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Murray Rothbard on the Future Prospects for Liberty

This week we turn to Murray Rothbard to see how he felt about the prospects for the future of Austrian economics.  After you take in the awesome '80's mullets and staches in the audience, Rothbard's thoughts should excite everyone with an interest in Austrian economics, and by logical extension the liberty movement as a whole.


Rothbard was always a long term optimist and advocated that libertarians should be optimistic in the long run, and present themselves as such. While Rothbard's long term optimism is nothing new here, what I found interesting is the example he cites. According to Rothbard, within economists in Eastern Europe Austrian economics like Ludwig Von Mises and F.A. Hayek are revered figures. This is in stark contrast to the U.S., where Keynesians such as Paul Krugman are looked at as all-knowing economic wizards.

Rothbard goes on to say that "nobody reveres Keynes and Galbraith over there. They've had it with socialism and statism". This points to the unique position of post-Soviet Union attitudes in Eastern Europe. They have seen first-hand the disastrous effects of central planning.  There is no question to people who have lived through bread lines that central planning cannot provide food. These people have seen the effects of Keynesian economics, and they have rejected it.

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The people want freedom

They can give us 'free' healthcare, housing, money or any other false convenience they like but freedom is what we want.

The only problem is that people are happy to take the 'free' items available without realising that they are undermining real wealth and therefore destroy capitalism allowing the policy makers to offer a neat alternative - total servitude to the state with a guarantee that we will be fed and housed.

Lord Acton, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1875 - "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the People v. The Banks."

You would think reasonable people

would be able to define the terms of the conversation.

I am a creation of a god (you get to decide you own God)…..that is essences of personal Liberty.

If we are defining anarchy as the lack of any government body and all services provided by the voluntary exchange in the free marketplace?

If this is the definition count me in.

Corruption is defined by Milton Friedman as “The Intrusion into the free market through Government Regulation.

If that is the case then any government meddling in business, other than fraud would be corruption. You will always have a certain portion of the population that will try and game the system for their gain or enforce their “will” on others. What is the best way to expose the people for the protection of others? If you choose to put a certain amount of people in charge to “protect” the rest of us….then you must create laws. Who get to decides the laws…..how do you know the ones that get to decide the laws can be trusted? By putting it to a vote of the people? By selecting people to “represent” the wishes of the population? So now we must trust the people in charge and the laws they write. Wouldn’t it make since to have the least amount of distance between the population and the people you have entrusted with the laws to be written? So they must be somewhat local…….your town, or maybe your county……….even a state government would be really too far to turn over the protection of your liberty. If the State protector had to come to my town to keep some “Barbarians” from attacking my family……I would think the "Barbarians” would be long gone before the "protectors" got there. And still the state law makers could be hours away from me…..how could I stay informed as to what they were up to if I am busy all the time taking care of my family. So we the citizens would prefer a local government. The local government could then ask local citizens to volunteer (to protect the town and put out fires……does anyone remember voluntary fire departments?) If a group of Barbarians attacked our town then we would all join together and defend our town……kind of like a local militia. If we had a dispute between neighbors in the town……you could have a volunteer random tribunal of 5, 7 or 9 or even 12 citizens “judge” who was right and who was wrong……like a mediation (has anyone gone through a no default divorce lately……it sucks…..but it’s handled by a mediator and negotiated between you and your Ex-witch…….oh I mean wife). No one will ever feel like they win this…….but we are supposed to be adults…….so we get over it. But what about our neighboring counties……how do we get along with them……..well we (vote) our brightest……smartest…..and best to go and represent our best interest……not only our best interest but his too. All the counties in the area send their brightest and best. How do we make sure groups don’t band together and become the just another governing boding that want to control everyone. by establishing rules like these.

