Cristiano Chiocca, Mises Brazil president, received our staff at his new head office and held true to the Chiocca’s Family good host reputation. Cristiano, who always mixed discretion with a very particular sense of humor, didn´t refuse to answer any question and has clarified some of the recent controversies and rumors about Mises Brazil. The public, that has been shocked by the Institute misleading and the silence ofthe Chiocca´s brothers, now have the chance to elucidate it all. Follow the enlightening conversation in full:
Hi Cristiano. Thank you for having us here. Mises Brazil has just launched its website at a new domain, where two notes have been published explaining Helio Beltrão´s departure from the Institute and your election as president. Tell us what happened.
– Thank you for this opportunity. I will begin with the last point: my l election as president of the institute. This act was a nothing more than a formality. The concession of the president title to Helio has never been more than a simple gesture of gratitude for all his financial support for the Institute that I have envisioned and created along with my brothers. The president figure has always been merely honorific, and that is why it was conferred to Helio, as an act of kindness. On a daily basis, for the first five years, Mises Brasil’s face and imprint had always been given by the Chiocca´s brothers and Leandro Roque, website editor and translator. However, as a result of the mess generated by the increasingly disturbed Helio’s interventions, and due to the fact he arrogated to himself an unsuitable role, now the president figure has become relevant, and I am going to put Mises Brazil again back on its natural track.
So the website is now at a new domain and the old domain is still on with the other website that holds the same name. Was this a quarrelsome disruption?
– Never from our end! Instituto Mises Brazil is now at a new domain because of a conflict created by Helio’s Institute. Anyway, on our launch day I sent a message asking Helio to return us our domain and to stop using our logo in their activities. I also asked for the return of the Facebook fanpage, created and administered by my brother Roberto until it successfully reached more than 100.000 likes. We are hoping that these devolutions can undo the public confusion as soon as possible, so Mises Brazil and Helio Beltrão’s Institute can follow their own paths.
Aren’t these paths the same one?
– Not at all. And here I want to take the opportunity to make a mea culpa to all austro-libertarian movement. After idealizing Mises Brazil I went after sponsors, and Helio offered a total financial support to an Institute similar to the Mises Institute from Alabama. At that moment, everything was too good to be true: a billionaire financing my idea with endless non-refundable resources? Wonderful! But maybe because I was already a full Austrian I have bypassed Friedman´s lesson that there is no free lunch! [laughs] With time Helio showed us that he wasn’t doing that for free.
What do you mean? Does Helio profits with Mises Brazil?
– A lot! In a way that not even all of his fortune could ever make it for him. Those who are familiar with the Maslow Piramid will get it easily. Helio already has all the money he needs. More money is always good, but it is not going to make any difference. What does matter for him are prestige and thoroughly recognition. He was a member of the “zero audience” Instituto Millenium (an organic establishment institution) and total intellectual nullity, although with a lot of money, as every other Millenium members. Mises Brazil gave him a legion of followers and a content aura that he, as Millenium member, would never get. The ideological radicalism and consistency produced by Mises Brazil gave him that. For Helio, and for his social environment, this was very important, and for this reason he allowed us to make our job in Mises Brazil as we wish. He was gaining prestige and I was watching my idea flourishing.
– Actually, now I see that there never was any balance to start with. It was only my naivety and that´s why I have made the mea culpa. In all our events, conferences and seminars Helio always placed himself on the figurative post of president as if it were formal. He never mentioned me as the originator neither mentioned the staff as worth of merit. This, in fact, never bothered me because I really don’t care, but there were his intentions being unveiled, and I was not sagacious enough to realize it. As Mises Brazil was growing and reaching the establishment gates, Helio started revealing that he hadn’t almost any affinity with the ideas advocated there. His Facebook posts were (and still are) abominations, products of his huge intellectual nullity. We were tired of refuting his posts with articles from the very same Institute that he “presided”.
– He never was! Theses such as “tax is not always theft”, “fractional reserve is not fraud”, “free market for ethics”, “kondratiev cycles”, “Austrian Fed”, “is legitimate for the state to own property”, “to be against secession per se” are some of the things that he truly believes, but are the opposite to everything that the Mises Institute advocates. Can anyone imagine Lew Rockwell, Mises or Rothbard rooting for something like “kondratiev cycles”? For us it was always very shameful to have as a president someone who, beside the fact that he is not a champion of the misesian praxeology, he doesn’t even know the epistemological foundation of the Austrian School either.
