Austrian School economist, author of For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
Murray Rothbard

Murray Newton Rothbard (2 March 1926 - 7 January 1995) was an American economist of the Austrian School, a revisionist historian, and a political theorist whose writings and personal influence played a seminal role in the development of modern libertarianism. Rothbard was the founder and leading theoretician of anarcho-capitalism, a staunch advocate of historical revisionism, and a central figure in the twentieth-century American libertarian movement. He wrote over twenty books on anarchist theory, revisionist history, economics and other subjects. Rothbard asserted that all services provided by the "monopoly system of the corporate state" could be provided more efficiently by the private sector and wrote that the state is "the organization of robbery systematized and writ large". He called fractional reserve banking a form of fraud and opposed central banking. He categorically opposed all military, political and economic interventionism in the affairs of other nations.

Images

Murray Rothbard - The Advocates
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Rothbard smiling - Mises.org
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Rothbard writing on chalkboard - Mises.org
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Young Rothbard - Mises.org
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Born

2 Mar 1926, Murray Newton Rothbard, in Bronx, New York City

Died

7 Jan 1995, in New York City

Biography

Laissez Faire Books
"Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was the greatest radical libertarian author, writing authoritatively about ethics, philosophy, economics, American history and the history of ideas. He presented the most fundamental challenge to the legitimacy of government, and he refined thinking about the self-ownership and non-coercion principles."
Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995), by David Gordon
Ludwig von Mises Institute biographical profile
"Murray N. Rothbard, a scholar of extraordinary range, made major contributions to economics, history, political philosophy, and legal theory. He developed and extended the Austrian economics of Ludwig von Mises, in whose seminar he was a main participant for many years. He established himself as the principal Austrian theorist in the latter half of the twentieth century and applied Austrian analysis to historical topics such as the Great Depression of 1929 and the history of American banking."

Associations

In Memoriam Research Fellow, Independent Institute
The Libertarian Forum, Editor
Circle Bastiat

Web Pages

Murray N. Rothbard - Online Library of Liberty
Includes short profile, photograph and links to some of his works
"Rothbard was an Austrian economist, economic historian, and libertarian political philosopher."
Murray N. Rothbard | People | Foundation for Economic Education
Includes short profile, picture and links to Rothbard's FEE articles
"Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) was an economist of the Austrian School, a revisionist historian, and a political theorist whose writings and personal influence played a seminal role in the development of modern libertarianism."
NewMurray Rothbard - Libertarianism.org
Short profile and links to essays, videos and other resources about Rothbard
"A prolific author and Austrian economist, Murray Rothbard promoted a form of free market anarchism he called 'anarcho-capitalism.'"
Murray Rothbard - The Advocates
Biography (from Laissez Faire Books), picture and quotes
"Rothbard’s most popular book, For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (1973) presents a stirring brief history of libertarianism along with a candid chronicle of statism. He explains how education, crime, poor relief, environmental protection, and other issues could be better resolved by relying on private initiative. The book was expanded and updated in 1978."

