Quote of the day

Cato Institute

Pam and Russ Martens have made exposing the dubious methods of the Koch brothers and libertarian icon Ayn Rand their personal project (see this and this). During one of their reports, which detailed the dispute between the Kochs and the other owners (!) of the non-profit Cato Institute, they made the following observation:

The original Cato Five, who signed a “Shareholders Agreement” on January 26, 1977 were: Charles Koch, George Pearson, Roger MacBride, Murray Rothbard, and Edward Crane.

Pearson became an employee of Koch Industries; MacBride was the Presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in 1976; Rothbard became a libertarian icon. A 1981 issue of The Libertarian Forum, a newsletter  edited by Rothbard, charged Crane and Charles Koch with illegally grabbing his shares of Cato and barring him from attending future Board meetings in order to consolidate their control. The details of Cato having owners and the extent of their control over the nonprofit has not found its way into mainstream media until now.

Rothbard, who died in 1995, summed up the episode as follows: “Let each and every one of you, dear readers, consider this crucial question: How many fellow libertarians would you trust to guard your back in an ambush?… As a friend and long-time libertarian observed in reply: ‘Ambush, hell. How many libertarians would you allow in the same room with you and trust not to poison your food?'”

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