Mondays with Murray: Rothbard on RevolutionSubmitted by Marc Clair on Mon, 07/29/2013 - 05:32
For those libertarians that set their goals on the dismantling of the State, it is difficult to determine how a transition into a Stateless society would occur. Some advocate only non-violent civil disobedience under all circumstances, others hang their hope on political actions, and still others claim the only chance for the dissolution of the State is by way of revolution.
It is critically important to make the distinction that inciting revolution is not synonymous with demanding violent overthrow of the current ruling party. In fact, as Murray Rothbard pointed out in his classic 1969 article The Meaning of Revolution, which appeared in Libertarian Forum, the “classical radicals” of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries were responsible for leading an ideological revolution. These brilliant theorists radically altered not only the United States, but the entire western world by introducing the classical liberal theory and principles that put an end to the reign of absolute states and monarchs. Without these revolutionaries we would not have seen the incredible progress and increase in the standard of living during this time period.
In The Meaning of Revolution, Rothbard describes how complex and vital each aspect of a revolutionary movements are in changing the hearts and minds of the populace.
Most people, when they hear the word “revolution”, think immediately and only of direct acts of physical confrontation with the State: raising barricades in the streets, battling a cop, storming the Bastille or other government buildings. But this is only one small part of revolution. Revolution is a mighty, complex, long-run process, a complicated movement with many vital parts and functions. It is the pamphleteer writing in his study, it is the journalist, the political club, the agitator, the organizer, the campus activist, the theoretician, the philanthropist. It is all this and much more. Each person and group has its part to play in this great complex movement.Continue Reading