Given the foundational work Rothbard has done in developing and furthering libertarian theory, it is interesting to note how he is at best ignored and at worst despised by the broader libertarian movement.
What is more interesting is that Rothbard takes bullets from all sides – in many ways, the one thing many mainstream libertarians and libertine libertarians have in common is this disdain for Rothbard.
Why is that?
Rothbard first points to the mainstream libertarians. He labels them, the “oxymoronic…Big Government Libertarians.” In this group, he identifies, in addition to the Libertarian Party…
…a loose network of libertarian and free-market think-tanks, national ones that include lobbying groups, who gravitate inside the Beltway, and state or regional think-tanks, who necessarily remain in the heartland in body if not alas in spirit…
He additionally mentions legal groups, magazines, hard-money newsletters, and so on. What do all of these Big Government Libertarian institutions have in common? They have…
…in the last few years, moved at remarkable speed to abandon any shred of their original principles: devotion to minimizing government or defending the rights of private property.
Instead, these groups want to make government more efficient – as if efficiency in the production of “bads” is a good thing. These Big Government Libertarians crave respectability in and the social acceptance of official Washington.
But there is a lot more at work here. At bottom is the point which many of us had to learn painfully over the years: there can be no genuine separation between formal political ideology and cultural views and attitudes.
The libertarian political must equal libertine advocacy and acceptance. Rothbard identifies a strong hatred of the right wing, coming from “a broader and even more intense hatred of Christianity….”
And in these few short statements, Rothbard himself quickly explains why both the mainstream (Big Government) libertarians hate him and why the libertine libertarians hate him.
He identifies a deep-seated “egalitarianism” in this movement: “Scratch an egalitarian and you will inevitably find a statist.” Instead of property rights, each individual “has ‘rights’ that must not be subject to curtailment by any form of ‘discrimination.’”
This despite the fact that “discrimination” is inherent in any meaningful definition of property rights.
And so, flying in the face of their former supposed devotion to the absolute rights of private property, the libertarian movement has embraced every phony and left-wing “right” that has been manufactured in recent decades.
The alphabet soup of all-invented-gender rights comes to mind.
…“civil rights” has been embraced without question, completely overriding the genuine rights of private property.
As an example of one who embraces this libertine, civil rights philosophy, Rothbard writes of a “favored” presidential candidate in 1996: Massachusetts Republican Governor William Weld, driven by his devotion to “gay rights.”
Yes, that William Weld. Support gay rights and Hillary Clinton for president and you qualify to run on the LP ticket in 2016.
Instead of defending property rights, libertarians have become “fiscally conservative, but socially tolerant.” Make government efficient, advocate and demand support for all lifestyle choices. Mainstream and libertine libertarians fit the bill perfectly.
An important plank in this social tolerance is an insistence that “open borders” is a human right and a position that must be held by every proper libertarian. Anyone who dares deviate from the position of “open borders” is “automatically and hysterically denounced as racist, fascist, sexist, heterosexist, xenophobic, and the rest of the panoply of smear terms that lie close at hand.”
And this has apparently become the unpardonable sin, blaspheming against the holy spirit of mainstream, libertine libertarianism.
The elite have as an objective the destruction of western civilization; a culture of classical liberalism grounded in Christian morality is a challenge to the growth of state power. The elite have as an objective the maintaining of “government” as that term is understood today.
The elite have found fellow-travelers in the libertine and Big Government Libertarians, respectively.
And this is why they hate Rothbard.
Don't worry they hate Say and Mises at least as much. I don't think they are fond of the great thinker the Bionic Mosquito either. Say destroyed Keynesian economics 100 years before Keynesian Economics existed. Mises then went on to destroy any theoretical basis for socialism and fascism (The current political arrangement of the planet) in his theory of the "Calculation Problem".ReplyDelete
Hoppe gave a nice talk on Mises v Hayek:Delete
I missed this when I looked through the comments.
"Mises then went on to destroy any theoretical basis for socialism and fascism (The current political arrangement of the planet)"
Sorry bro. This just isn't true. Liberalism (with some poisonous marxist elements) is the current political arrangement for the empire. The managerial state's roots are in liberalism not socialism or fascism.
