You may have seen that the Charles Koch Institute sent an email defending the Kochs’ attempt to size control of the Cato Institute. As one would expect, the Kochs’ describe their lawsuit in self-righteously and sanctimoniously, as a defense of the very rule of law:
….Charles and David are absolutely committed to libertarian principles and the libertarian issues Cato works on. They merely want the integrity of the shares, the original structure that all parties agreed to, upheld and for Cato’s officers and directors to act in a manner consistent with the principles the organization was founded on. As you know, a key principle of libertarianism is recognizing and respecting the rule of law….
For the full text of the email, see Dave Weigel’s Hot, Fresh Koch Damage Control.
The rule of law….as though every shareholder dispute implicates a conflict between law and the alternatives of utter disorder or abject tyranny. That’s simply absurd, but proof of how vainglorious the Kochs have become.
If the Kochs, themselves, are in court, after all, they may be reassured that the rule of law is not in jeopardy. This is a question of a contractual interpretation under the law, and a larger question about what’s right for libertarianism.
Claiming that the primacy of law itself is endangered begs these questions: are the Kochs so grandiose that they believe their own rhetoric, or do they think everyone else is so stupid as to to believe it?
Those who seek to subordinate the Cato Institute to the political interests of Americans for Prosperity, for example, may call themselves libertarians, but it’s a hollow, incredible claim.