Archive for Lew Rockwell

Rockwell on the State, the Military, and Propaganda

BMises Daily Weekend:

An interview with Lew Rockwell:

War is the health of the state, and by encouraging enthusiasm for war, and deference for the state’s military institutions, states work to increase their own power in many other areas as well. Many citizens and taxpayers are happy to oblige, but that may be changing.

Lew Rockwell, Der Rebell

lew rockwellLew Rockwell is “one of the leaders of the libertarian world” opines Robert Groezinger of Junge Freiheit. This title should of course not be confused with the sinister title ”leader of the free world.”   Says Groezinger:

The American commentator and journalist Llewellyn Harrison Rockwell, Jr., who turns seventy on July 1, is one of the leaders of the libertarian world. Few others are so uncompromising in their criticism of government interventions into citizens’ private lives, of taxes, of government welfare and government education. Hardly anyone combines this criticism so consistently with the condemnation of foreign policy interference in the affairs of other countries. Hardly anyone has offered so comprehensively private alternatives, for example in the areas of medicine, nutrition and safety in the neighborhood, where, according to Rockwell’s opinion, the state has totally failed.

The former publishing house employee became known in the 1980s through his newsletter The Rothbard-Rockwell-Report. Its range enlarged enormously through the internet. Since 1999, he has published the internet magazine (LRC). Here, an assortment of authors publishes articles daily except Sundays under the slogan “anti-state, anti-war, pro market” – which is the website’s subtitle. LRC, one of whose contributors is the unconventional German economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe (JF 45/12), is one of the most widely read libertarian websites in the world and ranks among the most popular 10,000 of all categories.

“Lew,” as his friends call him, has only contempt for the state-friendly media. He recently expelled a New York Times reporter from the site of his Ludwig von Mises Institute in Alabama, telling him he was “part of the regime”. This institute, which was founded by Rockwell in 1982 and is run by him to this day, includes twenty senior fellows and seventy associated scholars. It is named after the strictly free market economist, who died in 1973, and who is the most important representative of the so-called Austrian School (AS). It advocates the radical shrinkage of the state. The mission of the Institute is the promotion of “classical liberalism”, specifically and explicitly under the banner of this school of thought. Any attempt to do good with government funds leads, according to the AS to side effects, which the state again feels called to fix: Until it becomes a juggernaut outwardly aggressive and inwardly surveilling and regulating everything.

The state is the “greatest worldly enemy of humanity,” says Rockwell, a Catholic. Although the Tea Party movement is not quite as radical: Without Rockwell’s journalistic groundwork their electoral success would probably have been probably smaller. The growing skepticism of his countrymen against foreign missions – as in the case of Syria – may also be at least partly attributable to Rockwell.
Maybe that’s his biggest success so far.

(Thanks to Travis Holte.)

Limited Government Is a Vain Hope

6785 (1)Mises Daily Friday by David Gordon.

The notion of limited government is incapable of being realized in practice. If there is a monopoly government, any limitations on the government must be ones the government has imposed on itself. To expect this sort of limitation to be effective is futile.

Lew Rockwell on the Military Domination of the American Mind

Tom Woods writes:

Lew and I spoke on my show again today, this time focusing primarily on war, the military culture in American society, state propaganda, and other juicy topics. Click here for the audio of the show, and below is the show on YouTube.

(N.b.: My last public event before heading to the Mises Institute for the summer Mises University program is this Thursday in St. Paul, Minnesota.)

Further Reading for Lew Rockwell’s ‘Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto’


by Lew Rockwell

Anyone wanting to learn more about anarcho-capitalism could do no better than to begin with two books by Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty and The Ethics of Liberty. The first of these diagnoses what is wrong with the regime of state domination: the second describes in substantial detail how the anarchist alternative would work. (For that matter, anything written by Rothbard is highly recommended.) Hans-Hermann Hoppe has edited a collection, The Myth of National Defense, which refutes the myth that an anarchist society could not adequately defend itself.

