cope meeting a real life honest to goodness minarchist.

      “Cut government spending by 5%?!?!? Trim it back to 2016 spending levels?!??!But, but, but… THAT’S ANARCHY!!!11!”

    2. I wonder if Tony ever will dislodge his head from his rectum and gain even the dimmest understanding of the NAP.

      -jcr

    3. The proglodytes never mention Rothbard. If people started questioning their basic assumptions about government, the whole thing could start crumbling down.

  15. Nancy MacLean is the type of person for whom the antique term “fascist mentality” was coined.

  16. Uh oh, folks. I’m reliably informed that this article proves that governance by True Libertarianism (TM) has finally been tried and found to be a disaster.

    I happen to find the thesis wanting (I’m unclear why these people wouldn’t have been better off staying unincorporated; the problem seems to be they tried to centralize their government and it fell into internecine fighting, which doesn’t strike me as a problem connected to a libertarian ideology), but what do I know?

    1. TL;DR but I got to the part where libertarianism means a sewage system falls out of the sky or something.

    2. I’m skimming it now. You’re right. It’s strangely incongruent. They chose to leave the relatively libertarian-ish circumstances of remaining unincorporated, and instead decided to centralize their government, and this is called the libertarian experiment that failed.

      Essentially, the thesis is, they were afraid of being absorbed by the mega-state tyranny, so in an attempt to avert that, they adopted a smaller version of it. The libertarians threw tyrants a bone by saying, “Ok, you can impose yourself a little…”

      How’d that work out for you?

      In 2006, fearing annexation by rapidly encroaching San Antonio, some in Von Ormy proposed incorporating as a town. But in government-averse rural Texas, incorporation can be a hard sell. Unincorporated areas are governed mainly by counties, which have few rules about what you can do on private property and tend to only lightly tax. There’s no going back from what municipal government brings: taxes, ordinances, elections and tedious city council meetings. Still, the fear of being absorbed by San Antonio ? with its big-city taxes and regulations ? was too much for most Von Ormians.

    3. “Some really liked it,” Reyes said. “They liked the possibility of getting street lights, sewage, better roads and all of the stuff that comes with incorporating. ? There was quite a bit promised and people bought into it, including myself.”

      Others thought that the process would lead to unnecessary fights and power grabs.

      “A lot of people that did not want to incorporate were saying that once you become a political entity you start with the corruption, the infighting and all of the stuff that comes with having public figures,” she said

      So by my reading, the libertarians were right. There’s no compromising with evil. If you give in a little, evil always wins. They compromised, things got evil.

  17. Calling her work “history” is like calling shark week “science”.

  18. Never heard of her.

  19. A progressive tell fantastical lies to her lie-slurping progressive followers?

    What ever is this world coming to?

  20. Duke is the Hillbilly Harvard. Everything that comes out of there is credentialed retardation.

  21. One of MacLean’s biggest howlers is the idea that Gordon Tullock did not have any scholarly impact.

    A two second Google Scholar Search finds the following:

    Calculus of Consent: 10,891 citations
    The welfare costs of tariffs, monopolies, and theft: 4,213 citations
    An empirical analysis of cross-national economic growth, 1951?1980: 1,422 citations

    Inherent in the last citation also refutes her claim that there is no empirical evidence for public choice theories.

  22. “I believe Americans prefer, more taxing and spending and redistribution” Americans can do that now, at any time. No problem here.

    The Koch brothers at least have the decency to spend their own money for political purposes (didn’t really work) – folks like Bernie Sanders want to spend the money of the top 49% of taxpayers for the bottom 51%’s votes, or from the money of future generations.

  23. If she wanted to find disdain for the poor and people who use government services and a hatred of democracy, all she needed to do was ask literally any libertarian on the street or this comments board.

    They’ll also be likely to give a wonderfully neoconfederate explanation for why slavery and segregation were imposed on poor hapless Southerners against their will.

    Or an angelic-like ignorance of the Koch brothers’ influence from the very fucking magazine they subsidize.

    1. Slavery WAS imposed on the majority of poor hapless Southerners who were Black people descended from the African slaves brought to the colonies British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish. There was no “will” involved.

      1. Sorry, insert “white” in my sentence.

        1. Why? You don’t consider the black population of the south part of the real people who lived there?

          1. You don’t consider the black population of the south part of the real people who lived there?

            The Democrats never did. Even today, they’re just sharecroppers for votes.

            -jcr

            1. That sentence means equally “Blacks, almost universally, are too stupid to figure out how to vote for their own interests.” Is that what you believe?

              1. You leftists prove that you believe it every week.

        2. Newsflash for you, pinhead: very few people in the south owned slaves. The slaveowners were outnumbered by the poor whites who were conscripted to catch slaves running away from the Democrat 1%ers who kept them in bondage.

          -jcr

          1. Stop complicating Tony’s narrative!

    2. You ok?

      1. Had a rough night. Not sleeping well lately. Thanks for asking.

        1. Perhaps comments section arguments aren’t helping

          1. Just waiting out the clock. How are you today?

        2. I don’t see a difference between the bullshit you’ve posted today and your normal pile of steaming shit.

      2. He’s trolling with 6 out of 8 cylinders, so he must be feeling great today.

  24. a messianic multibillionaire [has] contributed vast amounts of dark money to fund dozens upon dozens of ostensibly separate but actually connected organizations […] in a cold-eyed bid to bend our institutions and policies to goals they know most voters do not share

    But enough about George Soros…

  25. You need to fix a link; the critique of the parallels between Calhoun and Buchanan should be https://reason.com/archives/201…..about-jame

  26. Christ, what a stupid cunt.

  27. Dude, what is with you guys and Pinochet?

    1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 3:39PM|#
      “Dude, what is with you guys and Pinochet?”

      What is it with you and mass murderers?
      100,000,000 dead not enough for you?

      1. Oh great the dean emeritus of thinkology has shown up.

        1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 3:44PM|#
          “Oh great the dean emeritus of thinkology has shown up.”

          Vermin like you deserve pest control, shitbag.

    2. Where was Pinochet mentioned?

      1. MacLean’s book has a whole chapter on Buchanan’s work in Chile. I’m reading her response to the critiques linked here.

        1. work in Chile

          the skiing @Portillo is lovely.

        2. “I’m reading her response to the critiques linked here.”

          He’s repeating the claims she can’t support here, since he has no knowledge of what went on, nor the intellectual capability of researching it.
          Parrot; not much more than that.

        3. You mean the country with the only decent economy is Latin America? The one where the ruthless dictator gave up power voluntarily after seventeen years? Unlike the charming Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez that was such a hit in lefty circles that finally died before he could be pried from office, whose spirit (but not his charm) lives on in Maduro, who bloodies the streets with bodies.

          1. So it’s OK to pal around with dictators if they believe in the right economic theory?

            1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 3:57PM|#
              “So it’s OK to pal around with dictators if they believe in the right economic theory?”

              No, but it is certainly preferable to the dictators who make a practice of starving the population to death.
              Unless you’re a lefty who prefers mass starvation, right, lefty?

          2. And it’s kind of bizarre that I have to say it, but this is a false equivalence, as I don’t think there was a long train of American liberals going down to Venezuela to try to set up a utopia. Some have praised him for being a counter to the neoliberalism being imposed undemocratically by American libertarians in South America, but there’s this new word I learned recently: “whataboutism.” How is Chavez relevant to this discussion?

            1. The funny thing about Venezuela is that it used to be “socialism works!” and now it’s “of course dictatorships don’t work!”

              Tomato. Tomato.

              1. Yeah well I don’t really fall for utopian schemes of any kind.

                1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 4:14PM|#
                  “Yeah well I don’t really fall for utopian schemes of any kind.”

                  Posted by the most gullible lefty commenter here.
                  Are you capable of posting without lying? I’ve yet to see it.

                2. Yeah well I don’t really fall for utopian schemes of any kind.

                  Except that your go-to, last-resort reason for rejecting libertarianism is always that it won’t achieve utopia, even though no libertarian has ever claimed that it would.

                  1. On the contrary, it’s that it will almost certainly achieve an unlivable hellscape, apart from the fact that you could only ever get it by imposing it on a whole society against its will.

                    1. I suppose I should have said that it’s one of your two, depending on which one you need in the moment.

                      We’re racists, too – don’t forget that one!

                    2. I would say that if you find yourself in a political movement that is approaching 100% white and is way over 50% male, something is wrong with the movement. Just a sort of rule of thumb.

                    3. Or you could, you know, evaluate the ideas on their own merits without taking a race count in order to determine whether you should agree or disagree.

                      What racial makeup in the believers makes an idea right? If only black people believe it is it right? Or does adherence need to be proportional to American demographic groups based on census totals?

                    4. So what is it about minorities and women that they just can’t grasp the merits of libertarianism?

                    5. So what is it about minorities and women that they just can’t grasp the merits of libertarianism?

                      Have you never encountered women or minorities here?

                    6. And you didn’t answer my question – how many black people have to believe in something before it becomes right?

            2. As in “what about Pinochet”? As though paling around with dictators with the “right” economic theory were unique to libertarianism. I don’t recall many libertarians praising Pinochet. I DO recall various liberals, including Bernie Sanders, praising Hugo Chavez a MUCH more vicious and intractable dictator than Pinochet. What about ism? No people in very very fragile glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

              1. In fact, Milton Friedman’s response to his critics was something along the lines of “if Hitler came to you and asked you for advice on how to better run his country, would you turn him away?”

    3. Dude, what is it with you guys and the Che t-shirts?

      1. We actually paid for them, unlike you guys with that entire country.

        1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 3:52PM|#
          “We actually paid for them,…”

          With handouts or ‘gov’t loans’.

          1. What was Lenin’s quote about selling the rope they get hanged with?

            1. And charging for the bullet.

        2. you guys with that entire country

          I didn’t realize I was responsible for what happened in Chile when I was an infant.

          1. I’m still not getting my free wine.

  28. Her claim of meaningful similarity between John Calhoun’s constitutional vision and that of Buchanan and his public choice school cannot be reasonably maintained.

    The link here is corrupted.

    1. The anger over my linking Buchanan with Calhoun at least brought me a moment of levity. George Mason’s Donald Boudreaux called it “astonishing” that I drew a parallel between Buchanan’s political economy and that of John C. Calhoun. Yet it was not I but Boudreaux’s own colleagues at George Mason’s Mercatus Center, Alexander Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen, who called the antebellum South Carolina senator’s thought “a precursor of modern public choice theory” and concluded that the two systems of thought had “the same purpose and effect.”

      1. “The anger over my linking Buchanan with Calhoun at least brought me a moment of levity. George Mason’s Donald Boudreaux called it “astonishing” that I drew a parallel between Buchanan’s political economy and that of John C. Calhoun. Yet it was not I but Boudreaux’s own colleagues at George Mason’s Mercatus Center, Alexander Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen, who called the antebellum South Carolina senator’s thought “a precursor of modern public choice theory” and concluded that the two systems of thought had “the same purpose and effect.””

        Oh, goody!
        One more unsupported claim from a shown liar, repeated here by another lying lefty.

  29. So, what does your average libertarian think about Brown v. Board? Anyone?

    1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 3:44PM|#
      “So, what does your average libertarian think about Brown v. Board? Anyone?”

      What does your average lefty think about the commie propensity to starve millions to death? Just a slight mistake? For the overall good?
      C’mon, fucking lefty thug, tell us what you love about mass murder.

    2. If there are to be government-run schools and mandatory attendance, those schools shouldn’t be segregated by race. In many states segregation was required by law. Brown overturned those laws and was obviously correctly decided.

      1. Why shouldn’t they be segregated by race? Why should the federal government, unelected judges at that, usurp the will of locals when it comes to the education of their children? What’s the libertarian principle at work here?

        1. All men are created equal something something something…

        2. Tony|8.2.17 @ 3:54PM|#
          “Why shouldn’t they be segregated by race?”
          Why don’t you ask the gov’t schools in, oh, SF?

          “As Parents Get More Choice, S.F. Schools Resegregate”
          […]
          “Since 2010, the year before the current policy went into effect, the number of San Francisco’s 115 public schools dominated by one race has climbed significantly.”
          http://sfpublicpress.org/news/…..esegregate

          Ya know, if you ever bothered to back your bullshit with other than innuedo, misdirection and outright lies, well, you’d probably be mistaken for someone with a brain.

        3. Why shouldn’t they be segregated by race?

          The government is a monopoly of force. If it exists, it should not be used by one faction to subjugate another.

          Why should the federal government, unelected judges at that, usurp the will of locals when it comes to the education of their children?

          They shouldn’t. That’s why the government shouldn’t run schools and force people to pay for them.

          What’s the libertarian principle at work here?

          As always, the non-aggression principle.

          1. Pro-segregationists felt pretty subjugated. They even set up a network of private schools so they could escape the assault of segregation. Won’t someone think about their feelings?

            1. California is the most segregated place I’ve ever seen.

              1. The only city in the top 10 most segregated cities that’s even in a blue state is Boston.

                1. If you live in LA, and you don’t go to Compton, you may go your whole life thinking black people make up 0.002% of the population.

                  You know: because desegregation.

                2. http://247wallst.com/special-r…..america/4/

                  With the exceptions of Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit, (oh, and Boston) you’re right.

            2. Tony|8.2.17 @ 4:04PM|#
              “Pro-segregationists felt pretty subjugated. They even set up a network of private schools so they could escape the assault of segregation. Won’t someone think about their feelings?”

              So you admit you can’t read?
              http://sfpublicpress.org/news/…..esegregate

            3. Pro-segregationists felt pretty subjugated.

              I guess it was the same way slave owners felt subjugated after emancipation?

              If you think that you’re being subjugated when someone prevents you from initiating force on others, then so be it.

              They even set up a network of private schools so they could escape the assault of segregation.

              I assume you mean, desegregation. And ok. So what?

              1. Just curious if there existed a libertarian defense of Brown that didn’t amount to “Everyone but racist cretins thinks it was a positive landmark ruling, so we better be on board.”

                1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 4:13PM|#
                  “Just curious if there existed a libertarian defense of Brown that didn’t amount to “Everyone but racist cretins thinks it was a positive landmark ruling, so we better be on board.”

                  Did you invent that strawman yourself, or copy and paste it from a dim-bulb lefty site>

                  1. All Tony does anymore is prop up strawmen. Nothing even remotely rational or debatable, just off the wall nonsense.

                    I liked him a lot better before he went full Libertarian Derangement Syndrome.

                    1. “I liked him a lot better before he went full Libertarian Derangement Syndrome.”
                      If that means better than, oh, dog-shit on your shoe, I might find a time his bullshit was preferable to now.

                2. Just curious if there existed a libertarian defense of Brown that didn’t amount to “Everyone but racist cretins thinks it was a positive landmark ruling, so we better be on board.”

                  And you’ve received several answers. You’re just ignoring them because they’re not racist and, thus, in your mind are not libertarian.

                  1. They’ve been adequate if not robust. Basically, government is the escape hatch from a bunch of nasty implications. If all schools were private, Brown wouldn’t be in force, and libertarians would have to endorse voluntary segregation (at least they’d call it voluntary).

                    1. Basically, government is the escape hatch from a bunch of nasty implications. If all schools were private, Brown wouldn’t be in force

                      Except you’re still ignoring what even just now was pointed out to you – i.e. that Brown v. Board of Education overturned government enforced segregation.

                      The government doesn’t really enforce integration. What integration that has happened has happened because of the voluntary actions of individuals.

                      The only reason you think that private schools would all be segregated is because you yourself are such a closet racist that you can’t conceive of the idea that other people aren’t.

                    2. Here we go again with the “there were practically no racist whites in the South in the 1950s, it was all government enslaving them to segregation and Jim Crow!”

                      I seem to recall rather iconic images of government goons having to escort black students into schools in order to protect them from the mob. That’s not enforcing integration?

                    3. Here we go again with the “there were practically no racist whites in the South in the 1950s, it was all government enslaving them to segregation and Jim Crow!”

                      I don’t recall anyone actually saying that, not that that’s ever stopped you, but what people are actually trying to explain to you is that the pre-Civil War American South had black people living in it, too, in addition to lots of poor whites who resented slavery (not because they were or weren’t racist, but because slavery meant less jobs for working people).

                      You don’t seem to regard the black people counting, for some reason. Why is that?

                    4. If all schools were private, Brown wouldn’t be in force, and libertarians would have to endorse voluntary segregation (at least they’d call it voluntary).

                      Endorse it? I wouldn’t, but you can if you like.

                      And why wouldn’t it be voluntary?

              2. If you think that you’re being subjugated when someone prevents you from initiating force on others, then so be it.

                That is why Tony sees liberty as tyranny. He wants to use government to routinely initiate violence upon people who he doesn’t like. Because he doesn’t like them. Libertarians would not allow government to initiate force based upon who people like and don’t like. Because of this libertarians are tyrants because they would use force to force people like Tony to stop initiating government violence upon people who they don’t like. See? We’re all a bunch of tyrants.

                1. Seriously – he sees outlawing slavery and outlawing mandatory segregation as oppressive tyrannies that libertarians should be complaining about.

                  The boy is a little bit sick!

                  1. he sees outlawing slavery and outlawing mandatory segregation as oppressive tyrannies that libertarians should be complaining about.

                    No. He honestly believes that libertarians support slavery an segregation. After all, we support people being free to act without asking permission and obeying orders so long as they don’t fuck with others, and we support people being able to keep the fruit of their labor, even if they are rich, so of course we support slavery and segregation. We’re evil.

                    1. I suspect that he thinks he’s caught us in a contradiction because denying a white southerner’s “right” to own slaves is a violation of the NAP. Because he doesn’t seem to see black southerners as full humans with rights of their own.

                    2. Tony is really bad at distinctions. Not taking equals giving. Not giving equals taking. Rights and powers are the same thing. Money and wealth are the same thing. It’s really hard to have a conversation with someone that… challenged.

                    3. A convenient way around that was to declare that blacks were not indeed full humans but property, as whites did for hundreds of years, all justified on the same property rights rhetoric you guys use now.

                      The idea is not that you guys endorse slavery, it’s that you guys evolved from people who were pissed off by efforts by the US government to end it and its subsequent injustices.

                    4. A convenient way around that was to declare that blacks were not indeed full humans but property,

                      Correct me if I’m wrong, but the government defined those people down into less than full citizens with less than full rights, correct?

                      all justified on the same property rights rhetoric you guys use now.

                      I’m gathering from your tone that if come to your house and steal all your stuff, you won’t stoop to that racist property-rights rhetoric that the slavers used, right? Right?

                      it’s that you guys evolved from people who were pissed off by efforts by the US government to end it and its subsequent injustices.

                      Actually, my ancestors who were in this country at that time were abolitionists who fought on the Union side. Nice try, though. What were your ancestors doing, oh Noble One?

                    5. Fuck if I know. I didn’t mean your genetic forebears, obviously. I’ve long argued that libertarianism came out, at least in part, of movements opposed to civil rights efforts. MacLean argues the same. Let’s call it debatable. The progressive movement wasn’t all angels either (but I would assert that I do not stand for a particular ideological movement).

                      The interesting point we’re getting at here is the idea that something is property merely because we call it that. Its definition once included, legally, culturally, and every other which way, human beings. Property included human beings for longer than it didn’t, if we’re talking about history.

                      Thus, what’s considered property now, and worthy of so many exceptions to libertarianism’s basic tenets on force and government, is just as subject to the interpretation of words. Something is property because we agree it is, and we enforce that agreement with government. Something is property because government says it is. And none of you want to give that protection up for fear someone might take your shit and legitimately call it theirs.

                    6. The interesting point we’re getting at here is the idea that something is property merely because we call it that.

                      Except for humans. That’s one of the most fundamental disagreements between you and libertarians.

                      We think that slavery is always wrong, even when it’s supported by governments. We think that slavery has always been wrong.

                      Property included human beings for longer than it didn’t, if we’re talking about history.

                      You know dick about history, much less the history of slavery.

                      Something is property because we agree it is, and we enforce that agreement with government

                      Agreed.

                      Something is property because government says it is.

                      Aaand, that’s where you go off the rails. Just because we create government to protect our rights, that does not mean that government creates rights or can take away rights.

                      If I hire you to protect my house, and you decide that I no longer have a right to my house, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to my house. That means I fire you.

