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Democracy in Chains Author Nancy MacLean Calls Autism a Leading Cause of Libertarianism

Screenshot via Joe Friendly / YoutubeNancy MacLean, the Duke University historian who wrote Democracy in Chains, the deeply conspiratorial and much-criticized biography of public choice economist James Buchanan, told an audience in New York last week that Buchanan and other early leaders of the limited-government movement “seem to be on the autism spectrum.”

According to MacLean, there is a connection between autism and libertarianism, and that connection is not feeling “solidarity or empathy,” and having “kind of difficult human relationships sometimes.” The implication is that libertarianism is similarly cold and unfeeling, and attracts people who don’t care about others.

This decidedly unempathetic assertion was MacLean’s answer to a question from the audience at NYC’s Unitarian Church of All Souls: “Where do [Buchanan’s] motivations lie? Are they ones of personal greed? It seems like it’s a little grander, is it malevolence?”

Democracy in Chains, it will be helpful to know, makes


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