For more detail on the fascist character of the present American regime, see my Fascism vs. Capitalism. John T. Flynn’s World War II classic As We Go Marching has not lost its relevance. Readers will find an excellent account of the war system and the history of American foreign policy in a book by the great historian Ralph Raico, Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal. Raico’s Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School should not be missed. Tom DiLorenzo’s The Real Lincoln is vital for understanding the growth of the State during the War Between the States, and for its skeptical account of Abraham Lincoln, a false god promoted by the State’s propagandists. Robert Higgs ties together the war system and the growth of the State in his monumental Crisis and Leviathan.

Ron Paul has been the foremost opponent of the Fed in Congress, and his The Case for Gold explains what a free market money system would be like. Murray Rothbard’s What Has Government Done to Our Moneyis indispensable.

Ludwig von Mises definitely refuted socialism and interventionism in Socialism. Mises’s analysis of fascism as a form of socialism in Planning for Freedom underlies the treatment of fascism in this book. Hans Hoppe’s A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism argues that all interference with the free market is in reality a form of socialism.

Finally, everybody should read two classics of libertarian anarchism: Franz Oppenheimer,The State and Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State.

Lew Rockwell’s New Book Is Up on Amazon

securedownload-1-200x300Lew Rockwell writes:

The Kindle version of my new book, Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, is up on Amazon, and it’s only $3.99. Its sales ranking is 39,466, not terrible given the lack of promotion until now, but I’d be grateful for your help in lowering that number! For advocates and enemies of freedom, this topic is of increasing interest and importance. (Coming soon: the paperback.)

Speaking Truth to Monetary Power

6760Lew Rockwell writes in today’s Mises Daily:

We do not need “monetary policy” any more than we need a paintbrush policy, a baseball bat policy, or an automobile policy. We do not need a monopoly institution to create money for us. Money, like any good, is better produced on the market within the nexus of economic calculation. Money creation by government or its privileged central bank yields us business cycles, monetary debasement, and an increase in the power of government. It is desirable from neither an economic nor a libertarian standpoint. If we are going to utter monetary truths, this one is the most central and subversive of all.

Join Lew Rockwell and Jim Grant in NYC Thursday Night

Please join Jim Grant, Lew Rockwell, Sean Fieler, Bob Hoye, and others at the Committee for Monetary Research & Education program and dinner in NYC Thursday, May 22, at 4:00 pm at the Union League Club.

If you can’t attend, you can witness an historic event with the first webcast of the CMRE dinner via a Google OnAir Hangout on Thursday.

More info here. 

The Future of Libertarianism

6740Lew Rockwell writes in today’s Mises Daily: 

To claim that it is not enough for the libertarian to oppose aggression is to fall into the trap that destroyed classical liberalism the first time, and transformed it into modern liberalism. How, after all, did the classical liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries become the state-obsessed liberalism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries? How did the once-venerable wordliberalism become perverted in the first place? Precisely because of thickism. Sure, twentieth-century liberals said, we favor liberty, but since mere negative liberty — that is, restrictions on the state — doesn’t appear to yield a sufficiently egalitarian result, we need more than that.


New eBook: ‘The Gold Standard: Perspectives in the Austrian School’

unnamedNow in ebook format or paperback: The Gold Standard: Perspectives in the Austrian School

The world’s financial system is in a precarious state, and everywhere the cry is heard for reform. But a reform to what? More government created fiat money under a new name? The contributors to this notable anthology think not and argue for one particular sort of reform, a return to the gold standard. They all agree that a genuine free market would gravitate toward a gold standard.

Murray Rothard states that any commodity used as money must have value in a non-monetary use. Roger Garrison dismantles the objection that a paper money is cheaper, and less wasteful, than a gold standard. Joe Salerno untangles the web of international finance . By far the most effective political advocate of the gold standard has been Ron Paul, and here he summarizes his proposals for monetary reform. Other contributors include Richard Ebeling on Mises and the gold standard, Hans Sennholz on Carl Menger’s monetary writings, and Lawrence White on free banking and money.

The Gold Standard presents cutting-edge scholarship on the best and most effective monetary system. If you want to understand the gold standard, you need to read this book.

Lew Rockwell Announces New Book on Anarcho-Capitalism

Today at LRC, Lew announced that a new book is in the works:

Never, ever, has there been so much interest in a truly libertarian society. Young people in this country and all over the world are flocking to the Rothbardian banner. No coincidence, at the same time. media attacks on us have never been so intense or so frequent. Politicians, who you might think would be content with their looting and killing, are vociferously denouncing anarcho-capitalists, because we worry them.

