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Ilya Somin On William Darity’s Failed Defense of Nancy MacLean

Ilya Somin, a GMU colleague of mine over in the law school, exposes the flaws in William Darity’s attempted defense of Nancy MacLean’s completely fabricated tale that, as Ilya describes it, “James Buchanan and many other libertarians are anti-democratic and that their supposed opposition to Brown v. Board of Education helps prove the charge.”  I urge you to read Ilya’s essay in full – it’s not long – so I’ll not here give more of a summary.

But I will take a moment to express again my astonishment at how blithely Nancy MacLean and, now, at least some of her defenders simply make up tales (or are barraged by delusions) and present them as facts.  I was startled to read Darity’s description of Ilya as “one of Buchanan’s younger lieutenants.”  Ilya, too, was startled:

Before going to the substance, it’s worth disposing of a side issue: far from being one of James Buchanan’s “lieutenants,” I never even met him or communicated with him. My only connection to him is that I am a libertarian who teaches at the same university, and my work is heavily influenced by public choice theory (to which Buchanan was a major contributor). But it is actually much more heavily influenced by left of center public choice scholars Anthony Downs and Mancur Olson. There are many more citations to Olson and Downs in my work than Buchanan. One could more plausibly say that I am one of Olson’s “lieutenants” than Buchanan’s, though in truth I never met either man.

I do wish that those who boast of being members of the “reality-based community” would become more reality-based.