Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A New Libertarian Rift Over Ukraine

David Weigel does a good job providing some background on the Ron Paul/Mises Institute hands-off perspective on Ukraine versus that of the Koch-connected  Alexander McCobin of Students for liberty, here.

I found this Weigel observation most instructive:
Students for Liberty was founded in the summer of 2008, after the Paul campaign had (to the surprise of many) created or located countless young libertarians. McCobin, who'd come to D.C. on a Charles Koch Institute fellowship, was its founder. Around that same time, the Ron Paul movement produced Young Americans for Liberty, an outgrowth of the campaign's young voter outreach program—a young activist named Jeff Frazee moved seamlessly from the campaign to the new organization.
Got that? SFL appears to have been founded for the specific purpose of siphoning off young libertarians from the Ron Paul-Mises Institute orbit and bringing them under the influence of Koch thinking. Oh yeah, hold the Rothbard, hold the Mises bring us the Peter Boettke view that Hayek holds the same unwavering, hardcore libertarian principles  (SEE here and here).

The weakest point in Weigel's commentary comes when he writes:
Both groups, both factions in the movement, are currently comfortable with Rand Paul's approach to the crisis. 
Weigel must have missed this right at the top of the perspectives on Ukraine.

Rand Paul:
We live in an interconnected world and the United States has a vital role in the stability of that world. The United States should make it abundantly clear to Russia that we expect them to honor the December 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which the U.S., Russia, and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their commitment "to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine." Russia should also be reminded that stability and territorial integrity go hand in hand with prosperity.
Ron Paul:
 Let’s keep our hands off of Ukraine and let them solve their own problems!


  1. Isn't Jeffrey Tucker a big supporter of SFL? I seem to remember him promoting them during an interview with Stefan Molyneux. Granted, the interview was like the blind leading the blind, but still...

  2. Wenzel,

    Careful about taking any version of what happened from David Weigel and Slate, which have a long history of liberal propagadizing.

    Weigel made much of the "racist" Ron Paul newsletter to hit the libertarians.

    Read this carefully:


    Notice that Ben Swann, who outed the newsletter writer as one James B. Powell, rather than Paul, is now supporting Tucker in his denunciations of "brutalists" as racists, homophobes, sexists, etc.

    Here's a link (comment left on your blog) showing Swann's support for Tucker

    AnonymousMarch 22, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    How dare you criticize Tucker! The purge is going mainstream and you are not getting in the way ...


    Where it gets even more interesting is that until then Tucker had been one of the main suspects of having written the Ron Paul newsletters, per Eric Dondero, who is the ex-Paul staffer who now hates the Paulians (so he might have an axe to grind there).


    And on top of that, Powell turns out to have been promoting his newsletter at Agora Inc. conferences.
    Tucker signed up with Agora, at the end of 2011.
    The Swann piece outing Powell came out in January 2012.

    Ben Swann is promoted by The Daily Bell, which seems to have strong ties with the same circle:


    Notice that Ben Swann clearly states there that he is NOT a libertarian.

    Ben Swann and Tucker are pro-Bitcoin and speaking at the same conference, which also includes Bob Murphy, Jeff Berwick (both also in the Agora ambit these days) and Charlie Shrem:


    Draw your own connections and conclusions.

    I would advice EPJ readers to research the histories of these players and all their interconnections carefully.

  3. Looks like they want to do to the Libertarian party as a whole what they did to the Tea Party movement.
    Bring it under their control and turn it into a toothless, useless organization.

  4. Ron Paul is "libertarian" mostly in a polemical sense: He favors establishment Biblical theocracy. Rand Paul, it appears, is even worse in this respect.

    But at least they aren't Wolfgangsters.

    1. Ron Paul favors theocracy? Uh, where? You sound like a Wolfgang troll.

  5. When Alex McCobin was at Penn, I asked him whether he enjoyed reading Rothbard and LewRockwell.com. He said he read neither & he displayed no curiosity about them.