Murdoch is not a libertarian, the Devil

Sean Gabb

Murdoch is not a libertarianAccording to the BBC

Rupert Murdoch is a libertarian—against too much state control, and in favour of individuals taking responsibility.

For the record, I agree with everything that The Appalling Strangeness has to say on this—Murdoch may be an economic liberal but that is not the same as being a libertarian.

Economic liberalism is, in fact, only one half of the equation: a libertarian is also socially liberal and I have yet to see The Scum (for foreign readers less familiar with the British National Press, this is a liberal/conservative slang-word for “The Sun”, which is a mass-market-tabloid newspaper) for instance, backing the legalisation of drugs.

But worse than that—Murdoch is a corporatist. His rags back whichever party Murdoch thinks will enable his News Corporation to wield the most power. Further, he deliberately backs parties in a way that makes them grateful and thus more likely to serve his agenda.

In other words, Murdoch gains legal advantage for himself and his businesses through effectively buying the legislators—he is, as I have said, a corporatist.

And there is nothing libertarian about corporatism.

H/t The Devil’s knife
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17 responses to “Murdoch is not a libertarian, the Devil

  1. C H Ingoldby

    Curious that the BBC feels the need to denigrate Libertarianism by linking it to the supposedly unpopular Murdoch. Also, oddly clumsy of them.

  2. Johnathan Pearce

    I have read various Times columnists over the years, such as William Rees-Mogg, Matthew Parris, Dominic Lawson, etc, make the case for social as well as economic liberalism. Murdoch is hardly a villain in my book, and unlike some businesspersons I can mention, does not lobby for subsidies and tariffs.

    It is true that Murdoch tilts towards foreign policy activism, which is probably one of the main reasons why some but not all libertarians would disagree with him.

    But by and large I consider Murdoch far less of a malign force than say, George Soros or indeed, the BBC.

  3. Murdoch characterizes himself as “a libertarian.”


  4. C H Ingoldby

    And if Murdoch were to characterise himself as an Eskimo woman would you expect the rest of the world to acquiesce in that misrepresentation?

    Or do you perhaps simply blindly believe whatever people tell you about themselves?

  5. My post had nothing to say either way as to the veracity of his claim.

    You might call yourself ‘a libertarian’ and I’m not about to agree with you, believe you or accept your reasons for making such a statement.

    If ‘libertarian’ is what you come out with, that would be yet another good reason to decline the description.


  6. Tony Horlicks, I doubt anyone will ever mistake you for a Libertarian.

  7. C H Ingoldby:

    Are you still at primary school?


  8. Such a witty response. Your humour is almost at the level of your intellect.

  9. I.Q. of 156 the last time it was measured. And yours?


  10. C H Ingoldby:

    You’re not even a good troll…


  11. Your opinions simply are cut and paste, never the slightest originality. You repeat the latest platitudes like a well trained parrot. Pretty much the opposite of actual intelligence, whatever you claim for your IQ.

    Still, it does make for good entertainment, seeing just how conformist and banal you can possibly get.

  12. Yup, you’re a twisted troll already…

    Motivated by hatred of imaginary ‘enemies’


  13. George Soros has a better claim to be libertarian than Murdoch is ever likely to have.


  14. Daz Pearce

    I suppose the thought that the BBC can attempt to smear the word libertarian with Murdoch’s association underlines the need to spell out that Libertarianism is basically ‘instinctive liberalism’ on all issues at all times.
    This post makes a clear and pretty decent attempt to do this

  15. Tony, I would agree you are very bright, perceptive and all that, but it does seem you do specialise in provoking as negative response as you can, on occasion. :)
    But you go too far to say Soros is more of a libertarian than Murdoch.
    I would fully accept that Murdoch is less of an evil than Soros. Indeed, he and his empire have been getting such a bad press recently that all my instincts are that he must be doing something right! Like the Ryan airline guy.
    But neither are libertarians, I guess.

  16. A simple brace of examples:

    Soros helps to fight the war on drugs: whereas

    Murdoch placed Viet Dinh, the author of the PATRIOT Act on the main board of News International.

    For many more examples, see

    Murdoch is a neoconservative. He’s not even a free-market fundamentalist (as if that was a hallmark of libertarianism).