Coop interviewed by Reason TV

Our pal Coop is interviewed in the latest edition of Reason TV.
Reason's Brian Doherty sat down with internationally renowned underground artist Chris "Coop" Cooper in Reason's LA studios to discuss discuss everything from intellectual property and censorship to the inspiration for Coop's radical art project. Cooper, who provided the cover illustration to the December 2012 issue of Reason, is one of the most prolific and provocative designers and artists working today. For more information, visit Doherty is the author of This is Burning Man and, most recently, The Ron Paul rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.



  1. Much respect to coop but his position that lazily mashing together two things don’t constitute an original piece (which I sympathize with as an artistic argument more than as an IP argument) is undermined by sporting a herzog/Danzig mash up tshirt.

    1. Not to mention by Duchamp’s ‘In Advance of the Broken Arm’ and ‘Fountain’ and so many other works.

  2. Ron Paul vanished from public life overnight when Anonymous revealed his presidential campaign was working hand in hand with several white supremacist groups. Now Rand Paul uses segregationist buzzwords like “nullification.”

    But yeah he’s right about certain parts of the country.  SC was talking about starting a civil war pretty much as soon as the Revolutionary War ended, they were obviously gung-ho for the Civil War, as soon as the Civil War ended they were talking about starting another civil war, and it continues to this day.

    1. Libertarianism goes back to when the income tax was introduced, and wealthy people started sponsoring the academics, crackpots, and various magazines to push the gold standard and alternatives to the income tax.  There was never any golden age of original thought to the movement – it’s always been pretty much exactly what you see today, going back 90 years.  At the grassroots, there’s a big revenge fantasy component about how they will have the last laugh when money is suddenly worthless. The white supremacist attraction is pretty obvious when Ron Paul said that civil rights laws should not apply to businesses because …ummm… freedom.

      1. Yes, the nsfwcorp piece on Libertarianism’s true beginnings vs. its mythology is essential:

        “It starts just after the end of World War Two, when America’s industrial and financial giants, fattened up from war profits, established a new lobbying front group called the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) that focused on promoting a new pro-business ideology—which it called “libertarianism”— to supplement other business lobbying groups which focused on specific policies and legislation.

        The FEE is generally regarded as “the first libertarian think-tank” as Reason’s Brian Doherty calls it in his book “Radicals For Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern Libertarian Movement” (2007). As the Buchanan Committee discovered, the Foundation for Economic Education was the best-funded conservative lobbying outfit ever known up to that time, sponsored by a Who’s Who of US industry in 1946.

        A partial list of FEE’s original donors in its first four years includes: The Big Three auto makers GM, Chrysler and Ford; top oil majors including Gulf Oil, Standard Oil, and Sun Oil; major steel producers US Steel, National Steel, Republic Steel; major retailers including Montgomery Ward, Marshall Field and Sears; chemicals majors Monsanto and DuPont; and other Fortune 500 corporations including General Electric, Merrill Lynch, Eli Lilly, BF Goodrich, ConEd, and more.

        The FEE was set up by a longtime US Chamber of Commerce executive named Leonard Read, together with Donaldson Brown, a director in the National Association of Manufacturers lobby group and board member at DuPont and General Motors.

        That is how libertarianism started: As an arm of big business lobbying.”

        1. GM distributed a comic book version of FA Hayek’s “The Road To Serfdom” which basically said (in comic book form) that the minimum wage and health benefits were the first step in the slippery slope to liberal death camps. Never mind that this has not happened in Europe, Hayek’s followers still cling to this comic book version of his work.

          It goes back further than that to people like Albert Jay Nock who pushed the Georgeist property tax plan and wrote “Our Enemy The State” in 1935.  In his 70s in 1945 (right before Pearl harbor) he wrote an article that was very antisemitic and that ended his career.


          1. Yeah, I think Ame’s piece concentrates on when it got a real foothold and serious financial backing.

  3. “Goofy leftism”

    This from a Ron Paul fanboi host who believes in a manufactured (by big business lobbyists), fantasy, faux-philosophy like Libertarianism. The very definition of “goofy” if it just wasn’t more dangerous thanks to the authoritarian oligarchs, white supremacists, and racist extremists that naturally find an affinity with it.

    At first I was pleasantly surprised because I’d watched most of the interview and it was refreshingly only really about art and none of the naif-ish Libertarian garbage that (propaganda mill) Reason usually represents and clumsily pimps for their wealthy donors (like The Kochs), but then of course he drops the dumb-bomb at the very end of the interview. Have to say I’m disappointed. I’ve always admired Coop’s work and he’s a fellow FOT. Was kind of saddened to see him play along with Doherty’s “goofy leftism” opening gambit, which was obviously a (weak) attack on the people in Coop’s sphere: artists, creatives etc.

    1.  One of RP’s main supporters went on to found OathKeepers, which is a gun obsessed 2nd Amendment crowd that is drifting further and further into really crackpot political theories close to the Sovereign Citizens.

      Many of those people are stockpiling guns and ammo for 3 scenarios:
      1) The apocalyptic showdown with the US government
      2) The apocalyptic showdown with the United Nations
      3) The apocalyptic race war that would be triggered by drastic budget cuts, because you can’t get to Libertarian Utopia without spilling some blood.

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