The Leninist Libertarian: James McGill Buchanan and the Subversion of Representative Democracy. Nancy MacLean, William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, talks with Democratic Perspective’s Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson about the origin and methodology of her new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.
What happens when a minority of right-wing billionaire ideologues decide to fund a decades-long project to undermine representative government in the U.S.? The short answer is nothing good. The long answer, eloquently presented in Professor MacLean’s book, and discussed at some length with her in this week’s show, is a carefully plotted campaign of institutional subversion that would be the envy of V. I. Lenin himself. The bottom line: beware oligarchs who call themselves libertarians. In the real world, a libertarian oligarch is at best an oxymoron, and at worst, which is exactly what we get with people like the Koch brothers, a threat to everything a believer in democracy holds dear.