Randy Shaw: ‘Media Falsely Brands Corporate Plutocrats as Libertarians’

Excerpts from an article by Randy Shaw in Beyond Chron:

(T)he notorious Koch Industries – run by the type of corporate plutocrats who battled FDR – are described in the October 19 New York Times not as selfish profiteers but as “longtime underwriter of libertarian causes.” Hedge fund manager Paul Singer, another large right-wing donor, is also described as “active in promoting libertarian causes.” But neither Singer, the Kochs or any other of these right-wing plutocrats are supporting any candidate that supports abortion rights, gay and lesbian rights, and the legalization of marijuana – three core libertarian principles. Nor do their candidates oppose overseas wars, another longstanding libertarian view.

And:

Ed Clark is the most successful Libertarian Party candidate in history, winning over 1% of the national vote in the 1980 presidential election and 5.46% of the vote in the 1978 California Governor’s race. His candidacy attracted a mixture of right and left, winning the support of those who wanted less government in both the economic and social components of people’s lives.

Clark’s 1980 running mate was David Koch of Koch Industries, one of the Koch brothers who are the primary funder of right-wing political organizations and candidates. David Koch later realized that he could accomplish his goal to reduce or end government regulation of his businesses through funding Republicans, and did not mind that those he now backed were the opposite of libertarian on non-economic issues.

25 thoughts on “Randy Shaw: ‘Media Falsely Brands Corporate Plutocrats as Libertarians’

  1. paulie Post author

    Their non-partisan issue pressure group contributions still do some good, but when it comes to partisan politics, they have turned their support to the Republicans.

  2. Gene Berkman

    Anybody who criticizes people for opposing FDR and the New Deal is not a libertarian or even a friend of libertarians. Libertarians oppose the New Deal, and favor repeal of Social Security etc.

    The Koch brothers fund many questionable Republican politicos, but this is after they put millions into Libertarian Party campaigns that failed to meet their goals. Mainly they thought a Libertarian candidate for President could get millions of votes running against Ronald Reagan, which was a bad prediction.

    The author of this article is clearly out of touch, especially with the heading “Ed Clark is Turning Over in his Grave.” Ed Clark is alive, and contributed $1000 to the Ron Paul campaign in 2008.

    Economic freedom is central to libertarianism, as are the social freedoms the author discusses. The Koch brothers provide funds to Cato, Institute for Humane Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Reason Magazine and other entities that push across the board freedom. But as the Democrats promote government takeover of health care, expansion of regulation, and new bailouts, the Kochs have pragmatically put their money behind Republicans. That is too bad, but it does make them the enemy.

  3. paulie Post author

    Anybody who criticizes people for opposing FDR and the New Deal is not a libertarian or even a friend of libertarians.

    I don’t think he claims to be a libertarian.

  4. paulie Post author

    The Koch brothers fund many questionable Republican politicos, but this is after they put millions into Libertarian Party campaigns that failed to meet their goals.

    This is true, but they were willing to give it another try in 1984, until they lost a convention battle in 1983. It was only at this point that they took their supporters and money elsewhere.

  5. paulie Post author

    The author of this article is clearly out of touch, especially with the heading “Ed Clark is Turning Over in his Grave.”

    Yep, Knapp caught that on another thread earlier today.

  6. paulie Post author

    Economic freedom is central to libertarianism, as are the social freedoms the author discusses. The Koch brothers provide funds to Cato, Institute for Humane Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Reason Magazine and other entities that push across the board freedom.

    All true.

  7. JT

    Shaw: “David Koch later realized that he could accomplish his goal to reduce or end government regulation of his businesses through funding Republicans, and did not mind that those he now backed were the opposite of libertarian on non-economic issues.”

    Um, he didn’t realize that he could accomplish that goal by funding Republicans; he surmised that he could accomplish that goal by funding Republicans. In almost every case, he was wrong.

  8. Libertarian chair my ass

    This guy is also deluded. Ron Paul and Rand Paul are the head of the libertarians, they hate womens rights to choose and they hate gays. Now it is true they are split on war and marijuana. They used to be for marijuana and against war in the old days (Ron Paul) but the new generation led by Rand Paul is just the opposite.

    Get your facts straight!

  9. Gene Berkman

    No George, Charles Koch and then David Koch funded a number of Libertarian candidates, including Ed Clark for Governor of California in 1978, Clark for President in 1980, Dick Randolph for Governor of Alaska in 1982 and others.

    Their first major contributions to a Republican campaign was for Dick Randolph’s run for Governor as a Republican in 1986. Then they began funding other Republicans – moderate conservatives who were for less economic regulation.

    In the early 1990s the federal government began to investigate Koch Industries, at least partly because the Kochs funded so many free market think tanks. When they appealed to Sen. Dole of Kansas for help, his office indicated no help without a contribution, and it is this persecution by the federal government that drove them to make major contributions to incumbent politicians – a crude form of self defense.

  10. Gene Berkman

    Lake – Republican proposals are not for letting people opt out of Social Security and provide their own retirement – an option government employees already have.

    The Republicans proposed to continue taking in Social Security taxes, and investing a portion in the stock market. That is not privatization – that is government subsidies to stock investors. And clearly given recent performance of the market, not a safe approach.

    Libertarians propose letting younger people provide for their own retirement, while cutting other government programs to fund retirees already reliant on Social Security.

  11. '..... just look at the activists ' [Lake]

    In the early 1990s the federal government began to investigate Koch Industries, at least partly because the Kochs funded so many free market think tanks.

    When they appealed to Sen. Dole of Kansas for help, his office indicated no help without a contribution, and it is this persecution by the federal government that drove them to make major contributions to incumbent politicians – a crude form of self defense……………

    [Lake: true or not, Bill Gates and micro soft have indicated the same sentiments for the same time period.]

  12. paulie Post author

    This guy is also deluded. Ron Paul and Rand Paul are the head of the libertarians, they hate womens rights to choose and they hate gays. Now it is true they are split on war and marijuana. They used to be for marijuana and against war in the old days (Ron Paul) but the new generation led by Rand Paul is just the opposite.

    Get your facts straight!

    Just on the odd possibility you are not intentionally trolling: Ron and Rand Paul are Republicans. When Ron Paul ran as a libertarian, he agreed to stay silent on abortion, and while his positions could be better or LGBT issues, that’s not evidence that he “hates gays.” He does support restrictions on abortion because he believes that human life starts at conception, although most libertarians disagree.

    Libertarians still support ending the wars and ending the drug war. We also support gay rights as well.

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  15. MaintainDemocracy

    Libertarianism is Republican economics mixed with periodic and fluctuating Democratic social policy posturing (depending on the region and social trend) designed to manipulate elections so that Corporations win and continue to pillage. Ron Paul is a charming stage puppet, nothing more.

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