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Another day, another libertarian dope.
There’s a fellow in Las Vegas, who’s worried that libertarians are not quite p.c. enough, who rejects and scorns the Nonaggression Principle, and who spends time smearing most of the good guys in the libertarian world.
The way to handle someone like this is to ignore him completely, obviously.
But just so you can get a taste of the level of so much of the opposition we face, I share with you one comment from him that someone sent me today.
“It’s a huge stretch to call [Murray] Rothbard and [Hans-Hermann] Hoppe Austrian economists in the first place.”
Now that wins the low-IQ prize for September.
Regarding Hans: it suffices to read A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism and The Economics and Ethics of Private Property — brilliant works both — to recognize Hoppe as someone obviously working in the Austrian tradition. Simply Google the article “The Misesian Case Against Keynes” in case you need further proof that water is wet.
But to say something so inane about Murray Rothbard really takes the cake.
When the Austrian School revival kicked off in 1974 with the famous South Royalton conference in Vermont, every single attendee was a Rothbardian. Everyone in attendance had studied Man, Economy, and State, America’s Great Depression, and What Has Government Done to Our Money?
This is what people mean when they say Rothbard single-handedly kept the Austrian School alive.
Henry Hazlitt, in reviewing Man, Economy, and State, said Rothbard employed “the method of the ‘Austrian’ economists. It is the method of Ludwig von Mises. In fact, Rothbard, a former student of Mises, frankly takes off from Human Action….”
In fact, Hazlitt feared that Rothbard had failed to do “full justice to his own contribution” to the edifice of Mises.
And in fact Rothbard had contributed plenty. To take just one example: nearly a third of Rothbard’s treatise consisted of production theory, which before that time had existed only in a scattered and disorganized state. Rothbard synthesized the contributions of Frank Fetter, Knut Wicksell, and John Bates Clark, alongside (of course) the work of Mises, Hayek, and Böhm-Bawerk. And as Joseph Salerno explains, Rothbard “had very little guidance from his predecessors and contemporaries” in expounding his full-fledged production theory over the course of five chapters.
What does Henry Hazlitt know about Austrian economics, next to our friend from Las Vegas? Hazlitt only wrote the multimillion-seller Economics in One Lesson, The Failure of the “New Economics,” and many other books, assisted Ludwig von Mises with his English prose, helped secure Mises his position at New York University, and (incredible for someone with his views) served as chief editorial writer for the New York Times from 1934 to 1946. What would he know about Mises and Austrian economics?
F.A. Hayek, for his part, described Rothbard as one of Mises’ “best authorized disciples,” and in a foreword to one of Rothbard’s works explained that he (Hayek) and Rothbard were both working within the same intellectual tradition, namely the one pioneered by Mises:
Professor Murray N. Rothbard has been profoundly influenced by his work in this field. Both of us has been trying to develop it further, and if this has sometimes led us to modify Mises’s conclusions, perhaps even in different directions. I am sure this is what Mises would have expected and even desired…. That the present state of this tradition, established by the large, systematic treatises that Mises completed from the third to the seventh decade of this century, should be made accessible to readers of the ninth in a condensed form by one of his best authorized disciples is certainly to be much welcomed.
So I’ve got the testimony of Hayek himself, and then I’ve got a Facebook comment from a person of no distinction whatever. Huh.
Ludwig von Mises himself described Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State as an “epochal contribution to the general science of human action,” adding: “Henceforth, all essential studies in these branches of knowledge will have to take full account of the theories and criticisms expounded by Dr. Rothbard.”
I think Mises would know who was working within his own tradition, and who wasn’t.
This is what our opponents are reduced to, folks. It’s sad.
Avoid people who know nothing, and learn from people who know a lot.
Thousands and thousands of libertarians have done precisely that — by boldly clicking this one link: