Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays, by Murray Rothbard
So now it’s time to start looking at the “other essays.” This one is entitled Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty. Rothbard covers much ground in this essay. I intend to focus on two aspects: the first is Rothbard’s view regarding the foundation necessary for liberty; the second is the connection of libertarianism and communism.
Fair warning: I hold some disagreement with Rothbard on the first; however, at the end of this piece, I will bring in a guest libertarian far more qualified than I am to make this point.
On the second, his analysis confirms a conclusion I reached some time ago (and is also supportive of the reasons behind my disagreement with the first): libertarianism and communism hold common roots that many libertarians might not care to admit. I suggest that it is imperative for libertarians to understand this relationship in order to understand the hazards to avoid.
Perhaps I should add “or the lack thereof.” Bear with me.
The Conservative has long been marked, whether he knows it or not, by long-run pessimism: by the belief that the long-run trend, and therefore time itself, is against him.
This belief drives the Conservative to liberty-crushing political action, both at home (left-wing statism) and abroad (the fight against communism).
Pessimism, however, both short-run and long-run, is precisely what the prognosis of conservatism deserves, for conservatism is a dying remnant of the ancien régime of the pre-industrial era, and, as such, it has no future.
To get the right timeframe and context:
The Ancien Régime (French for "old regime") was the political and social system of the Kingdom of France from the Late Middle Ages (circa 15th century) until 1792, when hereditary monarchy and the feudal system of French nobility were abolished by the French Revolution.
Returning to Rothbard:
In its contemporary American form, the recent Conservative revival embodied the death throes of an ineluctably moribund, fundamentalist, rural, small-town, white Anglo-Saxon America.
I know you are thinking: “Wait a minute. How is Rothbard writing about the election of 2016? Is high-speed internet provided in the after-life?”
I am just pulling your leg; Rothbard wrote this essay in 1965. I can’t comment on the situation regarding “Conservative” at the time Rothbard wrote those words; however, could these words come from any mainstream, East Coast, establishment, liberal newspaper regarding the flyover country that elected Trump?
What, however, of the prospects for liberty?
And here is where I begin to part ways with Rothbard on this topic. Because if there is to be any type of move toward liberty in contemporary America, it will come from people who live precisely in this flyover country; most certainly it will not come from places like New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Seattle – the places where they write those kinds of words.
The absolute monarchs were the Old Order writ large and made even more despotic than before. Capitalism, indeed, flourished earliest and most actively precisely in those areas where the central State was weak or nonexistent: the Italian cities, the Hanseatic League, the confederation of seventeenth-century Holland.
I have two thoughts on this: first, Rothbard rightly rails against the old order that existed in the west before the eighteenth century; he sees the triumph of the liberal revolution at this time as the turning point – on this point, I don’t fully agree.
Rothbard doesn’t look back far enough, or to the right history. I have argued that the liberal ideas of the time gave us the progressivism that we are buried under today (with further roots in the Renaissance). The central state was weak and non-existent and the law came closest to what might be considered a libertarian private-property order, in the law of the European Middle Ages. This was destroyed, not coincidentally, when the Church was torn asunder.
My second thought: why the switch to “capitalism”? Is the discussion about liberty or about capitalism? And yes, I understand how and why these would be connected, but is liberty to be defined only (or even primarily) in economic terms?
More important was a series of cataclysmic revolutions that blasted loose the Old Order and the old ruling classes: the English Revolution of the seventeenth century, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution, all of which were necessary for the ushering in of the Industrial Revolution and of at least partial victories for individual liberty, laissez-faire, separation of church and state, and international peace.
I have not studied much of the English Revolution, so I will take a pass on this. The spirit of the American Revolution did not survive the founding generation, and even in the most generous case it did not survive four score and seven years. The French Revolution? A catastrophe for liberty from the beginning, and to this day.
As to the separation of church and state, there is something to be said about how this has diminished liberty instead of enhanced it. Finally, international peace: these revolutions ushered in the ideologies and philosophies that brought us the bloodiest century in recorded history – to include the English, Americans and French as some of the primary perpetrators.
Libertarianism and Communism
I first began to see this connection when I was working through a post on left-libertarianism, authored by perhaps the most consistent (and most “left”) left-libertarian I have read, Kevin Carson. Libertarians and communists today both can trace roots to some of the same thinkers identified by Carson – and for similar reasons.
But what do I know; I am just a mosquito. So, let’s ask Rothbard:
Soon there developed in Western Europe two great political ideologies, centered around this new revolutionary phenomenon: one was liberalism…; the other was conservatism….
It is the “liberalism” political ideology that will now be examined:
That genuine liberalism was essentially radical and revolutionary was brilliantly perceived, in the twilight of its impact, by the great Lord Acton…[who] wrote that “Liberalism wishes for what ought to be, irrespective of what is.”
“What ought to be” runs the risk of utopia (and often what follows the chase for utopia is the tyrant) unless one keeps in mind the “what is.” This includes…humans…as they are. It includes social norms, customs, traditions, culture. It includes the lessons learned through hundreds of generations and thousands of years – lessons that teach us what works and what doesn’t work.
Maybe I am over-reacting to this passage. Let’s try another:
“Liberalism is essentially revolutionary,” Acton observed. “Facts must yield to ideas. Peacefully and patiently if possible. Violently if not.”
Is there a way to misinterpret this? “Facts must yield to ideas…Violently”? Is it not a violation of the non-aggression principle to initiate violence if I disagree with your facts? Does this sound more like a communist idea?
Yet, Rothbard is favorably citing Lord Acton. And there is no doubt what Rothbard thought about communism. My point is…the greatest libertarian mind finds as great a statement that sounds as much like a communist slogan as anything approaching the NAP. No, I don’t believe Rothbard was a closet commie; just that there are ideas that make libertarianism and communism cousins.
What happened to liberalism? Why then did it decline during the nineteenth century?
Rothbard finds that the liberals went from being radical to becoming conservative – they lost their mojo. But I think the answer is to be found elsewhere. Rothbard cites Gertrude Himmelfarb, who is writing of Acton:
This idea of conscience, that men carry about with them the knowledge of good and evil, is the very root of revolution, for it destroys the sanctity of the past.
