Thursday, September 06, 2007

Libertarian miscellany

Much funnier people than I make fun of "glibertarian" Megan McArdle and Professor Instaputz.

And I rather belatedly learn that just about every center of respectable libertarian thought (Cato, Reason, GMU, etc) is heavily funded by the Koch Family Foundations. If not for the smiling beneficence of David and Charles Koch, libertarianism would be still be confined to the rantings of cheeto-dust-encrusted Ayn Rand fanboys. Here's some more. There's remarkably little written material on these guys that doesn't smell of conspiracy theorist, but the conspiracy theorists may have it right this time. Essentially, everything you read from the more respectable libertarians at the above institutions should be labeled "bought and paid for by the oil and gas industries".

Update: And Atlas Shrugged gets featured prominently on the latest episode of Mad Men. Yes, I know Ayn Rand didn't consider herself a libertarian and hated those who were so identified -- it's all the People's Front of Judea to me.


TGGP said...

Mencius Moldbug also shares your Rothbard/S.E.K.3-esque hatred of the Kochtopus.

The thing I take interest in Koch's political activities is not that some rich guy is giving money to people that say he shouldn't pay taxes but that so many rich people don't. There are plenty of foundations that have been set up by rich people, but the only libertarian ones nowadays seem to come from Koch (perhaps you could consider George Soros' Open Society institute, but he's made it clear he's against untrammeled capitalism). You can read about how Koch came to be a libertarian (you can thank Robert LeFevre, but only a few more people remember him than Galambos) and the infighting within the libertarian movement over Koch's influence in "Radicals for Capitalism".

mtraven said...

I suppose if I am going to take up hammering on libertarians as a hobby then I should learn more about their rich culture and subgroupings. Unfortunately I find the subject fairly boring. I should check out the Radicals for Capitalism book. Tom Stoppard managed to write a pretty good 9-hour-long play about factional disputes among exiled 19th century Russian radicals, but I think the source material there was richer.

Anonymous said...

If you're interested in Charles Koch, you really ought to check out his book: The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built the World's Largest Private Company.

The book is a must read for free market enthusiasts or anyone responsible for managing people and creating value.

You can find Charles Koch's book on Amazon here:

- Bill T