As of late, because of the large revival of libertarian thought as social conservatism is seeing it’s golden years, the left has been targeting libertarians disproportionately. Self described libertarians are a vast minority, but if you read the left blogosphere you’d swear they’re lible to get elected president next election cycle.
On the 6th, AlterNet posted an article “The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda” making the erroneous and outrageously stupid claim that American libertarianism has it’s roots in the mid-20th century with Milton Friedman. If you think I’m exaggerating:
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.
Now I can’t attest to Freidman’s dealings as a lobbyist, it’s kind of hard looking it up (especially considering the article is totally unsourced aside from an obscure 1951 book.) The article has 2 major failings and this really does illustrate the readership of AlterNet. Milton could have very well been guilty of because a giant cockball lobbyist in the 50’s, but that doesn’t negate his contributions to economic theory in the 60’s and onward. Even if Milton was a ” business lobby shill, a propagandist who would say whatever he was paid to say” it doesn’t explain away his contributions nor does it put into question the sincerity of his convictions which was verified by his family repeatedly.
Secondly, Friedman is as much the founding father to libertarianism as Julia Child was the founding mother of French cuisine. Just because you had a popular TV show on a subject doesn’t make you Thomas Jefferson of the topic. Libertarianism has been around long before the United States was ever founded. “Liberals” were not the left you see today, they more closely resembled modern day libertarians than they do Democrats. It had it’s roots in the 17th Century Scottish Enlightenment with John Locke and Adam Smith. Hell, Mises was teaching economics in Vinenna, Austria in the 20’s and up to the Nazi invasion of Austria and when ol’ Milty was still in short pants.
Going after Milt and Ayn Rand is a good way to get your fellow leftards a boner because they did so well talking shit on the left and had a good following behind them. It’s also laughable when the left, AlterNet too, tries to make the false insinuation that *all* libertarians idolize Rand and Freidman which they do not. Not by a long shot. It’s like saying everyone on the left worships Al Gore. Fucking stupid.