                      That’s the fundamental principle behind the Emancipation Proclamation as well as the Declaration of Independence. I’m surprised that you, a self-professed and annoyingly self-righteous liberal, don’t agree with it.

                    7. I’m sorry the belief that this entire movement came from opposition to civil rights is laughable and shows just how little you’ve learned here

                      It didn’t even start in the US. I’d call Bastiat the closest thing to a founding father of libertarianism, which is just an offshoot of classical liberalism, which has its own history. If you’re talking about a popular movement rather than the intellectual foundation…we’ve been completely irrelevant for decades. The people who came over on Ron Paul probably outnumbered the total number of libertarians who had existed in the world prior to 2007. During the time you’re talking about we were just a small intellectual part of the “old right” that William F. Buckley threw out when he was remaking conservatism

                    8. The progressive movement was full of people who thought that white Anglo Saxon Protestants were superior to all other groups, and between British Anglo Saxons and American Anglo Saxons, the American Anglo Saxons were superior. Check out Ralph Waldo Emerson.

                    9. Tony|8.2.17 @ 5:46PM|#
                      “Fuck if I know. I didn’t mean your genetic forebears, obviously. I’ve long argued that libertarianism came out, at least in part, of movements opposed to civil rights efforts. MacLean argues the same. Let’s call it debatable.”

                      Let’s call it more of your bullshit assertions.
                      Got an argument other than a claim?

                    10. Aaaaand you have exactly zero citations for that assertion aside from a shitty book that’s been torn apart by all sides of thee political spectrum.

                      As usual.

                    11. Mission accomplished with you, then. See how this works? You’re told to believe something, and you believe it.

                    12. He honestly believes that libertarians support slavery an segregation.

                      With a gobshite like Tony, it’s hard to tell what he actually believes (if anything), and what he’s spewing for attention.

                      -jcr

                2. “That is why Tony sees liberty as tyranny. He wants to use government to routinely initiate violence upon people who he doesn’t like. Because he doesn’t like them.”

                  Exactly.
                  Tony is far to shallow to form and sort of coherent view of how civilization should be organized. He wakes up with a hangover, griping he has to go edit the “Dog Walker’s Weekly” and looks for someone to blame and someone to give him release from his miserable existence:
                  THE GOVERNMENT! He’s now a protected class, and they can’t fire him for getting drunk on Wednesday afternoons!

        4. So are we anti-democratic or not? This gets so confusing.

    3. Right? What about Brown v. Board? HUH? What about THAT?

    4. What does a Libertarian think about government indoctrination of children being handed out to blacks and whites in separate venues?

      You’re asking the wrong question again, pinhead.

      -jcr

  30. She cites to three pages of my book, and to other sources that similarly in no way support it, the idea that “Brown so energized this ragtag collection of outraged radicals of the right that some were no longer happy calling themselves ‘libertarian.'”

    Did anyone even use that term in 1954? I thought it was coined in the 60s.

  31. Most disturbing, though, is how many of the book’s critics fail to disclose their financial indebtedness to the cause whose history my book explores. The book is critical of the network of think tanks and foundations that operate with aid from the Koch brothers. Many of the critics have benefited from grants from the Koch Foundation or related groups. Yet very few have acknowledged that financial relationship. And that’s troubling because full disclosure of such income is Ethics 101, as it calls into question the recipient’s ability to remain unbiased.

    I did do the senior editor of Reason magazine the courtesy of checking to see if he posted any such disclaimer before assuming that he didn’t.

    1. “Most disturbing, though, is how many of the book’s critics fail to disclose their financial indebtedness to the cause whose history my book explores. The book is critical of the network of think tanks and foundations that operate with aid from the Koch brothers. Many of the critics have benefited from grants from the Koch Foundation or related groups. Yet very few have acknowledged that financial relationship. And that’s troubling because full disclosure of such income is Ethics 101, as it calls into question the recipient’s ability to remain unbiased.”

      Care to tell us which have NOT disclosed support from the Kock Foundation, or would you like to admit you just parrtoted one more lie?
      Polly wanna cracker, shitbag?

      1. I take it that I’m to assume that you’re speaking for libertarians in general with your incoherent pollution of this board? Until someone in your cohort tells you to shut up, that’s what I’ll do, just to be safe.

        1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 3:56PM|#
          “I take it that I’m to assume that you’re speaking for libertarians in general with your incoherent pollution of this board? Until someone in your cohort tells you to shut up, that’s what I’ll do, just to be safe.”

          I’m not really sorry to present concepts which require thought, and not real surprised you have difficulty following them.
          I assume you’re speaking for lefty slimebags in general with your constant support of mass murder on this board?
          I’m not really sorry to present concepts which require thought
          Untiol someone else tells you to fuck off, well, I’ll just take the pleasure myself.

        2. your incoherent pollution of this board

          Glass house much?

          -jcr

    2. Reason is secretly funded by the Koch Brother’s Dark Money?

      Does that make it part of the Dark Web?

      1. Well, it’s no secret, except apparently to its staff and readers.

        1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 4:03PM|#
          “Well, it’s no secret, except apparently to its staff and readers.”

          And yet you somehow figured it out?
          Where’d you get the cheat-sheet?

    3. Koch money did indeed support institutions and programs that Buchanan was involved in (as it has many thinkers and institutions that push libertarian ideas, including?full disclosure?Reason).

      – Brian Doherty, sinisterly hiding his connections to the Koch brothers

      Is there anything you can’t be a dishonest hack about?

      1. Which article is that from? Not this one.

        1. Doherty’s review of the book, which he linked to himself. Please continue prattling about nefarious conspiracies and cover-ups, its amusing to watch you embarrass yourself.

          1. I admit it must be a bit frustrating that any piling-on that happens to this book from the very foundations and outfits the book criticizes for doing this very thing might be considered suspect.

            1. I know – weird that a book telling a bunch of lies and unsubstantiated nasty allegations against a whole group of millions people would elicit a negative reaction from those very people.

              They must have criminal intent. Their outrage at the accusations proves it!

              1. It’s not just this book that has suffered at the hands of the libertarian-Koch monster’s propaganda efforts. Prominent among its other victims is the entire field of climate science.

                1. Prominent among its other victims is the entire field of climate science.

                  There’s no field of climate science anymore?

                  OH NOOOO!

                  1. There’s an entire political party that rejects its findings and a whole bunch of libertarians who do too, for no defensible reason. Luckily it’s just the one political party among all others in the entire world.

                    That one outlier would be the one most libertarians agree with. They also believe in ramping up the war on drugs and torturing people, so it can’t be because you’re so simpatico on freedom.

                    1. Oh. So, no. I guess “the entire field of climate science” isn’t really a casualty of the Koch Brothers’ evil influence. They just don’t agree with everything you agree with. Close enough, though, right?

                      And I know I’ve asked you this before, although I’ve never gotten a real answer, but

                      What, exactly, is it that “an entire political party . . . and a whole bunch of libertarians” reject?

                      Be specific, now.

