Murray Rothbard

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Murray Rothbard : biography

March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995

Rothbard criticized the "frenzied nihilism" of left-wing libertarians, but also criticized right-wing libertarians who were content to rely only on education to bring down the state; he believed that libertarians should adopt any non-immoral tactic available to them in order to bring about liberty.Lora, Ronald & Longton, Henry. 1999. The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America. Greenwood Press. p. 369

During the 1970s and 1980s, Rothbard was active in the Libertarian Party. He was frequently involved in the party’s internal politics. He was one of the founders of the Cato Institute, and "came up with the idea of naming this libertarian think tank after Cato’s Letters, a powerful series of British newspaper essays by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon which played a decisive influence upon America’s Founding Fathers in fomenting the Revolution."Burris, Charles (2011-02-04) , LewRockwell.com

From 1978 to 1983, he was associated with the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, allying himself with Justin Raimondo, Eric Garris and Williamson Evers. He opposed the "low-tax liberalism" espoused by 1980 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Ed Clark and Cato Institute president Edward H Crane III. According to Charles Burris, "Rothbard and Crane became bitter rivals after disputes emerging from the 1980 LP presidential campaign of Ed Clark carried over to strategic direction and management of Cato."

Rothbard split with the Radical Caucus at the 1983 national convention over cultural issues and aligned himself with what he called the "right-wing populist" wing of the party, notably Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul, who ran for President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988. "Rothbard worked closely with Lew Rockwell (joined later by his long-time friend Burt Blumert) in nurturing the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the publication, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report; which after Rothbard’s 1995 death evolved into the popular website, LewRockwell.com."

In 1989, Rothbard left the Libertarian Party and began building bridges to the post-Cold War anti-interventionist right, calling himself a paleolibertarian.Murrary Rothbard, , Lew Rockwell.com, November 1994. He supported the presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan in 1992, and wrote that "with Pat Buchanan as our leader, we shall break the clock of social democracy."Murray Rothbard, , LewRockwell.com, 2002.

In 1992 Rothbard argued that white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke had won a majority of the white vote in a losing gubernatorial election in Louisiana by running as a "right-wing populist", an ideology Rothbard embraced. According to Reason, Rothbard advocated right-wing populism in part because he was frustrated that mainstream thinkers were not adopting the libertarian view and suggested that Duke and former Wisconsin U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy were models for an "Outreach to the Rednecks" effort that could be used by a broad libertarian/paleoconservative coalition. In discussing what he called the "hysteria" against Duke, whom he noted was newly converted to Christianity, Rothbard described "right wing populism" as opposition to a "statist world dominated by a ruling elite, consisting of a coalition of Big Government, Big Business, and various influential special interest groups".Murray Rothbard, , LewRockwell.com, January, 1992. Rothbard also argued that there was "nothing" in Duke’s political program that "could not also be embraced by paleoconservatives or paleo-libertarians; lower taxes, dismantling the bureaucracy, slashing the welfare system, attacking affirmative action and racial set-asides, calling for equal rights for all Americans, including whites."

Like Buchanan, Rothbard opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).Reese, Charley (1993-10-14) , Orlando Sentinel However, later he became disillusioned with Buchanan, believing that the latter’s "commitment to protectionism was mutating into an all-round faith in economic planning and the nation state."Lew Rockwell, , LewRockwell.com, 2002. Rothbard then shifted his interest and support to Ross Perot, who Rothbard wrote had "brought an excitement, a verve, a sense of dynamics and of open possibilities to what had threatened to be a dreary race."Rothbard, Murray (1992-06-01) , Los Angeles Times Rothbard ultimately supported George Bush over Bill Clinton in the 1992 election.Raimondo, Justin (2012-10-01) , Antiwar.com