Brazil

Libertarians Forged an Alliance With Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Was It a Deal With the Devil?

Free market reformers and authoritarian nationalists battle it out to reshape Brazil. 

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On the morning of March 14, 2016, in a tiny office in Rio de Janeiro, a libertarian businessman named Winston Ling met with Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing congressman running a longshot campaign to be president of Brazil. Some of Ling's closest associates had pleaded with him not to sit down with Bolsonaro, who was infamous for public comments praising torture and dictatorship and denigrating women and minorities. Just associating with him, they feared, would tarnish Brazil's libertarian movement, which was drawing new followers at an astounding pace and winning mainstream recognition.

Three years later, Bolsonaro is president. Ludwig von Mises scholars, free market think tankers, and even anarcho-capitalists now occupy top-level positions in his administration, where they hope to slash the government bureaucracy of the nation ranked as the absolute worst by the World Economic Forum in the category of "burden of government regulation"—a country that goes beyond regulating the number of hours that workers spend on the job to micromanaging the size and make of the punch clocks used to record their arrivals and departures. "I'm losing all my guys to government," says Hélio Beltrão, founder and president of the Brazilian Mises Institute, with a grin.

But other prominent libertarians are outraged over their former comrades' willingness to ally themselves with a politician The Intercept has called "the most extreme and repellent face of a resurgent, evangelical-driven right-wing attempt to drag the country backwards by decades."

Bolsonaro is not a libertarian; in many ways he is sharply un-libertarian. He has been working to make it easier for police to kill civilians with impunity. He has repeatedly praised the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. He has flatly declared himself "in favor of torture." And in 2002 he said, "If I see two men kissing in the street, I will hit them."

"It shows that their commitment to individual liberty is actually not that strong," says Joel Pinheiro da Fonseca, a libertarian columnist at Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil's largest newspaper. They want "a more authoritarian style of government that can bring about their economic policies more easily."

Ling argues that the country didn't have time to entertain fantasies of a truly principled free market politician rising to power. In 2016, when he met with Bolsonaro, the leftist Workers Party had controlled the presidency for 13 years. Brazil's unemployment rate was approaching 12 percent, and the economy had contracted by more than 3 percent the prior year. "For me this was life or death," he says. "I truly believed if someone else were elected president, Brazil would go down."

The beginning of Bolsonaro's presidency has been chaotic. The free marketeers have made some significant progress in cutting red tape but must also contend with powerful special interests that want to maintain the status quo. Concern is growing that their participation in Bolsonaro's administration will damage the libertarian movement and help the Workers Party win back credibility. If Bolsonaro fails to meaningfully liberalize the economy, says Pedro Ferreira, a co-founder of the libertarian Free Brazil Movement, "we're going to be in a lot of trouble."

A Troublesome Alliance

Jair Bolsonaro is best understood as "Trump without the success in business," says Paulo Roberto de Almeida, a Brazilian political scientist, career diplomat, and prominent pro-market intellectual. "He's a populist, nationalist, xenophobe, [and] misogynist."

A former Army captain with an undistinguished military career, Bolsonaro served 27 years in the National Congress before he was elected president, passing just two minor bills during his entire tenure.

He was best known for his incendiary public comments. In a 2011 interview, he told Playboy that he would be "incapable of loving a homosexual son," preferring that a gay child "die in an accident." In 2016, he said the "biggest mistake" of the dictatorship that used to rule Brazil "was to torture and not to kill." In March, he asked the nation's armed forces to commemorate the 55th anniversary of that coup.

In his first months in office, Bolsonaro's most substantive policy proposal has been a draconian anti-crime package that includes more lenient treatment of police officers who kill while on duty.

Police shootings have been shockingly rampant in the country for a while. In 2017, law enforcement killed 5,144 civilians, or 14 people per day. In March 2018, two former Rio de Janeiro police officers were arrested on charges of murdering Marielle Franco, an openly gay city council member, by shooting her in the head with a submachine gun. According to Human Rights Watch, extrajudicial executions by cops are common. In 2003, Bolsonaro said that "as long as the state does not have the courage to adopt the death penalty, those death squads, in my opinion, are very welcome."

Yet Bolsonaro also has an uncanny ability to connect with voters, which is what drew Winston Ling's attention. "Every time he came to a city, there was a huge number of people at the airport," the businessman recalls.

The 63-year-old Ling is a founding figure in Brazil's libertarian movement—or movimento liberal, since the Portuguese word liberal has retained its classical meaning—who helped establish two prominent think tanks in the 1980s. He and his siblings co-own a handful of companies started by their Chinese immigrant father, who made a fortune in the soybean and petrochemical industries.

At their initial meeting in 2016, Ling gave Bolsonaro a half-hour tutorial on the Austrian school of free market economics and left him with two books, Frédéric Bastiat's The Law and Mises' Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow. (He chose those two, he recalls, because they're "thin and easy to read"—and "politicians don't read.") He also offered to help Bolsonaro assemble a "council" of free market economists to join his campaign.

Bolsonaro accepted the offer, so Ling flew home to Shanghai and started working through his Rolodex. "Nobody wanted to meet him," Ling recalls, because of Bolsonaro's reputation as a populist firebrand and a homophobe. Then Ling got in touch with Paulo Guedes, who was "immediately very enthusiastic."

A respected economist who earned a Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of Chicago, Guedes has spent most of his career in finance. On November 13, 2017, he and Bolsonaro had a five-hour meeting at a Sheraton Hotel in Rio. Guedes set the ground rules: He would consider working with Bolsonaro only if given "carte blanche" over economic affairs. After winning the presidency in October 2018, Bolsonaro made Guedes "super minister," putting him in charge of a new Ministry of Economy that consolidated the government's departments of finance, planning, industry, and commerce. Guedes then appointed a group of young libertarians to high-level roles within the new department.

Guedes' brief experience in politics 30 years ago may have discouraged him from working with candidates who are more like-minded but have little chance of electoral success. In 1989, he helped craft the economic platform of Guilherme Afif Domingos, who ran for president on the Liberal Party ticket. They put forward a proposal that Brazil privatize every state-owned company and then use the revenue to wipe out the federal debt. Domingos came in sixth. "And so Brazil became a paradise for rent seekers and hell for entrepreneurs," Guedes later told Piauí magazine.

Guedes' openness to working with Bolsonaro may also derive in part from the efforts of the "Chicago boys," a group of free market economists (trained at Guedes' alma mater) who had helped guide Chile's economy under the dictator Augusto Pinochet beginning in the 1970s. Guedes had no direct involvement with this cohort, but he held a teaching job at the University of Chile in the early '80s, and he has expressed admiration for its economic impact. Thanks to the Chicago boys, Pinochet lifted price controls, slashed red tape, sold off state-owned companies, eased occupational licensing rules, and launched a quasi-private pension system.

