Sunday, August 2, 2015

Et tu, George Selgin?: A Cato Institute Attack on Murray Rothbard?

David Gordon writes:
George, Say It Isn’t So

The proverbial grapevine is often unreliable, and I very much hope that a story just transmitted to me is false. At the recently concluded Cato University, the tale has it, the well-known monetary economist George Selgin displayed a picture of Murray Rothbard and asked whether anyone in the class knew who it was. No one did, and Selgin said this was good, because all of his ideas were wrong. Would Selgin include in this claim, the person who transmitted the story to me wondered, Rothbard’s praise for Selgin’s paper on praxeology?

Here is a quote from the Selgin paper that Gordon may be thinking of: .
A few bouquets did manage to float their way along
the stream of criticisms against my essay. Murray
Rothbard was an early source of encouragement: I still
recall with great pleasure the evening spent with him in
his New York apartment as he painstakingly reviewed
The Ludwig von Mises Institute Selgin • 7
my first draft.


  1. "Selgin said this was good, because all of his ideas were wrong."

    The irony of his comment(if it's true he said it) is that he made that statement in the very place co-founded by Rothbard.

  2. Misesian minarchy > Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism

    You need authority to establish private property as the law of the land.

    1. If you mean by authority the people of the land recognizing that private property is absolutely necessary for their freedom and prosperity, I would agree with you.

      I always imagined minarchy as a place/society where anarcho-capitalism would be more widely and seriously considered.

    2. I call unsubstantiated B.S. How exactly a sovereign (aka "above the law") band of robbers can be "authority" to establish the rights?

      What really establishes the law is shared system of beliefs. Such as "thou shall not steal" and "thou shall not kill". When religion supporting such commandments gets replaced with the beliefs which have no such taboos, the result is massive murder and wholesale robbery committed by the "authorities". Just look at the socialist mega-murder of 20th century to understand what I am saying. All they did was within the "laws" of their own devising, which populations with minds possessed by the collectivist beliefs gladly accepted.