History of Libertarianism

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Libertarianism, especially the economic aspects, has always been a front for monied interests.


1996 “Structure of Social Change” by Koch Industries Executive VP Richard Fink [More...]
The document that describes the 3-phase plan the Kochs have followed successfully for the past 30+ years. (a) Create intellectual raw materials with scholars. (2) Apply these ideas to the real world with think tanks. (3) Create activist groups and fund politicians to use the think tank proposals to convince the electorate and enact laws. Billions have been spent on this wingnut welfare, with great success. Just look at the Federalist Society majority on the Supreme Court.
Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (book, online) (2 links)
When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency.
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America (book, online) (8 links)
“This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. . . . If you're worried about what all this means for America's future, you should be” – NPR
How American Businessmen Made Us Believe that Free Enterprise was Indivisible from American Democracy: The National Association of Manufacturers’ Propaganda Campaign 1935–1940 [More...]
"Oreskes, Conway and Tyson ask a deceptively simple question: how did so many Americanscome to believe that economic and political freedoms are indivisible from one another? ... The program offers a case study in corporate propaganda." Chapter 4 of The Disinformation Age: Politics, Technology, and Disruptive Communication in the United States.
How Corporate America Invented Christian America [More...]
The origin of Christian libertarianism as a National Association of Manufacturers public relations campaign to oppose The New Deal and its programs.
Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal (book, online)
"The titans of the National Association of Manufacturers and the chemicals giant DuPont, together with little-known men like W. C. Mullendore, Leonard Read, and Jasper Crane, championed European thinkers Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises and their fears of the “nanny state.”"
Karl Hess on Anarcho-Capitalism [More...]
The term Anarcho-capitalism was stolen by modern libertarians. It originated with left-libertarian Karl Hess.
Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America (book, online) (1 link)
An extensive documentation of the crime, political corruption, and extensive harms the Kochs have visited on the United States and the world.
Licence to be Bad: How Economics Corrupted Us (book, online)
A history of how plutocratically funded economic propaganda has reshaped our ideas of morality. Enthralling history.
Mr. Anonymous and the Not-So-Spontaneous Birth of the Libertarian Movement [More...]
William Volker, alias "Mr. Anonymous", was one of the first major plutocratic funders of what has developed into libertarianism. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent on this centrally planned propaganda blitz over 60+ years.
One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (book, online) (1 link)
"We're often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the belief that America is fundamentally and formally Christian originated in the 1930s." Spread by businessmen as corporate propaganda opposing The New Deal.
Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP (book, online)
“Poison Tea shines a spotlight on the shadowy Koch brother network and reveals hidden connections between the tobacco industry, the reclusive billionaire brothers, and the Tea Party movement. It’s a major story that for too long has been underreported and poorly understood.”
Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (book, online) (1 link)
Detailed, but too accepting of libertarian claims. For example: "The libertarian vision is all in Jefferson." (pg. 21) Jefferson the slaveholder, progressive-taxer and anti-corporatist? It's all in the interpretation.
Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty (book, online)
The first biography of the 4 Koch brothers and their rise to billionaire plutocracy. Explains the interlocking system of domination of the political apparatus by Charles and David.
The Betrayal of the American Right [More...]
Murray Rothbard confesses to the theft of the word libertarian on page 83. Propaganda to be taken with a big grain of salt.
The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (book, online)
A history of the origins of neoliberalism, featuring several notable libertarians.
The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda [More...]
"Before Milton Friedman was earning plaudits as an economic genius, he was a shill for the real estate industry and an early pioneer for big business propaganda known as libertarianism."
Why and How the Koch Network Uses Disinformation to Thwart Democracy [More...]
The most complete (yet succinct) overview of how the Kochs made their libertarianism, a tiny fringe movement, succeed in changing our political climate and beliefs. Chapter 5 of The Disinformation Age: Politics, Technology, and Disruptive Communication in the United States.


One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, “our side,” had captured a crucial word from the enemy. Other words, such as “liberal,” had been originally identified with laissez-faire libertarians, but had been captured by left-wing statists, forcing us in the 1940s to call ourselves rather feebly "true" or "classical" liberals. “Libertarians,” in contrast, had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over, and more properly from the view of etymology; since we were pro- ponents of individual liberty and therefore of the individual’s right to his property.
Murray Rothbard, "The Betrayal of the American Right p.83."