I have two names for these people:
Friedrich Hayek and Thomas Sowell
Hayek was a Fabian Socialist before Mises flipped him.
I had looked in at one of his [Mises'] lectures and found that a man so conspicuously antipathetic to the kind of Fabian [socialist] views that I then held was not the sort of person to whom I wanted to go. But of course things changed.And Hayek said of Mises' work Socialism, which attacked socialism and changed Hayek:
To none of us young men who read the book when it appeared was the world ever the same again. If Roepke stood here, or Robbins, or Ohlin (to mention only those of exactly the same age as myself), they would tell you the same story. Not that we at once swallowed it all. For that it was much too strong a medicine and too bitter a pill. But to arouse contradiction, to force others to think out for themselves the ideas which have led him, is the main function of the innovator. And though we might try to resist, even strive hard to get the disquieting considerations out of our system, we did not succeed. The logic of the argument was inexorable.Sowell has
Back in the days when I was a Marxist, my primary concern was that ordinary people deserved better, and that elites were walking all over them. That is still my primary concern, but the passing decades have taught me that political elites and cultural elites are doing far more damage than the market elites could ever get away with doing...
While my desires for a better life for ordinary people have not changed from the days of my youthful Marxism, experience has taught the bitter lesson that the way to get there is the opposite of what I once thought.I rest my case.
As for the possibility of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flipping. I have no idea if that is possible. A politician is probably more difficult to flip than an intellectual. Maybe there is a 3% chance but that is why in my essay launching the #CommitteeToFlipAlexandriaOcasioCortez I wrote about the failure of the Burgundy Circle in its focus on one person and went on:
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...Now there are dangers with focusing on one person...Another point that has been raised is that Ocasio-Cortez would not be getting the support she has received if she didn't promise so many socialist style giveaways. But I believe this underestimates her. I see her as more than just a politician. She is a skilled communicator. A very strong secondhand dealer in ideas. And I write as someone who spotted her potential before the upset election victory and before mainstream media did.
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.
In my view, if she somehow recognized the power of free markets, and the coercion and failure that is inherent in socialism, she would have the skill to know how to communicate that message as few would.
That said, if the #CommitteeToFlipAlexandriaOcasioCortez does nothing but counter Ocasio-Cortez socialist policy proposals, it will be a valuable service to anyone attempting to understand the alternatives to socialism.