Murray Rothbard

Murray Rothbard

Overview
Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 and economist
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 of the Austrian School
Austrian School
The Austrian School of economics is a heterodox school of economic thought. It advocates methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments , the theory that money is non-neutral, the theory that the capital structure of economies consists of heterogeneous goods that have...

 who helped define capitalist libertarianism
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism is a libertarian and individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state in favour of individual sovereignty in a free market...

." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the American libertarian movement.

Building on the Austrian School's concept of spontaneous order
Spontaneous order
Spontaneous order, also known as "self-organization", is the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos. It is a process found in physical, biological, and social networks, as well as economics, though the term "self-organization" is more often used for physical and biological processes,...

, support for a free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 in money production
Money creation
In economics, money creation is the process by which the money supply of a country or a monetary region is increased due to some reason. There are two principal stages of money creation. First, the central bank introduces new money into the economy by purchasing financial assets or lending money...

 and condemnation of central planning, Rothbard advocated abolition of coercive
Coercion
Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

 government control of society and the economy.
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Quotations

"The more consistently Austrian an economist is, the better a writer he will be."

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."

Making Economic Sense (1995)
Encyclopedia
Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 and economist
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 of the Austrian School
Austrian School
The Austrian School of economics is a heterodox school of economic thought. It advocates methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments , the theory that money is non-neutral, the theory that the capital structure of economies consists of heterogeneous goods that have...

 who helped define capitalist libertarianism
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism is a libertarian and individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state in favour of individual sovereignty in a free market...

." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the American libertarian movement.

Building on the Austrian School's concept of spontaneous order
Spontaneous order
Spontaneous order, also known as "self-organization", is the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos. It is a process found in physical, biological, and social networks, as well as economics, though the term "self-organization" is more often used for physical and biological processes,...

, support for a free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 in money production
Money creation
In economics, money creation is the process by which the money supply of a country or a monetary region is increased due to some reason. There are two principal stages of money creation. First, the central bank introduces new money into the economy by purchasing financial assets or lending money...

 and condemnation of central planning, Rothbard advocated abolition of coercive
Coercion
Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

 government control of society and the economy. He considered the monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 force of government the greatest danger to liberty and the long-term well-being of the populace, labeling the State
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 as nothing but a "gang of thieves writ large"—the locus of the most immoral, grasping and unscrupulous individuals in any society.

Rothbard concluded that all services provided by monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s could be provided more efficiently by the private sector. He viewed many regulations and laws ostensibly promulgated for the "public interest" as self-interested power grabs by scheming government bureaucrats engaging in dangerously unfettered self-aggrandizement, as they were not subject to market disciplines. Rothbard held that there were inefficiencies involved with government services and asserted that market disciplines would eliminate them, if the services could be provided by competition in the private sector.

Rothbard was equally condemning of state corporatism. He criticized many instances where business elites co-opted government's monopoly power so as to influence laws and regulatory policy in a manner benefiting them at the expense of their competitive rivals.

He argued that taxation represents coercive theft on a grand scale, and "a compulsory monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 of force" prohibiting the more efficient voluntary procurement of defense and judicial services from competing suppliers. He also considered central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

ing and fractional reserve banking under a monopoly fiat money
Fiat money
Fiat money is money that has value only because of government regulation or law. The term derives from the Latin fiat, meaning "let it be done", as such money is established by government decree. Where fiat money is used as currency, the term fiat currency is used.Fiat money originated in 11th...

 system a form of state-sponsored, legalized financial fraud
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

, antithetical to libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 principles and ethics. Rothbard opposed military, political, and economic interventionism
Economic interventionism
Economic interventionism is an action taken by a government in a market economy or market-oriented mixed economy, beyond the basic regulation of fraud and enforcement of contracts, in an effort to affect its own economy...

 in the affairs of other nations.

Life and work



Rothbard was born to David and Rae Rothbard, who raised their Jewish family in the Bronx. His father worked as a chemist and migrated to the US from Poland, while his mother came from Russia. "I grew up in a Communist culture," he recalled. He attended Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree in mathematics and economics in 1945 and a Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 degree in 1946. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 degree in economics in 1956 at Columbia under Joseph Dorfman.

During the early 1950s, he studied under the Austrian economist
Austrian School
The Austrian School of economics is a heterodox school of economic thought. It advocates methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments , the theory that money is non-neutral, the theory that the capital structure of economies consists of heterogeneous goods that have...

 Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

 at his seminars at New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

 and was greatly influenced by Mises' book Human Action
Human Action
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics is the magnum opus of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. It presents a case for laissez-faire capitalism based on Mises' praxeology, or rational investigation of human decision-making. It rejects positivism within economics...

