This blog, part time that it is, has been trying to warn people about the infestation of bigots and racists who have invaded the libertarian movement. Starting in 2005 we issued our first warning and we did our best to link to the sources and show evidence. Unfortunately much of the evidence is personal experience, simply knowing the people involved.
Our warnings were basically ignored. And now the whole issue has exploded with the shocking (to some) revelations of Ron Paul’s newsletter and the vile statements that were published there.
The Paul newsletters were usually a joint project between Paul, Lew Rockwell and Burt Blumert. Perhaps they all were but I will only say what I’m confident about. Paul really did provide the name and the public face. He was the bait to attract the subscribers. The money came from Blumert to set things up and Rockwell did much of the writing. Of course Paul was fully aware of the newsletters and can’t really argue that he didn’t know what was published.
After all these articles appeared over a period of years. We are talking multiple issues and multiple years. To say Paul didn’t know implies he was totally comatose. It went on too long and in too many issues for him to feign ignorance.
The New Republic article accurate notes that to understand Paul you have to understand the Mises Institute -- the fount from which so much racism in the movement comes. And it noted that the crowd at the Mises Institute “are nothing like the urbane libertarians” at Cato or Reason. In fact they are unlike the libertarians I knew most of my life. As we have shown here repeatedly, people connected with Rockwell and his misnamed Institute regularly hang out with racists, bigots, anti-Semites and hate-mongers for all kinds. This article was correct to point out how the Mises Institute and Rockwell play a prominent role in the disastrous newsletters that were recently republished.
My understanding over the years has been that the newsletter was in fact written by Lew Rockwell. Mr. Rockwell is notorious in libertarian circles for having been the author. The problem is that this was one of those issues that was so widely known that no one archived the evidence. It just was. And Rockwell is refusing to talk. Paul is refusing to the name the individual who wrote the hate material.
So why won’t Paul name him? He has referred to him as a “former aide”. People assume that means he and the individual are no longer associated. That is a false assumption. Many people who are “former aides” merely move higher in the hierarchy. Rockwell was a former aide. He was also Paul’s business partner in the newsletter and has remained a major confidant and adviser to Paul. I suspect that Paul won’t name names because his previous answers were intended to imply he was so shocked by the content that he dismissed the writer.
Paul could get away with that excuse when it was limited to one issue of the newsletter. Now it covers many issues over many years and that doesn’t wash. The rumor is that Rockwell was the author and he remained Paul’s close ally and ghost writer for many years. They are still closely linked. So Paul’s previous answer would be exposed as intentionally misleading if he were to reveal that he and the actual author were still working together. If Paul was ever actually embarrassed by the content, and there is zero evidence he was, then he clearly wasn’t embarrassed enough to severe his connections with the alleged author.
Rockwell’s group publishes Paul’s books. I think we’d find that Rockwell, or other Mises Institute individuals, actually author much of Paul’s work. Paul’s books are on a far higher level than some of his rambling answers or explanations when he is interviewed. That seems a strong indication that Mr. Paul didn’t write his own books.
So I do, in large part, buy Paul’s story that he didn’t write much of this material. Though I can’t rule out that he wrote some of it. But the line that he didn’t read it or know about it is just too absurd to be believed. Nor do I buy that he was repulsed by the content of these newsletter since it looks to me that he has continued his close allegiance with the likely author of the pieces.
Does Paul agree with the hateful comments. I don’t know. He’s smart enough to know not to say such things on the campaign stump. And my interactions with Paul were always in the role of questioning him on things where he was defensive and trying to cover his ass on unlibertarian votes or positions he took.
The reason for this blog was to warn people about this festering sore before it really did a lot of damage. But Paul, who is closely allied to this vipers nest of Rockwellians, rose to some prominence mainly due to his strong opposition to the war -- one issue where he is right I might add. Unfortunately Paul’s close alliance with bigots meant that at some point the sordid newsletters would be exposed.
Every increase in the Paul campaign also increased the chance that these newsletters would be made public. I suspect Paul and Rockwell were counting on the relative obscurity of the publication and time to make that impossible. I believe some of the later years, without the racism, are available on line but neither Paul nor the Mises Institute would put the early issues on line. In fact Paul claimed he didn’t have any copies and couldn’t release them. But copies were found and that is what brought forth the rather unpleasant publicity.
The real tragedy here is that libertarianism itself is smeared because of this. Ron Paul was promoted as some sort of icon. Rockwell’s site published the claim that “’the Ron Paul question’ constitutes a litmus test for libertarians. Simply put, the ‘Ron Paul questions’ consists of determining whether or not a person supports Dr. Paul. If so, as I see matters, he passes the test and can be constituted a libertarian; if not, his credentials are to that extent suspect.”
Here is what is absurd. The racists at Stormfront have been cheering Paul all along. Many of these people are open about their race hatred and their support for Hitler or some form of racialist agenda. But they support Paul. According to Rockwell’s site, if someone supports Paul, “he passes the test and can be constituted a libertarian”. So apparently the Nazis are libertarians but many prominent libertarians are “suspect” because they don’t support Paul. Well, since Mr. Paul’s racist newsletters were exposed the number of libertarians in the world apparently dropped because lots of people are now sorry they were backing Paul.
I will state my main thesis again. It is lethal and destructive for any libertarian to be associated with bigotry and racism. Not only is it destructive to the cause of liberty but I would assert that it is morally wrong and contemptible. I don’t care how “pure” this individual pretends to be -- in fact many of the most racist types around the Rockwell circles brag about “anarcho-capitalists” though their anarchism consists of massive state aggression against immigrants. Libertarians need to take back their movement from the racists and the bigots and let they people know they are not welcome. Maybe the bad publicity associated with the Paul debacle will do that, but I won’t hold my breath.