The Chicago boys' agenda was derailed in 1982, when an ill-advised fixed exchange rate produced an economic crisis, but in the long run their reforms worked as intended. After the restoration of a democratic government in 1989, Chileans voted to continue their program of market liberalism. Three decades of spectacular growth followed. From 1987 to 2017, Chile's gross domestic product (GDP) grew ninefold and its poverty rate declined from 11.7 percent to 0.7 percent.

Of course, Pinochet also overthrew a democratically elected president, censored the press, murdered an estimated 3,200 citizens, and tortured many more. He was willing to back many of the reformers' ideas about economic liberty, but he violated other liberties in abhorrent ways.

Guedes' defenders argue that there's a fundamental difference between his work with Bolsonaro and the morally dubious alliance struck by the Chicago boys. Bolsonaro is "working within the democratic institutions of Brazil," says Diogo Costa, a political scientist with a high-level position at the Ministry of Economy who has worked at the libertarian Cato Institute and Atlas Economic Research Foundation. "I don't think [Guedes] would agree to sign on to a project that violated more fundamental principles."

Some fear, on the other hand, that Bolsonaro will gradually erode those democratic institutions. His administration "is engaged in a constant war against every single institution that could serve as an opposition to his power," says Fonseca, the libertarian Folha de S.Paulo columnist.

Pedro Menezes, a 25-year-old libertarian who writes for Gazeta do Povo and InfoMoney, has compared Bolsonaro to Hugo Chávez, the late socialist leader of Venezuela, who dismantled institutional constraints on his power after being elected. Menezes is particularly troubled by Bolsonaro's suggestion that he would consider packing the supreme court and lowering its mandatory retirement age, enabling him to appoint more justices.

Menezes decided to distance himself from his country's libertarian movement after attending an October 22, 2016 event in São Paulo that was organized by the free market Leadership Training Institute. Bolsonaro, a longshot candidate at the time, was invited on stage to join in a dialogue with a group of prominent libertarians. A large contingent of his supporters showed up, baiting the audience with chants of "Ustra! Ustra! Ustra!"—a reference to the notorious Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, an army colonel who had arrested and tortured dissidents during the military regime.

Bolsonaro made outrageous comments during the event, according to Menezes, but his co-panelists treated him respectfully anyway. "I was so pissed I left in the middle," he says. "It was this transformational moment for me."

Other libertarian-leaning groups have kept their distance from Brazil's new president. Partido Novo, a political party founded in 2011, backed the more orthodox libertarian candidate João Amoêdo in the 2018 election. And the young political movement Livres, which used to be part of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), broke off in January 2018, when Bolsonaro took over the larger group.

In an essay explaining his vote to separate from the PSL, the political scientist Costa wrote that "when populism enters through the window, freedom goes out the door." But after Bolsonaro won the election and Costa was offered his position in the Ministry of Economy, he took it. "If I had to work [directly] under people who didn't share my vision and values and were committed to a different agenda," he says, "I wouldn't have" accepted.

Brazil's most influential libertarian organization is the Free Brazil Movement, which helped organize massive street protests in 2015 calling for the impeachment of Workers Party President Dilma Rousseff. (She was removed from office on August 31, 2016.) The group initially resisted supporting Bolsonaro in the 2018 election and tried to "build up more reasonable people," says Ferreira, the organization's co-founder. But Brazilians "wanted the more extreme option." After debating the issue internally, the group allied itself with Bolsonaro toward the end of his campaign.

It was a "dire" situation, Ferreira argues, because if Bolsonaro had lost, the Workers Party would have regained the presidency. And so the group launched what it called the "Patriotic Journey," sending its key representative to Brazil's northeast region to convince voters that Workers Party policies would damage their way of life.

The movement's charismatic spokesman, 23-year-old Kim Kataguiri, was elected to Congress in 2018, becoming the second youngest Brazilian currently serving. One of his first actions was to organize a 48-member "free market caucus" to support Guedes' agenda. But now that Bolsonaro is in office, Kataguiri and his group have started criticizing the president when he violates their principles. In April, after Bolsonaro threatened to cancel a planned hike in gas prices to appease the truck drivers union, Free Brazil Movement co-founder Renan Santos compared him to former left-wing President Rousseff and called him "a truck driver's bitch" on Twitter.

Paranoid Nationalism

Bolsonaro's inner circle has embraced the one aspect of libertarianism that overlaps with its own ethos: opposition to socialism. But the critique is articulated in the language of a paranoid right-wing nationalism. In August 2018, Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president's son, met with former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon in New York City, announcing on Twitter that they were joining forces to fight "against cultural Marxism." After his father was elected, Eduardo became the South American representative of Bannon's "The Movement," a project to promote populism and a nationalist agenda. "The greatest Brazilian philosopher alive," according to Eduardo, is Olavo de Carvalho, a pipe-smoking septuagenarian who lectures on YouTube about the alleged dangers of globalism, feminism, and Islam, and who once claimed that Pepsi is sweetened with the cells of aborted fetuses.

Carvalho, who lives in Virginia, attended a dinner party at Bannon's house in Washington, D.C., in January. His host expressed concern that "the face of Chicago"—meaning Guedes—could derail the nationalist agenda in Brazil. Carvalho reportedly denied that this would happen. When Bolsonaro made a trip to Washington, D.C., in March to meet with Trump, he attended a dinner at the Brazilian embassy and was seated between Bannon and Carvalho.

Bolsonaro's foreign affairs minister (a position comparable to the American secretary of state) is Ernesto Araújo, a Carvalho disciple who believes the current administration will reverse the spiritual corruption caused by "a left-wing agenda" that includes "gender ideology" and "the taking over of the Catholic Church by Marxist ideology (with its attendant promotion of birth control)." Bolsonaro's first education minister was a Carvalho recommendation, Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez, who proposed an Orwellian rewrite of school textbooks, mandating that they refer to Brazil's military dictatorship as a "democratic regime of force." After a disastrous three months, Bolsonaro replaced him with another Carvalho recommendation, conspiracy theorist Abraham Weintraub, who has suggested that the introduction of crack cocaine in Brazil was a left-wing plot.

But the biggest threat to Paulo Guedes' free market agenda, according to the political scientist Almeida, might not be Carvalho or Araújo or Bannon. It's the "industrialists of São Paulo" and the "agriculturalists of Mato Grosso"—crony capitalists with an economic stake in protectionism and regulation, who will wield influence in Congress to resist his policies. "I'm not sure how long Paulo Guedes will [tolerate] the defeats he'll endure in this government," Almeida says.

