So farewell then Catallaxyfiles! One of Australia’s last surviving collective political blogs has stopped publishing, the domain is closed, and the National Library now holds their thousands of backpages.
What a rich coprolite yield it will be! Catallaxy was a site for the right – initially of a wonkish classical liberal type (the term is from Hayek, for spontaneous order).
Early prominent figures included Andrew Norton, Jason Soon and Tasmanian Austrian economics obsessive Rafe Champion. But the rarefied and wonkish tone early contributors sought, rather like a US Cato Institute, bow ties and pipes sort of thing, began to muddy as simple reactionaries piled in, such as right-wing troll Professor Bunyip (jesus!), IPA bloke Alan Moran (sacked for Islamophobic tweets) and others.
Norton and Soon left years ago. Judith Sloan joined for a while, presumably for less money than the $400+k p.a, The Oz gives her for her strangely spectrumy writing.
But the place really went on the turn when RMIT professor Steve Kates became its lead poster. Kates is a Canadian economist, an obsessive on Say’s Law, and eventually became an Obama birther and a Trump fanatic (it was outside a launch of his self-published collection of his blog posts on Trump that Andrew Bolt was assaulted by two anarchists a few years ago – on the reasonable principle that Trump had pretty much called for the assault of journalists.
Was it this stuff that caused the last Hayekian to pull the plug? And what does it say about right-wing ideas of spontaneous order that they can’t keep a blog going?