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Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.



Articles by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Rothbard and War

22 days ago

This talk was delivered at the Ron Paul Institute’s Conference on Breaking Washington’s Addiction to War.
Murray Rothbard was the creator of the modern libertarian movement and a close friend of both Ron Paul and me. His legacy was a great one, and at the Mises Institute I try every day to live up to his hopes for us.
One issue was the most important to him, of all the many issues that concerned him. This was the issue of war and peace. Because of his support for a peaceful, noninterventionist foreign policy for America, the CIA agent William F. Buckley blacklisted him from National Review and tried, fortunately without success, to silence his voice.
During the 1950’s, Murray worked for the Volker Fund, and in a letter to Ken

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Can We Beat the Bolsheviks?

25 days ago

The Left is the most dangerous ideological phenomenon in the history of mankind. It glorifies poverty, the total state, and mass death. The Left wants to destroy Western civilization, based on Christianity, the traditional family, and the free market.
It’s no coincidence that Communists killed more than 100 million people, not including their wars.
By the way, young people are not taught about the evils of the Left, only its myths. They do not believe there were gigantic atrocities in the Lenin-Stalin Soviet Union, nor Mao’s China. Socialism is good! Everyone is better off under socialism. Everyone is Equal.
Equality is the magic word. Since it does not and cannot exist, it is is a license for total state power. After all, some

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The Demise of the West?

26 days ago

The Left is the most dangerous ideological phenomenon in the history of mankind. It glorifies poverty, the total state, and mass death. The Left wants to destroy Western civilization, based on Christianity, the traditional family, and the free market.
It’s no coincidence that Communists killed more than 100 million people, not including their wars.
By the way, young people are not taught about the evils of the Left, only its myths. They do not believe there were gigantic atrocities in the Lenin-Stalin Soviet Union, nor Mao’s China. Socialism is good! Everyone is better off under socialism. Everyone is Equal.
Equality is the magic word. Since it does not and cannot exist, it is is a license for total state power. After all, some

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The Enemies of Our Civilization

28 days ago

The Left is the most dangerous ideological phenomenon in the history of mankind. It glorifies poverty, the total state, and mass death. The Left wants to destroy Western civilization, based on Christianity, the traditional family, and the free market.
It’s no coincidence that Communists killed more than 100 million people, not including their wars.
By the way, young people are not taught about the evils of the Left, only its myths. They do not believe there were gigantic atrocities in the Lenin-Stalin Soviet Union, nor Mao’s China. Socialism is good! Everyone is better off under socialism. Everyone is Equal.
Equality is the magic word. Since it does not and cannot exist, it is is a license for total state power. After all, some people are smart, some stupid. Some

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Wars and Domestic Massacres

August 6, 2019

This past weekend, 22 people were killed in El Paso, Texas and 9 in Dayton, Ohio.  There have been a number of other mass shootings in the past two decades or so; the largest was in Las Vegas in 2017, with 58 killed. This is sad, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the real perpetrators of death in America—-the US military.
It is been well-said that “it’s time for America to reckon with the staggering death toll of the post 9-11 wars.”
“Brown University’s Costs of War Project this month released a new estimate of the total death toll from the U.S. wars in three countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The numbers, while conservatively estimated, are staggering. Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people

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The Misesian Vision

August 5, 2019

[This talk was delivered at the Jeremy Davis Mises Circle in Houston, Texas, on January 23, 2010.]
I’m finding it ever more difficult to describe to people the kind of world that the Mises Institute would like to see, with the type of political order that Mises and the entire classical-liberal tradition believed would be most beneficial for mankind.
It would appear that the more liberty we lose, the less people are able to imagine how liberty might work. It’s a fascinating thing to behold.
People can no longer imagine a world in which we could be secure without massive invasions of our privacy at every step, and even being strip searched before boarding airplanes, even though private institutions manage much greater security

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An Evening With Lew Rockwell

July 22, 2019

Featuring Mises Institute founder Lew Rockwell, with Mark Thornton. Recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 18 July 2019.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

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Justin Raimondo, RIP

June 29, 2019

As we mourn the death of the great anti-war activist Justin Raimondo, one can obtain a better understanding of him by looking at his intellectual pedigree. Here, one figure stands out: the great Austrian economist and libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard. Raimondo for many years worked closely with Rothbard as a libertarian activist. He has chronicled their activities in his outstanding biography of Rothbard, Enemy of the State.
Rothbard takes the principal enemy of liberty to be a powerful state, and war has been the chief means by which the state expands and consolidates its power Accordingly, he supports a noninterventionist foreign policy: only when threatened with attack should a nation go to war. Rothbard contends that the

