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Murray Rothbard on The Lions of Liberty

This week we look at a couple excerpts from Rothbard's classic essay, "Do You Hate The State?". The purpose of this essay is to address what Rothbard believes was the biggest divide amongst the libertarian intellectuals of his day. He believes that the biggest issue is not the debate between different philosophies or strategies amongst libertarians, rather that it is between those that passionately hate the State, the "radicals" if you will, and those that simply see anarcho-capitalism or libertarianism as a better system, but at the same time seem to be content to live in the system we have now.

Perhaps the word that best defines our distinction is "radical." Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and antistatism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul.

I believe this "radicalism" accurately describes, for the most part, the philosophy and passion of the writers at Lions of Liberty, (as well as many of of the passionate posters here at the Daily Paul). I don't believe that any of us were inspired to get together and create this website as a forum for advancing the ideas of liberty simply because we think that libertarianism is a marginally better system than the one we have now. Each of us were passionately driven by a deep moral resentment towards the State and all of its schemes once we began down the path towards learning about liberty. While we all may have come to this through different issues - be they the wars, civil liberties, etc., we all came to a similar radicalism in our cause against the State.

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Anything Rothbard creates or that one of his followers creates

is HIGHLY hijackable -- Cato Institute -- Tea Party

Then again -- Rothbardians "hijacked" the Mises Institute (if you know of their serious fundamental differences -- if not then just *look over there* and ignore what was said).

Trusting & Believing in "Labels"

....and learning from their histories are two different things. I don't "trust" labels....I learn from them. But that is just me.

fonta

Society Without A State

Rothbard's definition of State:

Let me say from the beginning that I define the state as that institution which possesses one or both (almost always both) of the following properties: (1) it acquires its income by the physical coercion known as "taxation"; and (2) it asserts and usually obtains a coerced monopoly of the provision of defense service (police and courts) over a given territorial area. An institution not possessing either of these properties is not and cannot be, in accordance with my definition, a state.

On the other hand, I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of an individual.

Is there anyone here who doesn't hate the state, according to this definition?

I wish I could

Delete this comment instead of just changing it like I did.

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

I think the big divide is a different one

If you believe in a a possible future in which the vast majority of people are motivated by rational self-interest, and consistently take a long-term and well-informed view of things when making decisions, then you'll love anarcho-capitalism.

If you believe that in any possible future, just as in the actual present, the vast majority of people will be irrational, inconsistent, short-sighted and uniformed, then no matter how much you agree with the ACs philosophically otherwise you probably view a minimal government as a necessary evil.

"HATE THE STATE"

That's a good idea for a tee-shirt.

You make it

And i'll buy and wear it!

http://lionsofliberty.com/
*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Anarchists aren't Libertarians

But they clearly want to plant their black flag in the Liberty movement while they scream: "I'm an enemy of the state!"

Anarchists are no friend to liberty because they don't know what threatens it and don't want you to have any institutions that serve justice, no law, and no law enforcement to defend against those who'd take your liberty.

Lions of Liberty? More like the Judas Goats of Liberty.

Why are you so threatened by anarchists?

You could form a "limited government" and have all it's safety in a state of anarchy... You just wouldn't be allowed to use your guns to force others to comply.

Do you believe that a government should receive the consent of the governed??? or do you believe that we should just give lip service to that???

I'm not at all threatened. I'm insulted.

You could form a "limited government" and have all it's safety in a state of anarchy... You just wouldn't be allowed to use your guns to force others to comply.

Wrong.

Anarchy: 1.a state of society without government or law.

I want law, government, and law enforcement. I want to meet injustice with force. I'll be happy to use my guns to "force somebody to comply" when they're trying to take my liberty.

"Do you believe that a government should receive the consent of the governed?"

We should have elect representatives, limited in their authority, and acting from the lowest level that authority can; township, county, state, Federal, so we can vote with our legs, and see the world change as we move through it rather than living in one giant Fascist authoritarian state.

well lets pretend for a

well lets pretend for a second that we don't believe your straw-man definition of anarchy. so yes you could freely associate with others on a voluntary basis.

So I'll take that as a no, the government doesn't need the consent of the governed. I guess we just disagree, I believe that the government should receive the consent of the governed.