But the man in the past also held this knowledge of good and evil, didn’t he? Might it make sense to learn from what he learned?
The Renaissance began man on the road of “reason,” with the “reason” necessary to create law; man’s knowledge of good and evil. Before this, law was determined by tradition – old and good law. Once man’s reason became superior to tradition, it was only a matter of time before we had “legislation.” The sanctity of the past was destroyed – as Acton desired, apparently; in its place we have Congress and the Politburo.
I know what you are thinking: “bionic, you are thinking too much; you are reading way too much into this idea of a connection between libertarianism and communism and that the roots of our present less-than-free order are to be found in the Renaissance and Enlightenment.” OK, let’s see.
Libertarians of the present day are accustomed to think of socialism as the polar opposite of the libertarian creed. But this is a grave mistake…. [Socialism] was, and still is, middle-of-the-road because it tries to achieve liberal ends by the use of conservative means.
I know. Not totally convincing.
In short, Russell Kirk, who claims that socialism was the heir of classical liberalism, and Ronald Hamowy, who sees socialism as the heir of conservatism, are both right. (Emphasis added.)
That should be enough for the sceptic. But I will offer one more: Rothbard describes the “left-wing, relatively libertarian strand” of socialism…wait…a libertarian strand of socialism?
…exemplified in their different ways by Marx and Bakunin, revolutionary and far more interested in achieving the libertarian goals of liberalism and socialism….
“Libertarian goals of…socialism.” Like I said…cousins. Maybe kissing cousins.
Look, I am not dumping all of liberalism. As I said, consider this a warning that must be considered by libertarians: libertarianism is closer to communism than you might like; your advocacy of theory and application should always keep this in mind.
I offer three:
First, once man’s reason was taken as supreme (starting with the Renaissance), man-made law (legislation) was inevitable. By destroying the dependence on tradition and custom, anything was possible. The twentieth century and today’s environment are a result of “anything” being “possible.”
Second, Rothbard offers the connections between libertarianism and communism. “Man’s reason” opened the door to one of the two, or something in between – and we all know where the “somewhere in between” leads; it isn’t liberty.
Third, Acton’s “permanent revolution” can never result in liberty. Revolution offers the best opportunity for the worst to get on top.
Oh, I almost forgot. Look, don’t listen to me about the value of continuity in tradition and custom. I will offer some words from the aforementioned libertarian who is far more qualified than I am for your consideration:
Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture. …usually including an ethnic group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. (1)
While the State is a pernicious and coercive collectivist concept, the "nation" may be and generally is voluntary. The nation properly refers, not to the State, but to the entire web of culture, values, traditions, religion, and language in which the individuals of a society are raised. (2)
The corrupt, rotten New Culture, versus the glorious life-affirming Old. (3)
Who is this charlatan, this madman who dares contradict Rothbard? Well, here you go:
(1) Rothbard, 1994
(2) Rothbard, 1990
(3) Rothbard, 1992
I will add: the first six chapters in the compilation “The Irrepressible Rothbard” are dedicated to “A Strategy for the Right.” (Hint: the strategy wasn’t “I hope you die.”)
I must add the disclaimer that I have made dozens of times: do I criticize Rothbard for evolving, for holding certain positions early in his intellectual exploration of libertarianism and then evolving to different views later? Far from it: the man was an honest intellectual, one who had to find his way in the dark – the earliest days when there was no libertarian literature to lean on, the days when Rothbard was the literature.
I admire him for this. There are others who could take his lead.
FACT: Slavery, taxes, States
It would be beautifull to have FACT yeld to IDEA, peacefully, in a painless way, but if peacfully is not possible, violently is good too.
Rothbard is the one who always said that if he could've push a button to make the state immediatly disappear he would have pushed it. That is revolution and it is violent. It's like communism, in the sense that it is ready to radically break with the past and traditions, where those are incomapatible with the Nap. But it is the opposite of communism, becouse libertarians and communists ideas are the opposite.
You have been reading and commenting here for quite some time. That you consistently ignore the context of this discussion suggests to me that you are not contributing with a desire toward improving the dialogue.Delete
I must disagree with your assessment of reason and its relation to tradition / "old and good law".ReplyDelete
It is not reasonable to throw out that which works with that which does not - the "baby with the bathwater" as the old saying goes. The "reasoning" person should look at the individual pieces as well as the whole, keep what works and propose solutions to what does not. A "reasoning" person would also take into account the sort of resistance he would encounter, which would come from those invested in or comfortable with maintaining the status quo, and think through how to confront this, preferably non-violently. What you identify as the "Age of Reason", I identify as the proposals of dysfunctional totalitarians bent on disseminating seductive ideas for their own aggrandizement - not so much "Reason" as "Scheming" - perhaps the "Age of Scheming" would be a more appropriate name for this time period ... :)
As you have pointed out, Bionic, cultures can be either liberty promoting or liberty inhibiting. Reasonable individuals must then create the best liberty-enhancing culture they can within the framework of human frailty. That includes bulwarks against self-seeking individuals intent on controlling others for their own benefit.
My thoughts concerning Mr. Rothbard are these: long experience has taught me that young people seem happy to embrace violence as a means to an end - I think this comes from youth's innate attitude of invincibility. However, as one ages, certain realizations occur (I like to think of them as "logic circuits kicking on") at certain times in one's life. I would argue that Rothbard's thoughts concerning communism / socialism / libertarianism having similar roots have more to do with blindness towards the means to achieve those ends - his "logic circuits" towards violence had not yet engaged. Later, as he acquired greater wisdom - as he grew in knowledge and understanding (as the appropriate "logic circuits" turned on), he "adjusted" his earlier ideas and adopted an improved, non-violent, approach. That's just my take on it, after raising 6 kids.
"What you identify as the "Age of Reason", I identify as the proposals of dysfunctional totalitarians..."Delete
But what if one leads to the other? Once we decide man's reason is god (over tradition...or God), who are you to say which "man's reason" wins? It isn't up to you.
I don't think you were around when I published the following. It is as good a place as any to start:
*** Blowhard Alert! ***Delete
Sorry for the length of this response - I hate long, boring replies, but here it is.