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Free Lori Loughlin

April 22, 2019

Everybody knows that college admissions aren’t made only on academic merit and haven’t been for a long time. If you want your son or daughter to be admitted to college and you have enough money, all you have to do is donate a lot of money to the university and your child will have no trouble getting in.
Here are a few examples: In 2015, Stewart Cohen gave $5 million to the USC School for Cinematic Arts. The gift came right after the very competitive school admitted Cohen’s twin daughters. In another well-known case, the New York real estate tycoon Charles Kushner pledged $2.5 million to Harvard in 1998 shortly before his son Jared was admitted. Jared Kushner’s grades would not have gotten him into the highly selective school

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Getting Libertarianism Right

April 13, 2019

Getting Libertarianism Right. By Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Mises Institute, 2018. 126 pages. Introduction by Sean Gabb.
The title of Hans Hoppe’s wonderful new book has a double meaning. We need to get libertarianism right—to understand libertarianism correctly. How can we do this? By realizing that if we want a libertarian society, we need to embrace the values of the Right.
Why is that true? Isn’t libertarianism just a commitment to rules for peaceful relations among people? Hans says: “Knowing libertarian theory — the rules of peaceful interactions — is like knowing the rules of logic — the rules of correct thinking and reasoning. . . just as every logician who wants to make good use of his knowledge must turn his attention to real

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Help LRC Thrive

January 1, 2019

2018 saw some great news: the neocon flagship sunk. Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard went bankrupt and stopped publishing.
For anyone who believes in freedom and peace, this was super news. Unfortunately, a far bigger opponent of LRC—Google—has gone from strength to strength, as befits a favorite of the government.
It’s restricted our income from advertising, and lowered our search results with its algorithm. But it has not stifled our stance.
LRC stands for the same principles it did when I started it in 1999.  I think those ideas, in the tradition of Murray N. Rothbard, are essential to our future, and as one of our readers, I’ll bet you do, too.
If I’m right, please help me give a virtual punch in the nose to the warmongers, the

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Help Blunt LRC’s Enemies

December 31, 2018

2018 saw some great news: the neocon flagship sunk. Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard went bankrupt and stopped publishing.
For anyone who believes in freedom and peace, this was super news. Unfortunately, a far bigger opponent of LRC—Google—has gone from strength to strength, as befits a favorite of the government.
It’s restricted our income from advertising, and lowered our search results with its algorithm. But it has not stifled our stance.
LRC stands for the same principles it did when I started it in 1999.  I think those ideas, in the tradition of Murray N. Rothbard, are essential to our future, and as one of our readers, I’ll bet you do, too.
If I’m right, please help me give a virtual punch in the nose to the warmongers, the socialists, the communists, and the

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The Businessman and the Holy Family

December 25, 2018

At the heart of the Christmas story rests some important lessons concerning free enterprise, government, and the role of wealth in society.
Let’s begin with one of the most famous phrases: “There’s no room at the inn.” This phrase is often invoked as if it were a cruel and heartless dismissal of the tired travelers Joseph and Mary. Many renditions of the story conjure up images of the couple going from inn to inn only to have the owner barking at them to go away and slamming the door.
In fact, the inns were full to overflowing in the entire Holy Land because of the Roman emperor’s decree that everyone be counted and taxed. Inns are private businesses, and customers are their lifeblood. There would have been no reason to turn away

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Rothbard Was Right

December 19, 2018

If you want to understand Murray Rothbard, you need to keep one principle in mind. If you remember this, you will have the key to grasping his thought.  And you should want to understand Murray Rothbard, because he was the greatest American defender of liberty in the twentieth century.
The principle in question is that Murray Rothbard had a consistent vision of the good society that he upheld throughout his long career. He described this vision in a vast number of books and articles, including Man, Economy, and State, Power and Market, The Ethics of Liberty, and Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature. That vision was always the same.
Some people, even among those who knew and admired Murray, fail to realize this because they

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My Life’s Work

November 26, 2018

JEFF DEIST: One issue discussed recently at our Supporters Summit is whether we’re winning or losing. So two questions: Who is “we,” and are we winning?
LEW ROCKWELL: Well, the “we,” fundamentally, is everybody who believes in civilization, who is opposed to what’s been going on ever since the French Revolution, when the Left came to total power and set up a totalitarian state. This includes some, but not all libertarians, and many conservatives as well — but certainly not neoconservative warmongers.
Are we winning or are we losing? Both. We’re winning in some ways but losing in others. More and more young people on campuses are attracted to us. When they look at their professors — I’m talking about the smart, good kids — the

