Some good questions for Koch-fueled libertarians
We have encountered a lot of libertarian thinking out there in the offshore world of secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens - those rule-free or rule-light "paradises," as their defenders like to call them. We have had our fair share of run-ins with them too, and have been accused by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity and the Cato Institute of (among other things) threatening "Jews in France, or homosexuals in Saudi Arabia" because of our dislike of financial secrecy. See the chapters entitled "Life Offshore" and "Resistance" in Treasure Islands for more on all this.
The NC blog now begins:
"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.
We’re talking about the other libertarianism, the political philosophy whose avatar is the late writer Ayn Rand. . . . 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 (see postscript below)
[But: enter the Koch brothers and friends]
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."The article then moves on to provide the Libertarian Hypocrisy Test, and provides 11 questions for Koch-fueled libertarians.
Read them here. There are some good ones. We could add a few more.
Financial secrecy provides rewards and impunity for one section of society, which is not available to others who can't afford to get involved. Do you support this?
Offshore-based tax avoidance strategies provide effective subsidies to large corporations that are not available to their smaller competitors, thus distorting "free" markets. Do you approve of this?
Financial secrecy promotes government corruption. Do you approve?
And so on. We could think of several others - but you probably get the point.
PS - The Ayn Rand cult of ultra-libertarians were not helped by Rand herself taking up taxpayer funded social security and medicare provision in her later life when chain-smoking got the better of her. But to get a feel for the madness that permeated her devoted followers read this letter from Ludwig von Mises: