A generation after American "libertarians" helped with mass disappearances, torture and murder of left-wing activists, Frente Amplio surge in Chilean elections

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/26/dance-on-friedmans-grave.html



Hitting the barricades, catching tear gas canisters with their faces, etc…

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pushing at least 120 dissidents to their deaths from the helicopters far over the sea (today, the American right celebrates these ghastly murders with jokey memes).

Like many of the Libertarians who follow him, Friedman made the conceptual leap from “dropping money out of helicopters” to supporting regimes that dropped political opponents out of helicopters more smoothly than one might expect from such freedom-loving individuals.


Viva Chile!
Viva el pueblo!
Vivan los trabajadores!


But her emails


Because they don’t believe in freedom for everyone, but only for the rich.


:open_mouth: Wow, that’s breaking news to me : did they DIRECTLY helped ? Any link to go further ?


This is stunning to me too. In my youth I identified Libertarian, mainly because it was cool, but I actually learned the doctrine. Nowhere did they mention torture, for some reason. I wonder how many Libertarian kids today know their history?


Here’s a bunch more detail for Hayek with a tiny bit about Friedman. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/63318/1/__lse.ac.uk_storage_LIBRARY_Secondary_libfile_shared_repository_Content_Caldwell,%20B_Hayek%20and%20Chile_Cladwell_Hayek%20and%20Chile_2015.pdf Mainly his help was in the form of snuggly PR for a murderous tyrant. Note, this is an extraordinarily kind summary.

Sallas: What is your opinion of dictatorships?

Hayek: Well, I would say that, as long-term institution I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system during a transitional period. Sometimes it is necessary for a country to have, for a time, some form of dictatorial power. As you will understand, it is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way. And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. I personally prefer a liberal dictator to a democratic government lacking liberalism. My particular impression is – and this is valid for South America – that in Chile, for example, there will be a transition from a dictatorial government to a liberal government. And during this transition it may be necessary to maintain certain dictatorial powers, not as something permanent, but as a temporary transitional arrangement.


Some of them do, and they tend to end up as open fascists.


There appears to be a clear connection between ideological distance and willingness to oppose.

Libertarians are a small step to the left of conservatives, who are a small step to the left of the fascists; they’ll collaborate with liberals or conservatives, offer rhetorical opposition to fascism and are fanatically opposed to socialism.

Liberals are a small step to the left of the libertarians; they generally do not oppose libertarian economics (AKA neoliberalism) and offer rhetorical opposition to conservatism and symbolic protest to fascism.

Step a bit further to the mild socialists, and you get minimal opposition to liberals, rhetorical opposition to libertarians, polite protest of conservatives and serious opposition to fascism.

The same logic applies in the other direction; the fascists want to kill the socialists, mock the liberals and co-opt the libertarians.


Shame you’re dead Friedrich. Fuck you and your asshole road.


This sounds like mealy-mouthed crap designed to push the idea that ideological “extremism” itself is somehow the enemy, and not the very clear issue of the further right you go, the more obvious “might makes right” is the corner stone of your philosophy. It’s removing the agency of specific ideologies and the clear result of their actions. It’s how people try to pretend “Communism” has resulted in more deaths than Nazism, when the fundamentals of fascism, corporate power tied to government power, has led to just as many deaths before and since, and continues to this day.

For example, overly simplistic theorizing like this, as if the left-right spectrum is a horseshoe of violence and as long as we stay in the middle we’ll avoid concentration camps and gulags. Completely ignoring history, context, and end goals of individual ideologies.

Libertarians explicitly believe in might makes right couched in coded phrases of “merit-based” or “vote with your wallet”; they explicitly state property rights are more important than individual rights, they explicitly support the police in defense of those “rights”, they support dictators and authoritarians as long as they profess free market ideology. It is a morally bankrupt philosophy for sociopaths and fools. It is an ideology for people who hate others, its literature self-absorbed bibles of hatred for their fellow man and smug belief in the ubermensch.

Right Libertarians are fascists. Period.


Quite the opposite.

I’m a socialist, in part because I believe in the justice of the socialist approach, but also because I know that socialists are required to fight fascism. It is no coincidence that the primary historical opposition to fascism came from socialist and communist parties.

I’m not arguing in favour of collaborationist centrism; I argue for left wing revolution.

There is still a chance to make that happen peacefully. But the clock is ticking.


We need a helluva lot more leftists then.


No; Doctorow’s post is inaccurate. Both Friedman and Hayek had histories in Chile, but neither was involved with either planning or carrying out Pinochet’s program of murder and torture.

Friedman gave Pinochet some economic advice (as he did in more than one communist country, his position being that he would offer policy advice to any government that asked); he played no role in, and indeed criticized, Pinochet’s political repression. Hayek made some ill-informed comments that showed he thought Pinochet’s dictatorship could be a stepping stone toward a freer society; this was idiotic, but it was a sign of complacency, not complicity. (This is a good paper on the topic of Hayek in Chile: https://coreyrobin.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/hayekchile.pdf)

All this was several years after the coup. The “then” in Doctorow’s opening sentence is doing a lot of work.


It’s not impactful enough to state the quite accurate (and awful) fact that plenty of libertarians provided economic advice to a horrible dictator. Instead we have to say that Friedman and Hayek advised Pinochet on how to torture his enemies, and to take that on faith without a supporting reference?

Does BoingBoing make a RSS link to a Cory-less feed? Between his habit of making stuff up and his utter ignorance of an American legal system he insists on writing about, he’s the worst thing about this place.


The bookkeepers of Germany were not exempt from the guilt of the Holocaust.

The man who organises the train schedules can kill a lot more than any single soldier. There are many ways to assist a tyrant.

That’s a bit beside the point with Friedman and Hayek, though. Even when applied in a less tyrannical society, their economic policies inevitably lead to mass suffering and runaway inequality.