Pretty much anything coming from the CATO institute can pretty much be dismissed out of hand. You already know how it will read. The answer is less government regulation. Let the free market decide. Let’s all put our entire lives in the hands of businessmen and their personal profit interest will somehow benefit us all, just like it did in Victorian Britain. Anything CATO might say that is objectively true can most likely be found coming from a dozen other sources which aren’t otherwise full of shit.
Now when it comes to an article with the headline “Vladimir Putin ‘wants to regain Finland’ for Russia, adviser says,” you might ask why I even bring up the CATO institute. Well as it turns out, the former adviser to Putin now works as an adviser to CATO. I’m not going to get deep into CATO’s position on Russia, but suffice to say it is typical free trade bullshit complete with a suggestion that Russia get off the ruble. I’m not sure what they’re supposed to use instead. Might they suggest that a major industrial power use a foreign currency? Could they actually believe that any country not experiencing Zimbabwe-like conditions would take such a proposal seriously? I don’t know and I don’t care. Suffice to say that the adviser, one Andrei Illarionov, is ridiculously alarmist.
The hysteria-inducing article is clearly bullshit, predicated on the idea that Putin is planning to restore the Russian Empire. For the historically challenged, that was larger than the Soviet Union, even after the annexation of the three Baltic States. Much like how Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait was naturally supposed to be a precursor to an idiotic invasion of Saudi Arabia, it is just assumed that Putin’s moves in the Crimea will lead to an invasion of Ukraine. This article takes it one step further into idiocy and suggests that he will basically invade every former Soviet territory. Shit why stop there? Why not say he’s going to go after all the former Warsaw Pact countries as well?
Of course at this point someone will say, “but the source was an adviser to Putin himself!” Right, which means he can get all kinds of fat deals from various think tanks and governments so long as he tells them what they want to hear. One thing Putin is certainly not, is an idiot. He’s the smartest man in the Russian government by far. He knows there is no way he can pick a fight with NATO over Finland. Finland alone could make the Soviet performance of the early phase of the 1939 Winter War look like a smashing success on par with Operation Bagration.
One disturbing quote comes from the end of the article:
“We must offer resistance by all means available,” he said. “I’m not a bloodthirsty person, but there is sometimes no other way than military power to stop an opponent. The only answer to pure aggression is demonstrating willingness to offer a collective defence.”
This is why you should tell libertarians to fuck off when they swear that they’re anti-war. Yeah yeah, I know not all libertarians support the views of the CATO institute, but those who don’t tend to be even more batshit insane, self-entitled, and utterly detached from reality. The ideology has no redeeming qualities because it is essentially a bullshit worldview concocted by intellectuals funded by the super-rich, for distribution among the middle and working classes.
And Andrei, if you want a war, I suggest you pick up a weapon.