Articles

Enemy of the State, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 24 Nov 2006
Review of Justin Raimondo's An Enemy of the State
"As Raimondo says, no biography can be complete without coming to terms with the simultaneous occurrence of all these professional contributions — a tough job when you are dealing with a legacy that includes 25 books and tens of thousands of articles.This is an outstanding account of his life that valiantly struggles to treat them all between two covers, though in the end even Raimondo too must specialize, in this case on Rothbard the cultural-political commentator and organizer."
Related Topic: Libertarianism
Murray N. Rothbard - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
"Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) earned the antagonism of Ayn Rand and other Objectivists for his anarchism as well as other aspects of his libertarian thought. Some of those criticisms have been just and some have been unjust. In any case, his many massive contributions to the cause of individual liberty—his treatise on economics, Man, Economy, and State earned a qualified thumbs up from none other than Ludwig von Mises—extend far beyond any problematic assertions of political theory ..."
Murray N. Rothbard: Mr. Libertarian, by Wendy McElroy, 6 Jul 2000
A tribute to Rothbard as a "system builder," an integrator of multiple disciplines into a "philosophy of freedom"
"Following in the footsteps of his mentor, the pioneering Austrian Economist Ludwig von Mises, Rothbard grounded human liberty in human nature. Developing an explicit philosophy of Liberty, he drove his insights through history to re-examine the real implications and meaning of events, such as the American Revolution. He laid a moral foundation for freedom, then used it to springboard into a strategy by which to achieve it. The integration was a stunning accomplishment."
Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), by Roger W. Garrison, Murray N. Rothbard: In Memoriam, 1995
Remembrances of how the author became exposed and interested in Austrian economics and then met and was influenced by Rothbard
"I can easily say that Murray's influence on my career has been so significant that I simply do not know where I would be today or what I would be doing had it not been for his guidance. I knew Murray for the last twenty-two years of his life. I look back now and realize that he was not as old when I first dined with him and Joey as I am now. In stature, though, he seemed to me then like the Old Master—having more to show for his early years than most of us will have in the longest lifetime."
Murray Rothbard 1926-1995: Murray Newton Rothbard, eminent economist, historian, philosopher, and former Libertarian Party official, died in New York City, Libertarian Party News, Feb 1995
In memoriam, with long list of Rothbard's accomplishments
"'The world lost a great champion for liberty with the passing of Professor Murray Rothbard,' said Steve Dasbach, Libertarian Party national chair. 'His many works, particularly his classic book For a New Liberty, have had a profound influence on the development of the modern libertarian movement.' Rothbard joined the Libertarian Party around 1974 and was active until 1989. He served several terms on the Libertarian National Committee and helped write sections of the Party's platform."
Murray Rothbard's Favorite Books, by David Gordon, 3 Mar 2007
Based on a 1994 list composed by Rothbard himself and titled "Books That Formed Me"
"Few scholars approach Murray Rothbard's immense learning in economics, history, politics, and philosophy. From all the books he read, Rothbard singled out a few that had most influenced him. ... A Mencken Chrestomathy ... The Importance of being Earnest ... John Buchan's The 39 Steps and Greenmantle ... Human Action ... No Treason, Number 6: The Constitution of No Authority ... Second Treatise on Government ... Discourse on Voluntary Servitude ..."
Murray Rothbard's Philosophy of Freedom, by David Gordon, The Freeman, Nov 2007
Examines the arguments made by Rothbard from the premise that slavery is wrong, self-ownership, private property rights and a free market without government interventions follows
"Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) based his political philosophy on a simple insight: slavery is wrong. Few, if any, would dare to challenge this obvious truth; but its implications are far reaching. It is Rothbard's singular merit to show that rejecting slavery leads inexorably to laissez-faire capitalism, unrestricted by the slightest government interference. ... Rothbard's ethical system, far more comprehensive than I have here been able to indicate, deserves the attention of everyone interested in political philosophy, as well as everyone who loves liberty."
Read Rothbard, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 29 Jul 2013
Bibliographical review of Rothbard's major works, including suggested reading order
"What Has Government Done to Our Money? ... Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure ... Making Economic Sense ... For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto ... America’s Great Depression ... The Irrepressible Rothbard ... The Mystery of Banking ... Man, Economy and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles ... The Ethics of Liberty ... Economic Controversies"
Rothbard's For a New Liberty, by Sheldon Richman, 16 May 2014
Review of For a New Liberty with emphasis on Rothbard's discussion of the nonaggression axiom and natural rights
"The book is an excellent discussion of libertarian principles and applications, and it is still worth reading today. ... Rothbard played a larger role than most in shaping the modern libertarian movement. ... Anyone eager to understand the rich libertarian philosophy and heritage could do no better than to begin with For a New Liberty."
Rothbard's The Ethics of Liberty: Still Worthy after All These Years, by Sheldon Richman, 9 May 2014
Review of The Ethics of Liberty with emphasis on Rothbard's arguments for the validity of natural law
"In 1982 Murray Rothbard published his magnum opus in political philosophy, The Ethics of Liberty. It is a tour de force, a remarkable presentation of the moral case for political freedom. ... Many of these quotations indicate that Rothbard believed that under natural law, binding moral constraints can be rationally identified. Respect for other people and their just possession is one such binding constraint; it does not require explicit or implicit consent."
The life and times of Murray N. Rothbard, who showed why private individuals can do just about everything that needs to be done, by Jim Powell
Lengthy biographical essay
"Economist Murray N. Rothbard mounted the most comprehensive intellectual challenge ever attempted against the legitimacy of government. During a career that spanned more than 40 years, he explained why private individuals, private companies and other voluntary associations can do whatever needs to be done. ... Murray Rothbard did more than anyone else to show that people generally do just fine without government interference. He did much to inspire confidence in the wonders people achieve when they are free."
The Mystery of Banking, by Joseph T. Salerno, The Mystery of Banking, Sep 2008
Foreword to the 2008 Mises Institute edition
"While it is therefore written in Rothbard's characteristically sparkling prose it does not shy away from a rigorous presentation of the basic theoretical principles ... Rothbard himself was the leading monetary economist in the sound money tradition in the second half of the twentieth century, contributing many of the building blocks to the theoretical structure that he lays out."
Related Topic: Banking
The Roots of Rothbard, by David Gordon, 6 Nov 2000
Review of The Irrepressible Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard
"What can be done to combat statism and nihilism? Rothbard views populism with great sympathy. As so often in his work, he rethought and deepened his position. He determined that a common libertarian strategy, looking to the courts to enforce rights, was mistaken."
The System Builder, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., 1974
Foreword to the 1974 edition of Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays. Compares Rothbard to Karl Marx as a "system builder" of anarchist thought.
"To students of anarchist thought there is something else present here: the first anarchist social philosopher who not only is on the level of Marx in terms of scope and originality, but who is a libertarian as well. For Murray N. Rothbard was one of the first truly free-market anarchists, and the only one so far to put forward an original system of ideology. Whether one agrees with Rothbard or not, his ideas are both original in important ways and also significant."
A Bogus Libertarian Defense of War, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Oct 2007
Examines Randy Barnett's Wall Street Journal article "Libertarians and the War" and a follow-up at the Volokh Conspiracy blog
"Murray Rothbard, who did some of the most important work on libertarian foreign policy, summed up the answer in The Ethics of Liberty ... As one can readily see, no principle of national sovereignty is needed to establish the noninterventionist principle. Governments don't have rights over 'their' territories or populations. Rather, they are ubiquitous threats to life, liberty, and property."
Related Topics: War, Randy E. Barnett
A Call to Activism, by Margit von Mises, The Free Market, Jun 1984
Speech delivered 27 Feb 1984 at a Mises Institute dinner in her honor; calling her late husband an "activist of the mind" and encouraging others to become likewise
"Think, for example, of Professor Murray Rothbard, who has written, and is still writing, brilliant books extending the influence of Austrian economics, and who — with some friends — founded the Center for Libertarian Studies which works to foster libertarian scholarship, following in economics solely the ideas of Ludwig von Mises."
A Fairy Tale of the Austrian Movement, by Joseph T. Salerno, Mises Daily, 25 Sep 2007
Review of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism, in particular of the section in chapter 7 where Peter Boettke discusses Austrian economics
"Granting the most plausible interpretation of Boettke's claim, namely, that Rothbard argued that Austrian economics scientifically proves that a libertarian political order is socially optimal, even someone with only passing familiarity with Rothbard's main methodological writings would recognize it as a patent falsehood. Indeed, Rothbard emphatically argued that economics is a strictly value-free science and the economist qua economist is therefore precluded from offering any policy recommendations whatever. "
Best of Both Worlds: Milton Friedman reminisces about his career as an economist and his lifetime "avocation" as a spokesman for freedom, by Brian Doherty, Reason, Jun 1995
Topics discussed include: the new Congress, flat taxes, the withholding tax, the people who influenced him, what led him to write about policy issues, libertarianism and how his political views have changed over the years