Bionic, I did read the article you suggested. Overall, I agree with the pointlessness of comparing the reasoning of man against that of God. However, unless one has the Spirit of Revelation, one must depend on one's own reasoning, however limited and flawed it may be. Of course, James 1:5-6 in the New Testament explains how we all have access to God but most deem it arrogance to approach God in this manner as if He were a merciless tyrant instead of a loving Heavenly Father who is constantly encouraging us to move in the right direction.
I do not mean to alienate our atheist friends who understand the importance of culture in creating and maintaining a libertarian society. Their point would be that God is a man-made concept invented to control the masses and that libertarians should reject religion out-of-hand on that basis. I feel that this is an extremely valid point.
It is, therefore, critical for each individual to determine for themselves the reality of God, establish personal communication with Him and acquire knowledge of His will in accordance with one's own understanding. I am, of course, opening myself up to the old adage: "Man speaking to God is prayer / God speaking to man is insanity", but this rapport must be developed - otherwise, we're still depending on man's reason to tell us what God wants: a useful tool for unscrupulous men to acquire power and gain.
As you say, Bionic, choosing "which reason is right" is not up to me. After all, I am a libertarian and imposing my will on others is anathema. However, within the NAP, I can persuade; I can present logical reasons for good laws; I can be kind and gentle; I can be understanding and patient. I can also withhold interaction from people bent on a destructive path. And, within the NAP, I can choose violence if life or property is threatened.
Many of the political, philosophical and psychological theories developed during the "Age of Reason" are totalitarian nonsense with self-professed experts inventing new reasons to subjugate mankind, either for their own benefit or for more altruistic reasons. Concerning these two motivations, C. S. Lewis says it best:
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience".
In identifying a law as a good law, we must explain why that law is good. The best explanations will be grounded in demonstratable fact and self-evident axioms such as "People Act". Bad explanations will appeal to emotion, customs and current conventions, such as "Do it for the Children!". Every good law must be able to be confidently traced back to the fact or axiom from which it is derived. The issue with this very reasonable approach is that most decisions people make are emotional ones and logic is used for justification only. Therefore, once identified, good laws should be defended with an appeal to emotion while still being able to debate from a factual foundation.
I know that you've expressed that maintaining the items in this blogs menu is a bit arduous, but I think that a new category or categories could have great value.
Common Law, the Middle Ages and The Effects of the Enlightenment on Liberty could be topics for one or more new topics.
I would certainly enjoy having easy access to all your posts on these topics. And I think others might benefit as well.
Woody, take a look at today's post - I bring together a bit more about the unity of reason and tradition (at least how I see it... today)Delete
Jeff, I will think about this. Currently they are embedded in the "Libertarians and Culture" tab - with the brief descriptions, this might help get you to the right posts.Delete
But maybe it is time to seperate the two topics.
Thanks for considering this. After revisiting the "Libertarians and Culture" tab, I'd add open borders as a suggestion for a subtopic.
If you decide not take action regarding this matter, be warned that I will not hesitate to remind you of your stated purpose of this blog.
And, be further warned that if your own words don't spring you into action, I'll feel compelled to hurl Jordan Peterson's most popular catch phrase at you. ; )
But seriously, I think this could be a time saver for you, when responding to sincere and intelligent readers, like Woody, who have simply missed things that you've covered previously.
Thank you for this blog. I am always looking forward to your next post.
It's obvious that Rothbard adjusted and matured in his thought and writing as he grew older. That can clearly be seen in comparing some of his earlier and later writings as you do here very well. The fascinating component is that part of the change was internal, but part was also surely due to external circumstances (my hypothesis). Cultural changes. Changes in the political scenes, attitudes and allegiances. Historical shifts. Think about the time frame of his writings. "Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty" was written in Spring 1965! How much of his maturity and shift was him changing and how much was it just his ability to be intellectually honest and reassess the political and cultural landscape at the time of his writing?ReplyDelete
ATL offers below some thoughts on the reasons behind the shifts in Rothbard's thinking / alliances.Delete
The end goal of liberalism (libertarianism) can not be definitive of Liberalism, because it is shared by many other political doctrines, like e.g. anarchist socialism. It seems what Rothbard is doing, is pointing this out. He describes the turn towards utalitarianism as traditional natural law became neglected as part of the radical opposition to the status quo. Rothbard describes the hazard in abandoning the unique means that really are definitive of liberalism (private property, natural law tradition, economic freedom) and turning the spotlight on the end goal, which isn't. That's how the way got paved for the ones who thought of more "efficient" or "modern" ways of liberating the individual.ReplyDelete
Here's Rothbard again:
"As we have seen, Conservatism was the polar opposite of liberty; and socialism, while to the "left" of conservatism, was essentially a confused, middle-of-the road movement. It was, and still is, middle-of-the road because it tries to achieve Liberal ends by the use of Conservative means."
Kind regs from Amsterdam,
As always, you've given me a lot to think about. I believe your continuing critical analysis of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment as precursors to the rise of the modern state is crucial to any libertarian understanding of history and the progress and decline of liberty therein.
I don't claim to have anything resembling a full understanding in this regard, but you've raised some very good questions and I’ve looked into it some myself after having read much of Hans Hoppe’s work. I believe Rothbard's transition from right to left and back to right is an essential (if only metaphorically) part of the story.
Rothbard was from the beginning a member of the Old Right, and was only forced into leftism due to the leftist (though anti-Stalinist) revolution within conservatism known as Neoconservatism. He admirably (and rightly) left (departed) this statist form of leftism in rightist attire and joined what he thought was an anti-statist, anti-war, and thus rightist left: the New Left.
I believe Rothbard's mistake here was to neglect the importance and primacy of culture and to overestimate the importance of reason. His New Left buddies seemed to be advocates of peace and freedom through the force of reason, but their underlying leftist cultural roots should have been recognized clearly as antagonistic, or at least unstable, toward these ends.
In the same way, those yearning for freedom from the tyranny of the monarchical system in the middle ages also failed to see the importance of culture in the struggle for liberty. They thought ‘reason’ was the fulcrum to rend society out of the clutches of despots, and so all other considerations were secondary. Especially the utilitarian classical liberals tended to denigrate religion and tradition. The natural rights strain of classical liberals (Locke, Bastiat, Cobden) I believe were always more respectful of religion and tradition. Mises was a notable exception to this trend; he was nearly right on everything despite being a utilitarian rather than a natural rights advocate.
As far as libertarianism (and its forefather classical liberalism) and communism being one time bed fellows, I can agree to some extent. They both ‘came of age’ in the Enlightenment and in the absence of the influence of the Catholic Church. They both sat on the left (Bastiat and Proudhon) in opposition to the Ancient Regime in France in 1848. Communism, however, is much older than the Enlightenment. It had a long ‘infancy’ in the European Middle Ages we’ve both come to respect and admire so much.
For there were numerous movements and revolts during this time where a form of religious communism attempted to overthrow the Catholic Church’s authority in certain territories and towns, especially in Germany. These movements were nearly always led by some disaffected (and nearly always ascetic) member of the clergy who abandoned the church due to its materialistic predispositions. These men nearly all preached a form of communal ownership of goods (to be distributed by the leaders of course), since this is how, in their view, the Apostles lived with Jesus. They were all explicitly anti-rich, pro-poor movements who attempted to rouse the poor masses to expropriate the rich with violence. They used scripture as their fulcrum, rather than reason, but their ends were nearly identical to modern communism, except for the religious aspect (most of these leaders claimed to not only serve God, but to be God himself after they’d attained a sufficient following). Marx transformed the remnants of this religious tradition into a doctrine founded on reason, simply because reason held sway in the minds of his contemporaries.ReplyDelete
So if libertarianism is a bed fellow with communism, then so is the Catholic Church (which I respect immensely though I am not Catholic), and the Church and communism go much further back. My point - a point I don’t think you’ll disagree with - is that we cannot rely on tradition alone. We must analyze tradition with reason to separate what is good from what is not. In the Germanic Middle Ages, likewise, the law had to not only be old, but it had to be good as well. Perhaps prudence would insist that we err on the side of keeping bad traditions to avoid tossing out good ones by mistake. The best way to do this in my view is decentralizationism!
Your points about Rothbard's evolution sound reasonable. Same for your points regarding the much longer history of communism...I will have to keep this in mind.Delete
I suppose a more succinct way of stating the position I think is near the truth is this: in the same way that the heretical quasi-Christian communistic movements of the Middle Ages were perversions of a noble religion and tradition, the communism of the modern age was a perversion of reason.Delete
I also don't know that we can distinguish the tradition of the Church from that of reason all that well, for the Church was the safeguard and leading authority of reason throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as exemplified by figures like Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas in the former and the Spanish Scholastics in the latter period.
I think most men need both reason and faith to be whole and healthy or civilized. To have faith un-tempered by reason often yields faith in perverse uncivilizing doctrines, and to have reason un-tempered by faith often yields reasons for perverse uncivilizing doctrines. Rothbard arrived at what I consider to be the correct path from reason alone, but he may have neglected the fact that he was extraordinarily adept at reasoning, and most are not.
"(...)he was extraordinarily adept at reasoning, and most are not."Delete
And yet even he trod some highly questionable paths before realizing that the cultural left is a hopeless cause.
As you rightly pointed out, Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular also had their share of doubts, crises of faith, and other dangers from without and within.
The end of Christendom, the wars of religion and crazy sects of the 15th-17th century, for example, must have looked to many reasonable Christians then much as the insanity of political correctness looks to us now: an existential threat, striking at the heart of all that they cared for, in body and spirit, shredding polities and families.
This historical perspective, plus the fact that you can't put the genie of the Enlightenment back in its bottle without also killing off modern civilization (Bionic illustrated it as "freedom versus air conditioning", but "freedom versus penicillin" does a better job of describing what a dramatic choice this would be, IF it were a real dichotomy) keeps me sceptical towards the "Jouvenel slippery slope argument" that without the primacy of tradition we are headed for the abyss.
We're living the culmination of secular chiliastic faith, embodied in the State, resulting in pathologies such as the elevation of resentment and other petty feelings to the status of noble and moral sentiments. This is actually strikingly similar to the messianic millenarians ATL mentioned, who also believed that petty material concerns such as preservation of knowledge and biological reproduction must give way to loftier considerations in the coming New Age. But instead of the Kingdom of God on Earth, today's Anabaptists preach the coming of the Worldwide Safe Space.
This is seriously hurting the West's ability to maintain and further its accomplishments. Pardon me for being blunt, but it doesn't take a particularly deep love of God and tradition to see that. What it does take is a basic sense of realism and concern for the future. Faith, purpose, a sense of continuity, call it what you will, but what's missing isn't just respect for the past; more critically, it's respect for the future.
This sense of concern for what comes after is greatly enhanced by violence or economic hardship, which are nature's (or God's) way of telling people "you're doing it wrong". These sanctions caught up with the crazies of pre-industrial times rather quickly. Today's crazies are less vicious, society's immune system is less aggressive, and there's a lot more wealth to squander before things really start getting ugly.
On the other hand, today's "rebels" are more likely to buckle in after two hours without a smartphone than your average Taborite would be after a week in a dungeon with daily torture sessions. So I think it's a wash. If we fight it out, we can probably come out alive (provided there's no nuclear war) and better off for having faced and defeated yet another social disease.
This end would be better served, I think, if people who care about the future would stop fighting each other over whether the future must look to God and tradition, or reason and science. Especially since they're more complementary than antagonistic.
The New Testament (Acts 4:34-5:10) does make mention of many disciples giving all their property to the Apostles but it doesn't go into any great detail as to how the system functioned. Assuming the the Apostles were men who communed with God, we must assume that it wasn't a communistic or socialistic setup since Mises has conclusively shown in his book "Socialism" the impossibility of economic calculation in such an environment.Delete
There have been many groups who have attempted to live "holding all things in common" and all have failed because all make the attempt in a socialist fashion.
"Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes." - Pope John Paul IIDelete
Now that seems like a recipe for success! =)
ATL / NiloDelete
Today's post offers some thoughts on the unity of tradition and reason; maybe the dialogue can continue there:
Nilo, I suspect the future - if it is to be successful toward humanity & freedom - will look somewhat like the past, the tradition that I refer to: patriarchal, Christian (at least what are referred to as Christian values).
