Tag Archives: Murray Rothbard

Murray Rothbard on Keynes

The Mises Institute has Murray Rothbard’s copy of John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. Rothbard was not afraid to make comments in the margins, so looking inside is like listening in on Murray’s private thoughts. A quite a few thoughts there are:

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If you liked the portrait of Keynes on the top of page 316, you’ll love the doodles on the cover pages:

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One of my favorite comments is Rothbard’s reply to Keynes when Keynes wrote, “Those who are strongly wedded to what I shall call ‘the classical theory’, will fluctuate, I expect, between a belief that I am quite wrong and a belief that I am saying nothing new.”

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To see more, visit the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.

Review of For a Libertarian Communism

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For a Libertarian Communism is a collection of translations from the French communist writer Daniel Guerin. The title implies that the theory inside will include or at least make use of libertarianism, but this is not the case. Instead, Guerin has a slightly different flavor of communism that he is trying to sell.

Unfortunately, Guerin’s brand of communism is not novel enough that the average ancap needs to learn about it. Only those who are doing historical research are likely to benefit from reading this book. You can read the full text here.

Guerin says that, in pursuit of equality and liberty, the libertarian communist movement must resign itself to:

…imposing its will on the majority, first and preferentially through persuasion, and, if persuasion fails, by force.

Needless to say, the closest Guerin comes to libertarian ideas is Continue reading

Review of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?

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Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do by Michael J. Sandel

Michael J. Sandel‘s book Justice, is a worthwhile read for anarcho-capitalists who have already read the greats in their own tradition: Murray Rothbard, David D. Friedman, Hans Hoppe, etc., and are ready to hone their thinking by exploring some different viewpoints. Sandel’s book is especially good for this purpose because he tries to find a theory of justice by contrasting three different perspectives: libertarianism, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics. Not only does libertarianism feature prominently in the book, it is portrayed in a reasonable way.

Sandel also makes good use of both hypotheticals and real-life examples to explore the idea of justice. Familiar ones like the Trolley Problem get a standard treatment, but less common examples like invitro fertilization and surrogacy are also explored. The real world problems are taken from present day as well as centuries ago when, for example, people who were drafted into the military could hire someone to take their place. These analyses are deep enough to be interesting, but do not drag on so long that they become a waste of time.

Although Sandel’s approach is good, he ends up with a rather confused notion of justice. This is partially due to the fact that he conflates ethics with morality. He is not simply trying to define justice as a core ethical concept, but also bolt on moral ideas about how a person should live their life. This leads him to choose virtue ethics from the three options he explores. Thus the ideas of honor and living a good life get mixed up with his view of justice, when a more focused approach would have served better.

So what is justice? Continue reading

Less Common Photos of Murray Rothbard

Here are some less common photographs of Murray Rothbard along with some other paragons of libertarianism. If anyone has higher resolution versions, please let us know.

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Ron Paul, Henry Hazlitt, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell

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Burt Blumert, Lew Rockwell, David Gordon, Murray N. Rothbard

Continue reading

Review of The New Right by Michael Malice

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The New Right by Michael Malice

The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics  looks at the recent evolution of political discourse in America from the unclouded perspective of celebrated anarcho-capitalist Michael Malice. Specifically, Malice traces the origins of anti-progressive ideas and organizations from the various 20th century intellectuals who instigated them and the 21st century activists who made them into a force to be reckoned with. Though the topics are serious, Malice uses his irreverent and jolting style to beat humor out of them like candy from a piñata.

Malice opens The New Right with a devastating quote by Murray Rothbard and only waits until the second page to break it to the reader that he is an anarchist and this is not going to be a typical book about politics. Instead, he lays out his definition of the New Right and begins an unwavering survey of the key people and ideas, saying that they are:

A loosely connected group of individuals united by their opposition to progressivism, which they perceive to be a thinly veiled fundamentalist religion dedicated to egalitarian principles and intent on totalitarian world domination via globalist hegemony.

Malice is fair, but not always kind, to current members of the New Right, including Mencius Moldbug, Mike Cernovich, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Anne Coulter, Jared Taylor, Chris Cantwell, and others. Malice never hesitates to point out the flaws in any person’s perspective, but he also makes sure to credit the reasonable ideas therein.

Especially interesting to ancaps is the origin story of the New Right. Malice traces the history of the movement back to Murray Rothbard and Pat Buchanan: Continue reading