Starting Small

Bolsonaro is already demonstrating an unwillingness to risk political capital on meaningful reforms that hurt entrenched interests. But there's cause for optimism that the new radicals in Brasília (the nation's capital city) can cut red tape in significant ways. In April, the president signed a sweeping bill to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses. It exempts companies engaged in "low-risk" activities from licensing requirements, mandates that the government establish deadlines for responding to permit requests, and loosens the rules around initial public offerings, among other things. As a provisional decree, it went into immediate effect, but it will be invalidated if Congress doesn't confirm it within 120 days.

Many of the Ministry of Economy's initiatives don't require congressional approval. For example: Attorney André Ramos, a self-described anarcho-capitalist who now directs the Department of Business Registry and Integration, has helped craft a proposal to make it easier to register a company in Brazil, further streamlining a process that was already improved dramatically by a digital government initiative predating Bolsonaro. In 2018, according to the World Bank, it took an average of 20.5 days to start a new business in the country—way down from 82.5 days the prior year. But there's a long distance to go: In Chile, it takes just six days.

In a speech this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bolsonaro set the goal of moving Brazil into the top 50 in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index over the next four years. (Its current ranking is 109 out of 190.) Fulfilling that mandate falls largely to Paulo Uebel, the Ministry of Economy's 40-year-old "special secretary of debureaucratization, management, and digital government," who oversees a staff of 1,200.

Uebel, who has held leadership positions at several libertarian think tanks, says his goal is to "simplify the lives of Brazilians" and to make the government stop "micromanaging the life of the entrepreneur." He's starting with the small stuff. If reformers go up against powerful special interests right away, Uebel says, "we're probably going to lose."

Kataguiri, now in Congress, agrees. "We'll be able to approve some reforms, but these groups are very powerful," he says. He expects "small and medium" successes, but nothing of the magnitude that "us [classical] liberals would like."

As an example of the sort of changes his team is starting with, Uebel says he wants to eliminate the rules governing the size and functionality of the punch clocks that private sector employers are required to use when tracking workers' hours. "Only two or three companies in Brazil provide this kind of punch clock," Uebel says, and they lack political clout. More significant reforms, such as eliminating controls on workers' hours—i.e., the restrictions that require a punch clock in the first place—would require a constitutional amendment that is highly unlikely to pass right now.

Uebel also plans to revise "over a thousand" federal procedures that currently require face-to-face meetings with government bureaucrats, allowing Brazilians to take care of more things online.

So what happens to the thousands of federal employees who would be replaced by websites if Uebel gets his way? They'll remain on the payroll, because the authority to cut superfluous staff would require changing the constitution. Still, Uebel says he can thin the ranks through attrition.

Theoretically, the constitution does give the government authority to fire federal workers for poor performance, but Congress must first establish a legal framework for doing so. The Ministry of Economy will be working with lawmakers to craft such a bill, according to Wagner Lenhart, an attorney—and co-author of a book about Mises—who is now the "secretary of people management." But legislation of this sort is sure to face enormous opposition from labor unions. Lenhart and Costa, who now heads Brazil's Federal School of Public Administration, will also be pushing to substitute automatic promotion of government employees with a merit-based system.

What Next?

During the campaign, Bolsonaro deferred to Guedes on most questions related to economic policy. "In truth, I know nothing about the economy," the president confessed to one reporter. "This is the difference between [Bolsonaro] and Trump," says Ling. "The guy who thinks he knows everything will never be a libertarian."

But a few months into his presidency, Bolsonaro is already overruling Guedes for political expediency. Tariffs in Brazil average 8.6 percent, or 17 times the Chilean rate; in the World Bank's 2019 Doing Business survey, Brazil ranked 106 out of 190 on trade across borders. Brazil's president has the authority to slash tariffs without congressional approval, and in February his administration announced an agreement with Mexico that liberalized the trade in light commercial automobiles. But Bolsonaro has also raised tariffs on powdered milk, announcing on Twitter that "everyone has won, in particular, the consumers of Brazil."

Even before he was elected, Bolsonaro was citing the need for "responsible trade" and sympathizing with the "difficulties" that Brazilian companies face. Broad tariff reductions seem unlikely.

Guedes' first major priority is to restructure Brazil's fiscally insolvent pension system, which, because of an aging population, is projected to consume a staggering 26 percent of GDP by 2050. Standard & Poor's downgraded Brazil's credit rating last year based on its failure to pass pension reform: The system allows beneficiaries to retire at an average age of 58 and favors the better-off. The bottom 40 percent of the population gets just 18 percent of the paid benefits.

Guedes and Kataguiri are pushing for a unified system similar to Chile's sistema previsional, which would replace the current intergenerational Ponzi scheme with an arrangement in which workers contribute to private savings accounts. The government would still provide a baseline benefit for those who are too poor to contribute, and current beneficiaries would be grandfathered into the old system.

But will it pass? The negotiations underway in Congress have been chaotic, and in April, Kataguiri was losing faith. "My outlook for the future," he told The New York Times, is that "we won't approve the pension reform, we will slip into a recession, and the government will be left hemorrhaging."

Kataguiri's souring outlook reflects the Free Brazil Movement's shifting stance toward Bolsonaro. Ferreira, the group's co-founder, reflects on simpler times when the Workers Party was in power and the group could be purely oppositional, explaining to its followers that "left-wing ideas were responsible for the [economic] crisis." Now that the group is publicly associated with the president, it will be a public relations crisis for libertarians if his policies fail. "The left wing is going to come back at us," says Ferreira. They could respond by pointing out that Bolsonaro isn't really representative of their views, "but that's really hard convincing to do."

If Guedes succeeds more broadly, it could bring reductions in poverty and strong overall growth analogous to what the Chicago boys engineered in Chile. But it will come at a cost. The alliance that began three years ago on the initiative of Winston Ling, desperate to save Brazil from its worst economic crisis in modern history, was instrumental in electing a populist president who is doing significant damage to civil liberties. Brazil needs economic freedom, but it needs human rights too.

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105 responses to “Libertarians Forged an Alliance With Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Was It a Deal With the Devil?

    1. SIV is in the final stages of chicken syphilis, people.

      1. Thought you only caught that from kids. Isnt that what you had pedo?

        1. Some of you guys are awfully mouthy for people who have spent their entire lifetimes getting their ugly, bigoted preferences stomped in the America culture war.

          Not only should you keep those mouths open, but I say you should open them wider, because guys like me are going to shove even more progress down your obsequious, whining throats. Be nice, or your betters might decide to start positioning that progress sideways. Losing the culture war has consequences, especially for all-talk right-wingers.

          I am content. Carry on, clingers.

          1. Conservatives are always destined to lose, because change is inevitable. However, society needs conservatives, because there needs to be a check on cultural change. Too much change too fast can be destructive. So yeah, they kind of have a shitty, yet essential, role to play.

