Thursday, November 08, 2012


This latest election continues to show the irrelevance of libertarianism as anything but a cats paw for the rich.

After roughly 30 years of support for the Libertarian Party, the Kochs very successfully showed their true colors by funding/founding the Tea Party movement.  Essentially, the idea that rich white males ought to run society in their own interest because that will keep THE OTHERS subordinate.  Others such as the poor, the non-white and females.

As far as the Kochs are concerned, libertarians are just "the help", and ought to be hired or fired at will. Thus we had the spectacle of the ownership of CATO becoming publicly disputed.  Golly, it was so funny to hear the true believers squeal when they discovered that belief doesn't mean squat against ownership.

Now that CATO is governed by a board instead of by shares, we can easily see who CATO represents.    Let's look at the 16 or so board members.

Only two are women.  One, Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, is a long-time lobbyist for the Kochs: part of the hired help.  The other is Ethelmae C. Humphreys from the Mackinac Center, part of the system of interlocking directorates that so closely resembles the Robber-Baron era corporate practices prohibited by the Clayton Act.  She's got family wealth.  So it doesn't look as if women are really represented in the board at CATO.

The rest are (judging from names) apparently rich, white males from the financial industry, heads of corporations, or provide interlocking directorates with other Koch-supported organizations.

What do these people represent?  Why liberty, obviously: the liberty of the 0.01%.  The liberty of the first class citizens -- the large corporations and the ultra rich.  Certainly not the liberties of the poor, sick, immigrants, minorities and women.  They allow their hirelings to write about those groups, but it is all lip service.  And people know it is lip service, which is why those groups are so under-represented in libertarianism.

Libertarians are applauding some of the electoral drug-war rollbacks that have taken place.  But those are not thanks to libertarianism: libertarians do not own drug issues.  As a matter of fact, they are very peripheral to drug issues.  Liberals have long opposed the drug war, and called for regulated usage of drugs.  Not freedom to use drugs.  And that is what has prevailed.  The heavy lifting has not been done by libertarians, but instead has been done by groups like NORML.

It would be very interesting to see libertarianism actually try to do something like get drugs legallized: if  a fraction of what libertarians spent on rights for corporations to poison and pollute got spent on promoting regulated legalization, it could happen very rapidly.  But it won't, because libertarianism is primarily a cats paw for the rich and their interests.