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:
If you liked the portrait of Keynes on the top of page 316, you’ll love the doodles on the cover pages:
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.”
To see more, visit the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.
The State is, and always has been, the great single enemy of the human race, its liberty, happiness, and progress. – Murray Rothbard
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
“Capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism. Not only are they compatible, but you can’t really have one without the other. True anarchism will be capitalism, and true capitalism will be anarchism.” – Murray Rothbard
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
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.