1. Establishes the name of the confederation with these words: "The Style of this confederacy shall be 'The United States of America.'"
2. Asserts the sovereignty of each state, except for the specific powers delegated to the confederation government, i.e. "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated."
3. Not being sovereign, it does not call the United States of America a "nation" or "government," but instead says, "The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever."
4. But to instill a national feeling, "[t]he better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this union," it establishes equal treatment and freedom of movement for the free inhabitants of each state to pass unhindered between the states, excluding "paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice." All these people are entitled to equal rights established by the state into which he travels. If a crime is committed in one state and the perpetrator flees to another state, he will be extradited to and tried in the state in which the crime was committed.
5. Allocates one vote in the Congress of the Confederation (the "United States in Congress Assembled") to each state, which is entitled to a delegation of between two and seven members. Members of Congress are appointed by state legislatures. Also, individuals may not serve more than three out of any six years.
6. Only the central government is allowed to conduct foreign political or commercial relations and to declare war. No state or official may accept foreign gifts or titles, and granting any title of nobility is forbidden to all. States are restrained from forming sub-national groups. No state may tax or interfere with treaty stipulations already proposed. No state may engage in war, without permission of Congress, unless invaded or that is imminent on the frontier; no state may maintain a peace-time standing army or navy, unless infested by pirates, but every State is required to keep ready, a well-regulated (meaning well trained), disciplined, and equipped militia, with sufficient public stores of a due number of field pieces, tents, a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.
7. Whenever an army is raised for common defense, colonels and military ranks below colonel will be named by the state legislatures.
8. Expenditures by the United States of America will be paid by funds raised by state legislatures, and apportioned to the states based on the real property values of each.
9. Defines the sole and exclusive right and power of the United States in Congress assembled to determine peace and war; to exchange ambassadors; to enter into treaties and alliances, with some provisos; to establish rules for deciding all cases of captures or prizes on land or water; to grant letters of marque and reprisal (documents authorizing privateers) in times of peace; to appoint courts for the trial of pirates and crimes committed on the high seas; to establish courts for appeals in all cases of captures, but no member of Congress may be appointed a judge; to set weights and measures (including coins), and for Congress to serve as a final court for disputes between states.
10. "The Committee of the States, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United States in Congress assembled, by the consent of the nine States, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said Committee, for the exercise of which, by the Articles of Confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled be requisite."
11. If "Canada" (as the British-held Province of Quebec was also known) accedes to this confederation, it will be admitted.[15]
12. Reaffirms that the Confederation accepts war debt incurred by Congress before the existence of the Articles.
13. Declares that the Articles are perpetual, and can only be altered by approval of Congress with ratification by all the state legislatures.

Yeah if retuning to the Articles of Confederation is anarchy……I AM ALL FOR IT. If you believe that the CONSTUTITION is a more perfect UNION…… I will debate you at any time.

cutting this post

and pasting below where it belongs in the response. Hate when this happens!

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

Austria is part of the EU and...

therefore part of the EU's socialist central planning. So what does that say about Rothbard's "Austrian economics"? Maybe Rotbard is just another Nazi central planner in libertarian clothing.

http://www.dailypaul.com/277342 (Rand Paul: One person can make a difference)
http://www.StandUpForYourRights.me/?p=1264 (Fast and Furious hearing)

You're not that dense. You couldn't be.

The Austrian economists were Austrian by origin - Menger, von Wieser, etc. It doesn't have anything to do with Austria as a country, nor anything to do with that country's particular economic system, which is clearly a social type of market.

"Of two evils, choose neither." -Charles Spurgeon
Read my columns at Freedom Bunker and Reformed Libertarian.

Wild claims. But how do we

Wild claims.

But how do we know your wild claims are credible, since you represent a blowfish with feathers?

God you really are an idiot

Carl Menger was the god father of the school of thought. Along with Eugen Böhm-Bawerk,Friedrich von Wieser, von Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, Hazlitt and Ron Paul.....so are you calling RP a NAZI?


you really are on the wrong site.

Even though Ron Paul has never explicitly said he's...

an anarchist, most anarchists say he is. And when campaigning for president, Ron Paul never tells his supporters he's an anarchist. Why? Because if RP is an anarchist, and was honest about it, most of his supporters would not vote for him. But anarchists who claim RP as one of their own, apparently believe that lying to get votes is a legitimate means to an end. So why should people believe anything anarchists say?

http://www.dailypaul.com/277342 (Rand Paul: One person can make a difference)
http://www.StandUpForYourRights.me/?p=1264 (Fast and Furious hearing)

What are you talking about?

Who do you think you are dragging Dr. Paul's name thru the mud? Ron Paul wants to FOLLOW the Constitution of the United States. He is a strict constitutionalist. As far as I can understand Ron Paul is not anti-government. If you are going to call Ron Paul an Anarchist, I think you should come up with some hard proof instead of just your words of speculation.