I know why you would say that. The reason is similar to Hoppe's Socialism and Capitalism (or is it Capitalism and Socialism? I forget). You want to divide the world into capitalism and everything else. The absence or presence of State intervention in the economy being the dividing line.
The basis for fascism is not economic, but political. The reduction of the political to economic is liberal in nature. To a liberal anything explicitly political is some kind of tyranny.
As you can see from my quote below, Mises actually understood this about fascism. It was a way of dealing with a civilizational (political) threat, and it worked......until liberals decided to destroy Europe.
"The managerial state's roots are in liberalism not socialism or fascism."Delete
As I understand it, the managerial state primarily exists to administer economic laws. I see liberalism=property rights in the beginning, I agree that it lacks in providing values. You could say this lack of values conceded itself to soulless leveling collectivism. But Isn't the conclusion "property is exclusionary" as illiberal (as you use the term) as you want it to be, excluding people as property?
"You want to divide the world into capitalism and everything else. The absence or presence of State intervention in the economy being the dividing line."
This is the autistic version (safe NAPers, libertarians, utilitarians) of things. I think you can see an evolution in this discussion, or even in Rothbard 20 years ago.
"The basis for fascism is not economic, but political."
Yes, absolutely. That's how I have come around to it.
"The reduction of the political to economic is liberal in nature."
If the political is an expression of values, then values precede the political. What are those values that drive you to the political, to control the economic? Why would anyone want to control the economic by dictate, considering Misean insight, and base it on higher values? You would make life harder for the race for what?
Misean Econ analysis describes what is imbedded in human economic law/ human nature. He makes it explicit that its "value-free", it just is based on human nature. He's so value free he settles with utilitarianism!! (Which I think describes many libertarians) I think Bogart was referring to Mises destroying the "socialism" in fascism on an economic basis. Mises was clearly speaking positively about fascism here as a useful means. I agree %100 Mises seems to see the cultural element.
Rothbard saw the soulless/meaninglessness in utilitarianism (maybe this is why they hate him) he pointed out the importance of value structures. In other words Mises missed Nietzsche's warning, but it seems Rothbard grasped it. Natural Rights!!...? Idk, it fails to inspire, doesn't it? It only goes so far. It isn't "transcendent", it seems like a means not an end to me.
You mentioned in another comment God or Volk as the supra-personal ideal. Isn't it this ideal that is open to interpretation? Couldn't it be anything, couldn't the family unit (man and woman) be held as a transcendent ideal. Wouldn't this be the greatest blow to the left? Putting the ideal as far out of reach as possible from the Lord below? I don't think it's a coincidence one of the most pernicious and vile dogmas of the left is feminism. Both man hating AND woman hating. I think mass man is prepared to spit this out instinctually also, we need only nudge the demon off the edge of the cliff.
Maybe E. Michael Jones will have something for me with the higher value problem, I will watch.
Liberty begs the question "to what end?"ReplyDelete
Some people are just filthy leftist pigs who want to make the world safe for perverts and simply hate standards that deny eternal victim status to brown people. Others see liberty as path to greater order/peace through private property and voluntary association. Others still aren't concerned with whether owning tanks or nukes is a human right but don't like being ripped of by parasites or having to go to prison for exercising self-defense against a protected class of eternal victims.
There are plenty of reasons that disgusting communist swine (sometimes referred to as "left-libertarians") would hate Rothbard but if I had to guess what is most upsetting to them, it would be this:
Rothbard flips their victim narrative upside down. Take a situation in which a negro is denied an apartment in an "whites only" complex. Would Rothbard have a problem with this? No. Now consider that the state forced the landlord to accept the negro (current law), would Rothbard have a problem with this? Yes.
You see Rothbard's model for determining victim status is not based on racial grievance, or pervert grievance, but on property rights. To the communist animals this is a crime because they can no longer impose their will on us.
They aren't wrong though. If someone like me enjoys Rothbards work and I want to use the state to aggressively suppress marxists and zionists, then there is no doubt a problem here from their perspective.