This is all great news, and why I want to tell you about my new book,  Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto. In it, I seek not only to tell the truth, but to refute the lies. Best of all, I think Murray—to whom I’ve dedicated the book–would be saying, Attaboy!

In this work, I talk about why I am an anarcho-capitalist, and the evils of the State, from the war system to the war on drugs, from the assault on our civil liberties to the damage the bankers’ Fed does.

Why not “limited government”? The idea, I show, is as meaningless as the phrase. I also talk about how anarchy would work in a practical sense.

Is it ever morally justified to initiate violence or the threat of violence against the innocent? Of course, not, yet that is the State’s daily bread.

There are many great scholarly works on anarcho-capitalism, but I had something else in mind: a book of fewer than 200 pages that can serve as an introduction, and as a guide to further reading, in the freedom philosophy.

Read more. 

Audio: Lew Rockwell Discusses Anarcho-Capitalism With Ben Swann

We don’t need a ruling class, Lew Rockwell tells Ben Swann. (Mp3, 35 minutes)

Today: Lew Rockwell on the Ben Swann Radio Show

Lew Rockwell writes:

I’ll be on Ben’s radio show from 11:00am-noon central time today.

Video: Lew Rockwell Discusses Police Statism and Austrian Econ with Ron Paul

In this January 2014 interview, Lew Rockwell discusses police states, the worldwide Austrian economics movement and the future of the Mises Institute with Ron Paul.

Lew Rockwell On Endemic Corruption of US Government

Former New Orleans, La. Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted of 20 counts of corruption, while found not guilty on one count. Nagin was the mayor of the Crescent City from 2002 to 2010, shepherding the city through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding that began immediately after. But during the rebuilding phase, Nagin required kickbacks from people looking to help the battered city. RT’s Perianne Boring discusses the case and corruption in America with libertarian author Lew Rockwell.

We Win the ‘NY Times’ Prize

6648Lew Rockwell writes in today’s Mises Daily: 

The New York Times, whistling past the financial graveyard, paused over the weekend to smear the Mises Institute, Ron Paul, our other scholars, hardcore libertarianism, and me. Why? Because our ideas and our youth movement are gaining real traction. It is in effect a compliment. They have never faced opposition like ours before, and Ron Paul’s tremendous resonance with young people has only made things worse from the Times’s point of view.

The Times wants opponents who play the game, who accept the presuppositions of the regime, and who are willing to confine themselves to the narrow range of debate to which the Times would prefer to confine the American people.

The purpose of articles like the one over the weekend, it should be unnecessary to point out, is not to shed light. It is to demonize and destroy a school of thought that the regime considers threatening.

Mussolini’s Idea of the State and Its American Defenders

6645Lew Rockwell writes in today’s Mises Daily

But it would be foolish to pretend that America is the very opposite of the fascist dystopias. Whether it’s the emphasis on centralization, the glorification of the police and the military, the yearning for a “third way” between capitalism and socialism, the elevation of “public service” above the services we freely provide one another on the market, the creepy and incessant references to “my president” or “our president,” or the depiction of the state as a quasi-divine instrument, the commonalities are neither trivial nor few.

Americans no doubt recoil from or laugh at that passage from the Italian fascists I shared with you a few moments ago. But few Americans are in a position to render such a judgment. Most have absorbed the idea that their government, far from a merely utilitarian contrivance established to provide them with some basic services, as many early Americans doubtless conceived of it, is a redemptive force in the world

The Mises Institute and the Future of Higher Education

keyboard message, earthLew Rockwell writes in today’s Mises Daily:

But of course it’s not just our online education that is paving the way for a new kind of education. Back in 2011, when Sebastian Thrun, then a professor at Stanford, decided to begin offing online courses on robotics and artificial intelligence, 160,000 people enrolled in the first class. After that, Thrun decided to leave behind his tenured position and founded a new online education operation through which he believes he can reach half a million students with low-cost higher education taught by some of the world’s best faculty.

The demand for these online educational programs illustrates just how useful they are in the marketplace, and the Mises Institute is already part of this new world of higher education.

