The Lies of Murray Rothbard

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Libertarianism

Purist libertarian Murray Rothbard said a lot of good things when it came to basic economics and Randianism, but on just about everything else, he was a conspiracy nut and a soulless git.  Here he is attacking our sainted conservative President Ronald Reagan (Rush’s Ronaldus Magnus) in language that makes it hard to distinguish purist libertarians from run-of-the mill America-hating liberals and Marxists, or Ron Reagan, Jr.:

And there are some in the tea parties who want to put Rothbard protoge Ron Paul in charge of things!  I think tea partiers and Republicans will rue the day if they give Ron Paul, and other extremists, a platform to belch forth their insanities.  Just because they might be good on some economic matters doesn’t mean they won’t poison the whole reform effort.  Purist libertarians do not, and never have, understood America.   This is why they hate Ronald Reagan, and it’s pretty much the same reason they hate Lincoln.  Their loyalty is to Austria, not to America; to anarchism, not to the Constitution.

  1. Justin Lee says:

    Why would anarchists have loyalty to Austria?

  2. Vern Crisler says:

    Austrian school of economics….

  3. I am not a libertarian austrian or otherwise. I am not classifiable. but I notice
    that you do not once specify just what Rothbard’s lies are, or give an

    you post a link to an article you denounce, but offer no proof to refute anything
    in it. I only glanced at the anti Reagan part, I am acquainted with the fraud and
    delusion issues already.

    The allegiance should NOT be to Austria and should NOT be to the United States
    Constitution or anything else but truith. Did Rothbard lie about specific incidents
    or not?

    Certainly he may have a motive of devotion to a position apart from truth himself.
    but so does any Reagan fan. The truth lies outside of easy categories, crosses
    most lines but does not include everyone of any of them for the most part.

    • Vern Crisler says:

      “Reagan is basically a cretin…” [Lie 1]

      “The actor, having achieved at last the stardom that had eluded him in Hollywood, reads the lines and performs the action that others – his script-writers, his directors – have told him to follow.” [Lie 2]

      “Evidently lacking the capacity for reasoned thought….” [Lie 3]

      “Consider, for example, the famous story about the “Chicago welfare queen”: all wrong, but Reagan carried on regardless.)

      [Lie 4: Contrary to Rothbard, the “welfare queen” did exist. Her name was Linda Taylor. She used 14 aliases to commit welfare & food stamp fraud, and organized others to use 100 aliases.]

      “Reagan cares little about reality; he lives in his own Hollywood fantasy world, a world of myth….” [Lie 5]

      “The degree to which Reagan is out of touch with reality was best demonstrated in his concentration camp story….But the truth was 180-degrees different; Reagan was not in Europe; he never saw a concentration camp; he spent the entire war in the safety of Hollywood, making films for the armed forces.”

      [Lie 6: Reagan never made such a claim. Rothbard is merely repeating far-left lies. See this website to track down the sources of the fabrication:

      “Don’t try to get Ronnie off the hook by blaming Congress.”

      [Lie 7; in fact, Reagan did not have control over Congress in the way that (say) Obama did in his first term. He not only faced a recalcitrant Congress but also a one party media (liberal). While Reagan was trying to reign in big-government liberalism during the 198s, the one party media pretty much said the same things about Reagan that Rothbard does. What’s truly pathetic about Rothbard’s rants against Reagan is that Reagan had been a fan of Hayek and invited him to the White House.]

      Anyway, I could go on, but there’s no point. When it comes to Reagan, even Rothbard’s commas and periods are lies. To get a more balanced view of Reagan, I would suggest reading the writings of the historian Steven Hayward:

      As far as truth goes, I believe the American Declaration of Independence with its defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which assumes the right of private property) are truth. Lincoln called it our “ancient faith.” The U. S. Constitution (flawed in some respects) was an attempt to put these truths into practical reality. We hold these TRUTHS…said the American founders. They are not just points of view, but propositions that we should be dedicated to, as Lincoln said, so much so that we can give the last full measure of our devotion to these truths, as did our forefathers.

