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Luminous Animal

(27,310 posts)
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 08:10 PM Sep 2013

The True History of #Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda

Absolutely well worth reading and bookmarking.

http://www.alternet.org/visions/true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda

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.
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The True History of #Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda (Original Post) Luminous Animal Sep 2013 OP
Wow. What a surprise. drm604 Sep 2013 #1
I'm not sure of your point. Of course it isn't a *surprise* Luminous Animal Sep 2013 #5
My point was that I was wholeheartedly agreeing with the article. drm604 Sep 2013 #7
It's all good. Thank you and a wave right back! Luminous Animal Sep 2013 #8
the corporatist takeover started like 1979-81, redefining Limbaughism as the "mainstream" around MisterP Sep 2013 #2
kick PETRUS Sep 2013 #3
R#4 & K and well worth a Rec'n'K n/t UTUSN Sep 2013 #4
k&r Starry Messenger Sep 2013 #6

Luminous Animal

(27,310 posts)
5. I'm not sure of your point. Of course it isn't a *surprise*
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 10:14 PM
Sep 2013

but there is quite a bit of good information and important history. Given that the corporate media is touting libertarianism as an "alternative" to the 2 party hegemony, we're going to see quite a bit of obfuscation and amplification from the same source. It's good to have the facts handy to refute the Libertarian's faux populism.

drm604

(16,230 posts)
7. My point was that I was wholeheartedly agreeing with the article.
Thu Sep 12, 2013, 10:17 PM
Sep 2013

Apparently you took it as some sort of negative statement, which is not how it was intended at all. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

MisterP

(23,730 posts)
2. the corporatist takeover started like 1979-81, redefining Limbaughism as the "mainstream" around
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 08:56 PM
Sep 2013

which acceptable discourse revolves: now we have one nutty party, one pot-smoking Reaganaut party, and an "alternative" of pot-smoking Republicans
this was similar to what happened to McCarthyism, when the New Deal had its teeth taken out into Fordism and consumerism

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