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The Uncompromising Rothbard

November 24, 2018

The Free Market 26, no. 9 (September 2005)
[Originally written as an introduction to For A New Liberty]
There are many varieties of libertarianism alive in the world today, and they owe a great debt to the work of Ludwig von Mises. His top American student was Murray N. Rothbard, and Rothbardianism remains the center of its intellectual gravity, its primary muse and conscience, its strategic and moral core, and the focal point of debate even when its name is not acknowledged. The reason is that Rothbard forged a blend between Austrian economics and natural-rights political theory of the old liberal school to create a modern libertarianism, a political-economic-ideological system that proposes a once-and-for-all escape from the

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The Freedom Crisis

November 15, 2018

This talk was delivered at the Mises Institute’s 2018 Ron Paul-Mises Circle In Lake Jackson, Texas.
There is a crisis, and only you, and people like you, can get us out of it.
What is this crisis? On the one hand, the statist order is collapsing all around us.  America is mired in a futile war in Afghanistan. A belligerent policy toward Iran threatens to bring about a new war in the Middle East. And let’s not forget about North Korea, where the danger of a nuclear war is by no means over.
On the domestic front, the Fed continues the manipulation of our economy which led to the 2008 crisis. Government debt is rising to an unprecedented level.
Thanks to the works of great thinkers and scholars like Ludwig von Mises and Murray N.

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Hitler’s Economics

October 29, 2018

[Originally published August 02, 2003.]
For today’s generation, Hitler is the most hated man in history, and his regime the archetype of political evil. This view does not extend to his economic policies, however. Far from it. They are embraced by governments all around the world. The Glenview State Bank of Chicago, for example, recently praised Hitler’s economics in its monthly newsletter. In doing so, the bank discovered the hazards of praising Keynesian policies in the wrong context.
The issue of the newsletter (July 2003) is not online, but the content can be discerned via the letter of protest from the Anti-Defamation League. “Regardless of the economic arguments” the letter said, “Hitler’s economic policies cannot be

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The Story of the Mises Institute

September 18, 2018

Prepared for delivery in Hamburg, Germany, upon my receiving the Roland Baader Prize.
Thank you very much for the great honor you have conferred on me. The Roland Baader Prize is named for an outstanding champion of the free market and disciple of Ludwig von Mises. As I am the founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, you will not be surprised to learn that I too am a disciple of Mises. I am sure that the members of this audience revere Mises as well, and I’d like to point out another thing we have in common. The Mises Institute is headquartered in Alabama, a state in the American South, and I am speaking to an in audience in Germany. My friend Judge John Denson, whom many of you will know from his books on revisionist history,

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Open Borders

September 17, 2018

Whether we’re talking about illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America, or birthright citizenship, or the migrants coming from the Middle East and Africa, the subject of immigration has been in the news and widely discussed for months now. It is an issue fraught with potentially perilous consequences, so it is especially important for libertarians to understand it correctly. This Mises Circle, which is devoted to a consideration of where we ought to go from here, seems like an opportune moment to take up this momentous question.
I should note at the outset that in searching for the correct answer to this vexing problem I do not seek to claim originality. To the contrary, I draw much of what follows from two of the people

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What Exactly Is Racism?

July 16, 2018

This article was first published on July 2, 2014.
I want to look at two words that the State and its hangers-on have employed with much success on behalf of increases in government power. One is racism. The other is equality.
What exactly is racism? We almost never hear a definition. I doubt anyone really knows what it is. If you’re inclined to dispute this, ask yourself why, if racism truly is something clear and determinate, there is such ceaseless disagreement over which thoughts and behaviors are racist and which are not?
If put on the spot, the average person would probably define racism along the lines of how Murray N. Rothbard defined anti-Semitism, involving hatred and/or the intention to carry out violence, whether

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The True Founders of Economics

April 23, 2018

Students of free enterprise usually trace the origins of pro-market thinking to Scottish professor Adam Smith (1723-90). This tendency to see Smith as the fountainhead of economics is reinforced among Americans because his famed book An Inquiry into the Nature and the Causes of the Wealth of Nation was published the year of American independence from Britain.
There is much that this view of intellectual history overlooks. The real founders of economic science actually wrote hundreds of years before Smith. They were not economists as such, but moral theologians, trained in the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, and they came to be known collectively as the Late Scholastics. These men, most of whom taught in Spain, were at least as pro-free

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Enemy of the State

March 12, 2018

Ludwig von Mises was the greatest economist and defender of liberty in the twentieth century. In scholarship and in passion for freedom, his rightful heir is Murray N. Rothbard.
Rothbard was born in New York City in 1926. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, and studied for more than 10 years under Mises at New York University. However, his degree was delayed for years, and he came close to not receiving it at all, because of the unprecedented intervention of a faculty member.
Rothbard’s dissertation — The Panic of 1819 — showed how the Bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve’s ancestor, caused the first American depression. This offended Professor Arthur Burns, later chairman of the Federal Reserve under Nixon, who