            1. It’s Kirkland. Don’t respond to him like he’s people. He’s more like a particularly obnoxious chatbot.

              -Insult-
              -Prediction of conservative diminishment-
              “Carry on clingers!”

              He’s not even a particularly sophisticated bot

            2. Conservatives were worthwhile when they championed reason, progress, tolerance, limited government, science, competence, education, and reason. They were a helpful counterweight to excesses within the liberal-libertarian mainstream.

              Since the hard turn toward belligerent ignorance, superstitious, bigotry, and backwardness, however, the movement conservative electoral coalition consists primarily of society’s losers — superstitious slack-jaws, half-educated bigots, hypocritical and credulous evangelicals, stale-thinking malcontents, the depleted human residue that remains in our shambling backwaters after generations of bright flight.

              The right-wing authoritarians who comment here and populate Republican Committee rosters should continue to speak their minds, however, because that ensures they will continue to lose the culture war.

    2. Brazil is one of those Portuguese/soccer countries rather than the Spanish/baseball kind.

      *shrug*

  1. Christ, what an asshole. (Bolsonaro)

    1. And what an idiot (Ling) for going anywhere near such a tyrannical POS. “Libertarians for tyranny” is not a slogan I would have ever dreamed I’d hear.

      1. I don’t know – Bolsonaro may have tyrannical instincts but it’s not as if the alternative is any less awful, and it’s not as if he’s a God-King who can make his every wish the law of the land. You’ve got to work with what you’ve got. Bolsonaro, like Trump, has to work with the entrenched PTB and if you can steer him a little in the right direction maybe that’s the best you can get. “Less awful than the alternative” isn’t much of a campaign slogan, either, but, step-by-step, progressively less awful gets you to a reasonable facsimile of your goal.

        1. No, just no. Whatever small incremental gains in business regulation Bolsonaro mau accomplish will dwarf the damage to the reputation of the Brazilian libertarian movement. They will forever be associated with this asshole.

          1. Damage the reputation or reveal the intentions?

          2. So libertarians should never ally with anyone in order to make gains in economic liberty.

            Sounds like a good way to remain at 2 percent of the population. It is almost as if quasi libertarian assholes like you think this way by design.

            1. So, the quasi-libertarians are the ones who rigidly stick to libertarian principle? Interesting way of looking at things.

              1. What is a libertarian principle worth if you’re not increasing liberty in the aggregate?

                Absolutely nothing.

                Zero.

                A lesson that the muh princi ppl les crowd is too stupid to learn even though the lessons have been many.

                1. That’s a perfectly valid question. But the answer isn’t as simple as you seem to think.
                  If you think that the only reason people want to stick with principle is stupidity, you really don’t get it. Libertarianism isn’t just a political movement, it’s a moral philosophy. Some people put more emphasis on practical politics, some on the moral/ethical aspects. And it’s a good thing to have people making both of those arguments. The world needs cynics.

                  1. As a moral philosophy on the individual level, yes, it is simple and easy to live by. Applying it to politics and government requires non-linear thinking.

                    There is a difference between being principled and having principles. Those who are obsessed with being principled are generally stupid or far too egotistical.

                    My principle is expanding liberty. How we go about that is never going to be a straight and easy path that requires no thinking, as the muh principles crowd yearns for.

                    1. I have no problem with your way. But you should really stop thinking you understand other people’s thinking and motivation. There are lots of reasons besides stupidity and laziness to stick to principle. Politics isn’t everything. I think that electoral politics isn’t a very effective route to more liberty. I think that cultural attitudes are the really important thing. But it’s also good that some people are fighting the dirty political fight. And I don’t think you are a stupid asshole for thinking differently.

                    2. My point is that if one allows their principles to be used against them to undermine their principles, they don’t actually have principles, they have an ego (or they are stupid).

                      And yes, culture is upstream from politics. Michael Malice is coming out with a new book on this, and I can’t wait to read it. This is a further negative on the “principled” crowd. Censorship is okay because “private business”. Open borders is okay even though most immigrants are bringing in a culture that is antithetical to liberty. Libel and defamation of others by painting them as racists or bigots is okay because free speech. Fraud is okay because someone signed a TOS agreement.

                      You don’t understand how hard you are getting played. At least the conservatives have largely woken up to it. Hence, Trump. Sucks, as I’d rather have libertarians on the team, but very few are playing.

                    3. If your principles are individual but require everyone else to match your set of principles, they are unworkable zeb. If you cant find compromise and work towards a collaborative vision towards your principles, your morality is utter shit.

                    4. My point is that if one allows their principles to be used against them to undermine their principles, they don’t actually have principles, they have an ego (or they are stupid).

                      The problem here is not principles vs. lack of principles, it is how to resolve conflict between competing principles.

                      For example, censorship and private businesses. On one hand, we like private property rights. On the other hand, we don’t like censorship. So what do we do when private businesses want to use their private property to engage in censorship? We have to decide which principle we value more – the principle valuing private property rights, or the principle objecting to censorship?

                2. They arent even principles. They are idiotic idealism arriving from a lack of understanding or thought on what libertarianism is. Their version of libertarianism requires an authoritarian action to make everyone else libertarian to make it work. They put no actual intellectual thought into their belief system. Its lazy libertarianism.

              2. Quasi libertarians are the naive idealists who refuse to learn how their ideas actually work in real life. ABC, you, Jeff, etc.

            2. “Brazil needs economic freedom, but it needs human rights too.”

              But????

              What a silly way to close the article. Economic freedom is a human right. To phrase it his way makes me truly question what the author is really on about.

              1. Economic freedom leads to personal freedom, not the other way around.

                People give far less of a crap what others are doing when they are living in comfort.

                1. Counter point… celebrities, Pelosi, gates, Zuckerberg… etc.

              2. In the context of the article, the word “but” makes sense. In isolation the “but” in that statement would be silly, but this is at the end of an article in which economic freedom and lack of human rights have been juxtaposed. That’s how we use the word “but”, and indeed all words: in context.

              3. Say dinner comes with a choice of soup or salad, and you say, “I like soup but I also like salad.” The word “but” isn’t understood as meaning you like salad any less, only that the choice you’ve been presented doesn’t include both. It also doesn’t mean soup and salad is an impossible combination, only that this dinner doesn’t offer it.

                1. Horseshoe sophistry.

                  I like soup but also like food. That is what he said.

                  1. Horeshit, not horseshoe.

                    1. Makes as much sense either way.

                2. I think what Thomas was pointing out is that economic rights are inextricable from human rights. The phrasing of that sentence, with the ‘but’, sets economic and human rights in separate spheres – as if it’s possible to have one without the other.
                  A closer analogy than soup but salad would be like broth but no soup.