That is not to say I agree with Rothbard on everything- far from it, but I certainly have more common ground with him than I do with Charles "burn all nations to the ground" Johnson.
As far as I am concerned Rothbard was an "honorary Aryan."
(note: my comment here would appear to the above mentioned bovine filth as proof positive that Rothbard was an "ebil nazi" since "look ebil nazis like him.")
"Take a situation in which a negro is denied an apartment in an "whites only" complex. Would Rothbard have a problem with this? No. Now consider that the state forced the landlord to accept the negro (current law), would Rothbard have a problem with this? Yes."Delete
Right to the core. I keep thinking this is at the bottom of it all. Isn't this what Codevilla alluded to? Civil Rights conceding the moral high ground? What becomes of our rights if property isn't exclusionary? Without it there is no defending yourself from them, excluding going outside the laws they make.
"this is a crime because they can no longer impose their will on us." I'm not so sure the argument is about property rights or that it's the best way to understand it. We talk about it like a math problem. The possessed see it as an affront to the imposition of their will. There is the loyal opposition (Weld/Johnson, Bush, Kristol) and if your not loyal you're a fascist, bc a fascist signals they reject them at a fundamental level. I think Reagan and Trump (Limbaugh, yeah I said it) grasped this instinctually, but not intellectually. I don't know who has grasped this spiritual(moral/value) war yet!! (UC I haven't read those books yet) Isn't this what Nietzsche prophesized with the death of god? He predicted man would turn to socialism to fill the void and in turn it would lead to the slaughter of millions! Who will/can create these new values...this is the greatest challenge.
I think the good news is mass man is rejecting these values that replaced god...instinctually. So their minds are open!! Has anyone seen the left losing at a cultural level?!? Just as with the death of god this is the death of satanic leftist materialism, what comes next? I don't think we're going back...not in the same way at least, much more authoritarian if not rejected) I find this exciting and horrifying. [From what I can tell Dr Jordan B Peterson is doing some incredible work here, and I fear for his life bc of it]
"I'm not so sure the argument is about property rights or that it's the best way to understand it."Delete
It is not actually about property rights. It is indeed about values that go beyond that frame and which of these values prevails in the kulturkampf. When you reduce the issues to property rights like Rothbard, you narrow the field to exclude the legitimacy of any grievance not based in property rights. This is why they hate him. His model doesn't leave an opening for cultural marxism. However, it also doesn't allow for any supra-personal values, which is my problem with it.
It should also be noted that the only reason they care about Rothbard enough to hate him is that they are trying to use libertarianism as another front in the cultural marxist attack and they have to deal with the few Rothbardian libertarians out there who will take them to task on their own premises (like BM).
"Isn't this what Nietzsche prophesized with the death of god? He predicted man would turn to socialism to fill the void and in turn it would lead to the slaughter of millions! Who will/can create these new values...this is the greatest challenge."
Not socialism per se (but you can apply his critique to socialism- I should also point out that socialism is not necessarily soul-destroying marxism but this is a subject for a different time). Nietzsche understood, correctly, that the once-christian West was nothing but a hollowed out husk. The values that remained of that order (pity, charity, and selflessness) became perverted when they lost their relationship to the transcendent. This is the meaning of "God is Dead." Actual morality has its roots in the absolute, the transcendent. Values that are not actually eternal are merely expressions of the Will. This is what Will to Power means.
This phenomenon does have the effect of turning the political sphere into a struggle for higher values. Since the christian forms are still considered "good," politics apes them. Charity becomes State-welfare advocacy. Selflessness becomes the pretension that the leaders of the west are "dedicated civil servants," and worst of all, pity becomes protection for the lowest scum on the planet (consider all of the people sitting in prison who deserve to hang but are instead being taken care of like children at the expense of decent people). In other words, apostate Protestantism becomes progressivism.
Nietzsche is best understood as a doctor diagnosing a problem. Many people fail to understand Nietzsche because they take his meaning in a far too literal sense, like some kind of violent proclamation of atheism. The reality is that he sought a way forward away from nihilism and understood that this would require an effort on behalf of the higher-type man (ubermensch) since there was no where else he could look but in himself.