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When Government Shuts Down

January 22, 2018

[Editor’s note: As we face another so-called government shutdown, some may recall that we’ve been down this road before. In this 1996 article, Lew Rockwell explains that government “shutdowns” are neither as unpopular, or as troublesome, as the media and Washington politicians assume.]
According to official history, the 104th Congress doomed itself when it shut down the government to force its budget priorities on the president. People got up in arms and demanded that government be reopened. This taught the people and their representatives a valuable lesson. As much as we may complain, we truly need big government. Today, we all agree with the White House vow to never allow the government to shut down again.
Of course, everything about

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The Enemies of Freedom

December 30, 2017

That’s nothing new, of course. It began with our first issue in 1999, and has gotten more intense ever since. Just recently, the despicable NY Times, Washington Post, and National Review have vented their spleens once again.
You’d think big, establishment organs like the two newspapers wouldn’t care. But they do. LRC drives them crazy (crazier?).  They can’t stand the truth, especially as enunciated by Murray Rothbard and Rothbardians.
Murray has more and more influence. Both NyTi and WaPo are notoriously close to the CIA. National Review was founded by CIA agent Bill Buckley, and all continue to fight for the welfare-warfare state, and smear anyone, especially on the right, who doesn’t join their cabal.
These neocon “liberals” and

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Neocons Hate LRC

December 29, 2017

That’s nothing new, of course. It began with our first issue in 1999, and has gotten more intense ever since. Just recently, the despicable NY Times, Washington Post, and National Review have vented their spleens once again.
You’d think big, establishment organs like the two newspapers wouldn’t care. But they do. LRC drives them crazy (crazier?).  They can’t stand the truth, especially as enunciated by Murray Rothbard and Rothbardians.
Murray has more and more influence. Both NyTi and WaPo are notoriously close to the CIA. National Review was founded by CIA agent Bill Buckley, and all continue to fight for the welfare-warfare state, and smear anyone, especially on the right, who doesn’t join their cabal.
These neocon “liberals” and

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The Nazis Were Leftists

August 26, 2017

Is it too much to say that since the French Revolution, the left has been the source of virtually all political evils, and continues to be so in our day?
There can be no doubt that great cruelty and violence can be and have been inflicted in the name of preserving the existing order.
But when we compare even the worst enormities of the more distant past with the leftist totalitarian revolutions and total wars of the twentieth centuries, they are in general a mere blip. The entire history of the Inquisition, said Joe Sobran, barely rises to the level of what the communists accomplished on a good afternoon.
The French Revolution, and particularly its radical phase, was the classic manifestation of modern leftism and served as the model for still more radical

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Open Borders

April 21, 2017

Many left libertarians demand open borders. Nations have no significance, they tell us. To think otherwise, to recognize any limits to immigration, arbitrarily restricts people’s liberty. Those of us who think otherwise, they say, are no better than fascists.
Joe Salerno’s brilliant and comprehensive article, “Mises on Nationalism, the Right to Self-Determination, and the Problem of Immigration” shows that Mises rejected the extreme anti-nationalist, open borders position.
As Salerno shows, Mises supported “liberal nationalism,” one of the most important political movements of the 19th century. For him, the choices of individuals were bedrock.   People belonging to a single language community did not want to be ruled by those who spoke a different language.

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Anti-Trump Hysteria

December 13, 2016

Amid all the hysteria surrounding Donald Trump, clear and sober analyses of who he is and what to expect have been few and far between.
I’ve already seen numerous progressives warning that Trump intends to eviscerate entitlements. It’s as if facts never enter the progressive consciousness. Their opponents are an undifferentiated blob and hold what progressives take to be generically right-wing positions.
Only this robotic approach to politics can account for why progressives seem to think Donald Trump, by far the most pro-LGBT GOP nominee in history, intends to harm homosexuals, or that despite his repeated assurances that he wants nothing more than to shore up entitlements, he intends to cut them sharply.
As anyone who isn’t tone deaf when it comes to

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The Fatal Flaw in Politics

November 8, 2016

Politics is of its very nature is biased in favor of intervention and planning. Even in its “minarchist” or “night-watchman” version, politics is based at root on the idea that some decisions must be made coercively and imposed on unwilling minorities – or even majorities, as the case may be. This is contrary to the principle we observe in private life every day: the consent of both parties is necessary for a transaction to take place.
The state never stays “limited” in the long or even medium run, as we’ve seen for ourselves, and before long it worms its way throughout civil society. Once it becomes entrenched in some area of social life that had previously been managed by voluntary means, people grow accustomed to the state’s new role, even coming to view

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