              4. The dead giveaway ought to have been the introduction of “human rights” into the discussion. Whatever the fuck are “human rights” anyway? It seems to have a fluid definition, essentially meaning, “Whatever the fuck I want, that’s a human right!”. Is there any definition of the term that actually defines the boundary of what’s included on the list of “human rights”, or is this just something we make up as it suits us as we go along? (Apparently.)

                “Human rights” is one of those red flags that signals you’re dealing with a shyster. You will never, never be able to coax a concrete and finite definition of the term out of him. It’s like “fascist” and “racist” – it means whatever it’s convenient to mean at the moment.

          3. I don’t know libertarians are always associated with assholes by the media rightly or wrongly. and they always will be. seems like damned if you do damned if you don’t proposition.

            1. The media hates libertarians, but we are so small and useless as to not be worth their time.

              When we become a threat, they pounce on us. E.g. they destroyed Gary Johnson when they thought he might have a chance of taking electoral votes from Hillary. Not that GJ was blameless, but that gaffe was extremely minor and didn’t deserve the attention it got.

              1. Libertarian spoiler votes are what change the laws in These States. LP opposition to the Nixon subsidies for kleptocracy candidates is a threat to a teat the looter media suckle cash from. So OF COURSE they ignore/smear LP candidates. As soon as the LP tripled its vote share, voter suppression and suppression of vote counts has been resorted to–along with debauching our platform.

        2. Looking at what is happening in Venezuela, economic reform may literally be a life or death issue for Brazilians. If you have the opportunity to prevent that from happening in your own country, do you take it even if it means you get some mud on you! Economic freedom can help lead to other types of freedom as more people gain prosperity and can therefore have more influence. Should Schindler have refused to work with the Nazis?

          1. As he used the example of Pinochet in Chile, the fact that he listened to the Chicago Boys led the country to prosperity, and the dictatorship ENDED 17 years later when Patricio Allwyn was elected president in 1990. Pinochet didn’t try to stay in power and left office peacefully leaving Chile in much better shape than when he took office.

            Compare to Venezuela where socialist policies were what ran their economy, human rights abuses worsened and continued to get worse and after 20 years, there is no end in sight. Maduro will NOT leave office unless forced to do so. But even if he and other entrenched chavistas left office, the country is as devastated as if there HAD been a war.

            By the way, Epstein gets it wrong in that Pinochet did NOT lead the military coup that ousted Allende. The miltary appointed him afterwards.

            1. Yup. The question with guys who come in strong, and try to make massive reforms is: Are you going to get a Sulla or a Caesar?

              For those that don’t know who Sulla was, he was a Roman general who was elected dictator by the Roman senate. Dictator was a temporary official position that gave the consul essentially what we would consider marshal law type powers.

              Sulla cleaned shit up, took care of problems in the Republic, and stepped down and retired to his country estate. In other words he got shit handled and rode off into the sunset.

              Caesar wanted to keep it for life. He actually did make a lot of good reforms though, which is part of what got him killed… We’ll never know how Julius would have ended, but it’s highly possible shit would have gone wrong given his arrogance.

              This is the problem. But the truth is sometimes taking a roll of the dice is better than a guaranteed loss.

      2. I find it to be a rather amusing acknowledgement of reality – the only way to implement libertarian policies is by having an authoritarian shove them down people’s throats.

        On the bright side, given that Bolsonaro was democratically elected, it appears that at least the people have given their consent to the shoving….

        1. I disagree that this is the only way to ‘implement libertarian ideas’. The failure is libertarians themselves who fail to distinguish between their ideas of ‘Leave people alone’ v ‘fundamental restructuring’.

          1. The 1972 LP platform donated the verbiage for Roe v Wade and started a broad series of reforms undoing Comstock and other prohibition laws passed during Reconstruction and the labor-nationalsocialist “Progressive” era. Like the Liberal party whose 1931 platform gave the Dems the repeal plank, the LP uses spoiler votes to cause the cleptocracy to repeal laws that crush individual rights. Every LP vote sends a message telling looters which laws to repeal.

            1. Where libertarians have been successful, it is precisely in the ‘leave us alone’ realm. That notion is quite popular and usually constricted by petty bullshit that only needs to be repealed. It is basically the notion that people have the right to exit constraints that are only applied because some other petty know-it-all wants to control others for no reason beyond ‘I can’. Abortion pre-viability is exactly that sort of thing. Post-viability is not that and falls into the second category below.

              Where libertarians fail is where there is actual/potential conflict between two separate individuals (where you can’t swing your fist without impacting someone else’s face) or where a structural reform can’t be made without creating a winners/losers playing field. Libertarians offer nothing and don’t even offer a skillset to think about that sort of issue. Classical liberals used to offer something until they got sidetracked by the utilitarianism of JS Mill and let utilitarianism distort classical liberalism. Which leaves a big empty chair at the adults table while libertarians/liberals end up whining at the kiddie table.

          2. It’s because what is likely a majority of people are too dumb to “get” the benefits of freedom. The founding fathers literally started a war the majority of the population wasn’t in favor of, killed a bunch of their countymen (both American born and British born were both their countrymen), and then forced everybody to be free. Because they DID know they were right, and those against them were wrong.

            People forget the fact that they were essentially an intelligent elite that didn’t care what people thought, but simply did what they knew to be right. Eventually people got on board, but it wasn’t that way in the beginning, and throughout the whole thing they had a LOT of opposition.

      3. Ling and his brother have been objectivist activists since at least the 1980s, and managed a translation of one of Peikoff’s less successful efforts. But with over 30 subsidized looter parties diluting the machine kleptocracy, any LP is basically illegal, and the government claims it “cannot afford” to “subsidize additional parties” that don’t want legally-mandated subsidies. The result is European-style oscillations between Fabian communism and Fabian fascism, religious prohibitionists and lay parasites. Blank votes at gunpoint proxy for spoiler votes.

  2. Interesting. There are a lot of parallels here between Bolsonaro and Trump. For whatever libertarianish policies they might pursue, a key failure to embrace free market principles could bring about an economic downturn and “poof” goes all they’ve done. “It’s the economy, stupid”, or, as someone else said, “Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?” is what determines elections.

    1. We’ve long had thousands of pages of tariffs and trade restrictions on the books and everything has gone swimmingly, but Trump’s tariffs will single handedly wreck the economy?

      1. Just like his election wrecked it.

    2. For whatever libertarianish policies they might pursue, a key failure to embrace free market principles could bring about an economic downturn

      You’re saying lack of perfection causes downturns? How about libertarianish produces better results than authoritarianish, to whatever degree either is tried?

    3. The truth is that policies have more or less predictable results… If you free up the economy in some ways, and tweak it in other ways that a good grip of the population will find desirable, but on net create a strong economy + win political good will… It’s still an improvement.