                    2. The basic findings of climate change research.

                    3. The basic findings of climate change research.

                      I said “Be Specific,” shit-for-brains. Not that I’m surprised that you can’t, given your deep ignorance of climate science.

                      Do they deny that the world is warming?

                      Do they deny that there’s a human element to warming?

                      What is it that they reject, exactly?

                      Be specific, oh Dishonest and Cowardly One.

                    4. That one outlier would be the one most libertarians agree with. They also believe in ramping up the war on drugs and torturing people, so it can’t be because you’re so simpatico on freedom.

                      And on ^ this I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re about 35 right? I’ve been putting out papers against the Drug War since you were like 8. I was going door-to-door telling people about global warming back then, too.

                      What were you doing, oh Righteous Crusader?

                2. this book that has suffered at the hands of the libertarian-Koch monster’s propaganda efforts

                  Oh, fuck off. When you do shitty work, you get criticized. If she can’t stand having her dismal work called out, she should have tried doing a decent job.

                  -jcr

                  1. Just like nearly every single climate scientist in the world is doing shoddy work, right?

                    1. Just like nearly every single climate scientist in the world is doing shoddy work, right?

                      Is that in response to something? Or is that just your Tourette’s acting up again?

                    2. So, money can skew Libertarianism — but it cannot possibly skew climate science?

                    3. The difference being one is a stupid snake-oil ideology and the other is science.

                    4. Except of course like usual you have them reversed.

    4. Full disclosure time: Nancy MacLean is a professor at DUKE UNIVERISITY. An institution that regularly receives donationd from the KOCH BROTHERS! Nancy MacLean is thus TAINTED.

      1. Just as I suspected. A false flag!

  32. I’m not saying they called each other up and planned a series of critical responses to my book. What I’m saying is many of the critics come from similar backgrounds ? they are libertarians who trained at or are employed by the very institutions I write about in my book.

    And some of the rhetoric has been quite threatening. Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of National Review, said I should worry about the “the libertarian super-posse on my ass.”

    Critics should be on notice that the author has achieved victim status.

    1. Threatened by well-known libertarian scholar, Jonah Goldberg, no less.

    2. Sour puss old bag has no sarcasm detector.

    3. What’s funny is how many libertarians who despise the Koch operation also came out in defense of the people she attacked. Maybe she can bridge the Koch/Rothbard gap (jk, never happening)

  33. I get that she is a bad historian. I get that she deliberately distorted the truth and took quotes not only out of context but out of the sentence to which they belong. And I even get her deliberately not talking to anyone knowledgeable about Buchanan or Public Choice Theory, despite her physical presence at Duke, the home of Public Choice Theory. And I get that she hates the very idea of freedom.

    But what I simply cannot understand, is here unbridled hatred of such an obscure intellectual corner of libertarian thought. Why focus on Buchanan? Why focus on Public Choice Theory? Maybe I’m colored by my own libertarianism, but there’s nothing particularly eye raising in Public Choice Theory. Maybe Buchanan once dissed her on campus? Dunno.

    1. A) She exhorts you to read the book before criticizing it, which only seems fair, especially since you’re missing most of the point, and B) This magazine and so many of her other critics get money from the very foundations her book critiques, and thus can’t be trusted to be unbiased. At all. As in worthless.

      1. I get it: we’ll have a fair, unbiased critique from democrats.

        1. Nope. Even NPR receives Koch money. Nobody can be trusted. The Kochtopus controls all that you see and hear. They run the entire world.

          1. I don’t receive any. Book sucks.

      2. This magazine and so many of her other critics get money from the very foundations her book critiques, and thus can’t be trusted to be unbiased. At all. As in worthless.

        Indeed – arguments are never to be evaluated on their own merits! They are to be evaluated on who makes them, and on who makes them alone!

        Your understanding of this important intellectual principle is one of the many things that makes you a cut above the cousin-fucking scum who come here and call themselves libertarians!

        1. Principals, not principles.

        2. I mean we’re in the intellectual processing core of the Kochs’ whole outfit. Maybe the critique is entirely on-point. But there isn’t even a disclaimer that the venue is part of the very network the author’s book is about!

          1. But there isn’t even a disclaimer that the venue is part of the very network the author’s book is about!

            So what if there isn’t?

            Do you need one in order to decide whether or not the critique is coherent?

            1. Anyone who hasn’t read the book does.

              1. Why? Do you feel it’s unclear that Doherty, author of Radicals for Capitalism, is himself a pro-capitalist libertarian who may have a bone to pick with a book smearing libertarians literally on its cover? What does knowing that the Koch brothers have donated money to the Reason Foundation (which is no secret) change about that?

                1. Well, Doherty has a degree in journalism and a career of shilling for an ideology. MaClean has a named professorship at a prominent university and has spent her career being a historian of 20th century America. I haven’t read Doherty’s books, so I’ll reserve judgment on their scholarly merit.

                  It’s a free country, judge for yourself. I’m simply pointing out the conundrum that exists when the very network of libertarian boosters and donors her book is about attack her book in a practically clockwork fashion. Just a reason to be skeptical, that’s all. This article does, after all, practice the tried-and-true tactic of criticizing a book by a thousand nitpicks.

                  1. The criticism of the book is very specific and quotes things in full context without assumptions.

                    From what I can tell the book is vague and quotes things out of context with many assumptions.

                    1. Why don’t you read it and find out?

                    2. Hey, I hear that bashing your head in with a ball peen hammer hurts. Why don’t you try it and find out?

                  2. Well, Doherty has a degree in journalism and a career of shilling for an ideology. . . . . I haven’t read Doherty’s books, so I’ll reserve judgment on their scholarly merit.

                    You are just precious, you know? That level of self-awareness fail is truly something to write home about.

                    I’m simply pointing out the conundrum that exists when the very network of libertarian boosters and donors her book is about attack her book in a practically clockwork fashion.

                    It’s a conundrum when a book attacking libertarians, and doing so in a strikingly dishonest and malicious fashion, is criticized by the people it’s attacking?

                    Why is that a conundrum?

                    1. I’m simply pointing out the conundrum that exists when the very network of libertarian boosters and donors her book is about attack her book in a practically clockwork fashion.

                      And no, that’s not what you’re doing. You literally said that the book is worthless because the writer works at a magazine that’s funded by a foundation that takes some money from the Kochs.

                      Is every NPR journalist forever discredited for the same reason?

                    2. I’ll say it would be best to pay attention to scholarly criticisms of the book rather than those coming from the very people the book calls out. Why is it like pulling teeth to get to this obvious point?

                    3. I’ll say it would be best to pay attention to scholarly criticisms of the book rather than those coming from the very people the book calls out. Why is it like pulling teeth to get to this obvious point?

                      What, in anything that I have said, has indicated to you that I think that you should consult no other source on this than Doherty?

                      What I actually said was that you should evaluate the claims being made on their merits alone, which really shouldn’t be so terribly controversial.

                  3. And you’re an Oklahoma yokel with an internet connection.

                    If you want to start establishing hierarchies, go ahead.

                  4. a named professorship at a prominent university

                    Actually, a formerly prestigious university which kind of went to shit over a couple of decades to the point where 80 faculty members can do their level best to cheer on the railroading of innocent students by a power-hungry persecutor, at no cost whatsoever to their careers…

                    -jcr

                  5. “MaClean has a named professorship at a prominent university and has spent her career being a historian of 20th century America.”
                    Which makes her recent book even that much more strange. It reads like amateur conspiracy hour. She has quotes which if you trace back to their source have been quoted not only out of context, but out of the complete sentence in which they reside. She is deliberately twisting quotes to make people say the exact opposite of what they actually said.

                    Piketty was criticized too, but Piketty was criticized for errors in methodology and stuff like that. No one doubts Piketty’s bona fides. But in this case MacLean is outright lying and manipulating the historic record. There is no academic excuse for that.

                    1. Maybe, I haven’t read the entire library of criticisms. I suspect death by a thousand nitpicks, though. No book is perfect.

                    2. Which makes her recent book even that much more strange. It reads like amateur conspiracy hour.

                      I have no expectation that Tony has any understanding of the difference between scholarly work and a popular work written by a scholar. To him, academics are magical people and everything they do is scholarly. Unless it contradicts whatever the Democratic party line happens to be at the moment, in which it’s bunk and the person is a worthless hack.

                    3. Funny enough she addresses this very point. It is a scholarly work (as in researched, annotated, and peer-reviewed) that happens to not be published by a university press. She thinks the coordinated assault on it by the right has something to do with its mainstream appeal.

                    4. Scholarly books don’t have names like Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

                      That’s not an observation that needs to be spelled out to anyone who has actually conducted scholarly research. If she’s claiming that this is a scholarly work that simply happens to have popular appeal, she is being dishonest. It really is that simple.

                    5. What the title is determines whether it is genuine scholarship? Really?

                    6. Tony|8.3.17 @ 1:24AM|#
                      “What the title is determines whether it is genuine scholarship? Really?”

                      My carefully-researched and peer-reviewed paper is entitled:
                      “Lefty shitbags: Ignoramuses or Imbeciles?”

                    7. What the title is determines whether it is genuine scholarship? Really?

                      Yes. For all of their silly shibboleths, especially in the humanities, academics typically don’t resort to sensationalistic click-bait-style headlines and tend to be rather careful about the construction of their narrative thesis. This woman sounds like a left-wing version of Alex Jones.

          2. Yeah, and she doesn’t have a “disclaimer: I’m somewhat biased” sticker on her book.

            Of the things to get your panties in a bunch over, “not enough disclaimers!” is somewhere below “slander.”

            1. Despite the libertarian-right’s long-term attempt to muddy this particular water, there is actually a difference between a scholar and an ideological hack.

              1. How would you know?

              2. The author of this book clearly falls into the “ideological hack” bin.

              3. there is actually a difference between a scholar and an ideological hack.

                Hold on there, rent-boy. It’s you leftards who try to obscure that plainly obvious fact by pretending that incompetent SJWs are scholars.

                Hell, I’ve even seen claims that there is such a thing as a “marxist intellectual”.

                -jcr

      3. Every time I feel like you get an unfair rap sometimes, you go and say something just astoundingly stupid like this.

        Peter: “Paul is an amoral scumbag and racist”
        Paul: “No, I’m not, here’s evidence to the contrary”
        Peter: “Obviously, Paul cannot be trusted to be unbiased on this matter, and his opinion is worthless…”

      4. She’s a professor at Duke, an institution that receives Koch money. Why should I trust her?

        Wait, maybe YOU receive Koch money too!

        1. I’m a Kocher, you’re a Kocher, he’s a Kocher, she’s a Kocher, wouldn’t you like to be a Kocher to? Be a Kocher, take Kocher money…

          1. Great. Now that’s going to be stuck in my head for the next week.

      5. I guess that’s why the Mises folks, who LOVE the Kochs, also felt it necessary to attack this book

    2. I’m guessing she hopes it’s esoteric enough that most of her readers won’t know WIH it means, and like Tony, will simply parrot what they’ve read until it becomes ‘common knowledge’.
      Sort of like Ehrlich and ‘overpopulation’. I still get comments that ‘he was right in general but got some specifics wrong’.
      Like every specific he ever wrote about which means he got it wrong in general also.

  34. Hey, Tony!
    It’s getting close to the anniversary of the US saving millions of Japanese lives through the nuke bombs.
    Tell us again how we should have surrendered instead. Always goo for a laugh!

    1. First, you tell me how a government vaporizing entire cities fits within a libertarian ethical framework.

      1. Tony|8.2.17 @ 4:09PM|#
        “First, you tell me how a government vaporizing entire cities fits within a libertarian ethical framework.”

        VERY simple:
        Saving millions of lives is preferable to those who ar not lefties.

        1. What an odd philosophy to be so rigid in some instances (no antidiscrimination law!) and so flexible in others (it’s OK to nuke cities under certain circumstances!).

          1. What was the alternative to nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Seriously. Invasion? Japan was not going to surrender. An invasion would have killed millions. What was the better solution?

            1. I want to have this conversation like I want to shove durian-flavored gelato into my eye sockets.

              1. Of course you don’t want to have the conversation – you want to posture self-righteously. It’s hard to do that when you have to admit that a situation isn’t as simple as you wish it were.

                1. The reason I don’t want to have this particular conversation is because it’s not simple, and it’s 4:30 where I live.

              2. So you want to level condemnation but don’t want to talk about what you are condemning.

                1. I’m content blinking my eyes in disbelief at someone claiming a libertarian justification for nuking cities.

                  You guys pretend that vast continents of reality don’t exist in order to maintain the purity of your beliefs. All of a sudden, when it’s time to vaporize hundreds of thousands of civilians, it’s nuance time?

                  1. You just now admitted that this not a simple topic, yet you want to immediately snap back to “All of a sudden, when it’s time to vaporize hundreds of thousands of civilians, it’s nuance time?”

                    Completely unbelievable, you are.

                    1. It’s a complicated conversation. Libertarians don’t have complicated conversations.

                      Except apparently when it’s time to ‘splode stuff.

                    2. It’s a complicated conversation. Libertarians don’t have complicated conversations.

                      Wow. How do you do this?

                      Read back through this sub-thread and see if you can’t suss out which participant is refusing the complicated part of the conversation.

                    3. Me, because I’m tired.

                      But you don’t think it’s odd that a libertarian can find justification for vaporizing hundreds of thousands of innocent people–in any context? I sure do.

                    4. But you don’t think it’s odd that a libertarian can find justification for vaporizing hundreds of thousands of innocent people–in any context?

                      Let’s just say, for the sake of shits and giggles, that it was a choice between hundreds of thousands of people dying over the course of a couple of days and millions of people dying over a couple of years.

