Except for the 'toons and memes posted on the Facebook version of this site, we've paid little attention to the Libertarians except for Rand Paul and Ayn Rand, and Alternet.com has posted two recent essays on the subject that we're glad to pass around, "The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda," by Mark Ames, and "11 Questions You Should Ask Libertarians to See if They're Hypocrites," by RJ Eskow:
The first essay, "The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda," is subtitled, "Before Milton Friedman was earning plaudits as an economic genius, he was a shill for the real estate industry and an early pioneer for big business propaganda known as libertarianism.":
"This is an adapted version of an article that first appeared on NSFWCORP. Published daily online and monthly in print, NSFWCORP is The Future of Journalism (With Jokes). For more features, or to subscribe, click here.
"This important article kicks off what will be a focus of coverage of AlterNet over the next few months on the corporate-funded 'pro-market' arm of libertarianism in America and the sophisticated methods of inserting business propaganda into the public debate.
"Every couple of years, mainstream media hacks pretend to have just discovered libertarianism as some sort of radical, new and dynamic force in American politics. It’s a rehash that goes back decades, and hacks love it because it’s easy to write, and because it’s such a non-threatening 'radical' politics (unlike radical left politics, which threatens the rich). The latest version involves a summer-long pundit debate in the pages of the New York Times, Reason magazine and elsewhere over so-called 'libertarian populism.' It doesn’t really matter whose arguments prevail, so long as no one questions where libertarianism came from or why we’re defining libertarianism as anything but a big business public relations campaign, the winner in this debate is Libertarianism.
"Pull up libertarianism’s floorboards, look beneath the surface into the big business PR campaign’s early years, and there you’ll start to get a sense of its purpose, its funders, and the PR hucksters who brought the peculiar political strain of American libertarianism into being — beginning with the libertarian movement’s founding father, Milton Friedman. Back in 1950, the House of Representatives held hearings on illegal lobbying activities and exposed both Friedman and the earliest libertarian think-tank outfit as a front for business lobbyists. Those hearings have been largely forgotten, in part because we’re too busy arguing over the finer points of “libertarian populism.”
"Milton Friedman. In his early days, before millions were spent on burnishing his reputation, Friedman worked as a business lobby shill, a propagandist who would say whatever he was paid to say. That's the story we need to revisit to get to the bottom of the modern American libertarian 'movement,' to see what it's really all about. We need to take a trip back to the post-war years, and to the largely forgotten Buchanan Committee hearings on illegal lobbying activities, led by a pro-labor Democrat from Pennsylvania, Frank Buchanan.
"What the Buchanan Committee discovered was that in 1946, Milton Friedman and his U Chicago cohort George Stigler arranged an under-the-table deal with a Washington lobbying executive to pump out covert propaganda for the national real estate lobby in exchange for a hefty payout, the terms of which were never meant to be released to the public. They also discovered that a lobbying outfit which is today credited by libertarians as the movement’s first think-tank — the Foundation for Economic Education — was itself a big business PR project backed by the largest corporations and lobbying fronts in the country.
"It starts just after the end of World War Two, when America’s industrial and financial giants, fattened up from war profits, established a new lobbying front group called the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) that focused on promoting a new pro-business ideology—which it called 'libertarianism'— to supplement other business lobbying groups which focused on specific policies and legislation.
"The FEE is generally regarded as 'the first libertarian think-tank' as Reason’s Brian Doherty calls it in his book 'Radicals For Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern Libertarian Movement' (2007). As the Buchanan Committee discovered, the Foundation for Economic Education was the best-funded conservative lobbying outfit ever known up to that time, sponsored by a Who’s Who of US industry in 1946.
"A partial list of FEE’s original donors in its first four years— a list discovered by the Buchanan Committee — includes: The Big Three auto makers GM, Chrysler and Ford; top oil majors including Gulf Oil, Standard Oil, and Sun Oil; major steel producers US Steel, National Steel, Republic Steel; major retailers including Montgomery Ward, Marshall Field and Sears; chemicals majors Monsanto and DuPont; and other Fortune 500 corporations including General Electric, Merrill Lynch, Eli Lilly, BF Goodrich, ConEd, and more.
"The FEE was set up by a longtime US Chamber of Commerce executive named Leonard Read, together with Donaldson Brown, a director in the National Association of Manufacturers lobby group and board member at DuPont and General Motors.
