Expert on Ukrainian Politics Speaks

Tom DiLorenzo, a former economist, has issued a fatwa on the Lew Rockwell blog: Viktor Yushchenko is a lying CIA tool, as are millions of other Ukrainians. DiLorenzo has applied to the Ukrainian political crisis the same attention to getting all the facts right that he applied to his book about Abraham Lincoln.

Thanks to DiLorenzo, we can all now refer to Viktor Yushchenko as “their (losing) candidate, a neocon/CIA stooge.” Ever the logician, DiLorenzo assumes that if Yushchenko wants to move out from under Russian domination, accelerate privatization, and get under the NATO umbrella, he must be a “neocon/CIA stooge.” (Of course, there’s that matter of his pledge to withdraw Ukrainian troops from Iraq, but that just shows what a very clever double-secret double agent he really is.)

P.S. For an interesting review of DiLorenzo’s The Real Lincoln : A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, Charles Adams’ When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession, and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel’s Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War by a historian, see Daniel Feller, “Libertarians in the Attic, OR a Tale of Two Narratives,” in Reviews in American History, 32 (June 2004), pp. 184-95. (By the time he’s done, little of DiLorenzo’s work is left standing; Hummel, in contrast, gets the appreciation of one serious historian for another, despite the general disagreement that Hummel and Feller would probably have over substantive political goals.) Or see the review by Richard M. Gamble, who is much more sympathetic to DiLorenzo’s professed political philosophy, but who feels forced to conclude that the book is “a travesty of historical method and documentation” (Richard M. Gamble review of The Real Lincoln in The Independent Review, Vol. 7, No. 4, Spring 2003).

3 Responses to “Expert on Ukrainian Politics Speaks”

  1. I had no idea there were so many feuds amongst libertarians. I seriously initially thought that all libertarians were able to sit down together and complain about taxes. This keeps it interesting, I like it!

  2. Mat��?�¢?�ºj ��?��� uster

    What Gamble actually wrote:

    “As it stands, The Real Lincoln is a travesty of historical method and documentation. (…) Ironically, it is ESSENTIALLY CORRECT IN EVERY CHARGE it makes AGAINST Lincoln, making it all the more frustrating to the sympathetic reader. DiLorenzo’s love of the chase needs to be tempered by scrupulous attention to detail. Without it, his good work collapses.”

    Yet another subtle manipulation and dishonesty on your part, Mr. Palmer? 🙂

  3. Tom G. Palmer

    Had I wanted to manipulate and be dishonest, I would not have included the link to the full article, would I? 🙂

    Anyone can read the review and/or the book (to which I also linked) for himself and make up his own mind.

    Let me add that the point that Gamble is making is important. Starting with a conclusion, whether correct or not, and then piling on claim after claim after claim without checking their veracity is not scholarship. I agree that Abraham Lincoln unleashed terrible forces that proved to be quite destructive. He was not as progressive as he is often portrayed on matters of racial equality (much like his detractors on the Lew Rockwell site). He did great damage to the Constitution. But one shouldn’t falsify history to make such a charge. For example, the charge that slavery had nothing to do with the war between the states or with southern secession is patently false. It’s easy to check; in the resolutions of the seceding states slavery is presented as an important ground for secession. (That’s one reason that I have no sympathy with southern revisionists; the south seceded to keep other human beings in chains, not to enjoy freedom, but to deny it.)

    If you want to read a serious book by a real historian who is also quite critical of Lincoln and of the decision to go to war, read Jeffrey Rogers Hummel’s Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men ( It’s a serious work of history, as Daniel Feller shows in his review of the three books mentioned above.

    Few things are as damaging to truth as sloppy, careless, throw-anything-at-the-wall-and-hope-some-of-it-sticks pseudoscholarship of the sort that Tom DiLorenzo practices. Now, how to tie that in with the hateful remarks that DiLorenzo makes about people in other countries (setting aside the people he slimes in the U.S.)? His utter carelessness about facts is of a piece with the carelessness he and his comrades display about the implications of taking stands on policies. Thus, if you oppose U.S. interventionism, you must oppose and slime those who may benefit from it, such as Hamid Karzai, the volunteers of the Iraqi National Guard, or the liberal democratic movements in Serbia, Georgia, or Ukraine. In contrast, I was against including the Czech Republic in NATO, for example, because I don’t think that the U.S. should remain in NATO and be responsible for the defense of more and more countries, but I understand why many Czechs supported it and I did not consider my Czech classical liberal friends to be enemies if they supported NATO expansion. (In fact, I would not have had a problem with including Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, not to mention the nation-states that joined later, had the U.S. at the same time withdrawn and made it a European defense pact.) If the U.S. stays in NATO (a certainty) I would oppose including Ukraine in NATO, too, but I understand quite well why many Ukrainians would like to be let in. It’s despicable to denounce a brave man such as Viktor Yushchenko as a “neocon/CIA stooge” because he wants Ukraine to go one way and Tom DiLorenzo wants it to go another.