                      What’s the simple and obvious answer? Please enlighten us, without blowing anything up or hurting anybody, because those things are obviously wrong.

                    5. The simple and obvious answer is that libertarianism has failed and it’s time to grab the baton from the starkest utilitarianism.

                    6. You’re right. We’re all a monolith on this particular issue

                      FFS

                    7. Tony|8.2.17 @ 5:59PM|#
                      “But you don’t think it’s odd that a libertarian can find justification for vaporizing hundreds of thousands of innocent people–in any context? I sure do.”

                      You admit you don’t know what you’re talking about because you’re ‘tired’, and yet you still throw bullshit like this around.
                      Don’t you think it’s odd lefties can find justification for starving millions of innocent people to death – in any context?
                      I sure don’t; lefties love mass starvation.

                    8. Tony|8.2.17 @ 5:34PM|#
                      “It’s a complicated conversation. Libertarians don’t have complicated conversations.”

                      Sure we di, but when lefties are involved, we try to keep it REAL simple. For simpletons.

                  2. If you’re a true libertarian in a fist fight, you would try arguing the non aggression principle.

                    Hypocrites!

                    1. The more I read about libertarianism the more versions of it I encounter. The popular U.S. version seems to encompass the laissez faire markets approach. The public supporters and purveyors of this brand seem to tend to the extreme end of the spectrum. Most lay people who espouse libertarianism are almost childlike in their understanding of how politics and government interact with liberty. Perhaps you’ll find this piece interesting, Brian.
                      http://world.std.com/~mhuben/onelesson.html

                    2. I’m sorry: your link looks broken. Can you try again?

                    3. Miron|8.2.17 @ 6:11PM|#
                      “…Most lay people who espouse libertarianism are almost childlike in their understanding of how politics and government interact with liberty…”

                      So we need slimy lefties to tell us about ‘reality’?

                  3. Tony|8.2.17 @ 5:28PM|#
                    “I’m content blinking my eyes in disbelief at someone claiming a libertarian justification for nuking cities.”

                    Yeah, after thinking about things, sometimes what’s best is not what a simpleton would imagine.
                    Man, you’re an imbecile!

        2. … Sevo, are you suddenly developing a consequence-based set of ethics?

          I mean, I agree with the conclusion?, but I’m not actually sure the question is na?ve or wrong. While I can see the justification for a defensive war, most of WWII was not “defensive” for Americans, we were “taking the fight to them”, in gross over-compensation to the bloodied nose we suffered.

          I’m willing to accept that nation-scale warfare is one of the areas where Libertarianism just doesn’t apply, but at first blush it does appear to come out against warfare beyond your own borders.

          To be clear: I’m not trying to dictate what anyone should/shouldn’t believe. I’m just curious what the nuanced/complicated “libertarian” rationale for non-defensive war is.
          ________
          ?Wait, am I a “lefty”? I get confused on what my currently-assigned pejorative label is. Either way, I agree that nuking was probably the right choice (or at least an acceptable choice), but I’m not coming at this from a libertarian/Libertarian perspective/philosophy.

          1. EscherEnigma|8.3.17 @ 11:51AM|#
            “To be clear: I’m not trying to dictate what anyone should/shouldn’t believe. I’m just curious what the nuanced/complicated “libertarian” rationale for non-defensive war is.”

            I won’t bother to explain it further than to point out that the Allies were acting in self-defense, and if you think anyone should quit doing that the minute they get the upper hand, you’re being stupid or sophomoric.

      2. First, you tell me how a government vaporizing entire cities fits within a libertarian ethical framework

        Isn’t that a better question for the Democrats, who actually did it?

  35. Is this article serious?

    If so, it sounds like this Nancy MacLean is intent on doing what she can to discredit academia, or maybe just Duke University for employing her.

    Or maybe she’s just another nut who really believes it is not important whether a statement is true, only that it support the “Progressive” agenda.

  36. How to explain it: Imagine your country ran like the airlines in every particular.
    Affordable housing, which barely exists in the west, would be replaced by human stabling. There was actually sleep-ropes and coffin beds in Victorian Britain.
    All roads are toll roads. What could go wrong!!?

    More interesting are how ancaps don’t believe that real life actors, who rarely recognize limits on their tendency to self-enrich, would ever be able to thwart the flimsy market mechanisms that libertarians believe in on nothing more than “Hey, I reasoned that they couldn’t!”

    1. No taxes in libertopia, advertising pays for everything. Advertising has no limit to it’s potential returns because my reason – and more importantly alphabet soup – said so.
      No one would ever be able to steal your inheritance in libertarian society because there’s no estate tax. Therefore all wills will be administered to the letter by incorruptible private attor…payday will-dealers who will solve your short term cash problem.
      You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you persuade your way into. Nothing can go wrong that way. Megacorps are famously weak negotiators, and libertarian society is so gentile no one would dream of under-the-table agreements.

      1. and libertarian society is so gentile no one would dream of under-the-table agreements.

        No – we’re okay with Jews.

      2. I prefer our current society, where everyone gets what they deserve, instead of what they negotiate.

      3. dgsdgds|8.2.17 @ 4:47PM|#
        That number of strawmen is dangerously flammable.

    2. You raise excellent points, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    3. Human stabling? Sign me up!

  37. We should remember that Marxism is not a political economic philosophy, but rather a come-on to the masses that seeks to destroy the fabric of western civilization. Once ruined Capitalism can be replaced with the old authoritarian blather which needs not make sense. It only needs power.

    1. I think you’ll find this tends to happen with or without your Marxian whipping boy.

      1. Although Marxism is pretty stupid.

      2. dgsdgds|8.2.17 @ 4:56PM|#
        “I think you’ll find this tends to happen with or without your Marxian whipping boy.”

        I think you’ll be called on your bullshit; cite missing.

  38. This article is just what a radical for capitalism would write.

  39. Just waiting for this ridiculous counter-smear campaign to end. I get being Koch media means you have to stick up for them but enough is enough. The fearmongering from reason about this book leads me to believe it’s actually insightful.

    1. I’m sure if you read it, it would tell you everything you already know.

    2. PeaceFirst|8.2.17 @ 4:52PM|#
      “Just waiting for this ridiculous counter-smear campaign to end. I get being Koch media means you have to stick up for them but enough is enough. The fearmongering from reason about this book leads me to believe it’s actually insightful.

      Aww, was the poor lefty snowflake micro-aggressed? Did him want his safe space?

  40. Duh, that’s because Libertarians are so damn bizzare. I mean, they had a candidate last time around that thought he was a weasel and wore a boot on his head.

  41. This talk about James Buchanan seems very confusing, as the 15th President of the United States doesn’t actually figure in this discussion at all, even though his near-contemporary, John C. Calhoun, does. At least one of the pieces linked in this article calls the author in question “Jim” Buchanan; maybe that makes sense simply for purposes of disambiguation.