"That is how libertarianism in America started: As an arm of big business lobbying.
"The purpose of the FEE — and libertarianism, as it was originally created — was to supplement big business lobbying with a pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-economics rationale to back up its policy and legislative attacks on labor and government regulations.""Before bringing back Milton Friedman into the picture, this needs to be repeated again: 'Libertarianism' was a project of the corporate lobby world, launched as a big business 'ideology' in 1946 by The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The FEE’s board included the future founder of the John Birch Society, Robert Welch; the most powerful figure in the Mormon church at that time, J Reuben Clark, a frothing racist and anti-Semite after whom BYU named its law school; and United Fruit president Herb Cornuelle.
"The purpose of the FEE — and libertarianism, as it was originally created — was to supplement big business lobbying with a pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-economics rationale to back up its policy and legislative attacks on labor and government regulations.
"This background is important in the Milton Friedman story because Friedman is a founding father of libertarianism, and because the corrupt lobbying deal he was busted playing a part in was arranged through the Foundation for Economic Education.
"According to Congressional hearings on illegal lobbying activities 1946 was the year that Milton Friedman and his U Chicago cohort George Stigler arranged an under-the-table deal with a Washington lobbying executive to pump out covert propaganda for the national real estate lobby in exchange for a hefty payout, the terms of which were never meant to be released to the public.
"The arrangement between Friedman and Stigler with the Washington real estate lobbyist was finally revealed during a congressional review of illegal lobbying activities in 1950, called the Buchanan Committee. Yes, there was something called accountability back then. I only came across the revelations about Friedman’s sordid beginnings in the footnotes of an old book on the history of lobbying by former Newsweek book editor Karl Schriftgiesser, published in 1951, shortly after the Buchanan Committee hearings ended. The actual details of Milton Friedman’s PR deal are sordid and familiar, with tentacles reaching into our ideologically rotted-out era.
"False, whitewashed history is as much a part of the Milton Friedman mythology as it is the libertarian movement’s own airbrushed history about its origins; the 1950 Buchanan Committee hearings expose both as creations of big business lobby groups whose purpose is to deceive and defraud the public and legislators in order to advance the cause of corporate America.
"I do not believe in democracy. I think it stinks. I don’t think anybody except direct taxpayers should be allowed to vote. I don’t believe women should be allowed to vote at all. Ever since they started, our public affairs have been in a worse mess than ever.""The story starts like this: In 1946, Herbert Nelson was the chief lobbyist and executive vice president for the National Association of Real Estate Boards, and one of the highest paid lobbyists in the nation. Mr. Nelson’s real estate constituency was unhappy with rent control laws that Truman kept in effect after the war ended. Nelson and his real estate lobby led what House investigators discovered was the most formidable and best-funded opposition to President Truman in the post-war years, amassing some $5,000,000 for their lobby efforts—that’s $5mln in 1946 dollars, or roughly $60 million in 2012 dollars.
"So Herbert Nelson contracted out the PR services of the Foundation for Economic Education to concoct 'third party' propaganda designed to shore up the National Real Estate lobby’s legislative drive — and the propagandists who took on the job were Milton Friedman and his U Chicago cohort, George Stigler.
"To understand the sort of person Herbert Nelson was, here is a letter he wrote in 1949 that Congressional investigators discovered and recorded:
"'I do not believe in democracy. I think it stinks. I don’t think anybody except direct taxpayers should be allowed to vote. I don’t believe women should be allowed to vote at all. Ever since they started, our public affairs have been in a worse mess than ever.'
"It’s an old libertarian mantra, libertarianism versus democracy, libertarianism versus women’s suffrage; a position most recently repeated by billionaire libertarian Peter Thiel — who was Ron Paul’s main campaign funder in his 2012 presidential campaign.
"So in 1946, this same Herbert Nelson turned to the Foundation for Economic Education to manufacture some propaganda to help the National Association of Real Estate Boards fight rent control laws. Nelson chose to work with the FEE because he knew that the founder of the first libertarian think-tank, Leonard Read, agreed with him on a lot of important issues. Such as their mutual contempt for democracy, and their disdain for the American public.