  4. just for one instance, “[Lie 7; in fact, Reagan did not have control over Congress in the way that (say) Obama did in his first term. He not only faced a recalcitrant Congress but also a one party media (liberal). While Reagan was trying to reign in big-government liberalism during the 198s, the one party media pretty much said the same things about Reagan that Rothbard does. What’s truly pathetic about Rothbard’s rants against Reagan is that Reagan had been a fan of Hayek and invited him to the White House.]”

    Obama had NO control over congress, I know, I watched the whole process
    develop of him trying to get the things accomplished, that he had promised, and
    the American people wanted because that is why they elected him, and Congress
    fought him tooth and nail, eviscerated such little as could be done, and impeded

    congress represents corporations and big money, not the representatives. This is
    generally true of both houses, but to say that Obama had ANY control over the
    situation, let alone anything comparable to Reagan, is mistaken.

    In fact, it is more than mistaken. It either represents blind following of your
    preferred sources without looking at what was going on, or flat out lying.

    As for the supposed lies about Reagan, these are common knowledge as facts
    about him. They have been hashed over years ago.

    I can easily believe the he’s-just-playing-a-role thing, because he always had that
    slightly dreamy quality and besides, most politicians are frauds anyway.

    • Vern Crisler says:

      You are delusional Mary. The Democrats had a filibuster proof majority under Obama’s 1st two years. That’s how he was able to pass his semi-socialist legislation, e.g. Obamacare. I’ve also shown you the lies that were told about Reagan by Rothbard, but you just continue to believe them. This indicates to me that you are not an objective truth seeker, as you pretended to be in your first post, but someone who has closed her mind to truth.

  5. Justina says:

    you weren’t paying attention. Obama care passed gutted of what the people wanted,
    the single payer option as normative, with forced requirement of buying insurance,
    criminal penalties possible for failure, and a single payer option to qualify for which you
    have to be reviewed in a complex procedure done by a bureau that is easily kept
    from doing this by keeping funding from it.

    Death committees have been in place all along, built into private insurance because
    they can choose what to pay for and what not to pay for. If you don’t want
    insurance companies or the government interfering between you and your doctor,
    then get the government to cap the charges any medical or pharma company
    can charge for anything, rolled back to 1980 prices or earlier.

    Unlike other semi socialist measures, Obamacare hit at the heart of the oppressive
    rich, who control both parties so both parties fought it. (There are very strong
    attacks on such rich by God in the Prophets and NT. Read them.)

    The only real gain was the prohibition of rejection for pre existing conditions.

    The mortgage rescue was another fiasco, helping only a few through a complex
    process, and even if there were requirements of how banks were to use money
    written in, there were loopholes and nonenforcement enough.

    So you are really so “truth seeking” that you are still among those who think that
    the two parties really represent any severely differing plans and purposes?

    • Vern Crisler says:

      Mary, get over your class warfare ideology. There is no right to health care, nor to health care insurance. Businesses exist to make a profit, and drug companies and hospitals are businesses. Competition is what drives down prices. When government gets involved, we end up with a shoddy product, and higher costs in the long run.

      The reason Obama didn’t get all he wanted was not due to Republicans, who did not have enough votes for a filibuster. It was because of his own Democrat party. The American people were so opposed to Obamacare in its pure form that Obama had to accept some changes, or lose his party support.

      People either forget, or never knew, the context of Reagan’s presidency. He had to fight an entrenched Congress and bureaucracy and a one-party media. He had to go directly to the American people to get anything done. Rothbard knew this but chose to ignore it so that he could go forward with his lies about Reagan.

      But I don’ want to debate Obama or Obamacare. Obama had everything going his way but didn’t listen to the people. That’s why his party received such a “shellacking” during the midterms.

  6. I am not talking class warfare. The fact is, that the democrats are as sold out
    to the big money coporations and medical industry and big pharma and
    whatever, as the republicans.

    And THE PEOPLE SPOKE WHEN THEY VOTED, not when their fraudulent
    two faced elected representatives did what they did.

    you need to quit your dogmatizing and study history, other than archaeology,
    and I don’t mean American history but many, many centuries, patterns, and so
    forth. and not from some predigested source with an agenda. just facts and patterns.

  7. oh, by the way, I used to think like you do. I learned better.