. Rothbard attracted the attention of the William Volker Fund
William Volker Fund
The William Volker Fund was a charitable foundation established in 1932 by Kansas City, Missouri, businessman and home-furnishings mogul William Volker. Volker founded the fund with the purposes of aiding the needy, reforming Kansas City’s health care and educational systems, and combating the...

, the main group that supported classical liberal scholars in the 1950s and early 1960s. He began a project to write a textbook to explain Human Action in a fashion suitable for college students; a sample chapter he wrote on money and credit won Mises’s approval. As Rothbard continued his work, he transformed the project. The result, Man, Economy, and State
Man, Economy, and State
Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles, first published in 1962, is a book on economics by Murray Rothbard, and is one of the most important books in the Austrian School of economics...

, was a central work of Austrian economics. From 1963 to 1985, he taught at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, later to become part of New York University in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. From 1986 until his death he was a distinguished professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a public, coeducational university located in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada, USA. The campus is located approximately east of the Las Vegas Strip. The institution includes a Shadow Lane Campus, located just east of the University Medical Center of...

. Rothbard founded the Center for Libertarian Studies
Center for Libertarian Studies
The Center for Libertarian Studies was a libertarian and anarcho-capitalist oriented educational organization founded in 1976 by Murray Rothbard and Burton Blumert, which grew out of the Libertarian Scholars Conferences...

 in 1976 and the Journal of Libertarian Studies
Journal of Libertarian Studies
The Journal of Libertarian Studies is a scholarly journal published annually by the Ludwig von Mises Institute and Lew Rockwell. It was established in the spring of 1977 by Murray Rothbard who also served as its editor until his death in 1995...

in 1977. He was associated with the 1982 creation of the Ludwig von Mises Institute
Ludwig von Mises Institute
The Ludwig von Mises Institute , based in Auburn, Alabama, is a libertarian academic organization engaged in research and scholarship in the fields of economics, philosophy and political economy. Its scholarship is inspired by the work of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises...

 and later was its academic vice president. In 1987 he started the scholarly Review of Austrian Economics, now called the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.

In 1953 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 he married JoAnn Schumacher, whom he called the "indispensable framework" for his life and work. He died in 1995 in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 of a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

. The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

obituary called Rothbard "an economist and social philosopher who fiercely defended individual freedom against government intervention."

Austrian School writings



The Austrian School
Austrian School
The Austrian School of economics is a heterodox school of economic thought. It advocates methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments , the theory that money is non-neutral, the theory that the capital structure of economies consists of heterogeneous goods that have...

 attempts to discover axioms of human action (called "praxeology
Praxeology
Praxeology is the study of human action. Praxeology rejects the empirical methods of the natural sciences for the study of human action, because the observation of how humans act in simple situations cannot predict how they will act in complex situations...

" in the Austrian tradition). It supports free market economics and criticizes command economies. Influential advocates were Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
Eugen Ritter von Böhm-Bawerk was an Austrian economist who made important contributions to the development of the Austrian School of economics.-Biography:...

, Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August Hayek CH , born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was an economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought...

, and Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

. Rothbard argued that the entire Austrian economic theory is the working out of the logical implications of the fact that humans engage in purposeful action. In working out these axioms he came to the position that a monopoly price could not exist on the free market. He also anticipated much of the “rational expectations
Rational expectations
Rational expectations is a hypothesis in economics which states that agents' predictions of the future value of economically relevant variables are not systematically wrong in that all errors are random. An alternative formulation is that rational expectations are model-consistent expectations, in...

” viewpoint in economics.

In accordance with his free market views Rothbard argued that individual protection and national defense also should be offered on the market, rather than supplied by government’s coercive monopoly
Coercive monopoly
In economics and business ethics, a coercive monopoly is a business concern that prohibits competitors from entering the field, with the natural result being that the firm is able to make pricing and production decisions independent of competitive forces...

. Rothbard was an ardent critic of Keynesian economic thought as well as the utilitarian theory of philosopher Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism...

.

In Man, Economy, and State Rothbard divides the various kinds of state intervention in three categories: "autistic intervention", which is interference with private non-exchange activities; "binary intervention", which is forced exchange between individuals and the state; and "triangular intervention", which is state-mandated exchange between individuals. According to Sanford Ikeda, Rothbard's typology "eliminates the gaps and inconsistencies that appear in Mises's original formulation."

Rothbard also was knowledgeable in history and political philosophy. Rothbard's books, such as Man, Economy, and State, Power and Market
Power and Market
Power and Market: Government and the Economy is a 1970 book by Murray Rothbard in which he analyzes the negative effects of the various kinds of government intervention, and denies that the State is either necessary or useful...

