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Essential Revisionist History of Progressive Era • w/Review by Murray Rothbard • Free ePub & Mobi

The Triumph of Conservatism:
A Re-Interpretation of American History, 1900-1916
by Gabriel Kolko
Publication Date: March 1, 1977

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Here's what Murray Rothbard said about this essential work:

The most thorough exposition of the origins of State monopoly capitalism, or what he calls "political capitalism," in the U.S. is found in the brilliant work of Dr. Gabriel Kolko. In his Triumph of Conservatism, Kolko traces the origins of political capitalism in the "reforms" of the Progressive Era. Orthodox historians have always treated the Progressive period (roughly 1900-1916) as a time when free-market capitalism was becoming increasingly "monopolistic"; in reaction to this reign of monopoly and big business, so the story runs, altruistic intellectuals and far-seeing politicians turned to intervention by the government to reform and regulate these evils. Kolko's great work demonstrates that the reality was almost precisely the opposite of this myth. Despite the wave of mergers and trusts formed around the turn of the century, Kolko reveals, the forces of competition on the free market rapidly vitiated and dissolved these attempts at stabilizing and perpetuating the economic power of big business interests. It was precisely in reaction to their impending defeat at the hands of the competitive storms of the market that business turned, increasingly after the 1900's, to the federal government for aid and protection. In short, the intervention by the federal government was designed, not to curb big business monopoly for the sake of the public weal, but to create monopolies that big business (as well as trade associations smaller business) had not been able to establish amidst the competitive gales of the free market. Both Left and Right have been persistently misled by the notion that intervention by the government is ipso facto leftish and anti-business. Hence the mythology of the New-Fair Deal-as-Red that is endemic on the Right. Both the big businessmen, led by the Morgan interests, and Professor Kolko almost uniquely in the academic world, have realized that monopoly privilege can only be created by the State and not as a result of free market operations. 

Thus, Kolko shows that, beginning with Theodore Roosevelt's New Nationalism and culminating in Wilson's New Freedom, in industry after industry, e.g., insurance, banking, meat, exports, and business generally, regulations that present-day Rightists think of as "socialistic" were not only uniformly hailed, but conceived and brought about by big businessmen. This was a conscious effort to fasten upon the economy a cement of subsidy, stabilization, and monopoly privilege.

 



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Thanks OP

The most important thing a libertarian can do, other than work for Dr. Paul, is READ.

Of course, anything written by Rothbard is golden. Most of his works can be found free in PDF form at www.mises.org

I always recommend these videos to my friends, it's a lecture series from when Murray was teaching at NYU in '86. The first several lectures (1-2 hours each) are available on youtube, available for pwning if you know what I'm talking about - the rest can be found at mises in their audio/video section (tragically cannot be pwned from there). One of Kolko's books (forget which off the top of my head, either the one cited in the OP or "The Myth of the Great Depression: 1873-1896") was used as a required text in this course.

This is vital American history taught by a sadly departed libertarian legend.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2ndkCvHGj4&feature=relmfu

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

It's from those very lectures

It's from those very lectures you link to that I was introduced to this work by Gabriel Kolko. Rothbard quotes heavily from it throughout those lectures at NYU and it was part of the course reading.

Kolko's book here is just about the most CRUCIAL reading to self-professed progressives because it documents how things ACTUALLY happened. Who ACTUALLY pushed for these so-called "reforms."

There you go

A person with a little motivation and free time can teach themselves just about anything, for FREE, using the internet.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

For sure! Thank God for

For sure! Thank God for Mises.org and the access to great scholarship

link fixed!

link fixed!