"I think the good news is mass man is rejecting these values that replaced god...instinctually. So their minds are open!! Has anyone seen the left losing at a cultural level?!? Just as with the death of god this is the death of satanic leftist materialism, what comes next?"
You are getting it my d00d. Modern man has wandered far too long in the desert. He has forgotten the taste of water but he still knows thirst.
Ill throw another recommendation your way (and to BM to). Guys, check out E. Michael Jones (maybe just start with some interviews with him). He understands the higher level dynamics of the kulturkampf better than anyone else alive today.
Mises also needs to be taken task for some of his more "problematic" writing.ReplyDelete
"It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history."
- Mises, Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition [https://mises.org/library/liberalism-classical-tradition/html/p/29]
Its almost like Mises understood the civilizational dimension to the ideological struggles of the 20th century.
People like Robert Wenzel will quote from the very early Rothbard, but not from Rothbard in later life when he started to develop heretical views.ReplyDelete
What Rothbard realized late in life is that you cannot have anything approaching libertarianism with a third world demographic profile - period.
Two problems you have inherited from Rothbard:ReplyDelete
1. He didn't have a meaningful definition of property. (Note that I've used your nice terminology there.)
2. He was a also a statist like you, and for the same reason.
You can see this in his statement: "There can be no genuine separation between formal political ideology and cultural views and attitudes."
While perhaps technically correct, the obvious observation is that *this does not matter* to someone who does not think he owns other people. That is because *politics* itself is the process by which people immorally extract something from others by a process which gives the illusion of legitimacy to their immoral actions. Thus, someone who accepts politics as necessary has accepted the principle of human ownership---slavery. The current mechanism for this is the state. And in the current environment (which includes that of Rothbard) to embrace politics is to embrace the state. He did it, and you do it, because you benefit from it, immorally, at the expense of others. It's as simple as that.
Beyond that, your conclusion is laughable. Classical liberalism has led us to the situation we now experience. Of course, I'm sure you don't think Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Locke, and Adam Smith were classical liberals, but they were. Likewise Christianity has done nothing to arrest the advance of the state. This is, of course, because "Christian morality" is an oxymoron. At its base, Christianity is the assertion that some people (i.e., humans) own others in contradiction to the claims of ownership by God. If there's anything that could be more immoral than that, it's hard to imagine what it might be.
Carry on with your straw man acrobatics. (Maybe you should read the recent article on columnists---I think it was by Fred Reed.)
I have read (and written about) more Rothbard in the last two weeks than I have in perhaps my entire life. So for you to blame Rothbard for what I have “inherited” is really unfair to him, given that our disagreements significantly predate Rothbard’s influence on me. Feel free to blame me.
As to your two points, how many times do you want to rehash the same old tired discussion? You and I obviously have difficulty communicating on this topic, as you have had ample opportunity to expand on your views and I still have no idea what you are talking about – and, I will say graciously, vice versa. I think it is fair to say that our planets are not to be found in the same solar system.
As to your point about classical liberalism and where it has led us…now this is something that I have been contemplating for some time. I understand well the issue; I also see the good and bad in it. I do not feel I am at a point intellectually to deal with the conflicts I see in all that is encompassed under this term, but I am getting there.
But I am confused: classical liberalism has its roots in the Enlightenment and Reformation, yet you also abhor the Christian order that came before these in the West. So, where do we look? Before this was the Roman – whose structure of law today’s western law has fundamentally, and sadly, embraced; before this was the Greek, upon whom many classical liberals trace their thinking.
So, what is the answer, Sonja? Is it to be found in ancient China or India? Some lost philosophy of African tribes? Or do you advocate for something never seen nor experienced in the entire history of human condition?
As I said, Sonja, I think our planets are not to be found in the same solar system.
"You can see this in his statement: "There can be no genuine separation between formal political ideology and cultural views and attitudes." While perhaps technically correct"Delete
.......Technically correct? So incorrect in what context?