, The Ethics of Liberty
The Ethics of Liberty
The Ethics of Liberty, by American economist and historian Murray N. Rothbard, first published in 1982, is an exposition of the libertarian political position...

, and For a New Liberty
For a New Liberty
For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto is a book by American economist and historian Murray N. Rothbard, first published in 1973, that helped launch the modern libertarian movement in the United States, and was the first modern free market anarchist manifesto For a New Liberty: The...

, are considered by some to be classics of natural law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

 and libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 thought, combining libertarian natural rights
Natural rights
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable...

 philosophy, anti-government anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 and a free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 perspective in analyzing a range of contemporary social and economic issues. He also possessed extensive knowledge of the history of economic thought, studying the pre-Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

 free market economic schools, such as the Scholastics and the Physiocrats
Physiocrats
Physiocracy is an economic theory developed by the Physiocrats, a group of economists who believed that the wealth of nations was derived solely from the value of "land agriculture" or "land development." Their theories originated in France and were most popular during the second half of the 18th...

 and discussed them in his unfinished, multi-volume work, An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought
An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought
An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought is a work of economic history written by Murray N. Rothbard. Rothbard notes in the introduction that the book was originally conceived as a "standard Adam Smith-to-the-present moderately sized book"; however, in the process of writing it,...

.

Rothbard writes in Power and Market
Power and Market
Power and Market: Government and the Economy is a 1970 book by Murray Rothbard in which he analyzes the negative effects of the various kinds of government intervention, and denies that the State is either necessary or useful...

that the role of the economist in a free market is limited, but the role and power of the economist in a government which continually intervenes in the market expands, as the interventions trigger problems which require further diagnosis and the need for further policy recommendations. Rothbard argues that this simple self-interest prejudices the views of many economists in favor of increased government intervention.

Rothbard also created "Rothbard's law" that "people tend to specialize in what they are worst at. Henry George
Henry George
Henry George was an American writer, politician and political economist, who was the most influential proponent of the land value tax, also known as the "single tax" on land...

, for example, is great on everything but land, so therefore he writes about land 90% of the time. Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

 is great except on money, so he concentrates on money."

Political views



Rothbard "was the leading theorist of radical Lockean
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

 libertarianism
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 combined with Austrian economics, which demonstrates that free markets produce widespread prosperity, social cooperation, and economic coordination without monopoly, depression, or inflation—evils whose roots are to be found in government intervention." He "combined the laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

economics of his teacher Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

 with the absolutist views of human rights and rejection of the state he had absorbed from studying the individualist American anarchists of the nineteenth century such as Lysander Spooner
Lysander Spooner
Lysander Spooner was an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, Deist, abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century. He is also known for competing with the U.S...

 and Benjamin Tucker
Benjamin Tucker
Benjamin Ricketson Tucker was a proponent of American individualist anarchism in the 19th century, and editor and publisher of the individualist anarchist periodical Liberty.-Summary:Tucker says that he became an anarchist at the age of 18...

." He connected these to more modern views, writing: "There is, in the body of thought known as 'Austrian economics', a scientific explanation of the workings of the free market (and of the consequences of government intervention in that market) which individualist anarchists could easily incorporate into their political and social Weltanschauung."

Rothbard opposed what he considered the overspecialization of the academy and sought to fuse the disciplines of economics, history, ethics, and political science to create a "science of liberty." Rothbard described the moral basis for his anarcho-capitalist position in two of his books: For a New Liberty
For a New Liberty
For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto is a book by American economist and historian Murray N. Rothbard, first published in 1973, that helped launch the modern libertarian movement in the United States, and was the first modern free market anarchist manifesto For a New Liberty: The...

, published in 1972, and The Ethics of Liberty
The Ethics of Liberty
The Ethics of Liberty, by American economist and historian Murray N. Rothbard, first published in 1982, is an exposition of the libertarian political position...

, published in 1982. In his Power and Market
Power and Market
Power and Market: Government and the Economy is a 1970 book by Murray Rothbard in which he analyzes the negative effects of the various kinds of government intervention, and denies that the State is either necessary or useful...

(1970), Rothbard describes how a stateless economy might function.

Self-ownership


In The Ethics of Liberty, Rothbard asserts the right of total self-ownership
Self-ownership
Self-ownership is the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to be the exclusive controller of his own body and life. According to G...

, as the only principle compatible with a moral code that applies to every person—a "universal ethic"—and that it is a natural law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

 by being what is naturally best for man. He believed that, as a result, individuals owned the fruits of their labor. Accordingly, each person had the right to exchange his property with others. He believed that if an individual mixes his labor with unowned land then he is the proper owner, and from that point on it is private property that may only exchange hands by trade or gift. He also argued that such land would tend not to remain unused unless it makes economic sense to not put it to use.