There are a lot of problems in this essay, especially Rothbard's positive view of the French Revolution. Thousands of deaths in the first weeks, the greatest confiscation of property until that time, political trials, conscription, all that helped to bring Napoleon to power somehow advanced the cause of "liberty"?ReplyDelete
I'm surprised a historian like Tom Woods doesn't address this (and the abortion question too, as a catholic). They are too protective of his legacy. It reminded me of this episode from hhis show with Michael Malice: https://tomwoods.com/ep-818-rothbard-v-rand-michael-malice-and-tom-discuss/. Malice correctly points that Rothbard's tendecy for historical revisionism is a great weakness in his work (Michael, being born in the URSS, objected to Rothbard's view that America was the solely responsible for the Cold War). Tom concedes that there are "two Rothbards" in a way, the really technical scholar and the inflamatory polemicist. It's something I picked up too, reading him.
>Thousands of deaths in the first weeks, the greatest confiscation of property until that time, political trials, conscription, all that helped to bring Napoleon to power somehow advanced the cause of "liberty"?Delete
Don't forget price controls and fiat money.
Where king Louis XVI appointed Physiocrats, Turgot and Malesherbes, as ministers to achieve free-market reforms (unfortunately, the king was weak, and vested interests too strong, so it did not happen, if it did, the Revolution probably wouldn't have happened, and the world would be a much better place today), revolutionaries instituted the dreaded Maximum général and Assignats.
Speaking of old and good law law to be discovered:ReplyDelete
It does, however, underscore the obvious — that the Court has not discovered or found the law in making today's decision, nor has it derived it from some irrefutable sources; what it has done is to make new law and new public policy in much the same way that it has in the course of interpreting other great clauses of the Constitution.
From Whizzer White’s dissent in Miranda.
This is an interesting write up, thank you.ReplyDelete
"My second thought: why the switch to “capitalism”? "
I have a guess:
I can say the ultimate goals of a "stateless society" are shared between libertarianism and communism/socialism, but there underlying fundamentals of said societies that are drastically different in that "anarcho-communists" advocate (per wiki):
"the abolition of the state, capitalism, wage labour and private property (while retaining respect for personal property) in favor of common ownership of the means of production,direct democracy and a horizontal network of workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs""
It seems to me that the issue of who owns the "means of production" is very much an issue of private property rights, a fundamental and important difference.
Going further, Socialists seek class elimination as well...how "class" is defined is another matter, but it spells equality of outcome to me- a direct strike for "egalitarianism" which seems fundamentally opposite of libertarian ideals.
These terms are being discussed though in broad strokes, and the notion of socialism/communism was slightly different before Marx's time.
I love seeing Rothbard write on the importance of culture, and agree. As I've mentioned before, my belief is a libertarian and decentralized world would unfortunately yield some communist outposts, but my suspicion is they would all eventually end the same way all such polity structures end.
The fundamental problem is that a commie will definitely violate the NAP as traditionally considered in claiming the means of production and their desire for egalitarianism most likely ends up with involuntary/NAP violating situations as well- aside from it being an affront to nature.
As a result, I'm not sure I agree libertarianism and communism are "kissing cousins" per se despite some of their shared goals.
But I agree with you that it's important to note their shared goals in some areas and make sure libertarianism isn't considered as an "offshoot" or implicit endorsement of communism in any way, shape or form.
The one, main, and crucial difference between Marxism and Rothbardianism is that Rothbardians do not believe in labour theory of value. If labour theory of value were true, capitalism would break the NAP, as it would indeed be stealing from the worker.Delete
I, myself, can't see how a political and utopian philosophy which, from the very beginning, advocated violent overthrow of the "bourgeois" and the establishment of a dictatorship has anything in common with a political and practical philosophy that espouses non-violence except in cases of theft and as little government intervention as possible.Delete
If Rothbard was, in fact, saying that the two have anything in common, I think he was mistaken and I'm glad he grew out of it.
Nick, it isn't just shared goals, it also is shared roots.Delete
Your point about the reason for the term "capitalism" make sense to me.
The reason I continue to come back to these shared roots and shared goals, and I can best explain it via a question: how much distance is there between a left-libertarian and a communist?
Communists have decided that attacking the results of a (relatively) free market aren't going to work in the west; they have decided to attack tradition and culture. They are succeeding.
So again I ask: how much distance is there between a left-libertarian and a communist? Their desired ends I can accept are certainly different, but are the means so different - in direction if not degree?
And once the "means" have done their work, whose ends will win?
"So again I ask: how much distance is there between a left-libertarian and a communist? Their desired ends I can accept are certainly different, but are the means so different - in direction if not degree?"Delete
It's a good question and I don't have an answer(at this time).
I think the answer may be dependent the left libertarian himself, but truth be told I view left
leaning self described libertarians as having logical consistency issues to some extent- and there are a lot of those around.
That being said, they could say the same for me. I mentioned before that if someone were to use crass language against my mother, wife, or children that I could easily see myself punching them in the nose- and in the world view of many libertarians I might be considered a NAP violator.
On the spectrum, how would you rate Roderick Long for example in comparison to Walter Block?
That's how I see the question you asked fundamentally, it seems to be case by case. Block has been unwavering on the concept of private property rights, but wrote a book defending pimps, hookers, drug dealers, etc.
Does doing such a thing make him a cultural Marxist and ultimately promoting a society destroying culture that can't be libertarian? (I don't know, I'm asking-and there's Amsterdam pre-immigrant invasion to consider)
I agree that I'd rather live in a society filled with a culturally conservative population than one filled with hookers, pimps, & drug dealers- but if we take the concept of "sinful" man for a moment into consideration the question then becomes what would such a society do to rectify the problems of hookers, pimps, & drug dealer and how does it impact the NAP? Resident's agreeing to a CC&R that says no such thing is allowed can be acted against without NAP violations. So is it possible Block is just arguing against government action against said things?
Roderick Long on the other hand is an open borders and basic income guarantee guy if I recall properly. Private property is not sacrosanct in his world view nor a requirement for libertarianism. There could be a society with CC&R's agreeing to a basic income pool as a part of residency.
I think it comes back to decentralization and the notion of voluntary polity, probably contractually based with some things being dictated by culture as you can't cover culture with contracts without them being so large and oppressive as to defeat the purpose of decentralization.