  42. Where do I go to sign up for the conspiracy?

  43. Man, like ‘liberty’ is way out there. People need egg heads like Nancy MacLean to tell you what to do. Life is hard man, and if there isn’t a central committee to dictate to the commoner what to do, they’d be lost.

  44. Mr. Doherty, Have you actually read the book in question? I have. It’s very apparent you and other critics have taken many of the passages in the book, and indeed even in the author’s response to her critics in the Chronicle of Higher Education. For instance, where in the book do you find the term “conspiracy” used to describe putative “Libertarian” political strategies?

    It’s worth noting that virtually of the critics of the book (at least those that have spoken out publicly) have a connection to Charles and David Koch and/or James Buchanan. The rather overly indignant criticisms remind me of a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ” “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    Whatever the book gets wrong is open to debate frankly, and it gets a lot right. Read the book in its entirety before you get your Libertarian panties all in a wad 😉

    1. Only the people being attacked are responding so far! And that just proves their guilt!

    2. “It’s worth noting that virtually of the critics of the book (at least those that have spoken out publicly) have a connection to Charles and David Koch and/or James Buchanan. The rather overly indignant criticisms remind me of a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ” “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.””

      The overly repetitive copy and paste of “THE KOCH BROTHERS” reminds me of lefty imbeciles visiting lefty sites to copy and then post here.
      But expecting lefties to have independent thoughts is as stupid as expecting Polly to really want a cracker.
      Oh, and here’s your cracker, parrot.

    3. Anyway, does she ever get around to critiquing public choice theory from a theoretical level (the work he got a Nobel Memorial Prize for)? Or is it all “he’s thinking this because he’s racist! And he hates poor people!”

    4. It’s open to debate what the book gets wrong, but please stop talking about all the things the book gets wrong.

    5. I remember the same superficial complaints regarding criticism of Bellesiles “Arming America” years ago. They couldn’t rebut the fact that Bellesiles’ research was sloppy, deceitful, and prejudiced, so they used guilt by association and claims that the critics hadn’t actually read the book in a lazy effort to discredit the criticism.

  45. As for contemporary “Libertarianism” being a relatively “bizarre political ideology, an apt metaphor may have come from the 2016 Libertarian Party convention, where a candidate stripped on stage. In any event, perhaps you can point me to a developed first-world nation that practices Buchanan’s or the Kochs’ brand of “Libertarianism”? According to the CATO Institute (a “libertarian” think tank), the 10 economically freest nations are Hong Kong,Singapore New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Georgia, Ireland, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, Australia and the United Kingdom. Can you point me to which of those Nations practice “Libertarian” economic policies or have put any of Buchanan’s theories into practice? Heck, can you tell me ANY Nation that has successfully EVER in recorded history successfully practiced “Libertarian” ideological principles on any significant scale? Can you even point me to any Nation that has successfully put Austrian school economic theories to practical use successfully? From a practical view, in the context of social anthropology and practical socioeconomics, contemporary “Libertarian” ideology is as bizarre as that Libertarian stripper.

    1. “Can you point me to which of those Nations practice “Libertarian” economic policies or have put any of Buchanan’s theories into practice?”
      All of them, but then you are entirely too stupid to figure that out.

        1. screw it: just google “the question libertarians just cant answer”, read the question, and then all the answers.

          1. Got it:
            “The tide goes out and the tide comes in. You can’t explain THAT!”

    2. In 1892 that was the christianolooter answer to “A Traveler from Altruria.” After the Soviet dropped out of WWI they couldn’t change the subject fast enough.

  46. The introduction reads like docufiction.

  47. I’m just going to go on a rant here, because I don’t understand how progressives have a problem with public choice theory. It formalizes and predicts tons of stuff that progressives complain about, especially with the current government:

    1. ignorant voters
    2. concentrated power in special interests
    3. regulatory capture
    4.rent-seeking
    etc.

    Which of these do progressives have a problem with?

    If you really believe there’s a conspiracy of rich people trying to control the government, then you’re conceding the public choice theory argument, more or less. If that’s true, then how much more restrained do you need your government to be, so that it isn’t acting on behalf of rich special interests?

    It’s like a perfect circle: you can’t believe in the conspiracy theory without conceding public choice theory in the first place. And if it’s such a successful conspiracy, then, what’s the point? We’re all doomed, because public choice theory is right, and rich special interests will control the government? And the solution is: democracy? I.e., more of the same thing we’ve been doing this whole time?

    Or, are we supposed to just shred the constitution and let pure democracy do whatever it wants, as our last line of defense? OK: which western civilization does that, and we want to model it? I do believe there were constitutional arguments and amendments made in support of civil rights. How far back to we have to roll back progress just to pretend public choice theory is bunk?

    1. Or is that conceding that public choice theory is true? Fuck if I know. If you know, explain it to me.

    2. Brian|8.2.17 @ 11:06PM|#
      “I’m just going to go on a rant here, because I don’t understand how progressives have a problem with public choice theory. It formalizes and predicts tons of stuff that progressives complain about, especially with the current government:
      1. ignorant voters
      2. concentrated power in special interests
      3. regulatory capture
      4.rent-seeking
      etc.
      Which of these do progressives have a problem with?”

      None, except that the current admin has all the wrong people in power. If they were all lefties, the NYT among others would be sponsoring dancing in the streets.
      Pretty sure it is similar to Keynesian economics; lefties think it is true since half has been tried and therefore the rest must be true. Problem is, no government ever cut taxes after good times returned and if it did, lefties would be screaming bloody murder!
      The left is nothing if not cherry-picking scumbags; see Tony for example.

  48. “[…] contempt for the poor or for democracy “
    I can’t speak to the named libertarians, but that contempt is definitely something I’ve seen, a lot among commentators here who are presumed be majority libertarians.

    1. Some of the poor are worth plenty of contempt; those who free-ride on the productive.
      And there is no lack of honesty here pointing out that pure democracy is nothing other than mob rule.
      Is that what you had in mind?

  49. Delightful. From Bastiat to Rand there has been much of a full circle, yet the ethical weight of Ayn’s arguments staves in the hull of the prize raider Altruria. The hole is of Titanic diameter and looters cannot point squarely to it without the risk of someone reading the original. Ayn makes three points identified by Branden, plus a bonus. Her original reversal of Mencken’s denial of ethical values and affirmation of life upends Moore, Kant and the rest of the pre-20th Century peddlers of sacrifice. Ayn’s four ideas must be evaded at all hazards. Last I looked Atlas was selling 100,000 copies a year BEFORE it became available in Spanish, Portuguese, German and French. Once full cast audio recordings of Anthem and Atlas become available in half a dozen languages, the frumious Leftandright will join the dinosaurs.

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  51. Um, this article seems to be implying that libertarianism is a legit political philosophy appropriate for non-neckbeards, but that’s so obviously not true that I… have nothing to add.

  52. Um, this article seems to be implying that libertarianism is a legit political philosophy appropriate for non-neckbeards, but that’s so obviously not true that I… have nothing to add.

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