By Robert Wenzel
I expect the socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated the head of the Queens Democratic machine, Rep. Joe Crowley, in Tuesday's Democratic primary to be around for a very long time.
I identified her as a dangerous leftist weeks before the election, before she even showed up on the radar of mainstream media.
This gal is very bright and can handle herself in front of the media. She is a graduate of Boston University and, get this, because she won second prize in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, with a research project on microbiology, MIT named a "small" asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez.
Watch this 28-year old handle herself in this recent interview withGlenn Greenwald. While watching the video, don't pay as much attention to her lefty leaning answers as much as her poise and quick thinking during the interview.
She is going to go places and she is going to be a role model for many high school and college students.
If elected, she would become the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
And it appears that she pretty much has a lock on the November election. She has a heavy favorite to beat Republican candidate Anthony Pappas in November.
She is Puerto Rican in a district that is 46% Hispanic.
And despite actually going to high school in upstate New York:
Ocaso-Cortez went to my high school (actually, they threw me out during my freshman year). This is a very high-toned school, in a wealthy area of Westchester county. Not exactly a bastion of the proletariat. https://t.co/lp5svqMUY5— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) June 27, 2018
...no one pronouncing Puerto Rico the way she does in the Greenwald clip above is going to lose the Bronx Puerto Rican vote.
In other words, libertarians, we have a problem. She campaigned on a platform of Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, and tuition-free public college.
With her skills and media appeal, she is going to be a big-time influencer, a major second-hand dealer in ideas.
We need to attempt to flip her away from wacky socialist ideas and show her the pitfalls of central power in any sector. At her young age, she is probably still susceptible enough to truth and honesty to listen to libertarian views.
Thus, I propose a version of the Burgundy Circle, The Committee to Flip Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, if you will.
Now there are dangers with focusing on one person. Murray Rothbard described such a danger in the near-perfect execution, by François de Salignac de la Mothe, Archbishop Fenelonof Cambrai and his Burgundy Circle, to flip the Duke of Burgundy to libertarianism:
One of the most influential centres of libertarian opposition
to the absolutism of Louis XIV was headed by the highly
devout François de Salignac de la Mothe, Archbishop Fenelon
of Cambrai (1651-1715). Fenelon was a friend and student
of Abbe Claude Fleury (1640-1723) who, as a young
theologian, had launched the anti-statist opposition in the
early 1670s. Young Fenelon found that he could exercise
maximal influence on the Court by getting appointed to the
post of religious confessor and instructor to the king’s top
mistress, the Madame Françoise d’Aubigne, the Marquise
de Maintenon (1635-1719). From this position during the
1680s, Fenelon got himself appointed in 1689 as preceptor
to the royal children, in particular the young Duke of Burgundy,
grandson of Louis XIV, who seemed destined one
day to be king.
Fenelon’s developed strategy to achieve liberty, then, was to
organise a group of tutors to the young dauphin, to convert
the future king to the libertarian creed, and, then, when he
assumed power, to achieve the libertarian revolution from
the top down. Assisted by Fleury, Fenelon indeed succeeded
in making a disciple of the Duke of Burgundy, and his
Burgundy Circle became an active and knowledgeable focus
of opposition to the statism and mercantilism of Louis XIV.
Fenelon was particularly incensed at the continuing wars,Ocasio-Cortez has the potential to be a future 8-year king of the U.S. Empire, but it is an error to just focus on her not only because she may not take to heart #PPS principles but it is not as clear that she will gain the 8-year throne. Thus, I propose that The Committee to Flip Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, issue open letters to Ocasio-Cortez here at Target Liberty and at EPJ outlining the many confusions and contradictions in her socialist policy views. By being open letters, they will have the potential to reach far beyond Ocasio-Cortez and thus not get caught in the trap that doomed the Burgundy Circle.
and their attendant crushing burden of taxation and ruin of
trade. In an anonymous letter to the king in 1693, which he
probably sent only to Madame de Maintenon, Fenelon denounced
the unending “bloody” wars, which with their
taxes have destroyed trade and crippled the poor, driving
the people to desperation, “by exacting from them for your
wars, the bread which they have endeavoured to earn with
the sweat from their brows.”
In his political novel Telemaque, written for the instruction
of the young duke, Fenelon spoke through Mentor, a wise
man among the Phoenicians, who explained to young prince
Telemaque how the Phoenicians were able to flourish so remarkably
in world trade:
“Above all never do anything to interfere with trade in
order to turn it to your views. The Prince must not
concern himself with trade for fear of hindering it. He
must leave all profits to his subjects who earned them,
otherwise they will become discouraged ...”
The Burgundy Circle seemed close to the achievement of
their cherished goals when the Grand Dauphin, son of Louis
XIV, died in 1711, and the Duke of Burgundy became first
in line for the throne. But tragedy struck only the following
year, when the duke, his wife and eldest son were all struck
dead of measles. Fenelon wrote to a friend in despair:
“Men work by their education to form a subject full of
courage and ornamented by knowledge; then God comes
along to destroy this house of cards ...”
The sudden and tragic end of the Burgundy Circle illuminated
one problem with the idea of converting the king (in
this case a future king): if that person dies or disappears, the
entire strategy for liberty disappears with it.
I am going to monitor closely the policy statements of Ocasio-Cortez and issue open letters, in the name of the Committee, to explain the fatal conceit, as Nobel Prize recipient Friedrich Hayek would put it, in her central planning thinking.
I invite strong writers to join mean at the Committee and submit essays for publication at Target Liberty or EPJ that address Ocasio-Cortez socialist policy statements.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com and Target Liberty. He also writes
EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve
Ban.and most recently Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for
the Civilized Person Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn.
His youtube series is here: Robert Wenzel Talks Economics. The Robert Wenzel podcast is
on iphone and stitcher.