A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Argentinian Presidential frontrunner Javier Milei—a man who describes himself as a Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist.
In an interesting turn of events, Tucker Carlson travelled to Buenos Aires for a long-form interview with the bombastic populist candidate. The entire interview is available to watch on Twitter for free.
But this article is not about the interview per se.
During his monologued introduction, Tucker says this about Milei (as highlighted by Per Bylund:
Javier Milei [is a] libertarian economist. He's not libertarian in the traditional American sense, he wouldn't fit in at the Cato Institute...he's libertarian in the traditional sense: he believes people should have the maximum amount of freedom.
This is hilarious in a number of ways.
I fired this off:
Let me elaborate.
There are an increasing number of libertarians, especially in the Mises Institute orbit, who have become very interested in populism—for justifiable reasons.
A fair amount of their interest in populism has centered around Tucker Carlson. I think this is because he is a populist figure with takes that rhyme with those of the Old Right.
His equation of American libertarianism with the Cato Institute is hilarious, but also kind of sad.
As I see it, this absolute dagger from Tucker is either birthed from sheer innocent ignorance, or its a very spry little stilleto.
Either Tucker is only familiar with milquetoast DC libertarianism....
He knows that Murray Rothbard was involved with the founding of the Cato Institute and this statement was a precision strike on true libertarianism.
The simplest explanation, and most likely, is that Tucker is not at all familiar with libertarian inside baseball and this was an innocently ignorant little oversight.
Should this make us down in the dumps? Does it mean that all of our infighting and handwringing about messaging, purity, and the movement is big-picture inconsequential?
To wit, Javier Milei captures the attention of the biggest "mainstream" talk show news host in America and the world still doesn't identify it with our (domestic) movement?
I'll choose to think it's an indicator that weighs against the arguments defectors from libertarianism were making when they left the movement: that Americans have heard and rejected the case for liberty.
I know that some subscribers to this list are not libertarians. If you've made it this far, I applaud you. Hopefully through consuming my content, we will remain fellow travelers on the path to a more peaceful world.
For the rest of you dyed-in-the-wool maniacs out there, let's choose to see the bright side. Even if our movement is not influential or important enough to be recognized by Tucker Carlson and his audience, a Rothbardian economics professor from Argentina just reached them—for 30 minutes.
It's clear that most have not heard (and rejected) what we have to say about war and peace, about economics, about truly free markets, and about the prosperity that private property brings.
We just have to work on getting out there and telling it.
Notes in the Margin
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