But to many Helio is taken for a sort of Brazilian John Galt of the libertarian movement.
– This is a myth that must be demolished. To begin with, if he were a successful entrepreneur he would be more like a Hank Rearden, but even that would still be very far from the true. Helio is an heir (and obviously there is nothing wrong with that). Curiously, however, is the fact that he is son and grandson of politicians. By the way, his father was president of the Petrobras and, in his private life, stockholder of a big petrochemical group. Thereby, to place Helio as a leader or model of a libertarian movement is like if 20 years from now Lulinha (Brazilian ex-president Lula son) would sponsor a classical liberal revolution and then become a liberalism icon. Helio belongs to the establishment and everything he does is to be accepted by and to rise into the establishment, never outside or against it. On the contrary, Rothbard and Lew Rockwell are anti-establishment to their very souls, and this is what Mises Brazil is all about. To place a figure from the establishment as a role model to the libertarian environment was a big mistake.
And when was it possible for you to realize all that?
– Mises Brazil was my idea that we presented to Helio and was founded by us in 2007 as a Portuguese version of Mises Institute, not by only translating its content but also using it as our intellectual guiding model. Ever since we have been able of keep the institute´s integrity and strict commitment to libertarian principles and misesian Austrian economics. But in the last couple of years we began to feel that Helio was assuming a diverting position. He had some strange reactions to controversial articles and tried to prohibit the topic “Libertarianism”. We felt that he was willing that the institute would only talk about “economics”, and in a way that would not be too confrontational with other Economic Schools, trying to stress out the similarities among them rather than the disparities – something like Professor Peter Boettke does at GMU. That’s why Helio insisted in having him at our last Conference. Helio also began to publicly support a new political party that claims to have Classical Liberal inspiration. Helio started an academic journal with the objective of getting into the academia, which to us is a naïve thing to do, not to mention a waste of money and resources. Helio declared he aims to influence public policies and to be respected by the media and the academia. He wants the press to consult Mises Brazil in the near future when they are seeking for economic advice. How preposterous!
Was there a fuse?
The quarrel with Helio escalated at the end of 2014, after our national election took place. Like in the US, we had “blue states” and “red states” and the subject of secession came naturally to the hot spot. Then Helio publicly stated that he was not for secession, prohibited Mises Brazil to publish anything about this topic for at least a month, saying that he was worried about how we could be seen by the “allowable opinion”. He was literally being interlineated by the 3×5 card of approved ideas. We didn’t accept that. It was a happy coincidence that the subject of Woods book about the “allowable opinion” and of the Mises Institute event about secession, helping us with our discussion at that time, showing without any doubt who was right and demonstrating what we always knew: Helio doesn’t have a clue of what the Mises Institute advocates. We proposed the detachment of the Mises Brazil sponsorship from the Mises Brazil management, in an attempt to get the institute back on track, and limiting Helio to his financial role. We also wanted to prevent Helio from trying to do what was way above his capacity and knowledge. The few ideas that Helio presented in the Mises Brazil beginning were solemnly disregarded. We made it work accordingly to what we believed it should be done leading to a successful result for the Institute.
And what was his reaction?
– That was when another myth was debunked: Helio as a well-balanced person. Helio had some sort of breakdown and made a scene making everyone in the room blush and feel sorry for him. Incapable to refute any of the exposed arguments, he started an infamous scandal. Helio is not used to deal with real men neither is he used to be contradicted, what has degenerated him into a pathetic and spoiled figure. He had been used to have a only flatterers and yes men cortege; he didn’t know that with the Chioccas things would be different. We never cared about his millions of dollars. Although we have always treated him respectfully, not only because he was the donor, we have always clashed with him over relevant issues. Over the years, the Chioccas´ opinions have prevailed. Just when it began to disturb Helio’s personal agenda we entered on a confrontation course.
And why things changed after this episode?
– Because our statement began to sound like an inconvenience to the projects he had for himself and for the Institute. He was thirsty for “respectability”, and to advocate radical ideas openly against the establishment was no longer opportune for him. In Helio´s view, with the sinking of the Brazilian Labor Party (PT) and the deterioration of the Brazilian Social-democratic Party (PSDB) will bring about a power vacuum, and he believes that some of this vacuum will be filled by the Brazilian new Party (NOVO) and its allies. He sees himself as a great leader of this movement and doesn’t want a radical Mises Brazil “to salt his game”. That’s why he pushed us out (or rather, he thinks that he did) and surrounded himself with nullities, best embodied in the perfect fraud of Rodrigo Marinho.