I think a hallmark regarding the question of what is a "libertarian" is to what end said people acknowledge that ideally there should be voluntary relationships/freedom of association/disassociation, probably based on cultural grounds- again meaning decentralization.
Libertarians of all stripes should be able to agree on this(I think), even if we think some of us are crazy to want a "plain jane" conservative society, a society welcoming to pimps, or a massive wealth redistributing voluntary collective.
This is quite a handful. Let’s see how much I can handle.
“I think the answer may be dependent the left libertarian himself…”
It seems to me that the cultural Marxists are on to something – something approaching communism will not come to the west driven by economic causes; it will come by destroying the last remnants of any alternative governance structures that are to be found in the culture and tradition.
Left-libertarians (in general) value the tradition and custom of Western Civilization little if at all; and this does not count the left-libertarians who despise these traditions and customs. To your point: yes, it depends on the individual left-libertarian; I suggest that, in general, this anti-tradition sentiment exists.
Property rights: while not screaming their enjoyment, there are left-libertarians pleased that the baker is required to bake a cake for the gay couple. Without property rights, what are (left) libertarians if not communist – or at least leaning in that direction?
“…if someone were to use crass language against my mother, wife, or children that I could easily see myself punching them in the nose…”
I think it may require acts like this to maintain a libertarian society. Consider my suggestion about the (approaching libertarian) feudal Middle Ages: the fights were local and only involved the nobles. Feuds between families. Yes, maybe NAP violations, but it kept some check on ever-larger conflict.
So…perhaps many of your NAP-abiding neighbors would see this punch in the nose as necessary to keep the peace…and therefore would not throw you in the private insurance company hoosegow.
“On the spectrum, how would you rate Roderick Long for example in comparison to Walter Block?”
I have not read much of Long. As to Block…he may label himself as he chooses; to the reader who read something of Block’s on these topics on a blind basis, he would be considered a left-libertarian.
“So is it possible Block is just arguing against government action against said things?”
He is. Yet why write three volumes defending behavior that you don’t advocate?
In any case…I guess I am thinking that your aforementioned punch in the nose is the answer. The successful community will see this as a necessary check on destructive behavior.
“I think a hallmark regarding the question of what is a "libertarian" is to what end said people acknowledge that ideally there should be voluntary relationships/freedom of association/disassociation…”
This, and complete property rights (inherent in your statement, but needs to be stated plainly). I recall reading Kevin Carson, left-libertarian par excellence: every type of decentralized society is OK except one where parents actually parent their children (I am paraphrasing wildly, but am half-way into a bottle of red wine, so forgive me).
"I recall reading Kevin Carson, left-libertarian par excellence: every type of decentralized society is OK except one where parents actually parent their children (I am paraphrasing wildly, but am half-way into a bottle of red wine, so forgive me)."
Lol. I think we could solve all the world's problems over a few bottles of wine!
Bionic, I live in Chicago. I am 25 year old man, who has just started to follow libertarianism about 2 years ago. I have being a Mises institute libertarian over Cato from the start. And now today I am more of a right libertarian, but I live in a very "liberal" city in the modern use of the word. Chicago is the second largest county in the country, and Chicago has 2 million of its 5.9 million residents. I adhere to the strategy of decentralization and seccession. But to often I have came at it from a economic standpoint, and some times cultural. It seems to me that most Chicagoans want to stick together, but the reality is the city is really a tale of three or four distinct groups maybe more. Black Chicago the scence I belong too. White Chicago, Latino Chicago, and a sprinkle of Europeans and Asians. What would be the best strategy in your eyes to bring Chicago cliser to a libertarian order. I am a race realist and so what black nationalist. I would also add I am a anarcho capitalist in the Hoppean strand I have great respect for culture, religion(I am Christian), and family(I am married). Understanding a little about the downfall of black america explaines by Walter E Williams and Thomas Sowell. I believe I can bring black Chicago back to the Chicago that once existed when Blacks respected civil institutions. What shall I do? If you have any insight to information or a working strategy please let me know.ReplyDelete
"I believe I can bring black Chicago back to the Chicago that once existed when Blacks respected civil institutions. What shall I do?"Delete
When you find out, would you let me know? I'm a white man about ten years your senior, but I'd be interested in seeing the cultural regeneration of the black community. I believe it needs a younger generation of men (and women) like Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. At the moment, I don't see any up and coming young black intellectuals to fill their shoes. Do you know of any?
Keep learning about economics, ethics, and culture (never stop), but don't get obsessed with politics and immediate change. This fight won't be won in our lifetimes; to try will mean alliances with powerful non-libertarian groups that may prove counterproductive. The victory we are working toward is that of the long run. As a Hoppean you should appreciate the importance of low time preference in the advancement of culture and civilization. Read Rothbard on strategy.
In the present, I would advise this: be a success and a force for good in your own life, family and community. Be a happy, resourceful and confident role model, not a sour loser who desperately clings to unpopular ideas (right though they may be). This is all any of us can really do. This is what I often tell myself, though I don't always listen.
As far as turning Chicago libertarian goes, the odds are against you, but I wish you the best of luck. I would suggest you start by finding others around you who have similar interests in a private property society. Go old school and write up some pamphlets detailing the ways blacks are getting shafted by the state and how liberty would improve not only their material circumstances but also their cultural strength. Hit up Youtube. Spread the word.
I imagine you are already aware that this may prove to be a very dangerous endeavor? Some people don't like being told they have been duped by the knaves of the state their whole life, and that their privately held convictions have been spoon fed to them by mass public propaganda since their infancy. I imagine as a black man, it would be hard to hear the libertarian analysis of Martin Luther King. Again, good luck.
"Any fool can fight a winning battle, but it needs character to fight a losing one, and that should inspire us" - W.B. Yeats
Here's a powerful and prescient quote from Alexis de Tocqueville in the 19th century on how the modern state uses a program of cultural degeneration to ensure its foundation of support.
"Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?"