      Everything from tariffs to welfare programs have predictable results. It sucks that there’s a degree of horse trading that has to go on, but it is what it is. If you slash one tax by a billion bucks, and raise another by $500 million, but it achieves a political end people like… It’s still kind of moving the needle in the right direction, and will get you reelected.

  3. Disgruntled employee shooting in Virginia Beach. Hope you are safe, Citizen X.

    1. The copy in The Virginian-Pilot suggests the shooter was shot and killed.

  4. Since unlimited, unrestricted immigration is the most important issue for us Koch / Reason libertarians, we should ally with whatever political faction comes closest to advocating open borders.

    #OpenBordersForBrazil
    #ImmigrationAboveAll

    1. Has anyone done more for open borders in Central and South America than 1) the violent gangs of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and 2) the polices of Maduro, which have chased millions of malnourished Venezuelans across their borders in search of food? Do open borders people on the left sit around hoping for a devastating earthquake or hurricane?

      1. The ‘violent gangs’ in those three countries are actually a paramilitary wing of the elites and the govts there. During the Cold War, the elites hired thugs to kill uppity peasants and got US support for that by saying that the peasants were commies. Once the Cold War ended, the elites didn’t need to hire the thugs anymore – so the thugs are mostly earning money running drugs and extortion rackets and such – and ‘cooperating’ as needed with the elites in what are actual narco states v2.

        1. This is scary stupid–

          During the Cold War, the elites hired thugs to kill uppity peasants and got US support for that by saying that the peasants were commies

          During the cold war, the commies hired thugs to be ‘death squads’–they went around killing dissenters (“peasants”) The US was hated by the left for interfering.

          That’s what actually happened.

          1. You’re wrong. The peasants have been protesting their landlessness for centuries. During the colonial era, the conflict was racial (peasants are mostly Indian/mestizo, elites are criollo). During the post-colonial, pre-US intervention era, the protest was phrased in Jeffersonian type terms – aspirations of yeoman farmer, homesteading, simple land reform, etc. When we instead intervened to support elites cuz they supported our banana plantation corps, peasants rephrased their protest in liberation theology and Marxist terms. Since the Cold War, they have phrased it in anti-corruption and anti-drug terms – eg Honduran protest three days ago when they find out the Presidents brother is a drug trafficker and the Prez himself is being investigated. Or in Guatemala a few months ago, when the govt proposed an amnesty for 30 senior officers convicted of war crimes and eliminating thousands of investigations.

            The elites have ALWAYS hired thugs to kill uppity peasants. Since WW2, we continually trained those thugs at School of the Americas – Manuel Noriega, Efrain Montt, Roberto d’Aubisson, those who started the Los Zetas cartel, the officers who provided protection for the Norte del Valle cartel, the officers who turned MS13 from a bunch of teens into a murderous cartel, etc. Hell Hugo Chavez was one of those thugs (though not SOA) until he turned and became a thug for other side. Those thugs are the origin of the caudillo tendency in the entire region.

  5. The appeal of culture war issues and apparent strong men–in defiance of left wing social justice norms–has been a world wide phenomenon. A short list of countries that felt its appeal include Breixt, the USA behind Trump, Duerte in the Philippines, the elections that are driving Merkel from power, the yellow jacket movement and success of Le Pen’s National Rally against Macron, the Five Star anti-immigration populists of Italy, etc., etc.

    Bolsonaro rose to prominence in Brazil for the same reason all these other movements rose to the top, and the idea that he is no longer benefiting from the same rising tide that lifted all those boats because of something particular about his unique situation is to miss the big picture. If Bolsonaro has some issues, it’s that 1) he’s had close brushes with the kind of corruption he campaigned against. It’s hard to insulate yourself from corrupt associations when the entire society is rife with corruption. 2) He’s dealing with a looming recession, which would challenge the popularity of anybody.

    Meanwhile, he’s been in power for all of five months?

    In American terms, Bolsonaro may be deeply unpopular with large segments of Brazilian society, but so is Donald Trump. There may be huge swaths of Brazilian society that are calling for Bolsonaro to be removed from office, but that’s also the case with Donald Trump. The chattering classes may be shocked and dismayed that Bolsonaro would say the things he does, but that’s also the case with Donald . . .

    You get the picture.

    Look at democracies all over the world, and you’ll find populists who are sick to death of being hit over the head by the “tolerant” elitists in the government and are sick of being told how popular being a social justice warrior is by elitists in the news media. When I see the suggestion being treated seriously by a journalist that libertarians should abandon an opportunity to influence policy in a populist government because opposing social justice warriors is so unpopular that libertarians might become tainted by association with those who oppose the left, I can’t help but feel like I’ve already seen this movie.

    Libertarian capitalists should take whatever opportunities we get to influence and implement public policy. If Augusto Pinochet tweets terrible things about gay people and drug addicts, that’s hardly a good reason to refuse to help him privatize social security. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro has enjoyed more popularity with voters in the polls than Trump did. I wouldn’t bet against him staying in power–certainly not just because he tweaks the noses of social justice warriors.

    1. It is more than that. Left wing policies are hurting people, as they always have. The reaction is to this is picking the opposite of what is hurting them. Problem is the entire world has been brainwashed into thinking that the opposite of left wing authoritarianism is slightly less left wing authoritarianism that we call right wing authoritarianism. Libertarians understand that the opposite of authoritarianism is classical liberalism or libertarianism.

      Honestly we got lucky that Trump is as liberal as he is.

      1. If the Democrats end up nominating someone who openly advocates the Green New Deal and Medicare for all, I’ll vote for the first time in 20 years and it won’t be for a Libertarian.

        1. Well it is looking good for you to show up at the voting booth.

          The problem too is that even if the president doesnt advocate those things, will he or she be willing to veto them? Answer is a resounding no. There is no course where electing a Democrat to any office will not lessen our liberty. Not that the Republicans are much better, but they are certainly not as bad.

    2. Here’s a typical example of what elitsts were saying about Bolsonaro last week:

      “Bolsonaro’s dysfunctional presidency may be nearing endgame”

      “Brazil leader has only himself to blame for open chatter about possible impeachment”

      https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/bolsonaro-s-dysfunctional-presidency-may-be-nearing-endgame-1.3899590

      When you look at all the evidence the article cites for impeaching Bolsonaro, as well as the deep craving to somehow have their elitist outlook endorsed by popular support regardless of its basis, it’s hard not to make comparisons to how elitists in the media see and write about Trump. It’s insane–INSANE!–to think that Trump wouldn’t be impeached.

      Don’t you see that? Are you insane?!