I will admit that I would prefer your idea of soft tyranny over a giant Facsist authoritarian state, but I'll still advocate for freedom.

There's nothing straw about it.

You're NOT advocating freedom.

You're advocating free market goon squads, sold to, and serving whoever wants them. (that darn monopoly on force)

You're advocating a world of warlords let loose to serve what you need to pretend isn't the problem; mans covetous nature.

Dude,

look at what is going on in the world right now!!!

The world is ruled by warlords that posses the deadliest of covetous natures. They run the governments that have the perceived authority to steal, imprison and murder you. Now what is better, having the sociopaths with the legal authority to initiate violence; or sociopaths with no legal authority to initiate violence???

Duder

"Now what is better, having the sociopaths with the legal authority to initiate violence; or sociopaths with no legal authority to initiate violence"

Giving Sociopaths the legal authority to initiate violence sounds like EXACTLY what an Anarchist wants; Goon Squads sold to the highest bidder in the free market.

How many times have I had to listen to some Chatty Kathy Anarchist screaming about "a monopoly of force" and how they want to hire their own police to initiate force; and since they're so dead set against government and hate those evil statists, apparently they want to do so against people who have no association or representation in their organization.

Duderer

I agree... if by EXACTLY you mean THE OPPOSITE...

If anarchists wanted to give legal authority to initiate violence, why would the advocate a system that had no means???

The desire to initiate force derives from mans covetous nature, but it is the institution of government that gives the perceived authority to do so.

Duderest

"but it is the institution of government that gives the perceived authority to do so."

It's free will that grants you the authority to initiate violence. People CHOOSE. People know that they're stealing, murdering, raping, and enslaving.

The chose to do so.

The only question is; what are we going to do about it? Are you going to try and ignore the real problem (mans covetous nature) until somebody shoves it in your face and won't shut up, or will you play pretend and blame government and statism for the worlds evils?

I blame the people who deserve the blame; the covetous horde, all the people who'd beg a politician (warlord) to answer their unjust prayers with force.

Is it unjust to serve justice; to defend liberty with force; to write laws and hold a rapist accountable to those laws with a government?

Dude to infinity

People don't realize they are stealing. That is why they call it taxation. See how the covetous people used the government to trick them.

People don't realize they are murdering. That is why they call it war, or defense. See how the covetous people used the government to trick them.

What we need to do is have a system that doesn't reward mans covetous nature with a monopoly on force. We need a system that allows the righteous to defend themselves from the covetous few.

Why do you need a system?

Can I opt out of your system to reward the covetous nature of man or beast? More power to your system, just allow me to opt out.

I don't need no stinkin' State!

8{D

Yes

I've got no problems with "a system". As long as it is voluntary!

types of good squads

You're advocating free market goon squads

You're advocating un-free market goon squads.

Ya that's right: NO GOON SQUADS FOR YOU ANARCHIST!

Ya that's right: NO GOON SQUADS FOR YOU ANARCHIST! You'll stand before the man, and answer for your lies and Judas Goat ways.

Poor guy. I wonder what it was you really wanted to do with your goon squads, because clearly private protection wasn't enough? (defending your liberty)

You could hire people to protect you right now. You could have an enormous goon squad, but what you want is to send your goon squad out to free range.

You want to use violence to take from people who have no association or representation in your organization of free market muscle. You want free market violence in a world filled with covetous people.

What do you think free market goon squads will end up serving; liberty or mans covetous nature?

What's better?

What's better: monopoly goon squads or free market goon squads with competition?

Answer me.

What do you think free market goon squads will serve; liberty or mans covetous nature?

competing goon squads

Both. Some goon squads will serve liberty and some will serve man's covetous nature.

But since there is competition the goon squads that can survive free market competition will win out and those will be the goon squads that serve liberty.

If I'm wrong and the bad goon squads win, we will be in the same situation as today.

Warlord of the flies

Both aye? So what do I have to look forward to? An all out war in a free market of force, Goon squad (Warlord) Vs Goon squad (Warlord) surrounded by godless and covetous men.

Hmmm Whatever shall a Libertarian do.

"we will be in the same situation as today."

