Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Murray Rothbard Down the Memory Hole at Campaign for Liberty

Economist Israel Kirzner once made the important observation that Murray Rothbard played a key role in advancing the libertarian movement. (SEE: Israel Kirzner on Murray Rothbard)

Rothbard wrote such important books as:

Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market, Scholar's Edition

A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II

America's Great Depression

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

The Case Against the Fed

The Mystery of Banking

Every one of these books either contributed to monetary theory or monetary history.

Ron Paul has always stated that Rothbard was an important influence on his thinking. He once wrote:
It would be difficult to exaggerate Professor Murray N. Rothbard's influence on the movement for freedom and free markets. He is the living giant of Austrian economics, and he has led the now-formidable movement ever since the death of his great teacher, Ludwig von Mises, in 1971. We are all indebted to him for the living link he has provided to Mises, upon whose work he has built and expanded...America's Great Depression was a key book in my conversion to pure free-market, libertarian thinking. The confidence I gained with ammunition supplied by Rothbard encouraged my entry into politics, since I needed the reassurance that my intuitive allegiance to liberty was shared by great thinkers. Rothbard taught me to always keep the distinction between peaceful market activity and State coercion in my mind. It served as a constant guide once I was in office.

I wanted to see the brilliant writings of theoreticians such as Rothbard translated into practical political action.
 Yet, when one turns to the "Statement of Principles" page at C4L, one encounters this:
We believe with Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, and F.A. Hayek that central banking distorts economic decisionmaking and misleads entrepreneurs into making unsound investments.
No mention of Rothbard? To be sure, these men were important economists, especially Mises. And Hazlitt is a very underrated economist, but Hazlitt over Rothbard, on monetary theory? Is this some kind of joke? One expects such memory hole antics from Cato Shrugged, but C4L? The Koch brothers, the key funders of Cato, thought Rothbard was a too consistent libertarian and thus too controversial. Thus, they came up with the insane idea to promote libertarianism with the inconsistent libertarian, Hayek, as the bedrock of libertarianism, since he would be more easily accepted by the ruling elite, because he was, well, inconsistent. This has always been nutty and disgusting. But to see this kind of thing creep into C4L is just terrible. Ron, it is time to throw the clowns out that are running C4L. Do it for the memory of Murray.


  1. They're afraid to acknowledge Rothbard because of his straight-out anti-state anarchism. It's not respectable; they're conservatives.

  2. The basement reception room at the Cato Institute has a wall of Libertarian greats. People like Hayek, Mises, Friedman (I know), Bastiat etc... But no Rothbard. The man NAMED the Cato Institute but he's not on the wall.

  3. advancing the libertarian movement? how has it advanced? gaining popularity on the internet with angry white boys is not advancing. It's a step backwards.

    Rothbard believes economic facts can not refute economic theory.

    1. If it's not gaining popularity, then why do you feel the need troll incessantly? You're scared of its gaining popularity. Hahaha.

    2. Hey Troll, did you happen to see the college venues filled to the brim when Ron Paul spoke during the 2012 campaign? If not for the chicanery of the Republican party, Ron Paul could quite possibly have been nominated from the floor of the convention. And he most certainly would've kicked Obama's arse in the general. Go home, mamas boy.

    3. @Jerry: Rothbard's role in advancing the libertarian movement had nothing to do with the internet. Rothbard died in 1995 before the internet really got going. And why is it always about race with you? Are Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams angry white boys? For you, probably yes, since any non-white boy that agrees with Rothbard isn't really black, right?