Oliver Stone is right and his libertarian critics are wrong

 An unexpected juxtaposition. Oliver Stone and documentarian Jeremy Scahill chat behind a painting of the great libertarian economist Ludwig von Mises at the International Students for LIberty Conference. Source: Sheldon Richman's Facebook account.

An unexpected juxtaposition. Oliver Stone and documentarian Jeremy Scahill chat behind a painting of the great libertarian economist Ludwig von Mises at the International Students for LIberty Conference. Source: Sheldon Richman's Facebook account.

Latin American libertarians have taken Oliver Stone to task for "cozying up to dictators" south of the border and south of the equator, even mildly confronting the director and critic of American foreign policy at the recent International Students for Liberty Conference. In response Stone, as Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell recounts "reiterated his belief that the U.S. government illegally and covertly subverts Latin American leaders.”

It is true that leftist governments in Latin America have a bad record on civil liberties, and an even worse record on economic policy. And yet, what Stone says about U.S. meddling (especially supporting the opposition) is also true. Moreover, both of these things are true for many impoverished countries around the world; for example, Syria and Ukraine.

This presents the libertarian friend of the oppressed around the world with a dilemma. Should he deal with the local devil to oppose empire? Or should he deal with the foreign devil to oppose local tyranny?

Let me put it this way. I am no fan of the domestic policies of the socialist "Bolivarian Revolution." But if you are part of a CIA-supported movement to overthrow your country's government and replace it with one that will do the bidding of a foreign power, then you are no friend of liberty or of your fellow countrymen.

First thing's first. Latin American libertarians should (temporarily) unite with the Chavistas to kick the Yanqui devils out. Then, only after that, the libertarians can focus their efforts on building an independent, locally supported and directed, grassroots movement against the socialists. Only when their movement has lost the taint of the Empire in the North can a libertarian victory in Latin America have any kind of public legitimacy.

Oliver Stone is not right to celebrate Bolivarian domestic policy. But he is right in seeing American imperialism as a much greater enemy to world peace and prosperity than any tin-pot tyrant. And in this regard, he could teach many libertarians a valuable lesson.