That doesn't sound like the situation I'm in today. That sounds like the situation I'll be in if Anarchists could lead the world into a killing pin; a human meat grinder created for covetous men, dreamt up and paid for by the destroyer who thought he could buy the biggest goon squad.

What do you think the

What do you think the government will end up serving; liberty or mans covetous nature?

I don't know for sure, but I will answer your question with yes it serves mans covetous nature, or "greed" as the occupiers call it, the invisible hand as adam smith described it, and "enlightened self interest" as Alex de Toqueville and Tom Woods referred to it.

Now answer my question, Will government end up serving; liberty or mans covetous nature?

The world only has one government; Satan Claus Government.

There's a difference between a greedy person and a covetous person. A greedy person has something he won't share and wants more than he'll ever need, a covetous person unjustly wants something they didn't create.

I can be massively greedy and never steal a thing because I created the value that others covet.

A covetous person unjustly wants, and Satan Claus government offers to answer their unjust prayers by stealing from greedy men.

"I don't know for sure"

You should. Look around. Government now serves covetous men and so will an Anarchists goon squads.

John F Kennedy: "for we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covet means to further it's sphere of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. It's preparations are concealed, not published. It's mistakes are buried, not headlined. It's dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no secret is revealed. That is why the Athenian law maker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy."

a gem from Rothbard

Government now serves covetous men and so will an Anarchists goon squads

Rothbard:

"...no social system, whether anarchist or statist, can work at all unless most people are "good" in the sense that they are not all hell-bent upon assaulting and robbing their neighbors. If everyone were so disposed, no amount of protection, whether state or private, could succeed in staving off chaos. Furthermore, the more that people are disposed to be peaceful and not aggress against their neighbors, the more successfully any social system will work, and the fewer resources will need to be devoted to police protection. The anarchist view holds that, given the "nature of man," given the degree of goodness or badness at any point in time, anarchism will maximize the opportunities for the good and minimize the channels for the bad."

http://mises.org/daily/2429

The piper plays a great tune, or else he wouldn't be the piper.

Like I said, Anarchists are Judas Goats who regularly deny mans nature because they need to believe we're mostly good. They want to set mans covetous nature free to the highest bidder in a free market of goon squads.

You can't beat Satan Claus by pretending he doesn't exist.

"...no social system, whether anarchist or statist, can work at all unless most people are "good" in the sense that they are not all hell-bent upon assaulting and robbing their neighbors."

Anarchists need to pretend everyone is "good" when they're surrounded by a world filled with people hell-bent upon assaulting and robbing their neighbors with government force, and it doesn't bode well for how free market Goon Squads work out, or speak well to the intellectual honesty of Anarchists.

I talk to a lot of Anarchists, and I can't find any that even acknowledge mans nature, and most I run into condemn the idea of using force to serve justice in a system where people have a vote, representation, and official association with those using force.

For the most part Anarchists are Atheists who revel in mans nature and want free market muscle to break the monopoly of force. They don't argue for self defense, they argue for self offense serving whoever pays for it, and they do it while pretending the world is filled with mostly good people.

"If everyone were so disposed, no amount of protection, whether state or private, could succeed in staving off chaos. Furthermore, the more that people are disposed to be peaceful and not aggress against their neighbors, the more successfully any social system will work, and the fewer resources will need to be devoted to police protection."

So why are Anarchists Atheists who revel in mans nature, people who sound more libertine than libertarian, people who throw rocks through windows and do nothing but denigrate people calling them animals, sheep, and retards?

There's no bigger phony than an Anarchist. You can't be a Judas Goat unless you can see what you're leading people into, and judging by the way Anarchists speak, I can see why they'd like to unleash mans covetous nature in a free market of Goon Squads.

Clearly they think they'll be able to Lord over the people they hate once they break the monopoly on force.

"The anarchist view holds that, given the "nature of man," given the degree of goodness or badness at any point in time, anarchism will maximize the opportunities for the good and minimize the channels for the bad."

Anarchists deny the nature of man AND the existence of God. Like I've said; they're Judas Goats leading the naive.

Remember this gem from MarcMadness: "The only violent people I know wear badges of the state."

Anarchists are either totally naive or think they're talking to children.