Rothbard on Weld

by David Gordon

William Weld, a former Governor of Massachusetts, has recently announced his intention to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket, in concert with Gary Johnson. Weld has been since the 1990s greatly in favor at the Cato Institute, but Murray Rothbard viewed him with disdain. He often referred to Weld in the pages of The Rothbard Rockwell Report, and his remarks had a constant focus. To Rothbard, Weld exemplified a disturbing trend among professed libertarians.

For Rothbard, the issue at stake was fundamental. Individuals have rights, not groups. Writing in November 1994, he deplored “an infection of [movement] libertarians’ views by their deep-seated egalitarianism. Scratch an egalitarian, and you will inevitably find a statist. How does the libertarians’ burgeoning and pervasive egalitarianism square with their supposed belief in individualism. . .The resolution of this problem is much the same as other, more common versions of Political Correctness.

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