At the same time, many colleges or universities are trying to jump on the bandwagon, and for many of them, it is already too late. Many small colleges and universities will be going out of business in coming decades because the costs are high and the benefit to students is low at those institutions. It’s true that the elite schools aren’t going to go out of business, and the big state universities aren’t going to go out of business, but much of the higher education world is feeling the ground moving under its feet, and they’re worried. They should be worried.

Watch the Houston Mises Circle LIVE This Weekend

Mises Institute will be live-streaming The Southwest Regional Mises Circle in Houston on Saturday, January 18, FREE at YouTube.Here are the scheduled speakers. All times are Central time: The Police State: Know It When You See It

10:00 a.m. Lew Rockwell Welcome
Jeff Deist 10:15 a.m. Jeff Deist What Happened to “Peace” Officers?
Tom Woods 10:45 a.m. Tom Woods The Economics of the Police State
Lew Rockwell 11:45 a.m. Lew Rockwell American Fascism
Ron Paul 1:30 p.m. Ron Paul Do We Live in a Police State?
2:30 p.m. Speaker Panel Q&A

Special thanks to Christopher P. Condon, Terence Murphree, and TJ & Ida Goss for making this event possible.

For archived recordings of other similar seminars, visit


11 Good Things for Liberty in 2013


Credit: Mike Herbst

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

As 2013 draws to a close, let’s pause to recall some important developments for the cause of liberty – some of which you already know well, and others you’ll be hearing about for the first time.

Edward Snowden. After sitting on the Bush-era warrantless wiretapping story for 18 months, the New York Times revealed a portion of the surveillance activities of the US government in 2005. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that the National Security Agency’s spying activities vastly exceeded anything we heard about in the media.

The Snowden revelations served two functions from the point of view of public enlightenment. First, the regime in DC was once again exposed as untruthful, even sinister. But second, the bipartisan condemnation of Snowden on the part of the political establishment – both Nancy Pelosi and John McCain denounced him, unsurprisingly – reminds us that there is, after all, one party: the state party. Whatever cosmetic differences separate politicians otherwise, when push comes to shove, they rally to one another in the face of a truth-teller.

New President for the Mises Institute. At the end of 2013 the Mises Institute named Jeff Deist, former as chief of staff to Ron Paul, as its new president. Jeff is a significant  figure in so many ways – smart, well spoken, principled, and knowledgeable about money, banking, the Fed, and indeed the entire edifice of Austrian economics.

“Ron Paul’s congressional staff viewed the Mises Institute as our intellectual home,” Jeff recalls. “We applied Austrian principles and scholarship to virtually everything Ron did as a member of Congress. I’m honored to join an organization Ron has enthusiastically supported from the very beginning, and excited about dedicating myself to furthering the Austrian message.”

Ron, for his part, says he’s thrilled that Jeff “is fighting for liberty again.”

Obamacare. Everybody knows about the Obamacare fiascoes – the useless website and “if you like your plan, you can keep it” chief among them. But what a disaster the rollout of this program has been for the regime, which hates nothing more than looking ridiculous and incompetent, and being the butt of the people’s jokes. Meanwhile, supporters of the president think they’re helping matters by casually pointing out that of course the president knew he was lying when he said people could keep health plans they liked; he had to lie to them in order to get this program passed.

It’s rare to encounter such refreshing candor from the political and media classes.

The Austrian School. Meanwhile, interest in the Austrian School continues to grow, and demands for our resources and services have never been greater. Our Austrian Economics Research Conference, which attracts the best scholars from around the world working in the Austrian tradition, promises to be among our best ever, with an illustrious list of named lecturers and scores of papers advancing the Austrian School in new and exciting ways.

The Great Deformation. David Stockman’s gripping book The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America is more than a devastating blow to the conventional narrative of the financial crisis and the geniuses who supposedly put things right. It is a sweeping, revisionist account of 20th-century US history, bristling with insights and little-known history. Imagine reading a book on 20th-century America without a systematic pro-Fed bias, and without the usual deference to the “great presidents.” I reviewed it for LRC. I urge you to read it. [Here is a Mises Institute Q and A with David Stockman.]

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