[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]
Case in point: critics of the Mises Institute often imply that it, or various people associated with it, are “pro-Confederate” in the sense of regarding the Confederacy as a legitimate government or regarding slavery as a defensible institution. As Tom DiLorenzo and Tom Woods point out on LRC today, this charge is completely false, and the critics should stop insinuating otherwise.
On the other hand, though, it’s a bit silly to act as though that’s all the “pro-Confederate” charge comes to. Surely it’s true that the overall tone of much that has come out of the Mises Institute on the Civil War has been not just critical of Lincoln and the Union (both well-deserving of criticism) but sympathetic toward and soft-pedaling of the Confederacy. This seems, well, blindingly obvious. To exaggerate this tendency into unproblematic “support” for the Confederacy, as the critics tend to do, is unfair. To downplay it into nothing at all also seems unfair. (And so on, mutatis mutandis, for most of the other issues dividing the “Beltway libertarians” and the “fever swamp.”)