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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Who funds the IEA?

It is a perennial question:

The answer has been unearthed, in a long-lost document from 1990.

You’re a socially quite well connected sort of a fellow, with lots of rich acquaintances, and with the energy to cultivate plenty more. What do you do if your rich supporters demand immediate results for their money, while you know that this is impossible and that the job must start with academics and intellectuals, rather than with mass publicity and instant policy transformations? There being no mass market for liberty, how do you find the money, now, instantly, to start financing the creation of such a market? Are you bright enought to get instantly wealthy, and yet bright enough in a quite different way to realise that liberty is a lifetime project, and more?

What do you do about rich people who say they believe in freedom but who, to an appalling degree, don’t? Do you somehow magic their money out of their wallets anyway, and, despite having the poor taste to be willing to sacrifice the only life you have consorting with such people, do you nevertheless have the brains to team up with somebody else, deeply unfoolish, who does your editing and supervises your publishing? And does your editor have the brain and the brawn to publish everything sensible that the rich people will permit, nothing sensible that they won’t, and nothing senseless? It’s asking a hell of a lot. It is called the Institute of Economic Affairs.

4 comments to Who funds the IEA?

  • Bell Curve

    They had several anti-lockdown articles on the IEA site, and then they disappeared and declined to explain why. Curious.

  • bobby b

    American libertarianism has become lazy and unwilling to advocate for First Principles because those First Principles are enshrined in our Constitution and other founders’ documents, and so we feel no need to keep making those arguments and points and thus lose much of our persuasive ability?

    Maybe partially, but the larger problem here is that American Libertarianism ignores that the fight for liberty entails responsibilities as well as freedoms, and has decided that it’s much more popular to be simple libertines.

    American Libertarianism has degenerated into a bunch of NORML members on their non-high days. It’s more popular – it’s more fun – to sell being libertine than being libertarian.

  • Who funds the IEA? Not me anymore. It was a pittance anyway, but it was the thought that counts. So, by stopping said pittance, it will not make much difference either, but once again, it’s the thought that counts.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – when the IEA did not come out against the lockdowns and the 400 Billion Pound lockdown government spending it really lost the plot. Bell Curve is correct – it is “curious” and worse than curious.

    bobby b – when the Cato Institute did not step in to defend Freedom of Speech, because their funders (the Koch Brothers) has come to agreement with the Mr Soros (or rather his son and other associates) that Freedom of Speech is “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic” (and so on) – then I lost what faith I have in American libertarian organisations. Not in individual libertarians – but in the organisations.

    But we are all flawed human beings – for example the Governor of South Dakota, the Joan of Arc of the anti lockdown movement and great defender of Freedom of Speech, is pushing the legal obstruction of Amendment A – I utterly despise drugs, but the people of South Dakota clearly voted for recreational cannabis to be legalised (not just medical cannabis – that was a separate vote). The State motto is “Under God The People Rule” not “unless we can find a shyster way of blocking their vote”.