So you got out from the Institute? How was that? Weren´t you the majority there?
– We have never left! We have been cheated with a low swindler scheme from Helio. That is again another example of how owing hundreds of millions of dollars doesn’t make anyone nobler. It can dissemble for a while, but a cheater will always be a cheater. Due to bureaucratic details (always an obsession for Helio), the donor would be granted with legal authority over the Institute, and with this we have been summarily expelled. As we always had a trusty agreement between gentlemen and never care about statutory bureaucracy, we just disregarded this “coup d’etat” and displaced the one who wanted to alter the path that we have been following since we have started in 2007, when Mises Brazil was created.
Have you displaced Helio?
– Yes! You see, Helio hasn’t realized that all he has is the CNPJ, a government number, something we always regarded as useless. Mises Brazil is a homemade Institute and never needed or will need a stamp from a public department to exist or function. I had the idea and built up the Project. By the way, a letter from the Mises Institute authorizing translations was sent under my name. My brother Fernando made the crest that is a world success and delighted Lew Rockwell. The Facebook page, with more than 100.000 likes, was created and administered by my brother Roberto. The website model also has always been the one that we believed that would work best for us. Even the Tax Freedom Day is made in a friend of mine´s gas station. Indeed, Mises Brazil needs money to keep the website up and running and Helio’s endeless resources had helped a lot, of course, but now we are going to look for other sponsors to maintain Mises´ Brazil activities.
But what happens with Helio and the activities he has recently announced? Don’t they miss the point?
– Not at all! I immediately see there an amazing twofold opportunity to Helio, because there is room for everyone.
– Firstly, Helio has the opportunity to try out his freak thesis of the Austrian libertarianism being comparable to a starfish. And I mean freak because the Austrian libertarianism is not a headless movement that multiplies autonomously from a hierarchy. Austro-libertarianism follows a clear intellectual line coming from Mises, followed by Rothbard and today with Hoppe. Its spreading core is the Mises Institute at Auburn, and not the nonsense ideas that come from Helio´s mind. To name “Mises Brazil” anything that is against Mises Institute ideas is senseless, and that’s what Helio tried to do, but was prevented by our action.
And the second one?
– Last but not least, Helio has been given the opportunity to free himself from the inherent radicalism of Mises Brazil and Mises Institute. On his Première it became all too clear that his aim was to academize the Institute, even though there is no human resource for accomplish that, since virtually none of the professors appointed to this project fits the misesian/rothbardian praxeologic line. Mises Institute never arrogated itself the role of a university in the statist educational model and I was the first one to mention this on an 2010 article called UMB – Mises Brazil University – another idea that the cheater tried to steal from me – where I say that any course model would have to follow the Mises Institute model and that it never had to carry this academic eagerness that Helio thinks is so important. This eagerness is fostered just because he wants to acquire respectability because in fact he doesn’t care about the austro-libertarian content. Helio may have also been envisioning it as a bussiness, due to the fact that the website has a remarkable reach. However he will be selling one thing and delivering another because he is taking advantage of the Mises Brazil/Mises Institute ideas power while he is merely presenting its clothes but delivers a mixed content completely disconnected from those ideas. See how preposterous: the announced master’s program has names like Bruno Garschagen, on political sciences, and Alberto Oliva, on philosophy, although both of them have absolutely no compatibility with austro-libertarianism. On Economics they have the hayekians Ubiratan and Barbieri. Now with the distinction we are granting to Helio removing him from Mises Brazil, he is free to follow his plans and emulate CATO and GMU courses, ambition which he announced at his Première and that Ordem Livre (a CATO/Atlas institution) already does around here. None of these think tanks is narrowed by austro-libertarianism and are much more in line with the model he wishes to follow. After all, we have done a favor to Helio, because he doesn’t need to lie anymore to a public who seeks methodologic soundness and principled commitment. Mises Brazil is not, never have been and never will be an academic institution.
This goes along your note announcing the Mises Brazil new board, where you stress the fact that Mises Brazil is not an academic institution and emphasizes that the Academic Journal Mises is a separated project from Helio. Could you explain it better? Isn’t Mises Brazil devoted to education?
