Is Ellen Brown a Libertarian?

Some wonder if writer/columnist/activist Ellen Brown is a libertarian due to some of the views she holds. The answer is that asking that is sort of splitting hairs, because the “libertarian” tag can be widely applied.

Ellen Brown a libertarian depending on definition

Some denizens of the internet and other media have labeled Ellen Brown a libertarian, or at least have suggested she runs parallel with them. Others insist she isn’t a true believer in libertarian ideals.

Others still don’t care.

Those who do may wonder if Ellen Brown is a libertarian. Well, that depends. The term has a lot of definitions, connotations and loopholes. She has some of the hallmarks of the stereotype. Her blog, ellenbrown.com, castigates the Federal Reserve and the federal government for doing little to arrest the oligarchical state of the money supply and the financial system. Many people aren’t happy about that, libertarians or otherwise.

Libertarian can mean a lot of things

What IS a libertarian? Ostensibly it’s a person who believes in as much liberty as possible through as little government interference as possible. There is also a Libertarian Party, the most popular third party in recent years. Not everyone who is a libertarian is necessarily a registered Libertarian, however.

Philosophies differ between those befitting the tag. Some, such as the Koch brothers, believe no regulation should be applied to any private enterprise ever. If one has money, they should get whatever they want.

Others think regulation is appropriate if non-regulation leads to harm of others – such as waste disposal. Think about it; many corporations have proven themselves completely incapable or unwilling to clean up their own damn messes. If they were, SuperFund sites wouldn’t exist!

Most libertarians also think private enterprise superior to public enterprise. Public services are often overly bureaucratic and unlike private enterprise – at least most of them – one isn’t allowed to choose to fund them, but can choose not to use some of them.

Where’s the beef

Claims that Ellen Brown is a libertarian in conjecture only could be that she advocates public banks, such as the Bank of North Dakota, even if ordinary citizens are practically unable to use it. According to one of her articles on the Huffington Post, she favors turning the United States Postal Service into a national consumer bank as well as postal service.

According to Gary North, writing on LewRockwell.com, website for the libertarian impresario and founder of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, she doesn’t support returning to the gold standard – many libertarians want to abolish fiat currency – and wants the Federal Reserve brought under public domain. She also is a proponent of the economic philosophies of John Maynard Keynes, which many libertarians oppose in favor of Austrian school economists like Frederich Hayek or Ludwig Von Mises.

However, as he notes, she gains tractability in Tea Party circles due to being an opponent of the Federal Reserve, despite their inability to understand more than that.

These generally aren’t libertarian ideas. Then again, it depends on how one defines them.

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