"Rothbard was a very different character. I had some contact with Murray early on, but very little contact with him overall. That's primarily because I deliberately kept from getting involved in the Libertarian Party affairs; partly because I always thought Murray, like Rand, was a cult builder, and a dogmatist. Partly because whenever he's had the chance he's been nasty to me and my work. I don't mind that but I didn't have to mix with him. And so there is no ideological reason why I kept separate from him, really a personal reason."
NewBlack-Market Activism: Samuel Edward Konkin III and Agorism, by David S. D'Amato, 25 Apr 2015
Overview of Konkin's life and his two main contributions: agorism and the counter-economy
"First published in 1980, Konkin's New Libertarian Manifesto remains the definitive work of agorism, prompting debate among the early leaders of the modern movement. Murray Rothbard promptly published a response to the Manifesto, in which he argued that Konkin had failed to show the adequacy of counter-economics as a way to confront 'the unpleasant features of the real world.' ... Rothbard thought that Konkin's vision of the black market counter-economy swelling and eventually overtaking the state and its economic beneficiaries was simply unrealistic and naïve."
Cartels: Economists and Central Bankers, by Gary North, 11 Jul 2007
Discusses why economics textbooks never delve into the necessity of central banking
"Such was the fate of Murray Rothbard through most of his career. He not only denied the legitimacy of central banking, he also demonstrated that it was fraudulent, a monopoly protecting a cartel, and the creator of the boom-bust economic cycle. He wrote what no other economist had ever written, an upper division-level textbook on money and banking that demonstrated all of these points. No textbook publishing company would touch it."
Related Topic: Banking
Do You Consider Yourself a Libertarian?, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 25 May 2007
Interview by Kenny Johnsson for "The Liberal Post" blog
"Did Murray make mistakes? Of course. There are no oracles who see all and know all. But no one can read a masterpiece like Man, Economy, and State, or browse his massive History of Economic Thought, and say that his economic thought was unreliable. He was a great theorist and teacher in every way."
Faculty Spotlight Interview: Jeff Riggenbach, 18 Mar 2010
"How important do you think revisionist history is in terms of progressing libertarian theory? Murray Rothbard addressed this question back in 1976, in the pages of his monthly movement newsletter, the Libertarian Forum. ... 'Revisionism,' Rothbard wrote, 'is an historical discipline made necessary by the fact that all States are governed by a ruling class that is a minority of the population, and which subsists as a parasitic and exploitative burden upon the rest of society. ...'"
Related Topic: Jeff Riggenbach
Faculty Spotlight Interview: Walter Block, 18 Jan 2010
Asks Block about his hobbies, greatest inspiration, the impact of his work and more
"What brought me to the Ludwig von Mises Institute? You know, I don't really remember. I was a friend of Murray's, an honor of which I am greatly proud, and he probably drew me into this ambit. ... Who is your greatest inspiration? Murray Rothbard, personally, tops the list, and his, and the writings of Ludwig von Mises, have been the most inspiring to me."
Related Topic: Walter Block
Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 25 Jul 2000
Examines Molinari's conception of the states, including democracies, and their role in defense, as well as his proposal for agencies to provide defense against external aggressors
"By sometime in the 1950s, the late Murray Rothbard was aware of Molinari's heresies concerning stateless market society and their parallel with the system advocated by Tucker and his associates in the U.S. Rothbard, of course, went on to integrate this 'utopian' notion with the Austrian economics of Ludwig von Mises."
How I Became a Libertarian and an Austrian Economist, by Richard M. Ebeling, 2 May 2016
Autobiographical essay highlighting the people and events who influenced him in his path to libertarianism and Austrian economics
"Anyone who spent an evening that usually went long into the night at his Manhattan apartment lived a unique experience. His huge apartment was crammed with books in every room from ceiling to floor on every conceivable subject, with every volume of which he seemingly had read ... But he could be a difficult person, who you did not want to get on the wrong side of. You could find yourself condemned, criticized and banished from the Rothbardian circle – a fate worse than death for any young admirer who felt as if he had been expelled from the libertarian intellectual Garden of Eden."
Interview with Karl Hess, by A. Lin Neumann, Reason, May 1982
Topics discussed include the Republican Party, National Review, AEI, Goldwater, Rothbard, anarchism, the Vietnam War, Carter and Reagan, fascism, urban enterprise zones, the environment, and authoritarianism vs. freedom
"The most influential person in that change was Murray Rothbard, a libertarian—the libertarian—economist. He wrote an article in Ramparts about the similarity between the New Left and the Old Right that just astonished me. And he wrote it at a time when I could see it reflected in reality, because I then knew a lot of people in the New Left. I called him up—he lived in New York—and I said, 'You don't know me from Adam's off-ox, but I just think that's the best thing I've ever read.' Well, it turned out he did know of me, so I went up to New York, and for the first time in my life I met some anarchists."
It Usually Ends With Murray Rothbard: My Long and Winding Road to Libertarianism and Austrian Economics, by Joseph T. Salerno, 23 Jun 2005
Autobiographical, recounts Prof. Salerno's progression from conservatism to anarcho-capitalism, from classical to Austrian economics, and meeting Murray Rothbard
"Rothbard ... argued that the Cold War was a ruse devised by the American ruling elite to justify the continuation and expansion of the massive, tax-consuming, welfare-warfare state built up during World War II at home and to rationalize postwar U.S. imperialist ambitions for assorted military interventions abroad."
Jeff Riggenbach on Samuel Edward Konkin III, by Jeff Riggenbach, Freedom Network News, 2004
Lengthy biographical and memorial essay
"There is ample irony in this memory, for, of the two, it was Sam, not Bill, who proved to be the true Rothbardian. Sam faithfully followed Rothbard in his insistence on a non-interventionist foreign policy. He faithfully followed Rothbard in his denunciation of 'public' education."
Libertarianism: Left or Right?, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Jun 2007
Makes the case that libertarianism is properly on the Left of the polical spectrum
"... movements not always dedicated to individual liberty have stepped into the breach, leaving libertarianism to look like a quirky branch of conservatism. Murray Rothbard discusses that decline in his classic essay 'Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty,' which should be read by anyone with an interest in this subject."
Related Topic: Libertarianism
Libertarianism and the Great Divide, by Justin Raimondo, 16 Mar 2007
Review of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism
"This view of Rothbard as a disruptive influence – which Doherty does more than his part in spreading – is certainly true in a narrow sense, yet still it is an annoying trope because what Rothbard was disrupting needed a good kick in the pants, and he was very capable of delivering a very swift and painful blow to his erstwhile followers. If he were alive today, we would certainly be hearing yowls of pain from the 'pragmatists.'"
Libertarianism and the War, by Justin Raimondo, 2 Apr 2007
Criticises a Cato Unbound sympsium titled "Libertarianism: Past and Prospects" with contributed essays from Brian Doherty, Brink Lindsey, Tyler Cowen, Tom G. Palmer and Virginia Postrel
"The case for short-term pessimism but long-range optimism was made by Murray Rothbard long ago, and that case still stands. ... the founder of the Cato Institute argued that liberty would triumph in the end, precisely because it gave birth to the industrial revolution and the exponential increase in wealth we witness all around us ... Rothbard called 'a passion for justice,' which, as he put it, was the essential psychological ingredient of the dedicated libertarian ..."
Related Topics: Libertarianism, Imperialism, War
Libertarianism Is Not Atheist, Is Not Religious, by Wendy McElroy, The Daily Bell, 9 Oct 2014
Examines Rothbard's responses to Rand's atheistic views that influenced early modern libertarianism
"Murray commented wryly, if 'Stalin couldn't stamp out religion, libertarians are not going to succeed with a few Randian syllogisms.' ... More interestingly, Murray argued that whatever a peaceful person thinks about religion is totally irrelevant to libertarianism. Murray did not believe libertarianism required either the acceptance or rejection of religion."
Related Topics: Libertarianism, Ayn Rand
Meeting Murray Rothbard On the Road to Libertarianism, by Jeff Riggenbach, 4 Jan 2003
Riggenbach recounts his path from an advocate of Ayn Rand's objectivism, later reading LeFevre and attending his lectures to reading Rothbard's "The Anatomy of the State" and eventually meeting and being able to have many conversations with him
"In one of these I found an amazing essay called 'The Anatomy of the State' by a writer I had known up to then only as an economist, Murray N. Rothbard. Here, Rothbard was writing not about economics but about history and political philosophy, and what he told me shook me to my foundations. ... When I read 'The Anatomy of the State,' however, I felt the first pangs of conversion. ... Within months, I was an anarchist."
Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 33: Murray N. Rothbard and the Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Sep 1999
Examines the arguments made by Rothbard in his 1962 essay "The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar"
"In 1962 there appeared a collection of essays edited by Leland B. Yeager entitled In Search of a Monetary Constitution. ... The volume also included a contribution by a young Austrian school economist, Murray N. Rothbard ... That same year ... [he] published Man, Economy, and State, a two-volume treatise representing the most systematic presentation of economic principles from within the Austrian tradition since Ludwig von Mises's major work, Human Action, in 1949."
Related Topic: Banking
Murray Rothbard Confronts Adam Smith [PDF], by Paul B. Trescott, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 1998
Critical review of Rothbard's chapter about Adam Smith in Economic Thought Before Adam Smith: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Volume I, including both positive and unfavorable points missed by Rothbard
"A noteworthy feature of Murray Rothbard's monumental history of economic thought is his vigorous denunciation of Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations. ... However, he has failed to take note of some of the positive virtues of The Wealth of Nations. We will also refer to relevant aspects of the works of Cantillon and Turgot, whom Rothbard praised highly."
Related Topic: Adam Smith
Murray Rothbard's Adam Smith [PDF], by Spencer J. Pack, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 1998
Supportive review of Rothbard's criticisms of Adam Smith in An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought
"... Murray Rothbard does indeed have scathing criticisms of Adam Smith in Rothbard's recent work on the history of economic thought. ... Rothbard had quite harsh words for many eminent economists. Moreover, in terms of methodology, Rothbard basically felt that he possessed certain key economic truths. People who did not share these truths were, in Rothbard's eyes, quite simply wrong."
Related Topic: Adam Smith
Murray, the LP, and Me, by David P. Bergland, 25 Dec 2002
Part of Walter Block's Autobiography Archive
"I was introduced to Murray Rothbard the economist long before I came to know him as a radical libertarian anarcho-capitalist activist. ... I believe it was also in 1974 that I read Rothbard's For a New Liberty. The experience was exhilarating. This is probably the one book of Murray's best suited to be read by people without much formal education in economics or political philosophy. It's a great text for LP activists who need some foundation in the freedom philosophy."
Non-Marxist Theories of Imperialism, by Alan Fairgate, Feb 1976
Examines writings of critics of imperialism that are not based on Marxist analysis
"In more recent years, a number of brilliant insights into certain dimensions of imperialism have been presented in articles by Murray Rothbard and Leonard Liggio in Left and Right. The seminal article, 'Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty' (Spring 1965) by Murray Rothbard focused on the revolutionary implications of the capitalist transformation of society in Europe and England but at the same time suggested that this transformation was not complete; feudal social structures were not entirely uprooted."
Objectivism and the State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., The Rational Individualist, Aug 1969
Published by the Society for Rational Individualism (later merged into the Society for Individual Liberty); responds to five of Rand's arguments in her essay "The Nature of Government"
"In any case, a much fuller discussion of the technical aspects of the operation of a fully voluntary, nonstatist society is forthcoming, in the opening chapter of Murray N. Rothbard's follow-up volume to his masterly two-volume economic treatise, Man, Economy, and State, to be entitled Power and Market ..."
On Autobiography, by Walter Block, 4 Dec 2002
Autobiographical, recounts how Prof. Block met Ayn Rand and later Murray Rothbard and how he progressed from libertarian minarchism to anarcho-capitalism
"Murray was always exceedingly kind to me, tolerant of my foibles, endlessly patient. By now I was reading Man, Economy and State. I had this weird reaction to the experience of reading the book by day, and seeing the author, regularly, at night. ... (He kept telling me to call him 'Murray,' not 'Prof. Rothbard,' something that was very difficult for me)."
Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by David Gordon, The Mises Review, Dec 2007
Review of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism
"Doherty considers Rothbard one of the five thinkers who 'form the spine of the story this book tells, five people without whom there would have been no uniquely libertarian ideas or libertarian institutions of any popularity or impact in America in the second half of the twentieth century' (p. 8). (The other four are Mises, Hayek, Rand, and Friedman.) He is by no means hostile to Rothbard. Quite the contrary, he praises him for embodying 'the purest form of the libertarian political philosophy' (p. 569)."
Stiglitz is Wrong on Government, by Michael S. Rozeff, Mises Daily, 6 Sep 2006
Criticises the 1986 Bruce C. Greenwald and Joseph E. Stiglitz paper "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets", which posits that certain government interventions "can make everyone better off"
"Murray Rothbard's views directly oppose those of Stiglitz. ... Whose view is correct is tremendously important as it touches upon the entire realm of political organization. If Stiglitz's pro-state view is correct, it provides justification for the interventionist state. If Rothbard's anti-state view is correct, then it removes the justification for all government activities, including those supposedly justified by externalities."
Related Topics: Government, Free Market, Prices
Sy Leon, R.I.P., by Butler Shaffer, 11 Sep 2007
Recollections of the life of Sy Leon, Rampart College and the libertarian movement of the 1950s/1960s
"The late 1950s and early 1960s were the formative years for what has since become known as 'libertarian thinking.' ... Murray Rothbard was fond of saying that, in those early days, all libertarians would fit inside his New York City apartment. There was more realism than humor in his remark."
Related Topics: Voting, Robert LeFevre
Szasz on the Liberal Tradition, by David Gordon, The Mises Review, Sep 2004
Review of Szasz' book Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices, highlighting his criticisms of J.S. Mill, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and Nozick
"Can the view that mind is not a substance really be sustained? Indeed, can one properly speak of responsibility at all, on Szasz's view of mind? Murray Rothbard raised precisely these issues, in a review written in 1962 of Szasz's The Myth of Mental Illness. Clearly rankled by Rothbard's criticism, Szasz replies that his entire position affirms responsibility. ... He naturally prefers to stress Rothbard's later praise for his work, most notably in a speech that Rothbard delivered in his honor in 1980."
NewThe 1977 Libertarian Party National Convention, by Tom G. Palmer and Tom Avery, Libertarian Review, Oct 1977
Recounts the main events of the convention, highlighting several of the speakers and their messages
"The convention’s keynote address was by Murray Rothbard: 'Turning Point 1777/1977.' Drawing on the parallels between the American revolution and our own time, Rothbard drew an important lesson: 'The American Revolutionaries, our libertarian forefathers, were not only interested in setting forth a glorious set of principles,' he told the audience, 'they were also interested in action, in putting these principles into practice in the real world.' ... The stirring call to arms, drawing on the memories and words of George Mason, Charles Lee and Thomas Paine, brought forth a standing ovation."
The Case for Gold, by Mark Calabria
Review of The Case for Gold (1982) by Rep. Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman
"Murray Rothbard's superb history of money and banking constitutes chapters two and three of The Case for Gold. This history reminds us that the citizens of the United States have been subjected to repeated inflations and debasements, most often in the cause of war but also to the benefit of Wall Street. ... If we are to avoid future debasements, and perhaps even wars and financial bailouts, an understanding of our monetary history is essential. I can think of no better place to begin one's study of that history than Rothbard's contributions contained here."
Related Topics: Ron Paul, Gold Standard
The Power of Persuasion, by Jeff Riggenbach, Mises Daily, 20 May 2011
Historical account of the Persuasion magazine, edited by Joan Kennedy Taylor between Sept 1964 and May 1968
"By 1984, Murray Rothbard could report in his memorable appraisal of Reagan's first term in the White House that things probably wouldn't have looked that much different if we'd had a president who didn't oppose the draft living on Pennsylvania Avenue: 'Compulsory draft registration has been continued,' Rothbard wrote, 'and young resisters have been thrown into jail.' ... in the mid 1960s ... there were fewer than half a dozen libertarian publications in existence in this country, the most noteworthy of which were the quarterly Left & Right, edited in New York by radical economist Murray N. Rothbard and radical historian Leonard P. Liggio ..."
The Story of Roy A. Childs Jr. (1949–1992), by Jeff Riggenbach, 21 Jan 2011
Biographical essay; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 12 Jan 2011
"Childs was mightily impressed by what he read inside the covers of Rothbard's books and by what he heard from Rothbard himself in that famous living room at 215 West 88th Street. ... And when he became editor of Books for Libertarians in 1972, he began running laudatory reviews of Rothbard's books: Man, Economy, and State, America's Great Depression, The Panic of 1819, Power and Market, What Has Government Done to Our Money? — virtually everything Rothbard had published up to that time."
War, Peace, and Murray Rothbard, by Sheldon Richman, 18 Jul 2014
Review and commentary on Murray Rothbard's 1963 essay "War, Peace, and the State"
"I love the way Murray opened this essay ... He began by agreeing with conservative magazine editor and author William F. Buckley ... Murray's subject was war between nation-states — governments — but he believed that interstate warfare could not be understood without focusing first on individuals and the violent conflicts between them."
Related Topic: War
Was Robert A. Heinlein a Libertarian?, by Jeff Riggenbach, 2 Jun 2010
Biographical essay, focused on attempting to answer the title question; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" of 18 May 2010
"As Murray Rothbard explained in his classic essay 'War, Peace, & the State,' published in 1963, five years after the publication of Heinlein's fatuous polemic, suppose
... Remember that the rule prohibiting violence against the persons or property of innocent men is absolute ...
... Ten years later, in his invaluable introduction to the libertarian idea, For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, Rothbard summed up his view of the point Robert A. Heinlein had made in that 1958 ad in the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph."
What you should know about the Non-Aggression Principle, by Jason Kuznicki, 24 Feb 2017
Discusses the non-aggression principle, stating that it "depends on a valid theory of property ownership" and concludes that such a theory is in conflict with what most people view as the proper role of government
"There are many historical antecedents to the NAP, but libertarians usually trace its current formulation to Murray Rothbard ... The nonaggression principle is sometimes (and confusingly) called an axiom, a practice which Rothbard also began. If we use the standard meaning of the word 'axiom,' the NAP is no such thing ... As Rothbard put it, 'The problem is not so much in arriving at [the NAP] as in fearlessly and consistently pursuing its numerous and often astounding implications.'"
Why We Consent to Oppression: Self-suppression paves the way for political suppression, by Peter R. Breggin, Reason, Sep 1977
Examines the questions posed by La Boétie in his "Discourse" from a psychological perspective, particularly how childhood self-suppression leads most adults to more easily accept government oppression
"In a talk before the 1976 Libertarian Convention, Murray Rothbard noted that most economists live in the dark about the 'ultimate cause' of their own subject matter. That cause, Rothbard declared, is 'human action.' 'People exist and they act,' he stated, and this becomes the basis of the 'methodological individualism' of libertarian economics. ... In For a New Liberty, Rothbard summarizes the natural rights position of libertarianism in a manner wholly applicable to psychology as well as to economics ..."

