Blogs > Liberty and Power > A Primer on Murray Rothbard

Mar 6, 2005 9:40 am

A Primer on Murray Rothbard

SOLO HQ has published my brief"Primer on Murray Rothbard."

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Max Swing - 3/8/2005

Just take a look at todays newspaper and you will see that still many Lebanese are (as you claim) traditionalists and they start protesting for the Syrian "occupation".
Of course, Conservatives have the same structure, but it is a bit like the difference between Nazi Germany and Stalin Russia. Both were socialists in their underlying philosophy, but they hated each other strongly.
It is the same with the Middle East and that might be why there won't be a free Lebanon, in the end...

Kenneth R Gregg - 3/8/2005

The original title of the organization was the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists. This was originally the vision of Frank Chodorov. You can find information on the early history here, here and here.

When I joined ISI in 1968, it had already been converted into a conservative organization and was rapidly shedding its libertarian principles for Burkean conservativism and had already changed its name from the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists. It was disappointing in that respect, but there were still enough libertarian elements in it for me to continue with it for some time.

Just a thought.

Just Ken

CLASSical Liberal

Jason Pappas - 3/7/2005

I apologize for taking that detour. However, Rothbard was indeed one of those who criticized the nascent conservative movement. George Nash has the story, of course, and most people here know it well.

Back to Sciabarra’s “brief.” It was a bit too brief – perhaps more of a resume than an article. Although I suspect that was the purpose - to get a picture of the vast ground Murray covered. However, I can’t complain as I too have not read the second half of Total Freedom. Now that I understand the first half ...

Jason Pappas - 3/7/2005

If you put God, family, community, and country, together in that order, you’d get a traditionalist conservative. Would, Kirk or Nisbet disagree with that? Absent in both the Lebanese man you quote and the traditional conservative is the individual. This was a oft repeated criticism of conservatism in the 1950s by the individualists at the time.

There is a reason that traditionalists of the 1950s not only surrendered the appellation “liberal” but gleefully embraced the Burkean “conservative” label. By the way, what did ISI stand for before they change it to Intercollegiate Studies Institute?

Max Swing - 3/6/2005

I just read this small piece in the German magazine "der Spiegel" and the author affirmed my believe about the situation in Middle East.
Despite all the efforts of the Bush government to concile their Iraq policy (and ME policy in general) with the demonstrations in Lebanon, a famous Lebanese folk-star said: "Well, there are many differences between a Kiew-like revolution and our protests. We have a different opinion than Mr. Bush about what democracy means. Family comes first, then the community and last the government. We might be not as democratic as the USA, but at least in our country no people disappears without notice and without any sort of trial. And we leave our criminals inside Lebanon, rather than export them."

It might be a bit polemic, but there certainly is truth in it. (Just wanted to insert this, might also be dialectically in contents and in context).

William Marina - 3/6/2005

I understand about that web site, &, as you may recall, bought your book, TF, but have not read it all as yet.
Dialectics appear to be conquering all, even if those pushing things are not aware of it, as the Bushian moves in the Middle East are causing the emergence of a new synthesis, not anticipated by the neocons.

Chris Matthew Sciabarra - 3/6/2005

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your comments. Just remember the SOLO HQ audience: It is an audience made up predominantly of people interested in Ayn Rand. Much of my little "primer" was a way of introducing Rothbard to that specific audience, some members of which may dismiss this or that Rothbardian argument without having much knowledge or appreciation of the larger Rothbardian corpus.

I, myself, have criticized Rothbard rather extensively in Total Freedom, maybe not in a Taoist mode, but certainly in a dialectical one.


William Marina - 3/6/2005

Hi Chris,
I read your piece on MNR with interest. I wish you had spent relatively more time on him than on his relationship with Rand.

While I agreed with many of his views, and appreciated his note about my being the "pre-eminent" reviewer of Conceived in Liberty – 8 reviews of the 4 volumes – I did not share his total appreciation of the Articles of Confederation, nor his tendency to grab on to conspiracy theories, especially the assassination of JFK, where I was about 75' away from the 3rd shot in Dealey Plaza, and could not accept his implausible ramblings.

As I see the splits among so-called libertarians today, the weakness of the opposition to Empire as compared to a century ago, I find myself more comfortable simply trying to follow the Tao/Dao, and in Candide-like style, cultivating my garden this spring and summer.

Regards, Bil Marina