    • Vern Crisler says:

      Christine, I’ve never been attracted to conspiracy views of history.

      • I don’t what you are talking about, what does conspiracy views of
        history have to do with anything?

        I am talking about your economics and notions about what history
        includes, in public not hidden stuff.

        for example, the kind of thinking I used to buy, is exemplified by Gary
        North. Now, in one of his online rants, he credits the development of
        technology and the industrial revolution entirely to a christian, actuall
        sub christian extreme calvinist, view of profits as okay, and stuff like that.

        unless I missed something, he left out the critical government interventionist element that made the industrial revolution easy.

        the patent office.

        Patents prevent anyone from using and profiting off production of – or by – your inventions, without paying you. Patents have existed at various times and places, but absent a patent, you hid your discovery and only you and a few friends and family, all sworn to secrecy, used and profited from it. naturally technology developed slowly, EXCEPT where patents and government enforcement ready to be called on existed. Renaissance Italy, and England
        were cases in point, and the USA had the Patent Office also.

        without the protection of an enforcer you will hide your discoveries since you
        cannot force someone to pay you for using them, and the information will
        not be commonplace. with such enforcement you can put your ideas out in
        public, for all to consider and some to use – and to pay you for using.

  8. Sean Gerety says:

    To attack Rothbard for some stupid things he said about Reagan is one thing, but to attack the entire Austrian school of economics is simply ignorant. John Robbins, who served as a served as Ron Paul’s Legislative Assistant (1976, 1979-1981) and as his Chief of Staff (1981-1985), wrote:

    Because Misesian economics begins with axioms and proceeds by deduction, it bears a similarity to Christian theology, at least in form and method. Unfortunately, Misesian economics does not derive its economic postulates from the Bible; in fact, Mises could give no good account of why someone should accept his axioms and not those of another system of economics. Misesian economics has no “Thus says the Lord” at its foundation; in fact, its axioms do not even include a truth claim. But if the postulates of Misesian economics are actually found in Scripture, or, to put it another way, if Mises borrowed his postulates from Christianity, perhaps unwittingly, then the epistemological basis for a deductive economics is present.

    I realize you detest the Christian Robbins even more than the Atheist Rothbard, but your lack of even a basic understanding of economics is pitiful.

    • Vern Crisler says:

      And I think you lack even a basic understanding of logic.

      I did not attack Austrian economics. In fact I said: “Murray Rothbard said a lot of good things when it came to basic economics….”

      I can recommend anything Rothbard says about economics. I cannot recommend him for anything else.

      Misesian economics is not a deductive system in the way Robbins takes it to be. It is a Kantian or neo-Kantian system. Christian theology, of course, is not a deductive system either. What a ridiculous notion. Nevertheless, it’s what I’ve come to expect from the likes of John Robbins. I recently had to stop listening to a tape of his on Ayn Rand because I just couldn’t take any more of the dullness and stupidity of his approach. So I’m not sure why you are quoting him as an authority to me.

  9. Sean Gerety says:

    “I did not attack Austrian economics.” LOL. Let’s see, you wrote: “I think tea partiers and Republicans will rue the day if they give Ron & Rand Paul, and other extremists, a platform to belch forth their insanities . . .Their loyalty is to Austria, not to America; to anarchism, not to the Constitution.” By Austria you didn’t mean the country. You’re a joke Vern.

  10. Vern Crisler says:

    As usual, you make a joke of logic. Extremist libertarians want to reduce all foreign policy questions, all government questions, all questions of morality, to economic questions. That is a recipe for disaster. And because Reagan would not do that, he is hated by the likes of lesser men such as Rothbard.

    But then again, in order to see that, you’d have to be a logical, rational person, and I don’t really expect too much along those lines from Clarkians.

  11. Sean Gerety says:

    I didn’t make a joke of logic. I used it to once again demonstrate that you are a liar.

    • Vern Crisler says:

      And you are a captious bastardo, something you share with Robbins and Clark. Anyone who knew how to use logic or reason could see the point I made, but not you. But it’s what I’ve come to expect from your type, so it’s no surprise.

  12. Casey Cho says:

    “Sainted President Ronald Reagan”-I’m guessing this is sarcasm?

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