Writings

America's Most Persecuted Minority, The Irrepressible Rothbard, 1994
Tells the history of post-millennial evangelical pietists or neo-Puritans and their crusades to ban pleasures such as liquor and smoking
"The major problem with the Puritans is not so much that they were a dour lot, but that they were believers in the dangerous Christian heresy of "post-millennialism" ... Since the Kingdom is by definition a perfect society free of sin, this means that it is the theological duty of believers to establish a sin-free society. But establishing a sin-free society, of course, means taking stern measures to get rid of sinners, which is where the rub comes in."
America's Two Just Wars: 1775 and 1861, The Costs of War, May 1994
Based on a talk given at the Mises Institute's Costs of War conference, published in The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victories, John V. Denson (editor)
"My own view of war can be put simply: a just war exists when a people tries to ward off the threat of coercive domination by another people, or to overthrow an already-existing domination. A war is unjust, on the other hand, when a people try to impose domination on another people, or try to retain an already existing coercive rule over them."
Anatomy of the Bank Run, The Free Market, Sep 1985
Explains fractional reserve banking, deposit insurance and monetary inflation
"... the depositor who thinks he has $10,000 in a bank is misled; in a proportionate sense, there is only, say, $1,000 or less there. And yet, both the checking depositor and the savings depositor think that they can withdraw their money at any time on demand. Obviously, such a system, which is considered fraud when practiced by other businesses, rests on a confidence trick ..."
Related Topic: Banking
Arts and Movies [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard (Mr. First Nighter), The Libertarian Forum, Jun 1972
Reviews of Sometimes a Great Notion and The Godfather
"The Godfather is one of the great movies of the last several years, and its enormous popularity is eminently well deserved. In the first place. it 1s a decidedly Old Culture movie, or 'movie-movie'; it is gloriously arriere-garde, and there is not a trace of the avant-garde gimmicks and camera trickery that have helped to ruin so many films in recent years. It is a picture with heroes and villains, good guys and bad guys; there is not a trace of the recently fashionable concern with the 'alienation' of shnooks and cretins searching endlessly for a purpose in life. The pace is terrific, the suspense and plot and direction and acting all excellent. Many of the lines are memorable, and 'we're going to make him an offer he can't refuse' has already burned its way indelibly into American culture."
Arts and Movies [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard (Mr. First Nighter), The Libertarian Forum, Jan 1973
Reviews the movies of 1972 and offers recommendations for the best (for the record, Godfather won Best Picture, Brando won Best Actor --but refused it, Coppola and Duvall were nominated for Best Director/Supporting Actor but did not win)
"Certainly the best film of 1972 was The Godfather, which we have already hailed in these pages. The Godfather is us classicists' candidate in the award sweepstakes. ... Best director and best picture awards should usually run together, and so Francis Ford Coppola gets our accolade. For best actor it's for me a tossup between Al Pacino and Marlon Brando in our favorite movie. For best suo~ortine'actor. Robert Duval! will probably get the Academy Award for his consigliori in The Godfather (even the New York Film Critics selected Duvall), but far superior are two splendid performances by British actors in Frenzy ..."
Arts and Movies [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard (Mr. First Nighter), Jan 1976
Review of The Man Who Would Be King
"This is the great Huston's best movie in years, a real 'movie movie', a joyous romp artfully combining humor and melodrama, marred only by the unhappy ending. It is not in the same league as Huston's Maltese Falcon, but, then, again, what is? ... The acting is spendid, clearly reflecting Huston's master hand."
Big News! Lib. Forum Reorganized! [PDF], The Libertarian Forum, Jan 1982
Editorial for special Aug 1981-Jan 1982 issue, announcing a rededication to internal education, regularization of publishing schedule, a new publisher and a rate increase
"... we are delighted to announce that we have secured the services of a real, honest-to-God professional publisher ... He is my old friend Daniel Rosenthal, who was one of the first and leading student libertarian activists in the nation, and then became a notably successful businessman. ... Danny moved into the newsletter field, launching the now widely circulated Silver and Gold Report."
Related Topic: Daniel M. Rosenthal
Bureaucracy and the Civil Service in the United States, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1995
Historical account of the evolution of the United States Civil Service and attempts to reform it, from its beginnings through the early 20th century
"Those bureaucrats who are shrewd analysts of human nature, then, and who understand the way rulers operate, will, if they see that the cherished policy of their President is in grave error, tend to keep their mouths shut, and let some other sucker be the messenger of bad news and get shot down."
'Date Rape' on Campus, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Feb 1991
Discusses recent alleged epidemic of "date rape" on college campuses, as reported by the New York Times
"To a libertarian, or indeed to any sensible person, there is no problem: if the sex was coercive, and took place against the will of one of the parties, then it was rape and if not, not. ... And finally, why not go the whole hog toward Left Puritanism and define all sex as per se coercive? That would clear up all the fuzziness and sex, or at least hetero-sex, could be outlawed completely."
'Doing God's Work', The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Mar 1993
Detailed history of Somalia from its independence in 1960 to the United Nations-sanctioned invasion in Dec 1992, with particular emphasis on the effects of U.S. government and private aid
"So the question is: how could Somalia, a land that used to be self-sufficient in food, have gotten to the point where virtually everyone seems to be dependent on U.S. and other outside relief? ... In short, the food 'crisis' has been deliberately created by the Somalian government – by Barre and his successors – in order to exert control over the Somali population, to tell them when and who shall or shall not eat."
Related Topic: Somalia
Floyd Arthur 'Baldy' Harper, RIP, The Libertarian Forum, May 1973
Biographical remembrance of "Baldy" including his involvement in FEE, the Volker Fund and the IHS
"Ever since he came to the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946 as its chief economist and theoretician, Baldy Harper, in a very real sense, has been the libertarian movement. For all these years, this gentle and lovable man, this wise and Socratic teacher, has been the heart and soul and nerve center of the libertarian cause. ... It was Baldy's burden, which he bore with his usual uncomplaining grace, that he was a member of a veritable 'lost generation' from the libertarian point of view."
Frank Chodorov, R.I.P., Left and Right, 1967
Biographical remembrance of Chodorov relating Rothbard's first meeting him
"For Frank was sui generis, and the vast gulf in the quality of mind and the rigor of ideas between him and the other 'rightist' intellectuals was, in a sense, embodied in that other gulf of spirit and outward form. Unflinching honesty, courage, love of the intellect and the products of the mind, these are some of the things that distinguished Frank Chodorov to the very core of his being and set him many light years above his confreres."
Related Topic: Frank Chodorov
Free Market, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 1993
Originally published in the The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics; definition of the free market and some related terms, e.g., exchange, prices, demand, using lay examples
"'Free market' is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents. These two individuals (or agents) exchange two economic goods, either tangible commodities or nontangible services. ... Trade, or exchange, is engaged in precisely because both parties benefit; if they did not expect to gain, they would not agree to the exchange."
Related Topics: Free Market, Socialism
Government in Business, The Freeman, Sep 1956
Contrasts characteristics of government-run enterprises with those of privately operated businesses and counters the argument of running government "like a business"
"Is there anything special about water or schooling that creates insoluble problems? How does it happen that there are no fierce arguments over what kind of steel or autos to produce, no battles over the kind of newspapers to print? The answer: There is something special—for the problems of schooling and water supply are examples of what happens when government, instead of private enterprise, operates a business."
Related Topics: Government, Business
Government Medical "Insurance", Making Economic Sense, 1995
Excerpt from Chapter 20. Written around the time of Hillarycare (Clinton's 1993 plan) but even more applicable now to Obamacare
"And so, our very real medical crisis has been the product of massive government intervention, state and federal, throughout the century; in particular, an artificial boosting of demand coupled with an artificial restriction of supply. The result has been accelerating high prices and deterioration of patient care. And next, socialized medicine could easily bring us to the vaunted medical status of the Soviet Union: everyone has the right to free medical care, but there is, in effect, no medicine and no care."
Related Topics: Health Care, Medicine, Prices
H.L. Mencken: The Joyous Libertarian, The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America, authored by Ronald Hamowy">New Individualist Review, Jun 1962
Examines the themes and style in Mencken's writings, mainly from the self-selected pieces in A Mencken Chrestomathy