"the obvious observation is that *this does not matter* to someone who does not think he owns other people.".."Thus, someone who accepts politics as necessary has accepted the principle of human ownership---slavery."
Is Gary Johnson a statist bc he involved himself in politics? Or Ron Paul for that matter? The naïveté in this statement is so childlike and one dimensional I can't believe it. Maybe clarify, this cannot make sense to anyone in the history of the world.
I have some questions. Would you defend the right of a community to exclude based on ethnicity? If not, who is attempting to control who? If yes than your closer to wokeness than you think.
Also, Locke, classical liberal, is his property law compatible with an ethnostate? I think yes, and the conclusion is unavoidable!! What do you think? Know this!! I'm not saying it is necessarily desirable, but The Law does say it should be legal.
Perhaps you would feel more comfortable skipping this question. How about something concrete: should France let in as many refugees as...every person in Syrian?!? If no, how many, and are you now a statist? If yes, excuse me, but anyone who believes that is a god damn fool. Does it even matter to you if France becomes New Syria?
I hope you respond. Maybe pace your basement and smoke ten cigarettes to settle down like I did when Bionic and UC triggered me a 1 1/2 years ago.
..."Rothbard is a statist" this is a gem
Sonja: [Classical liberalism has led us to the situation we now experience.]
I agree with this completely, although for different reasons. I would guess Sonja finds classical liberalism to be not liberal enough (it still permits State law-making).
BM: [As to your point about classical liberalism and where it has led us…now this is something that I have been contemplating for some time. I understand well the issue; I also see the good and bad in it.]
Like communism, liberalism is reality-denying. It has a contradiction where in it denies legitimacy to anything but the individual, economic man, yet at the same time it enforces a particular legal order by means of the State. Rather than the State consisting of higher men serving a supra-personal ideal (God or Volk) it consists of "disinterested" civil servants, technicians, who pretend not to actually hold power and are said to be enforcing basic rational principles (consider how boring CSPAN is). Liberalism leads to the managerial state because the State is required to enforce the dictates of liberalism (however they may be interpreted at the moment).
It claims to allow individuals freedom in choosing their ends yet when those ends conflict with what the managers want they find some kind of sophistry to justify how you are actually impeding the agency of another (like I mentioned above re: landlords). This is why cultural marxist BS like "systemic oppression" are useful weapons to our enemies.
Someone will decide what is law and how it is applied. Liberalism puts that decision in the hands of inferior people who will have you beaten and starved while claiming you have done it to yourself (they can never formally admit to wielding real power).
Most important of all though is what this looks like internationally rather than domestically. Who can deny that liberal countries have been the most imperialistic in the 20th century? The reason for this is there is nothing to separate one arbitrary grouping of individuals from another. There is no demarcation as to who are subjects of the state and who aren't (this goes both for immigration and "Democracy" in Iraq). This is how an invasion becomes a "police action." This is how America must defend Poland's borders for the sake of "stability."
It is because the liberal state is weak that it can be bought off by rootless international oligarchs (does anyone think Israel's state could be "bought off" the same way as the U.S?), who are then able to hire the managers to enforce their will. By accepting the premise of liberalism we deny ourselves the ability act politically and to create something that can challenge the world order.
Liberalism is code for Brave New World.
There is another dimension to the anti-Rothbard libertarians, or at least many of them. They are devotees of scientism. When forced to choose between questioning the state and their (supposed) devotion to science, they will choose the latter.ReplyDelete
We see this often at Reason's Hit and Run blog, when they run articles smearing people who frown on developments such as the government vaccine program and the imposition of GMO foods and glyphosate.
Very good. In addition, "scientism" also holds a higher position than does property rights.Delete
Ronald Bailey, Monsanto's man at H & R.Delete
BM, what do you think of Bailey's perspective and writing?
The name is familiar - I may even have written something on him at one time but can't say for sure.Delete
Beyond this, I cannot comment. If there is some specific piece of his work worth looking at, let me know.
Dr. Rothbard has the rare courage to speak the truth we need to hear but are afraid to admit we agree with. bottom like: HE'S RIGHT!!ReplyDelete