Anyways what is an Anarchist?


You got it right. RP, as a religious person, could not accept 100% reason of Ayn Rand. RP was indeed a good friend of Rothbard and boss of Lew Rockwell. But while Rothbard and Rockwell are anarchists, RP is not. As you said, he is close to a constitutionalist because what RP had learned from Mises and Ayn Rand exposed anarchism as unworkable.

So Rothbard and Rockwell are Anarchists? I didn't know that I

thought they were Austrian Economists. I am seeing a bunch of comments calling Ron Paul an Anarchist and even a Communist. It is quite bothersome to me. I am used to people attacking each other, but I am not used to people attacking Ron Paul. I am having a hard time figuring out what is going on here.


Is an Austrian economist, and by logical extension anarchist. Unlike Mises he was able to see that the principles of free market economics apply to the services of law, justice and defense just as they do in other areas.

This is the essential different between "minarchy" and "anarchy" or "Anarcho-capitalism" .

Without rulers, not without rules.

Considering the State of affairs today, I'd say that minarchists and anarchists are or should be generally on the same side.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

When you say "Rothbard Is an Austrian economist, and by logical

When you say "Rothbard Is an Austrian economist, and by logical extension anarchist"

does that mean that all Austrian Economists are Anarchists?

The other thing, how do those who advocate anarchism have rules with out rulers? Don't the rule become their rulers? I am pretty confused about this stuff. I just know that Federal Government is not operating within the constitution and the Federal Reserve is robbing the people blind.

Can a Government exist without ruling? Didn't Ron Paul "rule" each time he voted in congress?

My questions are not to argue, they are asked in the sense of me trying to make sense of all of this in my own mind. If you have time to spare, I'd appreciate any words you might offer. Thanks!


Thank you for your honest tone and questions. I definitely don't see you as arguing. i am interested in genuine conversation here, while FreedomsReigning seems only interested in advancing his conspiracy theory that us "crazy ancaps" are part of a secret plot to send the world into chaos, start our own mafia groups and drink the blood of infants.

Perhaps I should have phrased that better, as no not all Austrian Economists are anarchists. Von Mises for example was certainly a minarchist and saw the need for a small State for the purposes of law an d order .I'd say this is the main difference between small government / Constitutional minarchists and the anarchists or anarcho-capitalists, who feel that even law and order can be provided by the free market.

Austrian economists is simply a social science which studies human interaction, so really an Austrian economist could hold any political philosophy. One could understand Austrian economics for example, but still advocate communism. This person would realize that communism was not economically wise but still believe philosophically that state control of the means of production is appropriate.

What I meant from my comment was the Rothbard used logical deductions from the teachings of Mises and the Austrian economists, and applied those same exact principles to the law and order as well. Rothbard and other anarcho-capitalist economists believe that, just like with food, housing, health care and everything else, the free market could best supply the institutions of law and order.

I have written a short series of articles attempting to introduce these concepts if you are interested.


*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

That's how an Anarchist says yes without saying it.

That's how an Anarchist says yes without saying it.

He knows that Ron Paul is an Anarchist and a fraud. He just doesn't want YOU to know until the time is right. It's a method of brainwashing and what comes out on the other side is somebody who hates Americans, our Constitution, and our Republic. He'll have you screaming taxation is theft as you try to blame injustice on government.

"Can a Government exist without ruling?"

Not in an Anarchists opinion. They call anybody who supports a Constitutional Republic a statist.

Liberty is a word describing a state of self ownership, to live without rulers, and the foundation of justice is liberty. Ron Paul said the only legitimate purpose of government is to defend liberty. So what he was saying was the only legitimate purpose of government is to defend your right to self ownership and to live without being ruled.

BUT, he also calls himself a Voluntarist, and Voluntarists are Anarchists. An Anarchist is somebody that wants to destroy all governments and established rules (through violence, chaos), so why would he want to destroy something that he himself recognizes as there to make sure you have some way to defend your liberty?

This is what I am thinking.

I saw both the RNC and the Democrats not accept the vote of the people last year at their conventions. I think any groups that will not accept the voice of the people are the ones who are running roughshod over the rules they are supposed to be following. How is that not communist or anarchist? What is government that doesn’t follow rules? IMO they are anarchist in themselves placing themselves above the rules.

As far as I can tell Ron Paul has followed the rules, is respectful, and honest. What I see happening is a bloated government promising the people social programs that cannot be afforded and when the bottom drops out there will be chaos in the streets and it will not be Ron Paul people doing it. Ron Paul had a plan to shut down 5 government departments, end the wars, bring the military people back home and let them spend their money here instead of abroad while balancing the budget WITHOUT the social program going belly up causing social unrest. He planned to slowly wean the people off of social program dependence so they could begin to take care of themselves without depending on government handouts.

What I believe we have now is a situation ripe for some kind of take over and it is not Ron Paul people planning it. IMO the powers that be that are trying to confiscate the guns are trying as hard as possible to bait people into civil disobedience so they can come down hard on people.

Ron Paul was the only one telling the people about the Patriot Act and NDAA which has stripped the Bill of Rights where the people are no longer safe in their person and effects and where they can be indefinitely detained without representation. IMO the people that vote for those kind of things are the people that we need to be afraid of. Not Ron Paul. I don’t know why you have decided that Ron Paul is a Anarchist and a Communist, but I think you are very wrong in your assessment.

The people that are Anarchist and Communists are the people that will not allow votes to be counted and the people that break fingers and hips to keep people from voicing their wishes during a Primary season. Those are the people that you need to be warning us about. Not a 76 year old man that follows the constitution and the rules.


Anarchist and Communist

These could not be any more opposite.

Commumism believe in strong, central rule.

Anarchism believes in no central rulers, but rules and governance provided by the marketplace.

Now there ARE many communist and leftist type groups that CALL themselves anarchist, which is why much confusion often arises, and why libertarian anarchists will often describe themselves as anarcho-capitalist to distinguish between those that call for communist-style "anarchism".

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

It's Difficult to Discuss Anarchy

...when people don't quite understand what it is. Most often the term is thrown around like an epithet accompanied with visions of roving gangs looting stores and throwing rocks at police. I would encourage people to read about the ideas first so that discussion can proceed from a mutual understanding of what Anarchism actually means.

Thank you for your replies

I am getting ready to look at the articles you linked above. This is one thing that I have been concerned about:

There is a lot of discontent, and that for good reason. I think that communists will use whatever means to gain control. It seems like alot of the history I have learned recently anarchist and communists fight the establishment together and then the communists take charge because they do have a centralized goal in mind and are ruthless and will slaughter anyone that gets in the way...even those who help bring them to power. They want no rival to their power and will tolerate none.

It seems to me that people go from a bad situation with their current government to a worse situation after they try to liberate themselves because the not so bad government is what keeps a worse government at bay. However that not so bad government may be the one ushering in a communist government in our case.

It seems to me right now our government is promising alot of people social welfare and will not be able to deliver. Those people who are not really anything but social program recipients will rise up in chaos and along with well meaning anarchists and the nefarious communists cause a revolution and the communists will come out on top. It all a part of a communist executed plan. Spain was divided and the nationalists ended up taking up with the fascists to get rid of the anarchist and communist the people rose up against the current political power. I know that was all simplistic. I have only been looking at history and politics for the last year after I found the Daily Paul.


Great to have you

In the movement and diving into history and the ideas of liberty.

I believe any true "anarchist" in the libertarian or Rothbardian sense would not be attempting any sort of "revolution" that isnt' purely intellectual and education in nature. This is what Ron Paul promoted.

I also can't imagine any libertarians "working with" communists...this does seem like a somewhat simplistic view, and I would guard against grouping many that history may label "anarchists" with what I would deem legitimate or libertarian "anarcho-capitalists" - i.e. those that simply believe that one owns their own body and should not initiate force upon others.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*


Sorry Mark, but you clearly have no clue.

If you understood Austrian economics, you would understand why government stealing 40% of GDP has put America into an economic depression. If you understood why the founders of this country wanted constitutionally limited government, then you would understand why RP in not an anarchist. Do some reading before you comment.

Ron Paul is an Anarchist.

"If you understood why the founders of this country wanted constitutionally limited government, then you would understand why RP in not an anarchist."

He advocates Voluntarism (Anarchism) and he's trying to get a freeloading horde to "opt out" rather than GET OUT, because what he wants is to destroy government, and not just our government, ALL government. Voluntatism is Anarchism, yet these Voluntarists won't put their money where their mouth is and just leave. They want to linger and serve their destructive and covetous nature fighting the mythical "monopoly of force".

What they really want is to be able to buy and sell collective force in a free market of violence replacing government with their wallet. They covet power, and need mobs to get what they want. They're seeking power through chaos and destruction. Anarchists are liars, users, and frauds.

There's a VERY good reason Ron Paul hangs with Communists and guys like Lew Rockwell for 40 years. Don't blame me. He pretended to be something he's not. (Anarchists do that)

Lew Rockwell: "It would be a great thing to break up the US just like it would be a great thing to break up the European Union."

I'm a lifelong Libertarian, Republican, and Constitutionalist. How would you feel if some Anarchist fraud put on your political coloration's and tried to use people to destroy what you support...

Moronic. Ron Paul is not any

Moronic. Ron Paul is not any more of an anarchist than his mentors Mises and Hans Sennholz.

Ventura 2012


does not develop a his own unique Libertarian ideas and he does not stick to a pure Rothbardian school. His writings are a compromise between a religious person, von Mises progmatism, Ayn Rand reason and Rothbardian anarchism. That is the reason RP never goes into details except "individual liberty is given by god or nature; do what you want to do."

OK so I just left you a question somewhere else and I find this

comment of yours here declaring Ron Paul to be a communist. Are you serious? I sent the man money last year. What are you talking about? I am not a communist. I have been a life-long straight ticket voting republican until recently. Is Rand Paul a Communist too? Who else in our government are communists? I thought the progressives were the communists.

The son is not the father

"Are you serious? I sent the man money last year."

So did I, but that's why Anarchists masquerade as something they aren't. They need to use people to get what they want, chaos and destruction. I now regret it, so I'm doing damage control.

"I am not a communist."

Are you an Anarchist? Please. Don't let these people use you.

I'm not either, but I also know Ron Paul won't be honest to people about what he is, and won't ever tell people what's wrong with Anarchism because he doesn't think there's nothing wrong with Anarchism. He's an acolyte of Murray Rothbard (as the Anarchists say).

He says his "message is perfect". That's called being an idealist, and in today's world we should recognize idealists for what they are, people selling an idea that doesn't work in the real world, Judas Goats, liars, and frauds leading people towards something that fails.

"Is Rand Paul a Communist too?"

I'm not sure. The son is not the father, and a son can learn important lessons his father never intended to teach him. If not, we're all doomed to be savages. You should want your son to become more than you are, and I can't help noticing they aren't on the same page. I sense a deep seated struggle between the two.

"Who else in our government are communists? I thought the progressives were the communists."

I don't know the inner workings of everyone's mind, but I could find real quick. Anybody supporting a central bank is the kind of person who embraces Communism, and fighting The Fed doesn't mean you reject the idea of our government using a central bank to print fiat money.

Ok I see now.

These guys are plants, trying to portray the entire liberty movement as a bunch of anarchists. They know the public won't support throwing libertarian-leaning Republicans/Democrats in jail. So they want to re-define us as "anarchists". Very similar to how the Brits tried to portray the founding fathers as uncivilized mad-men, and radicals.

Anarchists are a cancer in the liberty movement.

Yep, Anarchists are a cancer in the liberty movement. They reject anything that serves value defending liberty, and run their mouths at people calling them retards, sheep, and imbeciles.

An Anarchist is somebody that stands next to a Libertarian wearing a black mask and carrying a little black flag screaming: "HEY! LOOK AT ME! I'M AN ENEMY OF THE STATE!!!"


simply use beliefs (with beer and MJ) rather than their rational faculty consistently. Sure anarchists do harm by distorting the true idea of Liberty, but they are not worse than religious GOP who wants government to control morals.

Anarchists problem is that they take individual rights as the main axiom of the theory (see Rothbard Libertarian Manifesto.) Thus "non-aggression principle" serves to justify axiom rather than reality. Over time, reality starts contradicting with their dogma. When there is no predicatble uniform laws to protect private property, talking about individual rights is lame.

I never said that

You can be an anarchist if you want. Anybody who wants more liberty is welcome. But the liberty movement and RP are not anarchists, and the only people who want to portray us as such, have very ill intentions.