"It is typical of American Kultur that it was incapable of understanding H. L. Mencken. And it was typical of H. L. Mencken that this didn't bother him a bit; in fact, quite the contrary, for it confirmed his estimate of his fellow-countrymen. ... That a man of ebullient wit can be, in a sense, all the more devoted to positive ideas and principles is understood by very few; almost always, he is set down as a pure cynic and nihilist. This was and still is the common fate of H. L. Mencken; but it is no more than he would have cheerfully expected."
Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution, Cato Journal, 1982
Examines the principles of tort law, how to determine what is just property and how to deal with invasions of property such as air pollution
"... the principles of tort or criminal law ... are negative commands or prohibitions, on the order of 'thou shalt not' do actions X, Y, or Z. ... certain actions are considered wrong to such a degree that it is considered appropriate to use the sanctions of violence (since law is the social embodiment of violence) to combat, defend against, and punish the transgressors."
Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty, Left and Right, 1965
Inaugural issue essay, reviewing the history of left- and right-wing politics, the short- and long-run optimistic and pessimistic views of various factions and what it may portend for the future of libertarianism
"Soon there developed in Western Europe two great political ideologies, centered around this new revolutionary phenomenon: one was Liberalism, the party of hope, of radicalism, of liberty, of the Industrial Revolution, of progress, of humanity; the other was Conservatism, the party of reaction, the party that longed to restore the hierarchy, statism, theocracy, serfdom, and class exploitation of the Old Order. ... Political ideologies were polarized, with Liberalism on the extreme 'Left', and Conservatism on the extreme 'Right', of the ideological spectrum."
Related Topic: Politics
Libertarian Applications to Current Problems: The Problems, For a New Liberty, 1973
Chapter 4 of For A New Liberty: List of brief overviews of major problems in society, e.g., taxes, fiscal crisis, crime, pollution, inflation, etc.
"Television consists of bland programs and distorted news. Radio and television channels have been nationalized for half a century by the federal government, which grants channels as a gift to privileged licensees, and can and does withdraw these gifts when a station displeases the government's Federal Communications Commission. How can any genuine freedom of speech or of the press exist under such conditions?"
Related Topic: Television Shows
Libertarianism in Ancient China, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith, 1995
Excerpted from chapter 1, section 1.10 "Taoism in ancient China"; discusses the Legalist, Confucian and Taoist schools of political philosophy and then concentrates on the latter, covering Laozi, Zhuangzi, Bao Jingyan and the Confucian historian Sima Qian
"The three main schools of political thought: the Legalists, the Taoists, and the Confucians, were established from the sixth to the fourth centuries BC. ... The Taoists were the world's first libertarians, who believed in virtually no interference by the state in economy or society, and the Confucians were middle-of-the-roaders on this critical issue. ... In practice, though far more idealistic, ... Confucianism was largely dedicated to installing an educated philosophically minded bureaucracy to rule in China."
Libertarians of Will, Intellect, and Action, 1977
Keynote address to the Libertarian Party Convention
"To be truly 'born again,' the libertarian must experience what we might call a second baptism, the 'baptism of will.' ... In short, the truly complete libertarian, the 'born again' libertarian, if you will, is not content with recognizing the truth of liberty as the best social system; he cannot and will not rest content until that system, that set of principles, has triumphed in the world of reality."
Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), 1990
Lengthy biographical essay with chronological explanation of Mises' writings
"One of the most notable economists and social philosophers of the twentieth century, Ludwig von Mises, in the course of a long and highly productive life, developed an integrated, deduct­ive science of economics based on the fundamental axiom that in­dividual human beings act purposively to achieve desired goals."
Related Topic: Ludwig von Mises
Mafia Movies, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Nov 1990
Contrasts The Godfather's I and II with Goodfellas
"But the great classic, the definitive, superb Mafia movie was The Godfathers I and II, in which Francis Ford Coppola poured out a work of genius, grounded in his own and novelist Mario Puzo's cultural history ... The Godfathers were perfection: an epic world, a world of drama and struggle, tautly organized and memorably written, beautifully and broodingly photographed ..."
Money and the Individual, 1981
Foreword to the 1981 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises's The Theory of Money and Credit
"Ludwig von Mises was a 'third-generation' Austrian, a brilliant student in Böhm-Bawerk's famous graduate seminar at the University of Vienna in the first decade of the twentieth century. Mises's great achievement in The Theory of Money and Credit (published in 1912) was to take the Austrian method and apply it to the one glaring and vital lacuna in Austrian theory: the broad 'macro' area of money and general prices."
Related Topic: Ludwig von Mises
Mr. Bush's War, The Irrepressible Rothbard, Oct 1990
Starts off as a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the rationale for the Gulf War, but then delves into more serious reasons, including the Saudi, petroleum and Rockefeller connections
"Saddam is definitely BAD. But – and here's the point – he was just as bad a few short years ago when he was the heroic 'defender of the free world' against the BAD fanatical mullah-run Shiite Iranians (Remember them?). Remember how, in the extremely bloody eight-year war between Iraq and Iran ... the U.S. 'tilted toward' (in plain English: sided with) Iraq? Well, the current Butcher of Baghdad was the same Butcher of Baghdad then."
Related Topics: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Taxation, War
New York Politics '93, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Aug 1993
Discusses the potential outcome of the 1993 New York City Mayoral race between David Dinkins and Rudolph Giuliani, plus a cast of others
"New York is of course a famously left-wing city ... But while the city may be overwhelmingly leftist and Democratic, a complicating factor is race. New York has always been a hotbed of ethnic and racial conflict, but in the days of the old-time political bosses, the guys in the smoke-filled rooms could come out with electoral tickets that were carefully racially and ethnically balanced."
Related Topic: New York City, New York
Punishment and Proportionality, 1982
Chapter 13 of The Ethics of Liberty
"The proportionality rule tells us how much punishment a plaintiff may exact from a convicted wrongdoer, and no more; it imposes the maximum limit on punishment that may be inflicted before the punisher himself becomes a criminal aggressor. Thus, it should be quite clear that, under libertarian law, capital punishment would have to be confined strictly to the crime of murder."
Ron Paul: A Most Unusual Politician, 1981
Preface to Ron Paul's Gold, Peace, and Prosperity: The Birth of a New Currency
"... Ron has the remarkable ability to take these complex and vital insights and to present them in clear, lucid, hard-hitting terms to the non-economist reader. ... But, even more important, Ron Paul is an unusual politician because he doesn't simply pay lip service to moral principles. He believes in moral principles in his mind and heart, and he fights for them passionately and effectively."
Related Topic: Ron Paul
Saint Hillary and the Religious Left, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Dec 1994
Examines the "left post-millenialist" movement, supposed to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth and its influence on Hillary Clinton
"... as we all know, it is Hillary, not Slick Willie, who is the hard-core ideologue in the White House. ... Hillary Rodham was born in northern Illinois Yankee country, in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Her grandparents told stories about their Methodism in early-nineteenth-century England, not many generations removed from the founding of Methodism by John Wesley."
Related Topic: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Society without a State, 28 Dec 1974
Talk delivered at the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy
"In my view, the anarchist society is one which maximizes the tendencies for the good and the cooperative, while it minimizes both the opportunity and the moral legitimacy of the evil and the criminal. If the anarchist view is correct and the state is indeed the great legalized and socially legitimated channel for all manner of antisocial crime — theft, oppression, mass murder — on a massive scale, then surely the abolition of such an engine of crime can do nothing but favor the good in man and discourage the bad."
Related Topics: Anarchism, Law, The State, Taxation
Tax Day, The Libertarian, 15 Apr 1969
Editorial discussing taxation as robbery, government as a gang of thieves and dedicating the issue to those engaged in some form of tax rebellion
"But does anyone seriously believe that if the payment of taxation were really made voluntary, say in the sense of contributing to the American Cancer Society, that any appreciable revenue would find itself into the coffers of government? Then why don't we try it as an experiment for a few years, or a few decades, and find out?"
Related Topics: Taxation, Government
The Anatomy of the State, 1974
Examines several attributes of the State, including how it maintains and grows itself and how it deals with other States
"Briefly, the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion."
The Ancient Chinese Libertarian Tradition, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1990
Review and commentary on the ideas of Taoists Lao-tzu (Laozi) and Chuang-tzu (Zhuang Zhou)