"Leonard Read, the legendary (among libertarians) founder/head of the FEE, argued that the public should not be allowed to know which corporations donated to his libertarian front-group because, he argued, the public could not be trusted to make 'sound judgments' with disclosed information:
"'The public reporting would present a single fact—the amount of a contributor’s donation—to casual readers, persons having only a cursory interest in the matter at issue, persons who would not and perhaps could not possess all the facts. These folks of the so-called public thus receive only oversimplifications or half-truths from which only erroneous conclusions are almost certain to be drawn. If there is a public interest in the rightness or wrongness of corporate or personal donations to charitable, religious or education institutions, and I am not at all ready to concede that there is, then that interest should be guarded by some such agency as the Bureau of Internal Revenue, an agency that is in a position to obtain all the facts, not by Mr. John Public who lacks relevant information for the forming of sound judgments...Public reporting of a half-truth is indeed a significant provocation.'
"The National Association of Real Estate Boards was so pleased with Milton Friedman’s made-to-order propaganda that they ordered up 500,000 pamphlets from the FEE, and distributed them throughout the real estate lobby’s vast local network of real estate brokers and agents.""So in May 1946, Herbert Nelson of the Real Estate lobby, looking for backup in his drive to abolish federal rent control laws on behalf of landlords, contacted libertarian founder Leonard Read of the FEE with an order for a PR pamphlet 'with some such title as "The Case against Federal Real Estate Control",' according to Karl Schriftgiesser’s book The Lobbyists.
"What happened next, I’ll quote from Schriftgiesser:
"'They were now busily co-operating on the new project which the foundation had engaged Milton Friedman and George J. Stigler to write. It was to be called Roofs and Ceilings and it was to be an outright attack on rent controls. When Nelson received a copy of the manuscript he wrote Read to say, 'The pamphlet...is a dandy. It is just what I wanted.'
"The National Association of Real Estate Boards was so pleased with Milton Friedman’s made-to-order propaganda that they ordered up 500,000 pamphlets from the FEE, and distributed them throughout the real estate lobby’s vast local network of real estate brokers and agents.
"Every bit of this literature is along propaganda lines.""In libertarianism’s own airbrushed history about itself, the Foundation for Economic Education was a brave, quixotic bastion of libertarian 'true believers' doomed to defeat at the all-powerful hands of the liberal Keynsian Leviathan and the collectivist mob. Here is how libertarian historian Brian Doherty describes the FEE and its chief lobbyist Leonard Read:
"'[Read] would never explicitly scrape for funds... He never directly asked anyone to give anything, he proudly insisted, and while FEE would sell literature to all comers, it was also free to anyone who asked. His attitude toward money was Zen, sometimes hilariously so. When asked how FEE was doing financially, his favorite reply was, “Just perfectly.”... Read wanted no endowments and frowned on any donation meant to be held in reserve for some future need.'
"And here is what the committee’s own findings reported—findings lost in history:
"'It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Foundation for Economic Education exerts, or at least expects to exert, a considerable influence on national legislative policy....It is equally difficult to imagine that the nation’s largest corporations would subsidize the entire venture if they did not anticipate that it would pay solid, long-range legislative dividends.'
"Or in the words of Rep. Carl Albert (D-OK): 'Every bit of this literature is along propaganda lines.'
"The manufactured history about libertarian’s origins, or its purpose, parallels the manufactured myths about one of big business’s key propaganda tools, Milton Friedman. As the author of The Lobbyists, not knowing who Milton Friedman was at the time, wrote of Friedman’s collaborative effort with Stigler:
"'Certainly [the FEE’s] booklet, Roofs or Ceilings, was definitely propaganda and sought to influence legislation....This booklet was printed in bulk by the foundation and half a million copies were sold at cost to the National Association of Real Estate Boards, which had them widely distributed throughout the country by its far-flung network of local member boards.'
"There's no idealism here. The notion that libertarian ideas have captured the political imagination of millions in this country is a root problem: if we're going to escape the corporate oligarchy that is running this country--their ideas can't possibility be the alternative solution. This movement has to be recognized for what it is.
"Published daily online and monthly in print, NSFWCORP is The Future of Journalism (With Jokes). For more features, or to subscribe, click here.
"Read more of Mark Ames at eXiledonline.com and Not Safe for Work Corporation. He is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond."
The second piece, "11 Questions You Should Ask Libertarians to See if They're Hypocrites," is subtitled, "We aren’t suggesting every libertarian is a hypocrite, but there’s an easy way to find out.":
"Libertarians have a problem. Their political philosophy all but died out in the mid- to late-20th century, but was revived by billionaires and corporations that found them politically useful. And yet libertarianism retains the qualities that led to its disappearance from the public stage, before its reanimation by people like the Koch brothers: It doesn’t make any sense.
