Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Dangerous Consequences of an ARI Takeover of Cato

Are Ayn Rand Institute operators positioning to takeover the Cato Institute? If so, what will it mean?

David Gordon in a very important essay makes the case that ARI is indeed moving in on Cato and why they are doing so. Gordon goes on to consider the very negative consequences of such a takeover.

Read this important analysis, here.

11 comments:

  1. Why do you care? I mean, you've said for months Cato is filled with horrible warmongers who were mean to Murray Rothbard, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't you read Gordon's article? It is a further distortion of liberty. I think Wenzel's headline says it best, it's dangerous. All libertarians should care, since it sends out a distorted message about what libertarianism is.

      Delete
  2. I did read it, but I am curious why Wenzel should care. For months he has told his readers that Cato is full of Fed supporters and warmongers--that it hasn't been libertarian since they kicked St. Murray to the curb. Is this just a matter of the Randians being worse than the previous management?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the Randians--or more accurately the Objectivists--are worse than Ed Crane, but also, despite its defects, you can't easily ignore such a high profile institution. Cato has money and influence and even now they claim to represent libertarian values, as questionable as that sounds.

      Delete
  3. And Wenzel just finished praising Walter Block's reading list for Gary Johnson which included Ayn Rand...? I'm confused about the Rothbard team war against Rand....or is it just the Rand Institute?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's to be confused? Didn't you read the article?

      "I write not as someone who thinks poorly of Ayn Rand: to the contrary, she was an insightful and original thinker. But the rigid ideological framework of Peikoff and his allies has little to be said for it."

      Delete
    2. Arthur Krolman, CFANovember 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      Insightful? Original thinker? Hollow praise much? How come we never have any reminders of her supposed brilliance on pro-Rothbard sites? Oh yeah, Wenzel calls her a "high level cheerleader". And at the other pro-Rothbard site, lewrockwell.com (which I also love), Rand is regularly excoriated as a cultist, tried to force Mrs. Rothbard to renounce her religion etc. OK, she wasn't a supportive pal to go out drinking with. Neither was Richard Wagner. Who cares? Forget the personalities, I think it would behoove team Rothbard to take the high road and talk up the the insightful ideas of Rand, Hayek and others we can all agree on and turn down the internecine warfare a notch. Here's to the libertarian big tent!

      Delete
    3. Referring to Rand as an "insightful and original thinker" follows your dictum of avoid personalities, but you still don't like that.

      And how come on Rand-oriented sites and places like Cato they don't even mention Rothbard at all, ever? Where's the big tent there? Do you troll those sites asking they quit pretending Rothbard didn't exist in the interest of your big-tent libertarianism? Or do you just troll on sites that are happy to correct that oversight about Rothbard's important contributions to libertarian theory?

      Delete
    4. Arthur Krolman, CFANovember 13, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      True, calling Rand "insightful and an original thinker" is avoiding personalities, which is my dictum. And, not having read all of David Gordon's work, he might very well be innocent of my shoot-from-the-hip accusation that these comments seemed like "hollow praise" of Rand appearing on a Rothbard-oriented site that regularly excoriates Rand and seldom (never?) highlights her original ideas that Gordon professes to admire so much. To the average reader (I think anyway) calling Rand an "original thinker" brings on the follow up question, "What were some of her original thoughts in your opinion?"

      Yes, you're likely right about Rand-oriented sites not mentioning Rothbard (haven't checked myself). So what? If a site talks about the joys of individual liberty and free market capitalism and never mentions Rothbard, that speaks volumes about the dimwittedness of the site. Stupid move. Yes, and not big-tent of them at all. But does that mean Rothbard-oriented sites should emulate and reciprocate? Like if you shoot a hole in your end of our rowboat, I should shoot a hole in my end too? That doesn't make sense to me in advancing libertarianism.

      I'm saying we should all try being more like Walter Block. He co-wrote a piece actually entitled The Libertarian Big Tent which LewRockwell.com, to its credit, published. http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block67.html

      Delete
  4. Reading Gordon's article, I was thinking something decidedly different. To me it reads like Cato looking to add a new layer of philosophical justification for their endeavours.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Something by Gordon? Alright, getting ready to read something superficial, wrong, and meandering.

    ReplyDelete