Anti-Egalitarianism


The title essay of Murray Rothbard’s 1974 book Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays represents some of libertarian anarchist Murray Rothbard's most advanced and radical theorizing on topics impacting on human liberty...

held that “Equality is not in the natural order of things, and the crusade to make everyone equal in every respect (except before the law) is certain to have disastrous consequences.” In it Rothbard wrote, “At the heart of the egalitarian left is the pathological belief that there is no structure of reality; that all the world is a tabula rasa
Tabula rasa
Tabula rasa is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects...

 that can be changed at any moment in any desired direction by the mere exercise of human will.” Rothbard also expressed his views that statists suppressed academic research on race in order to support their goal of using the state to enforce egalitarian goals.

In a 1963 article called the “Negro revolution” Rothbard wrote that “the Negro Revolution has some elements that a libertarian must favor, others that he must oppose. Thus, the libertarian opposes compulsory segregation and police brutality, but also opposes compulsory integration and such absurdities as ethnic quota systems in jobs.” According to Rothbard biographer Justin Raimondo
Justin Raimondo
Justin Raimondo is an American author and the editorial director of the website Antiwar.com. He describes himself as a "conservative-paleo-libertarian."-Background:...

, Rothbard considered Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X , born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz , was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its...

 to be a “great black leader” and Martin Luther King to be favored by whites because he “was the major restraining force on the developing Negro revolution.” Rothbard also compared U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s use of troops to crush urban rioters in 1968 after King’s assassination to Johnson’s use of American troops against the Vietnamese
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.

Children and rights


In the Ethics of Liberty Rothbard explores in terms of self-ownership and contract several contentious issues regarding children's rights. These include women's right to abortion, proscriptions on parents aggressing against children once they are born, and the issue of the state forcing parents to care for children, including those with severe health problems. He also holds children have the right to "run away" from parents and seek new guardians as soon as they are able to choose to do so. He suggested parents have the right to put a child out for adoption or even sell the rights to the child in a voluntary contract, which he feels is more humane than artificial governmental restriction of the number of children available to willing and often superior parents. He also discusses how the current juvenile justice system punishes children for making "adult" choices, removes children unnecessarily and against their will from parents, often putting them in uncaring and even brutal foster care or juvenile facilities.

Anarcho-capitalism


Rothbard began to consider himself a private property anarchist in the 1950s and later began to use "anarcho-capitalist
Anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism is a libertarian and individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state in favour of individual sovereignty in a free market...

". He wrote: "Capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism." In his anarcho-capitalist model, a system of protection agencies compete in a free market and are voluntarily supported by consumers who choose to use their protective and judicial services. Anarcho-capitalism would mean the end of the state monopoly on force
Monopoly on violence
The monopoly on violence is the conception of the state expounded by Max Weber in Politics as a Vocation. According to Weber, the state is that entity which claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, which it may therefore elect to delegate as it sees fit...

.

Rothbard was equally condemning of relationships he perceived between big business and big government. He cited many instances where business elites co-opted government's monopoly power so as to influence laws and regulatory policy in a manner benefiting them at the expense of their competitive rivals. He wrote in criticism of Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism....

's "misty devotion to the Big Businessman" that she: "is too committed emotionally to worship of the Big Businessman-as-Hero to concede that it is precisely Big Business that is largely responsible for the twentieth-century march into aggressive statism..." According to Rothbard, one example of such cronyism included grants of monopolistic privilege the railroads derived from sponsoring so-called conservation laws.

Free market money

See also Free banking
Free banking
Free banking refers to a monetary arrangement in which banks are subject to no special regulations beyond those applicable to most enterprises, and in which they also are free to issue their own paper currency...

 and Gold standard
Gold standard
The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed mass of gold. There are distinct kinds of gold standard...


Rothbard believed the monopoly power of government over the issuance and distribution of money
Money
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

 was inherently destructive and unethical. The belief derived from Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig von Mises
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

 and Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August Hayek CH , born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was an economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought...

's Austrian theory of the business cycle
Business cycle
The term business cycle refers to economy-wide fluctuations in production or economic activity over several months or years...

, which holds that undue credit expansion inevitably leads to a gross misallocation of capital resources, triggering unsustainable credit bubbles and, eventually, economic depressions. He therefore strongly opposed central banking and fractional reserve banking under a fiat money
Fiat money
Fiat money is money that has value only because of government regulation or law. The term derives from the Latin fiat, meaning "let it be done", as such money is established by government decree. Where fiat money is used as currency, the term fiat currency is used.Fiat money originated in 11th...

 system, labeling it as "legalized counterfeiting" or a form of institutionalized embezzlement
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

 and therefore inherently fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

ulent. He characterized the government-enforced prohibition on citizens using commodity currencies as legal tender a compulsory Ponzi scheme
Ponzi scheme
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation...