"The first libertarian intellectual was Lao-tzu, the founder of Taoism. ... For Lao-tzu the individual and his happiness was the key unit and goal of society. If social institutions hampered the individual's flowering and his happiness, then those institutions should be reduced or abolished altogether. ... Chuang-tzu's scornful rejection of the king's offer ... was a fitting declaration from the man who was perhaps the world's first anarchist ..."
Related Topic: Laozi
The Brilliance of Turgot, 1986
Biography and review of Turgot's major writings; introduction to The Turgot Collection
"... Turgot points out that self-interest is the prime mover of the [market] process, and that individual interest in the free market must always coincide with the general interest. The buyer will select the seller who will give him the lowest price for the most suitable product, and the seller will sell his best merchandise at the highest competitive price."
The Death Wish of the Anarcho-Communists, The Libertarian Forum, 1 Jan 1970
Critique of anarcho-communism, examining its presumed non-coercive nature, and its philosophical and economics orientation
"The only good thing that one might say about anarcho-communism is that, in contrast to Stalinism, its form of communism would, supposedly, be voluntary. Presumably, no one would be forced to join the communes, and those who would continue to live individually, and to engage in market activities, would remain unmolested. Or would they?"
The Growth of Libertarian Thought, Conceived in Liberty
Volume II, Part II "Intercolonial Developments", Chapter 33: Starts by considering the influence of English writers Sidney and Locke and then considers Trenchard and Gordon's Cato's Letters
"Algernon Sidney was one of the leading theorists of the Republican movement in seventeenth-century England. ... Revolution to Sidney was not an evil but the people's great weapon for the overthrow of tyranny ... There was nothing sacred about governments, which on the contrary should be changed as required."
Related Topics: Algernon Sidney, John Locke
The J.F.K. Flap, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, May 1992
Review of Oliver Stone's JFK, including the media reaction and current theories on the Kennedy assassination
"The evidence is now overwhelming that the orthodox Warren legend, that Oswald did it and did it alone, is pure fabrication. It now seems clear that Kennedy died in a classic military triangulation hit, that, as Parkland Memorial autopsy pathologist Dr. Charles Crenshaw has very recently affirmed, the fatal shots were fired from in front, from the grassy knoll ..."
Related Topics: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK
The Menace of the Religious Left, The Irrepressible Rothbard, Oct 1994
Details various socialist-communist religious or quasi-religious movements from the 12th through the 20th century, concluding with the Clintonians (Bill and Hillary) as the latest exponents of these trends
"And Slick Willie, too, Hillary's co-president and ideological puppet, ... is deeply committed to the very same goal. ... to reverse his House defeat on the crime bill [he] gave a speech in Maryland before the grandiosely named Full Gospel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. ... He said that the goal of his 'ministry' was to bring about no less than the 'Kingdom of God on Earth'! Yes, he said it, he actually said it!"
Related Topic: Bill Clinton
The Movement Grows [PDF], The Libertarian, 1 Jun 1969
Recounts the first three meetings of the Libertarian Forum, the student libertarian organizations at Fordham, Wesleyan, SUNY Buffalo and Stanford, and the formation of the RLA
"... there is now a nationwide libertarian organization in existence, the Radical Libertarian Alliance. It was born on May 17, on the occasion of the third meeting of the Libertarian Forum in New York City. ... In keeping with its libertarian nature, it is envisioned that RLA will be organized in the form of strictly autonomous chapters. ... It is estimated that already, when RLA has hardly been formed, there are at least 26 college chapters alone."
The Politics of Étienne de La Boétie, 1975
Introduction to the 1975 edition of The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, translated by Harry Kurz; summarises the key insights of La Boétie's work
"La Boétie was also the first theorist to move from the emphasis on the importance of consent to one on the strategic importance of toppling tyranny by leading the public to withdraw that consent. Hence, La Boétie was the first theorist of the strategy of mass, nonviolent civil disobedience of State edicts and exactions. ... In such an age as ours, thinkers like Étienne de La Boétie have become far more relevant, far more genuinely modern, than they have been for over a century."
The Railroads Of France, The Freeman, Sep 1955
Recounts the history of gradual nationalization of French railroads from 1876 to 1938, as well as a comparison between the Belgian state-owned railway and the then privately-owned French Northern Railway
"Ever since railroads were established by private enterprise, they have been a favorite candidate for nationalization. France offers a typical story of government operation of the railroads. ... The French railroad budget is further from balance today than it was when the National Company was first formed."
Related Topics: Transportation, Belgium, France
The War System and Its Intellectual Myths, Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader, 1968
Originally titled "Harry Elmer Barnes as Revisionist of the Cold War"
"In the war mythology, the Enemy is never hesitant, never confused, never human, never fearful of us attacking him or of precipitating destructive war, and above all never ready to negotiate honestly to try to lessen tensions or to work out mutually satisfactory means of living in peace."
This Is The Movement You Have Chosen [PDF], The Libertarian Forum, Apr 1984
Notes from the Libertarian Party 1983 presidential convention and goings-on in the Ed Crane camp
"Earl Ravenal, he went on, was backed by 'the party's pragmatic wing.' ... Ravenal talked of making the LP 'relevant' to the 'broad sweep of the American people.' ... Philip Lentz, in the Chicago Tribune (Sept. 6, 1983) ... noted, that Ravenal 'once wrote in a magazine article that there were circumstances where the draft might be necessary.'"
Related Topic: Earl C. Ravenal
Those Awards, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Jan 1994
Commentary about the Oscars, with negative remarks about Schindler's List, which Rothbard admits not seeing, and The Piano
"... it is already too clear that the fix is in, even more than usual, on the Academy Awards. ... The Oscars have increasingly taken on the dimensions of a racket. ... The major studios have always had special previews for Academy members (i.e., Oscar voters) for the pictures they are hyping for the awards; now, that has been supplemented by videocassettes expressed to the homes of each voter."
Total Victory: How Sweet It Is! [PDF], The Libertarian Forum, 1983
Lengthy account and commentary on the 1983 Libertarian Party presidential convention
"Earl Ravenal, professor of international relations at Georgetown University, entered shortly after Bergland as the Crane Machine candidate. ... Bill Evers and I were two of the very few who knew Ravenal, from our days at the Cato Institute, where he has served for many years as a Board member. ... That first instinctive reaction of each of us was: 'But he's not a libertarian!' A libsymp (libertarian sympathizer) for sure ... But a hardcore principled libertarian? Certainly not."
Two Libertarian Classics, Reason, Mar 1974
Reviews of Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy the State and John T. Flynn's As We Go Marching
"Often equally scholarly, the radical libertarian sets forth with an air of determined hostility to the entire State apparatus, to the government and all its works. It is not just that the radical libertarian consistently opposes all government intervention whatever, so that one need not wait for the cost-benefit computer to come up with his political position on each particular issue. There is more to it than that—for the radical libertarian has a totally different viewpoint of the nature of the State itself."
V. Orval Watts: 1898-1993, The Free Market, Jul 1993
Biographical and memorial essay; also as chapter 109 in Making Economic Sense and preface of 2008 edition of Away From Freedom
"V. Orval Watts, one of the leading free-market economists of the World War II and post-war eras, died on March 30 this year. When I first met him, in the winter of 1947, he was a leading economist at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the only free-market organization and think-tank of that era."
Related Topic: V. Orval Watts
Why the War? The Kuwait Connection, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, May 1991
Describes the connections between the rulers of Kuwait, Henry Kissinger, the Rockefellers and various corporate and federal officials
"Why, exactly, did we go to war in the Gulf? The answer remains murky, but perhaps we can find one explanation by examining the strong and ominous Kuwait Connection in our government. ... It is reasonable to assume that the Sabah family stands ready to use a modest portion of that ill-gotten wealth to purchase defenders and advocates in the powerful United States. "
Related Topics: Gulf War, Kuwait
William Harold Hutt, in Memoriam, The Free Market, Sep 1988
Biographical and memorial essay; also published as chapter 107 of Making Economic Sense
"His first important scholarly publication remains virtually unknown today: an excellent and penetrating annotated bibliography, The Philosophy of Individualism: A Bibliography, which he wrote, aided by the eminent laissez-faire liberal Francis W. Hirst. ... The Philosophy of Individualism served, 30 years later, as the core of Henry Hazlitt's annotated bibliography, The Free Man's Library (Van Nostrand, 1956)."
Related Topic: William Harold Hutt
Why Liberty?, by Raymond William 'Bill' Bradford, Doug Casey, Murray N. Rothbard, Liberty, 5 Jul 1987
First (and only) editorial
"The editors of Liberty are a diverse lot. ... Two of us (Rothbard and Cox) are professional academics ... One of us (Rothbard) has long been intimately involved in the Libertarian Party ... One of us (Rothbard) is a leading advocate of Natural Rights philosophy ..."