– Excellent and well timed question! At the moment the Helio Beltrão Institute (or HBI, as we called it) proclaims untruthfulness in that “Première”, presented in a text full of filthy lies, like when he claims that Mises Brazil was founded to contribute to the academia. Mises Brazil has always meant to ignore the academic world and reach directly the ideas’ public (educated laymen), as Hoppe told us several times, even acknowledging that to try to influence the academia is a naivety and a waste of energy and resources. The Academic Journal has this naive aim and that is why it is detached from Mises Brazil. It also represents a desperate seeking for mainstream academic acceptance, trying to gain respectability in print valued only by those who care more with titles and degrees than ideas. Another role of the journal is to grant “points” in the very academy for those few Brazilian Austrian professors, by the way they are professors that have other incompatibility with Mises Brazil: they are ultimately hayekians rather than misesians/rothbardians (exception made only to professor Mueller, more influenced by Rothbard and a Mises Institute Associated Scholar). On the other hand, Mises Brazil, as well as the Mises Institute, has always followed the praxeological economic line that comes directly from Mises and Rothbard, essentially divergent from that of Hayek´s, who despised praxeology. Professor Salerno, academic vice president of the Mises Institute (position occupied by Rothbard in the past) is the one that best explained the differences between these two lines, dismisses as a waste of time professor Iorio and Barbieri efforts to unite Hayek and Mises. Mises Brazil will consistently keep following the misesian/rothbardian praxeological line, today represented by the Mises Institute and its Scholars in the figures of Hoppe, Salerno, Herbener, Gordon, Woods and so on.
So attempts to influence the academia will always fail?
– Due to the academic world´s own structure, the austro-libertarian ideas will never prevail there. Mises and Rothbard have never been recognized by the academic mainstream, being relegated to unimportant positions seeing their ideas being always ignored and despised. This doesn’t mean that Helio’s project will fail. I think it will not, because it won´t have austro-libertarian content, but a model that compress classical liberal ideas. That’s why we helped him by taking him off the Mises Brazil.
But aren’t you classical liberals?
– We have never been. Surely as an individual I have been a classical liberal, however after I have found Mises Institute I have learned that classical liberalism failed on its own contradictions, and have been corrected, overcome and replaced by libertarianism. We are libertarians and at the time we founded Mises Brazil we already were libertarians. We hoped to do to others what the Mises Institute did for us: to correct this classical liberal intellectual mistake. After study the austro-libertarianism disseminated by Mises Institute/Mises Brazil, there is no way an intellectually righteous man can keep being a classical liberal. Mises was the last Knight of liberalism. His student Rothbard unified misesian economic Science with the anarchist tradition, given rise to the austro-libertarianism that supersedes his mentor liberalism. In fact, we are relentless critics of classical liberals, and not their allies. Furthermore, the current resurrection of Classical Liberal Institutes in Brazil is a big mistake! A short historical analysis shows that in the 1980’s they rouse powerfully, but when the 1990’s privatizations came about they disappeared, for their agenda had been completed. Actually, liberalism lacks a stronger repulse to the democratic tyranny and to the state, and it is what fundamentally distinguishes it from libertarianism.
But you said there is room for everyone…
– (interrupting) Look, with all the movement growth and idea dissemination it was inevitable that certain figures would want to take a ride on its success. That’s why we see total nullities like Rodrigo Marinho who behaves like a velcroid trying to be in all places at the same time. However this, besides predictable, has a good side as well: ideas like the academic and political projects would be unavoidable. The big problem is to mix this with Mises Brazil, but now, with the new board, this risk is prevented. Like happens in the US with CATO, Atlas Foundation, Reason, etc., here in Brazil each one will stay in its field. Helio’s megalomania and personal project of be a “leader” tried to implicate Mises Brazil on this, but we don’t let that happen. This kind of conflict between institutes and lines of thought was predictable, in the same way that happened and happens in the US. To show this we are going to translate and publish David Gordon article about the conflict between Rothbard and the Koch brothers, and I have to say that any resemblance in not just a coincidence! (laughs)
You mentioned professor Peter Boettke name, and Helio mentioned him as well in his Institute Première. Furthermore, Boettke was one of the stars in last year Mises Brazil Conference. Why?