, one from which no citizen could escape.

He strongly advocated full reserve banking ("100 percent banking") and a voluntary, nongovernmental gold standard
Gold standard
The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed mass of gold. There are distinct kinds of gold standard...

 or, as a second best solution, free banking
Free banking
Free banking refers to a monetary arrangement in which banks are subject to no special regulations beyond those applicable to most enterprises, and in which they also are free to issue their own paper currency...

 (which he also called "free market money").

In relation to the current central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

-managed fractional reserve fiat currency system
Debt-based monetary system
Criticisms of fractional-reserve banking have been put forward from a variety of perspectives. Critics have included mainstream economists such as Irving Fisher, Frank Knight and Milton Friedman. Within the economics profession today, most criticisms are from non-mainstream economic theories such...

, he stated the following:

Noninterventionism


Believing like Randolph Bourne
Randolph Bourne
Randolph Silliman Bourne was a progressive writer and "leftist intellectual" born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and a graduate of Columbia University...

 that "war is the health of the state", Rothbard opposed aggressive foreign policy. He criticized imperialism and the rise of the American empire which needed war to sustain itself and to expand its global control. His dislike of U.S. imperialism even led him to eulogize and lament the CIA-assisted execution of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

 in 1967, proclaiming that "his enemy was our enemy". Rothbard believed that stopping new wars was necessary and knowledge of how government had seduced citizens into earlier wars was important. Two essays expanded on these views "War, Peace, and the State" and "The Anatomy of the State". Rothbard used insights of the elitism
Elitism
Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most...

 theorists Vilfredo Pareto
Vilfredo Pareto
Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto , born Wilfried Fritz Pareto, was an Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist and philosopher. He made several important contributions to economics, particularly in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals' choices....

, Gaetano Mosca
Gaetano Mosca
Gaetano Mosca was an Italian political scientist, journalist and public servant. He is credited with developing the Theory of Elitism and the doctrine of the Political class and is one of the three members constituting the Italian School of Elitists together with Vilfredo Pareto and Robert...

, and Robert Michels
Robert Michels
Robert Michels was a German sociologist who wrote on the political behavior of intellectual elites and contributed to elite theory...

 to build a model of state personnel, goals, and ideology. In an obituary for historian Harry Elmer Barnes
Harry Elmer Barnes
Harry Elmer Barnes was a prominent American historian in the 20th century. A "progressive who had some classical liberal impulses," he was associated for virtually his entire career with Columbia University.-Early career:...

, Rothbard explained why historical knowledge is important:
Rothbard discussed his views on the principles of a libertarian foreign policy in a 1973 interview: "minimize State power as much as possible, down to zero, and isolationism
Isolationism
Isolationism is the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by...

 is the full expression in foreign affairs of the domestic objective of whittling down State power." He further called for "abstinence from any kind of American military intervention and political and economic intervention." In For a New Liberty he writes: "In a purely libertarian world, therefore, there would be no 'foreign policy' because there would be no States, no governments with a monopoly of coercion over particular territorial areas."

In "War Guilt in the Middle East" Rothbard details Israel's "aggression against Middle East Arabs," confiscatory policies and its "refusal to let these refugees return and reclaim the property taken from them." Rothbard also criticized the “organized Anti-Anti-Semitism” that critics of the state of Israel have to suffer. Rothbard criticized as terrorism
State terrorism
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.-Definition:...

 the actions of the United States, Israel, and any nation that "retaliates" against innocents because they cannot pinpoint actual perpetrators. He held that no retaliation that injures or kills innocent people is justified, writing "Anything else is an apologia for unremitting and unending mass murder."

Political activism



As a young man, Rothbard considered himself part of the Old Right
Old Right (United States)
The Old Right was a conservative faction in the United States that opposed both New Deal domestic programs and U.S. entry into World War II. Many members of this faction were associated with the Republicans of the interwar years led by Robert Taft, but some were Democrats...

, an anti-statist and anti-interventionist
Economic interventionism
Economic interventionism is an action taken by a government in a market economy or market-oriented mixed economy, beyond the basic regulation of fraud and enforcement of contracts, in an effort to affect its own economy...

 branch of the U.S. Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 party. in the 1948 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1948
The United States presidential election of 1948 is considered by most historians as the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every prediction indicated that incumbent President Harry S. Truman would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. Truman won, overcoming a three-way...