Publications

Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought, by Murray N. Rothbard (Editor)
Quarterly journal, published 1965-1968, archived by the Ludwig Von Mises Institute
The Libertarian Forum, by Murray N. Rothbard (Editor)
Bimonthly newsletter, published 1969-1984, archived by the Ludwig Von Mises Institute
The Rothbard-Rockwell Report
Monthly, April 1990-February 1995

Books

An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard
    by Justin Raimondo, 2000
Partial table of contents: The Young Rothbard - The Old Right's Last Stand - Three Encounters: Mises, Buckley, and Rand - Beyond Left and Right - 1700 Montgomery Street - A New Beginning - The Capstone - The Legacy
Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism
    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, 2000
Partial Contents: Aristotle: The Fountainhead - From Aristotle to Hegel - After Hegel - Defining Dialectics - Foundations - The Market versus the State - Class Dynamics and Structural Crisis - On the Precipice of Utopia - The Dialectical Libertarian Turn

Books Authored

Classical Economics: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought - Volume II [PDF], 1995
Partial contents: J.B. Say - Jeremy Bentham - James Mill, Ricardo, and the Ricardian system - Monetary and banking thought - John Stuart Mill - Roots of Marxism - Alienation, unity, and the dialectic - The Marxian system - After Mill: Bastiat
Related Topic: Economics
Conceived in Liberty, 1975
Volume I: A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century - II: "Salutary Neglect": The American Colonies in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century - III: Advance to Revolution, 1760-1775 - IV: The Revolutionary War, 1775-1784
Related Topic: United States
Economic Thought Before Adam Smith: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought - Volume I [PDF], 1995
Partial contents: The first philosopher-economists: the Greeks - The late Spanish scholastics - Mercantilism - The liberal reaction - Richard Cantillon - Physiocracy - The brilliance of Turgot - The Scottish Enlightenment - The celebrated Adam Smith
Related Topic: Economics
Education: Free & Compulsory, 1972
Table of contents: The Individual's Education - Compulsory Education in Europe - Compulsory Education in the United States
Related Topic: Educational Freedom
For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 1973
Partial contents: The Libertarian Heritage - Property and Exchange - The State - The Problems - Involuntary Servitude - Personal Liberty - Education - Welfare and the Welfare State - The Public Sector - War and Foreign Policy - A Strategy for Liberty
Related Topics: Liberty, Libertarianism
Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero [PDF], 1988
Partial contents: The Young Scholar - The Theory of Money and Credit - The Reception of Mises and of Money and Credit - Mises in the 1920s: Economic Adviser to the Government - Mises in the 1920s: Scholar and Creator
"It boggles the mind what this extraordinarily productive and creative man was able to accomplish in economic theory and philosophy when down to his mid-50s, his full-time energies were devoted to applied political-economic work. Until middle-age, in short, he could only pursue economic theory and write his extraordinary and influential books and articles, as an overtime leisure activity. What could he have done, and what would the world have gained, if he had enjoyed the leisure that most academics fritter away?"
  • ISBN 9999827659: Paperback, Ludwig von Mises Institute, First edition, 1988
Making Economic Sense, 1995
Partial contents: Making Economic Sense - The Socialism of Welfare - Politics as Economic Violence - Enterprise Under Attack - Fiscal Mysteries Revealed - Economic Ups and Downs - The Fiat Money Plague - Economics Beyond the Borders
Related Topic: Economics
Man, Economy, and State, 1962
Electronic text available at the Ludwig von Mises Institute
Power and Market: Government and the Economy, 1970
Partial table of contents: Defense Services on the Free Market - Fundamentals of Intervention - Triangular Intervention - Binary Intervention: Taxation - Binary Intervention: Government Expenditures - Antimarket Ethics: A Praxeological Critique
Related Topic: Government
The Essential von Mises, 1973
Partial contents: Part One: The Essential von Mises - The Austrian School - Mises and the "Austrian School" - Mises on the Business Cycle - Mises on the Methodology of Economics - Mises in America - Part Two: Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero
Related Topic: Ludwig von Mises
The Irrepressible Rothbard: The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard, 2000
Partial contents: A Strategy for the Right - The Political Circus - War - The Nationalities Question - On Resisting Evil - Kulturkampft - I Hate Max Lerner - Feminism and Other Victimologies - Clintonian Ugly - Mr. First Nighter
The Mystery of Banking [PDF], 1983
Electronic text available at the Ludwig von Mises Institute
Related Topic: Banking
What Has Government Done to Our Money?, 1963
Partial contents: Money in a Free Society - The Value of Exchange - Indirect Exchange - Benefits of Money - The Monetary Unit - The Shape of Money - The "Proper" Supply of Money - Government Meddling With Money - The Monetary Breakdown of the West
Related Topic: Money

Audio

Memoirs of Hayek in Chicago and Rothbard in New York, by Ralph Raico, 1 Aug 2005
Lecture given at Mises University 2005, Raico reminisces about Murray Rothbard, the forming of the Circle Bastiat, Ayn Rand, F.A. Hayek and many others in the 1950s and early 1960s

Videos


Rockwell and Woods on Rothbard, the Man and His Work, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., The Tom Woods Show, 17 Sep 2014
Tom Woods interviews Lew Rockwell to have him give an overview of Murray Rothbard's life and work

Leonard Liggio on the Rise of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by Leonard P. Liggio, 9 Mar 1995
Talk given at Vienna Coffee Club (Future of Freedom Foundation). Liggio starts off with the New Deal and covers many events and individuals both at the core and the periphery of the modern libertarian movement

Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve, by Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1996
Explains the origins of money and banking, how and why the Federal Reserve was created and the effects it has had on society. Dedicated to Murray Rothbard.

Podcasts

Memories of Murray, by David Gordon, The Lew Rockwell Show, 15 Aug 2008
Lew asks David Gordon to reminisce about what it was like working with Murray

The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.