Friday, November 17, 2006

Uncle Milty, Pseudo-libertarian Extraordinaire

Milton Friedman, the most well known of the pseudo-libertarians, is no more. I am not sorry. For a first rate article on his activities as point man for US imperialism, destroyer of working class living standards and friend of strong centralized government (not to mention dictators) see


Blogger Mike said...

"Critics of both Pinochet and Friedman took Chile as proof positive that the kind of free-market absolutism advocated by the Chicago School was only possible through repression. So Friedman countered by redefining the meaning of freedom. Contrary to the prevailing post-WWII belief that political liberty was dependent on some form of mild social leveling, he insisted that "economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom." More than his monetarist theorems, this equation of "capitalism and freedom" was his greatest contribution to the rehabilitation of conservatism in the 1970s."

There you go, the very definition of vulgar libertarian. While I feel for his family in their moment of loss, I'm glad the pig is dead, out of respect for the thousands of people who have died as a direct result of his experiments around the world.

Too bad it didn't happen 30 years ago.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friedman is known on Airstrip One as the man who provided the "monetarist" intellectual justification for the Thatcher government's "experiment" in the early 1980s, which pushed the country into the worst economic slump since the 1930s.

Friedman talked about controlling the "money supply", but without controlling the money suppliers ie the banks it's a total sham of a theory. Friedman, like Thatcher, was simply a "useful idiot" of the pointlessly rich.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's strange that the one reasonably good idea that Friedmann supported (although it certainly didn't originate with him), the guaranteed annual income, was aggressively opposed by the neo-cons. I was actually silly enough, some years ago, to send a letter to the editor of the National Pest in which I mentioned the support of conservatives for a GAI. It wasn't published but David Frum,Canada's number one spoiled media brat, just went ballastic! His answer to poverty was more religious charity. Yeah, let's bring back the doss house and the soup line! Friedmann's gone ... one less asshole in the world.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Yeah, he also favored the decrim of "ilegal" drugs, also a point in his favor now that he is confronting the Great Goddess Of Anarchy, but this still won't let him off the hook. Since mass employment and cut backs to social services shorten peoples lives, he must be intelectually responsible for a lot of deaths, not to mention his cover up of Pinocho.

4:47 PM  
Blogger freeman said...

That is indeed a stark example of vulgar libertarianism, Mike.

I find it amazing that anyone who promotes monetarism could be labeled as a "free market advocate". The two seem to be mutually exclusive to me.

Unlike a seeming majority of libertarians (including those who had some major disagreements with Friedman), I never had any admiration for the man. Then again, I was a leftie prior to moving in a libertarian direction.

7:48 PM  

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