, Rothbard, "as a Jewish student at Columbia
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, horrified his peers by organizing a Students for Strom Thurmond
Strom Thurmond
James Strom Thurmond was an American politician who served as a United States Senator. He also ran for the Presidency of the United States in 1948 as the segregationist States Rights Democratic Party candidate, receiving 2.4% of the popular vote and 39 electoral votes...

 chapter, so staunchly did he believe in states’ rights." When interventionist cold warrior
Cold warrior
Cold warrior is a phrase used to describe the men and women involved in the shaping and executing of American and Soviet policy during the Cold War....

s of the National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

, such as William F. Buckley, Jr.
William F. Buckley, Jr.
William Frank Buckley, Jr. was an American conservative author and commentator. He founded the political magazine National Review in 1955, hosted 1,429 episodes of the television show Firing Line from 1966 until 1999, and was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. His writing was noted for...

, gained influence in the Republican party in the 1950s, Rothbard quit the party, walking out for good when moderate Dwight Eisenhower defeated Old Right
Old Right (United States)
The Old Right was a conservative faction in the United States that opposed both New Deal domestic programs and U.S. entry into World War II. Many members of this faction were associated with the Republicans of the interwar years led by Robert Taft, but some were Democrats...

 stalwart Robert A. Taft for the 1952 Republican presidential nomination
Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 1952
The 1952 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1952 U.S. presidential election. Former U.S. Army General Dwight D...

. He would go on to support Democrat Adlai Stevenson in that year's election, "largely as the only way to get the Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 incubus
Incubus
An incubus is a male demon that has sexual intercourse with sleeping women.Incubus may also refer to:- Film :* Incubus , a film in Esperanto starring William Shatner* Incubus , a horror film starring Tara Reid...

 off the back of the Republican Party." After Rothbard died, Buckley wrote a bitter obituary in the National Review criticizing Rothbard's "defective judgment" and views on the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

During the late 1950s, Rothbard was an associate of Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism....

 and her philosophy, Objectivism
Objectivism (Ayn Rand)
Objectivism is a philosophy created by the Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand . Objectivism holds that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception...

, along with other students of Ludwig von Mises, such as George Reisman
George Reisman
George Gerald Reisman is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Pepperdine University and author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics . He is also the author of an earlier book, The Government Against the Economy , which was praised by F.A...

. According to Rand biographer Jennifer Burns, Rothbard was introduced to both Aristotelian
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 epistemology and the "whole field" of natural rights
Natural rights
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable...

 through his discussions with Rand, and, at one time, described Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing...

, as "not merely the greatest novel ever written, it is one of the very greatest books ever written, fiction or nonfiction." Later, however, he left her circle and lampooned their relationship in his fictionalized play Mozart Was a Red
Mozart Was a Red
Mozart Was a Red was an unpublished one act play written in the 1960s by libertarian economist Murray Rothbard. The morality play was written as a farce, inspired by the author's meetings with Ayn Rand...

.

By the late 1960s, Rothbard's "long and winding yet somehow consistent road had taken him from anti-New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 and anti-interventionist
Economic interventionism
Economic interventionism is an action taken by a government in a market economy or market-oriented mixed economy, beyond the basic regulation of fraud and enforcement of contracts, in an effort to affect its own economy...

 Robert Taft
Robert Taft
Robert Alphonso Taft , of the Taft political family of Cincinnati, was a Republican United States Senator and a prominent conservative statesman...

 supporter into friendship with the quasi-pacifist
Pacifism
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

 Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Congressman Howard Buffett
Howard Buffett
Howard Homan Buffett was an Omaha, Nebraska businessman, investor, and four-term Republican United States Representative. Buffett was the father of Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor.-Early life:...

 (father of Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett
Warren Edward Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Often introduced as "legendary investor, Warren Buffett", he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is...

) then over to the League of (Adlai) Stevensonian Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 and, by 1968, into tentative comradeship with the anarchist
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 factions of the New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

." Rothbard advocated an alliance with the New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 anti-war movement, on the grounds that the conservative movement had been completely subsumed by the statist establishment. However, Rothbard later criticized the New Left for supporting a "People's Republic" style draft. It was during this phase that he associated with Karl Hess
Karl Hess
Karl Hess was an American national-level speechwriter and author. He was also a political philosopher, editor, welder, motorcycle racer, tax resister, atheist, and libertarian activist...

 and founded Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought with Leonard Liggio
Leonard Liggio
Leonard Liggio is a classical liberal author, research professor of law at George Mason University, and executive vice president of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Virginia, USA.-Present positions:...

 and George Resch, which existed from 1965 to 1968. From 1969 to 1984 he edited The Libertarian Forum, also initially with Hess (although Hess's involvement ended in 1971).

Rothbard criticized the "frenzied nihilism" of left-wing libertarians, but also criticized right-wing libertarians who were content to rely only on education to bring down the state; he believed that libertarians should adopt any non-immoral tactic available to them in order to bring about liberty.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Rothbard was active in the Libertarian Party. He was frequently involved in the party's internal politics. He was one of the founders of the Cato Institute
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the largest privately held...

