Wa Wa Wa Washington, DC (CN) – This past week saw stalwart Beltway Insider Think Tank the Cato Institute launch Libertarianism.org after 20 years of delay and statist triumph. The new site promises a concise and engaging introduction to a political philosophy called Libertarianism.
The reason why the Cato Institute has taken 20 years to launch this site on the internet is as simple and complex as Liberty itself.
“Libertarians have never been that into the internets, technology and stuff,” said Aaron Powell Cato Team Member and Libertarianism.org Editor. “Polling we’ve done has shown that people who work in tech fields like the internet and Livejournal are as likely to be libertarians as Catholics, which is to say not so much. We’d rather be reading old dead guys from the past, you know, when we were free. Speaking of which have you read ‘The Ego and Its Own‘ by Max Stirner, its a real barn burner.”
The idea for a website with libertarian in the name, or URL, first came in 1997 when Cato Team Member David Boaz got set to publish ‘Libertarianism: A Primer‘. “The book is a primer on libertarianism,” said Boaz from behind a large computer free wooden desk Cinncinatus was said to have used. “We thought this new internets would be a dandy thing to help promote and spread the word.”
However Libertarianismaprimer.com was taken and Cato got into an ugly battle with internet squatter Stephen Cohen. Cato, lacking any lawyers among it’s team members, enlisted the help of Institute for Justice in a long legal battle. They prevailed only to find Libertarianismaprimer.com to be a less than ideal url for ginning up traffic. The website was scraped.
Brian Doherty, libertarian historian and author of “Aspies for Capitalism – A History of Libertarians on Teh Internets” gave a brief synopsis of Cato’s twenty year battle to conceive and execute a website.
“Even before David’s book, ‘Libertarianism: A Primer,’ a great primer about libertarianism btw, Cato had a website a friend of theirs from college created. However it could only be viewed in a Lynx web browser and had 200+ large media files on it, a killer back in the dial up days.
“Cato also had a cute geocities website for a hot minute but it just didn’t go anywhere for some reason. Libertarians had an early presence on Friendster but it just didn’t pan out. Creative destruction and all that. Myspace? Don’t even get me started.
Keep in mind Cato also runs on a SpokesCouncil based Consensus decision making process. This most recent site has been in the works, wheedling itself through the various Cato SpokesCouncils and Guilds, for about 10 years.
In August of this year after many years of thankless toil and exhausting, deflating internecine battles Team Members all agreed to read a copy of ‘Getting to Yes‘, ‘Making Hard Decisions‘ and Jerry Tuccille’s ‘It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand‘ in addition to the other 10 books Team Members are contractually obligated to read per month. After that they brought in Murray Rothbard’s ghost and he moderated a big gathering of the hundreds of Cato Team Members and they finally came to consensus on three points:
- They’d go forward with the website
- Libertarianism would be explained as having a lot of do with Liberty
- And finally Facebook would somehow be involved.
Murray always was the peacemaker. After that we had the site up in about 5 weeks from soup to nuts.”
Other reasons for the long delay were skepticism about the internet and a warm glowing feeling that other libertarian groups were already getting the job done.
“Now mind you, to be fair,” said Cato Team Member Tommy John Palmer, “If I’m honest, the likes of LewRockwell.com and Justin Raimondo have done a great job representing mainstream Libertarianism to a diverse audience over the years.”
“I’m still not sure the internet is worth our time and effort,” opined Cato Founder and Team Member Primero Eddie Crane. “Every time I get on there all I see is LOLCats, Porn and Andrew Sullivan’s animated beard. If that’s the future I want no part of it.”
Described as a “thumbnail sketch” by Cato Team Member and New Media Guy Zach Graves the site opens with a 869 word nine paragraph written introduction complimented by a 20 minute youtube video narrated by some white guy. “It’s designed to appeal to the short attention spanned youths and those engaged in an active, modern lifestyle,” said Zach. “Not everyone has time to read Mises ‘Human Action‘ or the Russian novella ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ and we are sensitive to that.”