– This case is symbolic and reveals clearly the distiction between Mises Brazil and Helio Institute. Moreover, the 2014 Conference has already been a huge deviation for what Mises Brazil stands for. Boettke is not afiliated to the Mises Institute, rather he is an academic fusionist who repudiates praxeology. Apart from André Ramos, Leandro Roque and Ron Paul speeches, the rest was totally heterodox. Helio own speech was a total fiasco, leaving the public astonished with a T0-T1 ceteris paribus.
Anything else about this Première?
– Yes. The Première marked and anticipated our measures. Like I said in other answer, they lied blatantly in the Première announcement stating that Mises Brazil was founded by people concerned with the academic state. But not everything in that Première was a lie: when the C.O.O. stressed that now they are starting a new Institute, he was being absolutely precise because IHB is a new Institute indeed, totally different from Mises Brazil. Here we will keep the old and good Mises Brazil, at the same pace of Mises Institute and in the austro-libertarian tradition. I have noticed that they are changing the crest, maybe motivated by the request I have made and helping to disipate the confusion they created to the public. Furthermore, this change is emblematic for another reason: to have Rothbard´s face on the crest always have been an annoyance to Helio, for the radicalism in rothbardian ideas doesn’t match with the liberal leader image that Helio wants to sell. A further point that demonstrate very well the distance between Mises Brazil and IHB was the very Première opening: it was presented by an IFL member, and this alone is enough to show the difference.
– Helio always had a obsession for IFL/IEE (entrepreneur institutes). His dream was to have an IFL or an IEE, not an Mises Brazil. As a figure from the establishment, Helio always wanted to emulate his pairs and understood how Gerdau (steel king) has done it. In fact, this is usual. Salim Matar (rent car king) reproduced it in Belo Horizonte, but because São Paulo lacked this initiative, Helio used his network to promot IFL there. Heirs and businessmen groups (well established) have always been Helio´s social environment and for whom he desired to show up as an intellectual figure. And businessmen groups are totally different from an intellectual fruition Institute as Mises Brazil. Entrepreneurs are never an intellectual reference. This role must be occupied by unselfish and serious intellectuals, apart from their professional activities, if some. Moreover, again with the Première, another outstanding episode was when Helio interrupted Rodrigo Marinho presentation, Rodrigo said: “might is right, and obey whoever is sensible”. This is exactly what Helio wants from his members: adulation and submission.
But businessmen are Institute donors, even to Mises Institute.
– Yes. And this is precisely the role that they must have. If we look at the not so distant São Paulo Liberal Institute history, we find that it was an Institute created and managed by businessmen and that they had some “success” in reaching the public, whereas it hold events for more than 2.000 people during the 1980’s. However, it isn’t just an irony that one of its exponents and leader of São Paulo Liberal Institute was Eugenio Staub, from Gradiente, was one of the first businessmen to board into Lula presidential race; like that is the fact that Afif Domingos is Dilma Roussef minister. The very Gerdau was Petrobras adviser during these recent dark times. Finally, to be a Mises Brazil donor the businessman must has to understand our purpose, left the intellectual role to intellectuals, take a good care of his businness and to have Faith in the power of ideas to a more free and prosperous society. We are not going to fall in the same mistakes again.
And you see yourself as an intellectual?
– Clearly not! I have never had such an illusion. We always left no doubt that there were nobody in Brazil to be an intellectual like there are at the Mises Institute, insomuch that in our firt three conferences the keynote speakers were always from the Mises Institute (Rockwell, Woods and Salerno in the first; Hoppe, Klein and Murphy in the second; Block and Tucker in the third). Our source always has been Woods, Hoppe, Gordon, Rothbard, Salerno and others from the Mises Institute. There is still too much to be done to build intellectual elite. Now Helio wants to impute this role to him, even though he doesn’t understand, not even remotely, how this process is done.
Who finance you?
– Our doors are open (laughs). With Helio departure we lost an easy money source, but actually it was being too expensive. Now we are relying on donations from some friends from the beginning of the movement that were outraged by the routes Helio was taking with Mises Brazil. The incoherences had already became incompatible with any serious posture, and people were comming to me and my brothers asking what the hell was going on with Mises Brazil. Moreover, this financial issue was one more clue that I could not get at the time. Since Mises Brazil beginning any attempt to bring new donors to the Institute frightened Helio and he put a stop on all of them. It was a clear sign that he doesn’t wanted any other donor that could diminish his position inside the Institute. I could mention an episode where we had (and still have) a project to translate important books from the Mises Institute and we would ask Salim Matar for financing it. Helio trembled before this idea and sabotaged systematically this initiative. Anyway, to get back to your question and taking the opportunity I want to say that we are accepting new donor, but now we have learned a lesson: the donor doesn’t take part of the staff, although of having a vital importance.