, and "came up with the idea of naming this libertarian think tank after Cato’s Letters, a powerful series of British newspaper essays by John Trenchard
John Trenchard (writer)
John Trenchard , English writer and Commonwealthman, belonged to the same Dorset family as the Secretary of State Sir John Trenchard.Trenchard was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and became a lawyer...

 and Thomas Gordon
Thomas Gordon (writer)
Thomas Gordon was a Scottish writer and Commonwealthman.Along with John Trenchard, he published The Independent Whig, which was a weekly periodical. From 1720 to 1723, Trenchard and Gordon, wrote a series of 144 essays entitled Cato's Letters, condemning corruption and lack of morality within the...

 which played a decisive influence upon America’s Founding Fathers
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

 in fomenting the Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

."

From 1978 to 1983, he was associated with the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus
LPRadicals
LPRadicals is a caucus formed in 2006 within the United States Libertarian Party by Susan Hogarth and other party members who opposed removal of much of the material in the party platform during the 2006 national party convention...

, allying himself with Justin Raimondo
Justin Raimondo
Justin Raimondo is an American author and the editorial director of the website Antiwar.com. He describes himself as a "conservative-paleo-libertarian."-Background:...

, Eric Garris
Eric Garris
Eric Garris is an activist in the libertarian movement in the United States, known as the founding webmaster of two prominent libertarian websites.-Background:...

 and Williamson Evers
Williamson Evers
Williamson M. "Bill" Evers is an American political activist and education researcher. In 1988, he became a resident scholar at Stanford University's Hoover Institution -- first as a national fellow, then a visiting scholar, and most recently a research fellow...

. He opposed the "low tax liberalism" espoused by 1980 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Ed Clark
Ed Clark
Ed Clark is an American politician who ran for Governor of California in 1978, and for President of the United States as the nominee of the Libertarian Party in the 1980 presidential election....

 and Cato Institute
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the largest privately held...

 president Edward H Crane III
Ed Crane
Edward H. Crane is the founder and president of the Cato Institute.In the 1970s, he was one of the most active leaders of the Libertarian Party...

. According to Charles Burris, "Rothbard and Crane became bitter rivals after disputes emerging from the 1980 LP presidential campaign of Ed Clark carried over to strategic direction and management of Cato." Rothbard split with the Radical Caucus at the 1983 national convention over cultural issues, and aligned himself with what he called the "right-wing populist" wing of the party, notably Lew Rockwell
Lew Rockwell
Llewellyn Harrison "Lew" Rockwell, Jr. is an American libertarian political commentator, activist, proponent of the Austrian School of economics, and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.-Life and work:...

 and Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

, who ran for President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988
Ron Paul presidential campaign, 1988
The Ron Paul presidential campaign of 1988 began in early 1987 when former Congressman Ron Paul of Texas announced his candidacy for the 1988 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party. He joined the third party after leaving the Republican Party over the Reagan administration's handling of...

 and in the 2008 Republican Party Primaries
Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008
The 2008 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 U.S. presidential election...

. "Rothbard worked closely with Lew Rockwell (joined later by his long time friend Burt Blumert) in nurturing the Ludwig von Mises Institute
Ludwig von Mises Institute
The Ludwig von Mises Institute , based in Auburn, Alabama, is a libertarian academic organization engaged in research and scholarship in the fields of economics, philosophy and political economy. Its scholarship is inspired by the work of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises...

, and the publication, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report; which after Rothbard’s 1995 death evolved into the popular website, LewRockwell.com
LewRockwell.com
LewRockwell.com is a 501 libertarian web magazine operated by Burton Blumert , Lew Rockwell , Eric Garris , and others associated with the Center for Libertarian Studies ; its motto is "anti-state, anti-war, pro-market"...

."

In 1989, Rothbard left the Libertarian Party and began building bridges to the post-Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 anti-interventionist right, calling himself a paleolibertarian. He was the founding president of the conservative-libertarian John Randolph Club
John Randolph Club
The John Randolph Club is a paleoconservative social and political organization founded in the 1980s and operated by the Rockford Institute. It is named after John Randolph of Roanoke , a 19th century U.S...

 and supported the presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

 in 1992, saying "with Pat Buchanan as our leader, we shall break the clock of social democracy
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

." Like Buchanan, Rothbard opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 (NAFTA). However, later he became disillusioned and said Buchanan developed too much faith in economic planning and centralized state power.