"When you find out, would you let me know? I'm a white man about ten years your senior, but I'd be interested in seeing the cultural regeneration of the black community. I believe it needs a younger generation of men (and women) like Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. At the moment, I don't see any up and coming young black intellectuals to fill their shoes. Do you know of any?"Delete
First, let me thank you for your insightful response. I couldn't agree more. It is very disheartening to look around and see a large portion of ones greater kin group living in harsh conditions. Especially, when these conditions have fostered the high time preference environment that Hoppe speaks about. I am no Sowell nor Williams, but they are who I generally try to follow when it comes to writing and economics. Sadly, I only have a high school diploma which at times I believe is a hindrance when I attempt to write or publicly speak. However, I am aware of free education that may help me with these struggles. It is as if the state wants to produce individuals to not be able to rightfully explain the world around them.
"Keep learning about economics, ethics, and culture (never stop), but don't get obsessed with politics and immediate change. This fight won't be won in our lifetimes; to try will mean alliances with powerful non-libertarian groups that may prove counterproductive. The victory we are working toward is that of the long run. As a Hoppean you should appreciate the importance of low time preference in the advancement of culture and civilization. Read Rothbard on strategy.
In the present, I would advise this: be a success and a force for good in your own life, family and community. Be a happy, resourceful and confident role model, not a sour loser who desperately clings to unpopular ideas (right though they may be). This is all any of us can really do. This is what I often tell myself, though I don't always listen."
This may be the most difficult part, I greatly see a need for a group of low time preference black Americans to displays these values. But the reality is I am not part of that greater circle yet. I make a pretty modest salary and along with my wife we could be perhaps considered middle class. I agree 100% with you, I must first start within my family, community, and then reach the broader kin group which I belong to. The sad thing is I am in a neighborhood of Chicago which they call "little India" or West Ridge. There are a very small amount of Blacks here, but we wish to move closer to the black belt in Chicago once we have children. Great advice to stay away from being a outcast. I learned this about a month ago. There are ways to operate within society without being viewed as a outcast. Radical ideas can be appealing if dressed to the audience. I am still maturing as a man, and still find myself in conversations where I can not allow the person I am conversing with hold such asinine views. This often leads to a very tense conversation that ultimately gets us no where.
"As far as turning Chicago libertarian goes, the odds are against you, but I wish you the best of luck. I would suggest you start by finding others around you who have similar interests in a private property society. Go old school and write up some pamphlets detailing the ways blacks are getting shafted by the state and how liberty would improve not only their material circumstances but also their cultural strength. Hit up Youtube. Spread the word.Delete
I imagine you are already aware that this may prove to be a very dangerous endeavor? Some people don't like being told they have been duped by the knaves of the state their whole life, and that their privately held convictions have been spoon fed to them by mass public propaganda since their infancy. I imagine as a black man, it would be hard to hear the libertarian analysis of Martin Luther King. Again, good luck."
I believe there are more like me in Chicago, they just have learned the language of the land. There is a guy I follow named Jhamal Cole. Cole owns a 501c3 called "My Block,My Hood, My City", he is a very intelligent man. The goal is to take south and west side children out of there environment and bring them to neighborhoods that are not like theirs. This idea at first seemed counterproductive to me. I would often say "diversity is not our strength". While not acknowledging the reality in Chicago. In Chicago they believe it is. Can I change that ? Perhaps, but how far would I get? After seeing Cole go viral with these I started to identify a pattern. The pattern is he mainly grabs black youth. He lives in a 99% black neighborhood of Chatham. He mostly shows pictures of successful black business owners, he eats at black restaurants, and gets the rest of the city to service black communities voluntarily. This was a remarkable insight, also Cole and I have talked before he reads Sowell. Basically, it seems to me Cole understand sociology and psychology of the Chicago people and capitalizes to bring about a unified community pride. I do not know his politics, but I do not think I need to. I only need to understand what I see face value, and the underline message which may be subjective of course. I believe Cole may be just as for black people as I am. He just understands the language of Chicago much better.
You are an exceptional and brave individual to rise above peer pressure and social expectations to embrace libertarian philosophy! Thank you for your courage.
My advice, for what it's worth, would be this.
First, take race out of the picture. While it may be true that many black people are on welfare and look at what they receive as their just due, it is not "Black Culture" and this sort of parasitical thinking is not "Black". Call it what it is - a "Parasite" culture and all those who live in that manner are social "parasites".
Second, if you don't realize this already, know that government is deeply involved in dividing people by race and class via "targeting" certain groups for certain "privileges". They do this in an effort to maintain their power. All government "privileges" create dependance in those people unfortunate enough to qualify for them and reinforces the Parasite Culture. You will receive little help from them.
Thirdly, as Churchill said: "Never give up". You will receive persecution for your beliefs. You will most likely be branded an "Uncle Tom", an "Oreo" or whatever other derogatory term is currently in style from members of the Parasite Culture. You will be denounced by people who enable that culture. As ATL said, quoting Yeats: "... it needs character to fight a losing battle ...". I'd add that it's never a losing battle when the truth is on your side.
Fourth, keep in mind that you are not alone. There are many like-minded individuals that will do what they can to help you. All you have to do is keep others up-to-date with what is going on.
Good luck to you!
I have been a bit tied up an unable to reply until now; in the meantime, such thoughts have come in that I have little to add.
I might suggest: start with your family. Be a good husband and a good example for your (future) children.
Next, try serving in a place where people come to look for hope - find a church where you believe your social and economic message will not be rejected by the leadership. Of course, before they consider you for such a thing, you will have to spend some time in service. Ask the pastor what you can do to help - in the church, in the community, etc.
Bigger things have come from smaller steps.
As to your education: I assure you, the best education I have received is via writing at this blog and interacting with many of the contributors. Just start writing; as you develop a reputation in the community for your service, you will also have someplace to point people to regarding your thoughts.
Anyway... every step you take will help improve the world.
I thank both of you gentlemen. It warns my heart to hear words of encouragement.Delete
"Once we decide man's reason is god (over tradition...or God), who are you to say which 'man's reason' wins? It isn't up to you."ReplyDelete
That's because the axioms--allegedly "self-evident"--and definitions underlying the system of reason vary. Reason only takes us so far. As even non-Christians like Fred Reed have come to recognize:
In any large city,” Reed writes, “there are clubs of hobbyist sadomasochists who gather in curious costumes to tie each other up and paddle each other. It is done discreetly and harms no one. Nothing needs to be done about it.
