Cato VP Attacks Ron Paul, Calls His Ideas a “Hideous Corruption Of Libertarian Ideas”

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In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, Cato Institute Vice President of Research Brink Lindsey called Ron Paul a xenophobe, conspiracy theorist, and Paul’s philosophy a “hideous corruption of libertarian ideas.”

In two back-to-back tweets, the Cato VP stated that “the most prominent libertarian voice of recent times, Ron Paul, opposed all trade agreements and promoted anti-trade conspiracy theories” and “Ron Paul’s xenophobia was a hideous corruption of libertarian ideas and puts his movement in the Trumpism family tree.”

Following his attack on Ron Paul, Lindsey also attacked libertarian theorist and luminary Murray Rothbard, whom Ron Paul had called “the founder of the modern libertarian movement.” In the tweet, Lindsey blamed Rothbard for the “ugly illiberal streak” within the libertarian movement:

This is not the first time that Lindsey attacked Ron Paul or the people surrounding him. In a 2007 article authored by Chris Hayes for The Nation, Lindsey described Ron Paul supporters as “a weird group of people,” consisting of libertarians, anti-war types, nationalists, and “xenophobes.”

Brink Lindsey has a long history of promoting views at odds with the grassroots libertarians, “xenophobes,” and “anti-war types” he derides. For example, in 2002 Lindsey expressed his support for the Iraq War, the 1991 Gulf War, war in North Korea, and other globalist interventions in Reason, stating that he “would support military action against Iraq even if 9/11 had never happened and there were no such thing as Al Qaeda.”

The root cause of Lindsey’s disagreement with libertarians like Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard is their support for a libertarian alliance with the right-wing. In a short article published in Reason in 2010, Lindsey argued that “Libertarians need to disengage from Republicans and conservatives once and for all.”

In “Liberaltarians,” an article written for The New Republic in 2006, the Cato VP championed the “progress” liberals made on issues like secularization of society, legalization of abortion, and increasing immigration. He also, however, erroneously predicted that “the movement’s ‘fusionist’ alliance between traditionalists and libertarians appears, at long last, to be falling apart.”

56 Comments

    • Amen….Too bad that the American Voter did not wake up to this great man in time to be president…..It would have saved the country much grief for the Obama years….of destruction.
      Dr. Ron Paul is loved by many….He is the only one on the Washington, DC circuit that makes any sense.

  1. All I can say is, who is Brink Lindsey?
    Which explains everything you need to know about him compared to Ron Paul.

    What troll, he loves to burn libertarian Bridges just like he apparently loves to blow up Bridges in Iraq.

  2. I will touch on a few points:

    1. I agree that we need to disengage from conservatives and Republicans but I still think liberals are far worst and disagree with this guy’s idea on liberal “progress”.

    2. I’m AnCap and I do disagree with Ron Paul on borders but that is the absolute only thing I can think of that I disagree with him on.

    That’s it. All I can say other than that is that this guy sounds like a libertine liberal rather than a libertarian. Ron Paul is so awesome even us anarchists love him.

  3. Hey @The Liberty Conservative – I have heard that people sharing this article have been banned for a day from posting articles. Have you heard this?

    I’m gonna test it out. 🙂

  4. I am in 24 hour Facebook jail because I shared this post. I can’t log in on my PC as Facebook says I have malware. They also blocked my phone. My laptop works okay. On my PC, I’m able to log in from alternate accounts. I’m running scans of my PC now. Whatever it is, it seems only linked to my main account. Anyone else having problems?

  5. Hold the phone. Ron Paul doesn’t disagree with free trade because he doesn’t support trade alliances- he doesn’t support trade alliances because they hurt free trade! He talks about it in the revolution: a manifesto. Who put this cuck as #2 in the CATO institute? This guy in no way sounds like a genuine libertarian…. Shame!

  6. Ironic that Brink Lindsay simultaneously supports the Republican wars in Iraq in 1991 and 2002, and says that libertarians “need to disengage from Republicans and conservatives once and for all.” It looks like the antiwar Ron Paul is more disengaged from Republican foreign policy than the “liberaltarian” Mr Lindsay.

  7. Wise move. Insult To Paul, the person responsible for the largest increase in interest in libertarianism since Ann Rand.

    Rothbard’s ethics of liberty was what made me a die hard libertarian. Certainly he had odd bed fellows. He aligned with the communist agitators in the 70s to push against the draft. The funny thing is Rothbard is a great example of working with people you don’t agree with toward common goals. But that is bad, huh?

    • Well, Rothbard did seem to make a habit of aligning himself with the ugliest tendencies on both the left and right. The diminutive Austrian started out as a Strom Thrumond supporter. He then became an enthusiast of the violence prone Black Panther Party and the Stalinist Workers World Party. Rothbard ended his political journey by entering the ranks of the paleoconservatives grouped around Pat Buchanan. In addition, Rothbard may have been the only Jew in America to formally eendorse the electoral ambitions of David Duke.

      I daresay Rothbard’s lifelong habit of cozying up to authoritarians across the political spectrum might give liberty minded folks reason for pause.

      • Obviously his association with the Black Panthers and communists shows that he was a poor judge of character, and I understand that David Duke makes some people uncomfortable, but what is wrong with Strom Thurmond and Pat Buchanan?

        • Strom Thurmond believed in state-enforced segregation, while Pat Buchanan supports tariffs and federal prohibition of drugs. Obviously, I don’t believe Rothbard supported them because of those positions, but despite them.

      • I think he saw our current system as totally corrupt and morally bankrupt and was happy to ally with other groups that also wanted to overthrow the system, even if they had different ideas of what to replace it with. I think that’s the big difference between Rothbard and the establishment libertarian types. The establishment types think the current system is OK, even if it could be improved, so they’d rather ally with other establishment types and eschew the radicals. I agree the tactics are questionable, but I would not say that this shows Rothbard to have authoritarian tendencies; I think he just had a clearer understanding of the authoritarianism inherent in our own government.

    • Exactly. As Tom Woods pointed out, if Rothbard were just a Dixiecrat racist, why did he spend so much time defending the Black Panthers?

  8. So he wants libertarians to be leftist neocons? How do you square that with any flavor of liberty?

    Thank you Brink for clarifying that Cato is no longer pro-liberty. I will re-direct my contributions to an institution that does not promote war.

  9. I’m not a libertarian and so I know I don’t get a vote, but infighting like this can’t be good for your movement.

  10. I’ve always had a bad taste for the Cato Institute because their backers are just some rich morons who like tugging strings

  11. I used to think the Cato Institute had some credibility. Not any more! This guy needs to be tossed and VERY quickly or the Libertarians will lose a lot of support.

  12. “Lindsey described Ron Paul supporters as “a weird group of people,” consisting of libertarians, anti-war types, nationalists, and “xenophobes.” ”

    And since when did “liberals” become war mongers? Is it since the neoCons took over US foreign policy maybe?
    It’s funny how Bobby Zimmerman never makes a peep about the evil “Master of War” now that the US is fighting a running battle to expand the boundaries of greater Israel and for globalist international Zionism.
    What a bunch of hypocrites.

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