Murray Rothbard

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
Even more than conservatives... libertarians are squarely in the great classical liberal tradition that built the United States and bestowed on us the American heritage of individual liberty, a peaceful foreign policy, minimal government, and a free-market economy.

Murray Newton Rothbard (2 March 19267 January 1995) was an American economist and political author.

Quotes[edit]

I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual.
Rights may be universal, but their enforcement must be local.
It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.
  • In 1756 Edmund Burke published his first work: Vindication of Natural Society. Curiously enough it has been almost completely ignored in the current Burke revival. This work contrasts sharply with Burke’s other writings, for it is hardly in keeping with the current image of the Father of the New Conservatism. A less conservative work could hardly be imagined; in fact, Burke’s Vindication was perhaps the first modern expression of rationalistic and individualistic anarchism. … "Anarchism" is an extreme term, but no other can adequately describe Burke’s thesis. Again and again, he emphatically denounces any and all government, and not just specific forms of government. … All government, Burke adds, is founded on one "grand error." It was observed that men sometimes commit violence against one another, and that it is therefore necessary to guard against such violence. As a result, men appoint governors among them. But who is to defend the people against the governors? … The anarchism of Burke’s Vindication is negative, rather than positive. It consists of an attack on the State rather than a positive blueprint of the type of society which Burke would regard as ideal. Consequently, both the communist and the individualist wings of anarchism have drawn sustenance from this work.
    • "Edmund Burke, Anarchist", first published as "A Note on Burke’s Vindication of Natural Society" in the Journal of the History of Ideas, 19, 1 (January 1958), p. 114
  • I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual. Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights.
  • Money is different from all other commodities: other things being equal, more shoes, or more discoveries of oil or copper benefit society, since they help alleviate natural scarcity. But once a commodity is established as a money on the market, no more money at all is needed. Since the only use of money is for exchange and reckoning, more dollars or pounds or marks in circulation cannot confer a social benefit: they will simply dilute the exchange value of every existing dollar or pound or mark. So it is a great boon that gold or silver are scarce and are costly to increase in supply.
    But if government manages to establish paper tickets or bank credit as money, as equivalent to gold grams or ounces, then the government, as dominant money-supplier, becomes free to create money costlessly and at will. As a result, this 'inflation' of the money supply destroys the value of the dollar or pound, drives up prices, cripples economic calculation, and hobbles and seriously damages the workings of the market economy.
  • This, by the way, is the welfare state in action: Its a whole bunch of special interest groups screwing consumers and taxpayers, and making them think they're really benefiting.
    • from an audio tape of Rothbard's 1986 lecture "Tariffs, Inflation, Anti-Trust and Cartels" [53:47 to 53:55 of 1:47:29], part of the Mises Institute audio lecture series "The American Economy and the End of Laissez-Faire: 1870 to World War II")
  • All my life, it seems, I have hated the guts of Max Lerner. Now, make no mistake: there is nothing personal in this rancor. I have never met, nor have I ever had any personal dealings with, Max. No, my absolute loathing for Max Lerner is disinterested, cosmic in its grandeur. It's just that ever since I was a toddler, this ugly homunculus, this pretentious jackass, has been there, towering over the American ideological scene. In the fifty-five years that I have been aware of Max's presence, in all of his many permutations and combinations and seeming twists and turns, he has taken the totally repellent position at every step of the way.
  • In short, the early receivers of the new money in this market chain of events gain at the expense of those who receive the money toward the end of the chain, and still worse losers are the people (e.g., those on fixed incomes such as annuities, interest, or pensions) who never receive the new money at all.
  • The more consistently Austrian School an economist is, the better a writer he will be.
    • As quoted in "An intellectual Autobiography" by Bryan Kaplan, in I Chose Liberty : Autobiographies of Contemporary Libertarians (2010) edited by Walter Block, p. 75

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (1973)[edit]

If a man has the right to self-ownership, to the control of his life, then in the real world he must also have the right to sustain his life by grappling with and transforming resources…
Full text online
  • If a man has the right to self-ownership, to the control of his life, then in the real world he must also have the right to sustain his life by grappling with and transforming resources; he must be able to own the ground and the resources on which he stands and which he must use. In short, to sustain his "human right."
  • The libertarian creed, finally, offers the fulfillment of the best of the American past along with the promise of a far better future. Even more than conservatives... libertarians are squarely in the great classical liberal tradition that built the United States and bestowed on us the American heritage of individual liberty, a peaceful foreign policy, minimal government, and a free-market economy.

What Has Government Done to Our Money? (1980)[edit]

Money ... is the nerve center of the economic system.
Full text online
  • The cumulative development of a medium of exchange on the free market — is the only way money can become established. ... government is powerless to create money for the economy; it can only be developed by the processes of the free market.
  • Money is a commodity ... not a useless token only good for exchanging; ... It differs from other commodities in being demanded mainly as a medium of exchange.
  • It doesn't matter what the supply of money is.
  • Inflation may be defined as any increase in the economy's supply of money not consisting of an increase in the stock of the money metal.
  • Money ... is the nerve center of the economic system. If, therefore, the state is able to gain unquestioned control over the unit of all accounts, the state will then be in a position to dominate the entire economic system, and the whole society.
  • Inflation, being a fraudulent invasion of property, could not take place on the free market.
  • Freedom can run a monetary system as superbly as it runs the rest of the economy. Contrary to many writers, there is nothing special about money that requires extensive governmental dictation.

An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (1995)[edit]

  • The problem is that he originated nothing that was true, and that whatever he originated was wrong.
  • John Stuart was the quintessence of soft rather than hardcore, a woolly minded man of mush in striking contrast to his steel-edged father.
  • Shameless sponging on friends and relatives ... Marx affected a hatred and contempt for the very material resource he was too anxious to cadge and use so recklessly. Marx created an entire philosophy around his own corrupt attitudes toward money.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Commons
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: