Mondays with Murray: The Influence of RothbardSubmitted by McWilly on Mon, 09/23/2013 - 16:48
For this weeks edition of Mondays with Murray, we turn the floor over to Tom Woods, who gave a speech last year describing how Murray Rothbard changed his mind on war. Woods, much like Lions of Liberty contributor John Odermatt, is a self-professed former Neocon as it pertains to his foreign policy views. Similar to how the words of Ron Paul schooling Rudy Giuliani on the issue of blowback awoke Odermatt from his neoconservative coma, Woods was snapped out of his Neocon spell largely due to the direct influence of Murray Rothbard. Woods was lucky enough to have met Rothbard before his death, and the tale of how his views on war were changed is truly riveting.
One need not be an Austrian economist or a Rothbardian anarchist to be moved by Woods’ story. Rothbard stood out as the only advocate of free markets who also held a strong anti-war position. This doesn’t seem so odd today, but twenty years ago it was a unique combination. Through Rothbard, Woods came to understand that “we” are not the government, and the government is not us.
The recent pullback of the push to war in Syria was a direct result of the changing of the public’s views on foreign policy, which can be largely attributed to the libertarian movement sparked by Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns. I think most libertarians would agree that the public at large has not come to accept the ideas of liberty on a grand scale, but the move towards a more non-interventionist position cannot be ignored. There was virtually no strong public or political objection to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The fact that the Neocon plans to reign bombs over Damascus have been delayed at worst and stopped altogether at best ten years later is a direct result of the influence of libertarians on the public.