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A New Mythology

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06/19/2017

If Genevieve Valentine has given us an accurate account, Nancy MacLean has written an incredibly bad book on libertarianism. The book is called Democracy in Chains, and according to Valentine, MacLean traces modern libertarianism to none other than James Buchanan, the founder of the Virginia school of economics.

Buchanan, we learn, led a 60 -year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and to take over the government. He wanted to “centralize power in states like Virginia”, she says, when of course he is well-known for his defense of decentralization. He “eschewed empirical research”; has either reviewer or author ever looked at an issue of the journal Public Choice? Buchanan and the group of radical thinkers he led are said to have “termed taxes ‘slavery’;” Buchanan in fact supported inheritance taxes and was an egalitarian, although not of a sort leftist nonentities would appreciate.

Buchanan, it seems, was influenced by the Southern Agrarian writer Donald Davidson, who referred to the federal government a “Leviathan.” I wonder what will happen when MacLean learns that Davidson and the Southern Agrarians did not support free-market capitalism.

I hope soon to review the book. I shall of course examine it objectively, to the extent it is possible to do so when dealing with an author who has a negative I.Q. ( Many thanks to Norm Singleton for apprising me of the review.)

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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