– Because it is how he would take the power. We always had a trusty relationship and a gentlemen agreement. Notwithstanding he insisted on a bureaucratic statute and used to send us uneventful any change in it for us to sign. In one of these there was a clause granting votes for donor according to the amount of money they put in. We signed it without worry, considering it to be a matter of fiscal question, to justify the donations to the IRS. And that was how he cheated us, and thinks he had done it successfully. In fact, all he got only for himself was not the MIses Brazil, but just a CNPJ.
You mentioned “cheating” and lately it was around social media the Roberto Barricelli episode, where he was accused of steal Mises Brazil money. Could you talk about that?
– I can talk placidly about that, for it was the first Helio action after take full control of the IHB. As soon as Helio expelled us from his “CNPJ” and choose to follow his path away from Mises Brasil (believing he was doing this with Mises Brazil), he hired Barricelli, a despicable figure from the libertarian environment. During the same meeting that he had the breakdown we firmly opposed this action, telling him he would ruin Mises Brazil reputation by doing that. Said and done. IHB had a bad start, but I hope that with all the investment Helio is doing on his academic projects he can overcome this episode. However, what matter is that before Helio, Barricelli is just an apprentice.
Since you are clearing things up, the above episode has something to do with the episode involving Rodrigo Constantino? What happened back there?
– Yes and no. There are similarities and distinctions. Constantino also wished to transform Mises Brazil in something else. But contrary to the presented situation, Constantino left and over time was able to find a bigger audience to his talent. However Helio lacks talent. Without Mises Brazil he is bound by his limitation. Thus, instead of recognizing Mises Brazil is not what he wants, he strived to modify its nature and purpose. Anyway, Constantino episode is useful to Helio realizes he can success without Mises Brazil.
You have mentioned ideological disputes between US institutes. Recently Helio has been interviewed by the Mises Intitute and has honored Lew Rockwell. Does the Americans know what is going on down here?
– They don’t, and this gives me the chance to say that we are going to translate this interview to English and clarify this dispute to them, letting anyone interested to know. Furthermore, Helio lied on that interview claiming that Kim Kataguiri is a libertarian (“100% libertarian”, he says) when he gave an analysis of the movements here in Brazil. Kim already reiterated countless times his disparities with libertarianism and nowadays it isn’t open to discussion anymore: he is not a libertarian and we can live with that. Helio’s Reason to lie is something that makes me wonder. Regarding the tribute to Lew, it is only strategy. If Helio actually wished to honor Lew Rockwell, he should start listening his podcast or reading LRC, something he never did. I doubt Helio has ever entered his website. By the way, none of the new IHB members follow, read or listen to Woods, Lew, Hoppe and so on. The C.O.O. and Helio kept saying “think tank” when talking about Mises Brazil, provig that they don’t have a clue aboutthe difference between both things.
Let’s now begin a series of questions about those who once have been in the Mises Brazil or are now at Helio Institute:
– I take him as a friend, but he never was an austro-libertarian. Bruno is more like an aristocratic intellectual, at its best meaning. I respect his position, but he is not in tune with Mises Brazil. We have canceled his podcast because unfortunately in Brazil there is no human resource enough to keep a show like that running. Bruno must have interviewed 6 or 8 austro-libertarians in his quasi 200 episodes. Besides those, the interviewees were classical liberals or conservatives or not even that.
– Alex is what I call a professional of institutes. At least there is a little decency left over in him, and clearly states that he is not an autro-libertarian. He never has been and never will be a Mises Brazil member. Only Helio’s muddle head toe ver consider such a thing. Alex went to the last Mises University, but scorn Hoppe and is a kirkian (Russel Kirk follower). Obviously, while in Auburn he didn’t dare to state this out and loud, what would be too shameful. He was there only to take pictures and then dump every Facebook group with spams. However his bussiness is well known: he jumps from Institute to Institute, for as much tie as the money last. Instituto Liberal, Acton, Kirk Center, etc. Now he found a billionaire like Helio (a toady dependent) pouring a fortune into his Institute. His sharpened sense perceived this opportunity. I have to say that none of this prevent him of being savant and capable, although not lined up with Mises Brazil.
– I wouldn’t recommend her as a translator.
