Monday, December 22, 2014

Vaclav Klaus Fired By Cato

So much for Cato tolerating differing libertarian views (They charge other libertarian institutions with not doing so).

Apparently former Czech leader Vaclav Klaus was not pro-Empire enough for Cato Shrugged.

According to James Kirchick at  the Daily Beast, Cato quietly “ended” its “official relationship” with Klaus, whom it had named a Distinguished Senior Fellow last March.

JK provides some background as to the heroic Klaus statements and actions that likely resulted in his banishment :
Over the course of the year, Klaus would repeatedly, through word and deed, demonstrate his sympathies with Putin. On May 9, which Moscow commemorates as World War II “Victory Day,” Klaus paid a highly visible visit to the Russian Embassy. Most of the Czech political elite boycotted the event in protest of Russia’s behavior, and so Klaus—this self-proclaimed Thatcherite disciple of the free market—was joined by a bevy of aging Czech communists and old KGB informants. In July, a pro-Russian outfit called the American Institute in Ukraine held a conference under the auspices of Klaus’ Prague-based institute...Klaus...railed against “unilateral pro-Western propaganda” and offered to help divide Ukraine based upon his own experience in the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia... 
Yes, a key figure in one of the few peaceful political separations in all of history offers to help in a peaceful separation of the Ukraine, and Cato ditches such a man!

Keep in mind, what Hans-Hermann Hoppe has written about separatist movements:
[S]eparatist and secessionist movements and tendencies have gained momentum, and I would advocate that as much ideological support be given to these movements.
For even if as a result of such decentralization tendencies new State governments should spring up, whether democratic or otherwise, territorially smaller States and increased political competition will tend to encourage moderation as regards a State's exploitation of productive people. 
Klaus is pulling no punches in making it clear that it is his views on Ukraine and Russia that are at the heart of the Cato action against him:
Klaus was scheduled to speak at a conference earlier this year commemorating the 25th anniversary of the collapse of communism, yet was ultimately disinvited, according to one Cato source, “to avoid awkwardness.” The former president alluded to this incident in an interview with the London Spectator, portraying his exile from Cato as yet another episode in his long victimization at the hands of the politically correct powers-that-be. “The US/EU propaganda against Russia is really ridiculous and I can’t accept it,” he said. “I feel repressed by not being allowed to express my views. I have permanent troubles with this. Suddenly I have discovered, for the first time in 20 years, having been invited to be a keynote speaker at a conference, that the organizers find out I have reservations about the EU, about same-sex marriages, about the Ukraine crisis, and they say, ‘We are very sorry, we have already found a different keynote speaker, thank you very much.’ This is something I had experienced in the communist era but not in so-called free Europe.”...
The distancing from Klaus also goes beyond Cato. JK informs:
 Klaus’ banishment from Cato appears to be having something of a ripple effect throughout the libertarian world. Also in September, Klaus spoke at a Hong Kong gathering of the Mont Pelerin Society, a closed, high-level coterie of free market economists. Asked about the rise of nationalism in Europe, according to one person at the confab, Klaus “got into the Ukraine business on his own,” concluding that the “Ukraine problem was brought about by the United States and European Union and that Putin was innocent. For many people in the room it came across as a novelty.” After his tirade, Klaus, according to this source, “did look quite lonely,” particularly in contrast to past society meetings, when dozens of people typically lined up to shake his hand. This time, however, Klaus was “scanning the room during coffee breaks for someone to talk to.” Although Klaus was widely tipped to be elected president of the society this year, he was rejected in favor of Spanish economist Pedro Schwartz.


  1. somebody being unceremoniously booted out of Cato? Thats a badge of honour.


  2. As an ‘insider’ I have to largely concur with Cato assessment although I left that country almost half a century ago, and it pains me to admit my doubts about Klaus since I’m a conservative to whose ideals Klaus is supposedly subscribing. But as a young man I was applying to the same college where Klaus got his education, actually to the same faculty of foreign trade like him. I have to tell you that it was much harder to be accepted there than it’s been to get into Harvard or Yale because there were so many applicants. The acceptance commission consisted of 5 people, the whole process was an interview, not an examination - the dean in the middle, an economics professor, and another specialist on his sides, but these people never uttered a word during the whole time I was there. Instead I was bombarded by political questions from the person on the left - that was the rep of the ‘communist youth’ and the right, the rep of the communist party itself. Mr. Klaus passed that cross-examination with flying colors, one out of thousands of applicants, you can make your own conclusions from that.

    There’s something one should know about participants in post Velvet politics in Czech Republic. The only people who could have possibly participated in those politics were people who were already part of the communist political life before and somehow escaped being labeled communists; and not the outsiders who were always denied access to public life. Thus it’s entirely possible that the worst of commie secret nucleus simply filled the political vacuum each taking their own niche across the political spectrum to make it look like democracy then when their Kremlin bosses were gone, and there was need to please another ‘boss’. There’s no doubt in my mind these ‘politicians’ had to be at least collaborators at best, and foreign agents at worst, barring a few dissidents to make it look real, serving as fronts.

    In the larger scope of things none of this matters anymore but it could well explain the strange Klaus’ actions, and I’m not talking about his need to contradict accepted ideas just to be noticed, but those which impressed me as following the West when absolutely indispensable, but veer off when it really mattered. Prime example here is his absolute refusal to consider fully compensating victims of communism for the properties stolen by communists, and of course his support lately for the former KGB boss.

    1. What a bizarre absurd theory. Are you reading any of the posts Wenzel is putting of Klaus speeches? If Klaus is a commie, when need more commies like him.

    2. Jeez mate, of course Klaus passed with flying colours, You obviously didn't figure out quick enough that university is not about your voice, its about you learning to parrot theirs.

    3. "Klaus’ banishment from Cato appears to be having something of a ripple effect throughout the libertarian world. Also in September, Klaus spoke at a Hong Kong gathering of the Mont Pelerin Society"

      I wonder what Kirchick means by referring to Cato and the MPS as "libertarian". If CATO is libertarian, then so is the GOP.

  3. Cato is libertarian? I don´t think these likudniks are libertarians at all. More like corporate fascist zionazis.