      1. I think we are kind of at a cultural cross roads here or maybe not I don’t know. Seems like we are fragmenting into those who think we can change the hearts and minds of the chattering class or those who are trying to appeal to their base by making inroads thinking they are honest brokers/work among them and those who say fuck them because they recognize there is no getting to them as they are fundamentally dishonest and willing to do anything to hold onto power. You see this even among the split among conservatives see Soave’s French article. Personally I think people like French and some of the writers here at Reason will be the first against the wall if it comes to that because they will be the ones who show up for dinner when the leftists take power. As a someone who enjoys the reading all sides I think most of this is overstated and we live an relatively uninteresting times but many many people here at reason view the cultural left as the ones least likely to wage violence among their enemies as the cultural right and I really don’t understand the cognitive dissonance that goes on with that thought process. I think we should make allies where we can in the advancement of liberty and at this point that’s more than likely to come from the right than the left, of course we have to be careful as with any alliance we will eventually be cast aside. I also think much of this is about money and loss of influence traditional media is having and them forestalling this as much as possible, they just can’t admit they have anything in common with the coal miners and populists they despise.

        1. The worst conservatives are happy with the status quo, the better ones want to increase freedom, albeit more slowly than we would like.

          The worst leftists would destroy modern civilization through inept or evil plans such as the Green New Deal. The best leftists would sit back and let them do it as long as they get a piece of the redistributed pie.

          Why Reason and every single troll here (who always seem to agree with the writers) insists on playing softball with the left and trying incessantly to destroy the right leads me to believe that this isn’t really a libertarian publication, it is a special interest propaganda rag.

          1. I think it’s more about preserving their status as not undesirables when they inevitably jump ship to other publications. It’s in their career interest to stay the course and protect the status quo it’s a fairly human desire. Also many are fellow travelers and hangout in the same cultural circles as many on the left.

          2. also many find the supporters of trump and trump himself distasteful and have far more in common with your average Hillary voter or traditional conservative than anyone who would vote for trump.

            1. Perhaps, it would be a better argument if the classic liberal media weren’t hemorrhaging jobs and money.

              Your second argument has more merit, but I can’t find any redemption in it. 90% of the commenters here are more intelligent than Reason writers. They are not elite in any form, no matter how much they want to be.

              1. Bitter, bigoted, vanquished right-wing malcontents are among my favorite faux libertarians.

                Mostly because stepping on their necks in the culture war has been such fun for their liberal-libertarian betters throughout the most recent half-century.

                1. Why does he keep telling us he doesn’t like our tie collection? Does anybody here care what Kirkland thinks is fashionable?

          3. Getting into bed with, or funding from VOX will do that, and I’m convinced Reason is getting funding from them . As Matt Y. of VOX notes “Identity politics is the only way to do politics, otherwise, you’re a racist”. I’ll add sexist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, nationalist, LGBTQ hating, gun nut, populist, old white guy and NIMBY. Identity groups, based on identity metrics, are the future according to the the central planning elites who want a piece of the action. No room for individual freedom. Just ask Ronald Sullivan.

          4. Pretty much nailed it. I don’t give a shit if somebody is A Gay or wants to smoke weed… But SERIOUSLY, trying to pretend the right is worse than the left is utterly ridiculous.

            If the right leaning folks in the USA had every one of their wishes fulfilled tomorrow… The USA would be 1,000x better than it is today. It’d basically be 1950s America again, but with less of the few bad isms we did in fact have back then. If the left got all their wishes fulfilled tomorrow… We’d be the USSR.

            There is ZERO equivalency. ZERO. It’s not that I don’t want Libertopia, but it just ain’t happening anytime soon. Supporting those that want to improve things incrementally is a far better bet than beating them down for their failings and supporting the side that wants to turn us into communist China during the Great Leap Forward.

  6. “Was It a Deal With the Devil?”

    It’s interesting that the rhetoric around here has come to resemble the kind of shit we see regurgitated by the likes of Palin’s Buttplug and Tony.

    Bolsonaro is like the Devil.

    Trump is also like the Devil.

    You know who else was like the Devil?

    1. Madison and Jefferson sure bedeviled that ol’ King George.

    2. Satan was like the Devil. Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge and their eyes were opened to the knowledge of good and evil and the ability to choose. God created Adam and Eve, Satan endowed them with Free Will. So who really created human beings, for what is a human being without free will? And we all know free will is a double-edged sword, the flip side of the freedom to choose is the responsibility to bear the consequences.

      1. for what is a human being without free will?

        An SJW leftist?

      2. Satan didn’t endow them with free will. Satan tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit. This would only be possible if she already had free will. Without free will there would have been no need for God to have warned her to avoid the tree.

        Doesn’t matter whether you believe the story is true, that is the story as told.

    3. I’ve noted for a while that our jackboot authoritarian trolls seem to be the biggest fans of Reason’s writers.

      It says a lot about this publication.

    4. Well of course they’re the devil! They don’t support EVERY single thing the Gay Lobby demands, destruction of the nation state, etc.

      So even though they’re better than any alternative that’s on the table, they’re clearly Satan.

  7. Now that the group is publicly associated with the president, it will be a public relations crisis for libertarians if his policies fail. “The left wing is going to come back at us,”

    But at least the policies will have been tried! What’s more important: that you have good policies, at least for a while, or that you look good?

    Meanwhile, concerning the civil liberties, how does the Bolsonaro regime compare with what was had over the previous, say, 5 years? How much of a trade-off is it? I honestly don’t know, since I don’t know what the situation’s been, so I’ve no basis for comparison, but I do know it’s unrealistic to compare to an ideal.

    1. “it will be a public relations crisis for libertarians if his policies fail. “The left wing is going to come back at us,””

      This betrays the author’s fundamental misunderstanding and poor perception.
      The left wing is going to come at [us] no matter what.

    2. I’m pretty sure the reality is that Bolsonaro is no worse at all on civil liberties, because Brazil is kind of a shite hole with an overbearing government no matter what…

      So just like Trump, who talks shit sometimes but doesn’t actually really do anything to hurt civil liberties, they’re mainly just smearing him.

  8. This doesn’t really surprise me. Libertarians themselves are completely impractical and unrealistic and disorganized and incapable of achieving power themselves in a democracy. So they have to make a deal with someone who can in order to do anything beyond jerk off in the corner.

    Two models for that sort of alliance:
    an authoritarian who will let libertarians do economic stuff (Chile, Singapore, early Taiwan) but will permanently taint any broadening of libertarian thought cuz it will always be associated with strongman.

    a classical liberal party (Switzerland, Estonia, Germany, Netherlands) where libertarians serve an actual function that they only think they serve in the GOP tent in the US. Moving actual policy in the ‘keep your eye on the prize’ direction – but mostly still compromising – and never really able to exit the party.