"They call themselves 'realists' but rely on fanciful theories that have never predicted real-world behavior. They claim that selfishness makes things better for everybody, when history shows exactly the opposite is true. They claim that a mythical “free market” is better at everything than the government is, yet when they really need government protection, they’re the first to clamor for it.
"That’s no reason not to work with them on areas where they’re in agreement with people like me. In fact, the unconventionality of their thought has led libertarians to be among this nation’s most forthright and outspoken advocates for civil liberties and against military interventions.
"Merriam-Webster defines 'hypocrisy' as 'feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not.' We aren’t suggesting every libertarian is a hypocrite. But there’s an easy way to find out.
"The Other Libertarianism
"First, some background. There is a kind of libertarianism that’s nothing more or less than a strain in the American psyche, an emotional tendency toward individualism and personal liberty. That’s fine and even admirable.
"Randian libertarianism is an illogical, impractical, inhumane, unpopular set of Utopian ravings which lacks internal coherence and has never predicted real-world behavior anywhere.""We’re talking about the other libertarianism, the political philosophy whose avatar is the late writer Ayn Rand. It was once thought that this extreme brand of libertarianism, one that celebrates greed and even brutality, had died in the early 1980s with Rand herself. Many Rand acolytes had already gone underground, repressing or disavowing the more extreme statements of their youth and attempting to blend in with more mainstream schools of thought in respectable occupations.
"There was a good reason for that. Randian libertarianism is an illogical, impractical, inhumane, unpopular set of Utopian ravings which lacks internal coherence and has never predicted real-world behavior anywhere. That’s why, reasonably enough, the libertarian movement evaporated in the late 20th century, its followers scattered like the wind.
"Pay to Play
"But the libertarian movement has seen a strong resurgence in recent years, and there’s a simple reason for that: money, and the personal interests of some people who have a lot of it. Once relegated to drug-fueled college-dorm bull sessions, political libertarianism suddenly had pretensions of legitimacy. This revival is Koch-fueled, not coke-fueled, and exists only because in political debate, as in so many other walks of life, cash is king.
"It serves the self-interest of the environmental polluters, for example, to promote a political philosophy which argues that regulation is bad and the market will correct itself. And every wealthy individual benefits from tax cuts for the rich. What better way to justify that than with a philosophy that says they’re rich because they’re better—and that those tax cuts help everybody?""The Koch brothers are principal funders of the Reason Foundation and Reason magazine. Exxon Mobil and other corporate and billionaire interests are behind the Cato Institute, the other public face of libertarianism. Financiers have also seeded a number of economics schools, think tanks, and other institutions with proponents of their brand of libertarianism. It’s easy to explain why some of these corporate interests do it. It serves the self-interest of the environmental polluters, for example, to promote a political philosophy which argues that regulation is bad and the market will correct itself. And every wealthy individual benefits from tax cuts for the rich. What better way to justify that than with a philosophy that says they’re rich because they’re better—and that those tax cuts help everybody?
"The rise of the Silicon Valley economy has also contributed to the libertarian resurgence. A lot of Internet billionaires are nerds who suddenly find themselves rich and powerful, and they’re emotionally and intellectually inclined toward libertarianism’s geeky and unrealistic vision of a free market. In their minds its ideas are "heuristic," "autologous" and "cybernetic"—all of which has inherent attraction in their culture.
"The only problem is: It’s only a dream. At no time or place in human history has there been a working libertarian society which provided its people with the kinds of outcomes libertarians claim it will provide. But libertarianism’s self-created mythos claims that it’s more realistic than other ideologies, which is the opposite of the truth. The slope from that contradiction to the deep well of hypocrisy is slippery, steep—and easy to identify.
"The Libertarian Hypocrisy Test
"That’s where the Libertarian Hypocrisy Test comes in. Let’s say we have a libertarian friend, and we want to know whether or not he’s hypocritical about his beliefs. How would we go about conducting such a test? The best way is to use the tenets of his philosophy to draw up a series of questions to explore his belief system.
"The Cato Institute’s overview of key libertarian concepts mixes universally acceptable bromides like the "rule of law” and “individual rights” with principles that are more characteristically libertarian—and therefore more fantastical. Since virtually all people support the rule of law and individual rights, it is the other concepts which are uniquely libertarian and form the basis of our first few questions.