– A hopeless case that fits perfectly with what Helio needs for his Institute. Marinho is a complete nullity, never have been and never will be a Mises Brazil member for he hardly knows what it is about. He is a liberal agitator and nothing more. Yet, when I see someone like him, I cannot avoid helping, and if I am not going to make of him an austro-libertarian, personally at least I would recommend him not to call “beloved friend” people he barely knows. It not sounds good and expose his falsehood. After all, we cannot wait for decency from an opportunist like that, but another thing he should do if he had any notion about what Mises Brazil is, would be ask for his “book” removal from Helio Institute books. Can anyone imagine Mises Institute Publishing something like that!
– A good IEE (entrepreneurs Institute) member. He is someone who had the intellectual tenacity to go beyond Gerdau meetings and went study what really matters. IEE only grows with him.
– A good employee. And speaking about Austrian credentials, he can easily be considered an economist.
– Ubiratan is a university teacher. Here it is important to clarify the huge distinction between an intellectual and a college professor. They are completely different things. To be an university professor is a professional occupation. That being said, it is important to contextualize: in spite of having few professors more or less in tune with the Austrian School, that doesn’t mean they belong to the cultural and intellectual movement started by Rothbard. Professor Mueller would be more in this line. I believe today that Ubiratan is part of Helio plans to influence the academy. However, the fact of be associated or not with the academy always have been irrelevant for Mises Brazil.
And what about professor Barbieri?
– I was going to mention him. Barbieri is the perfect example of how this Helio’s institute is far from MI/IMB. Barbieri believes that Peter Boettke (who is not from MI) to be the best Austrian economist in the world. At the same time he thinks that professor Hoppe (a total unanimity among MI associates) to be the worst. This is another emblematic symptom that we are Instituto Mises Brazil and that Helio doesn’t have the slightest idea of what MI/IMB is all about.
– The C.O.O? Nothing. He is not familiar with the austro libertarian milieu. He is an employee that maybe Helio needs for his institute. Its preposterous for IMB to have a C.O.O. or something like that. Not even the MI has such highest-ranking executive position! This is coming from Helio’s disturbed mind. Only Helio could possibly picture Mises Brazil as a Washington D.C. think tank. I even felt sorry for him when I watched him announcing the Mises Club membership categories. Bruno Garschagen wittily said that they were very similar to Amway’s.
– I believe I´ve already said everything that I had to say about him, but a fact can´t go unnoticed. Someone told me – and I don’t want to believe it – that it seems that now you can purchase the book Human Action and get it autographed by him! I want to believe that I must have misunderstood the whole thing and he is not possessed by such megalomania.
Alright, so what are the news and plans for Mises Brazil? What is next?
– The first thing I did was to ask the members of the Instituto Helio Beltrão if they would be so kind to return the domain from our website and Facebook fanpage and stop bearing our logo. I ask Bruno to change the name of his podcast. I also have asked them to change the name of their magazine. It is evident that without money, our activities will be kept to a minimum scale until we can find sponsors and afford a dedicated and exclusive translator. It is important to emphasize that all Mises Institutes around the world, inspired by our model, have very scarce activities. I used to think that they did not have the good luck that we did, meeting the right billionaire. Now I see that they are much more in touch with reality than we used to be. Books will be the same and soon enough we will provide a “print-on-demand” system. No autographs (laughs). This is also a very important matter: Helio has always wanted a publishing house, what is in disagreement with the model of MI. Mises Institute has hundreds of books, and the majority of them are available online free of charge. The idea of a publishing house is a way of getting track of all the books and to stop the freely dissemination of their contents. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that our public will now be smaller but that doesn’t bother us at all. While Helio has always gone for quantity, we went for quality. And that – most definitely – will no longer be an issue. We will keep the library and the entire content of our site as an open resource.
And what if they don´t return neither the site nor the Facebook fanpage or comply with your other solicitations?
– This is only going to cause more mess and misunderstanding among our public, making it difficult to spread the ideas of austro-libertarianism. But we are in Brazil. I´ve never had imagined that it would be easy and this is one more difficulty that we need to overcome. We will keep on going and I believe that, in a short period of time, the truthful austro-libertarian public will be able to tell one from the other with perfect clarity.
And why do you dedicate yourself to this project?
What moves me now is the same thing that has moved me in the beginning when I founded the institute: duty of conscience. I do this because that´s what needs to be done.