    Unfortunately the word ‘liberal’ itself in the US seems to be tainted and the GOP has NEVER been classical liberal. Personally I think the word liberal can be resurrected again since the FDR generation (that killed it) is – well – quite dead. But the US is also the only democracy that can’t seem to actually tolerate more than two parties – and that’s getting worse.

    1. The truth is libertarianism is like pure communism as it exists in Marxists delusions… It is never gonna happen, and if it did it would actually still have major practical flaws in the opinion of most people.

      Purist libertarians are retards who jerk off in corners. It will always be that way, because it can’t be any other way. Pragmatic libertarians however can shape things going forward. Guys like Ron/Rand Paul, or even a tool like Gary Johnson who leaned the opposite direction of the Pauls in his compromising.

      Purists are a useless lot though and will always remain so.

  9. The article is reasonably accurate, but misses a structural detail. After the dictatorship crumbled, a Portuguese translation of Atlas Shrugged was published just as fascist and communist politicians struggled to rewrite the lengthy and Byzantine constitution. The conservative press beat the alarm and the constitution was basically rewritten–like the Nixon anti-libertarian campaign funding act–to make the Libertarian Party impossible. There are 32 or 33 subsidized looter parties with no published platforms to speak of.

  10. Jesus, how can the author honestly say that Bolsonaro’s anticrime proposal is “draconian”? It was proposed by minister of Justice Sergio Moro, who was a federal judge and has been the most popular public figure in Brazil since he led the operation “Carwash”, which uncovered huge corruption scandals involving politicians and led to the prison of many of them, including former left-wing president Lula. Moro’s anticrime proposal only reinforces the right to self-defense of police officers, which is absolutely lawful. The author should also consider that these officers are in the middle of a civil war, since Brazil has 60k homicides/year. Can you imagine being a police officer in the middle of a favela and afraid of shooting to death a POS with a military-style rifle that is targeting him, because he may be prosecuted later? One of the major reasons why Bolsonaro was elected was precisely because most law-abiding Brazilians are fed-up with the pro-criminal justice system here, and his “draconian” proposal are widely popular, with the exception of left-wing scholars and journalists. Also, Joel Pinheiro da Fonseca is a decidedly left-leaning libertarian, so it is no surprise that Bolsonaro’s conservatism doesn’t please him…

    1. No one at Reason knows or cares about anything going on in Brazil.

      This entire article was an exercise in virtue signaling.

      They need to show that they support the progressive agenda wherever it rears it’s leprous head.

      But that warning about the consequences that arise from poor association choices are extremely evident–Reason has chosen to associate with the left. And now the left, as it does with everything it touches, is turning them to shit.

      1. Good intentions mean never having to say you’re sorry about those nasty consequences.

    2. One thing a lot of people can’t accept is that sometimes the best option simply isn’t on the table. Or that it is in fact legitimate to act one way in a certain situation, but another way in a different situation.

      Brazil has massive crime and corruption problems we can’t even comprehend. To expect a poor nation with 10x the problems we have to behave in a way that WE would in OUR situation is ridiculous.

      In reality there are things that are acceptable when you are in the middle of a literal war that would be wholly unacceptable in a time of peace… The trick is to do them during the war, and then move to the more civilized methods once the war is over. Purist idiots can’t comprehend such things apparently, and truly believe there are no times/places where one might be FAR better served by bending principles slightly to get vastly superior real world results.

      Which is why they will never matter.

  11. Seems like Reason is saying the choice in Brazil was between the authoritarian Left and authoritarian Right.

    If only we could ship a lot of good ole US Magic Dirt to them, so that they would all turn Libertarian, like anyone from Latin America does when they step foot on US soil.

  12. Yes, because according to Reason/Cato, the best path to liberty is by allying with interventionists and Keynesians; it’s so much more civilized, and so much kinder to the kinds of people who write for Reason and work at Cato.

    Personally, I don’t presume to know what the best path is to liberty in Brazil. I just note that Hong Kong and Singapore are #1 and #2 on the index of economic freedom, compared to America’s #18.

  13. What? Self-described libertarians tossing minorities under the bus? Say it isn’t so!

  14. Interesting how un-libertarian and RINO nation build-y everyone gets when a nation legitimately decides to deal with its own problems its own way. Also interesting how people conflate rhetoric with actions. Extrajudicial killings sound bad because we think of them in an American context, but when you consider the scope of crime in the favelas (think Robocop and Escape from New York fused into one), you’ll understand why BOPE exists.

    1. Well, it’s just like in the USA and Europe… Once people the globalist elites don’t like get elected democratically, it’s somehow not “real” democracy, or they try to pretend the Russians scammed things or whatever nonsense.

      They have an agenda, and they will do whatever they must to move it forward.

  15. This is so PERFECTLY representative of the retarded Cosmotarian mind.

    A guy who personally doesn’t like gay people, but mind you isn’t out rounding them up and tossing them off buildings or anything, is sooooooo horrible that even though he is doing a bunch of awesome shit, he’s literally Hitler.

    The truth is that right and left libertarians differ just like regular right and left wing folks… Right uses logic and reason to suss out what is a practical way forward, what issues really matter, etc. The left gets caught up on irrelevant, but emotionally charged issues.

    In what world are tranny bathrooms on the same level of importance as saaay overall size and scope of government? Certainly not in a SANE and RATIONAL world. Tranny bathrooms are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things… Yet left libertarians would freak out (emote) against a politician who wanted to cut the size of government by 50% if he also said he thought trannies were weirdos who should use the bathroom of the sex they were born as.

    I don’t really care much about The Gays, or weed, or any number of other leftist hard on issues… But they simply don’t matter. They’re all emotional bullshit that isn’t important. Size and scope of government matters. Gun rights matter. Taxes. Nanny state laws. On and on. They matter. Tranny bathrooms are at the bottom of the list of things that matter.

    You can tell who thinks logically and who emotes based on what issues they think actually matter. Those that get caught up in tear jerking issues like gay crap, peasant immigrants, etc only like libertarianism because it gives them a framework from which to emote. And in a way I only like it because it gives me a framework for why the policies I like work too. The thing is my issues actually matter in peoples day to day lives, and all the emotional crap is just window dressing.

  16. […] I see libertarians facing almost the opposite problem, too much focus on growth at any cost.  Here is Reason magazine: […]

  17. […] Na Reason, Jim Epstein argumenta que o acordo com o presidente Jair Bolsonaro foi um pacto com o diabo para […]

  18. […] Na Reason, Jim Epstein argumenta que o acordo com o presidente Jair Bolsonaro foi um pacto com o diabo para […]

  19. […] “Libertarians Forged an Alliance With Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Was It a Deal With the Devil?” (Reason) […]

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