"The Institute cites 'spontaneous order,' for example, as 'the great insight of libertarian social analysis.' Cato defines that principle thusly:
“… (O)rder in society arises spontaneously, out of the actions of thousands or millions of individuals who coordinate their actions with those of others in order to achieve their purposes.”"To which the discerning reader might be tempted to ask: Like where, exactly? Libertarians define 'spontaneous order' in a very narrow way—one that excludes demonstrations like the Arab Spring, elections which install progressive governments, or union movements, to name three examples. And yet each of these things are undertaken by individuals who 'coordinated their actions with those of others' to achieve our purposes.
"So our first hypocrisy test question is, Are unions, political parties, elections, and social movements like Occupy examples of 'spontaneous order'—and if not, why not?
"Modern libertarians defend the right of productive people to keep what they earn, against a new class of politicians and bureaucrats who would seize their earnings to transfer them to nonproducers.""Cato also trumpets what it calls 'The Virtue of Production' without ever defining what production is. Economics defines the term, but libertarianism is looser with its terminology. That was easier to get away with in the Industrial Age, when 'production' meant a car, or a shovel, or a widget.
"Today nearly 50 percent of corporate profits come from the financial sector—that is, from the manipulation of money. It’s more difficult to define 'production,' and even harder to find its 'virtue,' when the creation of wealth no longer necessarily leads to the creation of jobs, or economic growth, or anything except the enrichment of a few.
"Which seems to be the point. Cato says, 'Modern libertarians defend the right of productive people to keep what they earn, against a new class of politicians and bureaucrats who would seize their earnings to transfer them to nonproducers.'
"Which gets us to our next test question: Is a libertarian willing to admit that production is the result of many forces, each of which should be recognized and rewarded?
"Retail stores like Walmart and fast-food corporations like McDonalds cannot produce wealth without employees. Don’t those employees have the right to 'coordinate their actions with those of others in order to achieve their purposes'—for example, in unions? You would think that free-market philosophers would encourage workers, as part of a free-market economy, to discover the market value for their services through negotiation.
"Is our libertarian willing to acknowledge that workers who bargain for their services, individually and collectively, are also employing market forces?
"The bankers who collude to deceive their customers, as US bankers did with the MERS mortgage system, were permitted to do so by the unwillingness of government to regulate them. The customers who were the victims of deception were essential to the production of Wall Street wealth. Why don’t libertarians recognize their role in the process, and their right to administer their own affairs?
"That right includes the right to regulate the bankers who sell them mortgages. Libertarians say that the 'free market; will help consumers. 'Libertarians believe that people will be both freer and more prosperous if government intervention in people’s economic choices is minimized,' says Cato.
"But victims of illegal foreclosure are neither 'freer' nor 'more prosperous' after the government deregulation which led to their exploitation. What’s more, deregulation has led to a series of documented banker crimes that include stockholder fraud and investor fraud. That leads us to our next test of libertarian hypocrisy: Is our libertarian willing to admit that a 'free market' needs regulation?
"But few libertarians are as hypocritical as the billionaires who earned their fortunes in the tech world. Government created the Internet. Government financed the basic research that led to computing itself. And yet Internet libertarians are among the most politically extreme of them all.
"A lot of them don’t like democracy very much. In their world, democracy is a poor substitute for the iron-fisted rule of wealth, administered by those who hold the most of it.""Perhaps none is more extreme than Peter Thiel, who made his fortune with PayPal. In one infamous rant, Thiel complained about allowing women and people he describes as 'welfare beneficiaries' (which might be reasonably interpreted as 'minorities') to vote. 'Since 1920,' Thiel fulminated, 'the extension of the franchise to (these two groups) have turned "capitalist democracy" into an oxymoron.'
"With this remark, Thiel let something slip that extreme libertarians prefer to keep quiet: A lot of them don’t like democracy very much. In their world, democracy is a poor substitute for the iron-fisted rule of wealth, administered by those who hold the most of it. Our next test, therefore, is: Does our libertarian believe in democracy? If yes, explain what’s wrong with governments that regulate.
"On this score, at least, Thiel is no hypocrite. He’s willing to freely say what others only think: Democracy should be replaced by the rule of wealthy people like himself.
