Why Does Someone Become A Statist?Submitted by MarcMadness on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:59
That’s right, it’s back! Time to get the liberty juices flowing here in 2013, and what better way than to bring back Mondays with Murray! For those unfamiliar, each week we’ll look at a short clip of the man known as “Mr. Libertarian”, the economist, historian and philosopher, Murray Rothbard preaching libertarian wisdom. It’s a big week for Murray and I, as tomorrow begins a six week course at the Mises Academy, Rothbard: A Life Lived For Liberty, taught by David Gordon. If you’re at all interested in how Murray Rothbard became “Mr. Libertarian”, this course promises to be another great one, as Gordon is not only a great scholar and teacher, but he was a personal friend of Rothbard. I greatly look forward to his personal insight.
In this clip, Rothbard answers a question from what sounds like a Russian man saying he has been in the United States for four years and was shocked at the support for socialist ideas amongst the general population. He asks why this, getting a round of applause for asking, “are they plain stupid or..?”. Murray goes on to explain Lysander Spooner’s three types of people who support the State. These are the naives – people who directly benefit from the State aka the ruling class, the dupes – those who are well-intentioned and have simply been suckered into the system. We also have a third group – those who know the State is a scam but are too cowardly to do anything about it.
Rothbard points out the case of John Kenneth Galbraith, a Keynesian economist who made a career off of denouncing the evils of affluence. With that career of course, as with most of the top Statist intellectuals, he made a vast fortune for himself. Murray draws another laugh when he says that he “just can’t believe that this was only honest error, just can’t believe it”. This is a great highlight of how Murray always utilized humor to help drives his point. This is a lesson other libertarians should take to heart, as humor will often lower one’s guard and open them up to your ideas where they not be if you are simply screaming from the rooftops like a madman. Of course, we certainly support screaming from rooftops as well.