“But note that exactly the same arguments that justify homosexuality in the schools apply to sadomasochism. It's natural, prominent people do it, it's a lifestyle. If children in grade school are to be taught that the one is merely a choice of lifestyle, why not both? We now have books in schools with titles like, ‘Bobby Has Two Daddies.’ Why not, ‘Sally's Daddy Wears A Leash’? Why not S&M clubs in school, as there are now gay and lesbian clubs?
“Because we say so.”
Uh oh. That sounds like dogma. Say it ain't so, Fred!
“Why not pedophilia? There exists (with a website) an outfit called NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Love Association, whose members believe they are entitled to engage in anal intercourse with your nine-year-old son. They aren't kidding, and they begin to get support from advanced minds in academia.
“Here too a society that cannot simply say ‘no’ finds itself at the mercy of logic-choppers. Proponents of pedophilia might (and do) argue that it is natural, that our repugnance for it is merely a cultural artifact, a product of repressive patriarchal Christianity. The ancient Greeks engaged in it. Our designation of 15 or 18 as the age of consent is purely arbitrary; a boy of nine is human, has civil rights, and can choose. Anyway, pedophilia is harmful only because we teach our children that it is shameful, instead of teaching them that it is a natural celebration of life and love. Those who have tried it know it to be a warm and loving, etc.”
Pedophilia warm and loving? The age of majority arbitrary? Natural law relative?
“The answer is ‘No. Because we say so.’ Some things you don't do. This is one of them.”
Give me "repressive patriarchal Christianity." I've had my fill of the "logic-choppers."
Rothbard is full of it and he knew it. He was sucking up to the Left (originally he intended to call his ideology nonarchism, but chose anarchism to lure in the Leftists). He was well aware that the Enlightenment "emancipations" were crackdown on last vestiges of feudal liberties, that Liberals weren't libertarian (laissez-faire liberals were, but one could count their number on a finger's of one's hand) they would be much better described by "national-socialist" given their penchants for ethno-statism and property confiscations, that oligarchies of the new order were much more rapacious than that of the old, that Liberals increased State power, confiscated property, and instituted draft.ReplyDelete
Rothbard was right aware that there are 'socialist' traditions of Conservatism (exemplified by figures such as Coleridge, Donoso Cortés, de Maistre, Carlyle, etc.), and that these Conservatives are precursors to almost all of the modern Left (save for the Progressives and Social Democrats who are descendants of social liberals such as Thomas Paine, J.S. Mill, Condorcet, etc.): communists, fascists, environmentalists, and postmodernists (there are also 'libertarian' traditions of Conservatism, exemplified by figures such as von Haller, von Lancizolle, Jarcke, etc.). These 'socialist' Conservatives tended to be dissapointed Rousseauans, themselves more inspired by Enlightenment philosophes then Medieval authorities such as Church fathers, thus that Enlightenment-Counterenlightenment divide is not really that clear-cut as is often thought (nor was Enlightenment the Age of Reason -- that title would rightfully belong to the Middle Ages, Enlightenment was the Age of Sentimentalism & Criticism, and Reason did not escape its sentimentalist critiques, though it did not prevent 'enlightened' ones from LARPing reasonableness).
The second part of your comment reminded me of a little book, called "The Lost Literature Of Socialism" by George Watson. This author demonstrated that socialism was often a conservative, nostalgic reaction to the radicalism of capitalism.
Interesting read. There's also the uniquely socialist tradition, from Marx to Hitler, of genocide. Interesting read indeed.
The article by Rothbard is a good example of sucking up to the left, but in this blogpost, there might be some confusion in play when Rothbard's "conservatism" is roughly equated with Medieval traditionalism.
The following might be an instance of ships that pass in the night:
"This idea of conscience, that men carry about with them the knowledge of good and evil, is the very root of revolution, for it destroys the sanctity of the past."
"But the man in the past also held this knowledge of good and evil, didn’t he? Might it make sense to learn from what he learned?"
Rothbard is obviously courting the left, with his pr message which portrays the revolutionary spirit as something belonging to the left. The past he's thinking of in this article is the past of Absolutism and despotism. Rothbard is reaching out to the left, and seems to be presenting libertarianism as the most radically "left" ideology in town, far removed from "conservatism" which he traces back to the despotism of old.
I could be mistaken, but it seems that BM in his retort, is thinking of another past entirely, like the past of Medieval traditions. That seems pretty far removed from the "sanctified (conservative) past" Rothbard is presenting to the left of the '60s as the common enemy, am I right?
Anyway, curious if you knew of this book by George Watson.
Cheers from Amsterdam,
>This author demonstrated that socialism was often a conservative, nostalgic reaction to the radicalism of capitalism.Delete
I think "Envy" by Helmut Schoeck is a real eye opener, and that anti-capitalism, weather left or right, is based solely on envy. It may be envy of a writer towards the industrialist, or an envy of old money toward nouveau riche in case of right-socialism, or envy of an intellectual toward the practical or envy of inferior man toward one's betters in case of left-socialism, envy it is all the way. Everything else is just inventing justifications for one's envy.
>That seems pretty far removed from the "sanctified (conservative) past" Rothbard is presenting to the left of the '60s as the common enemy, am I right?
Yes. Understanding of the nature of kingship in absolutist era was fundamentally different to understanding of kingship in feudal era. In feudal era, kings were understood to be protectors of their people, whilst in absolutist era they were understood to be masters over their slaves.
>Anyway, curious if you knew of this book by George Watson.
Can't say that I do. This is the first time I hear about it. Thanks. But, I was long aware that Marx = Carlyle + Maistre + labour theory of value, and the fact that that particular tradition of Conservatism is no different in essence than Red Khmers. Note that while I consider myself a (real, as in European) Conservative, rather than a Libertarian, having actually lived under socialism, it makes my blood boil when I hear reactionaries spouting the same nonsense online that I listened my whole life, except spouted by the communists.
MR, as is obvious from my own writing I can accept honest criticism of Rothbard's work.Delete
I cannot accept personal attacks on or degrading comments about Rothbard. I ask you to respect this in the future.
Thank you MR, for reminding me about Shoeck. Have "der Neid" on my wishlist and will check it out soon.Delete
Also: "a (real, as in European) Conservative"
Really like that.
Cheers from Amsterdam,