"But how did Peter Thiel and other Internet billionaires become wealthy? They hired government-educated employees to develop products protected by government copyrights. Those products used government-created computer technology and a government-created communications web to communicate with government-educated customers in order to generate wealth for themselves, which was then stored in government-protected banks—after which they began using that wealth to argue for the elimination of government.
"By that standard, Thiel and his fellow 'digital libertarians' are hypocrites of genuinely epic proportion. Which leads us to our next question: Does our libertarian use wealth that wouldn’t exist without government in order to preach against the role of government?
"Many libertarians will counter by saying that government has only two valid functions: to protect the national security and enforce intellectual property laws. By why only these two? If the mythical free market can solve any problem, including protecting the environment, why can’t it also protect us from foreign invaders and defend the copyrights that make these libertarians wealthy?
"For that matter, why should these libertarians be allowed to hold patents at all? If the free market can decide how best to use our national resources, why shouldn’t it also decide how best to use Peter Thiel’s ideas, and whether or not to reward him for them? After all, if Thiel were a true Randian libertarian he’d use his ideas in a more superior fashion than anyone else—and he would be more ruthless in enforcing his rights to them than anyone else. Does our libertarian reject any and all government protection for his intellectual property?
"Our democratic process is highly flawed today, but that’s largely the result of corruption from corporate and billionaire money. And yet, libertarians celebrate the corrupting influence of big money. No wonder, since the same money is keeping their movement afloat and paying many of their salaries. But, aside from the naked self-interest, their position makes no sense. Why isn’t a democratically elected government the ultimate demonstration of 'spontaneous order'? Does our libertarian recognize that democracy is a form of marketplace?
"Libertarianism would have died out as a philosophy if it weren’t for the funding that’s been lavished on the movement by billionaires like Thiel and the Kochs and corporations like ExxonMobil.""We’re told that 'big government' is bad for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is too large to be responsive. But if big governments are bad, why are big corporations so acceptable? What’s more, these massive institutions have been conducting an assault on the individual and collective freedoms of the American people for decades. Why isn’t it important to avoid the creation of monopolies, duopolies and syndicates that interfere with the free market’s ability to function?
"Libertarians are right about one thing: Unchecked and undemocratic force is totalitarian. A totalitarian corporation, or a totalitarian government acting in concert with corporations, is at least as effective at suppressing the “spontaneous order” as a non-corporate totalitarian government. Does our libertarian recognize that large corporations are a threat to our freedoms?
"Extra Credit Questions
"Most libertarians prefer not to take their philosophy to its logical conclusions. While that may make them better human beings, it also shadows them with the taint of hypocrisy.
"Ayn Rand was an adamant opponent of good works, writing that 'The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves.' That raises another test for our libertarian: Does he think that Rand was off the mark on this one, or does he agree that historical figures like King and Gandhi were 'parasites'?
"There’s no reason not to form alliances with civil libertarians, or to shun them as human beings. Their erroneous thinking often arises from good impulses. But it is worth asking them one final question for our test.
"Libertarianism would have died out as a philosophy if it weren’t for the funding that’s been lavished on the movement by billionaires like Thiel and the Kochs and corporations like ExxonMobil. So our final question is: If you believe in the free market, why weren’t you willing to accept as final the judgment against libertarianism rendered decades ago in the free and unfettered marketplace of ideas?
"RJ Eskow is a writer, business person, and songwriter/musician. He has worked as a consultant in public policy, technology, and finance, specializing in healthcare issues."
The operative phrase in the last section is, ""Most libertarians prefer not to take their philosophy to its logical conclusions. While that may make them better human beings, it also shadows them with the taint of hypocrisym" leading to the sarcasm, "Libertarians are Conservatives who like to smoke pot."
Whether "Libertarian" or "Conservative," these people - the greediest of the wealthy class and their agents and propagandists - are all criminally inclined. Their crime is to steal from the lower classes to benefit the wealthy, and hiding behind the mask of "political philosophy" is only a ruse to keep stealing from the 98 percent of us.
We are almost at the tipping point of plunging ourselves into the Conservative and Libertarian "New American Age of Feudalism," and until Conservatism is criminalized, the plunge will accelerate until we are all serfs in their model economic and political state.
“When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that
the dunces are all in confederacy against him."
Jonathan Swift, "An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity." (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Argument_Against_Abolishing_Christianity)
Jonathan Swift, "An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity." (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Argument_Against_Abolishing_Christianity)