Young libertarians arriving in DC quickly learn about the byzantine fractures and feuds that divide the mostly irrelevant political movement. A main division is that everyone who works in the beltway has disdain for the uncouth, racist knuckle-draggers who love Ron Paul and live out in the hinterland and have probably never even tried out a CrossFit regimen or a polyamorous love-triangle.

Within the beltway, however, libertarianism has a cultivated, cosmopolitan image, helped along by a strong commitment to higher levels of immigration, one shared by Charles Koch himself.

But beltway libertarianism has its own skeletons in its closets. Cockburn’s archival research team has unearthed a letter from F. A. Harper, the founder of the Institute for Humane Studies, indicating that he was a big fan of a white racialist magazine and passed out copies as samples. The recipient is Willis Carto, for decades America’s most important white nationalist, who at the time the letter was received was the editor of Western Destiny. Harper apparently wanted to add a full run to the IHS’s library.

The second paragraph was clipped and reprinted as a letter to the editor in Western Destiny. But as far as this writer can identify, the first paragraph has not been made public yet. It is interesting because it reveals that Harper was a big fan of the publication.

‘I find on a present search that apparently my stock of copies of WESTERN DESTINY has been depleted by giving them away as samples. Would it be possible to obtain copies for a complete set to replace the samples given away, to protect for binding for our reference library? We should have a complete set from the beginning.’

The only thing that makes this anything more than a weird historical curiosity is that Harper is Charles Koch’s favourite economist. Koch gave his eulogy. It sure seems like this ambassador of ‘conscious capitalism’ has a lot of affection for a vicious racist who wanted to repatriate blacks to Africa!