According to Lew Rockwell, Rothbard is considered the "dean of the Austrian School
Austrian School
The Austrian School of economics is a heterodox school of economic thought. It advocates methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments , the theory that money is non-neutral, the theory that the capital structure of economies consists of heterogeneous goods that have...

 of economics, the founder of libertarianism
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

, and an exemplar of the Old Right
Old Right (United States)
The Old Right was a conservative faction in the United States that opposed both New Deal domestic programs and U.S. entry into World War II. Many members of this faction were associated with the Republicans of the interwar years led by Robert Taft, but some were Democrats...

".

Personal life


In addition to economics, history, and philosophy, Rothbard took an intense personal interest in chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

, German
Architecture of Germany
The architecture of Germany has a long, rich and diverse history. It is characterized by a high degree of regional diversity, caused by centuries of fragmentation of Germany into principalities and kingdoms. This made for a heterogeneous and diverse architectural style, with architectural...

 Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 church architecture
Church architecture
Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. It has evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectural styles as well as responding to changing beliefs, practices and local traditions...

, and early jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, among other subjects. Rothbard criticized the "degeneration" of jazz and popular song into bebop
Bebop
Bebop differed drastically from the straightforward compositions of the swing era, and was instead characterized by fast tempos, asymmetrical phrasing, intricate melodies, and rhythm sections that expanded on their role as tempo-keepers...

 and rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

.

In his film reviews (printed under the pen name
Pen name
A pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise his or her gender, to distance an author from some or all of his or her works, to protect the author from retribution for his or her...

 "Mr. First Nighter"), Rothbard criticized "slow, ponderous, boring" films which "reek of pretension and deliberate boredom," such as Juliet of the Spirits
Juliet of the Spirits
Juliet of the Spirits is a 1965 Italian film directed by Federico Fellini that uses "caricatural types and dream situations to represent a psychic landscape"...

and The Piano
The Piano
The Piano is a 1993 New Zealand drama film about a mute pianist and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater on the west coast of New Zealand. The film was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin...

. He generally praised films which represented "Old Culture" values which he felt were exemplified by the James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 franchise: "marvelous plot, exciting action, hero vs. villains, spy plots, crisp dialogue and the frank enjoyment of bourgeois luxury and fascinating technological gadgets."

Rothbard enjoyed action movies such as The Fugitive
The Fugitive (1993 film)
The Fugitive is a 1993 American thriller film based on the television series of the same name. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was one of the few movies associated with a television series to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best...

and Hollywood films of the 1930s and 40s
Classical Hollywood cinema
Classical Hollywood cinema or the classical Hollywood narrative, are terms used in film history which designates both a visual and sound style for making motion pictures and a mode of production used in the American film industry between roughly the 1910s and the early 1960s.Classical style is...

, and praised Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

's wit. He disliked Star Wars
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

, "such a silly, cartoony, comic-strip movie that no one can possibly take it seriously," and 2001: A Space Odyssey, a "pretentious, mystical, boring, plotless piece of claptrap," calling for a return to science fiction film
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

s like It Came from Outer Space
It Came from Outer Space
It Came from Outer Space is a 1953 science fiction 3-D film directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, and Charles Drake. It was Universal's first film to be filmed in 3-D.- Plot :...

and "the incomparable Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Further reading

  • Doherty, Brian
    Brian Doherty (journalist)
    Brian Doherty is an American journalist. He is a Senior Editor at Reason magazine. He is the author of This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground , Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement and Gun Control on Trial: Inside the...

    . Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement
    Radicals for Capitalism
    Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement is a book by American journalist and Reason senior editor Brian Doherty. It is about the history of libertarianism in the 20th century. It traces the evolution of the movement, as well as the life stories...

    . PublicAffairs
    PublicAffairs
    PublicAffairs is an imprint of the Perseus Books Group, an American book publishing company located in New York City. From PublicAffairs' web site:...

    . 2007. ISBN 1-58648-350-1
  • Gordon, David. The Essential Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises Institute
    Ludwig von Mises Institute
    The Ludwig von Mises Institute , based in Auburn, Alabama, is a libertarian academic organization engaged in research and scholarship in the fields of economics, philosophy and political economy. Its scholarship is inspired by the work of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises...

    , 1st edition. February 26, 2007. ISBN 1-933550-10-4
  • Raimondo, Justin
    Justin Raimondo
    Justin Raimondo is an American author and the editorial director of the website Antiwar.com. He describes himself as a "conservative-paleo-libertarian."-Background:...

    . An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard. Prometheus Books
    Prometheus Books
    Prometheus Books is a publishing company founded in August 1969 by Paul Kurtz, who also founded the Council for Secular Humanism and co-founded the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is currently the chairman of all three organizations. Prometheus Books publishes a range of books, including many...

    . July 2000. ISBN 1-57392-809-7

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